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Starbound dev: We're a bunch of nerds

Starbound dev: We're a bunch of nerds

Fri 21 Feb 2014 12:00pm GMT / 7:00am EST / 4:00am PST
Development

Community manager of Chucklefish Molly Carroll talks new offices, publishing and crafting in space

If you haven't heard of UK studio Chucklefish yet, you should probably look them up. Not only did the company sell over a million copies of its space crafting title in a month, it did it while the game is still in Early Access. And if working on that title wasn't enough, the company is also in the process of setting up new offices, and entering the world of game publishing. Community manager Molly Carroll took time out from all the multi-tasking to explain a little more about the company and its activities.

Q: How is the beta going for Starbound? Reaction seems wholly positive, but any surprises in the process?

Molly Carroll: We've had some technical hiccups since it's, y'know, a beta, but all in all things have been going very well! We honestly couldn't have expected better.

Q: How important has social media and people sharing their experiences been?

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Molly Carroll: Given that I handle our social media accounts I'm probably a bit biased, but I think it's been extremely important in helping to build up a community around Starbound. It's also just super nice to log in each morning and see what sorts of things people have been discovering and creating.

Q: If you were starting Starbound from scratch again tomorrow, would you change anything about the development or funding process?

Molly Carroll: Haha, I think we'd probably hold off on announcing a release date.

Q: How key was the pre-order process to the game?

Molly Carroll: It was pretty crucial to development, really. We had some team members who had sacrificed quite a bit to work on the game full time and it was getting harder for them to keep doing that. It would probably have taken us a lot longer to get the beta out had pre-orders not been such a huge success.

Q: Starbound is a very unique game, what is it about the Chucklefish team that meant they could make that? What makes you special?

Molly Carroll: We're a bunch of nerds of varying tastes who set out to create a game full of things that we really enjoyed and hoped other people would enjoy, too.

Q: How key will the new office be to the way you work? What will it change?

Molly Carroll: We've all been working remotely across lots of different timezones, which often just kills productivity and motivation and leads to insane sleeping schedules. Not everyone is moving over to the UK to work in the new office, but a good portion of us are. I think working in the same space and just...having a central location as a company will be a really positive change.

Q: Why was publishing an attractive area for Chucklefish?

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Molly Carroll: There are lots of indie devs creating incredible games that don't get the exposure they deserve because marketing isn't their strong suit, or really they just don't have time or an interest in it because they want to spend their time developing their game. We're in a position to help those people without taking a ridiculously large percentage or making lots of crazy demands. Feels good man.

Q: Where will Chucklefish be in two years? Five? Ten?

Molly Carroll: We just want to keep doing what we're doing. We'll be making Starbound for awhile yet and we'll continue to update it even after its full release. We'll be making new games, publishing more games, etc.

1 Comment

Steve Wetz
Reviewer/Assistant Editor

196 499 2.5
"Given that I handle our social media accounts I'm probably a bit biased, but I think it's been extremely important in helping to build up a community around Starbound. It's also just super nice to log in each morning and see what sorts of things people have been discovering and creating." -Considering some of the community mods that have sprung up around this, that's a massive understatement. In fact, the Mass Effect mod for Starbound was actually more enjoyable for me than, say, the ending to Mass Effect 3. But that's not really saying much.

As for the assertion that this game is "very unique"... most people refer to it as Terraria in space. It's kinda hard to shoehorn "unique" into that. But that doesn't mean it's not great. I loved Ace of Spades and that's very obviously inspired by Minecraft - which was very inspired by Infiniminer... and now that I think of it, Terraria when it came out was referred to as "2D Minecraft." Maybe this all needs its own genre.

Posted:6 months ago

#1

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