Planets

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Planet.png

Planets are the primary location of gameplay in Starbound. Almost every element of a planet is procedurally assembled by the game's engine. These elements include a planet's terrain, biomes, sub-biomes, weather, gravity, difficulty, plants, trees, and the appearance and behavior of its fauna.

Every planet has unique coordinates in the navigation console. These coordinates act as seeds to the game's internal random number generator, and as such, will always produce an identical planet when used. There are 12.667 quadrillion planets able to be generated within the game currently, with 422.22 quadrillion planned.[1]

When on the surface of a planet, nearby planets within the currently occupied star system can occasionally be seen. These planets' appearances are determined by their biome, size, and current distance from the player. The player can continue in one direction on a planet and appear in the position that they began in, implying that these planets are spherical. How far one would have to travel is dependent upon the planet's size.[2]

Planet Generation

There are four possible sizes for each world. The size of a Planet not only effects their circumference, but also the distance to and thickness of the magma core as well as the distance to the upper atmosphere (space layer). Planets come in 3 sizes, and their Moons come in 4, smaller, sizes. All worlds except Barren, Moon, and Tentacle share the same basic data when it comes to determine the planet's size.

All planets have a maximum depth you can descend before it becomes impossible to teleport back to the ship without the use of a Teleporter. This is determined by the thickness of the planet's sub-surface layer. Once the sub-surface layer is passed the player enters the underground layers and teleportation is no longer possible. The underground is divided into 3 layers and each layer determines which underground caves may appear.

Here are some facts that apply to all worlds (excepting Moon, Barren, and the Tentacle):

  • The space layer is roughly 1100 blocks above the surface of the planets. This size of this layer varies but it allow players to build among asteroids. There is also a different Asteroid Field world available to players.
  • All planets generated large, flying, procedurally generated monsters roughly 500 blocks above the planets surface.
  • The sub-surface (the lowest point you can teleport out) ends 100 blocks below the planet's surface.
  • The core of every planet is 200 blocks thick.

You can determine the size of a planets by looking at the number of sectors it displays. This is the width of the planet.

Very Small 1000 sectors
Small 2000 sectors
Medium 4000 sectors
Large 6000 sectors

Very Small Worlds

  • Very Small-sized worlds will have 1 large dungeon and have no possibility of sub-biomes.
  • The space layer is 300 blocks high.
  • The distance from the surface to the bottom of the sub-surface is 100 blocks deep.
  • Once you go below the surface/subsurface it is 300 blocks to the core of the planet.
  • Each planet's underground layers is 100 blocks thick.
  • In total this planet is 1000 blocks wide and 2000 blocks from the bottom of the core to the top of the space layer.

Small Worlds

  • Small-sized worlds will have 1 large dungeon and have 1 sub-biome.
  • The space layer is 300 blocks high.
  • The distance from the surface to the bottom of the sub-surface is 100 blocks deep.
  • Once you go below the surface/subsurface it is 300 blocks to the core of the planet.
  • Each planet's underground layers is 100 blocks thick.
  • In total this planet is 3000 blocks wide and 2000 blocks from the bottom of the core to the top of the space layer.

Medium Worlds

  • Medium-sized worlds will have 1 to 2 large dungeons and have 1 to 2 sub-biomes.
  • The space layer is 1000 blocks high.
  • The distance from the surface to the bottom of the sub-surface is 100 blocks deep.
  • Once you go below the surface/subsurface it is 600 blocks to the core of the planet.
  • Each planet's underground layers is 200 blocks thick.
  • In total this planet is 4000 blocks wide and 3000 blocks from the bottom of the core to the top of the space layer.

Large Worlds

  • Large-sized worlds will have 2 to 3 large dungeons and have 1 to 2 sub-biomes.
  • The space layer is 1000 blocks high.
  • Once you go below the surface/subsurface it is 600 blocks to the core of the planet.
  • Each planet's underground layers is 200 blocks thick.
  • In total this planet is 6000 blocks wide and 3000 blocks from the bottom of the core to the top of the space layer.

Environment

Screenshot of a snow planet from the navigation console.
Each planet has an environment made up of a number of elements. The background, terrain type, plant type, weather and trees are called the biome of the planet. While these biomes have similarity between planets (for instance Forest Biomes all have a large number of trees), they are unique in their combination of smaller elements through procedural generation.

A world has a dominant, primary biome which is what you see when looking at the planet from the navigation console. Depending on it's size it may have other types of planetary biomes as a sub-biome. For example, Garden worlds may have regions that are Forest biomes. These regions in turn determine which mini-biomes can appear. A Forest world may have a Swamp mini-biome. Likewise a Garden world with Forest sub-biome can have swamps too.

A planet's temperature might be too cold or too hot for the player to survive. Such planets require cold protection or heat protection to navigate without taking damage. Similarly, there are other conditions that may make a planet dangerous, such as a lack of atmosphere or intense radiation.

See EPP for the different biome protective pack upgrades.

The color of light on planets is determined by the color of the closest star(s). Its intensity is determined by the distance and size of the neighboring stars.[3] The star pattern in the night sky around a planet is unique and slowly rotates in the sky. If the player returns to the same planet, the stars will be the same.[4]

The planets materials is determined by the biome type of the planet and its sub biomes.

Difficulty

Difficulty is related to the health and damage of enemies, as well as planetary conditions. Difficulty is split into 7 ranks: Low, Moderate, Risky, Dangerous, Extreme, Inconceivable, and Unknown. Many planets marked at Dangerous difficulty and above require the player to have a specific type of protection pack to explore normally. The only other difficulty requiring an EPP is the Unknown difficulty, specific to Moons.

Monsters

Monsters are uniquely generated for each biome on a planet. Monsters have levels of difficulty that correspond to the planet difficulty level. Monsters can also have special abilities like Body Slam, Charge, etc.

Planets will also have smaller friendly critters; these are unique to each biome and are non-hostile.

Navigation

The planet view of the navigation console
Traveling from planet to planet is done using the ship's navigation console. Traveling to other planets within the same solar system (orbiting the same star) has no fuel cost.

After completing the quest The Erchius Mining Facility the ships FTL drive can be repaired enabling travel to other star systems. Fuel costs change based on the destination and some planet types (like Gas Giants) and stars can not be traveled to.

Reset

It is possible to reset or regenerate a planet to its pristine, original condition. To do so, the save file for that planet must be manually located and deleted. It can be found in the <starbound>/storage/universe folder. The specific planet file will be named by its coordinates. Alternatively, the entire universe can be reset by deleting the folder.[5] This can be especially useful in case of major biome updates, in which previously visited worlds have received new content.

Sources

  1. http://community.playstarbound.com/index.php?threads/a-little-perspective-on-the-size-of-starbound.27178/#post-1063769
  2. http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1ccf2l/we_are_chucklefish_games_developers_of_indie_game/c9f771h
  3. http://playstarbound.com/16th-july-progress/
  4. http://www.reddit.com/r/starbound/comments/1jq4n4/4th_august_progress/cbhbho5
  5. http://community.playstarbound.com/threads/is-there-a-way-to-make-the-restart-the-planets.96262/#post-2578932