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Fabular: Once Upon a Spacetime » The Starmap Revealed!

Greetings adventurers,

The starmap has changed significantly since we began working on Fabular: Once Upon A Spacetime and this update brings with it another slight modification to the way it works.

Although we really enjoyed the exploration element of the starmap, we are now at a stage where the remaining exploration factor was minimal. Ultimately, it appeared to be more of a hindrance than a source of fun for most players.

Our original vision for the starmap was based on exploration, with the player ship at the center of the screen and the camera following it around. The idea was that each realm was this big unknown ‘terra incognita’ that had to be explored, and should’ve conveyed the feeling of ‘you never know what lies ahead’.

But the need quickly arose to show more of the surrounding nodes to allow for some more player agency on which nodes to visit and how to progress towards the boss. Because of this, we moved the player indicator off-center and zoomed out the view a bit, but the rest of the experience remained the same.

After the teleport mechanic made it into the game, we introduced the minimap, but it always felt like a patchwork of a feature rather than something that felt intuitive and fun to use. And as we’ve continued to introduce more kinds of starmap nodes, the need for plannability and strategizing was on top of the list of player feedback. Not to mention running out of fuel due to an unforeseen dead-end, which is probably the #1 most reported negative feedback.

So after some careful consideration, we came up with this new version of the starmap:

We did not want to ‘reinvent the wheel’, and tried to stay true to our original vision as much as possible while prioritising player feedback.

We hope you’re as excited about this new direction as we are, and if you like the new direction, we have plenty of ideas regarding expanding the starmap experience for the future.

There are exciting things in the work for Fabular (including Realm 4 👀) and we can’t wait to share more with you.

Stay safe space adventurers
– Spiritus Games

Full patch notes:
  • The starmap is now revealed from the start, and no longer has to be explored.
  • The entire starmap now always scales to one screen, it no longer needs to be scrolled.
  • The minimap has been removed.
  • Teleportation between nodes can now be achieved on the regular starmap, similarly to how you travel between nodes (different hotkey though).
  • Every teleportable node is now connected to the player’s current location with a visual effect.
  • New node added: Battle. This will result in an instant battle. Note that event nodes can also result in a battle scenario.
  • New node added:
  • Revamped visuals for the player indicator, nodes, and the overall look of the starmap.
  • Each realm on the starmap now has a more distinct visual appearance by having differing backgrounds.
  • Alert level display has been moved to the bottom left corner of the starmap.
  • Added a banner that displays the current realm name below the alert level meter.
  • Instant starmap nodes are somewhat scarcer and can no longer contain negative resource values.
  • You no longer gain Tokens of Exploration for revealing starmap nodes (since they are revealed from the get-go). Instead, they gain them when they travel to unvisited nodes.
  • Some nodes and connections are now hidden on the starmap, waiting to be found
  • nodes can contain a event. Ssshhh…
  • Fixed: player indicator no longer stays opaque after a teleport jump on the starmap.
  • The first realm can now only contain a Starsmith but not an Alchemist.
  • Some events and items dealing with old starmap mechanics have been removed or re-worked.

Notes: While we all liked the previous emphasis on exploration and random elements, a lot of our players found it frustrating at times, especially if the randomness resulted in dead-ends or backtracking that led to a depleted fuel tank. So we did away with the exploration, but deem the result to be a more strategic starmap experience, where you can plan your route in advance, and hopefully only run out of fuel on your own accord, such as when you take an obvious risk.

Teleporting to distant nodes is now much more intuitive as well, due to the removal of the minimap as it no longer served a real purpose or added value. All in all, we hope that these changes make the starmap experience much more accessible and enable new ways of strategic planning.

  • Player ships now spend much less time in a helpless ‘spinned-out’ state after colliding with scenery or other ships. This will hopefully make collisions much less frustrating.
  • The Orb Recuperator item now has its own icon.
  • Fixed: Challenge screen settings no longer apply to Survival mode.
  • The ‘undo upgrades’ button’s hotkey is now ‘X’ on the controller. It was wrongly mapped to ‘B’ which is used to go back to the starmap from each screen. It also caused issues in Survival mode, where you couldn’t continue without resetting your upgrades.
  • Cleared up button text even more to reflect where you end up when you continue from a given screen in Survival mode.