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VoidExpanse Space Sandbox RPG Released For Linux, Some Thoughts

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuKMz4LyOks
VoidExpanse is a really interesting 2D space sandbox RPG that has recently released in full for Linux. I hadn't tried it since January, so I've been eager to see the full release in action.

About the game (Official)
VoidExpanse is an open-world, science fiction action-RPG set in deep space.

Take on the role of a spaceship pilot and navigate the vast reaches of VoidExpanse! Mine asteroids for valuable resources, trade to improve your ship, complete story missions offered by one of several factions with their own agendas, advance your character through diverse skill-trees -- and engage in fast-paced combat with hostile aliens, mercenaries and pirates in the rich and exciting Sci-Fi universe of VoidExpanse.

But your journey doesn't end there: Create your own galaxy or persistent multiplayer worlds in sandbox mode to join forces with other players. You are only limited by your imagination!

Some thoughts
Initial annoyances
The first issue is that you need to install Mono for the game to work, so on Ubuntu you could run this command (the developers told me this directly):
sudo apt-get install mono-complete
I really hope they find a way to make this easier, as if you try to actually play it the game just fails and tells you to install Mono, which is not the most user friendly of starts.

It will also create its own folder in “/Documents/AtomicTorchStudio/VoidExpanse”, a minor point as it’s not the correct place for config files and such, but I know it annoys some people. Those “some people” do include me, as my Documents folder I tend to keep my personal documents, so I don’t want lots of random games filling it up constantly their their config files and saved games.
The developers told this is to keep it the same as Mac and Windows.

Onto the game itself
I do like that it has a full singleplayer and multiplayer server experience, so it’s suitable for people who like to be social and destroy others, or people who just want to play by themselves.

I decided to dive right into the multiplayer which is exactly the same as the singleplayer, but with the bonus of seeing others around. I highly recommend doing singleplayer first though, as the tutorial is extremely useful for the basics which you need to learn.

The game does somewhat remind me of a 2D Eve Online when played in multiplayer, but not as big, and not as tedious to play. You control your ship directly too, which I find much more pleasant.

The game isn't completely stable in my testing, as during the first quest I did a quick alt+tab and the game utterly vanished. It then kept refusing to launch as it left a sleeping process around that I had to manually kill. Luckily, it seemed to save my progress right when it crashed, so that was damned handy!

My second run went a little smoother, as I went from quest to quest doing whatever they desired from annoying a pirates, to mining an asteroid and it was somewhat relaxing.

As I begin to play some more, it really does feel like they took Eve Online, cut it down to 2D and tinkered away. It even has the same “jump gate” travel system that Eve does. This isn’t a bad thing since we don’t have much like it, but it’s noticeable. To be fair to VoidExpanse, other games also have it, and I’m sure Eve wasn’t the first to think of it, but Eve is the more current (and well known) space game that’s most similar.

The game features a module system for ships and it is really nice, as it allows you to kit out your ship with various different modules you acquire from quests or merchants. It’s simple to use, and I hope there’s a lot of it!

All I can think of while I play is thank god for autopilot and cruise control, as there’s very little to do while travelling other than staring at the screen and occasionally fighting pirates. The travelling is quite dull! This is why I love that it has multiplayer, as in my opinion this game is designed much more for people to enjoy together than alone. Once you have the basics from the singleplayer, I would recommend doing multiplayer.

Sadly, my run was cut short, again, by another crash to desktop bug. I have reported these to the developer, so hopefully in future I can give it a more interesting and longer look.

Final thoughts: It’s far too unstable for me to enjoy it right now. I really want to like it, but I don’t get long enough before it vanishes without saying goodbye.

You can grab VoidExpanse from the developers directly, and now Steam too. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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The comments on this article are closed.
Kurremkarmerruk 4 April 2015 at 9:57 pm UTC
Anyone able to share how similar this is to Drox Operative?

Looks pretty cool and if it's anything like Drox, I'm in!
Bumadar 5 April 2015 at 5:01 am UTC
not sure how they can make the start more user friendly. It's not like windows where package A can install package B (mono in this case) without the user even knowing. root access to the package manager (apt or zypper or any other) is needed and the linux way is to tell the user and leave it at that.
ky0 5 April 2015 at 7:11 am UTC
The game has indeed had a rough start for Linux (even though it works flawlessly for me) but I can tell you that the devs will get this game working flawlessly for others.
I've been helping them with testing and started about a year ago. I can safely say that they are an indie company that really wants to bring out a very awesome game.

As for the game, at the moment it is very oriented to single player as multiplayer is exactly the same as single player. I know that they have a ton of improvements they want to work on and I also heard that they are already working on gathering data for the next big content patch.

So if the company doesn't go belly up I have a feeling we will be seeing a Terraria like content push. Added to that is the ability to create mods to add virtually anything to the game.
neowiz73 5 April 2015 at 9:06 am UTC
this game is so addicting. reminds me so much of the original eve online, but in a single/multiplayer game. I love the sandbox design and gameplay.
ky0 5 April 2015 at 9:17 am UTC
You should install this mod:
http://forums.atomictorch.com/index.php?topic=436.0

Install Victoria Glensdale's voice, enhances the game so much more.
Devlin 5 April 2015 at 1:26 pm UTC
Bumadarnot sure how they can make the start more user friendly. It's not like windows where package A can install package B (mono in this case) without the user even knowing. root access to the package manager (apt or zypper or any other) is needed and the linux way is to tell the user and leave it at that.

I don't know how it is distributed but there are other games that use Unity and Mono and they don't require to install it in the system, for example yesterday I bought War for the Overworld, it's also a Unity and Mono game, and it just works without having mono in the system.

What they can do is at least show an error informing that mono is required because right now, without mono, when you click play on Steam it just closes, and if you go directly to the executable it starts (I can see the company and game logos) but then just tells you to go to Steam and start the game from there.
ky0 5 April 2015 at 4:20 pm UTC
QuoteThanks guys!
We're going to provide 64-bit version of the game and also resolve dependency with Mono in the future releases. I can't say exact date when we will be able to do it as the game uses NoesisGUI for UI which is currently 32-bit only (on Linux), but the developers tell us they're working on 64-bit version
We're really excited about the reception of the game within Linux players (we was in Steam top sellers on Linux for some time), so we do our best on resolving these issues as soon as possible.
Regards!
Quote from here: http://forums.atomictorch.com/index.php?topic=575.0

So it seems that are really working very hard to get the linux version working
AsavarTzeth 6 April 2015 at 6:30 pm UTC
I'm sorry but incorrect storage of game data, not shipping mono with the game, and being generally unstable? I wonder how many of those top buyers are happy with this?

In any case I am very grateful for this information. As always it makes it easier for me to make an informed decision
ky0 10 April 2015 at 6:40 am UTC
Hey Liam, in steam there is an experimental version out 1.2.3 (in the beta selection of the game). It's said that it fixes some of the linux issues. Can you give it a try?
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