Starbound beta "not very far off", will have three testing stages

The developers of Terraria-ish 2D sandbox Starbound are preparing to send their game into the uncharted wilderness of beta testing. In a post made to the Starbound blog , game designer Tiy outlined the structure of the beta, which he says is "really not very far off now." And if you're guessing that this beta structure will take the form of a series of unfinished builds that'll be made available for public consumption, you wouldn't be far wrong.

Tiy outlines three main stages of the beta roadmap, labelled Progenitor, Automaton and Bio-Organic. In layman's terms, that means: a big ol' bloody mess, a slightly tidier sandbox, and what almost resembles a proper game. Admirably, the descriptions state exactly how broken, incomplete, and malleable each stage is expected to be.

For instance, if you join in stage one, you can expect "bugs, lots of balance changes, and you shouldn't get too attached to your character or universe as we may make changes that require you to start from scratch." Stage three, meanwhile, is "largely about prepping for v1.0." As Early Access schemes become more common, it's good to see a developer taking the time to forewarn the community about what they can expect.

As a final word, Tiy writes, "it won't be too long now guys, I just wanted to clue you in on what we're planning. We're all pushing as hard as we can to start this up as soon as possible."

Apropos of nothing, here's a Starbound video featuring a version of Sonic The Hedgehog's Bridge Zone theme. If you'd prefer a more relevant trailer, you can find that here .

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.