Patch "The Art of Conversation" Update Is Live!

Hey Folks!

Ostranauts v0.8.0.8 is now available on Steam. Named "The Art of Conversation" Update, it represents a major feature update, hence the change from 0.7.x to 0.8.x.


For best results, you are encouraged to start a new character.

Old saves might still work, but there's a chance they'll cause bugs. And they will definitely miss new content.

It's a pretty significant patch, so we've broken down the change list into sections.

Social Combat

  • Added new Social Combat "Objective" mode for high stakes negotiations.
  • Added ability to undock from station with unpaid fees if player convinces a clerk to override the lockdown.
  • Added ability to gain black market access by convincing Fixer on OKLG to trust you.
  • Added ability to lessen police fines by convincing police.
  • Added an objective UI box for explaining the stakes and goals of social combat scenarios.
  • Added overlays to stat bars to show where current negotiation will succeed or fail.
  • Added "Gambit" moves which attempt to finish social combat with a successful outcome.
  • Added "Closer" moves which NPCs will use to finish social combat on their terms.
  • Changed social move preview to show more info on each move.
  • Added highlight on profile of character who’s turn it is.
  • Added code to center camera on speaker during social combat.
  • Changed social stat bars to smoothly change color based on their amount.
  • Added green/pink color highlights when social stat bars are changed
  • Added tooltips to social stat bars to show more info.
  • Changed NPC behavior to load social combat if they approach player to talk.
  • Added new core social moves to game.
  • Changed most social moves to be faster.
  • Changed solo social moves to have different durations, so they don't all start and stop synchronously.
  • Changed conversations to have "change subject" and "leave" options always at end.
  • Changed NPCs to heal privacy discomfort over time, even if they are not on-screen in a loaded ship.
  • Changed NPC behavior to avoid chatting with player if player is already in social combat.
  • Changed player starting social mood to be more middle of road instead of perfect.
  • Changed social stats to degrade/recover naturally faster than before.
  • Changed Fixer and Port Authority clerk to start with less discomforts.


  • Changed game data to be more modder friendly, and avoid overwrites from patch updates.
  • Added a button to open the mods folder from the Options->Files menu.
  • Added more logging info when loading mods, including names of mod as it loads.
  • Added list of loaded mods and their statuses to the Options->Files menu.
  • Changed StreamingData to have folders for each json type, and game loads all jsons from each folder.
  • Added to game folder to help new modders.
  • Added moddable PlotManager Settings, in StreamingAssets/data/plot_manager/ folder.
  • Changed game to load moddable star system data from StreamingData/star_systems/.
  • Changed console_params.json to be in persistent data folder instead of StreamingData.
  • Changed game to load core and mod data in user-defined order. Game checks for loading_order.json in game data Mods/ folder before loading. Loads mods in that order, or defaults to game data if missing.
  • Changed game to try loading mod PNGs before core PNGs.
  • Added ability to skip loading core and mod file paths via settings in loading_order.json.
  • Changed formatting inside names_first.json, names_last.json, names_full.json, names_ship.json, names_ship_genadj.json, names_ship_gennoun.json, strings.json, and crewskins.json to be more moddable.
  • Added support for a settings.json file in persistent data folder.
  • Added user settings preferences for date format, temperature units, and custom Mods/ folder.
  • Fixed some typos and extra spaces in names_ship.json.

New Stuff!

  • Added new parallax backgrounds to the boneyard, stations, and deep space.
  • Added code to change the parallax background based on nearest orbital body.
  • Changed door opening to be faster after AI starts opening them.
  • Added an emotional effects to all crew after a collision.
  • Added custom collision bark responses to AIs with relevant traits.
  • Added an emotional effects to AI when they are in O2 danger.
  • Changed trait costs to be more balanced with their rewards and penalties.
  • Added station names to all other stations in the System.
  • Changed docking fees to always belong to regional ATC, not local station.
  • Changed undocking to be allowed with unpaid fees when in non-regional ATC station.
  • Added ability to save custom backgrounds in ship editor that extend beyond ship boundaries, without breaking pathfinding/docking.
  • Added random chance of emotional anxiety to game.
  • Added first undocking fees warning encounter.
  • Added encounter for first time at OKLG_BIZ.
  • Added port authority coveralls to game.

UI Changes

  • Changed debug console to auto-open log the first time error level might affect gameplay.
  • Changed options screen to allow other date and temperature formats.
  • Changed remappable hotkeys to contain more options
  • Changed the hotkeys into a scrollable list rather than a grid
  • Added related sections to the hotkeys list
  • Changed hotkeys to accept multi-key inputs (i.e. shift + F1 toggles LoS)
  • Changed hotkeys to allow for multiple variants (i.e. either W and up arrow fly forwards)
  • Changed hotkeys to allow removal of last key variation (can now leave hotkeys empty)
  • Changed Docking/Flying UI to use arrows instead of key letters
  • Added code to lock UI so enter key counts as pressing the lock/unlock button.
  • Added code to options->interface screen to restore user settings when re-opened later.
  • Changed chargen launch screen to play different audio when launch button fails.
  • Changed chargen launch screen to blink warning lamp and text when launch button fails.
  • Change chargen launch screen PDA text to no longer mention immediately airless voids (not applicable now).
  • Changed Ship Editor to hide crew bar UI at bottom, and move top nav further toward left corner.
  • Changed ship editor's part info/control panel launch window to be a scrolling window, and show user friendly button name.
  • Removed console from bottom of debug overlay. Unused.
  • Changed debug overlay to have less overlapping.
  • Added 25th hour to Roster UI to help illustrate that days have more than 24h.
  • Changed social combat canvas scaling to have some text be fixed size
  • Changed many text boxes to resize text to fill them automatically

General Changes

  • Changed pathfinding to be generally tighter and more consistent.
  • Fixed a bug that caused extra/erroneous 'cant path through AirLock with pressure difference!' log messages.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed pathfinders to interact with things while too far away. E.g. stopping a tile too soon before starting socialize
  • Fixed a bug that caused inconsistent pathfinding goals when AI approached a target.
  • Added code to avoid saving games with a trailing . in the name, as it fails on Windows.
  • Fixed a bug that caused traders to update their prices after a save/load, dock/undock, or using transit.
  • Fixed a bug that caused double progress bars under people.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause social combat target to disappear from station suddenly and become a scavenger pilot.
  • Fixed a bug that could crash the game if no valid character names are loaded from data.
  • Fixed missing anti cond info for Genius and Obtuse.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause game to freeze for long periods due to collisions at extreme speeds.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented AI from wearing helmet if they were carrying it.
  • Fixed a bug that caused police to just stand on their ship instead of question you, when path to you opened an airlock.
  • Fixed a bug in game debug console that ignored some unhandled exceptions.
  • Fixed a bug that caused options->interface screen to be visible but not clickable until reopened, if used in main menu then again after launching game.
  • Fixed a bug that caused a ship's work task icons to be missing after undocking and redocking.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed RCS rotation and screen shaking if ship's RCS remass was empty.
  • Fixed a bug that caused placeholder items (for installs) to be blank or missing on ships after undocking from them and saving/loading.
  • Removed quickzoom hotkey from game. Was only meant for debug.
  • Fixed a bug in that could cause nulls if an interaction gave missing loot to a person.
  • Fixed a bug that caused social stats to wrap around back to high if they got too low.
  • Fixed a bug that would cause social combat UI to target self and get stuck in a loop.
  • Fixed a bug that caused NPCs to lash out at player and interrupt them if they were in a bad mood while using transit.
  • Fixed a bug that would center camera on strange things if user clicked objective for off-screen ship.
  • Fixed missing audio for trade UI buy/sell buttons.
  • Fixed a bug that would generate NPCs with ORG as a career.

The namesake for this update is the new social combat system. There are now conversations in the game where the outcome can have real, meaningful consequences. Whether it be access to markets, avoiding fees, or even running away from debtors.

The social "objective" UI will appear when in these negotiations, and the UI will highlight red zones where the target will likely bail out on you. We also added a range of new UI helpers to show the current status of the conversation, and how things are changing.

Regular "chit chat" conversation should be more consistent now, too. Moves are faster, have more consistent effects, and you can even use these chit-chat moves to prep a target before going in for negotiations.


Modding also got a lot of attention! There is now a dedicated mod status UI in the options->files screen, where you can see what mods have loaded, in what order, where the mod files are, and even documentation on how to mod!

One of the bigger changes under the hood is how the game data files work now. Previously, there was only one set of game files, and any edits to those files were likely to be erased by a Steam update.

Now, the core data is separate from Mod data, so modders can edit anything they like without fear of overwriting by Steam. Plus, there is no limit to the number of files under each data type's folder, so you can organize your mod into as many files as you wish.

The game comes with a for you to look at if you wish to start from something simple.

There's also an update to the error console in the top left of the screen, so that it more reliably reports errors, and will appear in real time with a message if an error has likely corrupted the game.

We also added parallax backgrounds for the boneyard, stations, and deep space, to make things more immersive. In the boneyard, you'll see procedural junk fly by in the background with the stars. And on ground stations, you'll no longer see stars through the ground.

Users can also now place background items in the ship editor, which look like regular placed items, but don't interact with items in the game world. They all exist on a separate layer, but use shared lighting/shadows. Use these for things like station backgrounds and other effects!

Hotkeys had a complete overhaul, making them more reliable and versatile. And paving the way for more hotkey-mappable things in the future. Hopefully, users with many keyboard configs can now make use of it!

And those are just the big-ticket features! Lots of smaller UI tweaks, game balance changes, bug fixes, and other changes.

As always, we love hearing what you think! Tell us how your run goes. What works for you? What is or isn't fun? What do you want to see next?

Thanks for reading, and fly safe!

Daniel Fedor
Founder, Blue Bottle Games, LLC

Tags: Ostranauts