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Starbound beta patch will wipe characters, ships and worlds

UPDATE: Latest update means characters and ships won't be erased again.

UPDATE: If you've been interested in Chucklefish's intergalactic 2D sandbox Starbound, but have been turned off by the developer's need to wipe players' progress via updates, your worries have been assuaged... mostly.

In the developer's latest patch notes it's claimed that the new Furious Koala update comes with an "absolutely massive changes to disk serialisation, which will allow us to never need to wipe players or ships again, and hopefully never need to wipe worlds again."

It's also added various difficulty levels and permadeath into the game. Neato!

That being said, Chucklefish is still working out the kinks - particularly with the Mac release. "We're aware there may be issues with a Steam update crashing the Mac build at the moment," the developer noted. "It's an issue with Steam - disable the Steam overlay to fix it in the meantime."

For more information on Starbound, our own Chris Donlan will have his impressions of the Early Access release up later today, so look forward to that.

ORIGINAL STORY: Crowd-funded PC and Mac sandbox Starbound will next week receive a new patch for its current beta build that will wipe all characters, ships and worlds.

It will be the last time that such a drastic move will be needed, developer Chucklefish has promised. "Hopefully," anyway.

"This patch will wipe everything - characters, ships and worlds. It will definitely be the last time we'll need to wipe characters or ships, and will hopefully be the last time we'll need to wipe worlds.

"The problem is that the organisation of planets may change so if they go muck with a planet, how do we put it in the celestial map? Or if they build on a biome we remove, or something. So no promises, but we'll try. But promises on the player/ship."

New additions in next week's patch include a new permadeath game mode, weapons and "more decorative hats!".

The full list of patch notes is available over on the game's official site.

Starbound is a Terraria-esque 2D adventure that earned over $2 million (about £1.2m) via its own pre-order page. It went on to sell more than a million copies of its £11.99 beta in December via the developer's site and Steam Early Access.