"Game development is fairly unpredictable, though, especially on games as large as Starbound, and things often take much longer than we could have thought possible," the developer wrote. "Given that, we'd taken the stance that it's the beta that will definitely be available this year, not the full game."
While free to explore the game's universe after their home planet is destroyed, Starbound players can undergo quests and story-driven missions. The universe is populated by procedurally generated worlds with variances in plant life, terrain, weather, gravity, difficulty and terrestrial life behavior. Players can also terraform the worlds, populating them with characters encountered during their adventures.
Initially estimated to release by the end of the year, the Kickstarted Starbound is slated to launch on Windows PC, Mac and Linux next year. It was announced during Sony's Gamescom 2013 press conference in August that Starbound will launch on the PlayStation Vita, joining impending releases of Polytron's Fez, FuturLab's Velocity 2X, Minecraft, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number and Rogue Legacy on the platform.