Best Thing Ever Today: Unclaimed World

Crikey, look at this lovely indie RTS: Unclaimed World is “a single player game which takes cues from Dwarf Fortress and The Settlers but with more emphasis on survival, improvised crafting and research.” There’s a video of its beautiful rolling, living landscapes below in a video that shows scientists observing wildlife on an alien planet. Developers Refactored explain that they’re aiming to enable us to “plan and manage a human settlement on an alien planet.” So basically they have opened up my head and emptied out my videogame desires onto their design doc.




Thanks to everyone who mailed this in, yes it is exactly my “sort of thing”. Excited! I have contacted Refactored for an interview.

The game is scheduled to arrive in the summer.

Update: I probably should have posted both videos, eh?


  1. wodin says:

    Yes please.

  2. colw00t says:

    If this is half as good as it is in my head it’s going to destroy my social life for months.

    • Kemipso says:

      From the social destroying head of colw00t, we are proud to present…

    • Wreckdum says:

      I made the game the way I wanted it in my head when i saw this too… Did anyone ever play Gene Wars? I want a game like that made with today’s technology. I think it would be an amazing reboot and I’m surprised no one has done it yet. The art style on this kind of reminds me of it.

      • Lev Astov says:

        Was that the one back in ’96-98 where you would combine various features together to create an alien creature, then spawn hordes of them and go attack your enemy’s hordes? It had pretty good sprite graphics as I recall, and some very interesting features and body parts you could add.

        I remember playing a demo of that back when and loving it to death. I never managed to get the full version, though, and forgot about it until now.

        • FootlingSummers says:

          I think youre thinking of Impossible Creatures, which was actually my first PC game.

      • FeiFae says:

        Still have the CD somewhere, sadly scratched it so much over the time it’s unusable. Good old Bullfrog times…

  3. Mario Figueiredo says:

    A single-player alien settlement sim. And indie. I want it!

    The developers are saying they plan to release on steam, so keep your eyes out for Greenlight, folks.

  4. Didden says:

    Waiting for the bit where after studying them, they shoot and eat them. Because that is totally what humans do, just look at New Zealand!

    • wodin says:

      From the website..

      Alien animals are a danger as well as a source of food for the expedition members.”

    • tungstenHead says:

      Well, of course you study it before shooting and eating it. You wouldn’t want to get a tummy ache that far from home.

    • Shooop says:

      Maybe that’s why New Zealand isn’t a landscape filled with biological horrors trying to kill everyone like Australia! They showed the animals who’s boss!

  5. Hunchback says:

    Oh crickey! Yes please, indeed!

    The first teaser video (on their site) shows more gameplay and stuff, go check it!

  6. Schwerpunkt says:

    I hope that they make the alien animals vary on each playthrough (I assume terrain will). It would be nice for a critter that was docile and made tasty burgers in game 1 turned out to be a ravenous colonist devouring predator in game 2 — and make those “scientists carefully observing animal behavior” shots a productive enterprise.

    • MoPed_UnclaimedWorld says:

      Developer here – Yes, that’s exactly a way that a “research” game mechanic could be put to use. Also varying the nutritional value, taste and toxicity of organisms (plants and animals) on each playthrough. We hope to get modders to supply different scenarios at some point.
      About terrain: we don’t have procedurally generated terrain in the foreseeable future – it’s a tradeoff we had to make.

      • Schwerpunkt says:

        Ah, thanks for the info! I suppose when the game comes out I’ll have to keep a few… spare… colonists around to taste all the plants before turning them into crops. :)

      • darkath says:

        Please make it so that foods can be tasty but toxic, colonists would engage in a crazy self destructing behaviour involving getting addicted to substances that kill themselves slowly .. oh wait !


  7. tomeoftom says:

    Oh, god yes.

  8. Xocrates says:

    Oooh! Pretty.

  9. int says:

    Everyone loves Tau Ceti.

  10. Prime says:

    Used to be Conlan’s Claim, yes? I’ve been waiting for this for a while now. Thought it had died. VERY pleased to see it back and looking potentially everything they promised way back when.

    • RedViv says:

      Ah, knew I recognised this somehow. So that’s why.
      Excited for this.

    • Robert says:

      Yes it was. I was immediately thinking it looked similar to conlan’s claim. Then I saw it mentioned at the end of the video and was still surprised. It looks heaps improved, instead of dead as i suspected.

      I googled on if they hadn’t done a piece on it, but they haven’t. I do wonder how I know of it then, hmm.

  11. x1501 says:

    Let’s hope it’ll be moddable.

  12. Barberetti says:

    Yeah I’ve just added that to my “Upcoming Games to keep an eye on” list. Looks great!

  13. Klingsor says:

    Wow that looks incredibly impressive. Really looking forward to it. Thanks for bringing it up!

  14. karthink says:

    Developers, please don’t say you “take cues from Dwarf Fortress”, because it raises our hopes to unrealistic levels. That said, this is looking great!

  15. Strand says:

    Am I the only one who watched the video and instantly wished for a graphical upgrade to Sid Meier’s Brian Reynold’s Alpha Centauri with visuals like these?

  16. NathaI3 says:

    Kind of reminds me of the Tiberium ravaged landscapes from C&C:TS Firestorm. I like.

  17. guygodbois00 says:


  18. scottossington says:

    A mention on RPS and their webpage denies access because there are to many connections. The power, the power.

  19. karthink says:

    I must ask. Jim, how are you not this excited about Clockwork Empires? That game is presumably farther along, has regular design diaries and updates, and it’s looking appropriately mad and emergent. In fact, I’m more inclined to believe Gaslamp when they say CE is inspired by Dwarf Fortress.

  20. mrmalodor says:

    Instant hard-on.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      I am careful of instant hardons. The loss of 6 PINTS OF BLOOD TO MY GROIN tends to make me dizzy.

      Heh. Heh heh.
      Big willy.

  21. Berzee says:

    I hope to someday see a game incorporate the things discussed in this old blog post from (some commenter here?) about accidentally inventing a large-scale ethnology project in the Starcraft 1 demo.

    link to

    I doubt this game will be entirely that, but it still sounds interesting. =)

    • frightlever says:

      Interesting blog post!

      I hope this game lives up to the hopes and dreams that I suddenly have for it.

      Oh, and that art reminds me of Moebius/whoever is drawing Prophet.

  22. BlackKraken says:

    They may take my firstborn son as payment.


    Seriously though, if that game lives up to its premise it will be glorious.

  23. Shuck says:

    There doesn’t even need to be a game there – I’d be happy just exploring those alien planets. (I’ve been wanting to develop a game where you just wander around exploring a planet and its biology, geology, and archaeology, myself. It would be my ideal phone game. I just don’t imagine enough of a market to be worth the resources needed to do it right, though.)

  24. JiminyJickers says:

    I don’t normally go in for the boorish behaviour of throwing money at the screen, but for this I will make an exception.

  25. captain nemo says:


  26. sirdavies says:

    Looks really promising.

  27. c-Row says:

    First Terminus, now this – it’s a good day.

  28. Arglebargle says:

    Everything’s fine until they hit their first mindworm boil……

  29. SuperNashwanPower says:

    A game about colonies, where you water your crops?

    I LOVE games about colonic irrigation. They are right up my alley, enema-ght just buy it. I’m not worried about bugs either, I am sure they will co-rectum.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:


      ON RPS

      Pun thread death. The world has ended :(
      EDIT: I truly have reached the ‘bottom’ of the barrel. Heh. Heh heh

  30. ukpanik says:

    Looks very nice indeed. Adds to watch list.

  31. PsychoWedge says:

    First Evoland, now this. Two indie-boners in a day. I can’t wait for this game. I’m actually installing Alpha Centauri right know just because… xD

  32. Grible says:

    Summer release… good I hate sunshine anyway.

  33. slerbal says:

    Yes please! That is most definitely my cup of alien tea!

  34. crinkles esq. says:

    I’m curious if the flora and fauna are procedurally generated, or static assets. Definitely looks interesting.

  35. FataMorganaPseudonym says:

    I’ll take it! I’ll take twelve!

  36. Turkey says:

    I love that we’re finally getting sci-fi games that aren’t just an excuse to shoot rejected aliens from the independence day movie with a chromed out future weapon. This looks amazing.

    • Prime says:

      It is an ongoing crime that in gaming culture an alien is practically a shorthand for ‘moving target’, that in a larger sense our most successful , most prevalent game-play mechanic is KILL X before X KILLS YOU. Real proper sci-fi was always about so much more than we ever get to see in games, so yes it’s a real pleasure to have something like Unclaimed World come along, where your survival appears to be more important than your aggressive dominance over another species.

  37. IneptFromRussia says:


    • cptgone says:

      IMO a user friendly GUI is way more important than graphics. it’s the former that keeps me from playing DF, not the latter. i’m still hoping someone will make something DF like, with a good GUI, i would definitely give that a go – whether it has an ASCII look or not.

  38. Crosmando says:

    Allow me to put on my skeptical hat and state that whenever a game claims to be channeling the spirit of a great game, it almost always fails to be as complex or have as many features as the game it’s inspired by. Que all the X-COM clones (including, ironically, the recent official remake) and more recently the Dwarf Fortress-likes Gnomeria and Towns, both of which don’t even come remotely close to the amount of features and depth DF currently has.

    I mean, when we’re talking about a game that uses ASCII art and already been under development for 10 years, and the programmer has declared it his life’s work, the game is still in Alpha and isn’t expected to be completed for like 15 years.

    Dwarf Fortress, as a game, willfully abandons graphics so that all it’s resources are used toward creating a more deep game.

    Therein of course lies the fundamental dishonesty of games claiming DF spirit while having pretty graphics, because in the whole of low-budget indie development it’s a line that must be drawn in the sand, somewhere – graphics or content.

    However that being said I will concede that the “Dwarf Fortress-likes” will inevitably gain more traction than DF itself due to graphics, which is sad, because none of them will have gameplay as good as DF.

    • Prime says:

      I think you can relax, Crosmando: there’s a fairly substantial difference between “taking cues from” and “channeling the spirit of”. They just seem to be tipping the hat towards some of their clearest inspirations rather than attempting to become them.

    • Archonsod says:

      I played Dwarf Fortress once. It was crap.

  39. cptgone says:

    i’m not gonna watch those vids, my drooling is bad enough as it is.
    now where did i leave the key to my Tardis?