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(Space) Colonial Ambition: RimWorld

Ludeon Studios send word of their forthcoming space colony game, RimWorld, and by Uranus it looks like Our Kind Of Thing. In short: it’s Prison Architect reworked as a space colonisation game. In long: it’s a great big Bullfrog/Dwarf Fortress-inspired indirect control game, which makes the game developer in my curse that Ludeon thought of it first. If anything shall make small piles of real world dollars, it’s this.

Trailer and some thoughts south of here.

Yeees, perhaps they should step away from the PA influences slightly, at least on the character art. I mean if anything is a good inspiration, it’s a multi-million dollar-making indie game, but… yeah.

So I had a bit of a play of a (really quite early) preview build and, yes, it’s essentially the same sort of model as Prison Architect – indirect tasks given to your colonists, and then letting them get on with things. As such you build a colony and defend yourself against things that might happen. Developer Tynan Sylvester explains: “The unique element is an intelligent AI storyteller who controls “random” events to make the story interesting (similar to Left 4 Dead’s AI Director).” That means weather events, alien arrivals, and so on. The world itself is large enough for you to need to explore, and there are alien buffalo things on my map.

Yes, and, well, I already love it completely. I was never comfortable with (or really engaged by) Prison Architect’s incarceration theme, but setting up a space colony, defending myself from pirate raids, hostile aliens, and trading with passing ships, well, I am all over that. We’ll be watching the progress of this with keen interest, but I fully expect it to be a hit of some kind.

It’s not available yet, but Sylvester says he wants to get it out “as fast as possible”. So look forward to that.

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Jim Rossignol

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