I Love A Good: RimWorld Alpha 3 Video Introduces Factions

My favourite rimmer since Red Dwarf.

RimWorld is a space colony sim in which you begin with a small team of survivors on an alien planet and, through Dwarf Fortress-ish indirect control, manipulate your crew into building themselves shelter, growing food, and dealing with an array of dynamic obstacles. The latest video update for alpha 3 shows that the game is growing quickly: it now has a faction system, improved AI, and after alpha 2 added mod support, a buttload of community content to try out.

Check out the explanatory video below for the full set of updates and features, while I try to avoid sounding like I’m brown-nosing.

Every time I see an old series – Dungeon Keeper, say – turned into some unwanted free-to-play steamer, I think, ‘that’s OK’. Why would I need Dungeon Keeper when I’ve got KeeperRL or Prison Architect or Maia or RimWorld or any of a dozen other indie games doing a great job of keeping a finger in and expanding wide the legacy of ’90s Bullfrog?

We dipped our noses into RimWorld earlier this year, but decided it was a little too far from final release to get deep into it. That was primarily because of the AI, which would act scatty and make it difficult to advance beyond the early stages of creating your colon-y. For that reason, as cool as the faction system and cremation mod sounds, it’s the suggested AI improvements that make this most intriguing. We’ll look it in the eye again next month and see if it’s ready to play.


  1. Smashbox says:

    Let me know when I should jump in!

  2. paranoydandroyd says:

    The asinine wordplay is as subtle as train wreck. I’d have thought the editor would’ve been a little more anal than that. Maybe a little less tongue-in-cheek.

    • Smashbox says:

      Aren’t you arseking a bit much?

    • The Random One says:

      It isn’t that bad – but certainly isn’t a pun for the annals.

    • SillyWizard says:

      Tongue-in-cheek — MVP right here. My nomination for Best Pun of the Year.

      • MacTheGeek says:

        He wins the Leather Cheerio.

        • bonuswavepilot says:

          It is not often in life past a certain age that one learns a new euphemism for the anus. Thank you sir or madam. Are you familiar with the terminology ‘chocolate starfish’?

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      I could try to pull something out but it won’t beat the tongue-in-cheek.
      I too vote it Best Bun of the Year!

    • tasteful says:

      id like to give this game a good lick on the butthole!

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Reminds me of a business up north, called Revolution Rim Repairs. Their tag-line “A good rimming that doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth”

      link to facebook.com

  3. Teovald says:

    I have backed this project and have been playing a little with each of its alphas.
    There is a very big lack of content (once you have established your colony, the only thing to do is to survive to increasingly stronger assaults, which rapidly becomes very boring) but that’s not really a surprise for a game in alpha. The core of the game is very strong though, Dungeon Keeper with guns could be a good description.

  4. The Random One says:

    A modkit for a game in alpha? Who would do that? It’s like taking up landscaping during a hurricane warning!

    Great, now I’ve turned into PopeRatzo. It turns out he had always been in my heart.

    • tasteful says:

      or like taking up manscaping when youre about to be tortured horribly incl. being flayed

    • Teovald says:

      It seems to me it is easier to write a moddable architecture from the beggining rather than only worrying about mod support when you have already made all your technical choices.
      The only big downside that I can see is that changes to the low level data models have very good chances to break mods.

    • tormos says:

      PopeRatzo was within you all along!

  5. TynanSylvester says:

    All right, all right!

    I just hope I’m better at making games than I am at naming them…

    • johbson says:

      From everything I’ve played even already, I’m going to say yes, yes you are.

    • robotslave says:

      When do you plan to hire someone who’s good at making original art, instead of just stealing it from Introversion?

      Because frankly, at this point that’s bothering me enough to prevent me from trying your game, however good it might otherwise be.

      • TynanSylvester says:

        The art style won’t change from this. It’s a matter of design constraints. My Reddit response explains my thinking on the matter: link to reddit.com

        • robotslave says:

          OK, got it.

          But it still looks to me like you’re stealing from someone who actually did the work to solve the problems you list, rather than designing your own solution to those problems. And you’re quite obviously stealing much more than just “use simple vector graphics and convey information via color.”

          I understand you’ll disagree with my use of the word “stealing.” That’s my own characterization of what’s happening here, and no more than that, but I just can’t see it as anything less than that.

          • TynanSylvester says:

            I hear what you’re saying. However, please note: I also borrow solutions and ideas and design concepts from Dwarf Fortress (base game concept), The Sims ( moodlets), WarCraft (RTS control), Left 4 Dead (AI Director), Jagged Alliance II (cover combat), Firefly (space Western), classic Western movies (soundtrack), and many more.

            IMO everything creative is a remix; we’d be pretty impoverished if we refused to borrow solutions from earlier creators.

          • Lemming says:

            Yeah I have to chime in here and say you’re way off with ‘stealing’.

          • robotslave says:

            Oh, of course. There’s nothing new under the sun, and all that. But there is definitely a line, and to my eye you’ve gone way over it.

            If you were using simple ovals before you stole Introversion’s character sprites, then I’d very much like to see you go back to using simple ovals until you’ve put in the time and effort to do your own character design work.

          • tasteful says:

            robotslave you sound like a fun guy want to hang out sometime

          • Leb says:

            I literally watched that entire video and it never once crossed my mind that anything was being “stolen.” robotslave, get your robotslaveyness out of here and go make your own game.

            I do love myself a good rimworld

          • waaaaaaaals says:

            You seem a bit off with your wording but I have to agree with the general theme of your post, it seems just a bit too close to the stuff from Prison Architect’s graphical style.

            For me, It pushes it into seeming like part of the quite uncomfortable growing trend of games being “heavily inspired” by in-development/early access games. All done with the aim of being out of the gate before the game they’re “inspired” by to capitalize on the hype that game has around it.

            There’s technically nothing wrong with doing any of this but it just doesn’t seem right, specially not with stuff like the Vlambeer game clones, WarZ/whatever it’s called now and various other things kicking around.

          • hotmaildidntwork says:

            This is like watching someone insist that it’s impolite to create sentences that use words that have been used previously by someone else in the conversation.

            “Differently shaped people with no legs” and “Tiles” are not radical and unique new design concepts just because you saw someone else use them recently.

        • AngoraFish says:

          More games should stick with a simple 2D approach so everyone can focus on the complexity of underlying systems, and readability, rather than graphics. 3D graphics are possibly the single worst thing that has ever happened to the games industry. One just has to look at how badly backwards and impenetrable Infinite Space III: Sea of Stars has become in 3D, compared to the elegant simplicity of Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space. Thank god this game isn’t making the same mistake.

          • Thermal Ions says:

            I always think about Lemmings and Worms as perfect examples of 2D games that are simply terrible when they attempted to move them to 3D. The atmosphere and enjoyment level just totally plummets, and not just due to the camera and control issues.

    • Myrdinn says:

      Hey, at least Skyrim did it first!

    • Tssha says:

      I wonder, good sir, what is your job title? What job do you perform on this Rim-ward game of yours?

      (yes, I’m a cheeky bugger)

  6. Lemming says:

    I’m looking forward to Rimworld (I’ll wait for a more official release), but I have to say I think it starts the tech tree far too primitivley. When you’re a space colony to begin with it seems a little crap to be focusing on gunpowder vs. spear wielding enemies. It should be lasers to start leading to EVEN BIGGER lasers, surely?

    • Dog Pants says:

      I thought that until I read the background page. The reason is that there’s no faster than light travel, so shipwrecks and isolated colonies can become technologically backward over the years. Some get literally bombed back to the stone age in inter-colony feuds. It’s maybe a little tenuous, and it still doesn’t explain why people have Lee Enfields rather than generic bolt-action rifles, but it is quite unusual. I like it, it fits the space western theme. Apparently there are big lasers and other sci-fi tech in the game, but I’ve not seen them so they might not have been put in yet.

    • Teovald says:

      Don’t expect too much space age tech in RimWorld. You are castaways on a remote world where most tech has been lost. You will find some buried artifacts and will be able to buy laser guns from space travelers from time to time but they will stay pretty rare (unless you are extremely successful & play for very long I guess, but like Dwarf Fortress, this is a game about faiure).

  7. Zankmam says:

    The game has loads of potential; the “Prison Architect-esque” controls are good while the “Dwarf Fortress-esque” storytelling, RPG and random elements make for an interesting experience every time.

    When they develop more things – more items, more systems, more industry, more faction interactions, more trading, more tech trees – things are gonna get great, I feel.

    • Dog Pants says:

      Agreed. The basics are working nicely – the game is entirely playable now, you just run out of things to do after a few hours. Most noteworthy, I think, is the character generation system. Each colonist you have is generated with a long list of skills and quirks, and putting them to work where they are most effective is quite the balancing act – especially when you get people who refuse to (or unable to) do certain types of work.

      Oh, and I love how you expand your population by capturing enemy raiders and locking them up until you can convince them to join you. It makes every attack a potential recruitment drive.

      • Zankmam says:

        Yup. Once the traits start working (which will impact both the experience as flavor and as a gameplay element) things will become more unique.

        As you said, currently the standard way to get more colonists is to assimilate them – although you can also buy slaves or get a space refugee or something. Hopefully later on your colonists will age and be able to breed.

        Right now, as you said, the game is playable, but you just “max out” quickly.

        Currently, “late game” is unplayable, IMO: When I was fiddling in God/Developer Mode, I gave myself 16 skilled colonists, gave them M16 and R-4 Charge Rifles, put them behind Sandbags (in bunkers) and gave them the support of ~10 Turrets and put them up against a standard late-game raid; they were easily overrun.

        As it stands, the Tribe people are too strong (they are hardy *and* their damn rocks and arrows deal a lot of damage).

        So, when it comes to combat, I hope there are more additions both for the sake of variety and balance; maybe bonus combat stats if someone is in cover, the ability to maim (and slow down) enemies, stronger turrets, defensive armor (everything from chainmail through kevlar to power armor), things like spikes or barbed wire and the like.

        • DodgyG33za says:

          I am fairly sure that Alpha 2 had the size of the attacks based at least partly on the number of turrets you had. I set up a kill zone with no turrets at my entrance and my 15+ colonists were able to survive over 150 days. I sent them out hunting to improve their shooting. After racking up huge stockpiles of just about everything it was time to wait for Alpha 3.

          I am looking forwards to the many improvements, especially the automation of some of the micromanagement.

  8. Beebop says:

    Had no interest in the game until I spotted some of the most rimarkable punnage I’ve seen on RPS. Well done! (slow news day?).


  9. Skiddywinks says:

    Looks great and all but $30 is way too much. Even an option for $20 with no early access would be acceptable.

    As it stand it feels more like the kind of game I will watch develop, see released, and then either forget about until I see it in a Steam sale for a few quid, or will purposefully wait until it is in a Steam sale for a few quid. And if that $30 price goes up on release then this path is even more likely.

    It’s not that I don’t think the game is (or will be) worth that cost in a vacuum, but there are so many other similar (and even not similar) games out there with way better value wrt cost:playtime than this. Which, at the moment, looks intriguing with a ton of potential. But potential is not worth $30 to me.

  10. Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

    Can we please adopt the “World of *” naming scheme and collectively start referring to this as “World of Rimming” instead?

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I prefer the “world” affix myself. Rimmerworld has such a nice ring.

  11. sharkh20 says:

    Bought it after reading this article. Pretty good game. Learned pretty quick never to build batteries outside. The progression at the moment is a bit limited but it has great potential.