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Oxygen Not Included: Colony Sim From Don't Starve Devs

Klei’s hit rate is nuts, especially when you consider that they hop genres with each game: from Mark of the Ninja‘s sidescrolling stealthy murderthon, to Don’t Starve‘s topdown survivalthon, to Invisible, Inc.‘s turn-based infiltratathon. Next up is the Oxygen Not Included, a space colony management sim(-thon) that was announced last night at E3.

Here’s the trailer, which was first shown during the PC Gaming Show:

Which gives the flavour of the thing, if not much actual detail. The game also has a Steam page including screenshots which offer a few more hints as to the depth of the simulation, including the one above which shows that you can set the priorities for your colony residents and another which shows wiring connecting different parts of your side-on, 2D base.

I think of all the developers having a crack at it right now, Klei seem the most suited to doing Bullfrog’s Dungeon Keeper proud. The games they’ve made thus far all have a dark sense of humour and make complex systems seem simple, and I think that’s what the genre calls for. And I say that as someone who loves Dwarf Fortress and so who is still somewhat hoping Oxygen Not Included’s residents feel sad sometimes.

If you haven’t already, it’s worth listening to this episode of the Designer Notes podcast with Klei’s Jamie Cheng, in which he talks about his career from its beginnings as an AI programmer at Relic to founding Klei to learning how to be a designer.

ONI, as I’m now calling it, is due for release either late in 2016 or early 2017.

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Graham Smith


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