RimWorld’s beta adds swamp biomes and ‘story combat’


RimWorld has left its awkward alpha stage, blossoming into a beta with update 18. It’s called A World of Story, but the update really dabbles in everything, from crazy weather to orbital super weapons. Hitting beta also means that it’s in the final stretch, says developer Tynan Sylvester, and there won’t be any “major” new additions like entirely new systems before launch, though there will still be future updates.

Within the long list of new additions, it is perhaps the most boring feature that has gotten me incredibly eager to jump back in and start a new colony: queuing up jobs. It’s not flashy or sexy, but man is it going to save me a lot of time and frustrating micro-management. So if I want to feed a bedridden colonist and I’ve got no meals, I can order another colonist to pick up the raw resources, bring them back to base, cook them into a tasty snack and then feed my poor patient, all without following them around and waiting for them to finish each task.

If the flashy stuff is all you care about, then there’s plenty of that, too. Orbital super weapons, psychic, mood-altering devices, three types of swamp biome, new furniture and gear, tornadoes, cave networks complete with bug nests and edible mushrooms, new mental breaks — it’s a pretty big update.

There’s also new mental effects. On top of additional mental breaks like following someone around insulting them or slaughtering every animal, there are now inspirations. So your colonists could become inspired, giving them massive bonuses for a few days. These inspirations are connected to specific skills, so a colonist could become an inspired surgeon or an inspired artist.

But what about the story stuff? It’s in the name, after all. Well, there are new story events that can be remembered and celebrated through art; a new end-game challenge where the colonists must power up the hidden spaceship over several days, attempting to survive a series of raids; and “storyful combat”, which gives each combat encounter more narrative flair through descriptions in the combat log.

A World of Story is live now.


  1. Biscotti says:

    Really pleased stuff like job queuing has made it in from mods!

    It’s been a while since I played–I was hoping the sexual orientation mechanics might have taken inspiration from mods too, and been updated? There’s a mod called Psychology that overhauls it, but it changes a lot of other stuff too, so I’ve been hesitant to install it. Does anyone who’s kept up with development know?

  2. Faxanadu says:

    Why does RPS promote games, that they themselves have said, are sexist?

    If it brings you clicks and money it’s okay?

    • Premium User Badge

      Drib says:

      They said it *was* sexist. The code was changed after everyone got all mad about it.

    • Baines says:

      The answer is probably that different people have different opinions.

      Another answer is that if RPS refused to cover games because they are tangentially related to objectionable developers or messages, then they wouldn’t be able to cover many games. Which in turn would largely kill the reason to run the site at all.

      A third answer is that opinions change. Games also change. People change. Things change.

      The cynical answers are “yeah, money talks” and/or “double standards, they exempt themselves from whatever they call out others over”. While RPS has rather strongly shown such behavior in the past (particularly on the double standards front), that was years ago. The site has changed a bit since. It has different owners, a largely different staff, and the main staff that remains show a different level of involvement. I’m not saying modern RPS is perfect, but in that area it certainly seems a degree better than years-old RPS.

    • GeoX says:

      See, this is why people get all whiney about things they like being accused of sexism or racism: they assume that if you’ve criticized a game on those grounds, you must think it’s completely worthless and must be discarded. But more mature people take more nuanced views. We’d have to throw away and absolute shitload of art if being problematic disqualified it from consideration.

      • RaveTurned says:

        This, so hard.

        Media having problematic elements doesn’t make it worthless. You can acknowledge and be critical of something’s negative aspects without losing sight of its positives and then you, being a well-adjusted and functional adult, can decide for yourself whether the good outweighs the bad. Just don’t pretend the BS bits aren’t BS, and everyone’s happy.

        If people need more info, this post is an excellent primer.

        • Faxanadu says:

          Sorry, but you and RPS are trying to have a cake and eat it too.

          You either support a sexist person, or you don’t. By how much, that you can discuss. But after seeing RPS make a FULL ARTICLE about how the dev is being sexist, does it not seem a little odd that they’re now promoting his work with no mention of sexism?

          • Sin Vega says:

            RPS did not call anyone sexist.

            Nuance exists, hard as its scarcity may make it to believe.

          • RaveTurned says:

            Not at all. RPS is about PC gaming. Rimworld, whatever its faults may be, is a popular PC game. This is news about it. Why wouldn’t it get coverage?

            You seem to be trying to paint some kind of double standard here where none exists.

      • SaintAn says:

        No, it’s because if we start letting mindless mobs dictate art then all art will become worthless trash like the types of people that form mobs.

        • GeoX says:

          You mean like the mindless mobs who are incapable of recognizing that social criticism is not the same thing as blanket condemnation?

      • mike2R says:

        Exactly this. That article had multiple problems with it (eg screenshots of code, complete with comments, that the author just made up), but since RPS gave it legitimacy by publishing it, there are large numbers of people who just took away “RimWorld is sexist” or “RimWorld is homophobic”.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      Oh, go away.

    • wldmr says:

      Let’s make this very simple:

      It’s: sexist ⇒ flawed

      It’s not: sexist ⇒ evil, worthless, etc..

    • Faxanadu says:

      I’m loving some of the reasoning.

      “It’s not doing anything sexist right now, so it’s okay!” Hollywood needs to hear that.

      “Opinions change, different people, sexism is not so bad only problematic,” etc. :D

      Yeah, instead of that barrel of laughs I think I’ll stick with the cynical “money talks,” thanks.

      • Ich Will says:

        What’s your problem with the idea that when a thing stops being sexist, it’s OK to stop criticising it for being sexist? How does that relate in any way what-so-ever to Hollywood which has catagorically not stopped being sexist? Maybe it’s people like you that means Hollywood won’t stop – “well if we stop, no-one is going to stop criticising us, so we may as well just carry on”

      • GeoX says:

        “sexism is not so bad only problematic”

        Yeah…looks like your reading skills need a bit of work. Along, almost certainly, with your thinking skills.

      • Rindan says:

        The developed coded in blandly generic cultural stereotypes, and then took them out when folks got upset. What more do want?

        There is a pretty big difference between someone molesting women and being hostile to women in the workplace, and a sole developer coding his cultural biases into a game. One involves a victim.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      It wasn’t sexist. And it’d be better those terms would be applied where appropriate instead of everyone playing thought police becrying -isms on the internet.
      However the dev went kind of overboard grumpy about the claim so they stopped covering in all length which is understandable as he got lots of free coverage before.

      • Ich Will says:

        What was the actual claims of the article again? Women were 10 times less likely than men to attempt to initiate a relationship, and all women were, to some extent bisexual, even if very unlikely, whereas all men were stricly either straight or gay – also disabilities made them less attractive to each other – from memory.

        It’s less sexist, but more ignorance due to being brought up in a mildly sexist, homophobic environment. The problem is, genuinely myogonistic “incels” make the claims that women don’t and won’t make the first move on men, even if they would be the perfect partner, and they also claim that men are either straight or gay, while all women are bisexual – And let’s be honest, any association, no matter how accidential or small with that particular bed of gross toxicity is going to taint your game.

        But yeah, it wasn’t the article that made me furrow my brow, but the dev’s response.

        • Crafter says:

          >But yeah, it wasn’t the article that made me furrow my brow, but the dev’s response.

          What makes you frown in the dev’s response ?

          I will be perfectly honest : I find the article perplexing at best, ridiculous at worst. To explain my point of view, I should mention that I work in software and know by experience that a lot of what you see is ‘smoke and mirrors’.

          Basically you take advantage of the limits of the simulation in order to have something that ‘seems to work perfectly’ in the eye of the user but would completely fall apart if you had to change one parameter.

          One exemple would be the shadow system on Android. All elements on the screen can have an elevation and elevated items cast a shadow. It is ‘kinda’ realistic. There is a physical model, but you often have to trick it. For exemple by giving it an item outline manually. In addition to that, if you have an elevated item at the bottom of the screen, you have an issue : only it’s top border is able to cast a shadow (the bottom is at the bottom of the screen). Since the virtual source of light comes from the top of the screen, there is no shadow on the top border. The solution ? directly draw a grey to transparent gradient on top of that bottom item.
          If you look carefully (or are just used to graphics/design), you will see that this top shadow is off (light diffusion is a bit more complex than a simple gradient, not to mention it’s direction) but from a standard user point of view, it looks just fine and that’s what matters : the end result.

          Sorry for the long and convoluted explanation, but I felt it was important to explain my point of view.

          So when an article spends most of it’s time looking at bits of the decompiled app, I have the following thoughts :

          -this is just a small part of RImworld’s simulation, it does not really inform me on how relationships works in the game.

          -even if it were the complete relationship code, it is not the micro level implementation that matters (because again, this is just a crude collection of smoke and mirrors), but the resulting macro behavior and the article does not touch that.

          • April March says:

            What makes you frown in the dev’s response ?

            Basically, he dug in and said ‘oh no, this is how the world is really like, you’re all mad for thinking it isn’t’. Which is understandable, actually – he went above and beyond to do something more elaborate and interesting than just some vague numbers, and got flak for it. Deservedly so, but I don’t think it’s the case that you should throw the game into the fire and never think of it again.

          • Ich Will says:

            I work in TV, so trust me, I know all about smoke and mirrors – in TV, nothing is real – unless they tell you it’s real, and then it’s most certainly not real.

            But the way the relationships worked was pretty much exactly as written in the article, by addmission of the dev.

            To go to a similar example to your own – in racing sims, you don’t have true mirrors – the “mirrors” on your car is a monitor, displaying an image from a “camera” positions somewhere vaguely accurate, and the others cars on track are the only things with much attention given to their real position, albeit shortened significantly to stop them appearing as dots most of the time. The rest of the image in the mirror is a simple animated picture, which changes based on where you are on track. This means that the massive overhead in trying to raytrace a true reflectioon is reduced so that an average computer can show you a car behind you in the mirror.

            So, I get why he didn’t try to accurately model the human brain and human relationships, he took shortcuts to make his game, well possible. Fair enough. However he still made certain decisions, decisions that he didn’t need to make, decisions that added to the complexity of the simulation, and it was those decisions being simulated. You need only play the game a few times to see that they were in the game exactly as written, assuming his confirmation that the relationships in the game worked exactly as written.

            As I said, it wasn’t the game implementation that made me furrow my brow, I just imagined that the colonists came from a culture a bit like a Western 80’s culture and got on with having fun. But yeah, when he started telling people that the world looked like his game, and this wasn’t in his experience, but scientific fact, well, I personally know a couple of bisexual men so, what was that Einstein quote – No amount of Experimentation can ever prove me right. A single experiment can prove me wrong. – Yeah, every bi-sexual man in existance proves those “scientific papers” wrong.

            At the end of the day, he took the time to model sexualities, and then made sure one didn’t exist. He went on to tell us all that he has a bee in his bonnet about that particular sexuality. It doesn’t take a genius to see that he was implementing an agenda. Kudos to him for changing it, in the end, but it was a bumpy ride for bisexual men who enjoyed the game.

          • Ich Will says:

            Oh, and of course – demanding editorial control is a massive red flag – either he knew it would be denied, and wanted a no comment that made it look like he tried;
            or he’s stupid, and tried a really clumsy way to get RPS to be his unpaid PR mouthpiece.

          • modzero says:

            he went above and beyond to do something more elaborate and interesting than just some vague numbers,

            Unfortunately there are reasons to question his intentions from the get-go. He associated himself with a certain “ethics” movement long before the article. Thus, hilariously enough, hostile to this very website. Computer games are such a fascinating field, aren’t they?

            There are mods that make the entire relationship thing better, by the way (I bought the game before the entire thing, in case anyone’s wondering). There are mods for literally everything, including convincing you that Steam Workshop needs censorship. Just look for the, erm, mass graves mod.

          • Crafter says:

            >It doesn’t take a genius to see that he was implementing an agenda

            oh yeah; bravo, you have discovered his crusade against bi people.

            FFS, the internet would be a much better place if people stopped automatically assuming the worst (and also in this case the most ridiculous).

    • Chalky says:

      lol, if the existence of a flaw in a game made it so you could not write about it, this would be a completely empty site.

    • April March says:

      Because if they didn’t they’d be the killjoys that people that hate it think it is.

      It’d be really unfair to throw a dev under the bus for it when huge AAA releases that are way more sexist get away scott free. And you shouldn’t go out waving a sexism ruler to see how much visibility you should give to a game. Instead, let’s admit that all media is flawed, almost all media is sexist, and let’s discuss that instead.

      If your personal opinion, in light of that, is that you won’t buy the game, more power to you. If your opinion is that you ought to remind everyone that you find this game sexist whenever it’s brought up, that’s also well within your prerrogative, just as is RPS’ to keep talking about it if they so desire. And to accuse RPS of following clicks… well, you’re free to do that as well, but it would take me extraordinary proof to convince me that any article RPS posts is being posted because of 💰. They’re pretty much the starving artists of gaming journalism.

      • MrEvilGuy says:

        “It would take me extraordinary proof to convince me that any article RPS posts is being posted because of 💰. They’re pretty much the starving artists of gaming journalism.”

        While I enjoy your loyalty, take a look at all the PUBG articles on RPS. They’re designed to attract new readers (i.e. increase profit), not satisfy current readers. For instance, Steam’s PUGB tab will link directly to RPS if they’ve recently posted an article about the game.

        Also RPS is owned by Eurogamer Network, with Rupert Loman as the CEO. These are fairly big players and fat cats, £££. But I think you are correct, the writers here are probably earning starvation wages regardless of how popular RPS is.

      • modzero says:

        They’re pretty much the starving artists of gaming journalism.

        I’m pretty sure I remember one of the founders tweeting that they’re proud of paying a “fair” wage, so I doubt that, and I don’t think that’s a good compliment.

        • MrEvilGuy says:

          Jim and Kieron don’t run things anymore, and there’s a lot of contract writers at RPS compared to ten or even five years ago. The full time writers are probably doing fine but I’m not sure about the contract workers.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    Well this is neat. The game was always fun, but a bit flat.

    Adding natural disasters and maybe a bit more going on might be something to start with.

    Though I’d be wary of focusing too much on the slightly crap combat system. It’s really just not Rimworld’s strongest point. Or it wasn’t a year ago when I played it.

    • Crafter says:

      I wish they would just focus the next update on combats, they are really too weak in my opinion

  4. Red_Fox says:

    I guess you still can’t raid or attack enemy tribes?

    • Nauallis says:

      But you might be able to contract mouth herpes, so it all balances out in the end.

    • Imaginary Llamas says:

      Uh, yes you can attack enemy outposts. Since A16 in fact.