Dean Hall’s Stationeers spacewalks into early access

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I want to be the type of person who plays and enjoys Stationeers, the Space Station 13-inspired construction and management game from Day Z creator Dean Hall’s studio Rocketwerkz. Unfortunately, I am the type of person who initially gets excited at the prospect of managing complex interlocking systems, then finds it all too much and scampers back to Overwatch.

That won’t stop me trying mind, as I’ll get the chance to when the game launches on Steam Early Access later tonight.

Here’s a trailer from November, though if you pop over to Steam you can see the latest one.

Staioneers is the project that RocketWerkz turned to after deciding to permanently stop work on Ion, their hyper-ambitious space simulation game. It’s inspired by Space Station 13, though the impression I get from Steam is that that refers more to SS13’s system management part than the roleplaying side. It seems the roles are all geared towards actively building and managing the station and its inhabitants, rather than more left-field roles like a janitor or bartender. You can rear animals and grow plants though, so I’m looking forward to embarking on a career as a space farmer. Hopefully it’ll be more fun than growing potatoes with Matt Damon.

Other features include atmospheric systems like pressure and combustion, gravity simulation, factories, surgeries and mining. If that all sounds rather complicated, then that’s because it is. So much so that there’s a warning on Steam about it:

“This game has been designed for the hardcore players who want games that are very systems oriented. This is a game about complex systems and how you optimize them. The game presents a variety of science-based survival problems that you have to solve yourself, and then try and optimize your solutions over time. For those not seeking a very intensive and hardcore experience, this game is not for you.”

Which of course only makes me want to play it more, in the full knowledge that I’ll bail before my space adventure has properly begun. I mean, look at when Dean Hall opens up a ‘logic controller’ 30 minutes into the most recent dev stream. It’s terrifying.

I can see it being played best in large groups, where each person can be in charge of managing one of those many, many systems. You can play the game on your own, though I baulk at the idea of trying to get my head around everything that’s happening in the video below.

If you were hoping to get up to the same kind of traitorous antics as in Space Station 13, I’d recommend checking out Barotrauma. It’s less fiddly, (though by no means simple), and each player has the chance of been given a secret objective that’s at odds with the goal of the main mission.

Stationeers will be available on Steam from 10pm tonight for $25. RocketWerkz say it’ll be in early access for at least another year, so if Hall’s record is anything to go by it’ll probably be another 5 or so.

20 Comments

  1. ColonelFlanders says:

    Given the last project Mr Hall headed is still in early access, almost 5 years on, with 3 years of delays and empty apologies, with him leaving half way through, I think I’ll pass on this one until it’s out. Good luck Dean.

    • spamenigma says:

      Yawn… since you’re likely referencing Dayz.. he’s not even been involved for around the past 3 years, maybe its time people look at Bohemia to blame for that! The actual last project he “headed” was really good… Out of Ammo (VR), they also made Out of Ammo death drive, both of which are finished products and not “still in early access”.. but let’s not let facts get in the way of a good bitch…..

      • RichUncleSkeleton says:

        Yawn… since you’re likely referencing Dayz.. he’s not even been involved for around the past 3 years, maybe its time people look at Bohemia to blame for that!

        Good point. It’s not Dean’s fault his game is unfinished, he bailed on it years ago and left it in the hands of people who can’t get the job done. That doesn’t say anything bad about his work ethic and/or judgement at all.

      • ColonelFlanders says:

        To be honest I didn’t know out of ammo existed, but then I don’t have a VR headset so it passed me by. Everything I said still stands, he didn’t run the project very well, and his ambition as a designer (Imo) way outstripped his ability to make it come to fruition. Given that this has the same ambitious hype surrounding it, AND Rocketwerkz cancelled their other hyper ambitious project, I’m quite reluctant to get on board.

  2. 6unn3r says:

    So its Space Engineers, but as a cartoon? Well done Mr Hall, original as always.

    • Artist says:

      Not really. It seems Stationeers doesnt overload the game with physics-simulations, which renders Space Engineers into a mess on any server with 10+ players. Well, actually any large build already renders SE multiplayer into a mess…

  3. Avioto says:

    Still waiting for him to finish something….any day now.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    “Staioneers is the project that RocketWerkz turned to after deciding to permanently stop ”

    Missing a T in that first word.

    That said, neat. I feel like dropping the weird traitors/loyals/whatever RP thing from SS13 will limit this, but it’s still a neat idea.

  5. Crusoe says:

    Dean Hall?

    How about No.

  6. Artist says:

    I wonder if Rocket will finish this one this time? Or maybe he abandones it somewhere during development, again?

  7. Fade2Gray says:

    “Unfortunately, I am the type of person who initially gets excited at the prospect of managing complex interlocking systems, then finds it all too much and scampers back to [Warframe].”

    This is me and nearly every strategy game ever.

  8. alexQueue says:

    “…each player has the chance of been given a secret objective that’s at odds with the goal of the main mission.”

    If there isn’t some sort of Traitor or antagonist in this game, then how is this SS13-inspired? That’s most of the point of that game.

  9. racccoon says:

    I went back & played DayZ last week its still in the mod state, a very poor game done by one man who had a pot luck chance with a high stakes gaming company thrown his way, That time was spent losing lots of years with idle promises, promises, & many people wasted their talents effortlessly to a lost cause not doing or achieving anything but educating mr dean.
    There may be a silver lining for DayZ as they maybe a total revamp release early 2018, but, who knows.( this is what these forever devs have done to us, we have no faith anymore)
    Getting back to this game,
    It looks very poor, a one man band’ish made game, there are many games based on this theme that I believe are way more superior, end of story.
    Gl yet again mr dean, but, not me thx.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      Cool, so basically you just start posting without having any idea what you’re talking about, huh?

  10. mike22 says:

    “You can rear animals and grow plants though”

    🤔

    People seem very quick to forget the inefficiency involved in raising livestock, seemingly oblivious to that fact that it is a group of animals that has needs just like people.

    Consider that in space we are extremely unlikely to ever use lots of food to make less food.

    And of course by the time we’re colonising planets I’d be pretty blown away if we weren’t just outputting steaks from a bio printer; for a few reasons.

  11. pizzatiger says:

    Why does Nobody remember that dean hall was ONLY signed up for a two-year contract for the official DayZ standalone? He had no choice in leaving the game and his hands are clean of the shitshow that DayZ is. Ion is a different story but it ends up being that he wasted his own money and the worst thing that caused was a disappointment to the people hyped for it. Dean Hall deserves a break from the NEVER FINISHES ANYTHING memes

    • Artist says:

      According to Dean ION never got past the planning stage. So no money wasted there.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      Actually according to Dean, and without any rebuttal that I saw from Bohemia, he was actually only employed on a year long contract, which was eventually extended to two years. He sold the game, or concept, or whatever to Bohemia in good faith knowing that the scope of what it had become was beyond his capability to do alone. He sold it to the company that owned the engine the mod was built on, and everyone who paid for the stand-alone was privy to the fact that it was developed by BOHEMIA, and not Dean Hall alone. To all these people who accuse him of abandoning the game; If I come into your work and order a double-cheeseburger, I don’t personally attack you if its your designated break time and someone else has to scoop the fries for me.