After two years in early access, Oxygen Not Included will launch in full on May 28th, developers Klei Entertainment announced today. Oxygen is a cheerygrim space colony management sim from the mob being Don’t Starve, sending teams of workers into the depths of an asteroid to mine, build, repair, fall ill, starve, go mad, and suffocate to death. I mean, ideally those last few things won’t happen but… they will. Often. And in daft ways. One final early access update is coming, and Klei plan to keep tinkering with it after launch before launching into DLC and such.
We’ve not looked at Oxygen Not Included much over these two years of early access, though Brendan did have a typical adventure back in 2017.
“Everything is covered in piss. When I branded my new space colony ‘Yellow Water Station’ I did so because I was prompted to come up with a suitable name for a settlement on the interstellar frontier. But all I could think of was how weird it is that astronauts drink their own recycled and purified urine. ‘Yellow Water Station’ was my puerile attempt at humour. I didn’t expect the new underground village I was building to accept its new moniker with such enthusiasm. Now everything is covered in piss, poisonous red gas is building up in the sleeping quarters, and there’s a dead body at the bottom of one of the aquifers.”
Classic ONI too, really. The key isn’t mining the best minerals or growing the best food as much as carefully managing fluids and gasses, making sure no one suffocates, gets poisoned, is contaminated, or, y’know, drowns in piss. So you’ll be planning lots of careful plumbing, drainage, and ventilation as you send your wee colonists about their duties. RimWorld may seem an obvious comparison, but Oxygen Not Included is more about micromanagement and development than the weird stories that grow from personalities and accidents.
The final early access update will add new stuff including, Klei say, “three new biomes, new buildings, new creatures, and asteroid generation settings, so each playthrough can feel fresh and challenging.” Oxygen remains not included. That update won’t be the end, mind. As with Don’t Starve, they’re planning to keep on working on it.
“After we’ve officially launched, we will continue to make quality of life improvements and bug fixes, while the bulk of the team will be moving on to building DLC for the game, where we can explore further ideas and expansions to ONI’s world,” Klei said in March.