Sci-fi colony catastrophe sim RimWorld is finally almost ready to leave early access and launch in full with a shiny version 1.0, creator Tynan Sylvester has said. It's a game that one could keep adding to forever, he says, but after five years of development he's ready to draw a line in the sand and call it ready. Sounds fair, really. He still plans to work on it, mind, but it will officially be finished. Additions and tweaks coming with v1.0 include reworking caravans, a water-driven power generator to make rivers useful, and improved loading times for mods.
Sylvester posted in a Reddit thread today, talking about facing endless feature suggestions and demands from a wide spectrum of players.
"My job is to serve RimWorld players as a whole. That includes super hardcore players with 200 mods, who know every detail of the UI and want more ultra-power user options to make everything more automated, faster, fewer clicks, more fluent. It also includes the 76-year old grandmas and 10-year-old kids who email me to thank me for making a game they can actually play. It includes the people who talk on forums, and the great silent majority who never say anything online at all."
So balancing everything has been quite the task - and one that would not ever be finished. As he said in a follow-up post, RimWorld could be mahoosive but it's almost done-enough.
"This game can expand endlessly. That's it's nature. It's not a closed story like Portal 2. It's an open system endlessly moddable, expandable. You can always play longer, more colonists, more wealth, more colonies, more mods, again and again and again. There's always more to want.
"So faced with an endless treadmill of requests, I must draw the line somewhere. But where?
"Five years. I figure five years is a decent enough place. Five years are enough for $30. Five years are enough to call a game finished.
"(Of course, it's great to suggest new things beyond that, but to demand a developer work more than five years on one game for one sale is not, in my opinion, reasonable. In truth I think any dev who does two years has earned his keep; five years is getting into ridiculous territory. Not that I'm complaining of course; I've always liked working on RimWorld.)
"It won't be perfect, of course. Nothing ever is. And I won't even be finished with it. But - it'll be finished."
Fair does. RimWorld may be heavily inspired by Dwarf Fortress but I can certainly understand not wanting to follow in the footsteps of Dwarf devs Bay 12 and work on the same game forever - DF is at 16 years and counting.
That second posts also goes into more details on things to expect in version 1.0, so do go read if you're curious. When will v1.0 arrive? We'll have to wait to hear that.