For a class pls ignore

User Rating: 10 | RimWorld (Early Access) PC

The game I selected for this course is called Rimworld; a game for PC on steam fully released July 15, 2016 by Ludeon Studios. The game is a single player “sci fi colony sim driven by an intelligent AI storyteller” (Sylvester) in which the player builds up a colony on a “rimworld” planet. The game has sold over a million copies as a result of its different terrains, creatures, ancient wonders, and more. Rimworld is an overwhelmingly popular game that has sold over a million copies (Convolaria) and was given Indie Game of the Year in 2016 (“TKAzA”).

Ludeon studios was founded officially on June 15th, 2013 with the sole purpose “to design and sell unique and fascinating story-generators (also known as ‘games’). It’s first project: the deep space colony simulator currently known as Eclipse Colony.” This dream game is what we all know as Rimworld today. On June 19th, Sylvester developed the trade interface feature which is now a huge part of the game. Another major update came on July 5th, 2013, when the game officially was named Rimworld. On July 30th, Rimworld opened its IndieDB pages for the world to read about the game. Then on September 5th, 2013, the world was able to see Rimworld’s first promotional video. Because of the video, Sylvester created a Kickstarter and became Greenlit on Steam on October 16th, 2013. Finally a few months later, Alpha 1 was released on February 1st, 2014. Throughout the rest of 2014, the alpha stage progressed all the way to Alpha 8. On July 15th, 2016, the game was released on Steam for Early Access. In late December 2016, Rimworld won Players Choice Indie of the Year and Editors Choice - Indie of the Year. They also won Players Choice Indie of the Year in 2017. Within the next month, the game will leave Early Access and enter its beta stage. (“XanT”)

The best genre to describe Rimworld would be the sci fi genre. Rimworld fits under this genre because the game’s core story is about three colonists who crash land on a planet on the “rim” of the known parts of space (Sylvester). The rest of the story is decided by the player and AI’s that simulate events. The sci-fi genre of gaming contains many different types of games, therefore Rimworld has some similarities and differences to many different sci fi games. Sci fi games are typically known as 3D games with a mix of FPS elements. Another common theme of sci-fi games include themes of post apocalypticism whereas Rimworld’s backstory is unclear whether it is post apocalyptic. However, the sci fi genre is very vast and Rimworld is just another unique game within that large category.

The core story is very vague which allows for the player to make their own story by their actions and by what the world throws at them. The story begins on a spaceship flying through space carrying a bunch of colonists. Somehow, the ship malfunctions and crashes. From there, the player takes control of three base colonists that can be customized with different traits and abilities. There are many factors within the map that makes for many different outcomes such as hidden ancient anomalies, different terrains, and roads which can increase the number of traders and raiders coming in and out of the colony. Most events are decided by the AI storyteller. There are three AI storytellers a player can choose from: Cassandra Classic, the vanilla storyteller who slowly makes the game harder as time goes on; Phoebe Chillax, an easier storyteller who leaves large gaps between each challenge the player faces; and Randy Random, an AI storyteller who makes random events occur out of the blue. The AI storyteller has the power to control raids, weather, seasons, frequency of new colonists, and catastrophes. Overall the game’s story is very open to how the user wants to experience it and how they responds to tragedy. (Sylvester)

Rimworld’s graphics are most similar to 2.5D graphic which is a 2D plane with certain 3D elements mixed in. The game’s color scheme varies between different terrains. Each terrain (deserts, forests, plains, tundras, etc) is customly designed to have the exact aspects needed for different types of gameplay. The play experience is different on each terrain due to the resources (or lack of) at each location. The interface doesn’t have a steep learning curve, however it is much more complex than meets the eye. One of the best parts of the game is its soundtrack. It’s composer, Alistair Lindsay, has created a soundtrack that fits the gameplay perfectly; it soundtrack has a sci-fi feel with western elements that fits the story of colonists trying to survive a foreign planet’s rough terrain. The head designer and coder Tynan Sylvester describes it as “dulcet synth-backed guitar tones that accompany you during work, relaxation around the house, or other games without an awesome soundtrack.” (Sylvester) Overall, the game’s look, feel, and sound are well polished and smooth for a game still in its alpha stages.

The typical demographic of players playing Rimworld are players into indie gaming and strategy games. Because Rimworld is an indie game, the game best spreads through sites like IndieDB and Steam Greenlight along with word of mouth and forums. In the Rolling Stone article “Inside 'RimWorld', the Cult Sci-Fi Hit That Just Keeps Growing,” Chris Priestman writes that “creating that connection between the colonists and the players is the special sauce of RimWorld’s appeal.” Rimworld has such an interesting combination of tragedy and comedy that keeps players wanting more. Priestman also writes, “Go to the RimWorld forums and you'll encounter debates about the ethics of organ harvesting, threads about out how to deal with arsonists, and the advantages of installing bionic legs.” The game has many quirky aspects which, in result, has lead to this large cult following (Priestman).

Overall, Rimworld has a long way to go before being a complete game. However, for its alpha stage it looks like a very complete game with many complex features. In my opinion, this game is one of the best games I’ve ever played. Rimworld has so many fun features that keep me playing for hours every night. Rimworld is a unique game unlike I’ve ever seen before and I can’t wait to watch the game develop into something greater than it already is.