Alpha 8 progress report

Posted November 4th, 2014 by Tynan Sylvester

Hi all. This is just a quick update on what’s going on in development. As always, you can follow my day-to-day development progress on my changelog.

The time between Alpha 7 and Alpha 8 will be the longest yet. This is for a number of reasons.

Partly, it’s because a lot of things have slowed me down. Piotr ‘ison’ Walczak was helping out over summer, but he went back to school. Work on the Ludeon Launcher took a lot of time – more than expected. Ludeon’s tax year ended, which meant a huge pile of paperwork that doesn’t appear on the changelog. The game is bigger, which means that there is more maintenance and fixing work to do every alpha. And I moved houses, which took many hours.

Besides all that, though, I’ve decided to start targeting somewhat longer spans between releases. This is to improve long-term productivity.

Each release takes a ton of time in and of itself. I can’t just package up the game and release it. It has to go through a multi-week, multi-stage testing and bugfixing process. The private testers have to bang on it, then the public testers. I have to manage dozens of bug reports, close duplicates, invite new testers, test it myself, and of course fix piles and piles of bugs. As the game’s gotten more complex this whole process has gotten more involved. The first public releases wrapped up their testing cycles in about a week. Alpha 7 took about three weeks. There’s just more stuff to test now. I can still work on future content during a testing cycle, but it’s slower as every change and fix needs to be merged forward – sometimes dozens of times. Then, once it’s released, there is a barrage of support requests and often more bug reports and hotfixes to test and release and publicize.

I believe I can maximize long-term output by reducing the number of actual releases and being able to just work with the game in an unstable state for longer. Because that’s where the good super-productive period is: when I can simply pour in features without constantly worrying about every little bug that might be getting introduced. I want to expand that period of the release cycle proportional to the testing period, to maintain a good ratio.

The good news is that the next release will at least feature boreal forest and tundra biomes, a full temperature and season system with fire, heaters, air conditioners, warm/cool clothing, hypothermia and heat stroke, and oodles of other smaller content additions like herbal medicine, weaponsmithing, and properly reworked economy and stats systems. server migration

Posted October 7th, 2014 by Tynan Sylvester

I’m migrating the website to another server in the next day or two. If you see the forums in restricted read-only mode, or some site down or acting glitchy, that’ll be the reason. Only the domain will be affected.

I’ll try to have it all back and running clean as soon as possible.

Alpha7b and Alpha7c – Balance hotfixes (updated)

Posted October 3rd, 2014 by Tynan Sylvester

UPDATE: Alpha7b had a typo that made plague 10x too common in temperate biomes.

You can fix your game by re-downloading and reinstalling it, or by replacing Mods/Core/Defs/BiomeDefs/BiomesBase.xml with this corrected version of the file.


I’m uploading a silent non-essential hotfixed version of Alpha7.

Alpha7b has reduced disease frequency, so diseases will appear less often.

To update, you can re-download from your old link.

Alternatively, you can just go into your game folder and look in Mods/Core/Defs/BiomeDefs/BiomesBase.xml, search for every instance of <chancePerDay>, and cut all the values in half. There are about 12 entries.

Mac black screen bug

Posted October 2nd, 2014 by Tynan Sylvester

A lot of players on Mac have reported that they can’t play the game; they just get a black screen on startup.

A temporary fix is to hit Command+Esc to force the game into windowed mode and play that way.

If that doesn’t work, you can use these other steps for solving game startup problems.

Sorry about this. I’m investigating now and will release a Mac version hotfix ASAP. There is a forum thread working to track down this issue.

One question – is there anyone out there on Mac who is not getting this bug?

Alpha 7 – Things Made of Stuff released

Posted October 1st, 2014 by Tynan Sylvester

Alpha 7 is out! This time we’ve added artificial limbs and prosthetics, jungle biome, new trade system, organ harvesting and trading, and a whole ‘stuff and stats’ system where certain things can be made of other things.

If you own the game, you should get an update email from us. You can also get Alpha 7 by re-downloading from the link you used before (it is a permanent link and always has the newest version). Anyone still having trouble should start at this thread.

Also note that this build will not load old savegames, so keep your old install separate if you want to finish an Alpha 6 colony.

Change summary:

  • Stuff system allows you to build walls, furniture, and other structures out of arbitrary materials.
  • New stats system for calculating and reporting thing stats from skill, race, stuff, and other factors.
  • There are now multiple types of stone: sandstone, granite, marble, slate, and limestone.
  • There are now multiple mineable minerals: metal, silver, gold, plasteel.
  • Leather harvesting from animals, and cloth harvesting from cotton crops. Special space-tech cloth types.
  • Make clothing from arbitrary fabrics or leathers.
  • Reworked damage deflection chance per-damagetype armor system. Some animals and mechanoids have natural armor.
  • New biome: tropical rainforest. A choking, disease-infested jungle. Disease rates are linked to biomes.
  • Prosthetic limbs, from simple to complex: peg legs, wood dentures, simple prosthetics, enhanced bionic limbs and eyes.
  • Organ harvesting and transplanting.
  • Diseases: flu, plague, malaria, sleeping sickness.
  • Chronic conditions (age-related): Cataracts, bad back
  • A bunch of new traits. Brawler, prosthophile, and more
  • New trade system and interface.
  • Traders carry and buy any item, including prosthetics, neurotrainers, organs, slaves, weapons, apparel, commodities.
  • Neutrotrainers: Matrix-style instant training devices.
  • Lockable doors
  • Melee weapons: Club, knife, spear, shiv, short sword
  • New animals: cobra, monkey, camel, tortoise, boar, rhino.
  • Storyteller redesigned and rebalanced.
  • Visitors carry their own food and hopefully won’t raid your food supplies.
  • Translations can be set to avoid using tiny text (useful for Asian languages where tiny characters are unreadable).
  • Rewritten credits system integrates translator credits from each translation automatically.
  • Piles of other additions, fixes, and tunings.

Alpha 6 – Whole New World released

Posted August 13th, 2014 by Tynan Sylvester

It’s a whole new world! Here’s Alpha 6, the update with world generation, biomes, a medical system that tracks every wound and body part, and personality traits. You can follow our day-to-day work on the changelog.

If you own the game, you should get an update email from us. You can also get Alpha 6 by re-downloading from the link you used before (it is a permanent link and always has the newest version). Anyone still having trouble should start at this thread.

Also note that this build will not load old savegames, so keep your old install separate if you want to finish an Alpha 5 colony.

A quick recap of improvements in Alpha 6:

  • World generation added. You can now generate a world from a seed value and choose where to land your escape pods.
  • Biomes added. There are six biomes on the world map, but only three of them are implemented so far – desert, arid shrubland (the only choice, previously), and temperate forest.
  • Obviously, biomes have distinct animal and plant life which present unique challenges and opportunities.
  • Coastlines added. If you land on a seashore, your map will have a coastline in it (though it doesn’t do much, it’s fun to play on the beach.)
  • Medical system added. Instead of simply having hit points, characters, animals, and mechanoids have a body health tracker that records every wound and every body part and how they interact. Wounds will affect specific abilities, so someone with eyes burned out can’t shoot or do surgery well, and someone with leg wounds will move slow. Wounds can also become permanent if left untreated, or kill someone due to bleeding.
  • Pain level is tracked. A character in too much pain will become incapacitated.
  • Doctors and medicine now have a purpose! Your doctor will attempt to heal wounded colonists and prisoner (if the prisoner is marked to receive care). If there is medicine available, he will use it to increase the chance of giving quality care. Wounds treated with quality care are much less likely to become permanent.
  • Delicate body parts like brains or eyes usually end up with permanent damage when harmed.
  • Characters now have personality traits which affect gameplay! Enjoy playing with colonists who are lazy or hardworking, neurotic, psychically sensitive or deaf, bloodlusty, or nudist.
  • EMP weapons added. Useful for fighting mechanoids, and for enemies attacking your turrets.
  • Spacey new menu music from Alistair Lindsay. More in-game music and sound effects from Al added as well.
  • More translations added and existing translations updated.
  • Lots of other small improvements and dozens of bug fixes, as well as new bugs to discover!

Alpha 5 balance hotfix

Posted July 6th, 2014 by Tynan Sylvester

You all knew a hotfix was coming! It’s like a tradition now!

The good thing is that this isn’t a bug hotfix, but a balance one. I’d been hearing a lot of reports that the global psychic drone event – causing -25 to mood – was harming play. So until I can rebalance it, it’s disabled in Alpha5b. The crashed ship part event seen in the release video is still present.

To update, you just have to change one number in one file:

Open Notepad or some other text editor.

With Notepad, open [YourRimWorldFolder]/Mods/Core/Defs/IncidentDefs/BaseIncidents.xml, and find this text:


Set <chance>1.2</chance> to <chance>0</chance>.

Or, you can re-download the game from your old link.

I’ll be reworking this event in future versions.

Alpha 5 – Under Siege released

Posted July 4th, 2014 by Tynan Sylvester

We’re back with another alpha of RimWorld! Alpha 5 brings on lots of juicy new features and improvements. You can follow our day-to-day work on the changelog.

If you own the game, you should get an update email from us. You can also get Alpha 5 by re-downloading from the link you used before (it is a permanent link and always has the newest version). Anyone still having trouble should start at this thread.

Also note that this build will not load old savegames, so keep your old install separate if you want to finish an Alpha 4 colony.

A quick recap of improvements in Alpha 5:

  • Sieges added. Raiders will now sometimes besiege the colony by setting up a fortified position nearby and bombarding you until you die or come out to break the siege. Of course this also means there are now researchable and buildable mortar weapons – both explosive and incendiary.
  • Escape ship added. You can now, at great cost, build a ship to escape the planet if you wish.
  • Crashed ancient ship part incident added. Sometimes this bad boy will crash-land nearby and start emitting an ever-increasing psychic drone that slowly drives colonists insane. Attack it to make it stop, but beware its defenses.
  • New mechanoid type added – the scyther.
  • Many new sound effects from the illustrious Alistair Lindsay.
  • A new gear system allows changing out of clothing. Clothing now has basic effects, like reducing damage or movement speed.
  • There is now an info card you can view for most things in the game. For weapons, it shows statistics about damage, accuracy, and so on. For animals, it displays health, damage, meat amounts. Lots of other things can be inspected as well.
  • A game history tracker records the history of your colony in graphs of wealth, population, and happiness, as well as recording individual important events.
  • Game history is now uploaded automatically to our servers after an opt-in prompt is agreed to. This uploads your game history – the same one you see on your history graph – to us to help us balance future versions.
  • More translations added (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, others) and existing translations updated.
  • Language can now be switched by clicking the flag on the main game screen.
  • Lots of other small improvements.

Thanks for the ongoing support everyone!

Randy Random reported broken in Alpha 4

Posted June 16th, 2014 by Tynan Sylvester

Just a quick heads up to everyone. Apparently the Randy Random storyteller is broken in Alpha 4. It starts off all right, but over time it doesn’t ramp up challenges, which makes the endgame dull.

If anyone is playing a Randy game, you can change your storyteller to Cassandra, who is working well. Just follow these steps:

  1. Start the game, go to options, click “open savegame folder”.
  2. In a text editor, open the save file you want to modify.
  3. Do a search for “Randy”. (You’ll find it between two <defName> tags.)
  4. Replace the word “Randy” with “Cassandra”.
  5. Save the document, close your text editor, and restart the game. Your Randy game should now run with Cassandra.

Sorry about this everyone. We’ll have him fixed up good for Alpha 5.

Alpha4f released

Posted June 8th, 2014 by Tynan Sylvester

I’ve just uploaded Alpha4f, a balance and design hotfix. Everyone who bought the game will be getting emails about it. Even if you didn’t, any of your old download links will always get you the latest version.

Warning: This version will not work with savegames from any older version (including Alpha4a through Alpha4e).

As always, anyone with download trouble should please read this forum post for info on what to do.

Note that this update does not include Alpha 5 content like artillery mentioned in the changelog. That you’ll have to wait for.

The major changes are:

  • Wood log and wood planks are now merged into one wood resource. This reduces pointless early-game busywork for colonists (sawmill work), and reduces confusion about exactly what kind of wood is needed to build what. I hope to bring back the wood/plank distinction in the future, but it will have to be part of a larger system where many objects can be constructed of different materials while still being the same object type. See this forum discussion.
  • Storytellers balance has been redesigned. They now cue on different signals and will generally track against the player in a more entertaining way.
  • Randy Random is no longer totally broken and unbeatable.
  • Pila weapon is nerfed from 45 damage to 30 damage per hit.
  • Stone wall health raised from 400 to 650.
  • Animal insanity waves were broken and never occurred. They are now, again, part of the threat mix the storytellers will use against you.

Hope you guys like it! Let’s hope this one is the charm for Alpha 4.