Alpha 15 unstable branch test is available

Posted August 17th, 2016 by Tynan Sylvester

I’ve set the development version of Alpha 15 on the ‘unstable’ branch in Steam. If you’re willing to risk some bugs and imbalances you can give it a shot! Just right-click RimWorld in the Steam library, open Properties, go to the Betas tab, select the ‘unstable’ branch, and restart Steam.

The final version will be different from this. Language and player creative content still need to be updated, problems will be fixed, and the build will be compiled in the non-development way (which will make it run faster). However, all the main changes are there now!

Note that this version isn’t compatible with Alpha 14 saves or mods. You’ll want to deactivate your old mods, and you can’t load your old saves.

Modders can/should use this opportunity to prep for the new update!

I’m soliciting all feedback about the new version in this forum thread. I’m especially interested in balance/play feedback about the drugs system and tutorial. Bugs should please be reported in the Bugs forum.

I could also really use some savegames for recording the release video on! I’m really just looking for natural colonies – not some weird fancy artwork. Ideally, with a drug production operation. If you’ve got a savegame like this, please zip it, put it on Dropbox or another file hosting service, and drop the link in the feedback thread. Thanks all.

EDIT: Unstable branch updated to fix an issue that made treatments useless on various diseases (causing infections to be 100% deadly).

Features preview of Alpha 15

Posted August 17th, 2016 by Tynan Sylvester

Hey everyone! We’re currently finishing up Alpha 15. Since it’s basically feature complete, I thought it’d be nice to put up a quick upcoming features list for your perusal. So – here you go!

I don’t know when the new update will come out. It really depends on how many bugs and other issues come up, which is almost unknowable. We may do a public unstable branch test.

EDIT: This list is being updated as features change in response to feedback from the unstable build public testing.

Tutorial

  • Added new rich tutorial with step-by-step instructions.
  • Tutorial teaches the basics of setting up a game, building a small self-sustaining colony, and defeating the first
    raider.
  • Tutorial locks out irrelevant controls and highlights relevant controls.
  • At the end of the tutorial, the player can continue the game with a normal storyteller.

Learning helper

  • Added new learning helper system to replace yellow pop-up messages and yellow learning alerts.
  • Learning helper sits in the top right of the screen. If something happens relating to a concept the player hasn’t learned, that lesson will be activated and shown on the learning helper. It can then be opened and read. Lessons are automatically marked as learned when the player does the necessary interaction, and can be marked as learned manually. Lessons are shown as needed by circumstance, or on a slow timer. The overall idea is that you’ll never be shown a lesson you already know, but always be shown the lessons you need to know now.
  • Learning helper can be expanded and searched for any lesson, so you can look up how to do a specific thing at any time.

Drugs system

  • Added new drugs system. It’s not just beer any more!
  • Drugs typically create up to four effects. Not all drugs have all effects.
    • Primary – The valuable short-term effect, whether it improves mood or work focus or combat effectiveness or makes one immune to a disease.
    • Overdose – Excessive drug usage in a short time can build up blood toxicity, leading to unconsciousness and possible death.
    • Tolerance – Long-term usage of a drug can build up a tolerance which makes subsequent usage less and less effective in producing the high.
    • Addiction – Drug use can form an addiction. This generates a new need for the drug which the pawn will try to feed regularly. If the need isn’t fed, the pawn will develop withdrawal symptoms (low mood, reduced consciousness). Eventually withdrawal will pass and the addiction will go away.
  • Drugs can be assigned for regular taking through the drug policy system. Similar to Outfits, drug policies are an assigned schedule for taking drugs. You can set any number of drugs, each with a frequency. For example, you can assign a colonist to drink 2 beers every day, and take one Malari-Block every 5 days.
  • The drugs are:
    • Beer – Improved mood but worsened capacities. Addictive.
    • Malari-block – Prevents malaria infection for 5 days.
    • Yayo – Stimulant pleasure drug, addictive.
    • Flake – Cheap, short high, very addictive.
    • Wake-up – Improves work performance, addictive.
    • Smokeleaf – Improved mood but worsened capacities. More hunger, slower movement. Can form dependence.
    • Go-Juice – Synthetic futuristic combat drug. Boost speed and fighting capacity tremendously. Addictive.
    • Luciferium – Glitterworld mechanites that give huge bonuses to most capacities. However, without repeated doses the user goes insane and dies. It is impossible to clear the addiction, and the drug is 100% addictive on one dose.
  • Drugs are produced in various ways, typically at the new Drug Lab building, from various precursor chemicals and growable crops. They require research to create.

Deep drilling

  • The map now spawns with clusters of underground resources. These can be accessed by building a deep scanner to find them, and then building deep drills on top of them, and then working the drills. This slowly produces the resource.
  • Deep drilling tech is at the end of the tech tree. This should mitigate late-game resource exhaustion problems.

Misc

  • Mood is now drawn subtly behind the pawn on the colonist readout at the top of the screen.
  • You can now produce medicine from herbal medicine, neutroamine (a precursor chemical you buy), and cloth. Requires research.
  • Added passive cooler building. Made of wood and low tech, it cools a room for a short time. Good for passing heat waves as a tribe.
  • Added a ‘copy building’ tool which lets you quickly select the designator for a building through an existing copy of that building.
  • Beer production now takes several stages: Colonists make wort (unfermented beer) at the brewer table, then leave it in fermenting barrels for a while, after which they can harvest it as beer.
    Infestation can now only spawn under a thick roof.
  • Gear tab now shows aggregate stats about armor and comfy temperatures.
  • Raider steal a bit more often now.
  • Factored MapGeneratorDef apart into separate GenStepDefs which can be modded or inserted individually. This will allow modders to change the MapGenerator without blowing away each others’ changes.
  • Added alert: Need warm clothes.
  • Mods can now be dragged to reorder them in the mods page.
  • Re-tuned food finding algorithm.
  • Hunters will no longer hunt without a ranged weapon.
  • Debuffed corn a bit.
  • Reworked trade interface to clearly state what kind of trader they are, and to list items they’re not willing to trade.
  • Reworked trader stock generators so traders carry and accept more sensible items for their type.
  • You can now request traders by calling allied factions. It costs silver.
  • Chance to spring known traps is reduced from 2.5% to 0.4%.
  • Friendly fire chances reduced by 60% for fly-by shots (shots that miss and land in the cell with a pawn have the same chance to hit as before).
  • Added a message when food spoils in storage.
  • Fix: Pawns don’t get ‘catharsis’ mood gainer thought after a mental break.
  • Rename PDW to Machine pistol.
  • Torches and campfires are no longer destroyed near-instantly by rain/snow. They instead consume fuel faster.
  • Torches consume fuel a bit faster overall.
  • Fueled generator consumes fuel faster and holds less fuel.
  • Plant sow and harvest are now slower.
  • Debuffed fists.
  • Reduced volume of idle animal calls at high time speeds.
  • Smithing is now a prerequisite for Machining research.
  • Added a toggleable view that shows roofs in glowing green.
  • Hundreds of other balance changes, text fixes, redesigns, and bug fixes.

Backstory in Game and Pirate King tier prices will be increased

Posted August 2nd, 2016 by Tynan Sylvester

Backstory in Game and Pirate King tiers have seen a ton of sales, which is great, except it’s taking a lot of time to edit all the content that’s coming in.

Before the Steam release, I had a good balance of work time between editing player content and working on game features and bugs. With the influx of new players from Steam, that’s been thrown off. In order to balance my time more like it used to be (back towards working on the game features and bugs), I’m planning on increasing the prices for these higher tiers. I do love player content, but I don’t want to impoverish the game development itself to add more and more backstory characters. Let’s let them be  special.

This will take effect in the upcoming days – I’m not sure exactly when. Just a heads up for anyone considering one of these tiers.

Alpha 14e – Fixes for game-breaking bugs

Posted July 29th, 2016 by Tynan Sylvester

Some rare, game-breaking bugs were reported. Some are crashes; others critically break AI behavior. So I fixed them.

Savegames should continue to work from before. Some savegames that were broken before will now load.

Mods should also mostly be compatible, but there may be issues in some cases given the complexities of how the code links up.

The build number is now 1249.

Non-Steam players won’t get an update email since this isn’t a content update. They can download the new version from their existing download link.

Change list:

  • Fix: Hard crash when bed-sharing pawns have zero chance to do lovin’, passing a PositiveInfinity mean-time-between to the random event checker, causing it to enter an infinite loop.
  • Fix: AI stuck when warden chooses to feed a prisoner by taking food from an empty food dispenser.
  • Fix: AI stuck and performance chugging from colony animals starving while being restricted to not touching walls, and locked inside.
  • Mitigate: Sometimes, NPCs in parties, marriages all freeze and just stand there.
  • Mitigate: Game can save a corpse with null innerPawn, which makes the save unloadable.

Alpha14d – fixes and tunings

Posted July 21st, 2016 by Tynan Sylvester

Alpha14d (build 1241) is a quick-fix build that makes a few small but important changes.

DRM-free owners will NOT get an update email, but can download the new build from their existing download link.

Save games from Alpha 14 should still work.

Changes:

  • Reduced event density on Randy Random from 1.5x that of Cassandra to about the same as Cassandra. The combination and distribution of events is still very different from Cassandra.
  • Fixed a crash that occurs when the player has no allies.
  • The “cannot connect to Steam API” error message is now more informative and suggests rebooting.
  • Toxic fallout, flashstorm and volcanic winter are now disabled in Free Play difficulty.
  • Toxic fallout and volcanic winter are now rarer.

Reddit AMA in progress

Posted July 19th, 2016 by Tynan Sylvester

I’m currently doing an AMA on Reddit! Come see my answers to various questions. If you’re fast, you can ask one.

Link to the AMA

Alpha14c release, tiny balance update

Posted July 19th, 2016 by Tynan Sylvester

It looks like the fixes in Alpha14b were effective. I’m now releasing Alpha14c on Steam and DRM-free channels. This one is just a tiny change from 14b: Phoebe’s random incidents density is reduced somewhat (it was the same as Cassandra’s before, which doesn’t make sense since Phoebe is supposed to give more breathing space between events.)

I’ll still be watching for balance and content problems, but it seems likely the next patch will be a new alpha.

On a side note, some people have asked whether any more features will be added. The answer is a definite yes. We are currently working on several major new features with the potential to transform gameplay yet again. I can’t wait to show them to you! But, they have to be ready first. I’m also working on a ton of polish tasks.

Alpha14b now out, unlocks the other half of the game

Posted July 18th, 2016 by Tynan Sylvester

With the flurry of support and fraud combat tasks abating, I took a little while to watch Zeebos’ stream. A discussion was had and it quickly became apparent that a lot of the events in the game weren’t really firing – ever. No heat waves, no crazy animals, no crashed ship parts.

Doing some local testing, I realized how bad it was. Most of the events in the game would never fire.

Holy crap!

I’ve fixed the issue and uploaded a patch to Steam. Your save games will be compatible. The new build is 0.14.1238 – look for that number at the top left of the main menu to confirm you’re running it.

Look at it this way – it’s like releasing a juicy content patch!

Note: I haven’t updated the DRM-free download yet, I’ll do that when I’m a bit more certain the patch is still balanced.

Patch notes:

  • Fix: Events never fire (except in some exceptional circumstances):
    • Infestation
    • Manhunter pack
    • Psychic ship part crash
    • Poison ship part crash
    • Animal insanity (single)
    • Eclipse
    • Solar flare
    • Psychic drone
    • Toxic fallout
    • Volcanic winter
    • Heatwave
    • Cold snap
    • Flashstorm
    • Short circuit
    • Crop blight
    • Alphabeavers
    • Psychic soothe
    • Refugee chased
    • Thrumbo passes
  • Fix: Storyteller incorrectly adjusts trader frequency in relation to ally count.
  • Fix: Threat cycle event maker sometimes queues events without enough points to actually fire them.

Steam key giving stopped for new buyers

Posted July 17th, 2016 by Tynan Sylvester

[Edit 18/7: To be super clear: Everyone who bought the game from our site before July 17th is still entitled to their key, and can still get it from the automated key distributor. This change only affects new purchases made in the future. This story has gotten a weirdly huge amount of press, but it’s a mountain from a molehill. Only about 85 keys were cancelled in total – less than 0.1% of the total being distributed.]

If you bought before today, you can still get a key. However, I’ve been forced to stop offering Steam keys for those who buy today and in the future. We’ve been getting hammered by fraudsters who are obviously more experienced at this than I. Shutting it down for now is the only way to avoid thousands of dollars in chargeback fees and lost sales. It’s time to take a breather, because I can’t fight this ‘live’.

The game is, of course, for sale on Steam if you want a Steam copy. Buying from our site will give DRM-free copies as before, but no Steam key.

All the stolen keys are being cancelled, and should be deactivated before they can be sold (or soon after, depending on how fast Valve does it). The funds they were stolen with are being returned to their rightful owners. If you don’t want to get ripped off by fraudsters, be sure to buy direct from Steam.

If you bought direct from us before July 17 and find your key cancelled, it may be due to a separate glitch we had, entirely unrelated to fraud. This affected only a few dozen people. You should be able to get a new key immediately from the Steam key giver, and continue playing where you left off. The Support page has a bit more info about this.

Alpha 14: The Complete Change Log

Posted July 17th, 2016 by Tynan Sylvester

Just for fun, for those who are interested, I’m posting the full change list for Alpha 14. Previously, you saw the change summary. This file, however, shows every ‘commit’ (package of code changes) we contributed to our code repository to transform the game from Alpha 13 to Alpha 14.

Each line is one commit. Some are just a few minutes of work, others can be a whole day. Some are by me, others are by ison. Here she is:

RimWorld Alpha 14 full change log

That’s it! I hope a few enthusiasts find some interest, in seeing what we’re actually doing day to day.