Alpha 1 released

Posted January 27th, 2014 by Tynan Sylvester

It’s finally here – Alpha 1!

Everyone who has the game got this on January 27th via email. If you didn’t get it, more info here.

(Mac users: Please install the Mods folder alongside your app folder, not inside it. This will be rearranged for next build, but for now Mods needs to be there. Also, if your mouse right-click isn’t working, go fullscreen.)

This version brings a host of improvements on the venerable build 254b from last November. Take a look:

To install the new version, just delete the old one and unzip the new one somewhere. Old saves will be unusable in the new version.

The game is on sale at

Here’s a rundown of the new features and changes:


Resources no longer vanish into a magical storage number in the sky. Everything in the game is now present on the map at all times.

  • Players can now designate stockpile zones. These are areas on the ground where colonists are supposed to store certain kinds of items. Zones don’t cost anything because they’re not physical – they’re just AI directives.
  • Stockpile zones can be configured using a hierarchical interface to accept any combination of items. You could have one that takes all resources, or all guns, or just pistols, or only molotov cocktails, potatoes, and dead animals.
  • Stockpile zones can have priorities. Haulers will fill the highest-priority zones first, and even move items from lower-priority zones to higher-priority ones.
  • The storage and priority interface is also used for storage buildings, like food hoppers, graves, and the (currently-pointless) equipment racks.

One nice natural side-effect of this change is that your colonists will no longer starve if they have a huge food reserve but no nutrient paste dispenser. They can eat the raw food right from the stockpile – though it’s not efficient, and they hate eating raw potatoes. Also note that animals will sometimes eat food out of your stockpile.

Putting everything on the map required re-jiggering a lot of existing systems (which is why we did it now, so we won’t have to re-jigger even more systems to do it later):

  • Selling goods to space traders now requires that you physically move goods to an outdoor launch pad. This is done by building the pad and configuring stockpile zones on top of it.
  • Nutrient dispensers can no longer draw food magically from the sky reservoir. You must build food hoppers adjacent to them, and keep those hoppers filled with raw foods.
  • There is a new Cooking work type added. Currently, all it does it refill food hoppers. In future it will actually cook stuff. However, we added it now because sometimes you want filling the hoppers to be at a different priority from general hauling.

Adaptive tutor

There was a janky tutor before, but he basically ran on a rail and told you the same things every game, whether you needed to know them or not. The new adaptive tutor is much smarter in providing only the information players need.

The AT watches everything you do and keeps an internal database of how much he thinks you understand various game concepts. A concept is something like, “you can zoom the camera”, or “you can capture enemies by doing X”. He also watches what’s happening in the game, and works out a measure of how much you need to know each different concept at the moment. And, in his database of concepts, each concept has a natural priority. For examples, camera movement is considered more essential than opening the wiki.

Finally, the AT keeps track of the player’s “relax desire”. This is how much the player probably doesn’t want to see another tutor message right now. People only want to absorb information so fast, so we don’t want to overwhelm. Relax desire peaks just after a message appears, and falls off over time.

Evaluating all these together, the AT shows you training messages if the combination of their priority and immediate need-to-know exceeds the player’s desire to relax. The final outcome is:

  • If you already know a concept, you’ll likely demonstrate it before the tutor tries to teach you anything in it, and you’ll never see the message for it.
  • If there’s nothing you urgently need to know, the tutor will give you nice long intervals between messages.
  • If you really need to know something, it gets bumped to the front of the list and overwhelms the relax desire, and is shown nearly immediately. This is for cases like, “You can rescue your bleeding-to-death colonist by doing X”.

There’s more to do to perfect this guy (like making messages point to elements on the map or on the UI), but so far I think it’s a great improvement on the old non-adaptive tutor.

Also, the AT’s database of player knowledge is now saved separately from maps, so it will stay between games. To reset it, delete Knowledge.xml in your RimWorld saves folder.


Modding support is started but not finished.

Many of the definitions in the game – some buildings, all sounds, hair, training concepts – are now exposed in a Mods folder, in the Core mod, in editable XML files. However, some data is still not exposed, like most Thing properties (especially the ones essential to making weapons or plants), race definitions for making animals or alternate humanoids, trader profiles, storyteller tunings, and so on. In addition, there’s not yet a system to install, activate, and deactivate mods. All you can do is destructively edit the core files.

Development tools have been added to the game. You can activate them with the “development mode” checkbox in the menus. For more info on these, check out the basic RimWorld modding document.

This system will be finished in a future release. Hopefully soon, because I grew up as a modder and can’t wait to see what people will do modding RimWorld.

Menu art

You’ll notice some beautiful new art for our menus. Thank Ricardo TomΓ©, Portuguese digital painting expert, for spicing up the menu backgrounds and giving some life to the AI Storytellers.

Character art, apparel, and hair

The character art in game has been redone by Rhopunzel, combined with some fun color-randomizing code by yours truly. So pawns can come in a variety of body shapes, skin colors, and head shapes.

And that’s just when they’re naked.Β In addition, there is a new apparel system. Characters can wear multiple layers of clothing, and the clothing itself is randomized. So you could have a guy in a green T-shirt. Or a dude in a white T-shirt, with an armor vest and a tan duster. The number of combinations is nearly infinite.Β Finally, hairdos are now randomized as well.

Currently, they’re just randomized for everyone and cannot be changed. In future, apparel will be fleshed out systemically, and you’ll see different clothing and hairdos for people from different cultures. One pirate band will wear all leather and spiky mohawks. A nearby tribe will send raiding parties in animal skins with tribal hairdos. And you could enforce an all-pink-clothes-with-pink-afro colony uniform if you wanted.

Overall we’re looking to get to a point where colonists and pirates can be characterized and recognized just by looking at them. The tools to do that are now in, but they’re used haphazardly. Upcoming versions will have characters spawn with proper clothing and change their clothing as appropriate. Clothes will also help protect characters, affect their movement speed, and so on.

Fixes and tunings

Tons of things have been fixed and tuned, including recruiting chances, storyteller difficulties, and so on.

Creative content

If you got the Name in Game or Backstory in Game pack and had your content approved before Friday or so (when I content-locked the Alpha for final stability testing), your content will be in the game. It’s quite refreshing to have a nice deep pool of content to draw from. There aren’t a massive number of backstories – you can become familiar with individuals if you play a lot – but there are enough that the game isn’t under pressure to repeat anything.

Also, the options menu now has an “encouraged spawn list” of names. Put a last name on here, and the game will prefer spawning characters from this list. So you’ll want to put your own name on the list, and perhaps those of your friends, and watch yourself spawn in!

Great thanks to all the testers and the two creative rewards moderators who helped make this happen. Have fun and watch out for the raging muffalo!


60 Responses to “Alpha 1 released”

  1. Ascdren

    oh wow… thank you so much, been waiting for this for the past few days ( felt like years)

  2. Sylasha

    How do I patch my game to the newest version?

  3. There’s no “patching” – you just replace the whole thing. Delete the old version. Unzip the new version somewhere.

  4. jax

    Since people have vests can you do bulletproof vests that would increase the colonists health

  5. Charlie C

    Brilliant stuff. Well done. You have worked so hard and it shows as all is looking fab.

  6. Jeremy

    In order for me to run the game I had to change the main data folder name to RimWorldAlpha_Data. I figured id pass this on because I think you guys could change it so that we receive the properly named folders. Thanks

    Can’t wait to sink my teeth into this alpha, to see what changes you guys have made. Thanks for an awesome game.

  7. Ryan

    Hey, would just like to say great job on the new version. What i have played of it is amazing, so many great improvements made to the game (must say my favorite is the new character design the variation is great). An update has been a long time coming but it was defiantly worth the wait.
    If anyone working on the game or Tynan happens to read this i do have one thing that i would like to suggest, which is a fence or something else similar to the wall but it doesn’t get an auto build roof over it as that is probably the most irritating thing in the game currently (in my experience at least).
    Well that is enough ranting, so anyway thanks for a great update.

  8. Jeremy – Thanks for the heads up. I’m fixing that now.

    Ryan – Manual roofing is almost next on my to-do list.

  9. Jule

    Hate to be this guy, but am going to do so anyway.
    Seems like the OS X version isn’t working. The Unity window opens but stays completely black. Couldn’t immediately figure out how to get debug data. Tynan, keep up the awesome work.

  10. Jule – Place the Mods folder alongside your app install folder.

    I’m going to put Mods inside the app folder next time, but for now it needs to be there.

  11. 0level

    Great news! Thanks a lot for the update. Especially the stockpiling sounds delicious. Is there any place to check the “Tons of things have been fixed and tuned[…]” ? A list of some sort might provide valuable feedback for you. Anyway I am curious what I find the next time.

  12. For fixes, you could look at the closed issues on our bug tracker:

    And there’s also the changelog:

  13. LegendaryMilkman

    Thanks so much for all the effort Tynan and Rhopunzel! Can’t wait for what you bring us next!

  14. Levy

    So will people who purchased the $20 Kickstarter package get access to this version as promised or will that be for later on?

  15. Jacob

    How much time will it take to send the links to “Colonist” backers. I still haven’t gotten mine.

  16. Colonists will get it in a day or two.

  17. Chandler C

    it has felt like years since an update cant wait for it. yall should add a system that allows you to capture/domesticate animals and be able to add fences

  18. Jule: Im playing the game on my Macbook Pro and Mac Mini with no problems πŸ™‚ Are you running Mavericks? I’m still on the 10.8.5.

    Tynan: The new stockpile are awesome! I am amazed how well it runs on my mac mini – still there are some small issues. Maybe I can submit a bug if you haven’t already noticed. There is something wrong with shadows everywhere in the game. But it’s still very playable πŸ˜€

    Keep up the great work! This is clearly the beck KS-project i have ever supported. You and your team rock!

  19. Thanks for the new release, plays very well on eyefinity with 3 screens although I do get a little slowdown when I zoom right out.

    Keep going, looking great

  20. 3 screen RimWorld? I think I’d like to see a photo of that.

    mrdoom – it goes in your email.

  21. Here you go…

  22. mrdoom – if you’re a Kickstarter $20 backer, you’ll get it tomorrow or maybe the day after.

    Dan – Thanks!

  23. Dan – I love how the interface elements are rammed to the edge of the outside monitors.

  24. It’s common with eyefinity, there’s a number of solutions to stop the players head from turning back and forth all the time.

    The first option would be to base positioning from offsets to the centre, scaled by the resolution (you’d need to determine the aspect ratio first to account for ‘normal’ setups)

    The second would be to allow the UI element locations to be customised (ala World Of Warcraft et al) – you could handle this by exposing the element positions and scale in the mod directory.

    It is quite nice not needing to zoom out or scroll to see the raiders coming in though πŸ™‚

    Hope that helps!

  25. Roy

    I got a sendowl email with a download link in it, but it looks sort of sketchy. Is this the right source?

  26. Yes, SendOwl is our distributor.

  27. Boniu

    Great job there guys!
    I love this game

  28. Daniel

    Great update πŸ™‚ Loving all of it.

    Just noticed this on the changelog:
    “Started some heavy refactoring of how different items fill different slots in a square.”

    This sounds a lot like ‘making racks useful for stocking more than two weapons’ among other things lol πŸ˜›

  29. Trevor

    This release is great and I just wanted to post this: A naked Tynan Sylvester (sooo not complaining) just spawned in my game (youth hooligan & bad magician); toooo funny.

  30. Midgetman

    Hey Tynan,
    Just wondering, since I did not buy colonist tier during the kickstarter, where do I buy the regular alpha game? Do I just pay on the kickstarter, find a certain link on this website, or wait until steam?
    By the way your game is looking to be the most inventive I have ever seen.
    The Midget

  31. You can buy it now at

  32. Zog

    This game is addictive as hell, even at this early stage. Glad I backed and looking forward to the finished product! πŸ™‚

  33. Jem

    Not sure if anyone noticed it gets laggy/choppy with the new stockpiling when they’re full of ‘nuggets’ of resources. Very hard to move the screen around when just <20 stockpiles are full in a mid-small base of ~16 rooms/200+batteries/<30solarpanels/~40hydroponics. clearing entire map of debris (destroyed) didn't help. Don't think it is possible to utilize entire 200×200 (small) map, would be a great disappointment.

    Also, why the critters won't die of hunger when trapped in room without food/grass?

  34. I’ve actually been working on performance. But yeah, your base is huge πŸ™‚ 30 solar panels is massive.

    There’s actually a bug about animals not starving to death. Reported a day or two ago.

    I’m gonna fix it, and performance will be smoother in future.

  35. Petr Stedry

    Hi Tynan,

    great start! I really ejoyed playing the alpha. It was worth every penny invested into it on Kickstarter.

    Here’s a few personal opinions on where the game stands for me.

    Combat was fun. So much fun I would like to see it as one of the main focuses of the game. What would make combat more fun?

    Let’s talk defense. Mine fields. Electric fence. Trenches (even for deterring fire wild animals)!

    Although sandbags are fun it would be great if I could construct towers (from small manned machinegun outposts to big AI controlled ones). All that either above ground or dug in the rock walls. Which brings me to my second remark. What about materials?

    Right now everything is made from steel from the start, but realistically, steel would have to be smelted and worked with tools (and would probably be one of the higher end materials that would make the structures quite resilient to gunfire from pistols and lesser firearms).

    Why not start with wood (which brings me to the unavailability of trees in the game as it is situated in a desert area), and bricks (made from dried clay)? Wood would natually have a tendency to catch fires and it would be more susceptible to damage by the wind/thunderstorms (tornadoes or dust storms would be nice).

    Diseases. Those would be also fun to have. Or parasites – from the harmless ones up to the “alien” style killing machines.

    Fog of war / cones of vision. Not knowing how many raiders are coming (you would get some estimate from the radio traffic) would add suspense. Also the game lacks any sort of discovery. Why do I need to see the whole map at all times? Exploring and keeping the area under survellance (cameras, drones) would be also nice.

    It would be great if one could have a progression of levels or some sense of a goal (other than survive) – what about chasing the wreck of the ship throughout the planet and going through different zones (desert, sub-arctic, woods, jungle, etc.). Once you established a base and collected resources needed to progress, you would use them and move to the next map.

    Anyway it is shaping to be a very nice game πŸ™‚ So much potential! Thanks for that.

    Looking forward to the months (years) to come. Just keep working on it and I’ll buy add-ons as they come out if you need more money πŸ˜€

    Your fan Petr.

  36. mrdoom434

    hey Tynen i love the updata thank you agein btw but i have a…will like a reqeust can you add like winter and deffernt seasons and the need to take safety or keep every body warm or cool you know i mean and anuther thing thrist river lakes you know stuff to really keep a eye on you know.I know this is alot to ask but the way you shaped Rim World is just Epic just every thing you done so far is just wow but yeah please keep this things in mind

  37. Danieo

    Now i’m waiting for an update with new game content πŸ˜€

  38. Bronze Dog

    I’ve been enjoying the new version over the past few days, getting used to the new mechanics. Takes a bit longer to get a good start when your three founders have to wander the map for scattered bits of metal. I do appreciate starting off with more than the lone pistol, though. I also have the odd pleasure of seeing my giant (full up, no vacancies) cache of silver in the mountain thanks to the stockpile changes, rather than just an abstract number at the top left.

    I’m hoping that getting through all that crunchy stuff for this version means we can expect a little more stuff to build and new technologies to research, soon. I’d certainly like to bombard raiders with shells and missiles from upgraded turrets.

  39. Stefan


    I have recently tried out this version, and I just want to say I strongly agree with the changes made to resources and stockpiling!

    Keep it up!

  40. Necronomocoins

    I like the new changes, except 1 thing, currency doesn’t need to be physical like everything else, it CAN be a number in the corner of the screen, like my bank balance is not a pile of coins and notes on a launch pad or in some predefined arbitrary location.

  41. We changed it to silver for a couple reasons.

    First, just for consistency with other resources.

    Second, putting it in the world lets you see it build up (satisfying), and gives something for enemies to steal.

    Finally, it’s silver because it doesn’t make fictional sense any other way. Given no strong government and no electronic credit systems, there really is no way to store or transfer value except for physical commodities. So in this case, silver takes the role of a commodity currency on a planet where no government has the power to produce trustworthy paper money.

  42. Necronomocoins

    When you put it like that it makes a lot of sense. The thing that got me annoyed at the silver in the first place was a bug where right clicking on the silver does nothing, as in, no option to haul it and all the colonists were ignoring it, the bug eventually spread to the point where none of the colonists were hauling anything. I guess the bugs will get ironed out by the end anyway. Silver is not a mistake, keep the good work good and working.

  43. Konner Wolfe

    I run this game on a mac to start out with. Every time i try yo open it i just get a black screen and it won’t load. I was wonder how i could fix this?

  44. Konner – Please make sure you unzipped the mods folder alongside the game package.

  45. Konner Wolfe

    I have unzipped it and i have tried redownloading if after deleting the alpha version to see if that worked but i still get a black screen

  46. Dudemeister

    Attack of the quintuplets.

    Couple of random thoughts.. yeah, starting off is too hard now for a couple of reasons. Hauling should be a bit smarter so there isn’t as much wasted effort going on. The colonist – prisoner ratio can really screw you over now seeing how long it takes to recruit. Would also be cool to have a higher stockpile limit per square, 150 maybe?

  47. chosenek

    Wou, just dont do anything that guy above me suggested. Dont make this game easy, I like that it is challenging sometimes.

  48. derp

    maybe an idea just to make it slightly less occuring that people randomly have the name 7 times over . for example: someone crash lands on my planet and they are called caligali. next up i shoot them because i dont want prisoners and i needed the gun. after that raiders came and there were about 3 caligali’s of the 12 raiders. anfter the raid (barely beaten off) suddenly a caligali appeared as traveler :/ slightly awkward

  49. Yeah, the repeated name thing is a bug; it’ll be addressed in Alpha 2.

  50. Gabe

    Hey, big fan of the game, honestly one of the best gamees ive ever played, despite being in alpha and missing a lot, I just wanted to put my 2 cents into this gorgeous game. Mines need a redo they are a bit game breaking, they need to either take longer to research, and or cost waaaaay more than the turrets, I can kill infinite raiders with 2 mines, and a door, I just wait for them to pile up and bam, 30 insta dead raiders, I realize its as much my fault for trying to make the game not fun, but it bugs me that the option is there, too tantalizing to build a backup mine door just incase shit goes down.

  51. I actually cut blasting charges a few days ago for this reason.

  52. Gabe

    Sorry to double post but I forgot to include in my comment, Maybe the raiders can be a a little smarter to fix the mine bug? try to burn down separate sections of my base, or perhaps sense the mines, and try to go around them or shoot/grenade/Molotov the door from afar so as to not pile up

  53. Dudemeister

    chosenek: There’s a difference between challenge – which I’m all for – and plain inconvenience that you as a player have to meet by micromanagement. Dumb haulers don’t make the game any more fun. They’re not anything you can ‘beat’ by being a good player; only by being OCD.

    Neither does it have anything to do with difficulty if you’re rich enough that you have to mine out entire mountaints to store your loot. That suggestion was merely one to curb the ‘explosion of space’ now required for storage.

    Prisoners – fine. Conceded.

  54. Bronze Dog

    I’ve been forgiving on the issue of challenge since the game has a limited arc at this stage.

    Militarily, you can only upgrade guns and place turrets and/or blasting charges. Aside from getting better guns, the raiders can only increase their numbers. In terms of construction, you grow potatoes, turn them into paste, obtain and store power, make bedrooms, set up trade and research. It’s fairly simple, so far.

    I still have fun, but I’m eager to see more content so that we can have more varied challenges, even if it’s just figuring out how to keep everyone loyal and well-fed as you build up.

  55. AlphaWolf

    I love alpha 1 and I thought when I was going through the comments that there are some things that could be really cool,
    I think that there should be more military build items, maybe like a turret that sacrifices damage for shields and vice verse
    I also think it would be really cool if there was an enemy(I say enemy and not raider because it doesn’t really work) that would build a base on your map, growing in military strength around the same speed or faster then you, they would maybe send raiding parties or something, to make them annoying, other than taking the lands resources, and they would keep growing and annoying you until you attacked them and destroyed all the people in there base, then you could keep the base as your own.
    anyway, great work and keep it up!

  56. Maescool

    One of the few alpha games that works from the start perfectly in Ubuntu linux 64bit on windowed fullscreen mode
    much <3

  57. light487

    No that I have downloaded this, it says I only have 4 downloads left of the file… I am hoping this will reset at some point?

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