Steam release this summer with scenario system

Posted May 25th, 2016 by Tynan Sylvester

I’m planning on releasing RimWorld into Steam Early Access this summer.Steam release will also be the release of Alpha 14, which will be very content-rich and have at least one major new system. Check out the Steam page here.

Non-Steam players will also get the same updates at the same time, through the current SendOwl distribution system.

Regarding giving out keys, I’m afraid I can’t promise this because of Valve’s policy. The old answer from the FAQ still applies.

The current tentative release month is July (though this could be delayed if something unforeseen happens). I considered pushing it sooner, but I want to have time to make Alpha 14 really juicy for you, and to pump up a bit of hype. June is also a bit crowded.

For Alpha 14, we’ve been working intensely on two tracks. The first is just refining everything that was there. We’ve consumed a massive amount of feedback and applied that to the game. So there have been hundreds of balance changes, interface tweaks, systems adjustments, and bugfixes to solve the issues that are coming up.

The big feature is the scenario system. The classic RimWorld experience is to survive with three crash-landed passengers – but the game isn’t limited to this any more. Now you can customize, trade, and randomize different scenarios. In each one, the starting conditions, items, characters, research, and persistent game rules are different.


For example, we have a scenario where you play as a lone rich guy out seeking adventure, trying to build a colony on his own. He starts with a lot of wealth and research, but is alone. Another scenario has you playing six lost tribespeople trying to build a new home. As a tribe, they start with less tech (though they do have some tech that the space people lack) and get research penalties when researching high-tech projects. However, they have advantages in numbers.

Scenarios can also be randomized and manually edited. A random scenario might have a permanent toxic fallout, but start you with a pile of golden spears and ten pet bears, but not allow you to tame animals. You can edit that any way you like, write your own summary, description, and game start dialog. Here is a list of the editable scenario parts as they are now (we’ll likely add more):

  • Permanent version of all map conditions (eclipse, solar flare, etc).
  • Planetkiller: World is destroyed on X date.
  • Climate cycle which makes the world get warmer and cooler over a period of years. Winter is coming.
  • Disable building a given type of building.
  • Pawns start with health condition X.
  • Start with X items.
  • Map is scattered with X items.
  • Configure arrival method (pods or standing)
  • Starting pawns are all between ages X and Y
  • Pawns explode on death (configurable type and radius)
  • All pawns from source (game start/all) have trait X
  • Starting animal(s)
  • Disallow mining
  • Disallow hunting
  • Disallow taming
  • Disallow growing
  • Disable incident
  • Multiplier for any stat on the game (move speed, mining speed, etc)
  • Disallow building X

Scenarios are integrated with Steam Workshop, as are mods. Both can be easily uploaded from within the game, and you can subscribe or unsubscribe in the Workshop interface while playing – the mod and scenario lists will update in real time in-game.

We’re still adding and fixing more stuff. Let’s get the hype train started!

78 Responses to “Steam release this summer with scenario system”

  1. Mossy piglet

    People exploding on death is hands the best feature ever in the game.

  2. Mossy piglet

    I meant to say hands down. Oops.

  3. Revo

    What about children/kids? Will we see that feature in another update? (or is it being kept a secret in this update 😉 )

  4. Tynan, thanks for an awesome game!
    I do have a re-balancing request for Alpha 14: power consumption. Right now it seems too costly to put a light fixture in each colonist bedroom. In RealWorld, light bulb = 100W, heater = 1500W. Light bulbs should cost roughly 1/15th the consumption of heaters. With the current room Heater at 100W, the Standing Lamp should be set closer to 8-10W than current 150W. Make sense? Thanks in advance!

  5. mew_the_pinkmin

    Will the scenarios be easily shareable?

  6. Pixieking

    If you bought the game after that, we will try to get you a Steam key but Valve’s policies prevent us from being able to guarantee this.

    Not to be pedantic, but that seems to be old info? Fairly certain there’s nothing Valve do to prevent devs generating Steam keys, and certainly nothing based on how old a game is. You really might want to double-check with your Valve contact about this, since it’s going to annoy a lot of people. :/ (For the record, though, I’m not affected, since I Kickstarter’d it. 😀 )

  7. Valve does not allow developers to sell Steam keys to a game that isn’t also being sold on Steam.

  8. Pixieking

    Valve does not allow developers to sell Steam keys to a game that isn’t also being sold on Steam.

    Ohhhh… Is this a new thing, then? The dev of The Oil Blue gave keys to everyone who requested them no matter when they were bought. And (more relevant to your situation) Frontier gave keys to everyone who Kickstarted Elite: Dangerous, when it eventually hit Steam.

    Which is to say, in the past Valve seemed to give the dev unlimited Steam key generation once their game hit Steam. It might sound a bit snarky, and it’s not meant to, but you really ought to double-check with Valve.

    (Also, not trying to kick-up a fuss or anything… I’ve just seen this thing happen so often, trying to make you aware. 🙂 )

  9. Valve’s rule isn’t against giving keys to people after the game is out. It is against selling keys before the game is available on Steam.

    I am also able to generate all the keys I like. But, as I’ve been specifically told by Valve, I’m not allowed to sell those keys right now. That’s why I don’t promise keys.

    So, to summarize. Later, I’ll be allowed to give keys to everyone. But now, I’m just not allowed to sell those keys, until the Steam release. Note the subtle but important difference.

  10. Pixieking

    Ohhhhh, I get you. 😀 You might want to add that post of yours to the FAQ section, then, since it can be easily misread (though maybe that was the lack of coffee on my part. :p ).

  11. MonthOLDpickle

    So is it better to buy now so you get more money or wait for steam release?

  12. Aiwha

    I’m very excited about that scenario system. It makes me think about Unreal World starting scenarios. We’re gonna have great fun with that.

  13. Shabazza

    I like the “Permanent map conditions” modifier.
    It means we can play on an “always cold snap” or “always heat wave” map and such. Gorgeous. (^_^)

  14. Creat

    Please make sure only the original author of a mod can upload it to steam (requiring the source files, for example), if that’s at all possible. This was a huge issue with Banished until this limitation got implemented, and there were many copies of mods, usually without the authors permission.

  15. Tacopaco

    omg finally watching this game grow has been very rewarding and playing it of course. seeing it come to steam after all this time is amazing.

  16. Terry Bloom

    I think a lot of us would appreciate some kind of event manager (or a timeline) for the scenarios, so we could control what will happen during the game.
    For example:
    * Tips, messages, raids, incidents, diseases
    * Toggle mining, hunting, etc.
    * Change multiplier value (movement speed, mining speed, etc.)
    * Item drops, clusters, colonists joining the colony
    * Maybe even triggers/conditions (something would happen when a specified condition was met)?
    I think we could create really good scenarios with that 😀

  17. Cas

    Mods in Steam workshop? That’d mean no more manually updating mods, which is awesome.

  18. milon

    Woo hoo! 😀

  19. Tanis

    It’s nice to see an update. Personally I’m with Revo, on that I’d like to see a human breeding possibility sometime in the future.

  20. Martin

    Game of the year for me. Will buy again on steam.

  21. tweakimp

    Will there ever be fog of war?

  22. OtakuGirl

    While I only picked up the game a few months ago, I still can’t wait to see the next update ^_^ Really hoping those of us who were late to the party can still get a Steam key later (it was the one thing that made my partner and I waver over buying the game VS waiting for Steam), I still love playing the game. (…though if you release Steam trading cards and/or achievements and we can’t collect them, I’m totally going to end up crying >_<; )

    Epic game. Great work on it. I just wish I'd spotted it on the Kickstarter years ago 🙂

  23. Friendly Skeleton

    Monkey butlers. Y/N?

  24. doom

    Choo choo! Scenarios sound awesome, especially planet destruction and “Winter is coming” as it finally gives a purpose for building the escape ship.
    Also I want to add, I got so much fun time out of this game, way more than from many expensive major titles, will definately buy again on steam. (did the same with KSP)

  25. jakub_

    hey,what about the ability to amplify certain events?
    such as making the toxic fallout kill a person in minutes…or maybe have customly made (in-game scenarios)

    scenario maker….yush that would be fun

    every 5 months release wargs and drop a friendly raid along with lighting storm the size of the map and 1 day lasting nuclear fallouts.GREAT!

  26. jakub_

    also,what dos the planet killer do exactly? just do toxic fallout or literally end the game? just asking

  27. Chibiabos

    Was the music changed a bit for the Steam teaser? I noticed a ‘Planet Forbidden’-like spacey overlay to the theme we’re familiar with and some new music too. I think a lot of us have come to really like the Rimworld music, but some fresh new stuff in the mix would be snazzy jazzy too 🙂

  28. zerggodmaster

    can we each get a steam code for when steam version is available

  29. zerggodmaster

    scratch what i said last for the previous one

  30. Michael Facciola

    Thanks, I also see workshop which is nice!

    Thanks for the key no key clarification.

    Will MP ever be a thing?

  31. Can’t wait!

  32. Jastank

    Will the world ending come standard with a clock tower and a giant moon with a creepy face that gets ever closer and closer to the colony as time progresses, making them more and more depressed until one day when the moon smashes into the planet and everyone is obliterated forever???? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

  33. ChimpX

    I bought the game in early Alpha and it’s been a singular pleasure watching it develop. I’m sure it sounds silly, but now that Steam release is finally near, I feel like a proud uncle.

    Go turn the gaming world on its head, Tynan!

  34. Psych.

    Best gaming news this year 😀

    Tynan, did you think about Achievments on Steam or even Trading Cards to craft an epic RimWorld badge? 🙂


    i think you know what im going to say WHERE ARE THE CATSSSSSSSSSSS


    but rly where are they the pet boxes say like cats are they coming in this update
    if they are use the cats mod to help you

  37. Mossy piglet

    Andystar, cats were added in alpha 13.

  38. DAOWAce

    About damn time. Hopefully this coincides with a price drop (or sale) as well.

    Also, that scenario thing is a bit of what I was talking about in my initial criticism of the game; glad to see it getting some objective focused content.

    Maybe a full blown objective based campaign (ala Space Colony; both economic and combat focused ones) is out of the scope of the game, but it would really bring so much more perceived content into the game.

  39. Ulf

    As already written, an alternative or parallel to Steam, GOG is without keys and constraints. 😉

  40. Kegereneku

    I love the whole thing, but I’m bothered in that some part imply we won’t get to ever get “ENDING” other than the spaceship one.

    …or get to chose while in game, rather than with the Scenario-system.

  41. Andy_Dandy

    Cool! I hope we can slow down walk and mining speeds etc too, not just speeding them up (because I wont be interested in any speeding up).

  42. Artym (Czech)

    I’m going to delete pirated version: D SELL ME IT!! SELL ME IT! 😀

  43. Rita

    For people like me, who enjoy the basebuilder and focus on creating thriving colonies with lots of tamed animals, an option to neuter animals would be very welcome. I know that I could eventually separate females and males, but neutering would allow all the animals to still coexist with each other without me having so many puppies and calves. Just a thought.

  44. Céline Sauvé

    Rather disappointed this is going to be Steam only.

    Limits your DRM-only supporters quite a bit.

    I don’t care if I can’t import other people’s Scenarios, but this seems to imply that I won’t even be able to create any for my own use without STEAM-DRM Workshot use.

  45. […] of it, as it’s been around—in alpha form—since 2013. Now, like most things, it’s heading to Steam; at the same time, RimWorld will be expanded with a new scenario system that allows you to select […]

  46. Celine, everything except Steam Workshop will work on and off Steam. Non-Steam users can still create, save, and share Scenarios. They just obviously can’t do it on Steam Workshop, since they’re not logged into Steam.

  47. Brian

    Heya Tynan, have there already been discussions around multiple “colonies” on a single map? I’ve been kind of simulating this by creating separate zones, and splitting up colonists to those zones manually. Would be cool to have NPC colonies that just meander in their corner of the map and have some occasional interaction.

  48. […] die Ludeon Studios mitteilen, soll ihre von Titeln wie Dwarf Fortress, Firefly, FTL und Dune inspirierte […]

  49. Céline Sauvé

    Mr. Sylvester, that is perfect! 😀

    I just dislike games that integrate things with STEAM so much that they’re no longer options in the actual game itself.

  50. Andreas Macho

    Will there be a possible to preoder the game?

  51. Gabriel Harfield

    One of the best games I’ve ever played… And I’ve played a lot of games since the 80ties… Thank you for this awesome game! Really hope you can give us Steam Keys, but if you can’t, I’ll probably buy your game again on Steam, you really diserve it!

  52. Zane

    So from reading some of the comments Tynan, isit that say I where to buy rimworld on the main page right now, eventually I would get a steam key? Probems with I don’t know when my computer is getting cleared for reasons and I don’t want to risk potential buying the game then losing it. FAQ said that its not guaranteed, but from comments above its just saying you can’t give Keys out until after release?

  53. Zane, you could never lose the game. Even off Steam, you can re-download it at any time from

    As for the Steam key, I’m afraid Valve doesn’t allow me to sell the keys to the game if it’s not also being sold on Steam, so I can’t *promise* a Steam key.

  54. Zasig


    Everybody who bought the game will every time be able to get the newest version.

    The point i don’t really get is that:

    You are able and allowed to generate and give keys for your game once it is released ?

    But you are not able to sell the keys if it is not also being sold on Steam ?

    So you should be able to give keys to all who bought it. You could generate just x keys and send an key to everyone.

    Please correct me if i’m wrong, i’m just getting through the comments and try to understand ^^. I would like to have all the perks of steam, like cloud saving and everything, but i would be a bit sad if i would need to buy the game again just to have these perks.

    But besides that,

    Tynan thanks, it’s really really really an awesome game. Sometimes i start a round an Sunday morning and when i look for the time it’s already 6PM. Since years it’s a game which i can play for hours and hours without getting bored.

    Keep your good work and maybe you could think about MP. Nothing heavy or new. Maybe just starting on a map with your friend, both with their own colonists, just allowed to interact or fight each other.

  55. Ash


    I was confused about the wording too, but then I realized many people hold off on buying a game until it’s on Steam.

    So if a developer guarantees Steam keys for a game that is not yet purchasable on Steam, the developer guarantee will cause them to buy before the Steam release.

    But then, if the game never actually makes it to Steam, there would be a lot of annoyed people and Valve would be drawn into the mess.

    So once Rimworld is on Steam I would guess that everyone who asks for a key will be given one.

  56. Zasig


    Ah ok, that makes sense! So no “promises” on keys 😉

    Thanks 🙂

  57. aalikane

    I’ve been doing the rich man scenario on my own using the prepare carefully mod for a year now. I love it. Can’t wait to see what other scenarios are included.

  58. Tec

    That sounds nice and all, but I have one major concern/request: Will the game (finally) get a Borderless Windowed mode?

    I mean, the game is Perfect for a game to idly play/on the background, on a second monitor, yet it is missing that one thing to make it truly perfect

  59. One important question to Tynan.
    Recently I bought a game and I think, that I got a steam code when game will be released. Now I see, that there are problem and I can’t get the code?

    BTW: is fair when I give game installer to my friend? I can’t share it in other way (Steam Family Sharing).
    Plz respond.

  60. Tec – I’ll look at borderless windowed mode. I’m not sure if Unity supports this.

    HAKIMODO – Please see the FAQ about Steam keys.

    Please don’t share the game you bought; it’s for you only. Your friend should buy their own copy to play on their computer.

  61. Jugo

    Awesome, I’d love to be able to open certain specialty shops in the colony. For example, a food stop for spacers or renting space for other colonizers to set up shop in your colony.The food stop could be run by colonist that create excellent dishes in exchange for silver.

  62. Makkenhoff

    Loving the scenario editor idea, it will likely be my new favorite option in RimWorld.

    Any chance within the editor or world creation itself that we will be able to set certain types of critters as “not native” to a certain planet or scenario? I think it would be nice to have a sliding scale to sort of tweak the specifics of what we might find on a planet/scenario.

  63. Zane

    I forgot to ask but is there a way if i have the game, which i have bought it, where i can play older alpha’s? or is that not a thing.

  64. Anon

    Any chance you will include an option for showing both Celsius and Fahrenheit? Not useful for any normal players but would make it easier for youtubers that make videos for your game. Can’t wait for A14!

  65. Anon – For over a year now, you’ve been able to choose between Celsius, Fahrenheit and Kelvin in the options menu.

  66. Anon

    Meant an option to display both at the same time in the UI, don’t recall an option that let you do that.

  67. Anon2

    not to spark a metric system debate, but it’s good enough that you are given the option for 3 display settings already, even for streamer or youtuber.

    especially since everyone should atleast be able to convert temperature themselves, its like not knowing about time zones.

    so as a suggestion, teach your viewers how to quickly convert temperature in their heads without calculator instead..

    C->F: just multiply by 2 and add 30
    F->C: just subtract 30, then devide by 2

    (im answering this because i think its absurd to request another way to display temperature from the dev; but if you really need that feature visit the forum and post there and see if it gets enough community support to be considered)

  68. Celsius/Fahrenheit Anon

    @Anon2 the conversion of

    C -> F is (Celsius*1.8)+32
    F -> C is (Fahrenheit-32)/1.8

    “C->F: just multiply by 2 and add 30
    F->C: just subtract 30, then devide by 2”

    your conversion is so horrendously wrong you’d read 37C (avg. body temp) as 104F (obviously not the avg body temp).

    Personally I’d also like a setting to have both temps shown at the same time. It’s only a personal preference in my case though.

  69. Celsius/Fahrenheit Anon

    I also forgot to mention this but @Tynan

    I feel that having both Fahrenheit & Celsius visibly listed at the same time within the game also provides an additional educational element to the game for the younger players. While it’s true they could just learn it on their own time, I believe by having both temps listed at the same time, players will become familiar with the correlation of the two temperatures and start making connections about how 37C is 98.6F (Average Body Temperature) It’s definitely a good opportunity in my opinion to provide exposure & learning of temperatures. There’s a number of people, young and old, who don’t know how to convert temperatures or at the very least correlate how hot or cold something is based off of 110F or 12C because they may only know how to read the other temp system.

    I’d like to reiterate that this implementation would solely for convenience and/or to provide the opportunity for players to learn more about the correlation between the 2 temperature systems so that they may apply what they’ve learned in real life scenarios.

  70. José

    YOU BEAUTIFUL PEARSON! Bring this to steam asap please!

  71. Paulinas

    more updates more

  72. Anders

    I would highly prefer to have game on steam than through the normal distribution system where I have to save an URL. Steam will also allow me to include mods hazzle-free.

    You should do your outmost to ensure that anyone who bought the game before steam release, will have the same benifits as those buying the game later on steam. Especially because sales will eventually happen. In which case I will feel cheated upon, if someone gets game cheaper, with easy mod access, and easy access to redownload, without saving a specific URL.

    I would only feel cheated upon because I absolutely adore this gem of a game 😀

  73. Ryan

    Will we be able to edit the climate cycle to just start warmer or colder and remain in that state permanently?

    It would be great to bias world generation for hot and cold, so we could get more temperate forests in northern latitudes or tundra near the equator on mountains.

  74. Pandora

    Can’t wait to update my mod and release it on the Workshop.

  75. Hawksquill

    Late to the party (been too busy trying to improve my game play!) but delighted to hear of the imminent early access steam and alpha 14. Like many others I feel this game is the best thing to come to my PC for a very long time and I cant fault it. All the extras are wonderful but I just want to remind Tynan and the team that the game is pretty near perfect as is. <3

  76. YouBeautifulDevs

    Tynan you and your devs have been doing great work! I think I got my game a little bit late, I know you cant “promise” anything, but I’m glad to hear the next bit. I can’t wait to see what you guys cook up before the steam release. I’ll be sure to give you guys a great review on steam after the release.

    One quick thing, I know this has been suggested before on the forum, but I’d also like to throw my name in the hat of people who would like the option to send away teams to trade and raid other settlements. Even better yet travel to new locations. This could add interesting scenarios like being a nomadic tribe, or having to escape a disaster affected area, or a last man standing type of scenario/

  77. Gino

    Realmente estoy emocionado por la actualización, pero a la vez un poco enojado por las llaves de steam que posiblemente no nos den 🙁

  78. Will we ever get our own faction leader like other factions? That would be a nice little thing to add. 🙂