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Topics - Tynan

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I've seen this happen several times. It's an old bug. The below YouTube video has a good example, but there are many other configurations that create this problem.

One obvious way to debug is just to run a bunch of random checks across random points on the map, ensuring that A-can-shoot-B = B-can-shoot-A in all cases.

Official discussion thread for this blog post.


Translations / Note on translating for Royalty
« on: February 25, 2020, 09:15:24 PM »
Hi all, just a quick note on translating for Royalty.

You can do it in the same repo as the base language, just by making a folder for Core and one for Royalty.

The German translation has an example. See here:

As always, thank you deeply to all translators.

General Discussion / RimWorld 1.1 available on unstable Steam branch
« on: February 16, 2020, 09:47:41 PM »
Official discussion thread for this post!

Ideas / About this board
« on: December 05, 2019, 09:47:51 AM »
The ideas board is a place for players to discuss ideas for the game with each other. Modders can also use it as a source of ideas.

For legal reasons, Ludeon developers won't be reviewing this forum or any of the threads in it (or any game development suggestions/ideas posted or sent by any other means). I haven't had time to look at the forum for many years anyway, and unfortunately, there is too much risk that someone could try to claim ownership of an idea that we implemented because they happened to have sent/posted something similar here. It wouldn't be a valid claim, but people can still file invalid lawsuits, and I really don't need the trouble. Combined with the fact that many of the ideas for this game are fairly obvious (thus people often suggest things we were planning to do anyway), and it seems too legally risky. I'm sorry it had to be this way, but I hope players can still enjoy the forum together.

General Discussion / 1.0 fixes in testing on unstable branch
« on: November 10, 2018, 02:30:12 AM »
This thread is for the related blog post.

Thanks to all who give it a try. Please let us know if it works, or doesn't work, in this thread.

General Discussion / Blog post: RimWorld 1.0 will be released October 17
« on: October 06, 2018, 11:27:11 PM »
This is the comments thread for discussing this blog post.

General Discussion / Version 1.0 is content-complete
« on: October 01, 2018, 10:29:21 PM »
Hey all. Version 1.0 is now content-locked. That means we'll only be changing it if there's a serious bug to address.

It's on the Steam unstable branch. Please, everyone who wishes, take it for a test run! It should be less buggy than Beta 19. We focused on bugfixing, so the only notable new feature is the food restrictions, which you can use to control what people are allowed to eat. If you do find a bug, please report it in the Bugs forum.

To enable the unstable branch, open your Steam library, right-click RimWorld, click Properties, go to the Betas tab, and select 'unstable' from the dropdown menu.

Modders, it'd be great if you could update your mods and make a version for 1.0. In general mods should require few to no changes to work for 1.0 - mostly just a recompile if you're using code.

The Beta19 release caused a lot of anger as some mods were updated in-place, while other mods weren't. So a lot of people had their savegames broken, often irrevocably. Heartbreak and anger, and it was pretty justified. As a player I certainly don't expect updates to trash a treasured save with no warning. Even going back to the old version didn't help if a mod was updated in-place to the new version.

That's why this time I'm placing the game up content-locked for a period before release, and recommending that modders please do not overwrite your Beta 19 versions of mods with your 1.0 version. It would be better to upload them separately onto the Workshop, to prevent breaking peoples' games when they change versions. (Many modders already do this but if everyone does, the mod version confusion disaster will be solved).

I won't enforce this in any way, of course. It's a request, motivated by a desire to not break that implicit "we won't trash your game" contract with players.

(EDIT: Backstory and reasoning why I'm requesting this).

I'm still working on selecting an exact release date. But the day is coming closer.

Translations and creative content

Though I hope to not update the code if possible, to preserve compatibility, I will be continuing to update the translations and creative content both before and after 1.0 release. This kind of content doesn't break compatibility. So translators and people entering creative content can continue to enter content without worrying that it'll be left out.

General Discussion / Blog post: Early access price and final price
« on: September 02, 2018, 12:02:08 AM »
This thread is for discussing this blog post.

General Discussion / Beta 19 - Polish the Cannons released!
« on: August 28, 2018, 12:44:20 AM »
Discussion thread for the blog post. Discuss away!

General Discussion / To RNG or not to RNG
« on: July 21, 2018, 01:01:25 AM »
Just a design discussion.

This isn't really new but as we approach 1.0 I've been thinking about it more. Basically I've seen a variety of variants on messages like this:

I just started a colony with no reloadable saves

I dont know how I'll like it, because when I reloaded it was for BS unlucky stuff

for instance: a melee guy I had (decked out in plasteel plate armor and advanced helmet) was one shot KO'd by a friendly fire bullet to the back of the neck

instantly died, wearing full plasteel, pure BS

It concerns me because this really goes to the heart of what RW has always been designed to be.

The original design intent of the game is that sometimes unlucky things will happen (especially if you take risks like with friendly fire), but the game is also designed so you can recover from bad situations. So it's up-and-down. Mostly you'll succeed, but sometimes you'll lose things, even if you play well. And that's part of the game. Kind of like poker.

This is as opposed to making good play always lead to an unbroken string of triumphs (like many games). The unbroken-triumph thing works fine but I thought it was also worth trying to do something different. Specifically focusing the game on story generation kind of requires that it can't just be unbroken perfect triumphs; a story of continuous victory isn't that interesting as a story. Every good story has setbacks in it.

Traditional games handle this by putting the failures in cutscenes and making the gameplay 100% victory. But if you generate the whole story as RW does, the failures have to be in gameplay too.

But very few games are trying to generate stories. Most games are skill test/reward pumps. We test your skill, and reward you in accurate proportion to the skill you showed. This is what people are used to, to a large degree, which may explain why they emotionally reject outcomes that fall outside these boundaries.

Is the anger reaction a consequence of caring about characters, or them being not easy to replace? Nobody minds that much when a marine dies in StarCraft because they're replacable. But either for story or gameplay reasons, people do tend to at least care about when people in RW die. Which sounds like a design success. But it also creates this anger reaction in some circumstances.

So basically there's some kind of complex psychological/design conflict going on between the traditional skill-test/reward pump game design and the story generator goals, and it creates this friction. Because RW is to some degree trying to mix both, but the goals of these two conflict strongly.

I'm thinking about how to handle this sort of thing. Thought it may be worth discussing. Questions to consider:

1. Should the game have a such a thing as bad luck outcomes that's not induced by some obvious, non-pressured, voluntary player decision? Or should I make a universal design standard that nothing bad ever happens unless the player actively induces it or makes some clearly-traceable mistake to cause it?

2. Should I just ignore some classes of player feedback as simply not linking up with what RW is? Are some players worth leaving alone to try to make a game that's different from the usual assumptions? Even if it leaves them pissed off because they intepreted a story generator as if it were a skill test?

3. Should players be able to consistently avoid losing people/resources even at high difficulty? At any difficulty?

4. Is there a way to set expectations (relative to the whole game, or relative to a given difficulty level) to encourage players to accept some degree of randomness to game outcomes? Or will they always reject this randomness and demand to be rewarded in accurate proportion to their skill/effort?

Translations / New translation cleaner tool
« on: July 18, 2018, 07:42:06 AM »
We just added a tool to the latest unstable build: The translation cleaner.

You can access it on the main menu in the translation info window on the bottom right, when any non-English localization is selected.

It does various things:
  • It inserts the English text in comments above each translation for reference, so you don't have to look back and forth at the English data.
  • If a translation key has been renamed in the game, the tool automatically renames it in the translation data.
  • If any key (in any category) isn't translated at all, the tool inserts a "TODO" translation. These are ignored by the game and also come with English reference text. So it's impossible for you to make a mistake in the translation keys since the system writes them for you.
  • Other useful tools!

The tool explains itself in-game when you click the button to use it.

Every translation team should be using this! At first if just one member of each team runs the tool and pushes the results to GitHub, most members may be able to translate without the game at all, or at least without integrating their translation files into the game.

Once you run the tool, it'll be very easy to find missing data by just searching for the string TODO on all the translation files, using either Visual Studio Code or any other program that can do a text search on all files in a folder.

Let me know how it works!

Bugs / [1.0] Loading pre-1.0 game causes game over on game start
« on: July 03, 2018, 07:06:36 AM »
Game over screen activates as soon as the game starts if you load a save from 1.0.

General Discussion / The balancing process
« on: June 19, 2018, 06:06:57 AM »
I've been reading feedback pretty intensely in the last few days. Most of it's positive but some players are writing concerns about things like animal taming maintenance or turret maintenance. I figured it might be worth offering some of my thinking on the balancing process. It could enrich the feedback process if you guys knew *why* I was making some of these changes. I can't guarantee I've got everything right (yet), but I can guarantee there is a thought process behind every change.

The first thing to note is that nothing is final yet. The whole reason we do unstable builds is to get feedback so that we can fix the problems. So if there's something you don't like in the unstable build, don't worry too much - if it does turn out on broad testing to be a bad idea I certainly intend to change it. And in fact I've already adjusted quite a bit in the few days since unstable came out. It's best to not get sad about something that may not even happen.

The second thing is that theorycrafting is really dangerous. Theorycrafting is when someone just reads or thinks about a game, imagines how it might play, and gives feedback based on that without actually playing it in significant depth. The problem is that games are frightfully difficult to imagine and hard to predict from a description. Even professional game designers with 15 years' experience can't theorize accurately at how a game design will play. I can't! So we use tons of coping mechanisms (constant playtests, short iteration cycles, unstable builds for feedback) to escape from our own mental incapacity. So it's best not to get sad about something you've just imagined - it may not turn out that way at all in real play.

The theorycrafting point I think is especially important on something like the animal training maintenance. Consider this: We all know they need maintenance now, but how much maintenance do they require? There's a huge difference between needing to re-train each animal every 4 days and needing to do it once every 60 days. But from the changelist, nobody can tell this since no numbers are written. Which means that theorycrafting about this change requires simply inventing a certain balance point - which could be off by more than 10-fold! From this alone, any imagined outcome from this must be suspicious since there's a really good chance it's off by 10x or more in terms of impact. Even those who think training maintenance is a negative change might be okay with it if it was 10x milder than they're imagining.

The actual intent with this change is specifically to make it so that super-swarms of attack animals are still viable and still powerful, but require commitment. In B18 you can have 100 attack boars for almost free. They feed themselves automatically by eating grass. They haul stuff for you, rescue your people, fight your battles with zero risk to colony or colonists, provide meat and leather (even when killed in battle), reproduce themselves for free. All this can be done for the price of training each (free) boar once. It's an insanely OP strategy in B18 to the point of being quasi game-breaking.

Animal training maintenance is quite mild; it should be barely noticeable at "normal" animal herd sizes and even if you have a mega-swarm it just means you need a few dedicated beastmasters to keep them all together. A few dedicated beastmasters is still a a small cost for the benefit of a mega attack animal swarm, it's still a bit OP compared to the core strategy of straight-up gunfighting. (Though I still plan to watch for more play stories about this and see how it really plays when someone tries it, the balance can still shift either way.)


Regarding how I'v approached balancing the game, here's one of the ways I see it. The way Beta 18 was, we can imagine there are 7 player strategies. Label them Strategy A, B, etc. What we had was this:

Challenge level: 6
Strategy A strength: 9
Strategy B strength: 8
Strategy C strength: 6
Strategy D strength: 5
Strategy E strength: 4
Strategy F strength: 3
Strategy G strength: 2

A few observations about this:
1. People love strategies A and B. They're super strong! They always work! They give you what you want, which is victory.
2. People don't even think about strategy F or G. These are newbie traps. You try them once, get your ass handed to you, and never touch them again. Bad for newbies, irrelevant for everyone else.
3. Much of the game mechanics are wasted. Since only 3 or 4 strategies are even viable, we've got whole game systems supporting strategies EFG which aren't really being engaged by players.
4. There's not much choice. If you want to do really well you pretty much have to use A and B. If you want to survive at all you can do a few more things, but you have to force it.
5. Strategies A and B are really easy, so you don't really have to engage the game much to play them. Not much risk, not much drama, not much thought.

Overall it's not a great situation. But how to remedy this?

Well, we could power up the challenge level to 9. Then strategy A would be nice and challenging, solving problem 5. But we've now totally obsoleted all the other strategies even more. There's even less choice; problem 4 gets way worse.

It's impossible to power all the strategies up to 9; there are inherent constraints in the game that make this impossible in some cases. E.g. if one strategy is "open field melee combat", it's almost inherently symmetrical between player and enemies; there's no elegant way to make this favor the player more. There are other constraints like, "does it make sense thematically" or "is it intuitive", etc. All these constraints are the fundamental challenge in balancing.

What I've tried to do is rejigger things so it's a bit more like this:

Challenge level: 5   <--- reduced slightly
Strategy A strength: 6    <--- nerf but still OP
Strategy B strength: 6    <--- nerf but still OP
Strategy C strength: 6    <--- the rest are unchanged
Strategy D strength: 5
Strategy E strength: 4
Strategy F strength: 3
Strategy G strength: 2

Some observations on this:

1. The old strategies that everyone loved are now nerfed! But...
2. The whole game challenge level is lower to compensate, which means...
3. A bunch of previously useless/newbie trap strategies are now viable.
4. It's still not perfect because it can't be due to the abovementioned constraints. We can't freely turn these dials. Some strats are still better.
5. But, overall, there's more choice, more variance. The player can, for role-playing, situational, or personal preference reasons, succeed in more ways. There are more ways to design your base, more strategies, more variant stories.

Basically what I'm getting at is that sometimes good game design really does require nerfing stuff that players previously liked to do. But if you evaluate the game from the point of view of a new player, instead of from the POV of someone who had a valuable strategy taken away, it's obviously a better game.


Looking at other specific cases:

---Turret maintenance is a targeted resource sink for late-game killbox-heavy colonies. The idea is that killboxes remain perfectly viable, but they are now an *economic* solution to *military* problems. Which I think is interesting.

Another goal with this was to minimally affect colonies who use fewer turrets. This is why I didn't just debuff the turret straight up. I want turrets to be useful even when there's just one, but without some other cost there's no way to do that without making turrets OP in large numbers.

So the turret maintenance is quite cheap, and takes several battles to even kick in for the first time.

Another goal was to make it possible for us to put in more powerful turrets (autocannon turret) without totally breaking the game. The mini-turret was already OP in B18, there's no way we could add an autocannon turret and keep it balanced without some sort of structural disadvantage. So turret maintenance allows more powerful turrets, further emphasizing the economy <-> combat relationship.

Finally there's a high-level issue with late-game colonies getting super ridiculously rich. Turret maintenance forms a long-term late game resource sink. Also note that the ship is a lot cheaper to build now, which opens space for this.

-Like I mentioned, animal training maintenance is a targeted change specifically to bring the "mega animal swarm" strategy somewhere in the neighborhood of a reasonable level of effectiveness.

It also addresses the late-game resource overflow issue. You can eschew turrets and instead us an animal mega-swarm, but now you need some good handlers and a good amount of food to keep all those animals trained and healthy. Again, perfectly viable, but no longer trivial.

And now, since the overall challenge level is lower, some more basic strategies should become more viable. I'm talking about things like "build sandbags and just fight them in a gunfight" or "draw them indoors and melee their asses".

Other changes relate to that too. For example, armor is now a chance-of-damage-cancel instead of a damage reduction. This means there are less wounds, but the wounds you get are significant. But, medicine is spent per wound, so this reduces time and medicine spend tending wounds, which on the econ side makes straight-up combat more viable. It also means that if you can get some really awesome armor, sending melee fighters to actually fight should be more viable since there's a real good chance you can win without getting hurt, as opposed to previous builds where you might win but you'd have a bunch of damage-reduced (but still bleeding) wounds - possibly on your eyes or brain.

There's a million more relationships like this too.


There's lots more to write. In fact I could probably do a book on this (har har) but I figured this is enough for one day. I don't think everyone will agree with my thinking, but I figured everyone would at least understand the portion of it I'm capable of writing down here. Please do keep on with the feedback!

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