Telling Stories – Rimworld

I have always wanted to play Dwarf Fortress. I have downloaded it several times. It’s hard, and I haven’t found the patience to truly learn it or get into it. Dwarf Fortress is very much a game like EVE to me – great to read about, not fun to play.  While it is a similar result to each other, they are two titles that couldn’t be further from each other in style or substance. Enter Rimworld, and early access title on Steam that has spiritual similarities to Dwarf Fortress but a “Friendlier” interface and graphics package. I started reading some of the stories that were generated through play throughs of the title, and decided to plunk down the $30 to give it a try on my own. I instantly had buyers remorse. After a few slow starts and some confusion I realized that this title is going to take patience and perhaps reading about the stories would have been a more fun use of my time instead of slogging through the game itself. Still, that was such a quick and unfair assumption and the title deserved a bit more of my attention. So I tried again. And again. And finally, I had a breakthrough and started sorting things out, and it starting being fun. This is the starting story of my Rimworld adventure.

There are currently three build in scenarios, and I chose the one that was most like me. Ok, that isn’t true, but chose the one that felt like the easiest start. With only one person to manage, that should be much easier! Also, having gun turret research in hand sounds like something handy to have on an alien planet. Just saying.

The AI Storyteller manages story events and encounters. I took the Classic approach, did a mid range “difficulty”, and also agreed to permadeath mode. I mean, YOLO and all of that. Upon further reading, Random Randy seems to be the preferred storyteller (keeps it more interesting – Cassandra has a series of well paced, escalating encounters, from my understanding). I probably won’t make it through a year so Randy will get the nod next time.

I hit randomize around 30 times to find a young, male player. There were options for 70 year old people, but I figured I need to be prepared to live basically forever on my first play-through so I really should find someone young. Besides, who doesn’t want “Starship Janitor” as their Adulthood backstory?

The map options are absolutely gigantic. You literally pick a pixel of that play area as your home base. You do NOT get the option of moving around outside of that though, which I feel like is very limiting to the game. Still, I wanted to choose an island, among the mass, so I did.

You can see by my little pixel and all the things about it – Avg temps (and by season), types of stones, growing seasons, and then some. I should have did “random” to be in better spirit of the game.

Again, just like real life. This feels more like telling the future, than a game.

I decide to build into an existing sandstone structure instead of building a base outside. It just feels safer.  One way in, one way out! This always worked for dwarves (historically, right?) so why not rich space travellers? I have a healthy starting inventory so I ignore things such as finding food sources and building defences while labouring away inside my soon to be mountain home. Then, tragedy strikes, an encounter! Which I didn’t even realize was happening because I wasn’t paying full attention.

It’s hard to see, and I forgot to take a screenshot in my frantic defense from a MAN HUNTING TURTLE (yes, you read that correctly.) I was attacked by a man hunting turtle. The man-hunting adjective in the tutorial explains that if you go hide, the beast will wait around and search for you. I have never heard of a turtle being vicious, let alone man-hunting. Seem to be this turtle was kick-ass – it cracked my jaw, bit my torso AND bit my left leg causing trivial blood loss.

And with that, I end my introduction of my adventure and Rimworld. Stopping after successfully defending an attack from a Man Hunting turtle is about the most excitement that has happened thus far and seems like a high point to end this post and start this series.