Share this project


Share this project

A sci-fi colony sim driven by an intelligent AI storyteller.
9,498 backers pledged CA$ 268,132 to help bring this project to life.

Alpha 1 Released

Posted by Tynan Sylvester (Creator)
It’s finally here – Alpha 1!
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.

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 Tomé, 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. 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. 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 this Alpha (otherwise it'll be later).

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!


Devil Khan, Bryant Sandoval, and 54 more people like this update.


Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Tynan Sylvester Creator on

      Get everyone, if you're having trouble getting the new build, there's info here:…

    2. Tom Killingbeck on

      I'm in the same boat as Blake and Santiago. Will there be another round of alpha emails sent out?

    3. Yourtime on

      @Gavin I think so too lol.
      @chaosprime I learned out of it, thats the best build the funerals first and then give the corpse free for all.

      well I made now already my first 100 day game and have over 50 funerals? xD I have more weapons than lamps. You should be able to sell them lol. (I am sure this is planned)

      Now my ... 4th new game. Totally great start, Now i know how to start, whats important and how to avoid mass damage from raiders.. what happens? 50 days no raider lol. Really I got no raider till 50, I use always the first AI.

      worst game start?: 3 people random (I am too lazy always to randomize my start people, till i have as i would like to start) and 2 of them could do nothing else than research and firefighting lol.

    4. Missing avatar

      Blake on

      I got the email about the update but i didn't get a file to download... i paid $30 but i got nothing.... can someone tell me where to get it?

    5. Missing avatar

      Santiago on

      Hi, Im a colonist and I didnt get any email with Alpha version yet. When is it going to be ready? After read all comments, I'm even more excited to have the game. Thanks.

    6. Tynan Sylvester Creator on

      M.A. - the alerts in the top right are meant to handle that kind of situation.

      Chosen - I hope to update on something like a monthly schedule. It's a good length of cycle to add some features, test, stabilize, release, and get feedback.

    7. TheChosenOne on

      Do you plan to do monthly updates like (yea that slightly simular game) the Prison Architect guys? I love those video's with them talking about the updates and showcasing them/stuff. Bit of comedy added and ♥.
      Also when do you plan to bring the game to Steam? This would be a great game for Early Access (just communicate well on the page about the game status!). And I prefer to have it on Steam, I can wait with playing. :)
      @Nick: Not much sense in making a tutorial when the game isn't even done. Maybe a light tutorial at some point which can be expanded.

    8. Missing avatar

      Nick Kuijpers on

      Am i doing something wrong or isn't there a tutorial?

    9. M.A. on

      Could the adaptive tutor be made to remind of something that the player doesn't seem to be doing enough or at all but needs to be done even though it has been mentioned already? Like if the colonists are starving, likely to abandon the place, none of the colonists are armed, etc. Unless those will be made into HUD elements to show general needs/status.

    10. Michael Hicklin on

      This game is too addictive :P
      installed last night then was up until 6 AM

    11. Rompcat

      This game is such a treat! A+!!!!

    12. Germán Rojo Eguren on

      The game is a ton of fun as it is now. I don't know how to do some things, but it's GREAT!. Thank you, Tynan!. I only regret not having supported it with more money (had to downgrade my pledge from 30 to 20$).

    13. Missing avatar

      Christoffer Olofsson on

      Any information about the Steam-release?

    14. Pirx Danford on

      First time player here. Did play it way too much yesterday evening and must say its already pretty awesome. Some control elements take a while to understand, but mostly its pretty intuitive. Love the gritty vibe :-)

    15. Toby Wild on

      Had a fun few games last night.
      Thought I was going well until my prisoners all died, no warden.

      Every game I learnt something new, like house the damn batteries :)

    16. Tynan Sylvester Creator on

      Torment - Working on modding, maybe some combat stuff, equipment and apparel mechanics.

    17. Torment- The Enduring Exile on

      What's planned for Alpha 2? Have you picked the modules you want to implement?

    18. Rex705 on

      Didn't think it was possible but the game is even more awesome I just can't stop playing. To think it's only in alpha O__O I can't wait to see the finished game.

    19. Tynan Sylvester Creator on

      Haha, I love squirrel-induced deaths.

      Malcolm - if you find a bug, please report it on the Bugs forum at

    20. Steve Adamo on

      congratulations Tynan! all the best as you continue to amaze and delight... :D

    21. chaosprime

      Really, really, really sick of people having mental breaks triggered by the stack of raider corpses sitting in the MAIN RESOURCE STOCKPILE that nobody will bury and I'm not allowed to prioritize burial of.

    22. Missing avatar

      Russell Rutherford on

      I'm an Influencer, I didn't get an email, but I found an old link and went there to get this new version.

    23. lokiracer on

      @Marcus I'm a colonist tier and received an email this morning with a link to download the alpha.

    24. Missing avatar

      Marcus on

      Wait so does this mean the colonists tier will get their keys?

    25. Gavin Reading Rainbow KS backer! on

      @Yourtime - LOL! Beaten by a squirrel! Next time you should make a combat squirrel cage and breed them!

    26. Malcolm Gin on

      Thanks for releasing the build. I was getting antsy.

      Where do you want bugs reported?

    27. lokiracer on

      Good god. I've been playing for a couple hours and I'm completely addicted. Hands down the best game I've backed on Kickstarter so far.

    28. Gavin Reading Rainbow KS backer! on

      "And that’s just when they’re naked."

      Funniest update ever!! =D

    29. Missing avatar

      Derek Lewis on

      Awesome progress! Really looking forward to seeing (and playing!) the continued progress as RimWorld matures. :)

    30. Aselwyn1

      I attempted to play but was not sure what I needed to do or how so we need some more tutorial

    31. Yourtime on

      well it is awesome :D and that was my first play....

      My people died because a squirrel got on rampage attacked my scientiest (that was for doctoring) he went on rampage, second person had to knock him off, was herself wounded, then the scientist died, she died later on the day and the third one (the one with the gun) killed the rampage squirrel that exploded and fire came out... he died because of the fire...

      in the end i lost because of the squirrel :D

    32. Nate Brengle

      Had a chance to play this a bunch last night. Super impressed! Well done, sir. Well done.