Hi everyone, RimWorld dev here. I figured it would be good to just write a quick post noting what's been important to us recently and clearing up some of the confusion since there are a few myths going around. So call this half a random blog post, half a mythbusting infodump.
Here's some of the things that have been important to us recently:
Supporting modders: I was a modder for 5+ years, back in the days of Unreal Tournament. So mod support, and supporting the mod community has been critical to us for a long time.
That's why we've brought A-list modders like Brrainz and Fluffy to give feedback on our development internally with 1.1 and Royalty. We also did a public beta of version 1.1 to give time for mods to be updated. We added multi-version support for mods so players would still be able to continue on version 1.0 without mods breaking (if modders choose to support that - sadly some did not). And I'm always looking for better ways to help out modders.
Supporting modders also means being clear about the relationship between mod content and official content:
- The Royalty expansion is 100% original content created by us. With 6,000 mods out for RimWorld, it's bound to have some superficial resemblance to a few of them, but these resemblances are skin deep. In implementation it's all made by us. In actual play it's a distinct experience, dramatically different from all the mods it's been compared to, backed by 16 months of development from the same team that made RimWorld.
- The free 1.1 update includes one piece of mod content, the Vanilla Animals art by Oskar Potocki. Since Oskar worked for us making the art for Royalty, he offered the Vanilla Animals art as well. We redesigned these animals in terms of gameplay, and added original sound effects. Besides the animal art, we made everything in 1.1 ourselves.
Expanding Ludeon: Through all of RimWorld development from 2013 to its release in 2018, our team size hovered between two and three developers. Since the game's release, we've been scaling up. Now we're at seven developers, which has allowed us to work on multiple projects in parallel.
This is how we've been able to commit resources both to improving RimWorld's core and adding new free content, as well as developing a rich expansion that opens up new kinds of gameplay. What was one team working on RimWorld became two teams - one working on RimWorld, and another implementing Royalty. I directed both teams as before, so nothing changed on that front. Certainly nothing was 'outsourced'.
Keeping the community together: With an expansion pack, there is always the worry that the community could be split into different shards, where one part has the expansion and the other doesn't. This is a concern with mods, because people want mods to be widely compatible. It's been something at the front of my mind since we started working on Royalty in 2018. So Royalty is carefully designed not to modify any of the 'bases' of gameplay in RimWorld.
For example, some features, like the new Quest system, are included in the 1.1 free update since it wouldn't be natural to make these an add-on.
Royalty is designed to be a clean drop-in piece expansion, so only mods that expand directly on its unique content will need to depend on it. I expect nearly all mods going forward to work equally well with or without Royalty. We'll be watching this and adjusting things to keep the community unified going forward.
On another note, I've noticed some broken-telephone going on about things I've said in the past, so I think it's worth correcting the record here to be clear.
Some people were under the impression that I said I was finished with RimWorld. The truth is expressed in this Reddit post from January 2017
. I said at that time, "It won't be perfect, of course. Nothing ever is. And I won't even be finished with it
. But - it'll be finished."
I've seen a few messages indicating people thought I said the game would never ever go on sale. That would be a pretty extreme position and it's one I have never held. You'll see in this July 2016 Reddit post
I note that RimWorld could go on sale someday. I said at that time, "Of course it'll be on sale eventually, but that's probably years away." Note that this post right now is not saying that it'll be on sale soon or later or never - I'm just clearing the air on things I've said in the past.
Anyway, thanks for reading everyone. Happy to answer any more questions.