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Tynan  [developer] Feb 25, 2020 @ 6:55pm
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RimWorld mythbusting, and what's been important to us recently
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.
Last edited by Tynan; Feb 25, 2020 @ 6:59pm
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Showing 1-15 of 140 comments
Coopnt Feb 25, 2020 @ 7:00pm 
Did the most recent update just now (rev 601) change some of the Unity .dlls from what they were on 1.1 official release yesterday? edit:(still 1.1.2552 but different rev #)

p.s. I like your position on DLC re: not splitting the community. Seems like that's increasingly been a problem in other popular games lately.
Last edited by Coopnt; Feb 25, 2020 @ 7:03pm
pauloandrade224 Feb 25, 2020 @ 7:04pm 
I thought it was always only you tynan Developing this masterpiece.

Nice job on getting more peps to help.

Also gotta say that you guys made such a malleable (Aka you can change it however you want to) for us players that its simply impossible to ever finish rimworld in our lifetimes (of course when we include every mod for rimworld) which is really good.

I love being able to tailor the game to what i want or simply add so much stuff that i can play fir thousands of hours without getting too bored.

On behalf of everyone

THANK YOU! "Muah"
Tynan  [developer] Feb 25, 2020 @ 7:06pm 
Originally posted by Coopnt:
Did the most recent update just now (rev 601) change some of the Unity .dlls from what they were on 1.1 official release yesterday? edit:(still 1.1.2552 but different rev #)

There was no update yesterday, not sure what you're referring to. Note: The rev number relates to the time of day the build is made, while the build number (2552) relates to which day it is made.
Coopnt Feb 25, 2020 @ 7:08pm 
Originally posted by Tynan:
Originally posted by Coopnt:
Did the most recent update just now (rev 601) change some of the Unity .dlls from what they were on 1.1 official release yesterday? edit:(still 1.1.2552 but different rev #)

There was no update yesterday, not sure what you're referring to. Note: The rev number relates to the time of day the build is made, while the build number (2552) relates to which day it is made.

Must be a steam thing then, with delayed updating of a couple files from 1.1 unstable -> 1.1 stable. (it downloaded a couple new dlls for me earlier today but nothing else changed) Thanks!

edit: Figured out what was confusing me. 'version.txt' says 1.1.2552 rev601, but the 'Player.log' file after running the game reports RimWorld 1.1.2552 rev605. Verified everything was up to date with steam verify files.This is probably what is causing some mods to report a version mismatch because they check the version.txt file. Posted in case it helps some mod authors with troubleshooting.
Last edited by Coopnt; Feb 25, 2020 @ 7:31pm
Tynan  [developer] Feb 25, 2020 @ 7:45pm 
That's interesting. It would be because one file appears a few minutes after the other in the build process. No mods are intended to check version.txt, they should check the assembly version in the game. But maybe we should make this stricter to prevent such errors.

Thanks for discovering that and noting it!
Coopnt Feb 25, 2020 @ 7:56pm 
Originally posted by Tynan:
That's interesting. It would be because one file appears a few minutes after the other in the build process. No mods are intended to check version.txt, they should check the assembly version in the game. But maybe we should make this stricter to prevent such errors.

Thanks for discovering that and noting it!

Happy to help! Just figured it was worth noting because I saw some mod authors were relying on the version.txt, what with all the post-1.1 mod update frenzy the past couple days.
Lurlex Feb 25, 2020 @ 9:34pm 
I admit I was susceptible to one of the positions I assumed you had because I heard-from-a-person-from-a-person-who-also-heard-from-another-person, I apologize for that. It's a good lesson to always seek out the actual source of the quote and read for yourself.

You're the most dedicated developer I've ever seen, and also very well-spoken, there's eloquence all throughout every last syllable you typed. You definitely support the modding part of your work very well, and I just .... well, thanks for making the stuff you made.

Best of luck to you.
Last edited by Lurlex; Feb 25, 2020 @ 9:35pm
icurnvs776 Feb 25, 2020 @ 9:47pm 
First of all, thank you SO much for giving us this surprise expansion pack!! (Alongside an amazing 1.1 update!) I really appreciate you and your team’s willingness to go to various forums to answer questions from more than just games media. You all are an amazing example of what a game company SHOULD be.
I realize this might sound ungrateful after such a massive launch...however would you be willing to say if you are going to be continuing to work on new future content for the game? My friends and I are excited to hear your reply on this!

So yeah sorry to be all sappy but I genuinely applaud you and your team and congratulations on the X-pac launch!
Have a great day!
J🅾JI Feb 25, 2020 @ 10:34pm 
that post about MODS gave me KENSHI vibes (since they are focusing on making it more open for modders to for the sequel of that game) but this post was good I'll get this DLC one day. I am wondering how dwarf fortress will do this kind of stuff with it's villain updates or future updates if it'll be free or DLC.
Morkonan Feb 25, 2020 @ 10:38pm 
Originally posted by Tynan:
...Anyway, thanks for reading everyone. Happy to answer any more questions.

I just want to say "Thank you" for showing up in the Steam forums.

"Thank you."

;)

And, to also say I don't have an criticisms for anything you've done with the DLC. It's up for the market to decide, now.

Though, one thing I'll point out that you've already acknowledged - A little bit of preemptive marketing would have certainly made this whole thing much better and decidedly smoother. You could have easily generated some excitement, support, positive feel-good expectation for the rewards to come, a bit of an uptick in base-game sales as friends work their social networks, quite a bit (Literally bajillions of tons) of absolutely free marketing going on, everywhere, all leading up to "The Day" when everyone's favorite hat-wearing simulator gets its first DLC!

Instead, you basically walked into the room and announced without any foerwarning that all the Rimworld players were now pregnant... That kind of news needs a bit of a softer approach. At least a glass of wine and a movie or something would have been nice.

PS - Thanks a ton for putting all of those new mechanics in the 1.1 update and not locking out new mechanics as exclusive for the DLC! That is friggin' awesome news and you need to market that 100% right this moment. Get out there so people know what you've given them for free and that you're not splitting the mod system due to versioning/DLC mechanic problems! Great job and thanks for that! 100% Gold and fans need to know about this.
Tynan  [developer] Feb 25, 2020 @ 11:11pm 
Morkonan - Definitely some lessons learned on marketing over here. I did originally want to announce before release, but there were some delays with the trailer. The project was stretching on, I didn't want to delay any more, and I talked to Steam reps and it seemed to make sense to us to just pull an Apex Legends and release it all at once. I figured it would be okay since there was a free update coming out at the same time. But the devil is in the details I suppose; the approach has to be tailored t the situation.

Some of the stuff that has come up are things I really never would have thought of. Like the idea of taking a bunch of mods uncredited and just selling them. I can't imagine any serious developer doing that; I've never heard of a developer doing that; it would never even cross my mind. We did a long period of testing with players and modders (in secret) to try to get these outside perspectives but some of them still never came up. I agree with you that a slower, staged public release might have brought such concepts to the fore earlier where they could be headed off more effectively.

Anyway, I'll definitely be going over everything for lessons learned in the future.
Last edited by Tynan; Feb 26, 2020 @ 12:54am
Dreamer Feb 26, 2020 @ 1:23am 
Hi, Tynan. Its understandable that you want to make more money with your successful game, but did you really have to make the DLC so expensive? You mention that it targets fans, but why would you target fans with such a high price? 17 Eur is a lot of money for very little content compared to the base game, which isn't free (or at least cheap). I bought today AC Odyssey for 14 eur, a massive AAA game, fully voiced, made by hundreds of people in years of work, for example.

What worries me is this is just the start, and you will have a store page with multiple small expansions worth 100 euro+, untouchable by most people, targeting fans, the dark path some big and small companies have taken. Your marketing guy might take his info from the wrong places.
danky kang Feb 26, 2020 @ 1:55am 
Originally posted by Dreamer:
Hi, Tynan. Its understandable that you want to make more money with your successful game, but did you really have to make the DLC so expensive? You mention that it targets fans, but why would you target fans with such a high price? 17 Eur is a lot of money for very little content compared to the base game, which isn't free (or at least cheap). I bought today AC Odyssey for 14 eur, a massive AAA game, fully voiced, made by hundreds of people in years of work, for example.

What worries me is this is just the start, and you will have a store page with multiple small expansions worth 100 euro+, untouchable by most people, targeting fans, the dark path some big and small companies have taken. Your marketing guy might take his info from the wrong places.
I agree that it does seem expensive.

But this is how a capitalist society works. It's clearly not too expensive or it wouldn't be sitting at the top of the Steam charts. So I think his marketing guy was spot on.

Tynan created a great piece of software and the world has decided that an addon that costs 14 eur is worth it.

I applaud him charging this much for it.
Last edited by danky kang; Feb 26, 2020 @ 1:56am
Hykal Feb 26, 2020 @ 1:59am 
Pulling an Apex might be the correct move. After all, it's the top selling DLC at the moment. Sounds like it worked. I'd take that over waiting a week for Royalty to release.

As for "stealing mod ideas" , Larian Studios more or less incorporated popular mods with Original Sin 2. Frankly most people here would be estatic if you made Allow Tool and Wall Lights as vanilla features. While I doubt Save Our Ship or What the Hack! will be vanilla anytime soon, I'd really don't mind for more QoL support.

Price is subjective, but I think it's just a very small minority being angry. Don't mind paying 20 bucks for it.
Last edited by Hykal; Feb 26, 2020 @ 2:00am
Tynan  [developer] Feb 26, 2020 @ 1:59am 
@Dreamer Not sure you what you mean about AC Odyssey. It costs $60/60 Euro. It was on sale for $24/24 Euro at one point, but that was a month ago, not today. It doesn't seem to have ever gone for $14.

Anyway, leaving that aside, if a comparison will be made it needs to be to something comparable. Ubisoft sells in a different market using different strategies, at a much larger scale. Odyssey probably cost $40 million to make. By that standard, if you want to match the input budget of those games against price, it would mean RW itself should cost like $2.

More reasonable comparisons are to comparable niche games from Klei or even Paradox. Stellaris DLC are about $17.50 and they were made in 6 months. We spent 16 months on Royalty, so should it thus cost $45? But, our team is smaller than theirs, so is it a real comparison? Then you run into the problem where everything is compared againt the top few most value-efficient games in existence, like comparing to Factorio (or RimWorld). But we can't be angry at every developer for not making every product comparable to the top few most value-efficient games ever made. And a developer can easily point to niche products with high prices for low dev costs in other games as a counterpoint (like $20 airplanes in a flight sim, or even $20 skins).

I think comparing games with each other on price is fraught because it's ultimately arbitrary whether you want to take into account dev time, dev budget, player count, sales, company size, other games in the series, or which other product you want to compare to.

The thing is - Whether a price is right is entirely relative to a particular consumer's budget, alternatives, and desires. What's a high price for one person is super cheap for another. e.g I wouldn't buy AC Odyssey for a dollar, because I'm just not interested in that kind of game now. But I'd pay $80 for Factorio because it's fascinating to me. I'd never buy a plane in a flight sim, but for lots of people they seem to make sense. More power to them.

That's what I mean when I say the expansion makes great sense for fans. I don't think it's reasonable to ask me to try to price something so low that every single RW player should get it (at least on release - for future sales, who knows). There are lots of people who have played RimWorld, who would probably get more value out of grabbing AC Odyssey on sale instead of Royalty, and they should do that. I'd rather make a few niche products that are great for the people they're great for, and make those players really happy.

Anyway I appreciate the question because although I've thought about this extensively for months and discussed it with various people, pricing is still a complex and important issue so anything that sparks discussion is interesting and useful to me (short and long term).
Last edited by Tynan; Jun 23, 2020 @ 5:35pm
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