Don't Starve!


More than simply sound advice, Don't Starve is now available for purchase on Steam. Though it won't officially release until 2013, buying it now gets you access to a frequently updated beta build which is still very playable.

It's a survival game with a heavy, jagged art style and a Victorian aesthetic, muted brass voices and a definite sense of style. The object is to survive as long as possible while harvesting and combining items to feed yourself and improve your survivability. You start out eating what few berries you can scavenge from nearby bushes (if you dare) but if you survive long enough you can work your way up to building your own town.

It also has bunnies and spiders. The spiders are larger than the bunnies and they hate you.

It's a game best played without a tutorial or wiki since it offers virtually no instructions whatsoever; you can see what materials you need to craft certain items but it doesn't even tell you how to get those materials. Part of its appeal is that sense of experimentation and discovery.

Big ups to Nimcosi who noticed I had this on my wishlist and bought it for me. Thanks, Nim! It was just like Christmas! The running through pitch blackness from vicious spiders part, I mean.

I was just about to create this catch-all good thing I checked first.

As I told you last night: This game is awesome!

Thanks so much to FSeven who saw this on my wishlist and gifted me a copy. A copy that I played from about 6pm to 11pm last night when I should have been doing a million other things, lol.

It is very playable already and for those who like the survival aspects of Terraria or Minecraft but aren't as big a fan of the building this game is perfect.

I am playing without consulting any faqs and the discovery is great. There are still things I'm not sure how to find (like charcoal...don't tell me) and other things in the game I don't understand at all.

There is a nice balance of overall progression mixed with randomness and roguelike aspects. Your research is persistant over multiple characters so dying isn't a complete wipe of your progression. There are multiple skins...not sure if it is only aesthetic differences or if there is a gameplay difference a' la' binding of Isaac.

This is a very fun game that will quickly sink its hooks into that OCD part of the brain that makes us play longer than we intended. KLEI is really starting to hit their stride and they are making some of the best "budget" titles out there right now.

In some of the screenshots on Steam the player character has a beard, and in other screenshots he doesn't. Is there a fully-featured beard-growth simulation in this game? This is important.

Sanjuro wrote:

In some of the screenshots on Steam the player character has a beard, and in other screenshots he doesn't. Is there a fully-featured beard-growth simulation in this game? This is important.


As a male avatar your beard grows longer and is a measure of how long you have survived. I have no idea if there are any gameplay ramifications or if it is purely aesthetic.

There are female characters too and their hair may grow longer, I haven't played with that character enough to tell.


You can also make a razor tool so there may be a way to shave. Not that you'd want to of course.

Beard physics: confirmed.

Welp, bought.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Beard physics: confirmed.

Bank Account suffers critical hit for game price!

For those interested in seeing more than the tiny bit of gameplay shown in the short video on the Steam page, TotalBiscuit did a 'WTF Is' for this a while back.

You can play a demo (17-minute timer) of the beta using Chrome. Go here to get it.

I totally want to play this now.

I was interested in this because I enjoyed Mark of the Ninja so much, but playing the free alpha just bored me and I don't see where they're going with it.

boogle wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:

Beard physics: confirmed.

Bank Account suffers critical hit for game price!

My bank account got hit by splash damage .

Looks pretty good. Added to steam wishlist to keep an eye on it.

TheArtOfScience wrote:

Thanks so much to FSeven who saw this on my wishlist and gifted me a copy. A copy that I played from about 6pm to 11pm last night when I should have been doing a million other things, lol.

Welcome! Love seeing folks devouring games I've gifted.

Everyone pretty much nailed the description of the game. Browsing the forums I'm also enthusiastic to see how communicative the devs are with their customers and how much content they have slated for future builds.

Don't Starve is very much a love/hate game. You either love micromanaging in a survival game or you don't. And that's essentially what it is: micromanaging. The enemy in this game isn't really the various monsters you will come across; it's your hunger.

It took me a good 4 games (each of around 7 days survived) before I realized the randomly generated world was my second biggest obstacle (hunger being the first). I highly recommend running around the first 2 days collecting "fast food" (berries, carrots, etc.) while exploring the boundaries of your immediate area. If you're on a circular island, quit and regenerate a new world. The world I'm working on now is enormous with lots of different environments (marshes, grassland, rocky, etc.) and oodles of resources.

Oh yeah, and as for the beard:


You can craft a razor to shave it off which will create a new resource: beard hair. I've collected it and stored it in a box I made but so far haven't been able to find a use for it.

Charcoal spoiler:


I actually found out how to make charcoal by accident. While harvesting a small forest, I was trying to down just one more tree before total darkness came. Accidentally switched my torch with my axe and set the tree on fire. Which quickly spread to any trees nearby. When returning in the morning to a devastated forest, I chopped down one of the burnt trees to receive charcoal. I would definitely be careful about doing this near base camp since the fire spreads rapidly and can possibly jump to your crops.

At the moment there doesn't seem to be any differences between characters. No special skills or abilities. Just cosmetic.

Christ, f*cking spiders. I learned how to make a spear but it doesn't help.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Christ, f*cking spiders. I learned how to make a spear but it doesn't help.


Wood armor really helps with damage mitigation. With a spear and wood armor, you can easily take out 4 spiders head on. Without the armor, you can still take out a group of 4 but you will have to run in, whack one, run away, run back, whack one, etc. It takes 2 hits with a spear to kill a spider so you can kite a group fairly easily.

I wasn't aware of any new build coming out but I've noticed some changes today from yesterday:

-Stacks now only go up to 24. When I played yesterday, I was able to stack up to 32.
-When I was picking one of my berry bushes, a turkey burst out from the bush and ran away. I managed to hover over it with a spear equipped and it said "ATTACK" so I'm guessing you can kill it...if you can catch it.
-New bird: cardinals
-I was able to research and craft a fishing pole but so far can't do anything with it. I believe fishing is one of the next things that will be implemented.
-Mining seems to have changed. No longer do rocks/1 flint/1 gold drop from every rock. Now you will always get at least 3 rocks but the flint/gold drops are random and seriously reduced. Much harder to get gold now.
-Fires seem to consume slightly less wood.

I have a fairly decent base camp established now with about 13 berry bushes, a few grass bulbs planted, a small forest for wood, a fire pit, 3 wooden chests, a Science Machine, Alchemy Engine, Crock Pot, 5 Speedy farm plots and 4 turbo farm plots. My biggest challenge is finding ample seeds to supply my farm plots.

Right now my days consist of tending crops, making foods, and venturing out to find more graveyards to dig up items for research.

Where do I find poop?
I took over a pig village but I need poop to tend crops.
Also the lightbulb research things, where are those?

boogle wrote:

Where do I find poop?

boogle wrote:

Also the lightbulb research things, where are those?

You can feed any item to your research machine. Very basic, easy to find items usually give you only one research point. More advanced, processed items give you more. I try to feed it cooked meat, which gives a return of 7, but I'm positive there are better materials to use.

Poop is dropped by Beefallo. They tend to be in the grassland areas. I prefer to build my basecamp near beefallo due to how much poop is needed to maintain crops. Also, once you are able to make wood armor/spears, you can kill beefallo as they drop a few pieces of meat and beefallo hair. However beefallo do not respawn, making them more valuable alive than dead.


This is a graveyard. You will see small mounds of dirt you can dig up with a shovel. You will sometimes get an item like a ring, used dentures, etc. which can be turned in to your research machine to get upwards of 100 research points per item.


Here's my basecamp.


Here's my world map.


Few tips:

-Keep regenerating new maps as needed until you get a large continent style landmass. It took me a few games of small circular islands to get a large landmass.
-Let's say you have a nice landmass and die on your current character. No worries, just start a new game which will use the currently generated landmass. So you can play over and over on the same continent. Largely, all the resources will be in the same spots but some things might get changed around (location of bee hives, etc.).
-Dropped items don't despawn however seeds and food will be eaten by creatures. So if you have a large stack of grass but come across an item you absolutely need, drop the grass and pickup the item. Comeback later for the grass.

Just played the Chrome version and I'm seriously considering leaving work early to go buy it and play the beta.

I forced myself to stop playing this yeterday. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm playing an alpha where the xp progression is hobbled and half the gameplay systems aren't live yet.

I'm going to try to stay away from this for awhile and wait for them to add stuff or I'm going to risk burning myself out on the game before it launches.

I tried to purchase through both Chrome (amazon payments) and Steam, both are failing.

Edit: It worked after a few tries. Yay

This looks utterly fascinating. Thanks for the pics, FSeven. I tried the Chrome demo, which barely hinted at any depth, but now I can see there is some. I love the fact that they show recipes based on what I assume are your currently obtained items. Is there a better way to select one item from a stack than to just repeatedly ctrl/shift(?) click?

The thing that, (literally), sold me on this game is this quote by the developer :

We don’t explicitly tell you that you should collect the ingredients build an axe so that you can chop down trees so that you can build a fire so that you can survive the night. We just present you with a prominent, navigable list of crafting recipes, and we kill you if you get caught outside for too long without a light source. Oh, and we also delete your saved game, because we’re kinda mean.

If you buy the Chrome version, you can play it in Chrome or on Steam.

If you buy it on Steam, you can only play on Steam but you get a second license to gift to a friend.

I have an extra copy to gift...first PM gets it.


Does anyone know if the Steam version saves on the cloud?

Ill answer my own question here. Yes, yes it does. You can play on the same save on multiple PCs with ease.

This sounds fantastic but I think I'll restrain myself until it's released proper. Should be better that way.

An update was released today. It seems characters are different although I haven't looked into exactly how.

New features:
Character differences! Now it matters who you pick!
Pond fishing
Hammer time – use the hammer to break apart structures
Build and deploy preview interface to help you place things carefully
New lighting equation, for more nighttime fun
For steam: Chrome save/profile import

New stuff:
A new bird type, and regional bird variation
New hats: Feather and Miner
Some new cooking recipes to discover (5 of them!)
The Gobbler…

Tuning and Bug fixes:
Graves don’t reset when you load
Never-closing chest now closes
Crafting interface doesn’t close automatically when you build something
RMB drops deployables
Gold doesn’t always drop from rocks
Fire now hurts you if you stand too close!
Max stack size is a little smaller (sorry!)

The miner hat seems cool. It requires fireflies to craft. Seems like it might make a good light source for late night tasks without requiring a torch. Now just to figure out how to catch the fireflies (I tried a bug net and it didn't work).

This game is awesome - just when you're cruising along, it'll throw you a curve ball and you'll die.

I really like the art style, but I wouldn't mind if it were a bit more colourful.

I find this game to be in poor taste.