Unclaimed World Catch-All

I decided to give this game its own thread (crossposting from "upcoming indie games"). It looks very promising.

Unclaimed World

Unclaimed World is a single player game for the PC which combines the citybuilding and the sim genres, taking cues from games like Dwarf Fortress and The Settlers. You direct a small group of pioneers who are creating a settlement on a lush planet with a harsh and challenging environment.

The gameplay comes from a detailed simulation of human characters and alien wildlife. You do not directly control each individual character, instead you make strategic choices by prioritizing the overall goals of the collective which they will try and fulfill – if their health and morale allows it and when they have the time. In theory the game would “play itself” without your input. But your community of pioneers would not last long on the hostile planet without your strategic planning. The game plays out as a tug-of-war between humans and nature on a planet full of opportunities and dangers.

- Realistic space pioneer atmosphere
Fusing of plausible sci-fi with the pioneering experience of historic frontiers.

- Simulation of alien ecosystem and human society
Detailed game systems combine and create emergent gameplay, ensuring that no two games are the same.

- Manage independent people, not pawns
The characters are free individuals with their own ideas and motivation.

- Comprehensive, flexible economy
Food can spoil and things break – but there are many ways for you to make improvised solutions.

IMAGE(http://unclaimedworld-game.com/wp-content/gallery/screenshots/basicpanel_concept_unclaimedworld.jpg)

More screenshots

Interview with the dev

Here's a quote describing the gameplay of the initial release:

In the first release of the game, we depict a survival scenario. So you need to survive somehow with the resources you have at the beginning: You have a handful of people and a crashed aircraft which is equipped with basic survival gear such as a fire extinguisher, some tools, provisions etc. You have some advanced scanners and “sniffer” gadgets as well as weapons: homing bullet rifles and guns. You need to keep your people alive until help arrives – might be half a year.

The way you play the game is by setting orders on the map. You don’t control the people directly, they will decide how to carry out the orders.

You start exploring the environment to find out what kind of creatures are nearby, could they pose a threat or is it okay to setup camp in the wreck? You set up sensors around the camp. You set policies such as guard duty, level of rationing, order some repairs, decide what food to prepare and then during the night, you watch the camp members fend off nocturnal predators if they appear. Next morning it’s time to do some more exploring. You forage by “painting” a zone on the ground and indicating what items you want to be gathered – fruits, mushrooms, firewood, branches, etc.

You can set traps. You might decide to move camp if the crash site is a bad place to stay. Maybe there are harmful creatures in the area or it’s too far from food sources. You can start picking the aircraft apart, (it’s not going to fly again) stripping it for useful materials and set up camp somewhere else, building bivouacs and some fences. You craft machetes, spears, bows and arrows. You can send your people out to find suitable prey and hunt it. Butcher the animal away from the camp so it doesn’t attract predators. Then bring the meat back to camp and cook it.

Instead of killing every animal you meet, it might also be a good idea to follow them because they can lead you to better food sources.

That looks amazing!

It seems to me more like Populous meets Alpha Centauri.

I can't wait to see some GWJ Fanfic come out of this, Dwarf Fortress style.

Very cool.

There's some very attractive design elements in there for me. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this one.

The Dev wrote:

It is somewhat inspired by an older science fiction book by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle called The Legacy of Heorot.

I could not be more on board. The basic concept of the game sounds great, and I love that book.

Looks interesting. I wonder if it will capture that craziness of DF.

It's available on Steam Early Access as of today, and the price is lower than I expected: $13 but currently 10% off.

I think this is one of those occasions where I'm going to buy the early access to support the continued development of the game, play it a bit now, then come back to it later when more/all of the planned content has been added.

Here are some important bits of info from the Steam page:

Current features

Narrative scenarios

In these scenarios, you guide the explorers to survive by scouting the surroundings, locate useful resources and make improvised tools, weapons and structures. For food, you can hunt the elusive “thunder chicken” or try to spear the fish that inhabit the waters. There will be attacks by pack predators such as the so-called “twinkler” which emerges from the caves littering the landscape. To repel them you can construct ranged weapons and build fences, but to permanently end the threat you must locate their nests and come up with a way to clear them out.
If your explorers manage to survive long enough, they get rescued and rejoin the other settlers. This ends the scenario. Depending on which scenario you choose, a game lasts 1 hour or more.

The scenarios we have now are hand-made but we will quickly develop options to randomize things such as starting location, number of resources, camp members, enemies etc.
We will keep developing new scenarios with different objectives and features.

Note: We currently do NOT have the possibility to SAVE and LOAD a game - this is on the list of things we want to develop (see below).

Sandbox maps

If you want a free-form experience, you will soon be able to play sandbox maps with limited narrative and unlimited play time.

Planned features

-Modding support (maps, scenarios, game data)
-Save game functionality (games cannot presently be saved/loaded)
-Languages (community provided translations)
-Many more scenarios
-Creatures can feed on food items and carcasses
-Research
-Diseases / treatment
-More animations / effects
-Interface graphics polished

Had a bit of a play around with the early access version today. Took a little while to get my head around the game, but it's pretty enjoyable so far. Plays quite slowly.

Definitely still in early access though, not much content there yet.

Everything is so small. And kind of hard to see.