Agent-based Sandbox Games

Here's a preview of Introversion's new game, Order of Magnitude.

It seems to be some sort of colony sim. From the preview, it's not entirely clear that it is an agent based game.

boogle wrote:

Sure dude, I've been checking in from time to time.
Hit me with some screenshots.

Oh, crap. I went through the whole process of posting a screenshot and writing out my design and goals, only to realize that I had a gas filter inverted and facing the wrong way - the pumps were pushing gas to the outflow valve, so of course things were stuck. *sigh*

Attention to detail FTW.

Thanks anyway, Boogle.

Glad to be a rubber ducky for you!

https://store.steampowered.com/app/5...

MachiaVillain launches on Steam next week for $19.99.

"Machiavillain is an evil mansion management and strategy game, inspired by Dungeon Keeper, Prison Architect and all the horror movie clichés! Build your own manor, raise your monsters, set up your traps, and exterminate your victims. But to gain reputation you'll have to slay by the horror movie rules!"

Pretty stoked. This is one of my more anticipated releases of the year.

Aaron D. wrote:

MachiaVillain launches on Steam next week for $19.99.

Onto the wishlist!

MeatMan wrote:
Aaron D. wrote:

MachiaVillain launches on Steam next week for $19.99.

Onto the wishlist!

Seconded. Looks like the sort of fun, zany stuff that not enough games do.

Cross-post from the Indie thread:

It's a kickstarter, but as a huge RImworld/Colony builder fan, King Under the Mountain looks really interesting to me. There's a playable prototype linked on the kickstarter page that I'll give a try once I get in from work tonight.

Following a few links also brought Starmancer to my attention, which could be pretty neat.

From the video there's absolutely nothing to King Under the Mountain that isnt in Rimworld. Its essentially a re-skin mod and I bet you could find mods that already do 100% of what that game intends to offer.

That's sad to see. They're putting a lot of effort in but aren't differentiating in any way. There's absolutely room for another fantasy based Dwarf Fortress / Rimworld type game, but it should have something new to offer.

While that's definitely true, they are at vastly different points in development, so who knows how far apart they could end up? I mean, there are similarities between many DF-inspired colony sims, at least in the early stages of a play-through - initial survival, digging in or building up, farming etc. King Under the Mountain also has different 'factions' that you play as - Dwarves, Humans or Orcs, that each offer colonists that have their own general traits and desires.

I'm willing to give the playable demo thing a shot, and watch how it develops. I'm just really trying to never ever touch a kickstarter again.

You have to be wary of any campaign asking for so little too. WTF is 13k GBP going to do for anyone?

I think you're better off looking into Rimworld mods than backing this game. In my last Rimworld play I had a Lovecraftian mod with some fun starts, like one where you have 2 Elder Things who are magnificent researchers and torturers and other high pursuits but won't lift a finger to actually help you survive. For that you have a single, dumb, slave. Its hard and amusing.

They also have one where you start your own cult with primitive guys. It has its own tech tree and 'religious' progression that you move through by performing rituals, giving sermons, sacrificing animals and humans. I think you can eventually summon powerful beings like Deep Ones etc.

There's also a very well done Warhammer 40k total conversion. Its clearly a very flexible platform.

Why can't we have both?

omni, please share your thoughts on the prototype. I am interested but obviously not interested enough to download the prototype.

Hey, you want to pledge $17 on a clone from an unknown developer that may or may not ever come out, that's your business Just pointing out the red and yellow flags.

Personally, I'm done Kickstarting anything forever.

My hope is that more people crib from RimWorld and do new things with the formula. This particular game may never come out or it may be garbage if it does. But I am always interested in new agent-based sim games, whatever they may be. I want more of them out there even if they are derivative of something else.

Chances of me actually backing it at kickstarter are slim, but I'm always willing to try similar games in a genre i love. or 'clones' as you call them. Otherwise I'd just have stuck playing Medal of Honor when the first Call of Duty was released, etc...

Like I said, something that early in development still has acres of time to do things differently from the game they are cloning.

The Rimworld dev was hardly worldly reknowned when Rimworld first appeared, and it wasn't much cheaper on day1, if it was cheaper at all. And it was a 'poor clone' of Dwarf Fortress, according to DF fans

I understand your points, and have plenty of experience with modded Rimworld. I'm just open to (and hoping for) more good games in the genre. I loved Gnomoria, but the dev ran out of steam trying to achieve the late-development stuff. It's not exactly a genre that has a flooded market with great games - loads of mediocre, non-finished attempts, but few great ones.

I'll try the prototype, and keep an eye on it.

I tinkered with the prototype for the last hour or so. It's decent but nothing special: draw zones for specific things (sleeping, stockpiles, workshops, farming, etc.), draw walls to be built, click & drag to select resources to be collected. I haven't played Rimworld, but I've seen enough gameplay to be familiar. Like polypusher said, at this early stage it seems like a medieval mod for Rimworld.

The only part I don't like is that you can't mute or even adjust the music volume, and that's the only sound the prototype has.

From a very brief look, the UI is entirely place holder, so I doubt they've gone into volume controls etc yet.

Hey, it could be absolute trash, never get finished, etc, like so many others. But if it turns out to be as good as a good Rimworld mod, then I'll still keep open to it

I've backed just about all of these "Dwarf Fortress but now with graphics!" games. I'm tempted to ignore this one because, as mentioned, it looks like a RimWorld mod and, more importantly, it's still lacking Z levels, but I suspect I'll be in at the name a settler level at the very least.

I especially like the idea of other people's settlements showing up in my game as places to explore/loot.

Cross post from the Rimworld thread:

In a move that should surprise nobody, Ludeon have announced that there will be a price increase when the game goes to v1.0.

Linky

Ludeon wrote:

So, RimWorld’s early access price has been $30 USD since we first started selling the game in 2013.

Buying an early access game is risky compared to buying a finished game. Also, RimWorld’s value in content (and the time players tend to play it) have gone up a lot since those early days. There’s also the matter of simple financial inflation. Because of these factors, the final price will be higher than the early access price.

The early access price will remain the same for the rest of the early access period – this change will only occur when 1.0 is released. And of course, anyone who bought during Early Access will get the final version for no additional cost.

I wanted to let everyone know about this ahead of time so people have time to make an informed purchasing decision without surprises.

As of now there’s no announced release date for 1.0 yet – still working on filling in all those final details!

I can’t blame him for looking at this as time to wrap up the game somewhat, but it is a little anticlimactic that 1.0 is just bug fixes.

That sounds like good planning to me.

Michael wrote:

I can’t blame him for looking at this as time to wrap up the game somewhat, but it is a little anticlimactic that 1.0 is just bug fixes.

That's typical development cycle: add features -> testing -> fix bugs -> release. It's been in a beta all this time to smooth things out for the 1.0 release.

I saw there were a lot of updates to Rise to Ruins, so I found a good half hour starter video and I'm off! It's much easier on Traditional when you have the basics explained to you by a guy with a goofy accent...

Here's an interesting game about managing a bee hive.... https://cheeseness.itch.io/hive-time free to 10$ pay what you want....

Seems to be a complete game, though it's still getting a bunch of minor patches. Here's the youtube video that brought it to my attention:

I should really revisit the OP with a bit more up-to-date of a list. It's amazing how many on the OP didn't come to anything, either at all, or were a massive let down. I guess it's not a genre for AAA sure-fire hits

Still, plenty I'm looking forward to, but mostly as a 'wait and see' on my wishlist, rather than jumping into Early access sure that it will be great..

I'll try and make some time to redo the OP for 2019/2020.

Rimworld, Dwarf Fortress, Prison Architect and Rise to Ruins should be on any list. (Wondering why you don’t have R2R in the OP? Is it because it’s been in development for so long and only just released? It’s wonderful...)

Can't wait for DwarfFortress steam release (because i am lazy?)

Should probably mention that Gnomoria has been abandoned for a couple of years now. The original author burned out and had to deal with real-life. The final release was fairly stable, and was a pretty decent graphical isometric DF-lite.

The original Gnomoria author gave permission for the art to be reused in a new project, Ingnomia, which is free on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/709240/Ingnomia/ . It's Currently at 0.7.4. I haven't tried it recently, reports on the stability vary, but it is being actively developed.

deftly wrote:

Should probably mention that Gnomoria has been abandoned for a couple of years now. The original author burned out and had to deal with real-life. The final release was fairly stable, and was a pretty decent graphical isometric DF-lite.

The original Gnomoria author gave permission for the art to be reused in a new project, Ingnomia, which is free on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/709240/Ingnomia/ . It's Currently at 0.7.4. I haven't tried it recently, reports on the stability vary, but it is being actively developed.

Gnomoria was/is a great substitute for DF, trailing Rocket League as my most played game on steam. I had trouble with it after losing two forts trying to carve Dwarrowdelf-style caverns in it, the save games simply stopped loading and I lost interest eventually. Still, it was a real treat back in the day. I had a DF relapse late 18 - early 19 and was able to appreciate the many upgrades the game had gotten the last few years, but Gnomoria is still a nice, representative way to dip your toe in the agent-Based Sandboxy genre.

Robear wrote:

Rimworld, Dwarf Fortress, Prison Architect and Rise to Ruins should be on any list. (Wondering why you don’t have R2R in the OP? Is it because it’s been in development for so long and only just released? It’s wonderful...)

Probably just wasn't around at the time when I last updated the OP, which was many moons ago. It was chatted about earlier in the thread, but the game used to be called Retro Pixel Castles, so may not show up as Rise to Ruins.

I'm not getting much time to myself these days, but I will start to collate all the current and upcoming that I'm aware of.