Rust is finally leaving early access on February 8th. Don’t get too excited. According to developer Garry Newman, this isn’t a milestone for fanfare and fuss. Development will proceed essentially unchanged, except for a price increase from $19.99 to $34.99. What’s the big deal then?
Think of it more like we’re leaving Prototyping and entering Alpha.
It’s a bit “have your cake and eat it too” for a game that’s been in early access for four years, but Facepunch Studios points out that they’ve come a long way since their 2013 launch. They went from a zombie apocalypse survival crafter to a genital apocalypse survival crafter.
There have been 329,970 returns of Facepunch Studios’ survival crafting game Rust since it launched in early access on Steam. Developer Garry Newman told PCGamesN that despite the over $4 million in returns, he’s okay with the lost revenue. According to Newman, the returns equate to about 6% of Rust’s overall sales, which matches the return rate other developers he’s spoken to have seen.
“I put that down to people using the refund system as a demo. I think in the long run, people knowing the refund system is there probably gained us more sales than it lost us.”
Why do people return Rust? Newman said “no fun” and “bad performance” were the top two refund request reasons given by players.
Rust has rolled out a Steam storefront for in-game items. Not a big deal you say? Certainly, it’s not the first Steam storefront to offer virtual gewgaws for money. What makes this notable is the fact that unlike the Team Fortress 2 or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive workshops, Rust’s store is not curated by Valve or modders. Facepunch Studios owns the content and gives a cut of sales to Valve, while sharing revenue directly with modders. The items featured in the store can be obtained through random drops in the game, but varying levels of rarity make some items more desirable than others. These items can be used by the player or bought and sold between players, with Valve again taking a portion of the sale. Studio head Garry Newman explained why this was a good deal for everyone, including the players that don’t have a lot of ready cash.
So you’ve got the poor guys with no money. They hate traditional microtransactions because it’s a paywall. But on Steam they play the game and get random drop items, and can then sell and trade those items on the marketplace. It’s not unfeasible that a player will make more money selling items than the game itself cost.
They’re happy because they can sell the stuff they get randomly for free, buy games from Steam.
They’re making people happy because they can buy stuff from them.
Newman added that not offering the items in the store would be “screwing” the community.
Female player models are coming to Rust. In an interesting twist on character creation, Facepunch Studios is not letting players determine their avatars’ gender. Like the penis size on the male models (no, that’s not a joke) whether someone will be male or female in the game will be determined by a player’s Steam ID. The player will have no input on the matter.
To clear up some confusion, when we it does go live you won’t get a choice of whether you’re female or male. We’re not “taking the choice away” from you. You never had a choice. A man’s voice coming out of a woman’s body is no more weird than an 8 year-old boy’s voice coming out of a man’s body.
Additionally, Facepunch shared their plans for Steam Workshop integration, as well as their strategy to allow trading and creation of loot. They aim to model their system on Team Fortress 2’s current implementation. People will be able to submit their creations for review, and once vetted, they could show up in random loot drops that will appear in players’ inventories after a few hours of play.
Rust is currently available in early access on Steam.
Rust is starting over. Facepunch Studios has announced that the “experimental” build of Rust on Steam will now be installed along with the main version. Players can easily choose which one to launch and see the progress being made as they rebuild the systems. Garry Newman told PCGamesN that they’re scrapping everything in their multiplayer survival game because much of the code was based on a concept for a different game. Cash4Kills was an open world assassination prototype that was abandoned in favor of Rust. Unfortunately, it sounds like Cash4Kills was a more intriguing game.
“The one thing we don’t like about the latest Hitman games is that the game seems to be about finding out what the level designer wants you to do, rather than just working out the best place to kill a guy. We wanted it to be all free-form, with bullet entry stats, bonuses for clean kills and for being unspotted, sharable replays, then cash rewards in a backend that you could use to buy new weapons etc. So you’d only get one chance at a kill and if you fucked it up you couldn’t replay, you’d have to wait for the next contract via your real email.”
Newman and Facepunch hope that as people see more progress on the experimental branch, players will migrate and make it their default. Rust is available on Steam early access.
Rust, the open-world survival game from Garry Newman’s Facepunch Studios, no longer has undead enemies. In the latest update, developer Maurino Berry explained that the largely ineffective zombies have been replaced with red bears and wolves.
“Yep. We did it. We decided we couldn’t hold off any longer. The longer we keep zombies in – the more complaints we’d get about removing them. We are forcing ourselves to deal with it. We are no longer a zombie survival game!”
Garry Newman had intended to replace the zombies in Rust for a long time. As far back as June of last year, Newman had expressed the desire to have more diverse threats like wildlife and other enemies, and to focus on the possible antagonism between players.
Garry Newman’s Rust is probably the most hardcore of the current crop of survival games. When you log in to the persistent servers, your character starts bare-naked with nothing more than a rock for protection in a hostile environment. Craftable items can be stolen. Buildings you make can be destroyed by anyone. When you log off, your in-game character lies down and goes to sleep – easy pickings for other players. Players that survive long enough, can eventually craft powerfully unbalanced weapons, such as the submachine gun in the above image. Despite these unfriendly mechanics (fans say it’s all part of the fun) Newman revealed on Reddit that Rust has made $5.5 million in the three weeks it’s been available on Steam’s Early Access program.
Unfortunately, the popularity of Rust combined with its griefer’s paradise gameplay attracts a certain amount of attention from self-styled internet activists. Over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday, Rust experienced distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks from hackers, allegedly based in France, that wanted to call attention to issues in the game they felt were being ignored. Newman responded by updating the server and client software to close the holes the hackers were exploiting and by appealing to the community to help track down the troublemakers.
If the attackers want to contact us on the above address to work with us to fix exploits then feel free…but please don’t expect anything in return. Attacking us is not the way to get what you want. In fact, it’s a pretty good way to guarantee that the opposite will happen.
Although intermittent server issues persist, users report that the DDOS attacks have lost much of their effectiveness. Connectivity failures appear to be mostly due to the high volume of players trying to play the game at the same time.
If you’ve paid any attention to the best sellers on Steam, you may have noticed that three open world survival games are dominating the top slots. It’s a crafting, gathering, killing, and building heyday! These games are hot and they’re not even complete yet!
After the break, we erect a hut, and hole up for the night! Continue reading →