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Unclaimed World – Now Available on Steam Early Access

By on March 26th, 2014 3:07 pm

Unclaimed Worlds - Early Access

Unclaimed World, the space colony simulation game from indie developer Refactored Games, is now available on Steam Early Access. While the developers plan to continue adding “episodes” to the game in the future, this initial release contains one playable episode, Episode 1: The Lost Explorers. Purchasing Unclaimed World will unlock all future episodes as well, as unlike some episodic games, the episode structure here is used primarily to drive the narrative and focus the completion of specific features before moving on.

Episode 1 revolves around surviving as a group of scientists separated from the rest of the settlers. Features in the Early Alpha include hunting, gathering, crafting, and combat with the native alien wildlife. Several scenarios will also be included, with each one taking an hour or more depending on the scenario. The ultimate goal of Episode 1 is to survive long enough to be rescued so you can join the main group in Episode 2. A new early access trailer has also just been launched to showcase the latest elements the game has to offer.

It’s always important with Early Access to consider the state of a game you are potentially buying into. Early Access is a broad term that can mean anything from an early, but playable alpha, to a nearly complete beta balance test. In this particular case, the developers state that they are bringing the game to Early Access now because they need funds to continue developing it, but in addition they go on to say that player feedback is important to help them decide what to focus on next. They also state that they plan to be in Early Access for quite a while, so keep in mind that this game may not be finished for a long time. Currently there is no save system, but that is on the planned features list, as well as other features like diseases, research, GUI improvements, and modding.

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  1. Happy Corner says:

    “It’s always important with Early Access to consider the state of a game you are potentially buying into.”

    This. I might have a look at this one when it’s done, but for now the true believers can worry about it.

  2. Zero says:

    People gonna freak out that they can’t save. I know it’s a pain to write all of these extra classes to serialize the unserializable, but it’s necessary. Doing it early also helps you when you write new classes to avoid coming up with stuff that you can’t serialize directly.

    • Keith Turner says:

      I have to agree that not being able to save is a pretty big deal in this day and age. People have very hectic lives and it’s hard to say how much time you can carve out to sit and play before being interrupted.

      Regarding your point about save systems being a pain to code in, RPG fans may recall last year’s Shadowrun Returns release. It was a pretty big deal that they didn’t have a “proper” save system. They had a checkpoint system, but hadn’t coded a way for players to save their progress whenever they pleased. Their official response in their FAQ was: “No one on the team likes checkpoints better than save any time you want. But we’re a small team with a LOT to do and save games are complicated. Thanks for understanding.”

      The important distinction here is that Unclaimed World is in Early Access, and they’ve been upfront about it prior to taking anyone’s money, so people know what they are getting. Also the game scenarios, at an hour or so a piece based on their descriptions, are a good length for a single session I’d say. I’ll know more once I’ve had a chance to dive in though.

  3. Jeff P says:

    I’ll keep an eye on it as it develops. I not only don’t buy “early access”, I rarely buy games that aren’t on sale!

  4. csebal says:

    “Currently there is no save system”

    I’m sorry, WHAT?

    I love steam and all, but this.. is.. just.. sigh.. a little over the top. I’m wondering when they will start selling early access to games that are still in early design phases with no playable version whatsoever, but only a few pieces of concept art.

    At this rate, it should not take long. I guess they could call it: “Steam Pre-Access”.

  5. Ermdog says:

    Game looks great, but I think I’ll wait to see how its being received. Not being able to save influences my choice a lot.

  6. Viktor Rexach says:

    The game is very unstable at this point. It crashes (Windows 8, 64-bit) several minutes after it starts. Also there is no save/load as they have said which makes it a bit frustrating. For $11 it’s no big deal. At least I like the way it “plays”, in terms of graphics which are good, but the dialogue between the characters (at this point) is monotonous and gets old pretty fast. Learning curve is mid-level.

  7. whocares says:

    The problem with early access / alpha release is that 50% will never reach the stage where the game is released and polished enough and 40% will do that but after a very long gestation time of 2 years or more.

    I won’t take chance anymore, I have many games on the radar, but I’ll wait for them to mature now.

  8. Chuki792 says:

    You lost me at “Early Access”…

    I’ve SO had it with all these early releases! I mean, if they need another £100k but only get £50k, does the project fold with a message saying “ah well we tried, its not like you didn’t know this was a gamble”, or more likely it stays in early access for what seems like forever until they get the required amount or just get bored and move onto the next game *looking at you miner wars/space engineers* among others…

    Now, I don’t begrudge devs looking for alternative ways of funding their games but I also dont accept that the risk involved in development should be passed to the customer, especially with Steam’s joke of a “refund policy” (gave me writers cramp with all the emails back and forth!) regardless of how many disclaimers are in the blurb. Not one game i’ve pruchased during early access has lived up to its promises; they’re either at best lacking some promised features, or at worst vapourware.. and thats just the ones i’ve caved in and bought. Others seem to be in EA forever, hence my point at the start of this rant. I’m sticking to games that are complete (although even thats not a guarantee the game is finished *cough*Rebirth*cough*)…

    *** unclenches teeth, takes a deep breath***


  9. Marc Davies says:

    Oh god time to go throw my money at them! Been waiting for this since it was first reported on here!

  10. TylerDurden says:

    This game looks promising. Sure its still early days, but its definitely the kind of game I have been waiting for a long time now. Hopefully there is a resurgence of such games because the FPS market is totally saturated and uninspiring these days, we need to explore new gaming territory.

  11. Thiosk says:

    Yeah, I’m sympathetic to a lot of the folks who begrudge early access.
    But I have to say, PLEASE if you are the type that doesn’t like early access, JUST DON’T BUY IT. They plaster all sorts of warnings all over the place to PREVENT people who don’t want unfinished products to mess with it.

    I like early access; i’m a huge fan. As members of space sector, we spent the better part of a decade wandering in the desert with little catering to our specific interests. What did come our way was generally grossly inferior to Master of Orion 2. Even distant worlds, oft lauded as the new gold standard for the 4x experience, soaked up about 1% of the time I spent in MOO.

    Let that sink in again, let the dismay flow through you.

    The new model for indie development, crowdsourced alpha funding, has transformed the niche market. YOu don’t need to convince suits that your game is going to move 6 million units anymore, if you can come up with the initial funding to keep the programmers fed, the designers housed, and the artists out of the gutter. Sometimes the project dies– projects die out all the time. And thats OK, because unlike the folks who bought alien: colonial marine, they’re usually out <20 bucks rather than the 60 bucks early adopters wasted there.

    I am happy to support niche developers making titles I'm interested in. Thus, even if I can't play this title as a full game, it represents something new and fresh, and there are no other experiences like it. For example, I put an untold number of hours into project zomboid, a title devoted to complex survivor stories that doesn't even have the feature around which the game was designed: NPCs.

    So, No hate train from Thiosk. Bravo to Unclaimed world, I'll pay into this model as I support alpha funding for independent developers building niche software that may as well be designed for me personally.

    • TylerDurden says:

      Hear hear

      No truer words spoken. I am totally of the same sentiment. There are way too many big budget games that have nothing to offer video gaming anymore than just rehashed crapfests. I have to admit i am also very excited about having a new canvas such is kickstarter to push new concepts forward.

      If this game makes it to market and is successful it will show what gamers really want. I think we need more games like this, as well as successors to MOO2 and no DW was not for me the new gold standard. But i agree many think it is. I can’t believe that after 20 years we still can’t blow MOO2 out of the water. Its not like MOO2 is untouchable, they were just very creative and an inspired team, something lacking in todays industry.

  12. Lens Flares Suck says:

    Look, it’s another game with teeny, tiny, teeny-weenie, F*CKING SMALL FONTS AND ICONS.

    No thank you.

    • TylerDurden says:

      Are you kidding me? Is that your only gripe with this game? just set your resolution to bigger and problem solved.

  13. bashem says:

    Are you all so hard pressed for cash that you can’t support something you like? Specially for $11? Then the same people go complain that there isn’t any games they like around.

    My girlfriend spends $10+ on a tiny little picture that is smaller than my palm. So either support the game you like or at least stop complaining about $11. I do understand some companies go overboard with their early access stuff asking for hundreds of dollars. No one is forcing you to buy them though.

  14. Markypoo says:

    I wish they had a mode with random generated maps.. What do you do when you’ve finished all the scenarios?

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