Video: How RimWorld found success through ridiculous, contrarian design

In this 2017 GDC session RimWorld creator Tynan Sylvester looks at how it was designed not as a game, but as a story generator, and how its crazy, ridiculous design found surprising success.

In this 2017 GDC session, RimWorld creator Tynan Sylvester looks at how Ludeon Studios defined RimWorld not as a game, but as a story generator, and how forcing the team into this frame of mind opened up entirely new mechanisms for creating compelling play. 

This talk looks at how, as a developer, you can find unique value in doing things that are commonly assumed to be wrong, impossible, or ridiculous. How, by strategically leaving out features, the RimWorld team made players engage with features and story elements that aren't actually there. How they made better decisions by not planning despite everyone wanting them to plan.

And finally, how they shipped with many seemingly-critical features missing, but nobody cared, because they used a special methodology for selecting features that actually matter instead of the ones that commonly assumed to be necessary.

It was an insightful talk, and now you can watch it for free over on the official GDC YouTube channel!

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its accompanying YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC or VRDC already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

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