Made by Facepunch studios in Walsall near Birmingham (of all places), I used to live not far away in the Jewellery Quarter before moving to London.
Rust is a survival game in alpha (you pay a fee to play the alpha, currently £14.99) and everything happens in a persistent online world with other players. If you build something it will stay there even after you leave the server and your player will go to sleep on the spot leaving you vulnerable to be killed and robbed.
My first impressions of Rust left me thinking for a game that has had such massive investment from players it’s actually quite barebones. The main mechanic itself is really promising, but Rust still has some flaws that means gameplay becomes intensely ‘player versus player’ (PvP).
Rust has 2 main issues that plague every game experience and they’re largely to do with communication.
Firstly, due to the lack of targeted communication, you never know what a players intention are online. In an online environment, the likelihood is to assume hostility and therefore engage in a fight to the death. With the gap between most players being so large it gets to a point where new players are incredibly vulnerable and targeted by more well established players. This can make your first time playing Rust very frustrating and you end up largely avoiding all players.
Secondly, character models are all white males. In this modern gaming landscape, something should be done here that takes brings Rust up to date with modern game thinking and this could go hand in hand with making Rust feel like a more personal experience.
I propose a few alternative options to how the communication issue could be resolved without needing to implement voice chat which is a lot of work.
Simply hovering over a player already gives you a name, but here it could also show player intentions such as “Friendly”, “Resource Hunting”, “Hostile” and to take this 1 step further, a white flag that you spawn with could let others players know you’re friendly from a distance if you’re running with this, or switch to it when someone is trying to kill you. Categorising players could be generated from actions in the last 30 minutes.
For character options at this stage I’m suggesting a simple selection from a few options to choose skin-tone and gender or even make this randomly generated. In future this could also affect height, weight and other things with different benefits to each. I think this is essential to give players a sense of identity and also feeds back into the communication of the game being important, this isn’t always vocal.
That’s it for now, of course Rust is in alpha and that considered, it’s a great feat to date. I have enjoyed playing online even though I have been killed every time so far.
Rust takes patience, over time we will see this game improve massively just like Garrys mod.