March 10, 2014 1:00 AM | Lena LeRay
The future is here, but outcasts are still outcasts and Earth doesn't want 'em. There are plenty of other places they could go, though, and so Earth sends them out on colony ships to distant worlds. Since Earth doesn't really care about these colonists, however, the ships aren't that great. In Inkling Games' UnEarth, you'll take control of some crash-landed colonists, figuring out how best to take advantage of their individual traits to map out and make use of the planet that is now their home.
Each planet will be procedurally generated, making for a new environment to explore in every new game. The balance of available resources will change from game to game, too, which will affect what you can build and how much of a given resource you have available to trade. Resources are limited, which will force players to make strategic decisions about how to use them.
The colonists will each have their own quirks, which have advantages and disadvantages. Someone who is a night owl, for example, could be a nuisance that keeps everyone else awake at night, but he could also be used as a night patrolman, making sure no one else dies in their sleep. Inkling Games plans to also make it so that the colonists' personality traits can change over time, with new ones induced by trauma, for example.
Ultimately, however, your colony will probably fail and all of your colonists die, at which point you'll have the option to save your colony as a "dead colony" to be uploaded to Inkling's servers and perhaps appear in other players' games to be discovered. You'll be able to add touches like journals for other players to find, giving your dead colony a personal touch.
That's not the only way players will be able to share gameplay with one another. Your colonists will be able to build Rovots, programmable automated vehicles kind of like the Mars Rover. Non-programmers will be able to use pre-designed commands for their Rovots, but there will be a way to program its behavior directly and Rovot programs will be shareable so that non-programmers can still enjoy custom Rovots.
Since the colonies get built underground, the game looks a bit like Dungeon Keeper meets Harvest Moon with permadeath. The random group of colonists you start with and the procedural planet generation, however, would give the game a lot of good replayability. It looks like it's going to be a stellar simulation strategy game, and if you're interested in helping it come to fruition, head over to Kickstarter and make a pledge to help it along.