Community Update: Unreal Estate

This week: the Experimental server's most experimental buildings.

12 August 2014

My favourite theory about Rust's backstory (because it's one I bravely suggested) is that Rust is an elaborate form of slave labour for avant-garde architects. They take the ridiculous buildings that people build and sell them at a huge cost away from the island, taking credit for the design. At least part of that idea is slowly being played out in the Experimental branch of the game, where the new and currently uncapped building tools has enabled players to create incredible creations.

The rolling, procedural terrain of Experimental is now being augmented by structures that sit like lost alien toys. Visit any server and you'll be greeted by floating islands, bridges to nowhere, and spiky things that have no real-world equivalent. They just are. But there's also villages, mountain outposts, and lonely little cottages. With every squat little building that sprouts on the edge of the world, the Experimental version feels more like the place we know it can be.

A lot of these buildings won't be possible when the building tools are refined--there will be rules in place--so I've saved a bunch for posterity. But I've also been impressed by the builds that fit into the world, and I'm sharing those first. If you recognise one, or have a build of your own you're proud of, feel free to share it below.

The rolling hills and log cabins make Experimental immensely evocative. Everything below has been built by players, creating the landmarks that server populations will come to recognise as they travel.

A small village clings to the top of a hill. It's lovely to see people sharing space like this, even if the cabins are filled with cannibals and people who are overly prepared for the end of days.

Landmarks become focal points. I've seen people building hangers up around glitched airdrops, and this guy quickly built a small holdfast around a supply drop. He was welcoming visitors with bullets. Isn't that lovely?

I particularly like the simplicity of this. A few foundations and four doorways and you have a henge. It's exactly the sort of thing that becomes a way-point for players as they attempt to turn a new world into a place they call 'home'.

As I mentioned, some of the buildings don't make any sense. At least not conceptually. They are creations that exist because someone had a magic hammer that sticks things together. Almost nothing seems planned, or if it was only the vaguest of notions drove it. Hmm, this sounds mean, but I really love the wonky, mis-shapen, and impossible creations below. It'll be genuinely sad if Rust doesn't have room for remarkable builds like these.

This bridge between mountain tops is one of the largest builds I've seen on an Experimental server. It's also a clear example of an intention being compromised by a building mistake, as the centre of the bridge twists around to make contact, though it serves to make it even more remarkable.

I like this because it looks like a world generation glitch, as if the building has been pinched and stretched along an invisible fault-line.

I love this view, and considered using it as the main image. The ludicrous spectacle of a bridge between two mountains won out, but the moment of solitude the player is experiencing on that plaform--high and away from anyone--makes me want to build a cabin in an equally inaccessible place.

I wanted to focus on one theme this week, but that doesn't mean that's all I want to hear about. If you've done something amazingly cool with Rust, let us know.

There's the dedicated forum post, and there's a Reddit thread created for every community post. I also stare intently at the the Steam Community, but it's better if you link me to something you've seen on there. You can follow and respond to Rust on Twitter, and I'm on there as well.

People like to build towers. We don't know why, we just know that they do. In Rust, that currently means configuring stairways in imaginative ways. The next three shots are part of the same build. It's by far the longest and highest stairway I've found, and takes you to a height where the ground beneath starts to glitch. It's 57 seconds up, 6 seconds down.

This one had platforms at regular intervals, and each platform angled the stairway away from the previous direction. The more of these you see on the landscape, the more you can assume you're going to be shot at from above.

I love this, because you can see the moment where a decision was taken in the building. What it was and why is a mystery. Perhaps they spotted an airdrop and tried to 'aim' the rest of the building at it?

Another platform that the builder enjoyed sniping from. It made taking this shot particularly perilous. I risked 2035 wood and a raw chicken breast for my art, as I attempted to take advantage of the full moon. I hope you appreciate it.

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