This isn’t the first time we’ve worked on a large touch-up of Rust’s graphics. This time it's going to be a bit different: I started from the ground up, combing over almost every aspect of the game, striving for consistency.
Developing a game in a small team for years
Let me explain why it was even necessary at all. In the three years and more that we’ve been developing Rust, there’s been a large number of weekly changes to the game. One of the symptoms of our flexible development process has been a lack of consistency in our graphics, and to another extent in our gameplay. As developers in a small team, we would want these things to be perfect at any time, but we have to wear so many hats that we find ourselves moving from task to task, sometimes unable to bring them to a level of quality we want. This week for me has been about fixing this when it comes to our visuals. The big picture: undoing what it has become and starting afresh.
Why it was needed
Our visuals were a lot more neutral years ago when the reboot occurred. Visually duller, but neutral. It looked like a game built from asset store content. Then we moved away from that, replacing more and more Legacy art with our own work. We also developed tools, post processes, ocean shaders, etc. The problem was not the content created, but how all these parts of the game communicated together. There was noise.
This time when reworking all of it I tried to achieve a picture that draws you into the game. I tried to avoid things that do not make sense in the real world, things that would break your immersion. And all the while doing this, I tried to understand what Rust is in your eyes, and to be mindful of how the community sees the game VS where I want to take it.
Is it complete?
Initially I worked on this as post Early Access patch, and would have released next month. But overall the response has been such that we felt we had to pack it in this current patch. What this does mean though is that Damian, Andre and I have a lot more in the bag in terms of improving the picture and pushing procedural generation. We're all incredibly happy to see your positivity towards these changes and look forward to bringing you more in our next updates.