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Ylands, polygon survival/explore/crafting game, enters Early Access

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Last spring  in a thread about sandbox games I mentioned trying a rather charming little game called Ylands, made by Bohemia Interactive,  the people who made Arma, DayZ, Take On Mars, and some other "gritty" realistic type surviva; games,. But this one is a little more "cheerful" than the others, it has no zombies and although you can make a PVP multiplayer server, most of the players currently seem to be more into singleplayer  or coop PvE with a little friendly style pvp   At the time I had purchased through their website a copy of alpha (with Steam key for when it hit Steam) and not too long after that they closed early alpha sales through their website to focus on their Steam EA release, on Dec 6 (a week from today). So i have been playing on and off over the spring and summer -- when i am not playing my first love Wurm :) 




Since then they have been handing out media copies to Lets Play folk on youtube so this month it's been featured in a lot of Youtube channels many of whom liked it enough to progress past "First Look" videos and into ongoing series. Keralis is my favorite ^_^ and I subscribed because I love his charm and his accent (he lives in Sweden but that is I think not a Scandanavian accent ..) . Most of the youtubers are stymied how to pronounce the game's name, it is actually pronounced "I - lands" according to devs though I personally think "Y  -lands" is a funner pronunciation.  There is also a 90 minute free demo still available at the site, which I strongly suggest trying first to make sure 1) it runs on your system, 2) you overall like the game. The free demo however is from an earlier viersioon from Audust/Sept or so, so not sompletely up to date, plus they are rushing to do additional bug fixing etc before Dec 6's Early Access release.


It certainly is no WURM, by which I mean a game you become obsessively addicted to for years and years, but it is a fun little game of the type you might play for a few weeks and then check back on now and then a few times a year. It has good replayability thanks to randomly generated worlds when you start a new game, you start on a single island then have the option to press on to other (often harder)  islands and from an easyy going tropical setting to harsher  biomes. You can die of hunger, cold, bears, falls, sharks, and even catapulted goats. There is no map unless you progress in crafting enough to make a paper press, writing instruments and map, at which point it reveals only the areas you have explored. Death has some bite to it, as on death you drop all items and (in the most recent version), it's a quasi-permadeath as instead of respawning, it lets you start a new character to take over all of your old character's items, building, pets, and crafting. However its actually pretty much the same as a respawn with a dangerous corpse run so if you abhor permadeath games, this is an exceedingly mild form of it and it "feels" more like a simple "drop inventory on death respawn" There is no XP points or skillgains so none of that is lost on death. However, if you lose track of where you died (EASY to do especially if you go off exploring without making a map of your progress), you might lose everything but its fairly simply to start collecting stuff and beginning again, a little faster and easier each time you figure out how things work. In other words -- yes, a Minecraft clone.


There is a mild form of terraforming in that you can mine tunnels, lower hills, flatten land, and even build land extension over water. The building process is fairly intuitive yet also challenging, you can pretty easy make yourself a small simple shack at the start but to make really complex constructions will take some practice with the tools.  You start with the classic "start naked, gather rocks sticks ropes" and make simple outfits and tools that later progress up to very complex items, some items you can also find at randomly generated "abandoned camps" where you might luck out finding a horned helm, an iron shovel, or some other handy item ... or you might find nothing. You have a strong motivation to EXPLORE but also a strong motivation to CAUTION as most islands have predators that sleep during daytime (but will wake if you stumble into their area making noise) and at night will prowl more. Swimming in the water gives options for underwater exploration -- but depending on the area, there might also be sharks or even hypothermia to kill you (I have died a LOT to cold water in the northern biomes.) Eventually you can progress to a more "Steampunk" theme with propeller packs, steam powered motorcars and energy gizmos, or you might decide to instead explore more rustic Wild West themes (there are horses, bows and arrows, and even some guns if you figure out gunpowder etc, which is tricky) You can also design your own PUZZLE islands with levers, bridges, death traps,  hidden doors etc to share with other people.  There is day-night, changing weather including storms, changing winds that affect sailing (rafts, small sailboats and even large ships that can be converted into pirate ships with real shooting canons etc -- which is a nice option for friends wanting a little friendly pvp pirate action at sea). Depending on the biome you are in, you may need to make fur clothing to avoid literally frreezing to death, or lighter wear to avoid heat stroke. 


It seems like the kind of game that will not appeal to everyone but I suspect a good number of Wurm lovers will find rather charming and fun, again i strongly suggest first trying the 90 minute free demo to confirm it works on your computer, and you like the general style.  No announcement yet on price but the alpha was $9.99 and the Steam EA release is rumored to be around 15 euros/dollars. they have been pretty consistent so far about content updates, bug fizes etc. It's definitely playabile although occasional glitches will get in, get fixed, and a new one appear. I have probably had about 80-90 hours in, with about a third of that through the Steam version (which early buyers had gotten free access to).



My Quick Beginner tips:

  •   Make very early a small  shelter with a grass sleeping roll and a covered campfire, nights are VERY dark and if it is raining you will not be able to get a fire going or sleep in open weather. Just a pole with an "umbrella" style roof will do fine but best to make it close to spawn and before you need it, as you may come back naked at nighttime in a downpour. 
  •   Keep a wicker basket with a few starter items at your spawn-shack -- just enough for a corpse retrieval ie a weapon, some food and maybe some grass clothes
  •   As soon as you find Flax or Cotton, turn the intial ones into SEEDS and plant those close to your shack before wandering off, as making cloth is crucial to porgess in crafting, and if you use cotton/flax as you forage it, there may not be any left on the island when you need it. 
  •   Melons are probably the best food crop as you can cut whole melons up into pieces then roast them on a campfire. But if you prefer eating raw sea urchins, bananas, fishing, or roast wild boar, suit yourself :D it's your story!
  • You can make a wood shovel to flatten ground for farming, or just plant on non flattened ground. The shovel takes a little work to get the hang of it, but one plus is you can use any sand for glass lanterns.
  • If you explore caves, make up some torches ahead of time and plant them in the walls and floors to find your way out as it gets suddenly DARK and there are dangerous things in caves. Also treasures. If I find a large cave i will usually make a little "camp" at the entrancce with a bedroll, a basket, and some food. 
  • INVENTORY MANAGEMENT is a big thing here. As soon as you have a starter camp, make wicker baskets and dump in them anything you do not NEED to be carrying, or you will find yourself throwing away good items because you lack inventory space.
  • Watch the ground for patches of colored ground that stand out -- it might be CLAY (crucial for crafting and building), iron, copper, flint, or even the  resources you might need later for things like gunpowder. Not all islands have all resources!!! So collect a little in case you move later to another isalnd. 
  • On the CRAFTING tab, in the lower left corner is a little icon, if you click it it will show what items you can craft that UNLOCK more complex items -- it's a good idea to craft EVERYTHING under that filter even if you don;t think you need that item.. Bottom left icon. 
  • Some crafting recipes only unlock after you find or make more advanced resources, such as resin or sand at beginning stages, or Ylandium Dust and tesla coils at more advanced stages. 








Random Screenshots:





















Edited by Brash_Endeavors
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44 minutes ago, Brash_Endeavors said:

as you may come back naked at nighttime in a downpour. 


lol.  I did that in Wurm, but luckily the rain was only there to hide the cats, trolls and goblins lurking around....


Edit: Just watched the video you, we can dive, drive fast cars and put live things in catapults?? Fun times.

Edited by Fairyshine

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Year: 2017

Platform: PC

Graphics: 16-bit SNES

Conclusion: WTF

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