This is very off topic… But not so much. I’m putting it here for the people who might be looking here… for a suggestion.
I don’t know what’s happening this year, but I’m finding the best games of my entire life, and they seem to appear out of nothing even if they’ve always been there. Earlier this year I discovered Factorio with mods, this summer I got into Rimworld (I, and this forum, we’ve been fans of Dwarf Fortress from the beginning, discussing it here before it was known to the world, I even gave Tarn Adams my webserver for client mirrors when it got popular).
Now everything’s happening this week. Three days ago I discovered Tarkov singleplayer with mods. The following day I discovered a wonderful game that is a DF-like, Rimworld-like, Songs of Syx. This one written in java but running at 20% CPU on my 13+ years old pc. With 70 villagers… for a game with a population cap of 15k. I played it for 18 hours. In the same day. It’s an extremely relaxing Dwarf Fortress that does everything right (DF is a mess of a game that is a masterpiece, but does everything wrong from game design perspective, this one is the opposite, it’s very simple but it’s designed with brilliance). I suppose the game wants you to accelerate some activities, since it allows to speed up the time. But I never hit that button. It’s zen like experience I kept sometime running on its own, just me watching or doing some other stuff while it kept running in the background. It has a beautiful music that never stopped. After 18 hours it’s now seared into my brain and now it continues even when the game is closed.
I’ve read the developer plans to expand it for the next few… YEARS. This now joins the group of games that have a permanent place on the disk. The forever games.
And, speaking about forever games written in Java, I found something that melted my brain. I don’t even know why I completely missed this and how it’s even possible that it exists: Minecraft.
Well, of course I knew Minecraft already, and in fact, speaking of this forum, we didn’t just discover DF when it wasn’t know (and contributed to make it popular), but Minecraft too. Actually I think I also a played a very earlier tech demo where there was nothing to do.
But what I found out yesterday wasn’t just Minecraft, but Minecraft… with mods. But not just mods. GregTech. But not just GregTech, mod packs with hundreds of mods, built as total overhauls (what’s known as “Feed the Beast”). But not just modpacks. GTNH.
So I love these humongous projects that humble human life itself. Same as I was looking for the most complex Factorio mod offering gameplay in the thousands hours. Here comes “GTNH”. There’s a “version” of GTNH that is much simplified and streamlined. A guy on reddit completed this other version, here is what he said:
… And here’s GTNH:
Now, this is of course a meme of an hardcore mod and its “length”, but you have to believe me, it’s incredible. This is not just artificial extension of playtime, nor it’s one of those insanity mods that are unplayable, messy and broken.
This is… well thought and well designed. Even more surprising for this kind of mods, it has the BEST TUTORIAL I’ve ever seen. Hardcore mods are for hardcore players. Try playing Stalker Anomaly (or Tarkov) or Jagged Alliance 2 with 1.13 and Aimnas, and see how it goes if you don’t already know those games extremely well.
This one is insanity, but it’s also perfectly accessible. Because you spawn with a book. And this book has ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED tutorial quests. It takes your hand gently and explains everything STEP BY STEP, through the WHOLE GAME. It gives simple quests with objectives and rewards, telling you exactly what to do and how from the first moment in the game. It even gives you coins that you can then spend on a page to obtain some other rewards.
It’s tiered. It has 200+ mods, but organized so they are far more than stuff bundled together. They are built into one experience so that they all depend on each other, and they are made tiered so that there’s a linear progression through the whole game. Those are the 4000 hours, because it’s not just one messy sandbox, but it has this linear life quest with linear goals… It just happens to be so huge that it borders on the eternal.
I don’t know how this thing can exist, and why I never heard about it. Because, again, this is fun and incredibly accessible (a few caveats, you have to pull out from the inside a mod titled HardcoreDarkness that makes night too pitch black and it’s a bit overkill).
From the first second in the game everything’s different, because you cannot even make an axe out of wood, and even the crafting table is built in a completely different way. It’s not a huge mod that extends the game, it’s a total overhaul that gives you a COMPLETELY different gameplay right as you step into the game. Actually, the assumptions, the knowledge you have about the game, will work against you, because you will try to do stuff that does not work, and doesn’t need to be done at that moment (for example, I wanted to dig and so I kept trying making torches… but that’s not the right way).
But that’s why it’s brilliant. Here you don’t go and “play Minecraft” as you expect. You instead open the book tutorial, and learn.
Trust the tutorial.
An hardcore, humongous game. With an hand-holding brilliant tutorial. This must be a miracle.
(and I’m off, working on some weird performance kinks that I need to solve…)
I still have no idea how to install this. There are some launchers they use, Technic, MC. I’ve just done everything manually, getting the curse 1.7.10 client (because this runs on the older 1.7.10, as all of the GregTech based mods), and then the mod from here: Index of /Dev-Pack/Pack/Client/
And since I’m nuts I got that dev pack test client. For the “stable” version go up a few directories…
…This takes more than 5 minutes even to load. But then it’s AMAZING.
And it’s basically Factorio in Minecraft, but with A LOT MORE.
I also wanted to add that if I had found out Minecraft when I was young… Then it would have easily become my dream game. But I never got into it, because it’s… Minecraft. It’s not intuitive to play without reading guides, and the bigger problem is that it’s a kind of aimless sandbox. So playing on my own I always reached the point where the immediate “survival” pressures like finding basic equipment (iron → build some armor) and food were solved… and it was game over because I lacked an immediate, interesting goal to pursue (and I’m not the type of player that spends hours decorating, unless there’s something else that sustains the activity).
This mod fixed this. Because, again, of the wonderful tutorial. Now I got stuff to do, and it’s the game that tells me what and how. And it’s still the same sandbox, so I can go at my pace, and can do what I want, if I want. It’s perfection made into a game.