Rust diary, part 1: "Frosh Man has a gun!"

Christopher Livingston at

This is part one of a multi-part Rust diary from noted naked man Christopher Livingston—come back next Wednesday for part two of his adventures.

By now, we're completely familiar with the basics of crafting games. You hit a tree until it becomes tree parts, then use the tree parts to build wooden things. You smash a rock until it becomes ore, then smelt the ore to build metal things. You meet a half-naked guy named Batman, and he follows you around for ten minutes eerily moaning, "Take me to your house. Show me your house. Show me your houuuuuse." Actually, that last part might not be common to crafting games. But Batman's weirdness is not that unusual in Rust, the early-access crafting survival game from Facepunch Studios.

My first day in Rust was not particularly unusual. I found some trees and hit them. I saw some rocks and smashed them. I encountered some animals and killed them, and encountered some monsters and ran away. I saw the creations of others and became determined to create things of my own. Standard stuff.

Use this thing to smash those things, right? Pff. Who needs a tutorial?

Then I built a campfire and tried to cook the animal meat I'd harvested, but not understanding how to properly use the campfire, I accidentally ate all of the meat raw, and then began vomiting onto my campfire. Then I died mid-vomit. That part wasn't quite so standard.

Campfires give you comfort, a place to cook, and a spot to die barfing.

My first night in Rust, I ran around with a lit torch, looking for somewhere safe to spend the night, finding only darkened cabins with locked doors. Some wolves attacked me, bit me, and chased me. I found an empty shelter, a simple wooden room with no door, and hid inside. I was hurt from wolf bites, I was trapped by the wolves themselves, I was hungry but had no food, I was cold but had no fire, and I was taking radiation damage from something nearby. Eventually my torch ran out and I died in that little hut, in complete darkness.

Where's the 'domesticate wolf' button?

The next day, I decided that if I was going to die alone in pain and misery, it should at least be in my own doorless hut. So, I crafted a stone axe and ran around I whacking trees all day. I also met some of the locals. Another player ran up behind me and screamed, ear-splittingly, into the mic, then ran away laughing. I met Batman, as described above, and tried to ignore his soft, hollow moans. Someone else passed by and, when I said hello, said something so profane in response that I'm not sure it can be reproduced in writing without adding a few new letters to my keyboard.

Don't give me those doe eyes. Though if you do, I'll probably wind up eating them.

Another half-naked man approached. "Frosh Man," he said. "Do you have a bandage?" I said my name was "Frohman," and that I didn't have a bandage (not realizing that new spawns actually have two by default) and he started walking away. A moment later a gunshot rang out nearby and the half-naked man started screaming. "Frosh Man has a gun! Frosh Man tried to shoot me! Oh my God. Oh my God. Frosh Man tried to shoot me!"

"It wasn't me," I told him. "I don't have a gun."

"Oh my God," he repeated, running around the map. "Everybody, stay away from Frosh Man. He has a gun. He tried to shoot me. Stay away from Frosh Man! Oh my God!" He continued loudly accusing me of violence until he disappeared over a hill and his voice faded.

Eventually, I collected enough wood, then built my shelter just as night fell. In the corner, I placed my campfire, and carefully—carefully—inserted some raw chicken breasts I'd gotten from a deer I killed (yes, dead deer give you chicken breasts at the moment). I cooked them and ate them, and I suddenly felt better about everything. I had a whacking tool and a shelter and warmth and enough food, and thus had cleared the first hurdles in every survival game. Maybe everything would be okay. Then, another half-naked man, this one pointing a shotgun at my face, suddenly slipped into my shelter. Maybe everything would not be okay after all.

I'm pretty sure I know how this particular campfire story goes.

"Hey," he said. "Is this your first time playing? You really shouldn't have a campfire going in the middle of the night, everyone can see it."

"I'm pretty new to this," I admitted. "I just needed to cook some food before I starved to death." I waited for a blast of gunfire, or failing that, a blast of profane derision.

"Here," he said. "Take this stuff." From his bare torso, bags began to fly, one by one, until they littered the ground in front of me. He gave me wood planks. He gave me ore. He gave me walls, pillars, a roof and a doorway. He gave me storage boxes and a smelting forge and a sleeping bag. He gave me a shotgun, and tons of ammo.

As we ran together through the night he answered my crafting questions ("Can you build a compass?") and game questions ("Is there an in-game map?") and my personal questions ("Am I naked?"). The answers: no, no, yes. He gave me some pants. When another player tried to kill me with an arrow, my guide fired his shotgun and chased the attacked away. As dawn came, he showed me a good spot to build my house, in a place called Resource Valley.

Campfire, forge, sleeping bag, crates, and half-naked protector. Cozy as can be.

It was amazing. By showing my complete ignorance to a stranger in this crafting game, I had somehow crafted the perfect item: a guardian angel, a tour guide, a mentor. A friend! Within the hour, I had a real house built, with walls and a roof and a door that only I could open. I had crates full of loot and a gun full of ammo, all due to the generosity of my tutor. Thanks to him, I had a home.

A house just isn't a home without a welcome mat.

Of course, once you have a home in Rust, you have something else as well: neighbors. But we'll get to that particular peril of homeownership next time.