A Rust "reboot" is in the works, with a major overhaul coming in the form of a new development branch that will implement changes to just about every aspect of the game. Fortunately, creator Garry Newman has confirmed that purchasers of the original Early Access release of Rust won't be left out in the cold.
I spent a good chunk of time with Rust for an alpha review in January, and the short version is that I liked it quite a lot. But as good as it is for players, Newman told PCGamesN that it's a mess on the development side. The problem is that the game is rooted in a prototype for an open-world Hitman-style game that has very little in common with what Rust has become.
"There's a lot of systems that are integral to Rust that are 3,000 lines long, that could be 100 lines long," Newman said. "So every time you go to change something you have to chase around finding how these five different systems that it doesn't really need work, then you change it and it breaks 4 different systems that you thought had nothing to do with it."
With so much of the game needing to be changed, Facepunch decided to just start over again. The new version will simplify and speed development, and also bring changes to the interface, crafting and visual fidelity, all while maintaining or even improving performance. But this is all happening in an experimental development branch, while the original—the one I played—remains the default. Just to be sure, we asked Newman if gamers who have the old version of Rust will be given the new one, and the unsurprising answer is "yes."
"They get the new version," he told us. "We're still developing the same game, we just switched tracks."
Rust is available now, in both the default and experimental branches, on Steam Early Access.