The dong dilemma: Why being well hung in Rust is bad news

Rust Naked

Headlines we didn't end up running for this story

  • Mo' penis, mo' problems
  • Finally, your tiny dick is an advantage
  • Half-cocked: why a tiny peener might save your life
  • Why having a big penis in Rust is actually a curse
  • Units of measurement: big dongs mean little disadvantages in Rust
  • Keen peen genes means mean beings will bean your obscene peeing machine

Rust’s unique approach to character creation—that is, giving players absolutely no control over character creation—is one of the bolder experiments by a developer on its player population. In March, when Rust began randomly selecting players’ skin color for them, an attribute permanently bound to your character, it sparked a range of interesting reactions, from anger and delight to confusion.

Tomorrow, as part of Rust’s usual Thursday update, penis size will become a variable element of your character. And surprisingly, Facepunch say that the “feature” wasn’t a deliberate addition at first, but something that emerged as part of the package of algorithms that drive random generation of stuff like head size and jaw definition. “The dick thing wasn’t really planned, it just so happens that it has a separate bone there for the censorship cube that we can scale independently,” Facepunch founder Garry Newman told Kotaku.

"Players have to live with and accept who they are. They are recognizable, so more gameplay mechanics emerge."

But the decision to keep it in the game was deliberate. “We're hoping like hell for more dick jokes. We might all range from 20-40 years old at Facepunch, but we're all eight years old at heart.,” says Newman. “I heard SteamDB is adding a way to track your RDS (Rust Dick Size).” Then again, Newman doesn’t expect the Rust community to react dramatically to the change, partly because the maximum size of a character’s junk is limited by the fixed size of Rust’s ‘censorship box.’ “You've really got to be lining players up and comparing them to see any real change,” says Newman.

The expected range of sizes is small, but players who have bigger penises will actually get the short end of the stick; taking a crotch shot in Rust deals more damage than a hit to some other areas of the body. “All the hitboxes are scaled. People with a bigger dick get a bigger dick hitbox, people with a bigger head get a bigger head hitbox,” says Newman.

Rust Dueling

Shoutout to these three random dudes for unknowingly posing in the most appropriately inappropriate way possible.

To Newman, the broader point of randomizing something like penis size is that there’s value in putting players in a position to play with what they’re given. “We did consider a player customization system,” says Newman. “We looked a bunch of them, we watched them on YouTube. In some cases people were spending a couple of hours designing their character. The character design part of the game had more work put into it than the game itself. And these were games where what you looked like was completely irrelevant, where it was obviously just on some list that a publisher handed a developer.

“So we thought fuck all that. Fuck spending months making a character designer, lets make the game about the game. Then the more we started thinking in that direction the more we liked it. Assigning based on steamid means that everything we add gets evenly spread across the playerbase. We don't end up with 90 percent male white guys. We end up with a full spectrum. Players have to live with and accept who they are. They are recognizable, so more gameplay mechanics emerge. The long term goal in the back of our heads is to hide player names and have them only recognisable by familiarity. I think we are approaching that.”

Facepunch is the process of finishing a female player model to Rust. ”The body will vary, like the males, but we're not sure to what level. We're trying not to sexualize the nudity in Rust,” says Newman. “That's easy for the male model because there's nothing sexy about a limp penis, in fact it's probably got an inverse sexual property. With boobs that's different maybe.”

Evan Lahti
Global Editor-in-Chief

Evan's a hardcore FPS enthusiast who joined PC Gamer in 2008. After an era spent publishing reviews, news, and cover features, he now oversees editorial operations for PC Gamer worldwide, including setting policy, training, and editing stories written by the wider team. His most-played FPSes are CS:GO, Team Fortress 2, Team Fortress Classic, Rainbow Six Siege, and Arma 2. His first multiplayer FPS was Quake 2, played on serial LAN in his uncle's basement, the ideal conditions for instilling a lifelong fondness for fragging. Evan also leads production of the PC Gaming Show, the annual E3 showcase event dedicated to PC gaming.