Look, I love a good conveyor belt, but every factory game has them now. What if we had a fleet of programmable drones, instead? Ones we could set behaviors and automatic decision trees for based on the growing needs of our automated empire? That's the goal in Desynced, an upcoming Early Access game that wants to take the best bits of a few genres and mash 'em together
The developers at Stage Games call it an "an automation game without belts, bringing together the best elements of base building, factory management and real time strategy genres."
"Alone or with friends, set up mining operations, expand your logistics network, research new components for your bots and buildings, and survive hordes of alien bugs infesting the planet," they continue.
I'm totally enraptured by the concept, I must admit. It looks like your units will have default behaviors available, but a drag and drop program editor then let you give them deeper and more complex work instructions and routines. An example given in the game's screenshots is a robot responsible for delivering batteries to another, but that scouts the surrounding area when there's less than a full load of batteries to transport.
At the same time Desynced wants to bring in RTS elements. I'm always a bit wary of defense in factory games because I find the spatial problem-solving more interesting than the possibility of catastrophic collapse requiring hours of rebuilding—but the concept here is a good one, especially if a good blueprinting system and saved routines for your drones are available.
The full game intends to have three factions, a campaign story, and cooperative or competitive play with others. The Early Access release on August 15th, 2023 will have some story elements that you can experience as you play into late-game progression, the multiplayer modes, and one full faction. The other two factions will be there, but have incomplete models, assets, and tech trees.
You can find Desynced on Steam.