I've got a bunch of info for you on Slime Rancher's developement before 0.2.0 came out.
This blog post will try to cover everything from the game's concept stages to the release of 0.2.0.
When devs were about to release 0.2.0, they posted this image on their blog.
This prototype was a quick mashup of example assets, when Nick tried to check how the gameplay would work. Everything is simple, for example slimes are just colored balls and the vacpack is a pistol. The prototype image was made on April of 2014.
On November 14th of 2014, a premise of the game has been made.
Our first project, Slime Rancher, is a frantic, chaotic and very silly video game for PC, Mac and Linux. Slime Rancher is the tale of Beatrix LeBeau, a plucky, young rancher who sets out for a life on the Far, Far Range where she tries her hand at making a living wrangling slimes. With a can-do attitude, plenty of grit, and her trusty vacpack, Beatrix attempts to stake a claim, amass a fortune, and avoid the continual peril that looms from the rolling, jiggling avalanche of slimes around every corner.
Some backstory: it’s the far future and mega corporations on earth have found a major new source of income in the form of an incredible resource on a very distant planet (a thousand light years away to be exact). The actual name for this planet isn’t important; it’s simply come to be known as ‘the Far, Far Range’ and it is inhabited by scores of strange little creatures: slimes.
Slimes come in all shapes and sizes. They’re cheerful, curious, and have big appetites. And when happy and well-fed they produce plorts. Plorts are concentrated chunks of slime, brimming with the strange energies and unique properties of the slime that produced it. They are prized by earth corporations for producing an enormous variety of goods: everything from indestructible alloys to delicious food products. Humans just can’t seem to get enough slime.
There’s just one problem: slimes only thrive on the Far, Far Range. They need the open air, its sun shining down on them. No slime has ever produced a plort outside of the the Range’s atmosphere.
Enter the slime ranchers- people that sign on to leave earth behind and travel a thousand light years away to make a life on the Range, ranching slimes and collecting plorts to sell to the corporations for lots of cash. Life isn’t easy and the Range offers no shortage of dangers, but the land is good and the air is clean. For some, this is reason enough to leave their old home behind.
So, let’s talk gameplay: it’s a first-person game, and while you could say it’s a ‘shooter’ in some sense, you’re never shooting bullets or aiming down the sights of a gun to kill anything. Beatrix uses a vacpack as her main utility for collecting, corralling, and managing her slimes. It has two primary functions: vac and shoot.
Vac-ing creates a swirling cyclone of air from the vacpack’s nozzle, drawing anything within it to Beatrix. If the objects are small enough, like slimes or resources, they are instantly shrunk down with amazing nano-technology and stored in the vacpack’s ammo slots. The objects collected are even automatically sorted. Handy!
Shooting is the opposite of vac-ing. By holding down the shoot button, Beatrix will shoot a constant stream of whatever slime or object is in the selected ammo slot. Want to shoot dozens of chickens into the sky like a firehose? Well, you can do that with a vacpack. It’s the future, after all.
What’s left? Well, there’s still quite a lot. Beatrix has her own ranch where she keeps the slimes she’s collected. She can grow crops, raise chickens, upgrade her ranch with new features, explore the vast, open country that lies beyond the ranch, and even use plorts to create new, more profitable slimes types… so long as nothing goes awry; because too many slime combinations could result in an explosion of unrelenting, voracious slime monsters that will destroy everything in sight. But more on that later.
Interesting, isn't it? And we also got to know that the Far, Far Range is just a nickname for the alien planet the game takes place in!Also, the line "because too many slime combinations could result in an explosion of unrelenting, voracious slime monsters that will destroy everything in sight" seems to imply that the Tarr, atleast in some form has existed back then. This can be evidenced by this image, that came bundled with the blog post. Behind a bunch of scared slimes you can clearly see a brown red eyed slime, but we don't know if this really was the Tarr.
Rancher's Rushdowns are quick previews describing a specific slime. There were only three entries of it:
Pink Slime - January 27th 2015
They've got a nickname, which is "jelly gels".
Rad Slime - February 2nd 2015
Rock Slime - February 6th 2015
Interestingly, when they were created they ate Fruits instead of Veggies and their favorite was the Prickly Pear.
I suppose we can guess by that when and which slimes were created. Pink Slimes were first (obviously), Rad Slimes were second and Rock Slimes were third slimes to be made. I'm going to talk about that later, too.
Also, it's supposed that around this time, Mike has joined Monomi Park, and it no longer was an one man army. Here's a fun fact: before Mike joined the team, every slime behaved like a homing missile. Imagine if that would be still here in the current version!
Introducing... a Tabby Slime!
Here's that widely overused image of three Tabby Slimes having fun with a Pink Slime in background beimg sad.
This was made on March 11th 2015, which means that those kitty cats must have been made around Feburary and March.
Tabbies were the fourth slimes to be made.
Around 14th of March, I suppose that the slime stacks have been made now possible.
Tweet here. Made on April 9th 2015.
The Grotto was then added. I suppose that it was made with the sole purpose of easily keeping Phosphor Slimes.
Phosphor Slimes were the fifth slimes to be created.
On April 14th 2015, Devs finally decided to let users test the game, although it was a closed test.
You could try out the game just by logging in the forums, and buying the game on Humble Bundle.
The version available for testing was either Prototype 1, 2 or 3 (which were also called 0.0.1, 0.0.2 and 0.0.3p3).
Reminder: If you have 0.0.3p3, then show it (and maybe upload it) to us!
A new model for the Vacpack
Nothing interesting happens in it, it's just a rock slime turning into a pink rock largo. What's more important in it however, is the prototype model of the Vacpack. It's very simple looking.
This blog post was made on June 4th.
You could now make gifs in game.
There's a bunch of them here, such as:
- Camera bob testing
- Vacpack sucking up things
- Proto-Indigo Quarry
- Early Pink Rock Largos
- Early Corrals
- Phosphor Slimes
Made on June 12th. Yes, it's just a bunch of slimy splats.
They look much more simple than they do today.
Finally Monomi Park felt confident enough to show off their work and make this trailer.
On June 8th, it was released. Oh, by the way, it's supposed that the version in the trailer is 0.0.3p3 (or Prototype 3).
The trailer gives us some insights on things such as:
- Early Ranch Plots
- The Ranch with a different layout
- Proto-Indigo Quarry
- A ranch expansion in the place where the Overgrowth currently is
- The Dry Reef section after Feral Canyon (before it was remade into the Beach) being populated with slimes
- A Pre-Alpha sign in the corner
- Garden Deluxe, an upgrade that was removed from 0.2.0 and added back in 1.1.0.
- Honey Slimes
- No Gordo Slimes
- Feral Slimes
- Boom Slimes
Boom Slimes and Honey Slimes have either been 5th or 6th Slimes created.
The Tarr's "new" design!
It's the first image of the Tarr available on the internet. Yeah, it's not too interesting.
The first World progress photo!
On September 14th 2015, this image was made.
It very clearly shows off the Prototype Far, Far Range. Many things were different, such as the Ranch having a different layout, no Gordos to be seen at all, the proto-Indigo Quarry, the bridge to the Moss Blanket being a lot different than what we have now and the Moss Blanket itself still being made, and some weird blocky islands near it.
Moss Blanket Photo
Some areas of the Moss Blanket are shown there. The sections in here are mostly finished, except for the unusable slime gate at the end.
Here's a Tabby Gordo. It doesn't have a teleporter under it yet.
Gordo Slimes were still being made around the time when this image was released, because in the world preview image that I showed you earlier, the Pink Gordo island doesn't exist.
The Updated Ranch
Some gifs from the Ranch got released on October 26th.
The first one shows the house. The notable differences here are that the Plort Market isn't here in the place where it currently is, and the Ranch Plots still have their simpler design.
On 16th of December, 0.2.0 was released. Although the changes in this versions weren't listed for it, I think it would look like this:
- New zone - The Moss Blanket
- Removal of the proto-Indigo Quarry, making Rad Slimes and Oca Ocas unobtainable
- Honey Slimes now only spawn inside the Moss Blanket
- Mint Mangos
- Puddle Slimes
- Gordo Slimes
- Slime Keys
- Range Exchange
After 0.2.0 was released there were some samples of Music Tracks from the game.
When and which Slimes got developed
It's not too revelant to the history of Slime Rancher's developement, but I just wanted to do this. Over the track of this blog post, I've made lots of points when and which kind of slime got added. Here's the full list.
- Pink Slime
- Rad Slime
- Rock Slime
- Tabby Slime
- Phosphor Slime
- Boom Slime
- Honey Slime
- Puddle Slime
I'm not going to add anything to this post now, but Nick said that in future he might make a livestream in which some of the prototypes are shown, and if that would happen, then I will add some more information here.
If you were a tester of the game in it's early days, try to inform us more about Slime Rancher prototypes (especially prototype 3 or 0.0.3p3) or if you have photos of it, then send them!