Can you turn a game that was designed for a survival post apocalyptic PvP free-for-all into a solo therapeutic island retreat? Yes, you can!
Although, I’m a new player to the Rust franchise, the game has been around since 2013, and as with all great developments that have been able to span time, part of the longevity is the ability to attract new players. In a strange bit of irony, Rust has become a monument of Rust.
I’ll avoid getting into the canned summary of what Rust is officially marketed as, let me just start with my journey about how I personally crossed paths with this game, and how it was turned it into an island getaway.
Developing software and maintaining environments for a global customer base is a long and very arduous task. As a boutique DIY hybrid hosting provider, you would think the total opposite, but in reality, me and our small team have spent many hours working on holidays and weekends with a blurred distinction of night and day, and days of the week that all have become one giant IT version of the movie Groundhog’s Day. [Rinse and Repeat until it gets done.]
As many might know from the experience of having managed IT projects, sometimes you spend a lot of time just sitting and waiting for pieces to complete. Simply because the moment you leave your desk, everyone needs something, and you can’t be the one that holds up progress, or become the wrench in the machine.
You just can’t manage the world from a phone, because many times you are that go-to person that has to jump in, and be that 5th wheel.
Chained to my laptop, and with no real outlet to blow off steam, I turned to video games as a quick temporary escape. Reality simulators just make it easier to take quick trips to fantasy land before snapping back to the reality of work.
First it started with Star Citizen, a beautiful space simulator that has been in forever Alpha. That game filled many gaps in time during 2022, but came to a screeching halt when CIG released their now infamous 3.18 patch. [Basically, the new release prevented many players from playing, and not for days, and not for weeks.] Coupled with the frustration of endless bugs, grinds, and glitches it became a cruel extension of my work.
Many times I found myself reaching out to CIG’s support attempting to fix things, logging bugs, or posting on a venomous message forum in a vain attempt to help drive improvements. Over time, this process clearly became counterproductive, and I had to look for alternatives.
As many in the SC forum would continually rant and vent during this unexpected downtime, they would draw parallels to the PvP game Rust. How they forgot the beauty of Rust, and how they missed playing it [like an old nostalgic friend].
Repeated enough times, I became curious. Well, I thought, SC is just clearly broken, and I needed a quick fix to fill my time. I needed a way to leave reality for bits and pieces of time, and jack in and out of the Matrix like NEO.
That was the start, that was the hemp seed collected a few steps from the shore. That was the spark that would lead me to watch a few Rust videos on YouTube. [Yeah.. Google.. I know.]
At first, I rejected Rust. No way was I going to jump on crowded servers in a PvP free-for-all against kids that weren’t even old enough to drive, Zoomers, clans, and solo vets with tens of thousands of hours of play time. No f*cking way! That was not the therapy I was looking for, and all that just seemed like and extension of the chaos of daily life. [The same violence and hatred that has metastasized throughout all aspects of modern day society.] No thanks!
Minecraft was a favorite of mine for many years, I could solo it and PvE, or simply switch on peace-mode, and just build cool shit. In fact, I actually used Minecraft to prototype a few inventions, and it also helped me start a recovery from a work related accident that impacted my cognitive ability; a disability that still impacts my daily life.
Minecraft for me died when Microsoft acquired Mojang Studios. I find myself battling Microsoft for privacy on my PC every single day, and with Bill Gates going off the deep end with talking-points of endless vaccinations, saving humanity, in no way was I going to give any data of my recreational fights against zombies to anything remotely connected with 1984 MS. [The same company that somehow is deeply connected to the funding of ChatGPT.] Ohhh yeah.. some of us know the real story of what is really going on here.
A Radioactive Fantasy Island
So it was back and forth to Rust. That strange iconic monumental rusting dome, that post apocalyptic backstory that was an infusion of the TV series LOST, a compilation of Minecraft, and the nostalgic feel of the game Myst. And Rust had guns, lot’s of guns. It had all the elements that intrigued me, well, except zombies.
Somehow I crossed an article post that you could build your own Rust server, and that was the instant clarification that solidified my marriage with Rust. That was the moment I realized that I could possibly play Rust solo, and I don’t mean solo like not in a clan, I mean like the last person on earth type solo. I am Legend type solo. That was exactly what I wanted, and exactly what I needed.
Plus, it was a marriage of convenience as building and re-packaging servers for turnkey deployment is a huge part of what we do here at aMiSTACX. [My mind was suddenly processing all the potential possibilities on my last few synaptic threads.] Could we also venture off into Rust servers for work and play?
Anyway, how hard could it be to build a Rust game server? Well, I can tell you it wasn’t very easy. Does anyone see the circle forming?
Once I had the server built, configured it for 100% solo play, locked-down the ports, and then reluctantly kicking and screaming signed up for a Steam account [I have a peeve thing about privacy.] I was able to connect to my new world in a semi form of privacy. [More on that later.]
The Beauty of Rust
So here we are. The strange beauty and therapeutic value from a game designed for free-for-all survival. Is it waking up on a beach naked and equipped with only a rock and a torch? That uncanny parallel to the 1968 version of Planet of the Apes?
No, for me it’s the absence of humanity and technology, the sounds of the birds chirping, the frogs croaking, a soft gentle rain, or the rumble of a bear walking in the distance. The fact that although humans appear to be on the brink of extinction, that Mother Nature has found a way to reclaim what was taken. A balance returning to a place that fell into the abyss of technological madness for more power and control.
Now that Cobalt’s amusement park has been mysteriously forsaken, and been thrown into a orange-hue state of decay, we can now begin our journey.
We wash up upon the shores of Rust island with the ability to progress technologically from the scraps left by humanity. To solve the puzzles left behind, and to explore the exposed and rusting testaments of a bygone error. Fight the scientists if you want, or just chill and fish. An island that is not just a desert oasis, a technological time-capsule, but can also serve as a snow-capped mountain hunting lodge; a prepper’s wet dream. Everything for you to explore and discover, and with no spoilers here to find.
The Rust Game Server
Overall the game is polished, and performance is great. [Well, I have the server to myself lol, it should be]. Something you would certainly expect from a game going on 10+ years of development.
Bugs, yeah, I guess when you are in the business you can just pick them out all the time; however, they are not game breaking, and seldom cause any frustration.
Depending on feedback or interest levels, we will consider making available a simple turnkey solo deployment server for Rust. Nothing designed for massive on-line gaming. Just a simple server that can be deployed in a few minutes, and that is 100% configured for solo play. An inexpensive outlet that you, or a small group of friends or colleagues can enjoy with a higher level of personal privacy play.
Basic documentation on how to add your own personal tweaks, and some quick tips on how to configure your Steam account that can be used to connect to your own private solo server. As simple as that!
Many can appreciate the simplicity of just powering it up or down with aMiSTACX’s A51, and all without the pressure of a monthly subscription. Pay-as-you-go you know.
Oh, and one last thing. Wipes! Every month, Facepunch, the development studio behind Rust, introduces new fixes and updates. If you don’t block or prevent your Steam client from updating, the client will force you to wipe the server, because the Steam client will reject the mismatch in client-to-server versioning.
If you search, you can find hacks that you may possibly use to prevent this, but the process is something you will need to discover as it won’t be something we will document.
Have fun, and don’t eat the bugs!