The Survivalist: My top 20 survival game goals for 2020, part the first

'Making some space in my schedule to go back to the only place that lets me build a car out of crab legs.'

    
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You might say that I like survival games. You should say it because I really, really do. Especially games that let me explore and build… it is nirvana. (Is there a survival game called Nirvana yet?) But as much as I love the genre and many of the titles within it, life and piles of game get in the way of playing, and I have long list of things undone – things I really want to do. I just need a way to keep track of them so I don’t get too distracted and a way to keep myself accountable. And these are the things new years are made for!

Therefore, my first Survivalist column of this decade is a personal list of goals I want to achieve by the end of the year – in print form, so I can’t conveniently forget about them. And at the end of the year, I can have a pictoral accounting to share my progress with you! So here it is, the first half of my top 20 survival game goals for 2020.

1. Explore the universe

Wait now, MJ is making a goal to explore more?! How is that a goal: Isn’t it a given? Yes and no. I love to explore, but in Astroneer I keep getting sidetracked with mining (and in a small part, crafting). I can’t help it. It is seriously addicting! There is something so intensely satisfying about vacuuming all those resources up with my little hoover gun. Instead of checking out and admiring the planet, I am busy trying to deplete its natural resources. And crafting. Except for two events and grabbing materials from the moon, I haven’t even left the first planet! I really want to see the other planets and explore them. (And a part of that is find myself a squeaky horn!) So that’s what I will do: Explore.

Ok, and mine some…

2. Redesign and complete the glorious treehouse

If we want to talk about neglected, my Conan Exiles treehouse is the very definition of it. I spent hours upon hours upon hours with it in the beginning, just the two of us. We were nearly inseparable, even forgoing sleep. And then, my creative eye wandered. Don’t judge! There was a Funcom tiny home building contest, and then a string of other survival games — for work, I tell you! It reached a point that even though I longed to return, it was too hard; those unfinished bits that didn’t quite come together nagged at me. This year, I am determined to finish. Not only that, I am ready to improve! As much as it hurts me to lose progress and have to abandon good ideas, new building elements in the game will make it all the better when finished. The operative word is (finally) finished!

3. Amass my robot army — again

With my need to move across the survival universe, games like Outpost Zero that have a timed life-span are especially brutal when it comes to progress. Numerous times I have rebuilt bases, even refining my set-up each time, only to have the cataclysm happen and wipe it all before I got far enough in to really amass and appreciate my robot army. This time, I have a better plan: I have moved my endeavors to my personal PC where I can prevent the world from ending, giving me time to really build up my minions when I can steal available time without worrying that I will be starting back over again before long. Here’s hoping this works! The only problem is not being able to share the experience with friends. Which brings me to…

4. Survival is better with friends

I am working to get more friends involved in my survival game endeavors. In particular, I might have gifted a friend a copy of Outpost Zero, and I might invite him onto my little world when I can play. I might also be trying to get another one to join in. (If you are reading this and feel targeted, I swear I have a totally innocent look on my face right now.) These games really are way more fun with friends, so I just need to get folks invested so they can come be a part of it all.

5. Make time for fire; make fire

Sometimes games get lost in the shuffle. That has happened with Citadel: Forged With Fire. There’s lots about this title that I want to delve even more deeply into (did I mention fire?!), but it has been a victim of the non-enough-time epidemic. In 2020 I am going to make time. And since a friend has a server, it won’t be hard for me to jump back in. This is me jumping! See?

6. Pick a personal home

The problems I’ve run into with PixARK can almost all be solved with a personal server. It is just hard to pull the trigger on owning one as having a hosted server also further depletes my fairly barren wallet. But this adorable game is one I have friends in who also enjoy playing at around the same casual level as I do, and we could have a much better experience if we just have our own little world. There is so much more to explore and tame and maybe even breed — we aren’t nearly done with life on this world. We just need a world.

7. Breed more baby dinos!

Before there was Baby Yoda, there were baby dinos. And I miss my baby dinos! So I have a goal to breed me some more of the cute little buggers. Now I don’t really want to delve back into ARK: Survival Evolved anymore, so this will be a PixARK goal. More bunnies, more packys, and who knows what else. I just know it will be cute. Before this, I’ll have to have completed goal number 6.

8. Don’t Starve Together

Sometimes I get survival games and don’t even have the chance to dive in yet! Such is the case with Don’t Starve Together. This little game has been sitting on my hard drive for quite a while (remember way back when The Survivalist started?), and it is time that it gets some love and attention. Perhaps there will be a way to turn this into an OPTV event?

9. Give me some space

Who doesn’t need more space? And in this case, I mean a world in space: I need to get back into Osiris: New Dawn. There’s so much to do there I haven’t done, and I want to do it. I want to build bigger, better vehicles and explore more. So, that’s what I am going to do. I’ll make some space in my schedule to go back to the only place that lets me build a car out of crab legs.

10. Leggo my ECO

I have to admit I am not sure what happened for this goal. While I know why my thoughts of trying to give Hellion another go were quashed (it both released and ended development), I am not sure what to do with my plans to enjoy more of the community aspects of ECO. I went to fire the game up in anticipation of this list and… couldn’t find the game. It isn’t anywhere, being neither on my hard drive as the alpha nor on my Steam account. I was pretty sure I played after the early access, but maybe not. The last time I remember is my fun with the devs. So the goal I guess is to find out what happened to my game! Then, if I can, check it out again and see how it is doing since that EA launch.

To be continued! What, you didn’t think all 20 could fit here, did you?

In the survival genre, there are at least 1001 ways to die, and MJ Guthrie is bound to experience them all — in the interests of sharing them with you! The Survivalist chronicles life and death struggles against all forms of apocalypse, outbreak, mutation, weather, and prehistoric wildlife. And let’s not forget the two-legged enemies! Tune in here and on OPTV to see who feeds better: MJ or the Death Counter.

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IronSalamander8 .

Some of these I don’t know or have heard and haven’t played.

Astroneer is a good one and I got it in early access when it had serious bugs, especially in multi-player. It’s deeper and more stable than it was back then, and I like making bases on all the planets, even if I still hate the demonic tumbleweed things on the arid world.

We tried Conan Exiles again recently. It still feels like an alpha, it actually reminds me of 7 Days to Die in many ways (a game that’s been in alpha forever). I can’t get past how tedious the game is to actually enjoy building in it. I’d rather just play Minecraft or Creativerse for that explore/build fix.

Don’t Starve is great but it will kick your butt. I’ve played the non-together version a lot but not much in the co-op version. I’ve always preferred Willow as she’s noob friendly with her lighter but can be a problem when her sanity is low!