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Planet Nomads had my interest for a long time, as I sat hoping it would blossom into something special. Sadly, it released today and it has not. Disclosure: Key provided by the developer.

For starters, they went back on doing multiplayer so now it's a (rather lonely) single-player only experience. I could handle that, if they truly made Planet Nomads interesting enough with the story but it's just not. On top of that, they originally promised space-flight to go to other planets, that also didn't make it into the game. Basically, the game never actually got any of the really interesting ideas that were used to fund it in the first place on Kickstarter.

Honestly, at this point I don't know why anyone would pick up Planet Nomads, considering how dull it is overall. If you want a sci-fi sandbox survival themed game, No Man's Sky does almost everything better. At this point, I'm sure people who've played it are desperate to point out Planet Nomads has a block-based building system which is quite different. Yes, very true! But that doesn't actually make Planet Nomads interesting when there's many more games that also do this across different settings. Even on Linux, if you refuse to use Steam Play for No Man's Sky I still won't recommend Planet Nomads.

For those who would point out that I've previously said a few nice words about the game, that would be quite true. Some of that though, was in the hopes that it would continue to progress and not just leave Early Access like this.

Performance in the Linux version is also not good, at all! With model quality, shadow quality, texture quality all to low and basically everything else on low or turned off, it struggles badly to even remain at 40FPS often dipping well below.

The game is also very unstable. The first time I tried to save with the released version it just sat there. The entire game just got stuck, I tried to send an in-game bug report as the UI was still responsive and that also just got stuck and seemed to not do anything. I gave it long enough to finish doing both, making sure in case it was being slow and not a bug but 20 minutes later…yeah that's a problem. Naturally, I don't give up at the first sign of trouble, so I tried again. This time, the game spawned me in and I was stuck, I couldn't move my legs at all. Okay, fine, save and quit to menu…didn't work again. Now it won't even load a new game at all, which sounds much like this issue which I tracked down in the game before.

If you like playing by yourself, in a sci-fi setting and playing with a few blocks, making a vehicle or two you might enjoy a couple of hours on it. However, it gets stale very quickly and seems to be extremely unpolished and buggy on Linux. What a waste of potential.

Find it on GOG and Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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32 comments
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Luke_Nukem 3 May 2019 at 8:57 pm UTC
Since finding out that NMS works amazingly well with Proton I've put in 83 hours.
My time with PN? Bursts of 5 minuute plays, less than an hour. I gave up because it performs absolutely awful.
Dunc 3 May 2019 at 9:03 pm UTC
liamdaweDown to one FPS?! Holy cow and I thought it performed badly on my end.
In the tutorial, yes, although it varied wildly and that was absolutely the worst case. On the planet it's okay. Not great, but okay.

I assume it's because the tutorial is basically built entirely from construction parts. They seem to be where the problem lies (a Ehvis says, it doesn't seem to be culling properly, so what you're actually looking at bears no relation to what framerate you might expect).
TehFreek 3 May 2019 at 9:27 pm UTC
phalenis there a linux builder that allows vehicle construction that would be some what comprible to PN or SE ? NMS does not have the vehicle building part which i rather enjoy.

TerraTech and Avorion are... closish, but definitely not the same.
phalen 3 May 2019 at 11:29 pm UTC
TehFreekTerraTech and Avorion are... closish, but definitely not the same.

Ive been looking at avorion but ya its missing the hop on land and make your base which is also a part that i like.
Ardje 4 May 2019 at 12:47 am UTC
I think I sunk more hours into planet nomads than into GTA V. It is a build game with strange physics. You get to play with all kinds of low level stuff. You kind of lego vehicles together, like a monorail and things like that.
That's how I left it.
That particular thing is pretty unique.
There is planet explorers that does a little bit of everything and is actually pretty good with story and all, and letting bots do the grind for you.
If you are into large scale automation you will have to look at fortresscraft evolved, my biggest time sink.
If you want to fly to different planets, and do some simple base building then no man's sky is your thing.
But none of those will let you use the lego you got and build something the developers did not expect.
If they all could work together and make one game. No man's sky to have and fly to different planets,
fortrescrafts massive automation setups to rain all those planets from their important resources,
use the Planet Nomads tool to create the planet exploring vehicles and rails and whatever. Have the bot management and a story like planet explorers...
And of course in vulkan and VR
That would be great.
gurv 4 May 2019 at 11:11 pm UTC
liamdaweTo each their own. NMS fills me wonder, Planet Nomads does not and looks like it never will. Such a let down.

You're right.
That said, I've read there are some plans to increase variety in NMS (planets and space stations) so I may very well end up changing my mind in the future. Who knows.

On topic, I just relaunched Planet Nomads and I must admit you're right: it's a buggy mess on Linux.
The save game feature doesn't work at all.

Fortunately the game seems to work perfectly with Proton.
Thanks Valve and Philip Rebohle!

But we shouldn't have to work around such huge bugs in the first place.
TheRiddick 5 May 2019 at 6:41 am UTC
Yeah I got in via gog long ago, when multiplayer was firmly said to be in, then they back flipped on that and said it was going to be a great single player experience... and here we are with a lemon.... Feels like starforge all over again... this dev will NEVER get my support again until a super awesome finished product is 1.0+++ and every single review praises it....

NMS is pretty good these days, and has continued support, and also has mod support (has several hubs).
YES THERE ARE MODS TO MAKE PLANETS AND LIFE MORE INTERESTING.. NM is a single planet, and a waste of time atm.


Last edited by TheRiddick at 5 May 2019 at 6:48 am UTC
gurv 5 May 2019 at 1:25 pm UTC
Thanks I didn't know NMS supported mods.

There are indeed mods that seem to improve planets diversity and personality to some degree.
But there's no such thing for space stations

Also the building really pales compared to Planet Nomads: it's like Playmobil vs Lego
gurv 5 May 2019 at 1:31 pm UTC
Dunc
liamdaweDown to one FPS?! Holy cow and I thought it performed badly on my end.
In the tutorial, yes, although it varied wildly and that was absolutely the worst case. On the planet it's okay. Not great, but okay.

I assume it's because the tutorial is basically built entirely from construction parts. They seem to be where the problem lies (a Ehvis says, it doesn't seem to be culling properly, so what you're actually looking at bears no relation to what framerate you might expect).

You might want to try with proton: I get a solid 50-60fps in 1920x1080 with high settings on the planet (GPU limited).
Though I've not played long enough under proton to see if there's still big performance drops when building lots of things.
Linuxpunk 5 May 2019 at 9:04 pm UTC
Man I regret buying this on EA. It was promising, but then just fell flat.
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