About Dyson


Dyson is an ambient real-time strategy game with abstract visuals.

Remotely command semi-autonomous self-replicating mining machines to take over an entire asteroid belt.

The original game was made in one month for the TIGSource Procedural Generation competition. Much of the game’s content is procedurally generated.




Optimus Beta!

posted by Rudolf on 21st August, 2009 | permalink | 7 comments


We have enough testers for now, sorry for those we can’t accomodate, and many thanks for all who have sent in an application. If we need addititional testers we will pick from the many people whose emails we have received but could not include in the Beta. The response was very good, my inbox is a disasterzone at the moment. :-)

Thanks all!


Whoa! Nice response people :-) We will need some time to sort through all the emails we have been getting, so don’t worry if you have had no reply yet. Also, even more diversity would be great, so non males are encouraged to reply as well. :-)



Hello friends,

We are getting pretty close to our release date, and the game is shaping up rapidly. In fact there is so much content now that we feel it is a good time to start getting some feedback on all the new stuff. The game is nearly content complete with regards to levels, and most of the gameplay features are in, so we are about to hit beta. In our excitement we decided to let people test the game now, while we still have some time to make changes, and in honour of this optimisation process we are not calling this a beta, as that would be too boring. Instead, we are calling this beta:


So, in order to make our Optimus BETA a success and get a good range of feedback we are going to pick some testers from people who have already volunteered previously, and some additional people responding to our call for help. We are looking to get a good mix of people, so we want to encourage people of all persuasions, newbies and veterans, to help us out. So, We would like to assemble a small group of very diverse Optimus testers, whose work will be very important to making the final game as good as it can be.

Help us!

Testing takes a fair bit of time, so any participant needs to be aware of this and other challenges. The process will mean exposure to bugs, placeholder narrative, missing help screens, crashes, and other creaky pitfalls of a title that is in development.  If you are interested nonetheless please drop us an email titled:  “Optimus Beta Tester”

The email should include the following info:

 - Tell us a bit about yourself, and if you have any experience playing our game (It is fine if you don’t)
 - List your hardware specs
 - Tell us why you want to participate
 - How long you can participate
 - What games you normally like to play


Once the Optimus testers have been assembled we will let people know not to send in more requests. Regrettably we won’t be able to take on all volunteers, so please don’t hate us if you don’t get picked from the hat. At least you won’t hear spoilers about the game. :-)

Thanks everybody! More news soon.



Update to the 1.20 Linux version

posted by Alex on 14th August, 2009 | permalink | 2 comments

Hey all, just a quick note to say that the linux version (direct link; download page; just the patch files) has been updated to hopefully be a bit less pernickity about what libraries it wants… do let us know if it’s easier/harder to get it working than before. I also update the download instructions (specifically, wine instructions were telling you to work an old version of mono, and i added the winforms package as this seemed to help one chap get it running on 64 bit).

Massive thanks to everyone who has sent in reports, patches, etc. You’re awesome!


Information Overload

posted by Rudolf on 24th July, 2009 | permalink | 2 comments

Hello all,

Somebody recently asked us to start a Dyson Facebook page, which I dutifully set up and is quietly starting to attract a friendly crowd of people. However, I just realized that we didn’t tell anybody about this, or indeed some of the other ways to get news about Dyson.

So, for those who want to know more:

Dyson on Facebook
Twitter (I started using twitter and am including Dyson related content)
Alex, Rudolf (1, 2) and Brian’s websites

So many connections!

We will try not to be too boring! :-)


On release dates, features and other things

posted by Alex on 17th July, 2009 | permalink | 12 comments

Dear Friends,

As some of you have already noticed we have decided to publish the game later than the hoped-for July release, and will now release the game in the Fall. After some serious thought we decided this was the best course of action due to a number of factors, all to do with providing an extra high quality experience.

While working on the new game content and seeing the work done by the greatly appreciated modders on the forum we realized that we wanted to facilitate modding and scripting to a much higher degree than we do now. To do so we decided to integrate Lua script in the game at a fundamental level. This has massive positive consequences and potential. For us it makes it possible to create much more varied gameplay and really boost the variation in the gameplay goals of the levels, among other things. For the fans of the game it means that they will be able to heavily mod the game in ways that are really quite fundamental and should guarantee additional content being created for the game for a long time after the initial release. It therefore really adds to the game as a whole.

To make sure people have a real blast playing the game we wanted to include an extra playmode. This is now progressing apace, but this choice also added some more time to the schedule. The extra ways to enjoy the game and the added longevity are really important to us and hopefully will make sure that more people with different play styles will enjoy the game.

The added functionality, depth, and content has also meant that the play testing time has increased manifold. In fact, we will invite play testers to help us with this the moment we have progressed to a slightly more finalized build of the game. Watch this spot :)

Not meant as a cry for sympathy but it is also good to remember that we are just two game developers and audio guy, so we have only so much capacity to do all the work that needs doing. We are trying very very hard though to make this game as good as it can be. Hopefully it is understood that the expanded scope, and subsequent delay, comes out of a desire to give you something that is really worthwhile.

News Updates
Finally, I think we will start to release some more details about the game (starting with this news post as you can see) so things are going to be a bit less tightlipped from now on. We want to be careful not to promise things we can’t deliver, so as things get implemented we have a bit more scope for news on the game itself.

Wow, long post, but I think this covers it for now. Thanks for your patience!



News Update

posted by Rudolf on 17th June, 2009 | permalink | 9 comments

Hello all, things have been a bit too quiet here so I decided to write a multi part update.

Here goes:

Freeman Dyson
Did we mention yet that Freeman Dyson is a rather inspiring individual? As you know the game is somewhat influenced by his work, and I am not surprised that the content of this talk features a lot that is relevant to our game.

So relevant in fact that it can almost be seen to contain spoilers for people who haven’t yet played the game.

If you like the conceptual premis of the game you should really check out the talk yourself:
have a look!

Old interview
I won’t quote the whole thing but I was also interviewed by TigSource, and promptly broke their record on typos in one interview.

Here is an extract:

Leigh: Indie games are really breaking into the general gaming conscious at the moment, Indie games are more than ever in a better position to profit from this, but as they do so, do you see them changing to meet business needs?

Rudolf: To be honest, not at all. All I can see is people adhering to whatever principles they have to make games. These principles can be fiercely artistic, or specifically commercial. Indie is no more and no less than a way of creating games independently from big studios and developers and so on, it does not necessarily dictate the actual content of the game.

Leigh: Do you see this as breaking with the spirit of Independent games?

Rudolf: far from it, I think we are in an incredibly interesting period of indie game development that is go into produce more and even better games for a while yet. This wave is still growing and the added financial possibilities so far work as an enabler rather then a stifler.

And here is the interview:

We are progressing well, there is much much more content now, and it is also much more diverse. It won’t be much longer I think before we will start some initial playtesting, and I hope that it will gives us enough to really nail the final game experience. More on that when we are ready to invite testers.