Hitting “preview program” back in July of 2020, Obsdian’s Grounded has been getting major updates ever since, and is soon to hit full release this September. It’s already getting major features, however, like the most recent addition of shared worlds.
Listed as a “secret feature”, it’s considered in beta, but was revealed on the official forums as follows:
You can now create a Shared World as well as the Standard Worlds you have been doing since Game Preview launch. Shared Worlds are stored in the cloud and you can share them with any of your friends so they can host that world while you are not online.
- You can own up to three Shared Worlds at any given time.
- You can have 50 worlds shared with you at any given time.
- Any Standard Worlds from before can be converted to a Shared World via the Save / Load menu.
- Any Shared World you own or have been shared with can be copied down as a local Standard World for you to play on your own.
- Shared Worlds can only be played by hosting it as a Multiplayer game.
- Only one person can host a Shared World at a time (others will be able to join the current player who is hosting).
- Any game progress that happens while anyone is hosting a Shared World will be properly restored regardless of who hosts the world next.
This is a fantastic addition, because it’s a service that with games like Astroneer, or even Minecraft, you have to pay extra for, or even hire external servers to run your shared game on. There are potential use cases, also listed on the forums as such:
- Owner of Shared World who is hosting can logout for the day and have someone else who has the world shared with them rehost it while they are offline.
- You can use this system to share copies of save games with friends: Create a Shared copy of an existing world, share it with said friend, have them download a Standard copy of it on their end.
- If you own both a Steam copy and an Xbox / Windows Store copy, you can use this system to have a single Shared world that you can play through across all platforms.
The developer posting the story also confirms this is a beta feature and “could have issues and could require online shared saves to be reset / lost as bugs are ironed out. If you test this feature out with a save with lots of progress, make sure it is not the only working copy of the world you have on your account. The shared save service could also go offline at any time during this testing phase to account for issues or updates as needed”.
Myself and Chris Hyde streamed the game, and our first impressions two years ago, but even then it seemed pretty decent. I’m quite excited to get back into it and see how much it’s changed in two years.
Grounded is due for a full release on PC and Xbox on September 27th, but it’s out now (via Game Pass as well) in preview program.