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Survival Guide - Dust Settles: Game Overview

Table of Contents:

I. Purpose
II. Game Basics
III. Reading This Manual
   A. Places to Start
IV. Final Words


Survival Guide: Dust Settles is a strategy game meant to strain your mind, fuel your competitive spirit, and generate a readiness for future events to come in our world. You may notice parts of this game that resemble others you've played. Though imitation is the highest form of flattery, nothing was taken directly from another game. Every bit of this game was constructed and coded by two of the primary game admins, GameAdmin (Robert) and Nupsiphi (Richard).

The concept of the game is not extremely original, life after the apocalypse, but there are unique parts to this game that make it original. The basic premise is that Earth was ravaged by a comet... perceived by Chinese misinformation to have been an ICBM. Retaliation breeds global war. Large weaponry breeds ecosystem instability and seismic anomaly. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions end man's war and throw the planet into an instant freeze and a nearly lifeless state. We are creatures of intelligence and stamina. Many more humans survived than predicted. The human race, though ripped apart and changed forever, will one day thrive again. Leaders must rally survivors into camps. They must lead those camps from survival to civilization. They must resurrect humanity from the ashes.

You, however, are a college student that just so happened to survive by hiding under a pool table at the exact right moment. A few of your friends survived with you, but know that you are the natural leader. You think quickly and erect a flimsy, but useful, shelter from the rubble. You also gather a small initial supply of important resources for your survival. The future of humanity is in your hands.

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Game Basics:

Small Screen ShotObviously, this is a strategy game. It is heavy on micromanagement, numbers, and thoughtful decisions. This does not mean that you have to like math to enjoy the game, though. Many of our players, including some that have played since round one and/or hit the top 5 multiple rounds, absolutely hate math, yet they continue to come back and enjoy the game. You will have to make choices and allocations of resources from the very first click as you play.

This game is text-based. Though there are some pictures, almost all of your actions will involve numbers that you adjust in a completely text table. A few will involve merely changing something in a drop down list of options. This game is not a MUD, though. If you're curious about the overall look of the game, you can find some initial screenshots in the explanation of the basic game screen.

The game progresses forward when you end a turn. Each turn counts as a day in this post apocalyptic world. You will start with 100 to 400 usable turns (depending on how soon after the beginning of the round you sign up) and gain a new turn every 10 minutes. The maximum number of turns stored at a time are 400, so if you miss some, you will not be able to get them back. The End Turn page will explain more about the process of setting up a day and ending a turn as well as the results of ending a turn.

This is a round based game, not a persistent world. Every 28 days, the game resets to the beginning. This is attributed to a new nuclear war caused by the person who built the most nukes that round. Every 28 days a new round will start, giving you a new chance to fight your way to the top. See this page for more information on the win scenario.

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Reading this Manual:

As you are reading through this manual there are a few things that will be repeated. First, the main information will sit in this same box on the left-hand side of the page throughout this manual. Your toolbar will remain on the right so you can flip around to different pages whenever you feel like it. Just click the plus to expand the section and the minus to minimize it. On the top of every page will be a title in white text. This will tell you what the information on that page is centered around. Next will usually be a table of contents to give you an overview of what each page contains and allow you to skip to a section quickly if you only want specific information. After that will be the header "Purpose", just like at the top of this page. This is where the manual will explain the basic reason for whatever the page is explaining. The rest of the page will be broken down into decently short paragraphs and other primary and sub-headers so that we cover basically everything you should know about the game. One thing to note, as you are reading through and clicking links within the manual, you will occasionally see a link such as stored resources below. The break between the two words, unlike End Turn above, means that each word actually links to a different page.

Places to Start:

This manual has a great deal of information in it which can be overwhelming when you are just beginning. In order to help with that, we'd like to point you to a few places that you might want to start. Note, this manual does not go into heavy detail on strategies for playing the game, only the mechanics and some bare basics to help you learn the system. If you're looking for strategies, you'll want to try the player edited wiki or some of the other player-made resources.

Signing Up?
Signing Up: This page will help guide you through the process. This also has information about validating your account and what to do if you are having trouble.
Character Classes: This page will give you an overview of the advantages and disadvantage of each class.
Terrain: This page will give you an overview of the differences between the terrains.

Starting Out?
Newbie Guide: This can really help you understand the basic mechanics and how to get started. There's even a walkthrough for ending your first couple of turns.
Ending a Turn: This explains how you end a turn and move forward in the game.
Basic Research: This page explains how you research and tells you what combinations open different topics, buildings, and abilities
Buildings: This page contains links to all the buildings so you can get more details on each.
FAQs: Some basic (and not-so-basic) questions are answered here. You might be able to find out what you need to know before going elsewhere.

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Final Words:

So, now that we've gone over some of the basics, please feel free to read through the rest of this manual, especially if this is your first round. There is a Newbie Guide page with some tips and advice for new players, as well. As always you can ask other players for advice through the forums or private messages. The game admins will also be happy to help you out if you cannot seem to find the answer to your question in this manual or through a former player/the forums. Game admins are listed in black on the Statistics page. You can send an in-game private message to any of the admins (yes, they are different people), or send an e-mail to Good luck, and have fun.

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 Game Overview +/-
 Getting Started +/-
 Units and Resources +/-
 The Main Game Screen +/-
 Camp Activities+/-
 Research +/-
 Economy +/-
 Attacking a Camp +/-
 Alliances +/-
 Focus Paths +/-
 Camp Information +/-
 In-Game Communications +/-
 Extras +/-

Newbie Guide!
Downloadable PDF Version