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Don't Starve is a pretty fun game, but I'm having real trouble finding things, since there's no manual or other official guide to let me know what things are supposed to look like. It's kind of frustrating, because it's not like it's hard to figure out that when a game uses a funky artstyle users are going to need to be told what things are, but whatever. I've found the forum, but there doesn't seem to be any basic overview / noob thread.

Does anyone know where a manual or other basic overview is?

EDIT: OK, there's an unofficial wiki. For anyone else who needs it, the wiki I found is at

It's kind of disappointing that the developer doesn't seem to have done any actual manual-type thing for this game. Even Dwarf Fortress has a tutorial and some official sticky threads, although a lot of people rely on the wiki. If I wanted the DF into-the-deep-end experience, I would play DF. I don't expect this kind of treatment from a game I've paid for.
Post edited July 22, 2013 by HGiles
The Wiki is semi-official. The guy administrating it, is in good contact with lead programmers of Don't Strave (e.g. Kevin). Furthermore, as DS is still work in progress and they're based on a strong participating community, the wiki is pretty well maintained.

I understand, that you feel they should've provided a manual for their game, but the initial idea for DS suggests the contrary.
The design is to throw the player into a strange world, with nothing, no equipment, no story and no clue - just don't starve. Exploring the possibilities was one of the core ideas for game play - daring, but therefore an indiegame. I found it innovative and liked it. Using the wiki actually takes away some fun, but eventually I occasionally used it, too, e.g. for crock pot recipes.
The idea sounds good, but it fails because players need to know what things are and what actions are possible. We can't perceive or interact with a game as intuitively as IRL, and the artstyle here doesn't help that. The game makers need to recognize that, and at least have the official forums direct people to the wiki until they're ready to make an official manual.

I'm a DF player. I know all about experimentation and exploring the world. But DF has menus to at least tell you what basic actions are possible and the wiki is very easy to find from the official forums. When a game doesn't even meet the standard of a 2-man team of avowed UI haters...
I like, that there is no tutorial, manual, etc. Its fun, to discover things on your own. For example: I didn't know, how to get Charcoal, which is needed for some crafting-recipes. One day, I accidentally put a whole forest on fire. And when I chopped the burned trees and get charcoal, it was like an "aha-moment".
Weather or not it's desirable is likely a matter of taste (especially with the wiki available) but desired or not it shouldn't be a surprise for anyone who picks this game up here at GOG as the first point of the description states
Uncompromising survival & world exploration. No instructions. No help. No hand holding. Start with nothing and craft, hunt, research, farm and fight to survive.
I'm currently enjoying just figuring it out, I like the concept and the challenge of that. Having said that I'll likely glance at the wiki from time to time to figure out a specific thing such as my current "Okay, I have four farms created now what am I able to plant in them, and how" question. All in all it seems like a matter of taste and the current method really works for some people, I've had a few friends recommend the game to me and I'm glad they did as it's fun for my type of play.

0.02 FRN