Attempting to capture my vision of the early game -- somewhere in between early alpha 4 and full story integration.
You pick a seed. I'm not sure how much information you get here, if any -- a color palette might be nice.
When you start out you have a bunch of broken machines / biologics / etc. The very early game is supposed to be fairly hard and if you die before building a base it's permadeath (though you can attempt to retry a seed) to fit into a roguelike aesthetic.
Initially you get a "Repair" menu. You'll need to make repairs on everything in this menu for the menu to disappear, and as it's your only starting menu it helps to introduce you to the game and its mechanics.
Your first step is repairing your extraction contraption. You need to be able to extract materials in order to progress. The recipe for this takes a certain amount of raw materials -- rocks, trees, whatever. All the same type. Possibly a procgen recipe.
You'll need to repair your gastric biologics so you're not losing food and water at an absurd rate. This takes extracted materials again of the same type. Starting out youll have a bit of food/water or will be able to eat raw materials for a bit of food/water (but not much, and you lose this capacity after the gastric unlock.
You have a survival kit that'll give you a basic fishing rod and weapon. You'll need to fix and unlock it to progress.
The last item on the agenda is repairing your Atomizer, which takes scales and hide via those systems.
With the Atomizer unlocked, you can atomize items to gain aether and then use this to build a very simple base (a prebuild). This will unlock the rest of the game but more importantly will put you back on the newflesh node network so you'll respawn if you die.
The very early game should be fairly hard - its purpose is to give you the game's basic mechanics but also to provide a roguelike survival feel.
Something in your base will allow you to fix your Journal, which is electronic and fairly scrambled. This will direct you towards Asher and the portal gun. Your journal will have other stuff in it from the beginning of the game though, mostly really cryptic stuff. The journal's probably also how you activate and read lore, and leave notes for yourself.
Anyway, building a base opens up a lot of stuff:
You'll be able to craft stuff -- crafting recipes are no longer going to be available everywhere. This is particularly useful for better weapons and fishing rods since the survival package ones are pretty terrible.
You'll have a lot of research available to you. Probably way too much honestly. However they are all on the PGCS so you're capped by what you can actually obtain right now.
Getting to Asher is probably how you get the Caves and Dungeons labs -- this would force you to get to Civilization first, which is kinda important because the storyline begins at Asher.