Below is a list of features that may be included in the first release and in the future expansions. They are listed in the order that we think would make sense to implement them. The first release will focus on survival. Later expansions could have themes such as: Farming, Manufacturing and Industry, Mining, The Sea.
However, none of this is set in stone, our plans may change as we (and you) get to test the game.
In the first part of our game, Ward Conlan and a group of scientists are lost in the wilderness after having escaped an alien swarm. They are far away and forgotten by the newly settled and struggling main colony, so chances of rescue are slim. Many months pass where the stranded people must fight for survival. The pioneers must use all their skill and knowledge of the environment to hold out until they are rescued and rejoin the other settlers.
The characters will gather berries, edible roots, mushrooms and firewood and chop down wood for construction. Scavenging carcasses is also an option.
The player can designate an area to be explored. Characters all have a sensor range which gives a fog of war effect. The player knows the general features of the map from the beginning but the specific flora and fauna of an area is unknown until a character walks into the area. After a while, resources such as mushrooms, fruits and firewood appear, indicating that the area has been explored.
The characters can hunt for game and in return be hunted by predators.
The player can order production of tools, weapons, food and many other items.
The expedition members will rely on versatile tools that are either high-tech or improvised from available resources.
There are a variety of exotic ingredients in the game. The stranded characters will need to appreciate the strangest dishes.
Many actions are determined by the characters’ physical needs. These include eating, sleeping and resting.
The day-night cycle influences the behavior of expedition members as well as creatures.
Alien animals are a danger as well as a source of food for the expedition members.
The player can order the characters to salvage structures and items. Salvaging splits the object up in its consisting components, with a loss. The efficiency of a salvage job is dependent on the available tools.
Items and goods, as well as finished vehicles and machinery can degrade if they are not stored properly, and will eventually break down.
A condition level tracks the state of the item. When the condition is low, there is a chance that one of the components will be destroyed and the item will cease to function.
The settlers build structures such as these :
The stranded characters already have some knowledge of the environment, based on research during the reconnaissance mission they took part in. But many plants and animals are waiting to be examined, named and categorized. When expedition members encounter an unknown phenomenon they will have to examine the item to figure out its attributes and also name it. The player gives an examine order and a character will look at the specimen and use research equipment to determine its properties.
If a character is sick or injured, another character with sufficient medical skill can diagnose and then perform treatment.
Characters performing the Repair action will improve the condition level and replace destroyed components, if the right materials are available.
These are ideas we have for future game expansions. Take it with a grain of salt though, because our plans will undoubtedly change during development.
We follow the farming communities that appeared in the years after planetfall. The player can now establish settlements that produce and trade crops.
When the player wants to exploit or research a distant area, he needs to form an “Expedition” since characters will not go too far from their home. All settlements start as expeditions, because after a while, the expedition can grow more permanent with buildings, roads etc. This changes its definition into an Outpost, then a Colony.
The supplies and all other equipment that is brought along on an expedition is owned by an entity called “the collective” which is controlled by the player. The player chooses among volunteers, selects supplies and equipment and loads it on his chosen means of transportation.
Characters performing jobs for the expedition will earn food rations from its stores and shelter in its buildings.
Settlers can get access to items and tools that they are not able to produce themselves by trading with off-map colonies.
Settlers can use land vehicles and aircraft for transporting goods and people.
The “Mule” is an electric utility vehicle which can operate with or without a driver.
Paved roads can now be built. Tracks and pathways appear automatically where there´s traffic.
Settlers can set up their own homes, live together; get babies and die of old age. They are free to decide where to live. Some will live in barracks built by the collective; others will build their own home. The type of home that characters choose to build for themselves reflect their background and personal wealth.
People living in the same home are defined as belonging to the same household. They will most often be family members too. A household can be the owner of vehicles, items and buildings. All household members then share these possessions.
The concept of needs is expanded and now encompasses psychological needs as well.
When the settlers intervene in the ecosystems it can have far-reaching consequences that are difficult to predict. It will be hard to avoid, though, because the colonists must use every means they have to protect themselves from hostile alien life forms. Also, they will need to introduce terran animals and plants to provide food in the beginning, until enough is understood about the local organisms that food production can be based on them.
It becomes possible to have workshops and small factories that produce many types of goods. Buildings can be fitted with workshops and storage rooms.
On the secluded world where the game takes place, it is not possible to order spare parts for machinery or vehicles from home. There are no supply ships or freighters. Everything must be produced from scratch, from the planet’s own resources. This is why the colony ship carried two factories, packed down in boxes and ready to be assembled.
The ATLAS Self-Replicating Factory is capable of producing every part that it is made of. To achieve this difficult goal, while fitting within strict weight limits, it has been very carefully designed.
Humans are needed to operate all of the work processes. However, the factory can be upgraded later with greater automation. The factory itself weighs 150 tonnes and is divided into modules.
The ATLAS forms the backbone of the entire economy. Without it, the world’s technology would regress, as the settlers ran out of spare parts for their machines.
In the beginning of the game, two factories exist on the planet, one is assembled, the other is not. Over time, the player will be able to construct his own factories from parts acquired through trading with the surrounding world.
Such as biomass and nuclear fuel.
Settlers can now breed and care for animals. Farms can have livestock and aliens can be captured and tamed. Settlers can ride horses and train dogs.
New discoveries made on the planet can be sent to Earth, where research institutions will pay for the results in the form of new technologies and product designs that can be readily deployed.
The settlers can now extract metals from the earth, either by strip mining (digging away layers of soil) or leaching (extract dissolved minerals from deep in the ground).
Mines and quarries can be set up where the land has raw materials suitable for extraction.
To find these locations, geologists must probe the land and analyze data captured by aircraft and satellites.
The player directs the geologists by designating the areas he wants investigated further.
Ores and minerals are converted into materials.
Big rocks and terrain features can be pulverized with explosives.
Settlers can now make a living for themselves instead of relying on the collective. Private land ownership becomes possible and the player must compensate owners of land if he wants to develop it.
There are a variety of robot designs, some specialized in mining or farming, and some for hauling and even repair work. The robots are autonomous, but require human maintenance – they are somewhat costly to maintain and cannot fill all jobs. Robots will work around the clock as long as they are powered and serviced.
Game maps no longer need to be made by hand, the game can procedurally generate unlimited numbers of maps.
It becomes possible to travel by sea and fish from boats.
Small and large fish are simulated.
Fish can be bred
Of land and water
Heavy vehicles help with farming, construction and clearing land.