Developer Log #31 :: Alpha 0.14 Progress Update

Another update to cover some of the things currently being worked on for the alpha 0.14 update. There is a lot of new content in development and it’s coming along very well. I wanted to focus on some additional details and changes that have occurred since the previous developer log.



Mercury Fallen :: Aquarium

As mentioned in the previous developer log I’m adding in the ability to grow fish for food. After getting the visuals setup for the fish tank I realized the tank looked a bit too small to represent proper food production. I still love the smaller tank, but I decided to create a new fish tank, called the aquarium, and will keep the smaller fish tank as a decorative item that can be placed anywhere. This is similar to how there are production crop objects as well as a plant pot for decoration. The aquarium will grow edible fish as well as bio-waste for generating botanical nutrients.


Machine Rosters

Mercury Fallen :: Roster

As part of allowing for more control of colonists activity, I’m working on the new machine roster system, as mentioned in the recent developer log. This new system will allow the players to setup a list of colonists that are allowed to work a given machine. The above image is a work in progress, but shows the new Colonist Roster section and management list.

The current plan on how the roster system affects the colonists is based on the following rules:

  1.  A colonist will work at a machine with either an empty roster or a machine that has their name on it’s roster list.
  2.  A colonist will not work at a machine that has a roster list and their name isn’t on the list.

Regular job role assignments still apply to what machines a colonist will work at, but an additional roster check will follow the above rules. By default a machine has an empty roster list which means it continues to work as it does now until you setup the roster list for that machine.

This allows for more control over what machines/objects a colonist can work at, especially when dealing with multiple machines/objects of the same type. For example, you could have two botanists that will only work certain crop fields by assigning them to the rosters of the crop fields you want them to work at. There is currently no planned preference for working roster assignments first. This means that a colonist is just as likely to work at a machine with an empty roster as they are to work at a machine that has a roster with their name on it.


Aeroponics Farm

Mercury Fallen :: Aeroponics

The aeroponics farm is a higher level crop growing system that will grow crops faster as well as have improved yield. I’m still working on the process, but these machines, in addition to power/water, will require botanical nutrients when planting the crop. Botanical nutrients is a new item that is generated from bio-waste that comes from the aquarium when harvested. Certain crops can only be grown using the aeroponics farm. 5 new alien crops have been added in so far and there are more planned for the update.

Much of the development time right now is being spent on getting the core systems in place for some of the new content as well as the artwork for new items, crops and machines. Several new cooking recipes are also being added so that colonists can start eating a more varied diet.

Be sure to let me know what you think of some of the new content coming the next update.

Howdy Folks. Since the last update I’ve been working on a bunch of new content for the next update. Things are coming along very well and I wanted to cover some of the new things coming in the next update.


More Food Options

Mercury Fallen :: New Crops

The poor colonists are currently existing only on mashed potatoes, but more meal options are incoming. Several new alien crops are being introduced into the game. Some of these new crops will need to have it’s seed discovered and researched before it can be planted. How new seed discovery items are found is still being worked out, but some of them will be discover-able in item chests similar to some of the technology blueprints. These new crop types will open up a whole bunch of new food recipes at the cook station.

Bio-Lab Room

Mercury Fallen :: Bio-Lab

In addition to new crops, there is a new room and new machines being added. The new Bio-Lab room will be a required room for the new Algae Farm, Aeroponics Farm and Fish Tank.

Aeroponics is a new crop growing machine that will be required for some of the new plants that won’t be plantable in a normal crop field. The Aeroponics Farm will be able to grow all crops as well as a provide a bonus growth speed, and possible bonus yield, to crops that can be grown in the crop field. The trade off to the Aeroponics is that it will require power, water and botanical nutrients to operate. This does not replace the crop field as Aeroponics will only be available after certain discoveries and research.

The Algae Farm is used as an additional food source for new food recipes. There are some additional plans for Algae that will come in future updates as well.

Finally the colonists will have a source of protein from the Fish Tank. I’m still working on the over all production cycle of the fish tank, but the end result means some fish based meal options.

And More

While the core focus of the next update is the new food recipes, crops and room, there are some additional things that I’m working on that may make it’s way into the next update. One feature I’m working on is colonist machine rosters. This would work by selecting a production machine and choosing what colonists can operate that machine. When a colonist looks for a job they will only be able to work at a machine that does not have anyone on its roster or a machine that has a roster with their name on it. Each machine can have multiple colonists assigned to it and this new system should allow for better control over where a colonist is working as well as ensuring the various machines get properly utilized. This new system is very much still in the design phase so any and all feedback is welcome.


There is still a lot more work to be done for the next update, but it’s progress is coming along very well so far. Thanks to everyone who has provided some great feedback so far. Let me know what you think about these new features.



Alpha 0.13a is now available on Steam. This is a minor, but critical, update to resolve crashing issues for Mac users. There are a few additional tweaks and fixes included as well.


Release Notes

  • Added: Robot charge pad now has a particle effect when in use.
  • Changed: Additional aspect ratios now supported under resolution options
  • Changed: Game no longer defaults to full screen when opening for the first time
  • Changed: Game now available in both 32 bit and 64 bit for Windows.
  • Changed: Mac version now requires 64-bit CPU/OS
  • Changed: Windows version no longer supports DirectX 9.
  • Changed: Migrated code/assets to latest version of the Unity engine.
  • Changed: Object blueprint build info now has a progress bar and item grid to show needed vs. supplied resources.
  • Changed: Build info window now shows it’s build position number in the build queue.
  • Fixed: Game crashing at startup on Mac.
  • Fixed: Unable to place floor tile next to objects that use empty tiles in its footprint. This is most noticeable if trying to place a different floor tile other than bedroom floor to the left/right of the head of a bed.
  • Fixed: Colonists walking around with zero health

I’m super excited to announce that Alpha 0.13 is now available on Steam! A lot of work has been put in to this update and there are many great content additions, changes and fixes.

Important Notes

While existing save games will still load, much of the new content will only appear when starting a new game.

Due to changes in how the settings file is stored, existing settings will reset to defaults.


Map Generation

Alpha 0.13 :: Map Generation

When you start a new game, you will see that map generation now includes the ruined remains of the Mercury Facility. These existing facility rooms can be deconstructed for materials or re-purposed.

Item chests have been added that can be opened for additional materials as well as discovery items. Starting supply items are no longer contained in the elevator, but are in a supply chest next to the elevator that will need to be opened. Additionally, the power generator will contain some fuel when starting the game.

Discovery System

Alpha 0.13 :: Discovery Interface

Discoveries are unique items that the player can find in item chests. These items are used to expand the story and some items are required for certain research projects. This is only the beginning of the discovery system and more discovery items will be added in future updates.

Story Content

Discover new information about the Mercury Facility and uncover the story of the missing colonist by finding data logs in item chests.

UI Improvements

Alpha 0.13 :: Notifications

Changes to the user interface also include a new notification system. Notices still appear at the top right, but are now icon buttons that can be hovered over for additional information. Notices will stay for much longer and can be dismissed by right clicking them.

Other interface changes include the replacement of text percentage with progress bars, Colonist Management has been renamed to Facility Management, and the update also fixes typos, optimizes UI performance, adds a discovery interface and more.

Performance Improvements

Alpha 0.13 :: Performance Improvements

This release also improved performance when there are many colonists in the facility. Colonist planning logic was a bottleneck in previous versions, but it’s been revamped and in testing,  over 100 colonists had a minimal impact on performance.


There are a lot of great additions, fixes and changes. Check out the full list below.


Release Notes



  • Updated notification system. Notifications now appear as icon buttons at top right. Hovering over them will show more information. Notices stay for much longer and can be dismissed by right clicking them.
  • Discovery items which can be found in item chests. Discoveries are unique items that are used in various ways such as story content and blueprints.
    Item chests scattered around the map that contain various resources including discovery items.
  • Changed map generation to include the ruined remains of the Mercury Facility. New generated facility rooms can be deconstructed for materials or re-purposed. These ruined rooms are also a good place to find item chests.
  • Discover lost data logs to uncover the story of the missing colonist
  • AI decision logic now operates in a separate thread for improved performance when having many colonists in facility.

UI Updates

  • Added: New notification when a colonist increases in a job level
  • Added: Discovery interface under Facility Management.
  • Added: Object/Colonist window open/close animation
  • Changed: Research interface no longer references research progress in time. It is now just in generic research points as time was not an accurate measure anyway.
  • Changed: Research prerequisites now show if a discovery item is also required
  • Changed: Colonist Management button icon changed and tooltip renamed to Facility Management
  • Changed: UI Scale setting defaults to medium instead of Large
  • Changed: Clone Chamber interface now shows progress bar instead of text for clone progress
  • Changed: Optimized UI Icon loading for improved performance
  • Changed: Updated crop field object icon
  • Changed: Crop Field interface now shows if it’s waiting for a colonist to plant the crop.
  • Changed: Crop Field now shows progress bar instead of just percent text
  • Changed: Research progress bar in research station interface now shows percentage
  • Fixed: Wrong icon for MedBay Floor in object list
  • Fixed: Blurry game speed icons
  • Fixed: Job name shows multiple times when changing recipe from drop down in craft queue.
  • Fixed: Various typos

World Generation Updates

  • Added: Various types of item chests that can be found and opened for additional items and possible discoveries.
  • Changed: Item chest next to elevator now contains starting supplies. Elevator no longer has an inventory
  • Changed: New game starts with some fuel already in the power generator.


  • Added: Selected colonists now show a path to their destination
  • Added: New quirks related to the muscles attribute
  • Added: When selected, power/Water generators now highlight the objects they are actively delivering their resource to.
  • Added: When selected, machines will now highlight the power/water generator they are receiving their power/water from.
  • Changed: Power/Water check happens as resources are flowing through the conduit. This results in some initial flickering over devices as power/water generators make connections to consumers. This was changed for fast connection time of power/water consumers.
  • Changed: Colonist will now pause before picking up items on floor. Pause time determined by work speed and hauler job level.
  • Changed: Colonist will now take time to refuel a generator. Action time determined by work speed and hauler job level.
  • Changed: Colonist will now replan walk path if path becomes blocked after planning a walk path
  • Changed: Colonists will now reference more surrounding tiles when trying to become unstuck if an object is placed on top of them.
  • Changed: Constructed Robot age is now 1 instead of a random age
  • Changed: Haul job role renamed to Hauler
  • Changed: Data Recovery now referenced as Research Projects
  • Changed: Computer Station renamed to Research Station. Description/references also updated.
  • Changed: Various changes to research times.
  • Changed: Some research projects now require a blueprint to be discovered before they can be researched
  • Changed: Missing colonist stasis capsules and inactive robots are now more evenly spaced out during map generation.
  • Changed: Clear construction action is now a builder action instead of a hauler action
  • Changed: Ailment notifications now provide information on the cause of the ailment
  • Changed: Optimized management systems for improved over all performance
  • Changed. Game settings now in same root folder as saved games. Settings will be reset to defaults the first time the new update is played.
  • Changed: Can not build floors on tiles selected for deep mining
  • Changed: Objects/colonists now remain highlighted if their info window is open
  • Changed: Assembly Floor moved to Tech Printing research project
  • Changed: Basic Robots now requires Tech Printing instead of metallurgy
  • Changed: Placed objects that generate or require power no longer auto create conduits. Conduits need to be placed after creating an object.


  • Fixed: Tutorial task complete sound is heard repeatedly even after completing a task.
  • Fixed: Colonist not moving or performing other tasks if hungry and no food is available.
  • Fixed: Colonists sleeping standing up
  • Fixed: Colonist can receive ailment more than once
  • Fixed: Haul to generator action not giving haul job experience
  • Fixed: Colonist not picking up items on ground if some of the items don’t have a place to be stored.
  • Fixed: Colonist attempting to move food items to fridge even if fridge is not powered.
  • Fixed: Colonist stuck in bed after loading a saved game.
  • Fixed: Multiple colonists attempting to haul same items to storage in some instances
  • Fixed: Object placement graphic not showing after cancelling build while dragging.
  • Fixed: Jobs not being performed at all if priority set to lowest (10)
  • Fixed: Can select tiles for deep mining that have a floor or other structure
  • Fixed: Water conduits unable to be selected in water overlay
  • Fixed: Power generator still providing power after being deconstructed.
  • Fixed: Colonist stuck clearing construction area if they can’t get to item on floor
  • Fixed: Crop Field enable/disable button removed as it did not serve a purpose.
  • Fixed: Objects receiving power/water when there isn’t enough power/water available in some instances.
  • Fixed: Some objects not staying highlighted when moused over
  • Fixed: Doctor can no longer starve to death while treating a patient


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