Developer Log #35 :: Constructing Vehicles

As many of you know, my current focus is to build the foundations for planetary exploration. In the last two developer logs, I covered how the planet surface is generated and a bit about vehicles and resource discovery. There has been a lot more progress on vehicle construction which I will cover here.


Surface exploration will require vehicles that need to be researched and constructed. Vehicle templates are created using the vehicle designer.

Mercury Fallen :: Vehicle Designer

There are different vehicle types that determine various base attributes of a vehicle, such as its speed, cargo space, battery capacity, the number of passengers it can accomodate, and more. Additionally, you can apply various equipment and upgrades which will further increase the capabilities of your vehicle.
Different types of vehicles, equipment and upgrades will need to be discovered/researched before they can be used. Different parts will determine the build/upgrade cost of your vehicle.

The engine affects the vehicle speed and power drain.

Sensors affect both analyzing speed as well as visibility range. Visibility range is the number of tiles around the vehicle that will be uncovered when the vehicle is moving.

While I plan for various uses for exterior equipment, the initial release will allow for mining lasers to be attached so that ore resources can be mined on the surface.

Upgrade Modules
Each vehicle type has a fixed amount of upgrade slots. Many different types of upgrades will become available to increase various vehicle attributes.

Once a vehicle template is created, it’s available for construction in the vehicle assembler, which is built in the assembly room. After the vehicle has been constructed it’s visible in the vehicle bay. Vehicle templates can later be updated in the vehicle designer allowing for existing vehicles to be upgraded based on its template.

Vehicle Bay & Embarking

You can access the vehicle bay by clicking your primary facility on the planet map. You can then embark a vehicle from your list of created vehicles. This involves choosing the colonists that will ride in the vehicle as well as any items you want to take with you. Once the vehicle is ready, you can select it and choose where it will go. Vehicles will uncover parts of the map as they move around.

While some details are still in development, and may change, the current plan is that vehicle distance will be limited by food and power. Each vehicle has solar panels, which allow the vehicle to recharge should it run out of battery power. When transporting human colonists, you will need to bring food, which will denote how much time, in days, the vehicle can be out before colonists will start dying of starvation. I do plan to allow for robots as passengers, which will not require food. Robots, however, are not able to do all the things a human colonist can.

Exploring The Surface

Mercury Fallen :: Surface Exploration

The initial release of surface exploration is expected to include uncovering your surroundings, analyzing and harvesting resources. Analyzing resources will take time and better sensors/upgrades added to your vehicle will decrease this time.

While there is still a lot of work left to do, development is coming along very well. I can’t provide a definite timeline, but I will say that there are at least several more weeks’ worth of development work ahead to build up the content for the next update. I greatly appreciate your patience, as this update will take longer than the previous ones that I’ve released. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on vehicles and planetary exploration? I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Hope everyone is having a great time at or watching E3! Some great stuff is being announced. In Mercury Fallen news, I’ve been working hard on the implementation of planetary exploration and resource gathering.


Planetary Resources

Mercury Fallen :: Planet Resources

In the previous developer log, I covered the procedural generation that creates the planet’s surface. The surface map also contains many resources, such as ores, flora and fauna, and there will be new resources found only in certain biomes on the map, in varying degrees of abundance.

The initial focus on the surface will, of course, be to explore your surroundings to find and analyze resource nodes. While icons will show the basic resource type, you’ll need to analyze resources to find out specifically what they are and how much is there.



Exploration on the surface is done using vehicles. Vehicles will require colonists to operate, but are directly controlled by the player. New biomes, areas and resources will need to be uncovered before they can be used. Different types of vehicles will be required to navigate some areas such as oceans and mountains.

I’m developing the foundation of planetary exploration, which means that when planetary exploration is released it is only the start of even more content to come. There are various features I I have planned for surface and underground game play that are too big to pack into a single update, so I’m working to divide up the new content in manageable releases, as I’ve done with previous updates.


Vehicle Construction

Vehicle construction is performed in the assembly room with the new vehicle assembler, coupled with a surface-level vehicle bay used to assign colonists to vehicles and where vehicles must return to be upgraded.

You’ll be able to choose the vehicle type and the equipment that goes in it. Vehicle slots will allow you to customize cargo space, seats, engine, utilities and more. The vehicle type will determine the basic look and attributes, as well as what, and how many, slots it has.


Mercury Fallen Discord Server

For those that are interested, I’ve set up a Discord server where players can meet to chat about Mercury Fallen. There are some great people already there, and I’ll be there, when I’m not busy creating new content. 😉

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