Alpha 0.15 :: Surface Exploration

Alpha 0.15 is now available on Steam! This update took longer than previous updates, and longer than I would have preferred, but there are a lot of great new features, updates and fixes. I’m especially excited about the planet exploration content.


Planetary Exploration

Operations Center

Colonists can now research and build an operations center and map table which allows for remote viewing of the planet surface. There are many new discoveries and resources to be found and exploited.


Remotely controlled vehicles allow for surface exploration, biome scanning and resource harvesting.

Surface Exploration & Mining

The Distance Operated Geo Explorer, or D.O.G.E, will allow colonists to scan biomes for new discoveries and resource information, while the Beetle Miner will allow for resource extraction and hauling.

Biologist Job Role

The Comm Officer has been fired and the new Biologist job position has been added. The Biologist will be responsible for tackling fish-related tasks.

New Discoveries & Research

Many new discoveries and research projects have been added for unlocking new, and some existing, content. Alien Flora/Fauna will now need to be discovered by scanning surface biomes before they can be researched and grown.

Notable Changes

There have been many tweaks and changes to existing craft recipes and construction material requirements. Construction and mining times have been reduced. Colonists will no longer die quite as quickly from starvation. There have been some minor graphics changes, and the camera zoom distance has been increased. These are just some of the changes.
For the full list of additions, changes and fixes, see the release notes below.

For the latest updates and information, be sure to follow Mercury Fallen in the following ways:


Release Notes


  • Added: Planet Map section in facility management interface
  • Added: Planet Map button to bottom button bar.
  • Added: Planet Surface Map which is explorable using vehicles. Surface allows for additional discoveries and resource harvesting.
  • Added: New Operations Center room floor
  • Added: Map table for operations room. Map table displays surface map and will update in real time as surface is explored. Planet Map interface only available when map table is constructed and has power.
  • Added: Vehicle Assembler for creating vehicles for use on the planet surface.
  • Added: D.O.G.E vehicle for surface biome scanning.
  • Added: Beetle Miner vehicle for surface mining.
  • Added: Background ambient music
  • Added: Several new raw and refined materials for crafting.
  • Added: Surface Analysis research project
  • Added: Surface Mining research project
  • Added: Silica Processing research project
  • Added: Several new research projects related to xenobotany
  • Added: Temperature Unit Setting (Fahrenheit, Celsius or Kelvin)
  • Added: Measuring Unit Setting (Imperial or Metric)
  • Added: Guide topics for surface exploration
  • Added: Biologist Job Role. Biologist job role responsible for handling Aquarium tasks.
  • Added confirmation window/save reminder when quitting to main menu


  • Changed: Alien flora/fauna must now be discovered/researched on the planet surface before it can be grown in crop field/aeroponics farm
  • Changed: Hemp/Potato output increased
  • Removed: Comm Officer Job Role
  • Changed: Increased storage capacity on all containers.
  • Changed: Renamed some research projects for better clarification
  • Changed: Selected research project information updated in research interface.
  • Changed: Notification tabs are now visible when facility management interface is open
  • Changed: Research complete notification now opens research interface when clicked
  • Changed: Research project info now shows more requirement information.
  • Changed: Decreased some research times.
  • Changed: Minor update to the look of crop fields
  • Changed: Colonists will randomly choose an applicable craft station to use. This helps to ensure colonists don’t ignore craft stations that are available.
  • Changed: Cloth now uses hemp.
  • Changed: Steel now uses iron ingots instead of iron ore
  • Changed: Material requirements for various objects/recipes
  • Changed: Materials used for high level stats for robot construction
  • Changed: Medical Bed moved from furniture to utilities section of build interface.
  • Changed: Colonists can now go 1.5 days before they begin to starve from not eating.
  • Changed: Reduced default level of construction sound effect
  • Changed: Decreased navigation grid updates to improve overall performance.
  • Changed: Increased max camera zoom distance
  • Changed: Object construction info will now show warning notice if construction area isn’t clear or floor under object isn’t finished construction


  • Fixed: Notification icons stuck in the middle of the screen after opening an item chest or pressing escape to close side info panel.
  • Fixed: Colonist becoming stuck after deconstructing starting generator
  • Fixed: Colonists able to walk on floor tiles over water even though they aren’t built yet.
  • Fixed: Research project background color shows as being able to be researched when requirements aren’t met in some cases.
  • Fixed: Audio level on colonist window tabs not affected by UI audio setting.
  • Fixed: Construction visual progress effect not updating if object is selected
  • Fixed: Colonist continues researching if research station they are sitting at is deconstructed
  • Fixed: Audio effects getting louder/softer when multiple audio effects are playing
  • Fixed: Storage containers not dropping their contents on the floor when deconstructed
  • Fixed: Colonist stuck in loop trying plant at aeroponics farm if only 1 plant nutrient is available in storage.
  • Fix: Item chests spawning on top of each other in ruined rooms.
  • Fixed: Low/high quality graphics settings were reversed. This meant that setting the graphics settings to high you were actually seeing low quality visual settings.
  • Fixed: Edge scrolling not working if cursor is over object build menu or getting started window.
  • Fixed: Colonist receiving additional quirks when loading a save game.
  • Fixed: Object in mid construction missing build materials when loading save game
  • Fixed: Active research project not set after loading save game.
  • Fixed: Object still constructed if floor isn’t finished construction
  • Fixed: Camera does not switch off power/water overlay if closing deconstruct filters

Alpha 0.15 is now available on the Test Build branch!

Mercury Fallen :: Biome Scanning

While the main feature of Alpha 0.15 is the new planetary exploration/mining, there are a lot of other additions and changes.

Some of the new changes in Alpha 0.15 include new surface exploration/mining, new research and discoveries, additional raw resources, new recipes, new objects, various fixes and performance improvements. If you’re interested in helping test Alpha 0.15 please click the link below for additional details.

For more information about the 0.15 Test Build, including release notes:

Hope everyone is doing great. I had a vacation a couple weeks ago and hit the ground running upon my return. There has been a lot progress made on the upcoming content update. I’m currently in the final private testing phase and finishing up minor tweaks and features before it hits the Test Build branch for public testing. Here are some of the things you can look forward to.


Planet Exploration

The big-ticket item for the next update is the planet exploration content. In the next update you will be able to scan biomes and mine new resources using remote surface vehicles. Colonists still don’t get a chance to leave the facility quite yet, but that is planned for a future expeditions update. A lot of work was required to get the foundation set up for planet exploration. This is the main reason this update has taken longer than I would have preferred.
Several new resources have been added that can only be gathered on the surface. Additionally, all alien flora/fauna must now be discovered on the surface, and researched, before they can be grown and harvested. New and existing resources can be mined on the surface. This will resolve issues with running out of resources for power or construction as resources are not depleted on the surface.


Discoveries & Research

Many new discoveries and research projects have also been added. The research project tree has been updated so that some research now requires additional surface discoveries.


Several new resources and recipes are available for advanced crafting. A couple of ambient music tracks have also been added.


I’m in the home stretch and Alpha 0.15 should be available in the Test Build branch soon. Thanks for your support and patience.

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