Developer Log #40 :: Graphics Update

Howdy Pioneers!

This week, I started working on something slightly unexpected. While it is on the to-do list, it wasn’t originally planned for the next content update. But it rose up quickly on the priority list, as it was required in order to do some of the other planned features.

Updated Wall Graphics

When I started developing Mercury Fallen, the art style was a bit more simple. As I’ve added new objects, however, that art style has become more detailed. This has left some of the early art in the game looking out of place. Updating the walls required updating the base model, remapping all the pieces and creating completely new art for each room wall type. This took a few days to do, but I’m very happy with the result.

Wall Objects

The other reason for updating the walls is to allow for objects that can be placed on a wall. The previous wall models used a collision box that encapsulated the entire wall tile. This meant that anything attached to the wall couldn’t be selected, as it was inside the collision boundaries of the wall itself. All the wall models have been updated with a custom collider, so that objects placed on a wall can be easily selected.


An additional challenge was coming up with an intuitive placement system for wall objects. The final result is an object snapping system that allows you to hover the wall object over a wall side, and the object automatically rotates itself to the proper side.

The first new wall object is the wall light. These are a great way to add light without taking up floor space. Additional wall objects are also in development.


Colonist Hunger

In addition to the graphics and decoration updates, I’m also working on various fixes. One big issue is that colonists can get into an endless loop of eating raw potatoes in some instances. To combat this, and generally improve on how colonists eat, colonists will now grab and eat multiple food items at a time to reduce their hunger below the threshold of being hungry enough to eat. This should improve colonists’ overall efficiency, and ensure they aren’t constantly eating.

Thanks for all the great feedback and support!

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Howdy Pioneers!

A huge thanks for all the support and feedback. There are a lot of things on my to-do list, but I wanted to go over some of the targeted content for the next update and beyond.


Discovery Interface

The discoveries interface is undergoing a bit of a face lift. I added quite a few new discovery items in Alpha 0.15, and I plan to add quite a few more. I’m updating the interface to be a bit cleaner and more functional.

Discovery items will be listed on the left, grouped by category. Categories can be opened and closed to more easily find discovery items you’re looking for. New discoveries will be highlighted in yellow so they are also easier to find. Category headers will show the category’s completion percentage, as discovery items will no longer show until they’ve been found. The category percentage will indicate whether more discoveries are available, or if the category is completed.


Improved Craft Queue

Something that has been on my to-do list for a while is improving the craft queue system. The current system doesn’t offer much control, and its operation is confusing to some new users. The updated craft queue system will allow you to manage item orders.

Item orders can be setup to craft a certain number of items, or only to craft the item if there are fewer than a certain number of the item available. Instead of setting an item to infinite quantity, as in the previous system, you can set how many you want to keep in stock. If there are more items than the desired number you’ve set, the colonists won’t craft the item again until the inventory drops below the set number. Item orders can also be paused and resumed at any time.

The sequence that items are crafted in still uses the round-robin method. Colonists will craft one of the first item, then one of the second item, and so on, until all item orders are complete.


Equipment Items

While working on the vehicle system for planetary exploration, I had planned to add vehicle upgrades. While that plan has not changed, the scope of it has increased to allow for a wider range of upgrade items. This new system will allow the creation and discovery of equipment items that can be installed into vehicles, colonists and machines to affect them in various ways. Machine equipment, for example, can’t be equipped by a colonist.

Vehicle equipment will offer improvements such as faster movement speed, faster mining, the ability to cross water/mountains and more. Equipment for objects will affect power consumption, decor rating, double output for craft stations and more. Colonist equipment will improve various attributes.

I’m still hammering out the details of how this system will integrate into the game. I’ve made some good progress and this will add many more items to craft and find.

Surface Map Points Of Interest

A big item on the to-do list is to add more exploration opportunities to the surface map. Points of interest, or POIs, will be locations on the map that can be further investigated. POIs will need to be scanned by a DOGE and, in various cases, will need to be further investigated by an expedition party of colonists. POI investigations will function as mini stories/events that will offer the player a choice about how to handle them. The results will be positive or negative, depending on the player’s expedition party and choices.

This is a system I’m very excited about, as it will add more story content, as well as more ways to get rare loot and discoveries.


Game Events

Game events will add more flavor with positive and negative colonist and world events that are randomly triggered. This is something I’ve been wanting to add to the game for a long time, but I wanted to avoid completely random events that they player may find frustrating. Events can affect the world, such as crop disease, or affect a specific colonist, such as a stress reduction for a given time.


I’m very excited about the new content in development. Some of the features mentioned above won’t make it into Alpha 0.17, but there is some great content coming. Be sure to let me know what you think of the new content in development.


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Howdy Pioneers!

Alpha 0.16 is now live on Steam, bringing new content, changes and fixes. A huge thanks for the great feedback from all of you who checked out the Test Build!


Main Features

  • New Geothermal generator
  • New Thermal vents
  • New research progress meter in lower HUD interface
  • New ‘drop off items’ vehicle action
  • Update various tool-tips to provide more information and clarity.
  • Colonists more efficiently haul items to multiple construction sites and to storage
  • Reduced resource requirements for several crafting recipes


Updated Power Generation

Mercury Fallen :: Geothermal Power

The new Geothermal generator can be placed atop thermal vents and provides 2,000W of power. Thermal vents can be found while digging out the underground facility. While thermal vents are part of world generation, they will also appear in existing saved games.

The coal generator will no longer consume fuel if there are no machines drawing power from it.


UI Improvements

Mercury Fallen :: Research Meter

I’ve made various improvements to tool-tip information, including a research progress meter to the lower game HUD. This new research meter also functions as a button for quick access to the tech tree.


Mercury Fallen :: Tool-tip

Colonist job roles now show the work speed bonus in its tool-tip. The work speed for a colonist action is based on its associated job level and that colonists base work speed.


Haulers & Builders

Builders now bring build materials to multiple objects, if resources are available, before starting construction. This greatly improves construction efficiency and decreases the number of times a colonist runs back and forth for materials.

Haulers better determine what to pickup and haul to storage and will no longer carry more than their carry capacity.


Updated Craft Recipes

In Alpha 0.15, I increased the resource requirements for many recipes across the board. This change made sense for recipes that process raw materials into refined materials, but not for recipes that use the refined materials. After reviewing recipe requirements, I’ve reduced the resource requirements for various recipes that use refined material to improve content progression and enjoyment.


Let me know what you think of the new content in the General Discussion Forum.

Found a bug or reporting an issue? Please post in the Bug Reports Forum.


Be sure to follow Mercury Fallen development on:



Check out the all the changes/fixes in the release notes below.



  • Added: Geothermal Generator. Must be placed over thermal vents.
  • Added: Geothermal Power research project
  • Added: Naturally occurring thermal vents which can be harnessed for power. Existing save games will also generate thermal vents on tiles with a dirt floor or dirt wall.
  • Added: Drop Off vehicle action to beetle miner. This allows items to be deposited at the adjacent facility without having to dock the vehicle.
  • Added: Research progress meter to lower game bar


  • Changed: Builders will now collect and deliver build materials to multiple objects, within proximity to each other, before construction. This improves construction efficiency so that builders are not running back and forth for each object to be constructed.
  • Changed: Colonists now pre-calculate items to bring to storage. This ensures multiple colonists aren’t trying to collect the same items.
  • Changed: Colonists better determine what items to collect and bring to storage.
  • Changed: Colonists will no longer pick up more than their carry capacity when hauling to storage.
  • Changed: Research window now opened by clicking research progress display on lower game bar.
  • Changed: Deep mine selection button tool-tip now states a deep driller bot is required for deep mining.
  • Changed: Vehicles, when out of power, will now pause for power recharge and continue their active action once power is refilled.
  • Changed: Icon of ‘move to’ vehicle action
  • Changed: Reduced material requirements for various recipes
  • Changed: Power generator no longer consumes fuel if not connected to or delivering power to any machines
  • Changed: Job role work speed bonus per level tweaked to be more noticeable.
  • Changed: Job work speed bonus now shown in job tool-tip
  • Changed: Minor increase to colonists base run speed.
  • Changed: Updated various tool-tips to show more information or provide more clarity.


  • Fixed: Camera doesn’t track vehicle when clicking vehicle icon if vehicle is already selected.
  • Fixed: Vehicle continues to move even when out of power
  • Fixed: Vehicle action bar doesn’t disappear when docking vehicle.
  • Fixed: Vehicle consuming power after clicking move to action, but before destination is clicked.
  • Fixed: Power generator contributing to total power output even if not outputting power
  • Fixed: Multiple vehicle actions can be performed at once in some instances
  • Fixed: Crimson Bloom able to be used in plant pot before research for it is completed
  • Fixed: Wheat Thorn discovery can’t be found. Related biome will need to be re-scanned to make discovery if previously scanned.
  • Fixed: Robot charge station visually shows as constructed when first placed.
  • Fixed: All colonists have the same carry capacity. This is now correctly based on muscles attribute.
  • Fixed: Various improvements to colonist AI logic to increase performance
  • Fixed: Objects marked for deconstruction don’t save/load.
  • Fixed: Object build queue order not saved/loaded.
  • Fixed: Builder pauses movement when in object placement mode.
  • Fixed: Able to build Beetle Miner at vehicle assembly station before researching it.
  • Fixed: Default job priorities, when jobs have the same priority, not being prioritized in the correct order.
  • Fixed: Job action priorities not calculated correctly in some cases.

Alpha 0.16 is now available on the Test Build branch on Steam. There are a bunch of great new additions, changes and fixes. Notable changes include new geothermal power generation, improved construction and hauling behavior, UI improvements and more. If you’re interested in helping test this new version, check out the link below.


For more information about the 0.16 Test Build, including release notes:

Alpha 0.15 was a big update and, now that I’ve fixed its critical issues, I’ve hit the ground running on more content. Various additions, changes and improvements are on the way. Let’s take a look.

Geothermal Generator

Mercury Fallen :: Geothermal Power

Thermal vents have been added to the underground map and can be tapped for power. The new Geothermal Generator can be placed on top of a thermal vent and will generate 2,000W of power without requiring fuel. There are a limited amount of thermal vents, depending on map size.

Thermal vents will be spawned in existing saved games as well.

UI Changes

Mercury Fallen :: Research Meter

A new research progress meter has been added to the HUD next to the power/water meters. Now you’ll see at a glance what is being researched and its progress. This new meter is also a button to open the research tree.


Mercury Fallen :: Tool-tip

Various tool-tips have been updated to provide more information and clarity. The job tool-tip, for example, will show the work speed bonus provided to each job based on the job level.

Vehicle Drop Off Items Action

Mercury Fallen :: Vehicle Drop Off Items

The beetle miner will get a new drop off items action. This allows you to drop off materials, to the adjacent facility, from the miner’s inventory without having to dock the vehicle.

AI Improvements

I’ve taken a deep dive into the AI code to improve various behaviors and optimize how colonists determine actions. Builders will now collect and deliver items to multiple objects before performing construction. This greatly improves construction efficiency as it reduces colonists going back and forth collecting construction materials for each object.



In addition to adding new content, I’m always working to resolve existing issues. Many fixes are already in place for the next update, such as the missing wheat thorn discovery, vehicles still moving despite being out of power, vehicle camera tracking and more.


Thank you all for the awesome feedback and support!

Be sure to follow Mercury Fallen development on:


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