Update 23 :: New Beginnings

Howdy Folks!

I’m extremely excited to announce that Update 23 is now live! Update 23 brings many new changes and additions, such as an updated power system, new world generation, starting conditions and even brand new colonist models.

Important Note: While existing save games should work it is recommended to start a new game in Update 23.


Colonists have had a face, and body, lift: the update includes new colonist models, outfits and animations.

Colonist stress has been reworked and is now only affected by attribute effects instead of gradually increasing or decreasing based on decor. New stress attribute effects have been added that reflect the colonists current environment. More stress-related attribute effects will be added in future updates.

Colonists will now use benches and chairs when they have nothing else to do instead of only when their stress is high.

Starting Conditions

Some radical changes have been added to world generation which affect early game progression. When you start a new game (highly recommended), you will start with just stasis capsules, a robot and starting supply chest. The Getting Started tutorial has been updated to guide new and existing players.

Power Generation

The power system has been completely rewritten from the ground up to improve power delivery time and performance and to offer new mechanics. A solar panel is now available on the surface side facility which can be connected to via the elevator.

Batteries can now be constructed to store additional power.

The new power system was built to provide the foundation for more surface side content in future.

And More…

New naturally spawning plants have been added that can be harvested using the new harvest mechanic.

There have been many tweaks to gathered resource amounts, construction costs, research costs and more.

Check out the release notes below for the full list of additions, changes and fixes.

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Release Notes

World Generation
  • New world generation which changes starting conditions
  • Ore distribution is now more dense near starting location
  • Added naturally spawning underground plants which can be harvested using the new harvest plant action. Naturally spawning plants will spread slowly over time.
  • Mineral compound no longer acquired from mining dirt
  • Added stone which can be mined for mineral compound
New Starting Conditions
  • New game now starts with only stasis capsules and starting supply chest
  • Initial power generation comes from the surface side facility. Building an elevator will allow access to solar power.
  • Updated starting tutorial tasks
  • Starting supply chest contents changed
  • Replaced male and female colonist models
  • Updated look of colonist outfit
  • Added new hair style for male and female colonists
  • Minor change to colonist skin colors
  • Female and male colonists now have separate animations
  • Updated existing colonist animations
  • New animation and particle effect for plant crop action
  • Robots now show out of power hover icon when needing to recharge
  • Colonists stress is now only the result of static effects applied to it instead of slowly going up/down based on decor + static effects. Expect more stress effects in future.
  • Added attribute effects that apply to stress based on decor around colonist. Attribute effects can be seen under the colonists stats tab
  • Colonists will no longer go sit down only when stressed out, but now have a random chance to go sit down if they don’t have anything else to do. Sitting down provides a new attribute effect that decreases stress for a bit.
Power System
  • Complete rewrite of the electric power system
  • Machines no longer consume power unless they are in operation
  • Surface side facility now generates power from built in solar panels. Surface power generation can be used in the facility via the elevator.
  • Added Small and Large Batteries for storing power
  • Added Battery Booster equipment, recipe, research and discovery
  • Added new research projects related to power generation and storage
  • Updated power generation section in game guide
Misc Changes
  • Surface Map now visible after constructing elevator
  • Map Table now only required to perform expeditions
  • Added keybinds for tilt camera up/down. Defaults to page up/page down.
  • Mine button renamed to Gather. Icon also changed
  • Damaged walls are now deconstructed and not mined
  • Added Harvest Plant selection under new Gather section
  • Assignable beds was accidentally added in a previous update without being fully integrated. Colonists will now sleep in an assigned bed and ignore a bed if it’s assigned to someone else. Colonists will sleep in an unassigned bed if they don’t have one assigned.
  • Raw storage container can now store fuel items
  • Starting tutorial tasks now show tooltip on hover instead of sliding open the task description
  • Reduced amount of resources acquired from some mineable objects
  • Updated various object descriptions
  • Updated some object construction requirements
  • Increased various research costs
  • Reduced button hover sound effect volume
  • Various code changes to support future content still in development
  • Fixed: Object/Colonist portrait image showing outside icon area
  • Fixed: Constructed doors rotated the wrong way
  • Fixed: Load crash if robot assembly station is currently constructing a robot
  • Fixed: Light color picker clipped off screen
  • Fixed: Main menu not functional if unable to load mod config file
  • Fixed: Robot using recharge station before it’s finished being built
  • Fixed: Time of day resets to the beginning of the day when loading a saved game
  • Fixed: Expedition showing multiple times on expedition list after loading a saved game
  • Fixed: Colonist stuck on an expedition that doesn’t exist anymore in some instances
  • Fixed: Colonist info panel not showing when clicking a colonist portrait when the colonist is on an expedition

Howdy Folks!

I’m happy to announce that Update 23 is now available on the Test Build branch. If you’re interested in helping test the latest and greatest content then check out the information below.

The Test Build branch is a bit more experimental this time around and I’m looking for feedback on the various new mechanics and early game progression. There is still more that is being added/updated before this update 23 is released on the main branch.

View the Steam Forum Discussion for more information:https://steamcommunity.com/app/704510/discussions/3/3345546172885509808/

About Test Build Branch

The optional Test Build branch is for testing the latest features before they go live to everyone. As it is a testing version there can be more bugs/issues than in the normal version. If using the Test Build branch, please report any issues you encounter or any feedback on new game play mechanics. Your feedback and/or reports will help to ensure the final version is the best it can be.

Howdy Folks!

In the previous dev log I mentioned that I planned to have a Test Build available this week. Some of the content has taken a bit longer than planned, though, so the Test Build has been pushed back. Let’s take a look at what’s taking so long.

Power Generation

One piece of content that needs to be in place for the new starting conditions is a change to electrical power generation. I had originally thought I could put in a temporary setup using the existing systems and re-work the power system later in the planned utilities update. This turned out not to be the case and led to working on a new power system now.

The existing electrical power system has a few issues, but primarily the existing system was not very performance-friendly and didn’t allow for the content that I’d planned for.

The Old System

In the previous system, a power generator created power packets that were sent through conduits and consumed by machines that need power. Since a generator provides these packets at a constant rate, to improve performance I slowed down how fast packets traveled through the network. As more generators and conduits are added, it takes longer and longer to get power to machines in need.

This system also doesn’t support power storage, or sending/receiving power on the planet’s surface.

The New System

The new power system makes use of power networks. A power network is a collection of connectors (conduits), consumers, creators and storage objects. The backbone of a power network is made up of connectors. As connectors, or conduits, are placed, they get added to an existing adjacent network, or start a new network.

In this system, electric creators, or generators, no longer deliver power at all. The power network has an update cycle which handles delivering the power to the consumers and electrical storage in the following way:

  1. Get the total amount of available power generated from creators on the network
  2. Loop over all consumers and provide power. Deducting the consumed amount from the total available.
  3. Any remaining power on the network is then delivered to power storage (Batteries) or lost if storage is full or doesn’t exist.

The update cycle is much faster than the old system and far simpler to calculate. This allows machines to get the power they need almost immediately.

In the old system, all machines that needed power were considered “always on” and consumed power even if not actively in use. In the new system machines will only consume power when actively being used. A research station, for example, will only consume power when a colonist is actively researching on it.

The new power system is also designed to function between the facility and the surface. The elevator and the main facility on the surface act as special power connector types that will allow for a power network that connects from the facility to the surface.

The system is mostly complete, but I’m still running internal tests and various UI elements are being updated to better present the new power system.

A New Start

So what does all this mean for the new starting conditions? World generation has been changed, and, when starting a new game, you will no longer have an elevator, bio-refiner, coal generator and recharge station. The surface side facility now has a built in solar panel and, in order to get initial power, you’ll need to build the elevator.

Solar power from the surface facility will only provide power during the daylight hours. Batteries have been added that can store extra power for later use.

Additional research projects have been added to unlock power storage and power production objects.

New Colonists

The new colonist models will also be in the upcoming Test Build. The colonist models have been completely redone including new animations, textures and hair models.

Underground Plants

As part of the new world generation there will be naturally spawning underground plants that can be harvested by colonists. These native plants will spread over time and can be useful for early game food.


Test Build delayed. More information coming. The following will be included in the Test Build branch when it is available.

  • New power generation system
  • New colonist models
  • New starting conditions and game balance
  • New naturally occurring underground plants that can be harvested
  • New research branch added for power objects

Thank you all for the great feedback on the game, here and via the Feedback Survey. I had really hoped to get the Test Build out this week, but things definitely took longer than planned. I’m super excited about the new content and hope to push an experimental version on to the Test Build branch soon.

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Howdy Folks!

Happy New Year to everyone and thank you for the amazing support in 2019. Your support and feedback has helped make Mercury Fallen what it is today and there is a lot more to come in 2020.


Development slowed down a bit over the last month due to the holiday season, but I’ve still made some good progress on the next content update. I had hoped to split the planned content into smaller releases, but some of the content in development relies on additional systems already being in place.

The next content update makes some big changes to world generation and I, ideally, only want to have to do that once. I had hoped to be able to do the core re-balancing and early game content in separate updates, but that would require making changes to early game progression twice in a row which is not ideal. To avoid that I’m developing the additional content needed to properly update game balance and the early game progression.

Given these are some larger changes to the game over all I plan to release Update 23 onto the Test Build branch before I normally would. The Test Build branch is usually used to provide feedback and help test the final version before it goes live. The Test Build will, this time around, be a bit more on the experimental side to get initial feedback on some of the new content as it continues to get developed. With your feedback I’ll know what is working and what may need some additional attention.

I plan to have a Test Build version available sometime next week which will include some of the changes coming in Update 23. The Test Build branch will continue to get updated based on feedback. More information regarding exactly what is included will be available when the Test Build is released.


If you have a few minutes to spare I would love to hear what you think of Mercury Fallen. The below survey will let me know what you like, what you don’t like and what you’re excited to see next.

Feedback Survey

Thanks again for all of the great support and feedback. I hope everyone had a wonderful New Years celebration and has an even better 2020.

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