Mercury Fallen has come a long way, but it also has a lot further to go. The two main big focus points for the game are exploration and expansion. Expansion has had a lot of work in terms of new room types, object and materials. This will continue to be developed, but I want to give attention to exploration as well. When you dig out the map, there is little to discover aside from new colonists so far, but this is currently being expanded in a couple of ways.
While exploring the world, the player will discover various items such as new types of seeds, data logs, technologies and more. Discoveries can be found only once and are used in various ways. Unlike regular items, discoveries are not used directly by your colonists. They will appear in the new discovery interface once they have been found. Below are some of the planned types of discoveries.
Currently, all plant types are available at the start of the game. As more crops/plants are added they will be connected to the discovery system. Some plant types will require the player to discover its seed before it can be used in a crop field or plant pot.
Data logs will tell more of the story of Mercury Fallen and its previous inhabitant. Each data log will contain a bit of the story, which can be viewed in the discovery interface.
Technology discovery items will be required for special research projects, meaning that some research can’t be completed until the missing technology part is discovered. This is intended for more advanced research projects.
Once they are found, discoveries will appear in the new discovery interface located under the facility management screen. This will show a complete list of discoveries you have made. Some items that have not been discovered yet will also show here, but there will be hidden discoveries as well, that will only appear once the discovery item is found.
That all sounds fun, but how are discoveries made? In addition to finding colonists, the player will find item canisters littered around the map. Item canisters will come in different types and upon opening them, the player will get various materials and possibly a discovery. For example, an organics canister may contain an assortment of organic materials as well as a new seed discovery.
Something I had planned for a while was to include more of the ruined remains of the Mercury Facility. I’m currently re-working the world generation system to include the crumbled remaining rooms of the old facility. These rooms will be good locations to find Item Canisters for additional materials/discoveries and can be deconstructed for materials or re-purposed.
In addition to the exploration enhancements I’ve worked to improve the AI logic to boost overall performance. The AI decision system now operates on a separate thread, which means facilities with a lot more colonists shouldn’t experience performance issues. The above image shows over 100 colonists running around the facility with a stable 60 fps.
Additional tweaks to speed up game loading and improve render performance are also being worked on.
Those are some of the things coming in the next update. There is no ETA yet for when the next update will drop, but stay tuned for more information. What do you think of the new additions?