A lot of work has gone into the planetary exploration update and I wanted to cover some of the expected new content.
Since the last developer log, vehicle construction has undergone some design changes. Vehicle construction now uses predefined vehicle types instead of a modular vehicle template system. This felt like a better fit for the game and more consistent with existing systems. I do still plan to have separate vehicle tiers and the ability to find and equip upgrades to vehicles, but these features won’t make it into the next update.
Two vehicle types will be available in the next update for exploration and mining. D.O.G.E., Distant Operated Geo Explorer, and the Miner, proper name pending. The D.O.G.E. is used to explore the map and scan various biomes to uncover resources and make discoveries. Once resources are known for a given biome they can be ripped from the ground using the Miner.
After uncovering new biomes, they will need to be scanned. Once scanned by D.O.G.E. you’ll discover information about that biome including potential flora, fauna and what resources can be mined.
Each biome will offer different ore resources and potential discoveries. Mined resource amounts will also depend on a given tiles elevation and are shown in percent. When a Miner works a given tile it has a random chance of getting one of the shown resources each time it mines up an item. Once a miner vehicle inventory is full it can be sent back to dock with the facility to drop of what it gathered.
A lot of additional discoveries are being added. Existing alien flora and fauna will now have to be discovered on the surface before they can be grown in the facility. Each biome is also a discovery item to provide additional information about the various alien biomes.
Expeditions that include the colonists is being pushed back and won’t be part of the next update. There is a more work I want to put into the POI system to make colonist expeditions more interesting and varied. The next update is just the start of more surface content to come and will serve as a solid foundation for further expansion.
On a more personal note I’ll be on vacation next week to Washington D.C. to explore the various museums. This is the first real vacation I’ve had in over 10 years so I figured I was past due. I’ll still be checking in on things here and via email/twitter/discord, but I won’t be able to do any development until I return.
As always be sure to follow along with the latest screenshots and info: