Astroneer's resources are exceptionally cool. From the little unique symbols they each have, to the musical tone- sound effect when they're collected, to the way each little particle stacks into the shape of the resource. I think I can safely speak for most Astroneers when I say that when new resources are added, its incredibly exciting. The first time I played a world enough to have every machine, and everything unlocked, I decided to go on an interplanetary expedition and collect every resource. I also made a point of trying to collect every tier 1 research object, just for fun. (I don't think I accomplished that, there are a lot.) I put all the resources on a storage system and upon doing so, I realized that there were several resources that were just raw elements off The Periodic Table. Of course they were, but at the time it seemed interesting to have a handful of perfect elements. The collector in me decided to line them up by atomic weight for decorative effect. After recent updates, more elements have been added, and I've never been more thrilled. With 0.9.2 came Tungsten and Iron, and then with 0.10.1 came Argon, Helium, Hydrogen, Sulfur, Carbon, Nitrogen, and Zinc. I believe this has been the most elements added out of any update. Looking at all off them now, we have (in order of weight): Hydrogen, helium, lithium, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, aluminum, sulfur, argon, titanium, iron, copper, zinc, and massive jump to tungsten. I' pretty sure that's all of them. Several of these are in order, or at least very close to it. Lining them all up this time gave me this idea:
What if we had a Tier 3 module/machine to put one of every element into? It wouldn't serve any functionality other than decoration/information, but imagine how cool it could be to put a resource on a machine, to have it sucked in and stored on a computer for display? The interface would be just like the rest of Astroneer's (gorgeous) graphical interface, perhaps closest to the research catalog screens. One big screen would display the entire Periodic table, while a smaller information screen would be positioned to the right of it. After you put an element into it, the corresponding panel on the table would light up, or be checked off in some way. On the bottom of the machine would be a directional input pad, letting you navigate the table. Selecting any element would open the information window, describing the stats on the element. Additionally, it could include the recipes the elements are used in, and or where to acquire them.
This module wouldn't serve any real gameplay purpose, but I think it would be a great addition. Astroneer is about the excitement of exploration and discovery, and a way of cataloging your discoveries along the way is a perfect way of giving the player a sense of accomplishment. For me personally, the exploration is thrilling enough, but being able to physically track your progress as a scientific explorer would make an excellent addition to this awesome game.
When I was young, I wanted to be a scientist. I know, that's what every kid says, but I meant it. I've always been genuinely fascinated by the science around me everyday. I loved The Periodic Table from the moment my father taught me about it in Kindergarten, and it STILL intrigues me now. For as long as I can remember, my family has always brought me and my sisters to all kinds of science museums. As a kid, going to these museums let me discover things like chemistry, astronomy, electricity, magnetism, and world of things too small to see. Cells, then molecules, then atoms, then quarks. Learning about the world around me through chemistry, biology, physics, and everything else has always been the way I'd try to quench my insatiable thirst for knowledge and discovery. I think that's part of the reason why this game speaks to me the way it does. I don't know if anyone reading this can relate, but this game makes me feel something I haven't felt since I was a little kid, running around museums, scared of black holes, in love with Tesla coils*, and perplexed by the several states of matter. playing this game invokes a sense of childlike wonder, for me at least. Having a machine in the game to show that, would be golden. (please add gold)
Attached to this, I've included a rough sketch I made, with some important details of the machine itself. I think a logical crafting recipe for this could be one plastic, one aluminum, and one glass. alternatively, adding this to the game alongside silicon would logically make sense since its a computer JUST SAYING. I mean come on, its the eighth most prominent element in the universe, by mass. It also makes up a whopping 90% of Earth's crust, in one form or another. I don't think silicon would be ideal for this, but I think it would be really cool to have a resource only available at the top, or near the top of Terran's mountains, since almost all resources are just found on the ground, or underground. It would make for some nice variety. Also, Astroneer is really lacking in some heavy elements. give us some radioative ones, at least some of the well known ones like plutonium or uranium. Maybe the radiation could kill you if you held them too long? They'd be used for expensive and dangerous , yet powerful and efficient reactors. On the topic of power, cobalt is often used in lithium-ion batteries, and I'd love to see you make a bright blue metal resource for us, since they're all gray and red. Perhaps water or ice coolant would be needed to keep the reactors from exploding or giving off radiation? That would be the risk if they aren't taken care of enough, and the reward would obviously be an enormous source of power. Another good excuse to add water and ice. Ice would obviously be found all over tundra, but also on top of Terran mountains?!? I'm getting distracted sorry. Anyway, I hope you like my ideas.
Another small additional idea that could also be massive, researching objects would put them in the computer. This would be a separate tab from The Periodic Table, but on the same machine. every artifact could be given a name and a sentence or two about lore or purpose. maybe the machine would have a tier 1 input, and a tier 2 input as well, so you'd have to sacrifice the bytes for the coolness of the computer. Maybe putting them in could also unlock/check-off some elements you'd never add as resources to the game. you'd only have to say that said element was a part of the composition of said artifact. This could also be a way of explaining some cool or fun lore of the zebra balls, even if it just said "unknown"
Just as a disclaimer, I'm by no means saying you need to add every last element to the game to make it cool, I'm just saying that more elements are always cool, no matter if they're particularly useful or not. Thank you for your time everyone.
* Tesla coils or lightning rods would be super cool. you could add thunder and lightning to storms sometimes. the lightning could strike you (with a 90% chance of killing you instantly) or your base, destroying machines or perhaps just making explosion craters around the point of impact. lightning rods would serve as protection within a certain radius. lightning striking them would give a huge amount of power instantaneously if they were attached to, or next to batteries.