This post has lots of ideas for future technology that will help add content.
When I play Astroneer on my best save, I’ve reached a point where there really isn’t a goal anymore. I’ve put bases on every planet, have all kinds of rovers, and there really isn’t a point to expand any of the bases. That’s why I feel that Astroneer just needs a lot more content. So here are my ideas for future technology.
First of all, my biggest idea: Satellites
Satellites could be made in many ways, maybe printed in orbit, unpacked in orbit (This would be on a large shuttle while it is in orbit around a planet), or launched from the ground. They will orbit a planet and provide some use on the ground. There could be lots of types of satellites: (1) Research satellites: these study the planet’s surface and provide a slow but constant flow of bytes. (2) Observatory satellites can be used to find points of interest on the surface of the planet. These will place down a beacon signal (won’t actually put down the beacon, just the signal) of where a wreck, cave entrance, etc is. (3) GPS Satellites: In order to use these satellites, a player has to put a radio antenna onto an auxiliary slot in the backpack. This will allow the player to use a minimap on the hud or will access the a map on the radio antenna.
In order for satellites to work, you have to have a way to control them:
Radio towers could be put on large platforms and have a menu to control the satellites that you have. Controlling research would just be an on/off switch. Observatories would be a way to choose the area where they pinpoint the locations. If the signals are too far away, then the player won’t be able to reach it. So we should be able to choose the area where it finds points of interest. GPS would also be a simple on/off. In addition to all of these previous controls, there should be a self destruct button for the satellites and (this isn’t necessary, just if you want to go the extra mile) a way to print upgrades on speed for the research and observatory, and accuracy/detail of the map for the GPS.
(To clarify, there should be a way to self destruct, and there could be a way to upgrade)
Just some extra content to the game to make planetary travel easier. This is exactly want it sounds, an upgrade to the shuttle. This will be very expensive to make (maybe using the nanocarbon-alloy). This upgrade will only be for the medium and large shuttle. This upgrade will increase the shuttle’s range so you don’t have to wait so long for planetary travel.
This is more important compared to the other additions to the game, I always find it very annoying when I launch a shuttle from Terran to Tundra, and Tundra just came out of the shuttle range. Then I have to wait 20 minutes before it comes back in range. This is why I feel that the observatory should come into the game. This module is placed on a large platform, it doesn’t consume power, it just needs any power (like a work light). This will have a menu where it shows the solar system and the range of a shuttle. (There is also a switch so different levels of the shuttle upgrades can be displayed.) It will show the direction of the planets orbit and a green ring will show around planets that are in range.
This will just be a simple addition, I feel that there should be a way to make the starting habitat on other planets. It will obviously be very expensive to make. This is idea isn’t necessary, because I understand that not having a hab is a fun challenge.
Because of the way that rockets use vehicle bays as landing sites, it is very common for a shuttle to land on top of other vehicles. Which is a very annoying problem because rovers can get glitched inside, you have to waste hydrazine to move a rocket, and it’s just a big mess. So I feel that rocket pads should be added to the game. These will look like the launch pad that you get at the start, only that it’s more large so it can fit the large shuttle. The rocket pads are a different color of bubble as seen from orbit, and will prioritize that landing spot if there is another landing spot in the way. If there is already a rocket on the landing pad, it will move it out of the way when you try to land. This concept isn’t perfect, I just feel that there should be a way to fix shuttles landing on other vehicles.
Rovers moving Shuttles
It is very annoying when you have a shuttle that you can’t move without using hydrazine or a solid fuel thruster. I think that there should be a way for rovers to pull shuttles out of the way. A way for this to work is if you use a cable plug from a rover and insert it into the shuttle. The shuttle will get some small wheels and can be towed by the rover. Large shuttles can’t be towed by medium rovers, only large rovers.
Another use for Astronium
Once you unlock everything in the research catalog, astronium becomes a useless resource. I feel that astronium could be used for upgrading equipment. Things like combining the terrain tool modifications with astronium to reduce or eliminate the power consumption. Maybe things like upgraded batteries that holds double as the medium battery, or upgraded wind turbines/solar panels. These are just a few ideas, I don't feel that these definitely need to be added, it's just that there should be another use for astronium besides research.
Thanks for reading my ideas, I hope you consider them in the development of Astroneer. Can’t wait for 1.0!