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  1. syterth

    An Automation Idea

    I think Astroneer has the potential for some minor automation as the game currently stands. The primary way automation could be used is for organization and recipe crafting. The item I'm suggesting would have a radius or somehow move about your base. It would essentially be a Base Manager. It would be a series of grabber claws that can easily and efficiently move items from one area of your base to another. If anyone plays Factorio, it resembles the logistic bots/network in my mind. Once the module or item has been crafted, you can start designating platforms for certain items. For example, you would assign all smeltable items to your Smelter. Whenever one of those items is placed elsewhere, the Base Manager grabs the item and sends it to the Smelter, which will then go to work cooking things to their final form. Assign resources as you see fit throughout your base. Additionally, you could assign your Large Printer to create a Large Rover, and so the Base Manager will coordinate all available modules and resources towards that goal. It will plug things into the Chemistry Lab and send those new resources over to the Large Printer for construction. An additional possibility would be unloading resources from your backpack. You step into range of the Base Manager and it will unload any resources you have that you did not designate for your backpack. Let's say you designate four canisters for your backpack and a compound for your printer slot. You are coming back from exploring, your canisters are full and you also have 6 ammonium on board. The Base Manager snatches away the ammonium and the four canisters. The ammonium make their way to the Chemistry Lab to become hydrazine and the four full canisters are replaced with four empty canisters. Wash/rinse/repeat. The Base Manager would require constant power, like other modules, otherwise organization shuts down. Additionally, I think a ground based data tower would be required for on-planet interaction with your base from a distance. Likewise, a data transfer dish and a satellite system would be necessary to allow interplanetary interactions from afar. The satellites would be solar powered with batteries attached. Or you could switch those out for RTGs so that power is totally reliable. It would be interesting to see satellites be blocked by their orbit path, unless of course you create enough satellites to guarantee constant information transfer. Likewise, if the satellite runs out of juice and cannot currently get solar power, tough cookies. Aside from the new objects, everything mostly works with the existing game and concepts. I really enjoy Astroneer for its resources and resource management, but as the game progresses, I think it would be awesome to offer some automation so that you can more quickly return to the world at large in pursuit of research or junk or specific resources. This would also allow you to produce more advanced technologies without overseeing every item transfer, button press, and so forth. I'd also love to see more interactions from a distance due to advances in communication technologies available to our Astroneers. That just seems like it would be really cool!