blooblahguy

Automation & Streamlining Ideas

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Things get posted about automation, but I think it would be helpful to make a unified list of some of the good ideas I've read/thought about regarding possible implementations.

  1. Cargo Ship:
    1. An improvement on the Trading Station. Adding the ability to send or ferry resources back to one of your bases launch pads, or choose to trade scrap for the desired resources.
  2. New Dynamite Uses:
    1. Explode extra-large & unscrappable rubble into smaller scrap
    2. Use dynamite to mine bedrock and return the resources (astronium, namely)
  3. Resource Picker:
    1. Craftable - Picker: A single-node item. Comes with a one-directional (to / from) tube that can connect to other pickers, and a single ingredient slot on top. Vacuums surrounding items while in "Source" mode, but places items on adjacent open nodes when in "Destination" mode.
      1. If the picker isn't connected, or the destination picker doesn't have space, then nothing happens.
    2. Placing a resource in the Picker's single ingredient slot will instruct the picker to "filter" and only interact with resources that match the filter resource. Default = blank = all resources.
  4. Cargo Train
    1. Craftable - Cargo Train: A "large" platform that sits on a rail.
    2. Craftable - Rail: Can be chained to designate the cargo train path. Is stored/placed similar to tethers (has charges)
    3. Craftable - Stop Node: Stops the train. Has an embedded Picker.
      1. Contains a UI to resume the train, or toggle a flag for the train to automatically resume when it's cargo becomes empty or full.
        1. If no rail is ahead of the stop node, then "resume" reverses the train.
      2. When a train is at the stop, the Picker attempts to empty the train's cargo into it's "destination" picker, if connected.
  5. Terraformer Upgrades - AKA Augment Simplification
    1. Problem: While I love running boost/wide mods to make mining a breeze, I think the interaction is pretty lackluster. It's typically "set it and forget it" but it takes up 2+ inventory slots. This gets especially hard on the player inventory when you typically want a work light, 2 canisters, tethers, and some mods. Expeditions get cut short quickly due to lack of space. Additionally, starting a game without these mods feels extra sluggish until we can find some copper.
    2. Solution: An improvement on the Base, the ability to invest in permanent upgrades for the Terraformer.  I think it would be great if we could deposit our Terraformer along with resources & bits to permanently "upgrade" our terraformer to have a higher speed, a build in canister, width, etc. Maybe even a talent system?
      1. From there the augmentations could be more specialized. Maybe just make them baseline, because I think base building with terrain shouldn't be a "mid/late game" unlock.
      2. Additionally, I would love to see more tools for building structures with the terraformer more easily. For an groundbreakingly 3d game, base building is an incredibly 2d experience without a massive amount of time spent tinkering with polygons. Basically all bases exist on the same z-axis

 

I would love to spend some time mocking these ideas up into graphics, I know some people are a lot more visual than others. But let me know if you have any questions and perhaps I can spend some time doing that this weekend :)

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This all just sounds amazing. Il be dreaming of this  😃

still not 100% sure i wrapped my head around the picker thing.  i love visuals :)

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These are great ideas, maybe we could have a new upgrade station that will let you upgrade your terrain tool and exo suit.

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Looks like I'm not able to edit my post to add some information to it - but here's a crappy little graphic that should help illustrate the picker functionality.

 

astroneer.png

Edited by blooblahguy

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I agree that we need the "picker" but i don't think that it should come with a filter so that it doesn't get too confusing. We should be able to add the filter like a drill mod. I would also like to see a way to making dirt infinitely, like maybe a machine that could make it when it is connected to an individual oxygenator and provided Carbon, Hydrogen and Nitrogen and traces of zinc because those are it's primary elements. Also, why does the crane not fill up canisters with dirt?Untitled.thumb.png.304b91491447f8da90e5cccfcfa193cc.png

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1. Cargo Ship:

Have you SEEN the large shuttles lately? They're MASSIVE :D That, and there are already (spoiler-ish) ways of transporting stuff long distances.

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2New Dynamite Uses:

I approve. You could blow smaller stuff for scrap, at the cost of needing dynamite, or you could break larger scrap peices into moveable / scrapable chunks.

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3. Resource Picker:

I like this concept but executed differently. I'd love to see something like this:
image.png.bf2950101d9db0b7f3f734ced7854b84.png

It should be 1x1, so you can pop it on a medium storage or a platform, and have a menu when you hit "use". Reuse the panel from the soil centrifuge / trade platform to select a resource, and when there is a storage in front of it with that resource it picks it up and pops it down on the storage it's on

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5. Terraformer Upgrades 

I like the idea of having "base upgrades" to the terraform tool. They could be research that you buy for bits, that upgrades the base speed, size, etc of the terrain tool. They could make these upgrades uncapped, so they get more costly as time goes on, and let endgame players have something to dump points into. The standard mods would never run out of usefulness because they could act as a multiplier - if the boost mod makes you 50% faster, and your base speed is 125%, you still see a benefit.

As far as base building, we're not going to get anything super amazingly complicated until they release a way to do angle snapping in set increments, to give us greater control of how we shape the world

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So I considered the "arm" method for the picker, similar to Factorio's automation implementations, but I think it's kind of incongruent with the game's style and actually pretty complex to program in a 3d world. The 2nd and larger problem with the arms is that it can place things nearby, but it would require the addition of "Conveyor belts" to move those items to things that aren't in the immediate vicinity. Conveyor belts are definitely possible, but again they would be a challenge for both the developers and the users. Since the game doesn't work on a grid, you would run into issues with chaining conveyors together, how far apart they need to be, how you would "turn" them to change direction, and more. It seems the next logical step to that problem is a "tube" that can be directed to locations. And at that point it just kinda made sense to have the design outlined above. The tube can even be chained further using "extenders", which currently are scarcely used in the game and would give them more purpose and interaction.

We could maybe get the best of both worlds though, and have the Arm/Picker ideas merged. Where the arm "picks" off of the entire platforms available storage, and then stuffs the items into itself, which would then distribute through the tubes.

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I also really like the idea of Terraformer upgrades being uncapped to allow for more late game purpose. We could even start thinking about ways to upgrade the suit to maybe take less fall damage, have more oxygen, etc. Even if the late upgrades being mostly aesthetic, it gives us something to do when we start to max out a save.

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