AnIceCube

Terraforming and Climate Update Concept Ideas

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Hello System Era and anyone else reading this suggestion. I have been thinking recently about some updates I would personally like to see in the game and have come up with a few ideas that I think could be very fun additions to the game. I will probably talk about common ones along the way, and I do apologize. However, I was recently thinking about some type of climate feature. Concerning the world situation with climate, this would make sense. However, adding an "educational" update might not benefit the game as much as adding fun features associated with this topic. For example, an update where removing too many trees or organic makes the planet toxic or something along those lines is not very fun. It lacks any fun or interesting features. However, I was thinking about an update where you can terraform a planet into different forms. This could be achieved from a new technology, it could be a natural occurrence(i.e. you have to remove a certain amount of soil on Desolo and then it has less gravity) or it could be from an entirely new feature.

I also think that storms back to the game would help this update. I know that virtually every veteran player wants dust storms added back and types up some extremely short post titled "add dust storms" with a one-sentence text, but hear me out. Dust storms were a really fun feature. It was scary to see a monster cloud approaching your tiny starter base and digging a hole to hide in, only for your hard-earned resources to blow away into oblivion. It was fun to master the storms later game. But that's not all, these storms could be added alongside this climate update. For example, Calidor should start out with dust storms and then could be terraformed into a grassy planet rich with organic life. Glacio could start out entirely covered in ice and then be "melted" or in some way changed. On the topic of Glacio, one of my ideas is to have snowstorms on the surface. These would not have rocks though, instead, they would slow your character greatly and could even drain oxygen while connected to tethers or something cool like that. Also, I was thinking that it could coat the ground in the white soil found there to represent snow on the ground.

Another idea that you have mentioned briefly in the vlog series has been water. I think water could be a really fun and unique feature to add to this sort of game, done correctly. If done wrong, It could make the game extremely annoying to play and even unplayable. I think a liquid system would be extremely interesting to see added to the game, however. Picture this, you land on Glacio and find a land covered in ice as it should be. Then, you decide after playing there forever that it needs to change. You grab the "heating terraformer", which would be craftable in the Large Printer, and start terraforming. The terraforming would be passive and you would have to be away from the planet for this to occur. If you are familiar with Starbound's terraforming system, I was thinking that it could be similar to that. There would be stages and every stage you would have to land back on the planet and choose to keep going or stop the process.

Each planet could have different amounts of stages, for example, Glacio could not be cooled at all, but it can be heated 5 times, each time making it more tropical and possibly having water depending on if that feature is added. Sylva could be cooled 2 times and heated 3 times, the cooling making it have more snow and eventually glaciers, and the heating making it more savanna and desert-like. Desolo would have limited options, as it has no atmosphere, but you could maybe heat it once and cool it once. Calidor should have more cooling options, but a heating option making it have lava and volcanoes would be awesome to walk on and explore. Cooling any planet would mostly make it similar to Glacio if you do it enough, however, Calidor could have water in a middle stage between ice and desert. Vesania and Novus are very similar planets so they would have similar options. they could be cooled let's say twice and heated 3 times, a direct opposite to Sylva. Novus could only be heated twice and cooled once though, as it is a much smaller planet. Atrox would not have very many options because of its closeness to the star, so it would already be pretty much unsavable in terms of its climate.

I am just listing several options here but you could also add a "precipitate" option where it adds different amounts of water to the planet. (Or snow in Glacio's case) This could be an easier way to add water without making the entire planet different. Going back to the terraformer itself I thought I would add a brief description of how I think it could work.

First, you craft the Heating or Cooling terraformer from the Large Printer. This could look like a giant, almost "alien" device, with a drill at the bottom. It would not need a platform, and as soon as the box is opened and the machine is placed, It drills itself into the ground and powers up. If you attempt to access the panel while it is doing this, you will be greeted with a loading bar that says when it will power up. After waiting for this to happen, (the amount of time depends on the planet, the biggest planets have the longest wait, Novus and Desolo have the shortest) you would select the panel again. This time it would say something like "planetary capture procedure start-up" with a button. You would probably need an endgame item, such as 5 astronium or something that is not found in a trade platform. Once this button is pressed, a purple laser would go into the atmosphere and spread out across the magnetic field, making the atmosphere a purplish tint. Once this has happened, the machine would hum and there would be a small purple laser left going into the atmosphere. Once the materials needed are in the machine, you will have the options mentioned before(i.e. Heat, Cool, and Precipitate). Once the player selects one of these options and has the right materials, a laser of one color will shoot out of the machine. Orange for Heat, Light blue for Cool, and Dark blue for precipitate. You would then need to leave for around 10-20 minutes to allow the game to load the changes. Once it works, you will need to check it and go into a rocket. If it has worked, you would be able to see the change from orbit or even other planets. For example, there could be snow on it if it has a change that warrants snow. You can then go onto the surface and enjoy your new planet.

This is hopefully the last major topic but I had mentioned before if the water was done "right." Now, what do I mean by that? Well, I mean that by adding water, it does not greatly change the game as a whole. Water should be a very fun addition, however, you should not be able to swim. I feel like adding swimming could possibly work in the best circumstances, but it could also ruin the game. Instead, maybe have a "breath bar" and you just walk around on the ocean floor until you run out of breath. I know that the oxygen bar is the same thing, but let's pretend that the oxygen bar and the breath bar are completely different. In order to combat dying of breath, you could add boats or some other vehicle to get across the water. I don't really have any ideas for this but anything would work as long as it is fun to use. We, or should I say I, don't want some boring feature added that doesn't add any fun value to the game. 

Some other short ideas before I end-

Running enemies - enemies that could chase you or follow you on certain planets or biomes, making for a horror-like experience.

Dirt launchers - similar to a "gun" however these would suck up a small amount of dirt before firing a clump out. The clump would damage players and knock resources around.

A new "water" planet - This planet could go along with the climate and water update. It could be somewhere at the difficulty level of Calidor, and could even bring a new resource of gas.

Hydroelectric power - This type of power could be used on water for a new power source. There could be currents in the water that follows the wind to make this effective.

Workshop - Add a workshop to steam PLEASE. This would be the best change. All of these stupid updates people are asking for could just be mods and you never have to make them, a workshop dramatically increases the replay value of the game, and if you don't like the mods, you can just get rid of them.

I know that this essay of a suggestion may not get read. I don't expect it to. All that I wanted to do was get my ideas down and posted somewhere viewable. If you have gotten to the bottom of this, thank you for your time. I don't expect any of these features to get implemented. Also, if any of this sounded forceful or rude, I do apologize. I probably won't post anything more for a while, so I wanted to get ALL of my ideas down before I forget. Any holes in the ideas would be filled as needed to keep a fun environment for the game.

Thank you again if you read this all,

-AnIceCube

 

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+1 for the manifesto, the terraformer was something already mentioned in a previous post, they had talked more about upgrades to the fast travel system, and one of those upgrades was a terraformer. Your "breath bar" doesn't really make sense, I know you stated they were different, but... if you had an oxygen reservoir, why wouldn't you just use that? And to add fluid mechanics to the physics engine would likely add several, catastrophic bugs that would need a lot of testing, and would slow down SES in bringing us new content, like the mentioned "New Tier Size for Objects" and the "Larger shuttle and rover", which was found under the "Possible Future Updates" in their roadmap, and personally, I'd rather see them focus their efforts on a slightly smaller sized project, because adding fluid mechanics to their physics engine would warrant/require a complete overhaul of the current physics engine, which would take an exorbitant amount of time. I do, however, agree that a workshop should be added, allowing Astroneers from around the globe to code in content that SES might not have thought of. Thanks for the suggestion, and welcome to the forums!

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@[7S]VilynnThank you! and thank you for clearing some things up. At the time, I didn't want the oxygen to be used in the water, but now I see that just using the oxygen bar would make more sense in the game. I also agreed that adding fully-fledged fluid mechanics to the game would make many game-breaking bugs, and that they should focus on a smaller project. My idea was to add some kind of water type resource, such as mud or something where it behaves like soil but you essentially die if you go in it without a boat. Something that is more simple than water, because Astroneer is meant to be a fairly simple template to do whatever you want with. This would hopefully still allow for a few fun new mechanics that wouldn't cause to much damage to the simplicity of the game. I think most players agree though that a workshop is a good idea.

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The problem with adding mud that looks/acts like soil is that, players are going to walk/drive over it, and think that the game is just bugging out, I'd rather see the ability to collect ice, as that is still a solid resource, and then being able to craft mud, if that was what you wanted, or melt the ice in a smeltery, and it created a tank of water, much the same way the atmospheric condenser creates a canister for gasses. And then, with that water, you could maybe improve the power efficiency of items, or SES could add an electrolytic separator, and from the water, it could produce oxygen and hydrogen. Obviously, this would be an end-game item, and would obviously create twice as much hydrogen as it does oxygen, but it might be an interesting idea, restoring the old Oxygen resource from pre-release.

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