Monorails! (Huge Idea)


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NOTES:

I can't get this idea out of my head it sounds so cool, and I've been thinking about it a ton.

(I chose monorails because I feel like the futuristic idea of them matches the game's theme. Ultimately they're just trains)

 

Here are links to concept art: (COMING SOON - in case I can't edit this post, check my profile for another post including images)
Artistic scenes:
Design examples:

All the images are captioned and numbered in reference to the red annotations under the implementation section.

 

PURPOSE:

Monorails would be interesting to add to the game as a very late game transportation option that would be extremely fast, at the cost of being very expensive, requiring a railway to be set up beforehand, which would take more time and effort than going the distance on foot or with rovers), and only allowing one specific route to be travelled. I imagine monorails being placed between your bases, friends' bases, power plants, separate automation areas, or between your base and the nearest gateway chamber.

Additionally, monorails could exist to improve automation already in the game by creating an easy way to transfer resources long distances. Monorails could be sent between stations automatically using Astroneer's power routing systems, and use auto arms at individual stations to load resources on and off the train. The only current way to transfer resources automatically long distances would be a long chain of auto arms, or two chains if you want to transfer them two ways. As a late-game resource collection goal, players could set up auto-extractors far from their bases on large resource deposits, have auto arms load the resources picked up from the auto arms onto a monorail, and automatically send the train to their base once the monorail is full. From their base it could be unloaded by auto arms again into a storage system.

IMPLEMENTATION:

A monorail support system would be placed identically to extenders, except each support connects together by a solid metal rail instead of a flat wire. The supports would be more expensive than extenders, and each support would have 2 rail ports on either end, similar to electrical ports, where when you plug it into another support it connects the two with a rail. The rail would transmit both o2 and electricity like extenders, except power would be transferred both ways, unlike extenders (and maybe they wouldn't transmit o2). The rails could be set in a straight line, and each end would have a train brake model to emphasize the end of the line, or the rails could be connected in a loop.

Monorail supports could also be placed on tier 2 slots. This would allow the supports to be connected to a platform in your base in order to connect them to your power grid. Additionally, this allows players to get creative when designing monorail tracks, such as placing them on tall platforms to make an elevated railway.

You would be able to craft monorail engines and cars, and both could be placed on the rail, as if the rail itself were a special storage slot. The engines would have one connection port on the back, and the cars would have one on each end, so they could be linked together like rovers from these ports. The wire connecting them would have the same model as for rovers, and would glow yellow when connected to suggest the wire transferring power. Only one train could be placed on an individual rail line, and if an additional car or engine is placed on the line, none of the trains on that line will function until they are removed or connected together into one train.

There would be 2 train pieces, an engine and a car. The engine would be cylindrical, coming to a rounded point in the front. The car would match the cylindrical shape of the engine at the very bottom, but would be flat on the top, like a flatbed train car. From the bottom of the monorail, the cylinder shape would connect to the rail with a structure that extends outwards from the monorail. The structure would match the curved profile of the monorail, so that if the rail itself is sideways or upside down, the rail connector could rotate around the cylindrical cabin to match the direction of the rail, without the train itself turning upside down.

The engines would hold one seat, but to seat more people you could place rover seats on the cars. The cars would each have a single tier 3 slot. Additionally, there would be a tier 3 module called a "monorail seat" that would hold 4 people, like a large rover seat, but players sitting in this seat would not be given control of the vehicle it's attached to. The seat would match the cylindrical profile of the monorail engines when attached to a monorail car.

The monorail engine would require some power per second to run and would carry 2 cars. Additional cars can be attached but would slow down the train, to some certain limit. An individual train could carry 4 cars without slowing down if it had 2 engines (one on each end), but it would take twice the power because each individual engine would require power. The power production for the train could be placed on the cars of the monorail or on a base which is attached to a monorail support, since the rail shares a power grid with what it's attached to. The rail would transmit power to the engines. If the power production for the monorail is entirely on its cars, the rail supports wouldn't necessarily need to be connected to platforms. 

When driving a monorail, you could press w to accelerate until you hit the train's top speed (which would depend on whether or not it was overloaded with too many cars) or press s to decelerate. Which direction is forwards and which is back is dependent on which direction the engine is facing. As you close enough to the end of the rail that you would derail unless you decelerate, it would automatically decelerate in order to stop right at the end of the rail or just in front of the other train, even if you're holding w.

If you're travelling in one direction and want to turn around, first hold the button to go the other way. Once the train decelerates to a stop, holding the button won't make it go any further, it will stay stopped until you release the button. Once you release the button, the train will be stopped, just as it was when you first got on.

Whenever the train is moving, a cover extends to cover the entirety of the train cars, similar to how shuttles close up while in motion. Also similar to shuttles, whatever is placed inside the car would not be visible, including storage silos that would extend outside the cover. These covers would open back up once the train comes to a full stop. If a monorail seat is placed on a car, instead of the car's cover closing, the seat itself will extend a glass cover, which will show the player model inside, and allow the fictional character to see the outside world.

On the monorail engine, a trapdoor will open and close when the player enters it, similar to the hatch that opens and closes on a shuttle. Players will not be able to get on or off the monorail unless it is completely stopped (and visually the covers are open).

A building module called a "monorail station" could exist. The station would be similarly sized to a XL extended platform, have a power port on each side, and instead of storage slots on top would have a straight rail. This rail could then be extended and connected to other rail supports. Alternatively, a monorail station could exist by stretching a rail between two supports on either end of a XL extended platform with nothing else on it. Hovering over a station with the cursor will give the player a prompt to activate it, which will call the train on that rail to the station.

If you have more than 2 stations on a single track, when you get in the monorail a map will appear on the center of the screen, similar to when you are travelling between planets from the gateway portal. The map would show the entire railway as a line, with dots along that line representing each station on it, and a large dot representing the train. Clicking on a dot will automatically take the train to that station, without additional player input. piloting the train yourself will interrupt it, and coming to a full stop will once again reveal the map. The map disappears as long as the train is in motion (or at least becomes non-interactable(or maybe it doesn't, that might be unnecessary)).

Target pins can be connected to the monorail station, which will either call the train to that station if it is already empty, or send the train off to the next station in the direction it was already travelling before it stopped at the current station. If the track ends before there is another station, it will be sent to the next station in the other direction. 

Connecting a target pin to a monorail engine and powering it will send the train to the next station with the same rules as a station with a train in it. This will allow for the train to be controlled automatically. In order to send a train both directions on a rail by activating the train it will need two engines. This could be used, for example, to send off a train when it's full of resources. There could be a storage sensor on a storage in a train car, and when the storage is full it will activate the engine, sending off the whole train.

From these rules for automation, players could create fully automatic systems to transport resources and people across their planets. And with these monorails as transportation vehicles, players could travel efficiently and stylishly through their world.

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Here are links to concept art: (COMING SOON - in case I can't edit this post, check my profile for another post including images)
Artistic scenes:
Design examples: https://imgur.com/a/sYqDfEa

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This idea has already been discussed several times on this forum for a long time. I want trains too. But this idea is probably on hold.

I'd love to see this idea added to the road-map, but seeing no news yet, it seems like there's a reason or something else.

 

Your idea looks most similar to Electric Train(Milestone: Monorail Technology) in Satisfactory.

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15 minutes ago, KOR_APUcard said:

This idea has already been discussed several times on this forum for a long time. I want trains too. But this idea is probably on hold.

I'd love to see this idea added to the road-map, but seeing no news yet, it seems like there's a reason or something else.

 

Your idea looks most similar to Electric Train(Milestone: Monorail Technology) in Satisfactory.

Thanks for the reply, I tried to make sure to check the frequently suggested ideas to make sure what I had wasn't redundant, but I didn't see anything about trains or monorails. My bad, lol.

I've looked into the trains in Satisfactory, and you're right that my idea is incredibly similar - to be honest it seems fairly identical. I tried to frame the implementation of the monorail around concepts that already exist in Astroneer, like linking cars how rovers are linked, placing tracks like extenders, or the train closing up like a shuttle. Given that Satisfactory can make their trains work within their game, I assume technical limitations haven't prevented the devs from adding trains to Astroneer, and instead they've decided trains either don't fit within their space-exploration theme (which makes sense, trains are a big step from rovers and lunar landers), or adding trains to the game's progression would ruin the game for the player, maybe it could easily become meta for a playthrough to set up a train line as early as possible. That's the main reason I said the train and rail itself would be expensive, I meant like tons of nanocarbon alloy expensive, so that setting up a train would be something you only do at realistically the end of a playthrough or base setup.

Either way, thanks for reading my post all the way through and responding. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who's thought of this before and not the only one who wants it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

You could have different tear trains like the shuttles that can go faster and hold as well with higher tear rails and cars

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