Alpha 5 [0.5.5] Dev Status: Display of Resources Spots

The basic implementation of the display of the resource spots is done.
Here's 3 screenshots for the 3 possible displays in the game:





As you can see it's pretty basic but usable and totally integrated to the already existing interface. Of course I'll see to improve it.

The next step is to implement all the rules about the planetary survey and the resources survey and to setup also additional interface elements to let the player be able to setup a survey expedition.
After that the resource survey will be done and the hardcoded data will be removed, that's mean that for the Alpha 5 you will have to setup an expedition to be able to discover resource spots and to exploit them. No more free lunch!

Alpha 5 [0.5.5] Dev Status: Planetary Survey with Some Graphics

Alpha 5 [0.5.5]:
expected: before the end of February/March 2013
Main To-Do-List:

  • !DONE! - the action popup menu will be replaced with a custom interface more stable, the current menu can freeze the interface if used in some ways.
  • !DONE! - the Interplanetary Transit mission will be re-enabled.
  • !DONE! - the mission cancellation will be finally completely implemented.
  • !DONE! - the SPM memes management will be fixed (the bug that freeze FARC at March 1st). Don't worry, for now the memes management is simply disabled in the alpha 4.
  • !DONE! - the transition for conversion/assembling/building will be fixed (some errors have been reported).
  • !IN DEVELOPMENT! - the framework of the planetary survey system will implemented, including the resource survey.
  • the turn-based subsystem will be implemented and will be switchable with the realtime subsystem.
The design of the planetary survey system, including the survey subsystem is now 100% complete and compiled in the main document.
I have generated 5 icons to display each type of resource spot, and it's a great "milestone" because the assets of the game haven't been updated since June 2010!It's useless to say that all the development have been concentrated only in the game system.

Here's the icons:



They are made originally by Sigma, from spacesector.com and 3 have been modified by me.
I thanks him because I really sux in 2d and I wanted something simple and right to the point.
These icons will be used in game at 50% size and are licensed Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 — CC BY-SA 3.0.

Tomorrow I will begin to updating the interface into the surface panel (the part which display the surface of the orbital objects) to implement it and make a use of these icons.

After that the Alpha 5 will be released, I'll do a new video to show how the resources survey works.

Alpha 5 [0.5.5] Dev Status: Transition Phase and Planetary Survey

Alpha 5 [0.5.5]:
expected: before the end of February/March 2013
Main To-Do-List:


  • !DONE! - the action popup menu will be replaced with a custom interface more stable, the current menu can freeze the interface if used in some ways.
  • !DONE! - the Interplanetary Transit mission will be re-enabled.
  • !DONE! - the mission cancellation will be finally completely implemented.
  • !DONE! - the SPM memes management will be fixed (the bug that freeze FARC at March 1st). Don't worry, for now the memes management is simply disabled in the alpha 4.
  • !NEARLY DONE! - the transition for conversion/assembling/building will be fixed (some errors have been reported).
  • !IN DEVELOPMENT! - the framework of the planetary survey system will implemented, including the resource survey.
  • the turn-based subsystem will be implemented and will be switchable with the realtime subsystem. 
The transition phase for infrastructure hasn't a bug in itself; it's more a lack of return of information. In fact, the problem trigger with the assembling of a Nuclear Fission Reactor because... of a lack of staff. Such infrastructure needs 1 engineer and I forgot to include some when I hardcoded the data for the testing of the colony. The system sees it and put the infrastructure in hold until there is available staff to put it fully operational. Since the training system isn't implemented yet, the infrastructure is on holding indefinitely... and the interface display a duration of -1 without giving any more information...

I fixing it by displaying correctly that's there's a lack of staff and it will be possible to see the details by right clicking on it. I will also put enough engineers to be able to use the infrastructure.

You can say: why not to prevent the assembling of an infrastructure if all the prerequisites aren't fulfilled?  It will be in the future, maybe in this alpha maybe in another one. But this system is useful if, for any reason, the staff disappear after the assembling or building. In clear for example a colony can be plagued by a virus and kill some people, imagine that it kills all you engineers, all your infrastructures that depends on them will be not operational anymore due to a lack of staff.

Again there's not much to do on the player side, the checking is fully automated. Of course if the game was complete, in this case it will suffice to "convert" or train some colonists to be engineers, but we aren't at this stage yet.

The development for the planetary survey has also began, I updating some parts of the interface first before to implement the system itself.

Finally I pushed the deadline to one month more because I don't know if I will have enough time to put all that and the turn-based system.

Stay tuned.

Alpha 5 [0.5.5] Feature Highlight: Planetary Survey System w/Resources Survey Subsystem

I just completed the transfer in the digital doc of all the basic rules of the planetary survey and of course in particularly the resources survey, so I will begin to implement it tomorrow.

How that thing works? Well, for reminder, from this alpha 5 the player will must set up resources survey to be able to exploit the natural resources of a region, at least those contained in the resource spots.

For reminder, again, there are two types of sources for the resources: the Direct Resources Location, or DRL, and the resources spots.

There are 7 types of DRL:

- Atmosphere: if an orbital object has an atmosphere it's possible to extract some of its gases for storage and later use in game.

- Arable Lands: if a region has a type of terrain named Arid / Fertile / Coastal Arid / Coastal Fertile with a Liquid Water hydrosphere it has arable land for direct farming.

- Edible Fauna/Flora: if an orbital object's biosphere class is Carbon-Based the fauna is edible.

- Oceanic: this DRL is available for any coastal region. The sea/ocean is directly exploitable.

- Precipitations: use of rainfall for water production.

- Starlight: use of the photons beamed by the local star(s) for energy production.

- Winds: use of the region's winds for energy production.   

The DRL include the resource locations that are obviously accessible without the need of a survey, and even not any particular action from the player or the AIs.

The resources spots are less obvious and require a survey, there are 5 types:


- Gas Field: is an underground gas pocket from where the gases can be pumped. The spot indicate the proportion of each gas in the field that can be extracted, so the % for the CH4 and N2.


- Hydrosphere Well: is only applicable to Liquid, Liquid-Ammonia and Liquid Methane hydrospheres. It indicates the presence of a liquid well in the region. IT DOESN'T CONCERN the oceans by example; a hydrosphere well is more like a lake or a big river for example.


- Icy Ore Field


- Ore Field: more or less underground ore lode. The nature and volume of the ore contained in this lode is listed by product with a %. Possible products that can be in an Ore Field are the following:

- Carbonaceous Ore

- Metallic Ore

- Rare Metals Ore

- Uranium Ore


- Underground Water

OK, now concretely how it will be in game?
The player/AI can set a survey expedition in a particular region; it can be the same region than where a settlement is located or a remote region. There will be an option to automate the survey to any adjacent region or also to the entire rest of regions. Please, note that such things can take a while, depending on the groups and number of vehicles used for the survey.

I don't go to put details in the sequence but it clear the system is processed each day and do the following:

1/ it process any transit of vehicles toward the survey site if required, and depending on where the region is located on the surface and the size of the orbital object's surface, it can take some days. The system will detect automatically if the feasibility of the expedition in accordance to the maximum mission time the chosen group of vehicles have.
2/ it process the survey itself, with the vehicles groups that are already on site. The survey itself can take many days by regions, depending of the vehicles capabilities, autonomy, speed and the difficulty of the orbital object's environment and the region's features (like relief).
3/ any group of vehicles that reached its maximum mission time on site will go back to base to refit/replenishment, this phase can also take some days (out the travel time itself), and when this phase is completed, the vehicles go back on site to continue their mission.

That's a really simplified description. On the player side most of the survey is automated, the player/AI will received frequent information update about the survey.

The resources spots information is updated each day, and nothing can assure that something will be found. That constitutes one of the semi-random parts of the orbital objects.

That's all, it's just a highlight and I'll be more precise when the survey will be implemented, including some screenshots of course.

Stay tuned.