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.