Even if the orbital objects in FARC have their data fixed and pre-generated during the game design, some parts of them are subject to variability and three are especially affected by the Planetary Exploration System (PES); the ressources and the biosphere.
Their explorations are carried on through surveys named; the geological and the biological surveys.
Any vehicles (products) that have “Survey” as function, and present in the colony's storage, are listed. Most of the time they are in group of vehicles, so in this case 1 unit of equipment include more than 1 vehicles.
The Geological Survey (GS) allow to map the geophyisical aspect of a region, to probe for its possible resources spots and to discover if it contains any features and/or artefacts.
To do so, an expedition, composed to at least one group of vehicles, must be setup by the player/AI and be assigned to a particular region.
There is only one GS mission by region. No other expedition can be set up if a region has already a GS occuring.
This survey has a range of progression, noted in % from 0 to 100, to indicate which portion of a region is already surveyed.Over the time, an expedition can discover resources spots that can be exploited afterward by a colony. It can also discover some geophysical features and even some rare artefacts that need to be explored to be useful in any way.Without a GS, no resources spot can be exploited in a region.
It can only be one feature and one artefact that can be discovered for a same region. Obviously if one of them is discovered, no further test is carried on.
Once the survey reach 100%, the region concerned cannot be surveyed anymore for the rest of the duration of the game, and the expedition back to its base and is disbanded.
The GS system is triggered each day, if there's at least one ongoing survey mission, and is processed by survey round.
So here we go, a same survey for two outcomes.
For now the Features & Artefacts an orbital object can have aren't implemented, and will not be for this alpha. The design itself isn't really made in the main doc but scattered through many secondary documents.
Of course it will be dev in the future.
Tomorrow I will finally implement the automation of the geological survey, update a bit again the interface and will upload this release, not before PM, EST time.
PS; Oh I forgot, here is a small screenshot of the updated panel for the expedition setup:
Yeah, there are some icons now to illustrate the vehicles' capabilities (geological, features & artefacts and biological).