Game goal: make the planet habitable

NairitNairit NJ, USA Join Date: 2014-11-10 Member: 199589Members Posts: 48
From Feature Vote:
Find or make power source, amass food, water, clean radiated zones and study creatures before your people arrive

I’ve already expressed my reservation about “make the planet habitable” goal (twice ;) ) so this will be the last time. Just want to officially plead my case before I hold me peace forever. :D

The problem here is suspension of disbelief, I can literally write pages as to what is wrong with this scenario, but in short it’s inconsistent with technology as it is presented in game fiction, history of colonial efforts, and… frankly common sense.

And the thing is - it’s completely unnecessary. Gameplay can be preserved and few bonus elements gained while most of the plot holes in the fiction eliminated if Aurora was a scout ship rather than habitation one. If the goal of the player character is to conduct comprehensive survey rather than make planet habitable.

Instead of “amass food”, player would be charged with “evaluating agricultural capacity”. A task which might involve:
  • Creating and testing several plots for terrestrial plants (surface plot on the island, “greenhouse” underwater, artificial plot on a floating platform, ocean section for terrestrial kelp species)
  • Conduct soil enrichment experiments using locally available fertilizers (I.e. study local plants, animals or by-products of their activity ;) to discover fertilizer schematics)
  • Observe, record and evaluate ecological effect of Terrestrial plants on native environment (will native fish population explode with the new food source? Will native plant life be negatively affected by terrestrial neighbors?)
  • Collect samples of local flora, study for nutritional value, health hazards and agricultural possibilities
  • Find/Construct appropriate habitat and conduct experimental farming of the native plant life
  • Extract and study DNA samples from local plants, conduct DNA modification experiments on terrestrial plants to adapt them to the local conditions (oh boy, GMO labels everywhere ;) )

Energy based end-game goal, no problem - "Evaluate extractable wind, solar, hydro, thermal power resources" (tasks that would involve networks of sensors placed around the planet, constructing prototype power generators, etc)

Decontamination of polluted/irradiated areas - "Map contaminated areas, conduct study and experiment and make suggestion for decontamination process."

Survey mission will explain the drive to discover, catalog and study animal species (and why we are planet-side apparently without knowing anything about the planet in the first place)

Survey will drive us to experiment with every plant and animal to "Evaluate agricultural capacity" rather then just plant massive amount of a single GMO crop to "amass food"

…I can go on for pages… both on what is wrong with “make planet habitable” and on advantages of Survey/First-In scenario… but I think the basic idea is clear enough.


  • dottedfishdottedfish Germany Join Date: 2014-11-22 Member: 199755Members Posts: 92 Advanced user
    While I believe you are right I also think that some of your arguments are already in the goal.

    I do support one main point though - which is to not solve the biggest issues but actually analyze for and support an eventual solution.

    E.g. find ways to ecologically find food instead of having to spearfish for a year to hit 1000000 fish in a tank.

    Same with power sources etc.

    Why? Because it isn't final. It could always grow and develop. That offers more room for later expansions and changes as it represents more struggle for the whole colonialization as a whole. A hi tech space traveling race would not care for smaller things like food. Even after the crash you'd just make a bot with the fabricator and send it off to work for you, make it collect resources and build a new home.

    As for the player/gameplay I'd hate if I'd have to constantly "grind" without finding the game enjoyable. DayZ is a perfect example for this. As the game is really not enjoyable to the player. It's constantly trying to force the player out of his comfort zone and make him weak.

    In essence: Yes, a challenge should be there but the struggle with survival does not go well with a highly developed civilization. I'd thus agree and would love to see a focus on exploration, interaction and research.

  • Soul_RiderSoul_Rider Mod Bean Join Date: 2004-06-19 Member: 29388Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue Posts: 4,269 Advanced user
    I have to agree, to my mind a highly developed society wouldn't need to worry about survival, it would be beyond that, and the fact that you are considering enabling players to alter their own DNA through DNA obtained from local animals, shows that this is indeed an advanced society.

    A technologically advanced race probably wouldn't worry too much about power so while I am not saying free power, rather than running out and having to be recharged, played as total power output generated/used, you can't use more than you can generate, but you don't need to refuel, only expand where the grid needs it.

    I know what I mean, ask questions if you need me to clarify :P
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  • zetachronzetachron Germany Join Date: 2014-11-14 Member: 199655Members Posts: 1,189 Advanced user
    To me it seems the planet is already habitable. Plenty of food, water, air and energy resources to harvest. The missing part is the technological recovery after planetfall. More like Planet Explorers without people to talk to. I mean it's not some marslike planet or project "Mars One" with full of dust and nothing, where you have to build survival structures like crazy, care about sandstorms and meteor rains and repair a lot of things.

    Generally I'd prefer a game mode where you can spend most of the time exploring, researching and crafting, while I don't want to ignore needs like oxygen, pressure or food. And I always want to have to be aware of dynamic dangers like currents or roaming predators. What I really would hate, is to harvest most of the time to stay alive. I would accept an event based harsh survival situation, which ends after reaching the goal. Like the first days after the crash setting up a survival scenario until a base has been established that allows easy survival. Then things allow more open exploration.

    I could also think about some events in Subnautica for a habitat challenge. The spaceship which crashed is broken and leaks poison and radiation, slowly damaging the ecosystem. In a race against time you have to find a way to enter the ship, sealing the breaches and stopping the damage. Then you have repair the ecosystem in time. You have to think about what to do first, like entering the ship and stop the damaged reactor or repair the leaks from the outside first to stop the mass of poison. You need lots of tech research and diving for resources to build your equipment for the job.

    Other event could be finding an alien structure while digging for fossils. An accidential activation works like opening Pandora's box and things slip out of hand. Dangerous creatures get resurrected from dna samples flooding the ocean area. You have to research counter measures and contain the alien species. Otherwise everything will get inhabitable.

    Or smaller events like random generated plagues that cause an ecosystem breakdown. A mysterious rise in water temperature has to be traced down, while more and more poisonous jellyfish overpopulate the area due to the warmer water. Can you find the cause in time?
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