Subnautica - next stage 1.1

GeovoynGeovoyn Russia Join Date: 2018-05-20 Member: 240842Members
Good day, Geovoyn with you.

Briefly about why I decided to write this article.

In my mind after the first passage, there were thoughts about what the future of Subnautica might be. After reading the game wiki and also going through groups and forums, I realized that many ideas (which were thought through by me) were already stipulated by the players. I wanted to systematize them and add something from myself to subsequently send a full article to an official forum or directly to the developers.

According to the game on the planet, there must be at least several different inhabited zones.
We have already seen the classic map - Eco-Zone of a volcanic crater measuring 2х2 km, where Aurora was lucky to fall.
We will see the Arctic, where, most likely, will have their own characteristics and gameplay chips.

I see two ways to achieve a cooperative / multiplayer I see in two versions:

The First is simpler and cheaper in terms of implementation, but at the same time more boring.
Players (from 2 to 6-8?) Appear on the same classical map, in different capsules (maybe two in one).
Survival and the plot are carried out in the same mode, with the only difference being that everything will be worked out for multiplayer (animation, models, optimization, compatibility, and such pleasant nuances as chat through the PDA).
Players will also build bases and gradually pass the story, only together this time. Perhaps you need to add some joint elements for research (something like the doors of the Forerunner, which can be opened only when several people interact).

(+) Pluses
Saving resources and time for development.
A well-crafted map.
Full story.

(–) Minuses
Fast passage - the more players in the session, the faster and easier the game will be played.
There is no point for old players - experienced players already know all the nuances and tricks, saw all / most of the biomes, know crafts, use Stasis-Cannons (remove it, please) to the right and to the left, so that they will not have any difficulty passing the game without straining while twice as fast).
A lesser difficulty for new players is that, although it will be interesting for them to move around the story, bumping into different "surprises", but playing in a co-operative will make it easier for them to survive, which in the end will result in a facilitated passage.
A small map is one of the most important drawbacks. The map is small not so much in length and breadth as in the depth. The ocean on the old map cannot always accommodate one Cyclops, let alone a few or more large submarines.
Identical gameplay - it almost does not change. Players will do everything the same, only with a large number of people.

Second is more difficult, requires the introduction of new mechanics and a new map, but at the same time, the roots will change the game.
Players (from 2 to 6-8?) appear in different capsules (maybe two in one), in an alternative Eco-Zone 10x10 (5x5 / 15x15 / 20x20?) km, in the center of which will be a huge non-floating island. This island will represent the highest ring of the mountain of volcanic craters. On the plot it will be much more ancient than the analogue on the classical map.


In this "bowl" there will be all ground flora and fauna protected from external influences by a mountain ridge. Perhaps there will be some animals, but only small species.
The Aurora fell somewhere near (two or three kilometers), and the scatter of the capsules is in the immediate vicinity of the island, where the biome is identical to Safe Shallows.
This will be the starting point for players who will get out of their capsules and, after some time, try to reach a safe shore.

Drawings of the elements of the dwelling can be located both on the island, and on the Aurora (?) or its sunken parts. In any case the dwelling should be available almost immediately, for the practical interaction of the players with each other.
Survival and the plot, as in the first version, will be held in the same mode, but with elaboration for multiplayer.

As I described above, the whole map will be a ring of volcanic craters, standing on top of each other like a children's pyramid. Descents from these rings will be sharp, and they themselves will have a different relief. In fact, they will be a plateau, but they may have mountainous terrain, zones with floating islands, etc. depending on the biome. Caves and other underground biomes will remain and increase in size. Including directly under the island can be the entrance to the inactive and active lava zones.

Such a structure of the map will allow players to gradually go down, exploring ever deeper, darker and more dangerous biomes. To make it look harmonious, it is worth combining and multiplying some biomes that will be found both on the upper and lower rings. Dangers will be present, the Leviathans will not go anywhere and the Ultra-Leviathans (which will be discussed below) are hiding in darkness.

The main distinctive feature of such a map will be in the depth of the lower rings, which will reach 5-8 kilometers. The structure of the pyramid will allow players to float on submarines to the surface from any ring, and also to dive down.


The depth of penetration of light into the water column depends on its transparency. Recent studies conducted with the help of satellites show that on the pictures of the Baikal bottom and at a much greater depth (up to 500 m), relief is visible. In this case, it should be assumed that light can penetrate up to 1000 m, i.e., to a depth that is an order of magnitude greater than it was thought up to now.

In the game, you can make a limit of penetration of light at a depth of 1.5-2 kilometers. This will create a clear boundary between the "light zone" that is easier to master and the heavier "dark zone".
On the edge of the lowest rings will be the boundary of the Eco-Zone, which may not differ much from the classical, except that instead of the Ghosts one can add the Ultra-Leviathans.

Underwater Dream Ship

The most important, the main feature that I wanted to propose for this option is the command control of the ship.
If Cyclops can be controlled and alone, a larger submarine should require the interaction of a larger number of players.
My opinion is that for these purposes and for such a map, the «Shark» submarine, which the game designer under the nickname Minder realized as a 3D model, called the «Atlas», would be ideal.

Of course, you can use any other submarine or change the design of this one, but why if the Shark is so good?


We know that the new version of Atlas is about 2.5 times larger than Cyclops.


Has on board 4 escape pods, each of which accommodates two people, improved maneuvering systems, and a dock for two vehicles.
In total there are nine compartments in the submarine on three decks:


Black - decks
Blue (at the front) - Cockpit with control and survey deck
Yellow - Command room / main control panel
Green - Docking bays with panel improvements
White - Storage / free rooms
Purple (at the back) - Engine room / panel for modules for improvement
Red - Laboratory / free room
Brown - Living room / free room
Blue (at the back) - Dormitory / free room
Purple (in front) - Escape pod room
Two gateways for the input / output are located at the top of the case (although their location is likely to be changed).

Now about ideas related to management, improvement and interaction with this submarine:

To implement the team work in practice, it is necessary to make the Shark management easier and more efficient with a large number of players, and much more difficult with less.
On Cyclops there is only one main control element - the steering wheel. Becoming for him, the player can interact with all systems and subsystems, except for the subsystem of firefighting.

In the Shark it is worthwhile to implement the same method, but with the addition of additional control panels. Each panel (including a special steering panel in the cockpit) will allow one or more submarine systems to be controlled by each crew member. In this case, the system/s can be switched and selected.
To make it easier for players to interact, one system or subsystem can be managed by a maximum of 1 person, while others can simply look at the changes in it. This rule will apply to all panels except the helmsman. The selected player who has risen behind the steering panel will become the captain of the ship, which will allow him to coordinate the actions of others, adjusting the settings of all systems and subsystems according to the situation.

The optimal number of systems on the ship should be counted on the average number of players in multiplayer - that is, somewhere around 4-6 systems and several subsystems.

Possible systems and (subsystems):
1) Steering system - the system will give direct control to the Shark, as well as an image from the camera inside the cockpit at an extra panels. There will be 3 available travel modes with smooth switching, for greater speed control, and switching to the above-water mode.
In a simplified form and direct accessibility there will be systems of navigation, cameras, energy distribution, and subsystems (maps), (states), (communications), (fire extinguishing), (light control), (compartment control) and (defense).
1.1) (Main defense) - the subsystem will control the main torpedo installation (turret), which will be located in the bow.
1.2) (Bait) - the subsystem controls the first bait setup, which will be located in the front (the same turret in the bow), and the second, which will be placed on top (on the top mini-turret).

2) Navigation system - allows the player to view holographic and schematic maps in advanced mode, track beacons, vehicles and players, and monitor the status of the submarine.
2.1) (Map) - the subsystem will display real-time changes on the schematic and holographic maps, show the current scanning areas, and display threats and good / verified path routes.
2.2) (Depth sounder) - is a subsystem that scans and displays topographic data on the display.
2.2) (Lighthouses) - a subsystem that will allow to mix beacons (with the help of a turret in the bow) and will track them.
2.3) (Submarine status) - is a subsystem that displays the status, damage / leakage / breakdown of the submarine in real time.

3) Cameras - a system that controls both the cameras located on the submarine and the drones that will be able to survey the terrain near the ship. Also cameras will be on the manipulators in the transport dock. Switching between all the cameras will be carried out in a more convenient form than on the Cyclops.
3.1) (Propulsion transport manipulator) - a subsystem allowing to control one of the two "grappling hooks" in the dock for transport. In the absence of transport in the dock, the player can "grab" the vehicle (even with another player inside) using the manipulator, and tighten it in the submarine.
3.2) (Scanning) - a subsystem enabling cameras, on a ship and drones, to scan a terrain in a given radius in order to detect resources and hazards, as well as scan parts of devices, plants, creatures, debris, etc.
3.3) (Point defense) - the control subsystem of the top mini turret located on top, near the antenna.
3.4) (Survey of the terrain) - a subsystem that allows you to control drones-cameras that can swim in a certain radius near the ship, explore the terrain, and conduct a scan.
3.5) (External repair) - a subsystem that allows you to manage repair drones that will be able to swim in a small radius near the ship and repair damage / leaks / holes in any vehicle or even a home.

4) Energy - is a system by which a player can control and redistribute energy on a submarine (yes, just like in ships from the Star Trek). From simple reinforcement of the shield or engine power, to faster charging of equipment in the docks or power saving mode.
4.1) (Shield generator) - the subsystem adds the ability to create a large energy shield in order to drive away the hostile fauna. The shield makes the submarine invulnerable, as on the Cyclops, for the duration of its use. Energy is expended more quickly with a strong impact. The module may overheat.

5) (Communication) - a subsystem that allows you to catch signals from different sources and vehicles and track them. Can control (possibly using special modules) transport. It can also turn on the SOS signal.

6) (Fire-fighting) - the subsystem responsible for putting out the fire. It differs from the Cyclops subsystem in that it automatically selects isolated compartments with a fire, instead of blocking the entire ship.

7) (Light control) - is a subsystem responsible for controlling the internal and external light on a submarine. It differs from the Cyclops subsystem in that the player can choose in which decks / compartments and external searchlights, the light is on or off.

8) (Control of compartments) - a subsystem responsible for monitoring the submarine compartments: blocking of bulkheads, power supply, light control, etc.

The server is played by 8 people. They finally build the Shark and distribute roles for playing on it. One becomes a captain; the second is engaged in navigation; The third inspects the terrain with the cameras of the submarine and is engaged in scanning; the fourth manages part of the normal and repair drones; the fifth closely engages in energy and controls another part of the drones; the sixth is engaged in communication and other subsystems; The seventh is piloted by Crab, and also deals with crafting and resource allocation; the eighth deals with energy and modules, crafting and resource distribution, and also pilots the second transport if necessary.

All 8 people in action participate in an exciting journey. Nobody forbids them to change roles and, again, to pose with the construction of the base, for example.
For 8 people, life-saving capsules are calculated, but the crew may be larger. 10 people will quite find themselves than themselves, and they will also be able to escape from imminent death (in the event of a disaster), since there will be two transports on the submarine.
Everyone will find his place and his interest, in this version of the gameplay; you just need to give a motivation to action.

Such a huge submarine like the Shark naturally will have to get somewhere from a huge amount of energy. The submarine is 2.5 times larger than the Cyclops - starting from this, and also based on comparisons of capacities, I did some calculations.


The Cyclops’s flow rate, with its skillful use with the energy efficiency module, is about 500 units per hour, which means 12 hours of continuous running and moderate use of the modules for a maximum of 6,000 energy units.
Now let's move on to the Shark.
All the figures below are just my approximate calculations and thoughts, how could this be in the game. Naturally, they can and will change in order to achieve the optimal balance of complexity / interest.


The "charge / float" scheme of the Cyclops simply cannot be productive with such a huge expenditure of energy, so you definitely need to use another one.

Namely, an autonomous energy source, which is the main one in almost every modern submarine of a long voyage, is a nuclear reactor.
In addition to it (there are other sources of energy in the game), you can make additional modules, the slots for which will be a maximum of 1-2, so players have to choose what to use at any particular moment. And do not let players change them like gloves in this way - the size of each module in the inventory must be made gigantic, or, for example, make sure that only the Crab can install them from the outside.

In the table below I tried to optimize the storage capacity and capacity of each module. Remember, this is only a preliminary balance.


Thus, the average generation of energy will exceed the average expenditure of the submarine, which will allow players to spend some time in swimming, without the need for any recharging. Of course, you should not make energy very limitless, because it simply kills complexity. It will be necessary to create obstacles for the players, so that they do not just sweat over the solution of the energy problem. The very replacement of the fuel rods will already require timely action and an anti-radiation suit.

A ton of energy will require a fairly large storage. From this it follows that standard energy cells (even ionic ones) simply do not fit for these purposes. It will be necessary to introduce the craft of large energy cells.


In total there can be 8-10 slots, i.e. with the usual energy cells in the storage will be a maximum of 9600-12000 units, and with ionic 48000-60000 units.
With an average flow (without power generation), a complete storage facility with conventional energy cells will empty in 20 minutes, and with an ionic charge of 50.

Modules, in addition to the energy I described above, can represent a variety of things - from the module of "external charging", which will allow connecting large transport and buildings to the Shark energy system, to the "masking" module that will hide the submarine from unnecessary attention. The number of slots for them is also very variable.
To describe them all does not make sense to me, since many ideas are already certainly on forums or are in the folder of concepts - the scope for ideas is unlimited.
Separately, I note that for all types of transport (including the Shark); new depth improvement modules will be needed (suppose the maximum depth is 7 km):


I was always interested in the question of water pressure on the character we are playing.
Theoretically, somewhere from 350 meters immersion should become dangerous to health, but this does not happen. The character is equally free to swim both at a depth of 100 meters, and at a depth of 8 kilometers. To solve this problem, we just need "DNA Transmitter", which in theory should be put into the game in the future.


Information on the wiki:
The DNA Transmitter (Transfuser) is a developing item for extracting and injecting DNA.
 Each injection increases said value by 25%.
 You can inject one creature or yourself up to four times.
 Each sample uses 5% of the transfuser's energy.
 Refer to the table on the DNA page for sample types and locations.
If you enter such a tool into the game, you can calmly add pressure as well. With the DNA transmitter the player will be able to "improve" himself, increasing the protection from this pressure.

Also separately worth noting is the element of creating the Shark in the game world:
First, the constituent parts - there must be a lot of them. At least 3 times more than Cyclops (i.e. 9). But if it seems to you that it will be difficult to collect them, remember that the player, in this version of multiplayer, is not alone.

Secondly, the craft itself - it should be so expensive that for the whole game you could create a maximum of one or two Sharks. This will give the game more hardcore and interest, because no one will want to again collect a huge bunch of resources from the entire card.

Third, modules and disposable elements - they will also be expensive, within reasonable limits, but it is possible to include, for example, in the craft some rare resources (which for game there is very little).
Under disposable items, I mean the Shark's rescue capsules, for example, which will be almost identical to the Aurora capsules, with the only difference being that they can quickly float to the surface.

If I were to generalize all that concerns the Shark, then I would say this: in the main game we survive on our own and do everything ourselves. The atmosphere of desperation and loneliness presses on us - we want to escape, fly away from the planet. How we do it and determines the gameplay, giving us different possibilities of passage.
But in multiplayer everything should be different. We are not alone we are a whole team, which will eventually have its own underwater ship. We are still pressured by the atmosphere, but it feels differently - every mistake, every "surprise" can be fatal for the team. This knowledge and will besiege too self-confident players, at the same time, giving them an incentive to pass.

For players to somehow continue to feel the atmosphere of despair and fear, I suggest removing / nerf / change Stasis-Gun.
This weapon kills all the complexity - any big guy can be frozen forever and stabbed with a knife.
Remember how simple just one player can deal with leviathans. And if there are several of them? For example, 8 Stasis-Guns will simultaneously fire for one single purpose.
To save hardcore, you must at least give the server administrator the ability to turn off the Stasis-Cannon, removing it from the session. Better yet, simply remove this weapon from the game.

And, of course, under all this new gameplay you need to add a test - a couple of dangers, from which even experienced players will goosebumps.
Here is my idea of one of these new dangers.


The mostly disappearing species of the largest mammals on the planet are 4546B.


In the classic game, these creatures are "extinct" many thousands / millions of years ago.
In fact, players just do not yet know who is hiding in the depths of the "Dead Zone", and how much it is still uninhabited.
This can be used by making such monsters, which in the game will be only one copy.

Ultra-Leviathan "Kraken"


Millions of years of evolution have turned this creature into a huge killer, one of the oldest and terrifying predators of the planet.

In contrast to the usual predatory leviathans, which have a snake-like structure of the body, Kraken actively uses its numerous limbs. Instead of ramming your underwater vehicles, he will grab them with tentacles, beat them with huge claws (maybe), bite them in half with his mouth, or try to drag them to the bottom.

The only way to cope with the situation is to go outside and beat the creature by tentacles or distract him so that he switches his attention and releases your boat.
True chance to escape from the "Kraken" sitting in the Moth or the Crab is almost zero - the creature flattens them faster than the Reaper, or simply swallows.
The only submarines that can at least somehow fight for survival are the Cyclops and the Shark - Kraken will try to drag them deeper and deeper.

It's only possible to swim away from this ultra-leviathan if you react in time and in advance swim away in the opposite direction. If you run into him face to face, you will have to fight for survival.
The energy shield will help, but very limited - it can work well against collisions and strikes, but the tentacle will not be able to stop.
If the "Kraken" receives a certain amount of damage, it will release a huge cloud of ink about a quarter of a mile away, disappear and sail away for a while. Players at this point will be able to regroup and escape, but if they do not, the attack will naturally repeat (suddenly, to the creature of the players and even scared, emerging from the cloud).
This is something more serious than the Ghost Leviathan, is not it?

I think my Subnautica article could be considered complete on this. Whether some of the ideas written out will be implemented or not is unknown, but I know for sure that in the future we will see many interesting things.
Thank you for your attention, I hope you were curious to read this article!

Author - Geovoyn


  • Migel_O_HaraMigel_O_Hara Join Date: 2018-05-27 Member: 240962Members
    Very interesting article. Especially liked the concept of Kraken)
  • GeovoynGeovoyn Russia Join Date: 2018-05-20 Member: 240842Members
    Glad that you liked it)
    I hope more people will see that article.
  • Migel_O_HaraMigel_O_Hara Join Date: 2018-05-27 Member: 240962Members
    Did you do these calculations by yourself or you find them somewhere?
  • GeovoynGeovoyn Russia Join Date: 2018-05-20 Member: 240842Members
    Information on Cyclops I found on Wikipedia but did the calculations myself. The rest is already invented.
  • Migel_O_HaraMigel_O_Hara Join Date: 2018-05-27 Member: 240962Members
    In any case, good work man) Don't be upset that few people comment. Maybe the people will catch up later
  • GeovoynGeovoyn Russia Join Date: 2018-05-20 Member: 240842Members
  • AffethemanAffetheman Sweden Join Date: 2020-10-07 Member: 264482Members
    I really hope this will become Subnautica 2.0 if there will ever be one. Is it really just you, me and Migel_O_Hara that's seen this article? Everyone should read this and be amazed, including the devs. One thing though: you didn't mean for the "Kraken" to be the only ultra-leviathan, right? The gargantuan leviathan really deserves a spot in the dead zone too! anyways, awesome work!
  • GeovoynGeovoyn Russia Join Date: 2018-05-20 Member: 240842Members
    Tnx! I glad that you like my ideas)
    Unfortunately, no one really saw this post - it's a little depressing for me. On the other hand, you were lucky enough to find it and read it, so enjoy it!
    The gargantuan leviathan would be a great addition to the whole concept, cool idea!
  • HerobrinesbestminionHerobrinesbestminion Join Date: 2019-12-07 Member: 256209Members
    Unknown worlds isn't Nintendo (or any other big company) so they sadly don't have the capacity to do this.... but the idea is great.... exept the thing the devs said before: stuff bigger then the big mama are hell to animate...... you would have parts glitch to terain and even worse stuff (I've seen things you don't want to see....)
  • GeovoynGeovoyn Russia Join Date: 2018-05-20 Member: 240842Members
    Heh, i know that it's not possible but this is my dream so i don't care)
    Tnx to you anyway!
  • OctonautOctonaut Join Date: 2020-07-29 Member: 262856Members
    The Shark would be an awesome vehicle if they make a game that allows us to travel between parts of the planet. This would be a "dead zone" ship... but of course, we'd discover that the dead zone is not so dead at all, and that the Shark is the only vessel capable of transporting us across the zone.
  • permeakrapermeakra Moscow/Russia Join Date: 2020-08-18 Member: 263386Members
    I very much hope that multiplayer won't happen.

    Multiplayer requires very different approach to game design and balance than exploration-survival sandbox. Trying to introduce them into base SP game would break the SP experience and I don't give shit about multiplayer in Subnautica.

    As for submarines, the seatruck is a great idea, even if poorly executed. Let me be clear, I hate Cyclops. Prawn... meh, it has it's place, but Cyclops... no. I admit, this is a personal preference, but still. Forcing people into use of something they dislike should not be a norm.
  • OctonautOctonaut Join Date: 2020-07-29 Member: 262856Members
    edited October 2020
    Octonaut wrote: »
    The Shark would be an awesome vehicle if they make a game that allows us to travel between parts of the planet. This would be a "dead zone" ship... but of course, we'd discover that the dead zone is not so dead at all, and that the Shark is the only vessel capable of transporting us across the zone.

    taking this further... the Shark would have to be massive... easily able to either dock a Cyclops or even a Sea Truck kitted out.

    And the game can be just a simple "get from the ice zone back to the crater", but along the way you find areas that are too small for the Shark and need smaller vehicles... but not too small because there are MASSIVE creatures out there!
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