Devblog #30 Craftwork Update Preview, Part I
Posted on 8th Feb 2018 in Development
What’s up survivors, is Hellion treating you alright? Today we bring you the first part of the “Craftwork” update preview. This blog will focus on improvements coming to Life Support system, airlock mechanics and security.
Ok, so lets start with the Life Support system. As you all know, life support is responsible for maintaining normal breathing conditions on board your ships and stations. In order to work properly it requires power and a supply of refined resources (oxygen and nitrogen). So far life support worked with little or no input from the players leaving them with very few options when it came to base management, usually boiling down to: leave it ON, or turn it OFF.
We’ve put a lot of thought into redesigning and changing the way LS works and have done a complete overhaul of the life support UI to bring it in line with the recent changes to the power supply interface.
One major improvement to the LS mechanics is the way game handles air itself. Instead of being a magical substance inside your modules that you have very limited control over, air is now treated as an entirely new resource. Once you turn on the Air Generator it will start mixing oxygen and nitrogen to create breathable air and safely store it inside the life support’s “air tank”. Since this tank is accessible from the cargo screen, you can freely transfer air between different air tanks and cargo holds. In case you want the resources back, you can use the refinery to have it broken down into nitrogen and oxygen once again. While different air tanks store air individually, LS interface will show the combined air tank value for all connected LS systems, in the same way multiple capacitors are handled.
Second important thing is how much information and control players have over the atmosphere in their stations. The new LS interface now displays all relevant information for each system and module connected to the base. This information includes output, information about parts, power and resource consumption, as well as volume information, pressure and air quality per room.
Another big change is that pressurization is no longer an automatic process tied to the Air Generator sub-system. In order to pressurize a room, players have to simply click the Pressurize option for each room from the UI. So, no more wasting precious nitrogen on that cargo bay just because you forgot to turn off the air generator. And before some of you start raging about manually pressurizing individual rooms, you can click on multiple rooms and let the LS do its task while you deal with other things.
In addition to the “pressurize” option, players can now also choose to “depressurize” and “vent” individual rooms. Note that depressurizing the room will return the air back into the air tank. So in case you don’t have enough resources to pressurize an entire station you can depressurize any module you do not find necessary and pressurize those that you visit frequently. Or use the life support module as a makeshift airlock.
Speaking of airlocks we’ve also done a number on how they work and more importantly how fast they work. Airlocks now require a functional life support system and access to the life support air tank in order to work. Once you choose to depressurize an airlock, the air will be returned to the main life support air tank. In addition, all airlocks have received a considerable boost to their air cycling speed, reducing the waiting time considerably when moving in and out.
Part of this change is the removal of the infamous “elevator airlock” that caused much grief to our players. The elevator is now just that: an elevator. All airlock functions have been delegated to the cargo airlock that now works considerably faster than before.
With the improvements to the Power Supply system, a number of problems related to base security came to light and changing the way security works became necessary. First major change we implemented was to tie all interface panels to the central security system.
With this simple change any unauthorized personnel will be blocked from accessing your base or ship systems. Keep in mind that this works only for systems that are actually linked to the security interface. If a module such as power supply or life support isn’t connected to the command module, anyone will be able to access it. If, however you run across an abandoned ship, or a command module that by default has a security interface, you will need to authorize yourself before gaining access to any system panels.
Another improvement was to change the command module into a proper nerve center of your base as its name implies. Once you have obtained a command module you will be able to access any of the connected systems from its command deck.
And last but not least we had decided to block outside access to all maintenance shafts in order to prevent intruders from simply bypassing all locked doors and going straight to the command module.
Finally, if all goes well during the testing phase you can expect the “Craftworks” update to hit live servers on March 1, 2018. That’s all for this blog, join us next week for the second part of the update preview when we go into the depths of the crafting system.
Posted by Zero Gravity team