Devblog #45 - Roadmap, Mining and Other Stuff
Posted on 24th Jan 2019 in Development
As we announced last week we are starting with a new series of blog posts aimed at explaining the thought process behind major game design decisions for Hellion. Also, we said that we are going to update our roadmap, so here you go: https://trello.com/b/IB3hepnV/hellion-road-map-final-phase
As you can see, we’ve moved to the Second (Final) Phase of Hellion development in which we want to tie the entire gameplay experience into a meaningful whole. Many of you used to complain about our frequent additions of new content with each update which caused instability and introduced new bugs and issues. Now, we can finally agree with you. There is enough stuff in Hellion right now we just need to set them up properly in order to achieve what we always wanted Hellion to be.
Lots of changes, lots of decisions, many of them based on the feedback we are getting from the community. And we’ll go through all of them, one by one, week by week, so get ready for it!
Let’s kick things off with mining.
So what’s wrong with mining? Well… a lot… Let’s start with the most obvious - mining plays and feels just like a placeholder. That isn’t surprising since it was left on the backburner in favour of other features since Hellion’s EA launch two years ago. Not quite representative of the ‘immersive space experience’ Hellion aims for. Well, about time we did something about that. Right?
Why bother with mining at all? This is one of the first problems in Hellion at the moment. Mining is not nearly as rewarding or engaging when compared to salvaging. In order to address the first part of this problem we are introducing a number of new crafting resources. These new resources will be necessary to craft any item and will be exclusive to mining. How you obtain them is up to you. We would prefer that you go mining, but raiding someone’s cargo bay also works. ;)
Now to address the second part..
Exposed surface deposits
Or, mining nodes if you prefer a less technical term. Why you might ask? Well it’s because flying to an asteroid, sticking a drill in the ground and holding LMB for a few minutes isn’t exactly a fun and engaging activity.
Mining will now only be possible from exposed surface deposits, or nodes. This will require flying from one deposit to the next as a single node won’t contain an endless amount of ore. Expect to go through a few of these in order to fill up one or two drill containers. These nodes will also be visually different from each other based on the type of resource they contain to allow players to easily identify them from a distance (those asteroids aren’t exactly tiny).
Another thing to note is that each asteroid will have a large but finite amount of resources available. So if you’re planning a massive mining operation you might want to look for a few suitable rocks.
Of course, no activity in Hellion would be complete without a proper space hazard to accompany it. Introducing ‘gas pockets’! These small pockets of super hot and highly compressed gas are often present near the surface and represent a constant and somewhat unpredictable danger for any miner. But don’t worry, there will be a short warning window before one becomes active.
Active gas bursts will cause damage and push away anyone standing too close to the eruption. Their damage isn’t too high, provided that you moved away (or were thrown away). If however you choose to stay and ‘grind through’ them you might want to invest into some better ‘protective gear’, but more on that in another blog.
Gas pocket eruptions are also tied to surface temperature and will erupt with much more frequently when exposed to direct sunlight, so if your gear is not up to part better mine in the shade.
Mining drill and drill bits
Finally, we want to talk about changes to the mining drill. You all know that each drill requires a canister and a battery to function, now we are adding one more craftable part into the mix. The Drill bit. Drill bit is the tip of the drill that slowly erodes as you mine resources. Eventually you will need to craft a replacement, or invest in a more expensive but also more durable part.
So to tie in all of these changes: new resources, mining nodes, gas pockets and drill bits. All of these elements combine together to completely change the way mining works and feels in Hellion. Players will need to equip themselves with proper mining gear, locate an asteroid that has the resources they want, then find appropriate nodes to mine, while watching out for gas pocket eruptions. Add in the possibility of that asteroid begin deep inside a debris field or on a doomed orbit and you have quite an adventure on your hands! Not exactly the same as sticking a drill in the ground and holding LMB for a few minutes…
Posted by Zero Gravity team