Planetbase is a new RTS Strategy Simulation coming from the indie developer MadrugaWorks, where you need to guide a group of space settlers trying to establish an outpost in a remote planet. The game has also a survival component, since you will have to assure your settlers always have a supply of oxygen, food and water to stay alive.
The first thing you will be required to do in the game is selecting a planet, which will determine the level of difficulty you will have across all the adventure on this foreign planet. You could choose among the options, each with increasing difficulty, but at first you will only have the first one at your disposal so you can learn the basics. Then, you will have to select a landing zone: due to the meteorological conditions you might not be able to reach the point you originally took, so it is possible you will have to make some trial and error before properly starting the game.
As you approach the planet, you will have a series of priority to respect in order to let your settlers survive. Handling in this precise order Power, Water, Oxygen and Food will be fundamental to survive the first hours and develop in the best way possible your base once you have reached the second part of the game. That’s why the first tip is not to build as many things you can with the few resources the game assigns you at the startup: build slowly and wisely depending on the needs you will discover you have with the game going on.
Your crew is composed by 3 workers, 2 biologists, 1 engineer, 1 medic, 1 constructor bot, 1 carrier bot. Engineers handle the building and maintenance of your base facilities, repairing damaged structures, robots, constructions and more. They will use spare parts you can build in the factory, so in order to have them working you will need to run it the right way.
You will see it is important to create connections between each structure you build up, and it’s as easy as ABC since you will only need to click a few buttons: place the structure you need, then click the platform, click the nearest structure and a chain link icon will appear.
Medics work in the Sick Bay and they will handle fractures, sickness, malnutrition and radiation exposure. They can get sick as well and if you don’t have a good number of medics when this happens… your crew is destined to die.
Workers are the guy you will need to fasten the process of producing resources: the more you have, the faster this process is, so you won’t ever be at short of them. Biologists at the Biodome are fundamental when it comes to providing variety to your settlers diets (we’ll discover why this is so important later), as they take care of plants and of maintaining the resource producers. Guards are responsible for the security in the outpost but remember they will need weapons you build at your factory to work.
Your crew’s needs include Health, Hunger, Water, Oxygen, Sleep and Morale. Health is affected by sickness, malnutrition and injury. Hunger bar shows you when they are hungry and need to eat. Water shows their hydration status. Oxygen shows how well their O2 demands are being met. Sleep shows you how much energy they have remaining until they have to lay down. Morale shows you how happy they are, this can be improved by watching TV in the Canteen, having a drink in the Bar or by working out in the Living dome.
Then, we have three types of bots: the carrier bot, the constructor bot and the driller bot. The carrier is very similar to the worker, with the advantage they don’t need food, water nor entertainment. The constructor can build structures and repair them, and also carry resources from one point to another. Drillers work in the mines, extracting resources you will need throughout the entire game; don’t let your crew stay without them for too long.
NEEDS AND RESOURCES
Your crew and your settlement will need a few things in order to carry on living on a foreign and unexplored planet. Those are basically power, water and oxygen. Power will run your settlement, so you will need to have it in abundance across all the nights and days. You can choose between solar and wind power types: it’s up to you and your preferences.
According to them, you will need a solar panel (small-medium) or a wind generator (small-medium), plus one power collector (small) to store the energy in excess. One water extractor will bring power to your base and will also have an impact on the oxygen parameter you will always have an eye on.
These are the resources you will need to run your settlement:
- Bioplastic: made from starch vegetables in the biodome
- Medical Plants: from the biodome. Use them in the lab to manufacture medical supplies
- Metal: you’ll need this to build up your structures
- Ore: coming from the mines, you can use it to create metal
- Oxygen: requires water and comes from O2 structures
- Power: as described a few lines ago
- Semiconductors: used for bots and weapons, made in factory, requires Metal & Bioplastic
- Spare Parts: used in maintenance of structures/bots, requires Metal & Bioplastic, made in factory
Vegetables: from the biodome, they can be of multiple types
Water: generates O2, and maintains plants in the biodome
Weapons: made in factory, used for guards. You can also trade them
Select a flat area near the landing area you chose at the beginning of the game, then build up your base. The first thing you will need to do is to place an O2 generator attaching an airlock to it. When expanding, there might be some moments where you don’t have enough energy, and the only thing is to address the specific cause of those power losses. If you don’t have enough water, build another water extractor, for example, and so on.
There are seven main spots in your base: canteen, dorm, biodome, lab, sickbay, mine and processing plant. In the processing plant, your works will work on ore to make it into metal and starch into bioplastic. As this is perhaps the most important spot in your base, you should link it to an airlock, or at least to the biodome; start building a metal processor and a bioplastic processor in it. Then, we have mines: they can be occupied only with three crew members at time, and will only need a power cable to be linked to the mother base.
Canteen is where your crew will eat food and stay together to improve their morale. The default size, attached to an O2 generator, is enough for up to twenty staff members, then you’ll have to build a bigger one. The same size works for dorms, where people go when they need some sleep (Z icon). Biodome is where foods gets produced, connect it to the canteen so it can be shipped directly where food gets eaten. This process consumes a lot of water.
Sickbay is where injured people gets cured, place a couple of beds inside it and attach to the canteen/dorm. Finally, lab is where you can synthesize meat in order to vary your crew’s diets and make medical supplies. Having varied diets is fundamental so your crew doesn’t get malnourished and is always satisfied with the food you provide.