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Captain’s diary #18: Transports removal, new storages, starting tree harvester

Ahoy sailors, Captain Marek reporting, this time I have an update on new additions to the game that were highly requested by our supporters, so let’s get right into it!


Partial transport removal

We have heard loud and clear that editing transports is a little painful since the only way to remove a part of transport is to remove the whole transport and then add a new one. Finally, the pain is over! (I mean, finally in May.) We have improved the removal tool to support partial transport removal!


This wasn't an easy task since the splitting logic must consider the shape of the transport and properly re-distribute the transported products after the split. For example, transports cannot be split in the middle of a ramp segment. There were some complications with the UI as well since our implementation can only highlight an entire object, not a piece of it. To highlight just a piece of a transport, we needed to generate a “fake” sub-transport that is hidden but highlighted.


In the end, the user experience is quite intuitive. The first click on a transport will start the removal and the second click will confirm it and remove just the selected section of a transport. And if you wish to remove the entire transport as before, Shift + click will do it in one go! It feels so natural that new players won’t be able to imagine the game without this feature!

Example of partial transport removal on a pipeline.

New storages with 4 tiers

One thing we noticed on screenshots from our beta players is that people like to store things – a lot of things. Take a look at the screenshot from the player Blottoo below, who built a refinery with a massive array of storages.

Screenshot of a refinery with a massive array of storages (white balls) from Blottoo.

Another issue is that storages have no visual feedback on how full they are or what is being stored in them. In order to check the status, players had to constantly click on each storage.


With new storages we are addressing both of these issues. First, the Early Access build will have 4 tiers of storages so that storing large amounts of materials is easy, and storages now visually show stored product and amount.


New fluid storages

Fluid storages store liquids and gasses. Thanks to the piston-like design, the new storages nicely shows how full they are. The windows on top also show the type of product the same way as transports.

New fluid storages work like pistons, raising as they are filled up.

New loose material storages

Loose material storages are large hoppers with an open-top design, so it is clear how full they are and what is being stored.

New loose material storages have open tops so you can clearly see what is being stored (trucks for scale).

New unit products storages

These storages are not yet showing their fullness since we need more time to implement stacking of products, which will come soon after the first EA release. However, we wanted to match the tiers of the previous storages, so here they are.

New unit products storages. They don’t yet show stored products (that’s a TODO for later).

In-place upgrades

As you might have noticed, the tiers 1 and 2 have the same size as well as tiers 3 and 4. This is not a coincidence. Tier 1 can be upgraded in-place to tier 2, and tier 3 to tier 4. Additionally, tier 2 storages oriented into 2x2 grid have the same footprint and port locations as a single tier 3. This should allow future-proof planning of storage areas and upgrading without headaches.

Tier 2 storages in 2x2 grid have the same footprint and port positions as one tier 3 storage for seamless upgrading.

New starting tree harvester

Wood provides a critical early-game resource as a building material and fuel. Until now, tree harvesting was done by trucks. They came to a tree and suddenly, the wood was harvested and loaded. This was breaking the immersion of wood harvesting and a proper tree harvester came quite late in the playthrough.


The slight problem was that our current tree harvester model was big and high-tech, it did not fit in the early game. We decided to make a new smaller tree harvester that is going to be used from the very beginning of the game. Wood harvesting by “just trucks” will be removed entirely.

A new starting tree harvester (right) next to its big brother (left)

Burner

Due to new food processing chains and other changes, we are adding a solid / loose waste burner. This one can be useful to deal with temporary imbalance in production. Can be also used to burn sulfur if you really want to give the environment a clear message that you are its enemy.


As always, these changes are just highlights of what is being done. We are also working on tons of balancing changes, improved research, new farming mechanics, and more but I won’t go into much detail this time. Let us know what you think on our Discord server and if you’d like to support us and get access to the closed beta you can still do it here (we have temporarily re-opened our store as we had lots of interest from new players).


That’s it from me for today, Captain Marek out!