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What is OutpostHD?

OutpostHD is the rebirth of the Outpost: Missing In Action project. Simply, it's an Outpost game inspired by OP1 that adds the missing advertised features, improves gameplay mechanics by removing a lot of the unnecessary and tedious micro management, interface choices that make a lot more sense, an enhanced research tree and a planned but as of yet undeveloped multiplayer mode.

The core of the project is to provide a fun OUTPOST game that has all of the advertised features and provides better feedback for things like resource lines, mining/factory/laboratory reports and colonist opinion/morale.

Project Goals

Primary Goals

  • Develop a new, modern code base that can be built and run on multiple platforms including Windows, MacOS X and Linux.
  • Implement the core gameplay mechanics from OUTPOST
  • Provide a better interface from which the user can get better feedback from their Colony.
  • Add the ability to establish new colonies on the same planet.

Secondary Goals

  • Develop new visuals to replace the old graphics using modern rendering procedures and alpha transparency (something impossible at the time the original game was built).
  • Add additional planet and star types.

Tertiary Goals

  • Implement a multiplayer mode where other users can establish colonies on the same planet or different planets/moons within the same star system.

Changes from OUTPOST

OUTPOST the idea was great. The implementation was not. Following are some of the proposed game play changes that are being implemented in the project. You can see OutpostHD's boards for additional details and to participate in the development of the game.

Recreational / Luxury Items

In OUTPOST, the Underground Factory could produce luxury items that were either consumed by the Commercial or Red Light District structure. This made sense as a boost to morale levels however the game designers chose to use superfluous item names for the production such as Fuzzy Dice, Wax Lips and Neuromancer Games.

I remember personally thinking that this was silly. In OutpostHD, Underground Factories will produce luxury items which I think are simple enough to label as “Luxury Items”. UG Factories will also be used to produce other items.

Planet Selection

The original OUTPOST 'gamified' the pre-launch screens but did it in a way that isn't very much fun – lots of fluff with video animations to show launches and satellites and things that at the time were impressive but today nobody cares about. They also took up too much time.

OutpostHD will streamline this approach. There has been some discussion about how to handle this exactly but the current thinking is that difficulty selection at the beginning of the game will determine many of the initial parameters (like how many colonists you get, amount of food, how much starting ore you receive, etc.). After that you'll be given a choice of stars, all of which have planets but based on star type and difficulty selection, planet selection will vary.

Higher difficulty levels will offer fewer stars with harsher star properties (higher radiation levels, more frequent solar mass ejections, lower light output, etc.). Fewer planets will be available and these planets will consist of harsher environments (fewer dig levels, less resources, higher surface temperatures, less solar light saturation, etc.) and have fewer available landing sites.

Difficulty level will affect how harshly your colonists will react to events, how frequently they make babies, how easily they die and how hard disasters will hit. It will also affect things like resource costs, effectiveness of food and factory production, speed of research, morale impact from deaths and births, decay rates of your structures and so on.

Mined Resources

One of the problems with OUTPOST is the over abundance of resource types some of which were difficult to get. There were 11 mined resource types, all of which were needed to keep your colony operating. While Multi-Purpose Goo could be substituted for resources that were missing, this felt more like a band-aid solution.

OutpostHD has reduced this to four mined resources separated between Common and Rare varieties.

OUTPOST Resources OutpostHD Resources
Metals A Common Metals
Metals B Rare Metals
Metals C Common Minerals
Metals D Rare Minerals
Precious Metals A
Precious Metals B
Minerals A
Minerals B
Minerals C
Fusion Elements A
Fusion Elements B
Fusion Elements C

The reasoning behind this is that players need to be able to know at a moments glance how much of what resources they have without having to look at a report that spans an entire screen. The four resources provide enough variety to account for all of the original resources (with the exception, perhaps, of fuels for fusion reactions however it's debatable if this really needs to be a separate resource or can be considered part of the Rare Minerals resource).

Multi-Purpose Goo

Multi-Purpose Goo was a substance produced in OUTPOST through recycling of bulldozed structures and by waste produced by the colony (e.g., residences). It could be used as a substitute for any of the other mined resources. This likely made sense as the developers found that having all of the necessary resources to keep their colony running was next to impossible until you had the chance to develop nano technology. Worse still, because of the way it was implemented, if you had enough structures producing sewage (namely residences), you could effectively have an unlimited supply of MPG.

Because of this (and it's lack of realism), MP will not make a reappearance in OutpostHD. Instead, materials from bulldozed structures will be sent to the Smelter which reclaims some of the materials that were used to build the structure. As of now it's set at 90% but this will change later on based on difficulty settings and research into recycling technologies.

See Also

opu_projects/active_projects/outposthd.txt · Last modified: 2017/08/11 03:13 by leeor_net