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Machines and Automation – Dev Blog 21

We’ve spoken a lot about the supernatural side of Fringe Planet – but there is another, more tangible, side of the game as well. Everything in Fringe Planet is created from a set of components and all these components need to be created from raw resources. A chair may take a few units of refined wood taken from a tree. A more complicated machine may require many different components in order to build.

All components (and machines) can be hand crafted – but this takes time and with more complex machinery, this can take a lot of time. However, rather than hand crafting every component, Fringe Planet has a complex and fantastic set of automation systems, which will give the peons time to enjoy the scenery while the machines do all the hard work.

Today we will take a look at a few of the machines in Fringe Planet, and how they work and what they do.

Conveyor belt

(disturbance: low)

The conveyor belt is the backbone to automation. It provides a way of getting raw resources (or components) from one location to another.  Currently there are three different belt types in the game which can all be upgraded through various research.  The first is the basic conveyor belt which covers all your horizontal transport needs. The second is a belt that allows it’s contents to be move vertically, which is essential when dealing with resources in uneven terrain. Finally the last is a belt splitter – this splits it’s input into two different directions, moving half of the contents one way and half the other way.

Mining machine

(disturbance: medium)

Any voxel can be hand minded by a peon for resources. However, a mining machine will produce far greater resources from a voxel than a skilled miner ever would (albeit at a slower rate). When built, a mining machine will scan all the voxels below it for valuable resources and the player can decide which resources the mining machine actually focuses on. Once this has been selected, the mining machine will start it’s work, and will emit the mined materials – it’s useful to have a conveyor belt ready to move this material to a more useful location.

Automated Arcane Builders

(disturbance: high)

This is the primary work horse of any automated system. Powered by spirit energy, this machine will take inputs (raw resources or components) and turn it into something else. Various tiers of these exist which will change both the speed and the complexity of the outputs it can produce. A basic version of these machines will be amongst the first things your peons will need to build in order to get automation working. It’s important to note that materials to these machines can be loaded manually, or via a conveyor belt.

Automated Arcane Builder

Smelting Machine

(disturbance: very high)

Powered by the heat of pure hatred from a captured demon, these smelting machines take inputs from belts and also output onto belts. Things go in cold, and come out a lot hotter in a slightly different format. Fantastically useful for producing refined resources. Additionally, a lower temperature mode may be hand for cooking, once certain technology is unlocked. Finally it is also great heat source, so take that into account when placing them.

Smelters

Automated Chest

(disturbance: low)

All items need to go somewhere, and automated chests can work as both an input and an output when working with automation. These are where peons can remove materials (or components), or add materials to be processed.

Automatic Chest

The Lamp of Blindness

(disturbance: negative)

Though technically not part of the automation process – this is a vital component nonetheless. All machines and automation upset the delicate balance of the magical fields running across Fringe Planet (this is what “disturbance” is referring too). Disturbance is location based. So a group of smelting machines sitting together will create a much higher disturbance than a section of conveyor belts. Using conveyor belts to spread out the more noticeable machines helps to manage the interference with the magical fields. However, sometimes, either due to space or limited materials, you will need some machines close together – which may cause issues.  The Lamp of Blindness acts as an Area Of Effect magical dampener – helping smooth the disturbances and making them less likely to be noticed. Machines and automation are not the only causes of disturbances in the fields, so it may be worth placing the Lamps in other places as well.

And what happens when something notices that the magical fields are being interfered with? We will talk more about that in the coming weeks.

Lamp of Blindness

There is a lot more to read about Fringe Planet… why not try:

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