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The first 30 minutes of Fringe Planet – Dev Blog 26

Fringe Planet is a cold and harsh world, and in order to succeed, you will need to provide warmth and safety for your peons. Today we are doing a different type of blog post. Rather than development news, we are going to take you through the first 30 minutes (or so) of gameplay. This will cover gathering food, building a temporary base and crafting materials.

Once you have started the game, you will find three peons randomly spawned towards the middle of a giant floating island – their new home for the foreseeable future. Disorientated and confused, you will need to instruct them as to what to do and what to build. It’s a good idea to immediately start grabbing food you can see. This should be done with the “plant gathering” tool (highlighted below). Once you’ve found some Plyme Trees or cherry bushes, clicking on them will issue a command to instruct the peons to collect the fruit. Next to it is the “plant harvesting” tool – this will destroy the plant and drop a seed, but takes some time, so it’s much better just to gather.

While the peons are busy collecting food, it gives you time to explore the land around you. The peons will automatically gather the food you’ve marked, and will return them to a storage chest, which will be fairly central to to the island. Every game starts with a single storage chest spawned, to speed along the game play. When the items have entered storage, the items will appear on the right hand side inventory list. Things the peons are holding aren’t included in this list, so sometimes it’s a good idea to see what the peons are hauling around.

The next step is to harvest some trees. Trees will drop wood (depending on the size of a tree) as well as a seed which can be re-planted to grow a new tree. The trees marked red below have been clicked on with the “Chop tree” tool. This will cause the peons move toward them and chop them down.

After several trees have been chopped down, Hans is currently returning to drop the wood (and the seed) into storage. This is because he is carrying as much as he can, so the other peons will continue his wood chopping while he empties his inventory.

Now there is wood in storage, it’s a good idea to clear some space. The reason for this is two fold – firstly it creates a space that you can start building on, and secondly snow as an item can be used to build things. In fact, we are going to create pykrete – which is a mixture of snow and wood fiber.

The peons are getting cold, so the next thing we do is to tell them to make a fire. We also build a crafting table. Placing it near the fire means that any peon who is crafting will also get nice and warm as well. It’s often incredibly important to place a fire down near where peons are working.

Now we have the crafting table, we can click on it to start queuing up crafting jobs. The first step is to turn the wood we have harvested into wood fibre. This is an incredibly quick recipe to craft, so we will have a lot of wood fibre very quickly. It’s worth noting that if the peons are holding wood (i.e. they haven’t emptied their inventory yet) they will use what they are holding first, before going and retrieving items from storage.

Now the wood fibre has been made, the pykrete button becomes unlocked. Clicking on this button will instruct the peons to start crafting pykrete. It’s important to know that you can build with wood directly – however in the early game, you might not want to use wood like this. You get a lot of pykrete for wood, so it’s worth crafting a lot of it as it is crafted quickly and can be an incredibly useful temporary material later on.

The peons are going to need beds. But unfortunately, beds are locked behind research. Research must be done before you can start building beds. The peons will fall asleep on the ground if no beds are present, but they get extremely upset if this happens, so to avoid stress and temper tantrums, we build a research desk to unlock beds.

This is the research screen, survival has been selected. You can see that some research has already been done on machines. Research is currently a low priority task – so if there is any other tasks assigned for the peons (such as chopping trees or building), it won’t get done.

With the research underway, the next thing we do is start to build some walls. These walls will be made of pykrete (most of which has been emptied into storage) – so the peons will go back and from from the storage chest, grabbing pykrete and then building it over the blueprints you’ve laid out (or in this case, green prints).

Research is progressing well, and we’ve also built a wood front door. It’s important to completely seal rooms to prevent heat from leaking out – and doors are way to help seal. They will let some heat out, but it’s much better to have a door than a hole in the wall. Later doors (stone, lavarite) seal rooms much better. But as this is just a temporary building, we don’t mind too much. You can see below both peons are currently talking about trees.

We are actually going to create a tree farm close to this base, to give us a stock of wood close by, which can be used either for building or for fuel. Building it close to the base means the peons won’t get as cold when they go and gather the wood.

As we build the walls, we are using up our supply of pykrete, so here we make a lot more – more than enough to enclose this small base.

With the seeds that have been dropped from all the trees we have brutally murdered, we decide to give back to the environment and plant some seeds just outside our base. These trees will provide us with fuel in future, as well as a great emergency wood supply should it be needed.

The bed research has finally been completed! This means that we can now build bed for the peons to slumber in. Putting these down quickly just in case a peon needs a quick rest after a busy mornings work. You’ll see Seymour is standing on a black and white tile – this tile represents a building that is a work in progress – it stays there until the materials needed (in this case, the materials for the bed) are brought to the site. Once construction starts, this black and white tile will be removed, and replaced with the actual model.

Here we can see the base (along with a staircase built up the side to help build the roof) and the tree farm we just placed. These trees are actually slightly buggy behaviour – they should be much smaller at this point as they don’t contain much wood. The trees will continue to grow during the day however slowly producing more wood every day.

All the walls have been built, and there is just the roof remaining to add. At this point, there is no oven, so the peons are eating raw food. This isn’t ideal at the moment, but the next step will be to get a food manufacturing chain set up.

Here we have added the roof to the temporary base. It is now sealed from the elements, and the fire on the inside will provide the peons with a nice cozy place to both work and sleep.

Looking inside, it’s a bit cramped, it still has a grass floor, but it is nice and warm. It’s safe and functional, and means the peons have a place to feel secure when night eventually comes.

The final image, this is just as the sun is starting to set. The peons are safe for now and have a place to call their own – even if it is only temporary. It provides a nice base to start stockpiling other materials for a more permanent base. With both a research bench and a crafting table, it will allow us to start unlocking machines and manufacturing.

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

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