The universe of Fringe Planet is dangerous one. The peons have the odds stacked against them, which is why it is your job as a player to keep them alive (or don’t, try and kill them in amusing ways, I won’t judge!). Dangerous creatures will try and kill the peons. Rituals will cause harm and may kill the peons. Even time itself may kill an unprepared peon. Of course, there are also The Aspects who are always tying to kill the peons. In fact, I literally wrote a blog post called “The many ways a peon can die“.
So, it looks pretty bad for the peons. Is there anything that can go right for those little AI powered procedurally generated folks?
The wonderfully fantastic universe of The Void gives me a lot of creative freedom to come up with unique concepts for gameplay elements. Reading through the blog (especially the lore pieces) will give you some clues as to what I’m doing with the stories that are being told. There are currently four story arcs I’m working through with the various lore pieces – all the pieces do stand alone (and quite well I hope) – but I do like to make things complex for myself.
So how did that paragraph hint in anyway as to how the peons lives can be made easier? Well, it really doesn’t. But you know what will make the peon’s lives easier? The mounds!
Mounds are items which can be discovered just under the surface of the snow. They will only ever contain useful things: resources, food, clothing, components. Things which aren’t going to hurt the peons, but will rather act as a way of making the peon’s life simpler1. As you look over the terrain you will notice slightly raised snow which indicates a mound.
The mounds are useful in two ways. Firstly, getting resources without a peon risking mining or chopping down a tree is really handy. Getting a random stock of food when your peons are starving is also really handy. Secondly, it’s not just resources that may be found – useful devices (such as the Electromagical Vox Detector) may also be discovered inside a mound.
From the mechanics point of view, a mound will spawn randomly toward the edge of the map. There is no announcement, it just happens. If you notice a mound and send a peon to investigate, the peon will dig the mound up. This will result in whatever items are inside will be placed in the peons inventory.
The bad news is – a mound will despawn after a set amount of time if it hasn’t been dug up. So it is up to the player to keep an eye out for these handy bonuses.
Mound spawning timers (and amounts) can be determined by the player during game set up. If you are having a hard time keeping the peons alive, then turn up the amount of mounds that can be spawned. If you are finding the game too easy, you can even turn them off.
I am toying with the idea of having a peon with a high awareness stat notice a mound if they are close to it and giving a notification, but that hasn’t been implemented yet (and I fear it may make the awareness stat a bit too important).
Thanks for reading today’s blog post! Have an awesome weekend!
There is a lot more to read about Fringe Planet… why not try:
- Plants and what to do with them – Dev Blog 94
- Traps and Fortifications – Dev Blog 20
- On the many uses of plants – Dev Blog 5