Green Planet Dev Diary #2: New Buildings and Tech

Green Planet Dev Diary #2: New Buildings and Tech

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Ivan_Haemimont

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Hi everyone!

Last time we talked about the terraforming process and what it means to turn the Red Planet Green, today we’ll take a look at two new tools to achieve this tremendous goal:

Terraforming Research and New Buildings

In Green Planet we’ve added 7 new buildings, which are dedicated to the terraforming efforts. Some of these buildings require specific planetary conditions to function properly. Three of these buildings appear much later in game and require significant research progress to even become available! They have the spatial dimensions and the construction costs of wonders but may be constructed more than once. There’s this rewarding feeling when you cover an area with huge smoking chimneys, knowing that you’re changing the planet on a large scale.

Screen1.png


The terraforming buildings will be added to a new category of the build menu – Terraforming. Players are in complete control of when they choose to start the terraforming progress by deciding when to research the first tech in the chain. Every step in the chain unlocks new buildings and improvements which will help in your mission to terraform Mars.


Here’s the list of the buildings you will find inside:

The Forestation Plant (or the Sprinkler, as I love to call it) spreads seeds imported from Earth, or produced on Mars, to plant wild vegetation in its range. Initially, it plants only lichen, but later grass, bushes, and trees become available as the terraforming project progresses. As some of the seeds get carried away from the colony by the winds, each Forestation Plant helps for the increase of the global vegetation.

Screen2.png


The GHG Factory (short for Greenhouse Gas) burns a mixture of fuel and locally extracted carbon to produce greenhouse gases, which are released into the atmosphere. Thus increasing the average temperature of the planet.

Screen3.png


Similar to the GHG Factory, the Carbonate Processor converts waste rock into carbon dioxide. The release of CO2 in the atmosphere improves its density and creates the necessary circumstances for oxygen-producing bacteria to thrive and for rains to occur.

The Core Heat Convector is a system of pipes that go deep into the Martian crust. It uses water to transport heat from the planetary core and improves the atmospheric temperature, while heating its immediate surroundings.

Screen4.png


The Magnetic Field Generator improves the magnetic field of the planet, decreasing the loss of atmospheric gasses. It has a secondary function as a science facility and generates research according to the current state of the atmosphere. As a side effect of the strong magnetic field, the MFG may trigger “marsquakes” in its immediate vicinity. So take care to place these far away from the heart of your colony.

There are several different sizes of lakes, each having different forms. Lake beds are dug up by drones and then gradually filled with water. If liquid water is not yet possible on Mars, the lake remains frozen. When the conditions allow for it, the water liquefies and the lakes start to gradually improve the global water levels through evaporation.

Screen5.png


The Open Farm is a huge unmanned facility which grows various edible plants away from your domes. This open-air farm spreads a mixture of water and seeds, which grow or wither according to the local soil quality and the overall terraforming progress. Once fully-grown, plants are individually harvested by drones for food.

Screen6.png


All terraforming buildings are unmanned and can be built as soon as you research their corresponding tech in the Terraforming field of the research UI. For those of you who intend to terraform Mars before sending the founders of the colony, we added one additional building, the Capital City.

The Capital City requires the atmosphere of Mars to be breathable and warm. It’s the most spacious dome design and it doesn’t have a cupola, or metallic frame. Instead, it’s surrounded by trees, doesn’t consume Oxygen and can be placed on rough terrain.

Screen7.png


I’ll be looking forward to your screenshots!

From Haemimont Games,
Ivan Grozev,
Lead Designer of Green Planet.​
 
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Elfin

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Hm... an interesting question came to my mind. Can you build a dome in lowland that would then turn into sea bottom when the water level rise?
 

DominusNovus

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- Have any existing buildings been updated to work with the terraforming mechanics? For example, the Mohole Mine concept is a terraforming project in and of itself that should produce plenty of waste heat.
- Any chance we could get pictures of all the new buildings, instead of just some?
- Which building has those large condenser towers, shown in the first picture?
- Can naturally low areas on the map (like the occasional crater) be turned into lakes without needing drones to dig them up?
- How many spires can fit in the capital city?
- Can you build multiple capital cities?
- How do the negative consequences of being outside scale with the habitability of mars? For example, do your colonists simply get no penalties for working 'out of dome' when the conditions are fully Earth-like? Or do the penalties scale downward as you approach Earth-like?
 

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Lots of good info here.

I do have a question however, can the Capital city support multiple spires? I only see one in the screenshhot but I feel like a city should be able to support more than one.

Edit- After spending some more time staring at the capital city screenshot, I think there are slots for 3 spires based on what I can see of the the central plaza, but I'd still like confirmation.
 
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The Mogician

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Looks pretty good! A few questions though
1. Is there an optimal amount of atmosphere we can reach? If we keep pumping greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, would it cause a environmental problem such as global warming; or is the GHG output required to maintain the atmosphere?
2. When the atmosphere is earth like, can we remove the glass domes of the habitats and turn domes into open air habitats?
3. Will water bodies on the map provide any benefit aside from increasing global water and provide a water source? Maybe they can provide a habitat for animals?

Lastly, a question a bit further out, will we get a possible cooperative mode for this game where we can have 2 players playing on the same Mars and working together?
 

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Looks pretty good! A few questions though
1. Is there an optimal amount of atmosphere we can reach? If we keep pumping greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, would it cause a environmental problem such as global warming; or is the GHG output required to maintain the atmosphere?
2. When the atmosphere is earth like, can we remove the glass domes of the habitats and turn domes into open air habitats?
3. Will water bodies on the map provide any benefit aside from increasing global water and provide a water source? Maybe they can provide a habitat for animals?
Some of these questions have been answered in other previews or the streams.

1. Not sure on the percise atmosphere mechanics, but I do know that acid rain is a problem at certain stages because of high percentages of GHG in the atmosphere. And I think that once you achieve 100% on atmosphere and temperature, provided you have built up the magnetic field enough you won't need to pump out any more GHG's, but again I don't know the precise mechanics.

2. The glass domes disappearing as Mars becomes more earth-like is very much a part of Green Planet. I don't know if it's automatic or you need to do it manually.

3. Lakes raise the soil quality nearby which in turn increases the yield of nearby outdoor farms and the effeciveness of forestation plants.
 

Eklabiaan

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Indeed it would be much fun to flood a crater. Even more than digging a lakebed on a landscape littered with small and bigger craters.
I already feel that the rougher area's are underused and mostly present for cosmetic reasons. There is basically no ation to be done on a hill or a slope, a canyon or mountain. Like building a road between two areas on a different level or placing an extruding dome on a cliff wall.

Terraforming with greenhouse gasses could also be done by triggering volcanic eruptions with the Core Heat Convertor. Would be great if Green Planet has this option!
 

Ivan_Haemimont

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Hm... an interesting question came to my mind. Can you build a dome in lowland that would then turn into sea bottom when the water level rise?
The rising oceans won't directly affect your colony. We considered floods as a feature but soon found out that it didn't fit well with the rest of the game. They would either not affect the player, or would destroy the entire colony in unpredictable ways. So, as ocean levels rise, an island is built around the colony on your Planetary View.
- Have any existing buildings been updated to work with the terraforming mechanics? For example, the Mohole Mine concept is a terraforming project in and of itself that should produce plenty of waste heat.
The existing buildings remain untouched. Partially as a way to protect savegame compatibility and partially as a way to keep the terraforming initiative as something that you would deliberately initiate at some moment, instead of it being a gradual side effect to the colonization of Mars.
- Any chance we could get pictures of all the new buildings, instead of just some?
I'll be making more screenshots for the next dev diaries.
- Which building has those large condenser towers, shown in the first picture?
You see Carbonate Processors burning waste rock on the first screenshot.
- How many spires can fit in the capital city?
There's space for 3 spires on the central plaza. This is the only section of the Capital City that requires flat surface.
- Can you build multiple capital cities?
Just one instance of the Capital City can be built in the Colony, hence the name.
- How do the negative consequences of being outside scale with the habitability of mars? For example, do your colonists simply get no penalties for working 'out of dome' when the conditions are fully Earth-like? Or do the penalties scale downward as you approach Earth-like?
We wanted for the terraformation of Mars to feel both as something that happens over prolonged periods of time and as something that causes drastic changes over time. So, the gradual decrease in the occurrence and severity of disasters means that your Colonists feel less uncomfortable with the life on Mars. However, they lose the Sanity penalty for working outside when the conditions are similar enough with the ones on Earth.
1. Is there an optimal amount of atmosphere we can reach? If we keep pumping greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, would it cause a environmental problem such as global warming; or is the GHG output required to maintain the atmosphere?
A safety-switch mechanism stops the production of GHG as soon as Mars' atmosphere has reached optimal density and consistence.
2. When the atmosphere is earth like, can we remove the glass domes of the habitats and turn domes into open air habitats?
There's a terraforming threshold called Breathable Atmosphere. When you reach that threshold, you will be given the choice to dissolve all Domes' cupolas and turn your Domes into something similar to the Capital City.
3. Will water bodies on the map provide any benefit aside from increasing global water and provide a water source? Maybe they can provide a habitat for animals?
Your lakes improve the quality of the nearby soils. The local Soil Quality affects the probability that wild or planted vegetation will grow or wither throughout the colony. We'll be talking more about this in a future dev diary dedicated to Mars' forestation.
 
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fgeva

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There's a terraforming threshold called Breathable Atmosphere. When you reach that threshold, you will be given the choice to dissolve all Domes' cupolas and turn your Domes into something similar to the Capital City.
Do you still need passages after that between "domes"? Also, do colonists take this into account when moving between far-away domes? I mean, the early bug where colonists would sometimes try to cross half the map to get to another dome (and die halfway) could be acceptable behaviour when the atmosphere is breathable (although shuttles will probably still be quicker, of course)
 

DominusNovus

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Do you still need passages after that between "domes"? Also, do colonists take this into account when moving between far-away domes? I mean, the early bug where colonists would sometimes try to cross half the map to get to another dome (and die halfway) could be acceptable behaviour when the atmosphere is breathable (although shuttles will probably still be quicker, of course)
The exact question I was about to ask @Ivan_Haemimont

Also, I’d like to thank him for answering so many questions. Still curious if we can flood individual craters!
 

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Once we get rid of the domes, will the tunnels connecting them turn into roads? So we can have something looking like a very large city with interconnected districts.
 

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I may not be a biologist, but I'm dreaming of a green Mars now, too. This looks like a very interesting expansion of the game.

That being said, I have a few questions. I apologize if these have already been addressed already.

Do the various terraforming values decay over time if they're not maintained? For example, if I shut off all my Carbonate Processors, will the atmosphere rating start slowly ticking down?

Do any buildings or actions have a negative effect on terraforming? For example, taking water out of the atmosphere or harming plant growth.

Does the dust system interact with the terraforming system? Do Tribo-Scrubbers become less useful and do extractors generate less dust as the planet becomes greener and wetter?

How moddable will the terraforming system be? In Ivan's comment above, it is mentioned that base-game buildings such as the Mohole don't interact with the terraforming system for compatibility reasons and to make the process more deliberate. Could I change that (At my own risk, of course) by modding base-game buildings to have terraforming values? Or could I adjust the terraforming rate to make it faster or slower?
 
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ChoGGi_2

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Once we get rid of the domes, will the tunnels connecting them turn into roads? So we can have something looking like a very large city with interconnected districts.
That was mentioned before (in the first diary I believe), passages will stay as they are to keep certain logic easier.

Still curious if we can flood individual craters!
Got me if they plan to add an option like that, but assuming they don't change the code around too much than a mod will be able to accomplish that.

Could I change that (At my own risk, of course) by modding base-game buildings to have terraforming values? Or could I adjust the terraforming rate to make it faster or slower?
I'm not sure what you mean by terraforming values, but you can mod pretty much anything in the game.
 

Ivan_Haemimont

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Do you still need passages after that between "domes"? Also, do colonists take this into account when moving between far-away domes?
The inhabitants of open-air domes are free to roam near the dome and will visit or work in nearby domes, the passages speed up the connection between two domes and remove the comfort penalty for working away of home.
I mean, the early bug where colonists would sometimes try to cross half the map to get to another dome (and die halfway) could be acceptable behaviour when the atmosphere is breathable (although shuttles will probably still be quicker, of course)
Well, they would die from dehydration now. Suffocation is just quicker.
Still curious if we can flood individual craters!
As I mentioned before, floods are something that we try to avoid. Filling a crater would've been great if we hadn't added another feature, called landscaping. This feature makes it soo easy to cut a crater wall and flood everything, that we decided to go with artificially constructed lakes, which block the landscaping functionality. This said, we still implemented "real" water in the game and I expect a lot of mods flooding terrain.
Once we get rid of the domes, will the tunnels connecting them turn into roads?
Eh, why nobody asked me that three weeks ago. Honest answer would be that that idea has not come to my mind and wasn't suggested during the due process.
Do the various terraforming values decay over time if they're not maintained? For example, if I shut off all my Carbonate Processors, will the atmosphere rating start slowly ticking down?
There was an interesting phenomena in the development of this expansion - when we speak about terraforming everything is interconnected. But if you make everything interconnected the games starts to play itself, you plug one building and overtime all problems solve themselves. So, there's a decay mechanic for the atmosphere, you lose atmosphere due to lacking magnetic field. But you do not lose water and vegetation the same way.
 
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RageOfAnubis

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What is going to happen with the dust geysers? I am fairly sure they are the result of dry ice deposits sublimating as a result of being warmed by the sun, which is why I wonder how they will be handled as the planetary warming. Brief surge of intense activity, followed by the geyser permanently becoming quiet? small spikes is atmosphere level at certain temperature thresholds due to CO2 pockets around the planet rapidly sublimating in response to the changes?

following this line of thought, what about deposits that were too deep to be warmed by the sun? perhaps localised disasters as the pressure caused by sublimation of CO2 deposits without a GHG factory to provide an escape route for the gas (I am assuming these deposits are one of the sources of "local carbon" you refer to) simply explodes up through the ground.
 

Keltia_Vikinga

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Ici en Français : https://cimfrance.blogspot.com/2019/04/green-planet-carnet-de-developpement-pt2.html?spref=tw

Questions @ the devs :
1- Any consequencies with Space Race DLC ? I mean can Paradox Interactive and others terraform Mars too, for Space Race owners ?
2- Consequencies with animals ? I guess they can't be there if no terraforming or am i wrong ? Can them all be under AND out dome ? What about their food ? dev diary for that DLC or not ?

Thanks : )
 

Starne

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Thanks, Ivan.

Between your answer and the most recent tutorial video, I think I understand how the atmosphere aspect of terraforming works.

Carbonate Processors and projects increase your atmosphere rating, but that rating continually decays. You can reduce this rate of decay by building a Magnetic Field Generator, which should be built away from your main colony as it can be the epicenter of one of the new disaster types, Marsquakes.
 

pheonicia

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There's a terraforming threshold called Breathable Atmosphere. When you reach that threshold, you will be given the choice to dissolve all Domes' cupolas and turn your Domes into something similar to the Capital City.
Will the ai take this option if it's available? Also, if I were to, for some reason, turn off/destroy all the terraforming equipment after removing the domes and let Mars revert back to it's original state, will all of my colonists die horribly?