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Topics - Benny the Icepick

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Ideas / Remove Gender from Romantic Relationships
« on: April 08, 2016, 12:17:36 PM »
As Nasikabatrachus so eloquently put it, attempting to represent the entirety of human sexuality can be very trying in a game like this, especially one with such a small population of colonists.  Rather than trying to code in traits for the LGBTQ community, and crossing your fingers that the two gay colonists might maybe be socially compatible, wouldn't it be easier to allow relationships of all stripes to occur regardless of the pawns' genders? 

You're out in the middle of nowhere with only a few humans in your immediate vicinity.  The likelihood that you'll develop strong feelings (whether positive or negative) for the people around you is practically inevitable. Why not allow the possibility for romance to form between anyone?  (barring relatives, of course)

Ideas / Flora Behaviors
« on: April 17, 2015, 12:16:19 PM »
I recognize that there's a lot of issue over Tynan's decision (now reversed) to prevent colonists from sowing trees.  To me it brings up a larger issue about agriculture in the game: different plants should be better suited to different biomes.

Just as colonists need to adjust their wardrobe to be comfortable in multiple seasons, shouldn't their choice of what to plant be influenced by the local climate? 

Biome type, annual rainfall, and soil type should factor into how quickly each plant grows, how much food it yields, and how resistant it is to blight.  You wouldn't be able to grow rice in a desert (not as easily, anyways) or Cecropia trees in a tundra.  Diversifying the hardiness of a plant based on where its grown would add greater variety to the gameplay, in my opinion.  I'd be curious to hear of anyone else's take.

Ideas / Give people a Melee AND Ranged slot
« on: January 09, 2015, 05:58:54 PM »
You know how it is.  You've got your sniper out on her perch, picking off raiders, when all of a sudden they bum rush her with their clubs and knives and hairy knuckles. 

Unless you have an equipment rack out immediately at hand, your precious sharpshooter is now at a major disadvantage.

Wouldn't it be great if you could give each character a ranged weapon AND a melee weapon to use?  That way when you tell your people to put down their guns and go at it tooth and nail, they're not going in unarmed.

Stories / The Boom and Bust of Jankytown
« on: March 14, 2014, 11:29:50 PM »

The colonists crashed in the foothills of a gigantic mountain range, one which extended as far as the eye could see - east, north, and south.  Figuring the craggy depths of the mountain offered greater protection than the surrounding poverty grass, they polished their pickaxes and got to work.

After carving out a pleasant common space and a few living quarters, they struck gold.  No, better than gold.  Buried deep inside the earth was a steam geyser.  The crashlanders discovered a nearly infinite source of power, nestled away from any imaginable threat.

Good grace continued to shine down on them over the next two months.  The colony grew undeterred, able to fend off any intruders with ease.  Once, as a particularly nasty looking raiding party appeared on the horizon, the ground began to shake.  A muffalo, frothing at the mouth and eyes burning red, caught site of the invaders and began to charge.  The motley crew, preoccupied with fending off the beast's horns, hardly seemed to notice two snipers tucked behind sandbags in the shadow of the mountain, picking off raiders one by one.

Fortune, though, is a fickle mistress.  Having tapped into a bit of dark magic and upgrading their turrets, the power-hungry colonists found themselves starved for metal, unable to rebuild the hulking guns every time the raiders came.  They'd survived four months of relentless assaults and any matter of natural disaster, but they seemed to sense that their days were numbered.

They made do well enough. They started constructing solar-powered outposts in the hills around Jankytown, where the gunfire of improvised turrets would tip them off to the presence of raiders.

Sometimes the sound was a bit more noticeable.

Life got hard.  After one nasty dustup with a gang of ruffians, all but one resident was down for the count.  The one who swore never to pick up a weapon showed more heroism than anyone else when she singlehandedly nursed the entire group back to health.

It wasn't long before the raiders started letting themselves in regularly, the report of gunfire echoing down the stone tunnel walls.  Undeterred, the brave survivors of Jankytown reveled in their resilience, gloating at the dead bodies at their feet under the breakfast table.

It was on Day 150 - five months into this gruesome Gilligan's Isle - that Jankytown finally fell.  The invasion began before the colonists had scraped together enough metal to build a single turret.  They held out as long as they could on the sandbags, but then a bullet took down Paul, one of the first residents of Jankytown.  She grimaced stoically, dropping her weapon and trying in vain to stop the bleeding.  The two "conscientious objectors," weaponless to the last, tried to rescue her, but were cut down in a shower of bullets.  A grizzled combat veteran threw down his M16 and carried Paul to safety, only to find the raiders had burst through the front door.  They slaughtered everyone, set the place on fire, and sauntered off, cackling.

Paul awoke to smoke billowing through the place she'd called home for almost half a year.  Still limping, she did her best to beat out the flames.  Almost a cruel joke, a boomrat - crazed by the fire, no doubt - found itself staring down the last living thing in the whole colony.  Normally, it wouldn't have stood a chance, but two quick bites felled the already feeble Paul.  She dropped face down in the fire.  It consumed her and the rest of Jankytown.

150 days of incredible play, put to rest by a goddamn boomrat.
Thanks for the memories, Jankytown.

(edit: resized the images to display better.  You can still open them in a new window for the full effect)

Ideas / Get rid of Nutrient Paste Dispenser?
« on: March 10, 2014, 02:41:21 PM »
Assuming that the billing and food storage systems are improved for Alpha 3, is there really any need for a Nutrient Paste Dispenser anymore?

First of all, for the sake of realism, how believable is it that three crashlanding colonists can whip up a fancy cheese-whiz machine from scratch?  Isn't it more likely that they would build a crude stove (a few sheets of metal with a fire inside) and forage for whatever they might find?

Secondly, from a gameplay perspective, it adds a layer of complexity.  From the get-go, you need to make sure that at least one of your initial colonists has the stats to provide food for the colony - a pretty basic survival skill that currently doesn't make an appearance until later on in the game.  Plus, requiring that colonists take the time plant,forage, and cook their food - instead of letting a machine do all the work - means that you have to appropriately prioritize another task.  This places greater importance on acquiring new colonists through trade, capture, etc.

And finally, from the standpoint of base design, a nutrient paste dispenser is a 3x4 machine, which balloons to 5x5 if you put hoppers on all three sides.  That's a beast to plan for, especially if you're worried about cave-ins.  A 1x3 cook stove, with an adequate stockpile adjacent, is much more reasonable.

I suppose Tynan could just leave the NDP in the game and give people the choice, but I have a feeling a new and improved Alpha3 cookstove will be the clear choice over an NDP.


Bugs / [M: 0.2.363 Alpha 2] Right Click Malfunction
« on: March 09, 2014, 11:41:29 AM »
For some reason, the right click function appears to be partly disabled.  It's still registering as a right click in some instances, but does not achieve the desired result:
  • Cannot prioritize construction or hauling tasks
  • Cannot direct a soldier to move to a particular area
  • Cannot equip weapons

When trying to prioritize tasks or move soldiers, it's as though I'm not right-clicking at all.  There is no response from the game.

The last item is the one that makes me think it's a game bug and not an I/O malfunction.  All other instances just don't even register the right click, but when I try to equip a weapon, it gives me a gray text line that reads, "Cannot equip (weapon), already reserved by " (with no name).

I would attach my save file, but it's over 4mb, so it won't let me attach it in the forum.
EDIT:  Save file available here:

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