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Author Topic: Oasis - settling a shallow water island  (Read 348 times)


  • Muffalo
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Oasis - settling a shallow water island
« on: October 30, 2020, 04:23:16 PM »

Hey people =) I posted this write-up on my 2019's colony on Reddit already, but I thought you might enjoy it too:


I really like the sense of isolation that you get from games like FTL (an unforgiving strategy/survival space game). The isolation is somehow cold and cozy at the same time. Cold, because in space, everything is distant, resources are tight, and there is danger and death everywhere you go. You're on your own, and there's but a thin sheet of metal separating you from the infinite, suffocating void of space. And on a grander scale, there is a sense of impending, ultimate doom, as the galaxy is in turmoil and civilization seems to be going downhill.

Yet there is some comfort in the fact that this heap of junk you call a spaceship is still flying. (For now, at least.) Within the chaos of the world and the nothingness of space, it is an oasis that you can call home, and that provides everything you need to survive, from oxygen to missile launchers. It got you this far, and who knows how far it's going to take you still.

Perhaps this is what I was trying to recreate when playing this RimWorld colony in 2019. I didn't have the typical purpose of building a gigantic fortress full of bionic super soldiers, acquiring a mountain of silver, becoming drug overlords, or selling button shirts of human skin on a drug-fueled cannibal prisoner farm. My goal was quite humble.

I wanted to escape the grind and build a cozy little self-sustainable farm on a sweet little island. A quiet little walden pond. Immune to most dangers of the world, and mostly unreachable by pirates and mechs, which typically don't have any means to cross the water barrier. To create my own isolated oasis. :)

The Beginning

My colonists, Kazuho Yoshii and Iwakura Lain, were based on main characters from the classical cyberpunk animes Texhnolyze and Serial Experiments Lain respectively. In summary, Yoshii was a self-reliant, physically powerful and socially manipulative lone traveler, and Lain was a bright and creative hacker kid, but physically weak and utterly useless in social situations.

They began the journey on a desert coast near Binhadorda Sea of the Planet WUK 05 Primus. (See last chapter for game details)

It was a barren desert area with few resources, particularly little food and wood, but I got by. I settled in a cave that was already dug out, presumably by alien insects that lived there before, and spent my time eating camels and researching the vital technologies that I needed to catapult myself onto the island:
  • Batteries
  • Biofuel Refining
  • Transport Pod
  • Moisture Pump
Why moisture pump? Because the island I was planning to settle was not quite an island yet. It was just a bed of shallow water within the ocean, just off the shore. The plan was to use the moisture pump to turn the shallow water into arable land over the course of several years. And luckily there was a bit of limestone peeking out of the shallow water, which I could mine to have some solid ground on which to place the moisture pump. :)

But the moisture pump needed power. There was not enough space on the island to place batteries, let alone generators. Thankfully there was a little island with more solid ground just below the shallow water, and there was just enough space for a battery and a transport pod launcher! (I don't want to desert my colonist on the tiny island, right?)

So first I had to diligently shoot down some limestone to free a spot on the secondary island to have somewhere to land:

Then Yoshii dropped on to the secondary island to deploy a battery:

And finally Lain dropped onto the shallow water to build the moisture pump, along with a heap of supplies since she won't be coming back for a while, as there's no room to build a transport pod launcher...

And thus began a long wait for the moisture pump to do the work. The conditions were harsh for Lain. There was no table to eat from, and there was not much to do except to play with the horse shoe pin and take long walks in cold, salty water. At least there were no annoying people around.

The battery had to be periodically replaced. It took about 2.2 charges for each radius increase of the moisture pump. Worst of all, I couldn't build a roof so the battery was exposed to rain, which made it short-circuit once =(

There was one silver lining: The dining experience, despite the lack of a table, was slightly impressive, according to Lain's standards.

It was a huge relief when there was enough solid ground to place a bed on, and build a wall to support a roof so that the goodies were not spoiled as fast.

But you had to see my face when I realized that there is a thing called BRIDGE which I could build immediately to support structures like generators, instead of waiting for years for the moisture pump to do the work.

It was still a pain, since there was barely any wood in the whole desert. Yet it was immensely useful.

Time came, Lain set up a table, a network of moisture pumps all over the island, a research bench to occupy herself, and a communications console. Realized too late that Lain was too shy to use the communications console, so it was a huge waste ;_; but well, I never said I was smart. Soon enough she wouldn't need regular food supplies dropped via transport pod, but could sustain herself on the potatoes she grew on the stony soil.

Another WIP screenshot:

Meanwhile, on the land, life was tough for Yoshii. Constantly mining resources and catapulting them over to the island, having nobody to hang out with (although Lain hasn't been a great conversation partner either), and it got increasingly difficult to fend of the raider attacks all alone. When enough resources have been transported, it was finally time to leave.

The Migration

He couldn't be happier to desert the desert to join Lain on the cozy little safe haven they carved out for themselves.

It was not always easy on the island either. Pirates could still reach them with transport pods or mortars, which sometimes devastated the little habitat, and with a low influx of resources, it was hard to recover. The multi-analyzer, for example, didn't get rebuilt as of the time of writing, after it was reduced to a pile of plasteel and gold in a siege attack, to which they were helplessly exposed:

And the gods were visibly annoyed about the colonists cheating their way out of the grind by striking Yoshii with lightning:

Yet it was preferable to the maddening savagery of the outside world:

And so they remained on their little isolated farm, on the most sane speck of this ball of dust that they orbited the sun on. Passing the time by smoking some home grown, by farming psychoid plants, refining them into addictive drugs and selling them to the highest bidder. By getting rich and embedding the silver into the floor where it doesn't take up any space. By flaying their assailants and selling their meat and skin to cannibals. And slowly turning into bionic super soldiers to protect their little fortress...

The Rim never changes, does it?...

Game Details

  • Planet:
    • Name: WUK 05 Primus
    • Map seed: cannibal
    • Coverage: 50%
    • Scenario: Crashlanded (Losing is fun, Cassandra Classic)
  • Location:
    • Coordinates: 28.16°S 24.51°W
    • Biome: Desert
    • Terrain: Mountainous
    • Special features: Southern Coast, Caves
    • Average Temperature: 17.7°C (4°C to 32°C)
    • Growing Period: 40/60 days
  • Characters
    • Iwakura Lain
      • Backstory: Hacker Kid
      • Traits: Bisexual, Transhumanist, Ascetic, Wimp
      • Incapable of: Social
      • Passions:
        • Intellectual
        • Crafting
      • Minor passions:
        • Artistic
        • Construction
    • Kazuho Yoshii
      • Backstory: Military Trainee, Lone Traveler
      • Traits: Straight, Tough, Ascetic, Careful Shooter
      • Passions:
        • Shooting
      • Minor passions:
        • Melee
        • Construction
        • Medical
  • Mods:
    • Rimworld Core 1.0.2408
    • Map Reroll (in fact, it took a couple of rerolls to get a map with such a nice island)
    • Realistic Darkness
    • Simple Recycling
    • More Trade Ships
    • Prepare Carefully
    • Combat Extended
    • Combat Extended Guns
    • Simple Sidearms
    • Unessential:
      • Color Coded Mood Bar
      • Wall Light
      • Pick Up And Haul
      • Rainbeau's Rational Romance
      • Rainbeau's Rumor Has It
      • RimCities
      • Hospitality
      • Megafauna
      • MinifyEverything


Since writing this, the amazing mod Save Our Ships 2 was released, that I wish I had back then. The game Space Haven goes into a very similar direction.


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Re: Oasis - settling a shallow water island
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2020, 09:41:59 PM »

Keep writing man. We need to build up the rim fiction community here.

I've never surprised what crazy things people can do on rimworld. Building a base out of shallow island? Amazing.

That made me think you might enjoy my latest scenario, Climate Collapse, on Steam Workshop. It uses the Global Warming event from vanilla events expanded and builds a story around it.