New Method for Conducting Research

Started by XrypticPyro, August 22, 2014, 12:04:04 AM

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Hello All,

I'm fairly new to these forums but have spent some time lurking the suggestions tabs after having sparked an idea. While I've come across some ideas that mention elements of what I had in mind, no one seemed to be hitting the nail for me, so I've decided to contribute my ideas to see how the community would view them.

New Method of Conducting Research:

One aspect of Rimworld is that the original colonists are mid-tech level people crashing into a world on the fringe of the galaxy that get visits from both low and high technology beings. When you think back on research and technology, besides the most recent era, it's hardly ever someone sitting at a table and discovering a pre-set group of ideas. Most of the time it's experimentation and accident that lead to the birth of an idea that usually fails and gets refined over several generations into a working successful idea. The most important thing about research is probably that it doesn't stop, scientific ideas can always be rejected to give rise to more appropriate ideas.

So, on to my suggestion, instead of having a predetermined group or "tech tree" of ideas people expect to unlock, you could have a cloud of ideas that could be explored by colonists according to items and people they discover and interact with. Instead of having a Research Table where a colonist sits and discovers new advances, all colonists could be researchers at all times, constantly discovering new things and having ideas (Success and variety determined by "research" or intelligence and limited by, say, the lovable Farm Oaf).

Some Examples:

Colonists are crash survivors from a mid-tech level society, so they should start off with mid-tech level ideas, such as creating fertile land or trying to generate new sources of power.

Tribespeople are much lower tech-level societies that could bring a new wave of ideas by meeting or even fighting them. A colonist could have a tribesperson visiting the colony tell them of their religion or practices, thus giving the colonist ideas that could eventually develop and be researched into concrete applicable devices such as: Cremation, Methods of Worship, Farming Techniques, Hunting Techniques

Mechanoids are the higher tech-level society that are always violent in my experiences. It could be from hauling or disassembling or even combat with mechanoids that the ideas could one day form into technology such as: Shipbuilding, Pneumatic Picks, Gun Turret Cooling.

Pirates and other Colonists would be the Mid or Equal tech-level society that would bring ideas such as Carpets, Colored Lights, etc.

Note: I've gone through the forums and I've seen several posts on new research that could come to Rimworld and most of those are absolutely fantastic posts. I am not proposing any new research per say in this, merely how research is conducted, so of course I am only using the research that exists within Rimworld now, but the ideas could be endless!

I think it's imperative that several ideas be limited by the cultures or technological entities they come in contact with, and that research never gets sorted into an "Already Researched" tab. There is always a way to improve an idea, even a mix and match of cultures such as discovering a way to harvest moonlight from observing mechanoids never losing power, or finding a more durable, efficient way of constructing solar panels from pirates, to even studying tribespeople for finding ways to perform power hungry activities with less energy demand (such as animal fertilizer over sunlamps).

Rimworld is an engine for story telling, the colonists having individualistic ideas could have grand or dire consequences for a colony. Research is always seen in video games as a linear method of gaining an advantage that was previously a challenge, or making a hassle into something simple. This method of research makes it about the colonists. A colonist could be hunting in the wilds and learn a new idea on how to capture squirrels alive to keep them fresh, and on his way back to the colony, a pirate drop pod lands on his head and he is killed. This idea could be lost for the entirety of your playthrough or could perhaps be independently re-discovered by another colonist later. Some ideas could also be too complicated or lack materials available to follow through, causing colonists to lose sanity or go to great lengths to try and bring their ideas to life (such as sacrifice, or stealing, or provoking a horde of mechanoids). Ideas could be shared in society, or hoarded by an individual depending on their personality. A curious farm oaf could mention a silly notion to a navy researcher that suddenly becomes applicable. A vatgrown assassin might have several great ideas, but never being a social fellow, keeps them to himself and dies, never advancing the good of the colony.

I hope you all enjoy my suggestion for Rimworld, but I believe the most important part of my suggestion is that it's a rough idea that could use a lot of work. Any and all posts that could alter the idea or improve it to the point where the community finds the best answer for RimWorld as a whole, is the reason I brought it to you all. Please feel free to critique and share your ideas!

Best Wishes


That's a great post.

What if the player could interrogate captured people? So you could force or bribe the stoneage people into divulging primitive traps, or ditto for pirates. Or you could hack into disabled mechanoids to learn things.


What a fabulous contribution, I hadn't even thought of captured people at the time. But again, that'd be a new avenue for learning ideas. The hacking would be an excellent way to integrate mechanoids for the idea as well. Having disabled mechanoids for incapacitated over all of them being dead (non-recruitable of course) but captured to learn new ideas.

An excellent thought, thank you. It's fantastic to think of what more people could bring to advance the idea.


These are neat ideas; however, they seem like something that would be very hard/lengthy to code.


Howso? Surely it could be an option in the prisoner menu, Interrogate, with the social skill being the deciding factor and chance to draw a random technology from the faction the prisoner belongs to as a result.

The prisoner would also affect this outcome, if you captured the pirate factions cook he wouldn't know anything about trap or turret construction!

Heh, the idea comes from the game Evil Genius, one of the best base builder/manager games ever created!


Actually ApexPredator has a good point, one that I was aware of well in advance.

While i'm not a game coder myself, I can only imagine that coding the fact that each item, interaction, combat phase, entity, etc, essentially every action that requires brainpower (Even dreams during sleep); would be an incredibly difficult and taxing process to come by. That alone is the one drawback that I think my idea would have and could be doomed to fail with.

However, I think RimWorld's uniqueness in being a game that is about the story of your settlement, the individuals within, not any goals of conquest, not a strategy rts or a simulator, but being about the individuals themselves, makes RimWorld probably the only game where this would be a step in the right direction.

I wholeheartedly believe and understand that if this process went into effect, it would be incredibly difficult. However, I also believe if it is at all possible, this community can find a way and it would lead to the best RimWorld experience available.

Also to note; Major, I didn't intend technology to be random packets that can be found from interaction. I intended there to be an individual resource similar to hunger, sleep, or injuries, that isn't dictated by a % or a bar, that hold's an individual's curiosity, their previous ideas, even perhaps their memories. If the correct algorithm of ideas and colonists that ideas are shared with combine and detect a possible technological advancement, then the colony sets forth to trying to achieve this goal by experimentation and resource allocation.

Remember it can be something as simple as someone watching lightning strike and discovering fire, requiring one person to observe and think of the idea, research it (hopefully within seconds in their mind) apply it and advance the colony. It could also be as complex as a space ship for escaping the world, requiring vast resources and manpower in the colony, forcing some ideas to be shared for success since a character that hoards their idea would be doomed to never completing it on their own. Perhaps other colonists could see them trying to and learn from that.

The suggestion has endless potential, but ultimately it does come down to what can be applied in game and what can not. Hopefully the suggestion garners enough attention that people can propose much better methods than I originally did myself so that it can enter the game in a lightweight fashion and advance the experience for all.