Series Index

Previously: Meat and Plastic; Intermission 2: Reflections

So we last saw the base at Cycle 200, we had just started shearing glossy dreckos and getting our first plastic, and accordingly started researching steam turbines, and on the second asteroid, started pumping water back home. This post is going to be about the next 100 or so cycles, as not a lot happened for one reason: the game was running so slowly I spent all my time just trying to clean up and optimize the base to get double-digit framerates. This was, in the end, unsuccessful.

I think part of the reason this was unsuccessful was the fact that I continued to hire dupes and unlock techs, when I should have been focusing on getting things done with the dupes and techs I already had. A few more techs for things like aquatuners, water tanks, and atmo suits made some sort of sense, but I went way overboard and the game eventually became unplayable and crashing constantly.

By cycle 212 we have researched aquatuners, steam turbines, and atmo suits. We also finally got the Rodriguez online, and used the aquatuner to start cooling the output.

At the bottom, for now, the oxygen was coming out at about 30C. This will rise as the room will heat up during operation, eventually stabilizing around 50-60C.

The cooling block brings this down to 7.5C for now, but the coolant still needs to come down to operating temperature. Later on this will be bringing 50C oxygen down to 0C.

This oxygen starts to get distributed through the base and we can finally turn off the algae generators.

At the very bottom of the base, we start setting up atmo suits for opening up the oil biome. This was probably another mistake – it just added way too much space for the game to do calculations in.

The marsh planet is running entirely on polluted oxygen now, and with very little sand around, it’s time to set up a SPOM over there too. Since we don’t plan on having too many dupes here at any given time, a 2-pump compact design is fine.

We also send thimble reed seeds back home to start making atmo suits. We connect our bathroom overflow to some hydroponics tiles and start growing it. We have also sent back some pacu eggs, which in retrospect was probably another mistake that impacted performance.

It’s a bit hot over next to one of the oil biomes so the plants end up stifling and the toilets back up. For now we can patch this up with ice tempshift plates, but we’ll want a more permanent base cooling solution later.

One of the things I attempted to do to improve performance was sweep up debris from large areas, using sweeper chains like this to do most of the work without dupe labor.

And we also start cleaining out the ranches with automation. This will hopefully have a bigger impact as we’re getting all the eggs into one room.

The last main optimization was starting to fill in the side of the map with tiles. Unlike liquids or gases, tiles don’t move, so it should be easier on the game’s material calculations. Plus it helps dispose of some of the extra granite we have around.

At cycle 230, after printing a 39th dupe, I come across a message I have never seen before.

Researching conveyor receptacles also helps us reduce labor around the ranches.

We have a lot of eggs.

This was around cycle 240, and from here on things really slowed down. The main projects of sweeping up debris, automating more things, and digging out / bricking in areas continued. One other project involved combining all the swamp water into one big tank.

At cycle 250 the base looked like this. I am just completely ignoring space at this point.

We tame a cobalt volcano and make all our atmo suits out of cobalt. Smooth hatches are also providing a supply of refined cobalt for free.

A funny / rare sight: a wild glossy drecko. This had to have come from the default 2% chance, as there’s no mealwood in reach.

Some hatches are culled in an attempt to reduce their impact on performance.

We don’t need this many anyway, at one point our fridges filled up so I had to set up a separate conveyor circuit to dump any overflow into the freezer.

We do a lot of work on the oil biome, clearing out everything and filling in the bottom to get a level tank.

Now past cycle 300, performance is worse than ever, but we at least have finally started on a real power plant. The plan is to stockpile some magma in the tank to make a petroleum boiler later. We leave a carbon dioxide vent and geyser open to the room and throw all the slicksters into a ranch, and also start pumping in extra carbon dioxide from the bottom of the base.

In another plan that never really worked out, I set up a copper volcano tamer that will output hot copper (~300-350C) into a conveyor loop to heat up a metal block. This block will heat phosphorite and make refined phosphorous, using a counterflow conveyor rail in a process akin to a petroleum boiler. This wasn’t a complete failure, but I forgot to account for the fact that refined phosphorous doesn’t solidify until it gets down to around 40C. So I just ended up with a pool of liquid refined phosphorous that I had to pump out and cool elsewhere.

To reduce travel times (and hopefully pathfinding impact) we have also set up transit tubes.

This ended up being a lot longer than I expected this recap to be, so I’m breaking it into two parts.

Next: The End?

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