Brainstorming: Building your own labs

This is waaay down the road. Do not mistake this for something that’s happening soon. If I am still around when @mlangsdorf gets those base camp modifications off the ground, I will start to think about it.

I’ve been coding the dialogue for survivors with the ‘scientist’ and ‘doctor’ classes, and it has had me thinking about a nifty side-quest option related to base camps. This wouldn’t be able to happen until base camps are much more fluid in design, and not until after they have central power supplies and a power grid.

It would be very cool, someday, to be able to steal expensive lab equipment from hospitals and labs, and bring it back to your base for your NPC scientists to use. I’m not just talking centrifuges. There’s no real reason, given time and motivation, that you couldn’t find and steal mass spectrometers, NMR machines, research lasers, and other ridiculous things. There are NPC survivors with PhDs in weird things. There are lab notes scattered about.

Don’t misunderstand the goal here - it will never be possible to undo the cataclysm, or to create some sort of superweapon against the blob, or anything like that. What I’d like to see:

  • Mutagens (especially the complex ones) become slightly more difficult to craft without a lab.
  • Biochemist NPCs are able to craft slightly less chaotic mutagens and serums for you. Smart purifier will never be anything other than extremely rare.
  • Lab notes from Labs can be studied by scientist NPCs who will then tell you some of the world lore
  • Portal guns can be studied by physicists, who may then have a small chance of creating something interesting (a stable portal to a random location, an artifact, who knows?)
  • Triffid and mycus samples can be processed and studied by biologists for lore

There’s also been occasional talk of traveling to other worlds via portals, with the question of “why”. If you have a lab that can start to analyze resources from those worlds, even if it’s just to produce interesting lore, that might be a great answer to “why”. Imagine doing a dangerous mission to the nether to return with a piece of nether-stone for your geochemist to analyse in the mass spectrometer back at the base. I think this would create a great end-game sandbox.


It would be a great basis for other modders to build off of and it could be add on to so you can get a robotics lab to convert the machines to your side via long range hacking. Downside to that is like having it spawn like 50 VERY pissed robots of various classes to try and stop you if you beat them all robots for X area are permanently friendly to you and people friendly to you(note doesn’t mean stopping blob but makes life easier)

That kind of stuff is neat for mods. Something I want to avoid for the stuff I’m envisioning is pretty much anything that gives the player more power and toys. There is no lack of those things already… And that’s not really what research laboratories are for. They’re for answering questions, and cataclysm is full of interesting questions. I see it as a kind of lore factory.

Psssstt! Steal from Rimworld wink wink lol


Stab in the dark. Something like X-com(old DOS, not that lump of dog $h!t new…thing)?

Hell even Xenonauts would be an acceptable comparison.

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Honestly the rimworld one (edit; or xcom) sounds like the kind of lab I’d like to avoid. In a cataclysm timeframe, with a tiny handful of trained personnel, your lab isn’t going to be discovering new technologies and developing new weapons. Unless we want to make research projects that take two or three years of gametime and four or five skilled NPCs (and I’m not opposed to that idea), that’s just outside the scope of realism.

What is completely possible though, is bringing a sample of X023 and a copy of Lab Notes Dionne, and asking your biochemist to explain something about what this X023 crap is. Or, giving a marloss berry in a biohazard safe containment box to a biologist and having them give you some extra information about the mycus and what it is. Not just the ‘this is a creepy evil mushroom’, but some of the lore stuff that those reading the wiki know - and probably more, as yet unwritten.

Yes. I know. =D

I was thinking that as well. But I forgot about the long time frame of those games as I skip the time to move everything along.

I was also thinking about researching being more about lore and back story. Having a few lab techs around would be nice to have a specialized NPC that could provide a better way of making high tech odd ball items too. Instead of the player toon having to do everything and learn everything. Which is not realistic. But necessary because the game isn’t that far ahead yet.(not a slant, just not there yet)

As an end-game plotline thing, a downstream idea could include realistically timed research. Like, if I go through a portal and get a nether rock sample, I give it to the lab, and a week later they get a result. That’s the sort of thing I’m talking about here.

But what I’d like to see is turning that into a freeform quest tree. So maybe there’s another several types of rock and other weirdness you can get in the nether and bring back for study, each taking 1-2 weeks to research. And maybe you can bring back biological samples as well, or get bits of mi-go that are in this plane. Once you have a certain amount of stuff researched that way, perhaps options open up for bigger research projects using samples you have. Spend six weeks on this. Spend four weeks on that. Get another sample of this rock and spend another three weeks to get more.

If set up like that, then I could totally see some new technology coming out of it a long way down the line. Stuff like “we can remove one negative effect from that artifact you gave us to study”. Or “we can use some of these exotic materials to build lasers as good as pre-cataclysm ones without the fine machining we would have needed”, or “this kind of sample could be used to make something that works like a plutonium cell.”

Especially if the item production options were done by NPCs and still gated, rather than through normal crafting - so you’d set an NPC to build you a laser turret, and they’d spend a month doing it. Stops you from spamming them.

Spider Man Homecoming? Where by the villians put together oddball items in their own little shop. =D

Yeah, that’s actually not a bad one, because it takes them years to put it together, and within the timeline of the show they don’t actually develop anything new. I like that example.

Yeah, I figured it makes sense from what you are talking about. Plus I like how a bunch of rag tag dudes can pool each there own skills to get that operation going.

I think for my own share I’d like to see one role of the lab, and maybe other things like it, be to smooth out the power gain curve. Currently it’s pretty quick and easy to hit the end game. Imagine if you couldn’t install all your CBMs in the autodoc, but had to get an NPC hospital for some of the big things. Or if making fancy mutagen serums could only be done at the lab, so if you want to threshold in a powerful mutation category you have to get to the tech level to do it.

Yeah. Pretty much as I was saying too. We are not there yet. Not sure if it can get there though either. I think the engine would have to be changed quite a bit to get to this point. Makes me think of UnrealWorld. They really had to fenaggle a lot to add stuff over the years. I’m assuming Kevin is already hashing this out to some degree while working on the game we have.

The map thing seems like a big move. It would make the game fairly different too. So I wonder if the structure of curses will remain or the game moving into a new format for modern machines and visuals.

Well, much of what I want to do is down the road, but not like miles down. I could code a ton of these missions right now. I could even add some of the furniture items we’d need and it wouldn’t be impossible to.make the lab an expansion using the current camp structure. I just would rather wait until I can do it all the right way. Plus, I have dialogue to write.

Well feel free to ask if you need quests and story. If you want any help. I like that sorta thing.

I’ll let you know. I’m doing another chunk of my dialogue project as soon as the current one gets merged, and could use a second writer.

Ok. I tend to concoct stuff similar to the other thread you read about the merchants.

And the first mod for research will be faster research times XD

That’s ok. Mod all you like :slight_smile: a week in game passes fast though

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