I have reached the refugee center, but found it completely empty. It is now first summer, day 35.
I had previously reached it, a few weeks ago, and it was populated, but felt overwhelmed and decided to reload a save backup. Is this a bug? Is there anything I can do? I can’t imagine reloading such an ancient backup, there’s just too much I have achieved in the meantime.
I tracked the problem down. It was due to the way I save scummed.
I usually do a 7zip of the save folder, and uncompress that onto the current folder, replacing everything in it. Or so I assumed, but some files are left for the places I went to in the previous playing branch, and apparently the state of the world there changed during the rest of my gameplay.
I was clued to it when I observed a boat on a coast, the very same boat I had used the first time I went to the center, and which was basically the same boat I was on right now - a dupe then.
The good way to save scum would have been to erase the save folder before uncompressing the archive. As a crutch, I deleted all the files that had been modified on the day when I did that retconned trip to the center. Doing so, when I go there on my current save, the NPCs are there again.
So for those who have a similar issue, maybe that’s what you’re facing too.
One hypothesis as to the reason that made the npcs disappear : I’ve seen mentions of a mission that if you don’t complete it fast enough, will have the center overrun or killed? I don’t know the details, but maybe that was the issue, since the game thought I had made contact and discussed with a few npcs, and then time ticked for weeks.