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Jatlen Aug 14, 2016 @ 3:49am
The most common problems in Planetbase
General tips:
==========
- Save every 5 minutes. In the beginning you can't afford meteorit lasers and if a meteorit kills all your biologists - well reload then and build meteorit lasers as soon as you can afford them.

- In the top right corner you can click and change what you see there. Keep track of the resources of your base, especially vegetables, meat and meals.

- Get acquainted with the shortcuts F1 to F8. They are very useful.




1) "My colonists are hungry and starving"
===============================
- When you have a food crisis, it is important to analyze what the problem is. Do you have a shortage of vegetables/meat or meals? Load an earlier savegame before the crisis hit. Check the amounts of vegetables/meat and meals.

- You should have as many vegetables/meat as the number of colonists (for 100 colonists this is 100 vegetables/meat)

- You should have meals at least half the number of colonists (for 100 colonists this is at least 50 meals). One mealmaker holds appr. 4 meals on stock. So make sure you have enough mealmakers.

- If you have a lack of meals, as a quick measure you can delete all tables in your canteens and build mealmakers instead. When the crisis is over, build more canteens (and rebuild the tables).

- Have 1 unused canteen in reserve and activate it, as soon as your meals drop too much.

- I usually build big canteens with 6 mealmakers in them (rest is small tables).

- After getting in new colonists, wait a few minutes before getting in new colonists again. This gives you the opportunity to see, if there is an impact on your meal reserves. Don't expand too fast, take your time. And of course: don't get in new colonists during a food crisis.

- Always have more biologists than you think you need; 30% of the population should be biologists.

- Avoid setting biodomes on high priority. Biologists tend to overwork themselves and are therefore the first to starve. This can cause a starvation death-spiral.

- Have 1 unused biodome in reserve (with already built plants in it; switch biodome off till you need it). As soon as your vegetables drop too much, activate that unused biodome (and build a new one as soon as the crisis is over).

- As a quick measure you can build some meat machines in a lab.

- If you have a shortage of vegetables, switch off your bars till the crisis is over.

- Stop all trades till the crisis is over (best is to switch off landing pads and starports, just in case).

- Switch off all non-vital buildings. This frees your colonists from their jobs and they can carry vegetables/meat to mealmakers.

- Don't start new construction orders during a food crisis. Consider cancelling orders, that have not been begun yet.

- Get lots of carrier bots. They ensure that vegetables/meat is carried to mealmakers, even if morale of your colonists is low.

- Avoid overproduction, it can kill your base very quickly.




2) "My colonists don't do what I want them to" and "Everything takes so long"
==========================================================
- Check, if your colonists have icons above their heads. Don't just ignore these icons. Fullfill the colonists' needs. As long as they have that icon, they usually don't work at all (but still eat)

broken leg --> needs treatment in sickbays by medics (they need medical supplies for the treatment)
knive and fork --> hunger, colonist needs a meal
single fork --> malnutrition, needs treatment in sickbays by medics
face-icon --> unhappy, low morale (build cabins, video screens and decorative plants in canteens, serve drinks in bars)

- Don't make your colonists carry too often. This will lead to low morale. And if your colonists are constantly busy carrying things, they have less time doing the task they are supposed to do.

- Make sure you have enough ressources and manpower for the job. Don't start a construction order, if you haven't got the materials needed.

- Avoid having one construction site on one end of your base and a second construction site at the opposite end of your base.

- Avoid long distances for your colonists. Their tasks will take much longer then. Your whole base will become inefficient. And your colonists will become unhappy.

- Build workspace clusters for every type of colonists: all biodomes and meat-labs should be next to each other, all processing plants, all factories, all bot-building-facilities - all buildings of the same type should be close to each other. This way your colonists don't have to travel far, when switching from one workstation to the next.

- Build enough canteens, bars, cabins and storages near each workspace cluster. So your colonists don't have to travel far when they become hungry, thirsty, unhappy, sleepy or when they have to carry goods to a storage.

- Don't keep your colonists too busy. If you had a large construction order or large trade order, give your colonists some minutes to rest. They need this time to do the things they neglected during the last task and they also need time to fullfill their needs.

- Avoid setting buildings on high priority. Your colonists can overwork themselves. Usually I only have controlcenter with security consoles and telescope stations on high priority. You want reliable intruder alerts and weather warnings.

- Avoid overproduction. Check your storages from time to time. In the best case you should only have processed goods stored there: metalbars, bioplastics, medical supplies, spareparts, semiconductors etc. (and SOME vegetables/meat) - You should NOT have huge amounts of unprocessed goods like ore, starch, vegetables, meat - these things will clog your storages very fast. And what is the use of 200 ore, if it is not processed? Right ... reduce your production.

- If ore or starch is not getting processed, check if your storages are full. If that is the case, stop overproduction (and maybe build new storages).

- If spareparts, semiconductors, guns, medical supplies are not produced, check the machines, if ressources are missing. And check, if manufacturing limits are reached.

- Resist the temptation to trade away huge amounts of overproduction (especially vegetables and starch!). This can kill your base very fast! Especially, if you haven't got lots of carrier bots.

- Have 3 to 5 airlocks leading to your landingpad/starport. This way trades will be completed much quicker (see point 3 "Intruders", screenshot by Smatsuro)

- Have lots of carrierbots (at least 25% of max. population, that is 25 carrierbots for 100 colonists). Build them or buy them. You can never have too many of them. :-)



3) "Intruders are killing my colonists"
============================
There are two solutions:
Method A) Have a good security system setup: landingpads/starports next to at least 3 airlocks which are connected to O2 generator, controlcenter connected to O2 generator, lab and sickbay connected to controlcenter. Fill the controlcenter with security consoles and set it on high priority. Have at least 20 armed guards (more for bigger bases).
See screenshot by Smatsuro as example: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1278783229
With this method you need guards and guns. But in the long run this is a good solution, as you don't have to worry about intruders anymore. Your guards will handle them on their own.

Or Method B) Surround your landingpad/starport with O2 generators and have 3 to 5 airlocks leading to that inner area. Have the airlocks switched off. When a colonist ship is landing, check for intruders (purple suits). Open airlocks only, if you got colonists or a trading ship.
With this method you don't need guards and guns. But it is expensive to build and consumes a lot of space. And you always have to check for intruders when getting in new colonists.



4) "My colonists died because of meteor or radiation"
===============================================
- I hope you save often ... reload an earlier savegame.

- Meteor: switch off the building that was hit by the meteor. You have good chances that the building is empty of colonists when the meteor hits again. Build telescopes and meteor lasers as soon as you can afford them.

- Radiation: if you already have a control center, put your base on yellow alert, all your colonists will return back to base then. If you haven't got a control center yet, switch off mines and landingpads/starports and as soon as all colonists are inside, switch off all airlocks, till the danger is over.

- Have at least 3 beds in your sick bay and enough medical supplies. In case of radiation it is important, that the sick colonists are treated as fast as possible.



5) "My engineer died, while trying to repair solarpanels/windmills"
=================================================
Take care the paths to your solar panels, wind mills etc. are not too far away from the last airlock. Otherwise your engineers might die on their way there or they might drop the spare part and return to the base without having done the maintenance.
One solution can be to build a tunnel with small O2 generators having airlocks every second O2 generator. This way your bots and colonists can travel safely and fast.



6) "My colonists travel long distances through the wilderness"
==============================================
- If you want to expand your base in a new direction, build an airlock first before giving the other construction orders.

- If you have ressources laying outside on the ground, your colonists will pick them up and carry them to the construction site, even if this means travelling a long way through the wilderness. The danger is, that your colonists suffocate while travelling. Here the AI is a little stupid, unfortunately. One thing you can do is to make sure that all ressources are carried to a storage first, before giving the construction order.

- Half-circular shapes for your colony can be a problem. The shortest path from one end of your base to the other may be through the wilderness; your colonists may suffocate. My recommendation is to avoid half-circular shapes. Full circle is no problem.



7) "I don't have space to build, there are mountains and lakes everywhere"
========================================================
- Directly after the landing scene, save your game. Take your time, study the landscape, plan your base. Then reload your game and start building.

- Exterior buildings (power collector, solar panel, windmill, water extractor) should be built near mountain rims.

- Interior buildings (every building that is filled with O2) should be built in a direction where you have lots of space. Some interior buildings are dead ends (dormitories/cabins, sickbays) - these should also be built near mountain rims.

- Mountains and lakes can be "terraformed". Here are some threads about this topic:
http://steamcommunity.com/app/403190/discussions/0/1471969431589243652/
http://steamcommunity.com/app/403190/discussions/0/353916981476507405/
http://steamcommunity.com/app/403190/discussions/0/142261352650973128/

- Should you be unhappy about your landing coordinates: Search the forum here for "landing coordinates". You will find some threads, that cover this topic.

7b) "I can't connect buildings to other buildings, I don't know how to build at all"
===========================================================
Here a short guide for complete beginners, how to start a new base:
- build solar panel (largest)
- build power collector (largest), connect it to solar panel
- build water extractor (largest), connect it to one of the two
- build airlock, connect it to solar panel
- build O2 generator, connect it to airlock
- build canteen, connect it to O2 generator
- build in canteen: 1 big table (4 seats), 2 drinking fountains, 1 or 2 tv screen, 2 decorative plants and 3 mealmakers
- build dormitory and some beds in it
- build small biodome, plant 2 rice plants (later 3 rice plants, 1 medicinal herb)
- build small lab as dead end (only 1 connection), connect it to biodome; build 2 meat machines (later 4 machines), 1 lab table
- build small sick bay with 1 cabinet and 1 bed, build it near the lab (do not connect it directly to the lab)
- build mine
- build small processing plant, build 2 metal processors, 2 bioplastics processors
- build factory, build 2 spareparts machines
- build landing pad
This small base will last till you hit 15 or 20 colonists.



8) "What mealmaker recipes are the best?"
=================================
My recommendation: At the start of a new game, build smallest biodome, fill it with 2-4 rice plants. Build a small lab and build 2-4 meat machines. Each biologist can tend to 2 plants/meat machines. This setup leads to lots of starch. You will get basic meals and pasta.

As soon as you got a bigger biodome and enough biologists, change food production: delete all rice plants and build 50% wheat and 50% tomatoes and also meat machines in labs. This setup leads to less starch and more vegetables (which you can use in bars). You will get basic meals, pasta and burgers.

You will rarely see malnutrition.
Try to avoid salad; this needs three different kinds of vegetables and is quite difficult to achieve. Too often you will only get basic meals and not salad.



9) "My base is low on power, I don't know, what to build"
==========================================
- In general: always build the biggest solar panels, windmills, power collectors, water extractors. They are more efficient.

- At the end of the day, your power storage should be completely filled. If it is not, you need more solarpanels/windmills. Rule of thumb: during the day your power production should be approx. 3 times of your consumption (if your base consumes 100, you should produce 300). On the moon planet your production should be 4 or 5 times of your consumption (especially when playing Dark Moon Challenge).

- At the end of the night, your power storage should not have dropped below 1/3, if it is, you need more power collectors.

- Often it is a good idea, to build power collectors and solarpanels/windmills as a pair (if you build one, also build the other).

- If you are playing on a planet with short days and long nights, you need more power collectors than usual.

- On the first planet build solar panels and windmills in 1:1 ratio. On the frozen planet build more windmills than solar panels. On the moon you generally need more solar panels and power collectors than usual. On the storm planet build solar panels, windmills and also lightning rods (they protect your base and deliver power when hit by lightning) and build more power collectors than usual.



10) "I hit 200 colonists and suddenly my base is low on O2"
=============================================
- Don't trust the ingame O2 statistics too much. When you have more than 200 colonists it can happen, that in local regions more O2 is consumed than is provided, even if the overall O2 consumption says everything was ok. This happens in very crowded areas like canteens, bars, dormitories/cabins, massive biodomes.

- To solve this problem, build lots of O2 generators (you can switch them off, till you need them). I usually always have one O2 generator for each canteen, bar, cabin, massive biodome. Normally small O2 generators are sufficient. If you head for a really big colony with 1000 colonists then you should build big O2 generators.

- Avoid single connections, always have 2 or more connections, then O2 consumption can spread more evenly.



Known issues:
===========
- Avoid selling spareparts. Sometimes those trades never get completed. Buying spareparts is no problem.
- Colonists and bots can be trapped, when the last connection of a triangle is finished. Check construction sites from time to time.
- Colonists and bots can glitch through walls. Nothing you can do about it. -.-
- Half-circular shapes of your base can lead to peculiar pathfinding.



History of versions:
2nd April 2018: added point 7b
20th February 2018: completely new version (easier to read ... i hope so at least ^^)
August and Sept 2016: first version (it was quoted in posting #9, should you be interested).
Last edited by Jatlen; May 30 @ 11:58pm
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Showing 1-15 of 122 comments
Valomäki Aug 16, 2016 @ 6:35am 
Well, if I would be dying from starvatation I'd try to farm food or be bothered to pick it up from trade ship at least. AI isn't realistic in some cases. It does unimaginably stupid choices. True human being is always directed by it's needs. If you hungry, you do anything you can to fill the need. Not just chill and watch a tv monitor even when there would be meals available but you cant be bothered to carry them! http://steamcommunity.com/id/Valomaki/screenshot/447366480867997975
Sevrin Aug 18, 2016 @ 1:09am 
See, the thing is. A bunch of AIs in this game are bad. Really bad. I already thought it, but reading this made me believe it even more. Your "solutions" to the issues don't prove the AIs aren't bad, they are just work arounds. Rather than players having to work around a ♥♥♥♥♥♥ AI, the AI should be improved.
Jatlen Aug 18, 2016 @ 1:28am 
This is not about proving the AI is good or bad or about changing the game as it is. This guide is only there to help.
Last edited by Jatlen; Aug 18, 2016 @ 1:29am
martiño  [developer] Aug 18, 2016 @ 2:35am 
Originally posted by Valomäki:
Well, if I would be dying from starvatation I'd try to farm food or be bothered to pick it up from trade ship at least. AI isn't realistic in some cases. It does unimaginably stupid choices. True human being is always directed by it's needs. If you hungry, you do anything you can to fill the need. Not just chill and watch a tv monitor even when there would be meals available but you cant be bothered to carry them! http://steamcommunity.com/id/Valomaki/screenshot/447366480867997975

This should not happen, could you maybe send us a savegame where this happens to "bugs at madrugaworks dot com"? We will fix it if this is a bug.
Last edited by martiño; Aug 18, 2016 @ 2:35am
martiño  [developer] Aug 18, 2016 @ 2:38am 
Originally posted by Sevrin:
See, the thing is. A bunch of AIs in this game are bad. Really bad. I already thought it, but reading this made me believe it even more. Your "solutions" to the issues don't prove the AIs aren't bad, they are just work arounds. Rather than players having to work around a ♥♥♥♥♥♥ AI, the AI should be improved.

The AI is just a bunch of lines of code, if you expect them to behave like humans you are inevitably going to be dissapointed. The game is about understanding how the AI works and manipulating them to get the base going.
Good tips! I have a base that works perfectly and there are none of the glitches that others report. There is usually a solution to every problem.
Jatlen Aug 18, 2016 @ 8:52am 
Thanks :) I am glad, the guide has been helpful. :)
Sevrin Aug 18, 2016 @ 2:29pm 
Originally posted by martiño:
Originally posted by Sevrin:
See, the thing is. A bunch of AIs in this game are bad. Really bad. I already thought it, but reading this made me believe it even more. Your "solutions" to the issues don't prove the AIs aren't bad, they are just work arounds. Rather than players having to work around a ♥♥♥♥♥♥ AI, the AI should be improved.

The AI is just a bunch of lines of code, if you expect them to behave like humans you are inevitably going to be dissapointed. The game is about understanding how the AI works and manipulating them to get the base going.
I didn't say designing a good AI is easy. It's one of the harder tasks in game creation. Lots of games try to avoid it as much as possible. Just look at the problems players have and improve the AI in such a way that it fixes those problems?
FreeFootLong Aug 19, 2016 @ 5:59am 
Originally posted by Jatlen:
I have been reading a lot of comments of players new to Planetbase. Here are MY tips (some players may have different opinions/solutions, that's ok)


General tips:
=========

- Save every 5 minutes. In the beginning you can't afford meteorit lasers and if a meteorit kills all your biologists - well reload then and build meteorit lasers as soon as you can afford them.
- in the top right corner you can click and change what you see there. Keep track of the resources of your base, especially vegetables, meat and meals.



Here are the most common problems and comments i have read:

1) "The pathfinding AI of this game is broken"
=================================

No, it's not. This is one of the challenges of Planetbase to build a base with optimal paths for your colonists.

A) Build workspace clusters for every type of colonists: all biodomes and meat-labs should be next to each other, all processing plants, all factories, all bot-building-facilities - all buildings of the same type should be close to each other. Your colonists don't have to travel far, when switching from one workstation to the next.

B) Build enough canteens, bars, cabins and storages near every workspace cluster. Your colonists don't have to travel far, when becoming hungry, thirsty, unhappy, sleepy or when they have to carry goods to a storage.

C) Take care the paths to your solar panels, wind mills etc. are not too far away from the last airlock. Otherwise your engineers might die on their way there or they might drop the spare part and return to the base without having executed the maintenance. One solution can be to build a tunnel with O2 generators having airlocks every second O2 generator. This way your bots and colonists can travel safely and fast.



2) "I produce sooo much food, it is piling everywhere, but still my colonists are dying"
=============================================================

Food is good. Too much food however can kill your colonists. :)
In general: you may have SOME overproduction, but you want to avoid MASSIVE overproduction.

If you produce too much, your colonists try to get rid of that overproduction by carrying it to the closest storage. If that storage is full, they carry it to a storage farther away. If your colonists are busy carrying things, they cannot work in their normal jobs anymore (this is problematic for your biologists!) and your colonists become unhappy (face icon). If they are very unhappy (orange or even red face icon) they stop working at all. But of course, they still continue to eat.

If this scenario is happening, do the following:
Stop all facilities that contribute to the overproduction: mines, processing plants, factories, biodomes. If you have a lot of starch, delete some of the starch-fields, you can rebuild them later again. As long as starch is still lying around in biodomes you can also delete starch units manually (click delete on them). Cancel building orders, don't give trading orders. Once, your colonists don't have to work anymore, they will try to become happy again. This can be in cabins, video screens in canteens, bars, fitness rooms. So they probably will choose one of these, and once they are happy again, they will continue to carry the overproduction where it belongs to (canteens, bars, processing plants, factories and storage rooms). Do nothing and just observe what is happening. Your base will stabilize itself after a while and then you can switch on your production again, but take care, not to have too much overproduction again.



3) "The AI of this game is broken, colonists don't do what i want them to"
=============================================

No, the AI is working fine. If colonists don't do their jobs or don't do what you want them to, it may have several reasons:

A) You are keeping your colonists too busy. Often they are busy carrying things. This may happen because of overproduction. Read under 2)
Or: you don't have overproduction, but you don't have enough carrier bots. When your base is growing, there are also more goods that need to be transported. So take care to start building/buying carrier bots as soon as you hit 50 colonists. Produce 2 or 3 times more carrier bots then driller/constructor bots: 1 machine for driller, 1 machine for constructor, 2 or 3 machines for carrier bots (rule of thumb: 1 carrierbot-machine per 100 colonists). You can also buy carrier bots.

B) Colonists have orange or red debuffs: don't ignore the icons above the heads of the colonists. As long as they have that icon, they usually don't work at all (but still eat). Workers often have broken legs (they need treatment in sickbays by doctors), knive and fork means they are hungry and need food, single fork means malnutrition, face-icon means they are unhappy (build cabins, video screens in canteens, bars).

C) Don't give too many building orders at the same time, especially big orders like pyramide, massive storage, massive biodome etc.

D) All unfinished building orders should be in the same region. Worst case: one building order is at the top end of your base, the other at the far other end. Colonists and bots have very long paths then.

E) Be careful with big trading orders. Have 3 airlocks leading to your landingpad/starport. Even big trading orders will be executed very fast then. Have lots of carrier bots. If you just have had a big trading order, wait some minutes before giving the next big trading order. Colonists need this time to do other things (work, carry things, eat, sleep etc).

F) Colonists need long for their actions because they have long distances to walk. Solution: Keep paths short (see 1)

G) Check, if ressources (materials, colonists, bots) for the task are missing.

H) Check, if your storages are full. If that is the case, stop overproduction (see 2). Build new storages.


Of course, there are more solutions than mine. That is the beauty of this game. :)
I would have to disagree with your bot section as it is not the most efficent way 30% biologists 30% wokers will take care of carrying stuff around fine and if you make say 3-4 mines and 2 proccessing plants u can overload the ammount of resources u need then pump out bots. I never get bots till 100-150 colonists because it is a waste of essential resources to grow at blistering speeds
FreeFootLong Aug 19, 2016 @ 6:02am 
careful planning with a smart human will go alot farther than the "lines of code" and stupid human to help
Dogishappy Aug 19, 2016 @ 2:52pm 
Wow, i should have read this forum post first, it would have saved me some headaches. One thing you didn't say that would help though, is to stress the importance of Biologists. Without food, absolutely everything breaks down. A bar is a good way of knowing how much food you have.

Bars are priority 2 compared to cantines being priority 1. If you don't have any spare food, but your bars still have drinks, you aren't overproducing, you are in equilibrium. I use this understanding a lot to determine when i needed to make more food.
Valomäki Aug 23, 2016 @ 10:31am 
So problem is you cannot control, or as you devs say "manipulate" AI, very much.

Few requests to help with that: 1) Send persons away with next shuttle. Now you cannot control who stays in your base. For example excess guards could be gotten rid of if they're just wasting food / resources. 2) Allow prioritizing who to feed. For example feeding biologists first can stop a hunger problem from worsening. 3) Allow player to see how many persons current food production can maintain. 4) Allow player to limit incoming settlers to the amount of air, food, water the base can provide. Now you just have to guess and take a risk. You can't know how many will come next shuttle and it could destroy your base (hunger, starvation if too many come at once)-
Last edited by Valomäki; Aug 23, 2016 @ 11:55am
ustuss Aug 23, 2016 @ 4:24pm 
I don't know if it's in the works or not, but here's something that can be solved easily... It would be nice to see a BED count in the Stats screen. Just a simple number showing how many beds, or even how many are full / empty would really help us to avoid counting them too often.
Mad Hatter Aug 26, 2016 @ 9:23am 
~35 engineers, ~24 engineer workstations, plenty of food/water, good paths, lots of beds.

About 4 engineer stations are in use at any time, though all of them are loaded with required materials.

Hordes of happy and satisfied engineers wandering idlely around the base.

AI is borked.
Rigel Aug 26, 2016 @ 9:42am 
Originally posted by Mad Hatter:
~35 engineers, ~24 engineer workstations, plenty of food/water, good paths, lots of beds.

About 4 engineer stations are in use at any time, though all of them are loaded with required materials.

Hordes of happy and satisfied engineers wandering idlely around the base.

AI is borked.


Screenshot?
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