Deep Space Outpost

Deep Space Outpost

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Getting Started in Deep Space Outpost
By NirisGames
A gameplay guide for Deep Space Outpost that provides a new player start guide and detailed information on mechanics, resources and buildable items.
   
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Introduction
Hopefully this guide can expand on the in-game tutorial and give more in-depth detail and information to help you get started and expand your space station effectively. The game is in early access and things will change, but i'll try and keep this updated (last edit: 04 July 2024 - added research section).
Navigating the UI
Top HUDs show time, power, resources and station habitat. Hovering the cursor over these expand them showing more details.

Bottom right main game menu (from left to right):-
  • Build menu - brings up the bottom middle build menu (split into structures/power/production/storage and defence)
  • Worker control menu - brings up a popup showing all workers, their status and settings.
  • Comms control - see local spaceships (if you have a functioning station computer).
  • Research menu - see tech tree unlocks (if you have a functioning station computer).
  • Speed control - cycle through, pause, 0.5x, 1x and 2x speeds.
  • Overlays - shows oxygen, docking areas, internal floors and damage.
  • Open doors - internal then external
  • Close all doors
  • Info - Tutorial or scenario information.
  • Options



Build menu, shows items that can be built, their information and metal cost. Solar panels, connectors (solar and docking), turrets, salvage depots and repair bays must be placed externally. Other items must be built on internal floors. Press 'R' to rotate those that require it.

Selecting an item, tile or droid will bring up the bottom left information window. Here you can see the condition of selected item, and change settings of those that allow it. If an item is badly damaged it can be repaired via this window.

*Tip* - Holding down LMB, you can select many tiles and issue a repair command for all.

Messages appear in the top right. If the "Msgs" box is highlighted you have messages. Red indicates a warning message.
Starting your game
Choosing either Sandbox or Scenario game modes, gives you a similar starting state, a bare bones starting space station (I wont consider using the station builder and using a custom start station for the following). Your initial station has a station computer, metal storage and 2 droids. Lets begin......

First thing to do is take a look at the whole map and make a note of large asteroids that can be mined, if there is an asteroid field (unlimited supply of meteroiods to gather later in the game), and any derelicts/scrap. If this is a scenario with a given seed, and there isn't much generated, you may want to try a new seed, unless you want to give yourself a challenge.

If the level looks good, it's time to get some power to your station. Without power, built items wont function and your droids will stop working when their batteries run out of power. Initially your only power source are solar panels. Solar panels connect to your station via solar connectors that attach to the outside of the walls of your station. Solar panels connect via the most efficient (less damaged) route to your station, so it can be worth using a couple of connects, to an array of panels, so that any damage is mitigated somewhat.

Once you have power and droids aren't likely to run out of power, you'll need to expand your station. To expand your station you use the metal resource. Everything is built from this metal and can be obtained from the Refinery, Scrap Recycler or deleting existing built structures/items (everything is recovered as long as you have enough metal storage).

You will need to create new rooms for production items. Initially you dont want to make rooms to large, as metal is limited. Items can only be placed in rooms once built and fully enclosed (like the start station).

Initially the Refinery should be built as it produces other resources as well as metal, however it requires ore. A Mining Unit once built creates a mining droid, that will visit nearby asteroids and gather this required ore. With these two items, you have metal production and can build further items to help production, and defend you station.
Resources
Deep Space Outpost has somewhat simplified resource mechanics. Your space station has piping/ducting built in for most refined resources. Metal, Water, Air and Fuel distribution is all built in.

Currently only ore, food and ammo requires hauling. Items that produce, or storage that receives these have haul spots assigned to them, which can be seen when building/selecting them (mining unit, mining laser, armory, algae farm, and storage (food/ore/ammo)).

As well as metal, your refinery will produce fuel and air (if that type of storage exists and space available). Water can also be produced by the refinery, by reducing the fuel/air output. Again water storage is required.

Station Defences
There are many threats that can damage your station. Currently these are meteoroids, scrap, pirates (lasers and missiles).

Current defense options:-

Laser turret - Uses 1 power (5 if power available when firing for more damage). More effective against meteoroids and scrap.
Cannon turret - Uses 1 power, but requires ammo (produced from the armory). More effective against pirates and missiles.
Shield turret - Uses 4 power, and tries to deflect any incoming meteoroids, scrap or missiles. Also reduces pirate laser damage if shield covers attack area.
Further expansion
Now you have ore gathering and metal production you can think about building further items to help progression.

Alternative resource gathering

The scrap recycler can obtain metal directly from scrap, but this does mean it requires a salvage depot for scrap to be hauled to (or tractor beamed to). If there are derelicts in the level, droids will travel to them and salvage scrap from them and also collect scrap that is stationary in the level.

Salvage depots can also be used to hold meteoroids that are captured by tractor beams. The mining laser can then mine these and produce ore for the Refinery. If your level has an asteroid belt, tractor beams that are built near will capture meteroids, giving you an unlimited ore source.

Power

A battery can help store power for those situations where power production might be cut or reduced (pirate/meteoroid damage, storm panel efficiency reduction).

A fuel cell produces a lot of power from any fuel you have stored. Fuel cells also produce some water during it operation. This requires research (see below).

Other items

Life support - Air if stored, can be used by the life support system to supply the station with a hospitable atmosphere. Human workers can be hired from traders if life support is functioning (and you have food/crew quarters). Life support also provides an efficiency bonus to the refinery and armoury. Air will escape from doors and airlocks as droids pass through, unless you have a room setup with 2 airlocks (one on outside station, one internal to the rest of the station).

Droid Maintenance - Droids suffer wear when outside the space station, and the droids maintenance will fix this. It will also produce more droids if metal is available, and charge droids quicker than just an available space.

Repair Bay - Friendly ships may be damaged and as well as trading with you might require repair. See how many credits they will offer for you to repair them. Although you may need the metal for other tasks! Also mining bots suffer wear, and the repair bay will fix this. Sufficient docking space must be available around the repair bay for both the mining droid and ships to dock.

Armory - Produces ammo for the cannon turret (and can also be sold). This requires research (see below).

Algae farm - Produces food (from water resource) which human crew require or can also be sold.

Crew quarters - Provides sleeping, eating and healing space for human crew.

Canteen - Provides an eating location (and food store). Crew get a morale boost over other eating locations.

Jukebox - Provides morale boost to human workers, and gives the player more music to listen to.

Workers Duties
As well as building, your workers can repair, haul resources and deal with emergencies. Clicking on the worker control button in the main menu will bring up this display. This shows all your workers and their current status, health condition and battery level. Their repair item at and charge at percentage can be set here.



Individual priorities for each job type can be set by clicking the Priorities button in this panel.



By default workers are assigned to do all job types, with top priority being emergency, followed by build, repair then haul. Job priority for each worker can be set by left or right clicking (higher/lower), with a lower number giving a higher priority. Setting to no number (greyed out) stops the worker from doing this job type.

Research
There are several items in the tech tree to unlock via the the research menu. They are unlocked instantly, if you have available credits.


There are two types of unlocks.

Build Items
The armoury, cannon turret and fuel cell once unlocked are then selectable from the build menu.

Upgrades
Droid battery - Once researched, clicking on a droid allows you select the upgrade button, where if you have sufficient metal you can upgrade that droids battery.

Wall Strength - Once researched, clicking on a wall allows you to select the upgrade button, where if you have sufficient metal you can upgrade that walls strength.


Ship Comms - Trading / Repair / Visitors
The station computer trading beacon can be enabled to show ships that you allow docking for trade or repair. This can be enabled via the station computer or via the comms window. Once on traders can visit from time to time. Resources can be bought and sold with your available credits. You can also repair ships if damaged for credits, if you have an empty repair bay and enough metal to repair. Additional tourists can now visit your station, and you can earn credits via the Visitor Charges window (top right button in comms window).

The communications window allows you to assign permission to ships to allow them to dock for trading / disembark / repair. You can also dismiss them from here so they leave your station area.



Trading
When a ship is docked with trade permission you can click on the trade icon (comms window/ship info window). Here you can see your resources and what the trader has. You can only purchase what you can afford, so you will probably have to sell, before you can buy (or trade resources so you earn credits from the deal). Human workers can also be hired if you have a life support operational (and crew quarters / food supply).



Repair
When a ship is docked with repair permission, if that ship is damaged you can click on the repair icon (comms window/ship info window). The option is available if the ship wants repair, you have a free repair bay in range and have sufficient metal for the repair.

Disembark
When a ship is docked with disembark permission, visitors may leave the trader and visit your station. They will use you recreation facilities (currently canteen and jukebox) and eat/heal/sleep if needed. You can earn fees from these via the Visitor Charges board. Visitors will leave if they spend all their credits, or you remove disembark permissions.