Space Engineers

Space Engineers

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Making Planetfall - Manual
By Sarekh
This is a manual for my building scenario "Making Planetfall". It provides additional information on how to play it alone or with your team mates.

This is still WIP. I will add more information based on the questions and comments you will have for the scenario.

Version 1.5
What is this?
This is an open-ended building scenario that aims to bring lore-driven tasks to your Space Engineers experience. The goal of this scenario is to layout the foundations of a colony on a newly claimed planet. You will join one of six factions, the Houses, and take a starting vehicle from the colony ship in orbit down to your designated starting zone. The colony ship will drop building tasks in the form of drop pods that contain blueprints that you are supposed to collect and build.
You will start with a small starting base, continue with faction-specific larger buildings, proceed to large public infrastructure projects and finally advance to space in order to build orbital stations and starships.
The scenario is highly customizable! You can change the settings and add mods at any given time, the scenario should still work with most of them.

Who is this for?
“Making Planetfall” can be played by up to 18 users but can be played in single player as well.
Playing this scenario in single player is absolutely doable, you will just need to adjust your playstyle slightly.
This is a scenario for the experienced Space Engineers player with survival experience. If you do not know how to save GPS coordinates or how to properly manage hydrogen fuel consumption, this scenario might not be (yet) for you.
In the vanilla experience, this scenario is also NOT combat oriented and definitely not PVP.

How to play it
The AIVR Minhera II is an Emperor Class Colonisation Ship that is in orbit around Arkhestas I. You start your briefing here, join a faction and take your faction hover craft from orbit to your designated landing zone. The Minhera II will send drop pods with projectors into your general area of operations from time to time. They are the tasks you are supposed to fulfil.


While you can stay in your designated landing zone that has guaranteed resources in the ground in order to set up operations, you are supposed to build a colony in the designated “settlement area”.
A part of the challenge is to find the drop pods in time before they run out of power, secure them and get them to their construction site without damaging them.

Every faction will have a series of building tasks that are tailored to their area of expertise. If you like to build refineries, join the House of Mizuel! If you prefer to bring power to the city, the House of Ripejut and their energy specialisation are for you.

Some of the projects are bigger and some are smaller than others, even in the same tier. This does not mean that some Houses get less work, as their later projects might turn out bigger.
This is a cooperative scenario. You are tasked with building a settlement – that means that your highly specialized facilities should be set to be accessible for everyone. If you built a refinery, other factions may use it.

There is no real goal beside the construction of the colony and all the interaction that might come along with it. However, the faction that takes on the most public and orbital contracts should be considered the most successful House of this scenario.
Factions and Contracts
There are six factions in the scenario that each have distinct building projects. They are designed to work in cooperation – a building project might very well be vital for the rest of the players and should not be hidden away.
Factions should coordinate with each other when it comes to building the settlement and it is perfectly acceptable to ask for help and trade resources with each other.

House Licoran
The oldest of the Houses – it focuses on healing, medical and civil infrastructure. If you are a part of this faction, you will build hospitals and high tech stations.

House Araim
A House focusing on logistics. You will work on transportation and communication if you are part of this faction.

House Sarekh
This House focuses on security. You will work on weapon systems and security infrastructure as part of House Sarekh.

House Ripejut
This is a House focusing on energy systems and recycling. You will construct power supply infrastructure if you are part of this faction.

House Arondel
This is a House focusing on agriculture. You will work on farms and processing infrastructure if you work for House Arondel.

House Mizuel
This is a House focusing on refineries and mining. You will work on ore processing and assembler structures if you work for this House.

public contracts
Apart from the contracts that are issued to your House, there are free public contracts that include large projects such as apartment complexes, community centres and space ports. Those projects typically will be sent down to the surface near the central settlement area and can be taken on by any faction or by multiple factions. Especially the second-tier public contracts will require more time and resources.

orbital projects
Once you have finished at least your two House contracts, you are eligible to go to orbit and take on your orbital contracts that might be space ships or space stations.
The Minhera II has an astro mining barge attached to the ventral side of the ship that you can use as well as some basic refinery and assembler capabilities. You can use that to set up a proper astro-manufacturing presence for your own House – or you wait for the orbital refinery station and the Tranquilitas mining / construction vessel to be finished and use their capabilities.
The station-projects are located at a greater distance, so building a jump-capable ship could be time-saving.

Major support grids
Emperor Class Colony Ship
The Minhera II is an Emperor Class Colony Ship with a lot of infrastructure in order to house a colonisation expedition. It is located in geostationary orbit above the settlement site and will be able to supply you with reserve hovercrafts, an astro miner and refinery and assembler capabilities for your initial space projects. All the facilities on the Minhera II that are not immediately useful for the start will be behind deactivated doors.
Do not move the Minhera II or dismantle it or change anything on the systems that is not part of the scenario as there is a great chance that the scenario will not work properly after that!
In order to get down to the surface after the hovercrafts have left, there are a number of insertion pods on the ventral side of the ship. You can activate one and then get into the pod. It will take you to the surface in roughly six minutes.

Agricola Class Hovercraft
The Agricola Class is a standard pioneering vehicle that will give you and your team a comfortable start. It has a survival kit, supplies and comes with a lot of parts that can be salvaged to speed your base-building up. It will enter the atmosphere with a hydro-sled that it will ditch automatically if it expends the fuel. The sled is recoverable to be recycled as well.
Be careful while piloting the hovercraft out of the hangar, as it can take damage on the roof or from colliding with the mag plate.
The Hovercraft has an antenna to keep you in contact with the rest of the colony effort and the Minhera II and every House hovercraft is equipped with slightly different to help you with your specific tasks.
The Agricola has an adjustable friction setting for the hoverbed that allow it to decelerate and park.

Curiositas Class Atmospheric Exploration Vessel
Docked on the surface of the Minhera II in orbit are two large ships that can help you. One of them is the Curiositas Class, an atmospheric explorer that has enough capacity to pack up your team and yourself and take you wherever you want to go on the planet. It is designed to help you identify new ore deposits quickly and set up shop there in order to expedite your construction efforts.
It can be called by either boosting your Agricola Class Hovercraft antenna to reach the Minhera II or use the repeater unit that is placed on the central settlement construction site. Up in the top of the list of the Minhera II systems, you will find the remote control for the Curiositas Class. Connect to it and press number 9 in the quickslot bar. This will undock the ship from the Minhera II. You will have to reconnect to a “Large Grid” afterwards, as unmerging with a merge block will reset the name and sever the connection momentarily. But afterwards, you can use the cameras to fly down towards your area of operations.
Remember that the Curiositas only has a hydro-sled in order to get down to the surface. Decreasing velocity during the final approach should be done via the parachutes. You can detach the hydro-sled once it is depleted to save weight.
Make sure to get yourself acquainted with the ship before using it, as it is not entirely easy to manoeuvre it down remotely. You would not want to slam it into the ground.

Saltus Class Drop Ship
The Saltus Class, a hydro-atmo hybrid that is designed to get you to the surface and back to the Minhera II. It is intended to be used to bring you back up when you want to begin your orbital projects. Remember to keep the ice supply steady and the tanks filled before ascending to orbit.
The ship is handled similarly to the Curiositas but does not have a detachable hydro-sled.
Different ways to play
Playing alone
It is perfectly fine to play this scenario alone – with one big difference! The scenario is balanced towards a group being able to tend to their drop-pods. That means that if you are one person that wants to take care of all the drop-pods and their projects, you should make sure that you find all the drop pods in time and either mark their locations or bring them in in time before their energy runs out. Typically, all the drop pods will be dropped in beacon range of their respective House landing zones, so you should be able to find them once a new tier of drop pods lands.

Playing without DLC
The blueprints and preplaced grids in this scenario almost all use DLC blocks to a varying degree. If you do not own any or only some DLC, this scenario is ABSOLUTELY PLAYABLE for you. You can activate the projectors and build non-DLC blocks instead of the DLC version of them. The only time when you would need to rearrange some blocks would be when the conveyor setting would be different, as for example with the DLC assembler or different DLC cockpits.
If you play with other that have the DLC you are missing, you could also ask them to weld something up for you.
However, YOU DO NOT NEED ANY DLC for this scenario to be downloaded and played.

Playing with mods

This scenario should work with a plethora of different mods, from new blocks to new mechanics. It has, however, not gone through extensive testing.

Mods that should be perfectly fine: block mods, peaceful modular encounters, QOL mods, speed modifier mods

Mods that could work but interfere: hostile modular encounters, block modification mods
Mods that would possibly make the scenario not work properly: mods that degrade or damage blocks, like environmental threats, re-entry heat, etc. – everything in this world is pre-placed manually and does not spawn in, so it can be damaged even if you are not around.

Mods that could potentially improve the gameplay experience: mods that add up new mechanics that would make the factions more diverse, for example the “Plant and cook” mod for the House of Arondel.
Notable parameters of the scenario
The game will start with grid clean-up disabled. This should give you more time to find drop pods even if they have run out of energy. The host can re-enable it at any given time.
The game will start with progression disabled.
The game has random encounters, economy and freight ships turned off and is not balanced against this. They can be turned on, though and should work.
The game has programmable blocks enabled but does not use any scripts at the start of the game.
Lore of the game
The Akhinnae Empire is a single-species realm that has been spacefaring for three hundred years now. Fifteen High Houses control most of the Empire’s day-to-day business and answer to the Emperor or Empress of the High House of Fayal.
The Arkhestas System is the newest system that has been chosen by the Crown to be colonised and you are a member of one of the six initial Houses that have been tasked with building the initial infrastructure.
You can find more lore about the Houses and the Empire aboard the Minhera II - speaking of that name:
Minhera II was an Empress almost 500 years ago and has the distinction of being not only the Empress with the shortest duration of reign (only 21 years) but also the one moving a large portion of the military funding towards science and education, making her still revered by scientists and scholars everywhere in the Empire. She died unexpectedly during a sailing trip with the prince consort, when a freak storm crushed her vessel. She was succeeded by her daughter, Hekhana II, that reigned for around 100 years and is famously known for bringing about the “age of stability”.

Nate Pulliam Feb 9 @ 5:43am 
Hey Sarekh. Thanks for getting back to me. I understand completely that the terrain can be troublesome sometimes. This scenario is a lot of fun and has tons of potential. Thanks so much for communicating with your fans and work to make this even better!
Sarekh  [author] Feb 9 @ 2:15am 
On your second point: I just verified you found a bug by me! I screwed up the target area for the 4th project, it flies towards an orbital construction site. Definitely grab it with admin tools and put it down into the building area. I will put this into my list of thinga to fix, thank you!

Thank you for all the help!
Sarekh  [author] Feb 9 @ 2:15am 
Hey Nate, thanks for all the feedback. As for the destroyed drop-pod: That sounds like rotten luck, I had this happen to me twice only in dozens of tests. You can either follow the instructions in the cockpit data-pad to connect to the Minhera, get yourself a drop-ship down, fly back up, get the coordinates for the transport with the backup pods and get there - that would be a completely ingame way of doing things - or you either restart and put things on non-damage via admin for a while OR you teleport yourself to the transport with the backup pods via admin. Sorry about that! I will endeavour to find a less hilly area of operations, but where the pods land is a bit of a random thing to increase replayability.
Nate Pulliam Feb 8 @ 9:48pm 
Also can you share more information on the Imperial Contracts? Like how many there are? When 4, 5 and 6 launched from the Minhera only 5 and 6 came to the ground. I tried to follow 4 using spectator cam but it just kept flying through space. It never headed down to the planet. Not sure if that is what it is supposed to do or not.
Nate Pulliam Feb 7 @ 4:49pm 
Hello again. I have tried 5 different restarts. Each time the first drop pod for House or Sarekh lands on the side of a big hill and then is destroyed as it rolls down the hill. All I find is debri. What is the process for getting a new drop pod down to the planet? I saw it somewhere but can't get what I saw to work. I get into my rover, access the terminal for the colonial ship through the k menu. Now what do I do?
Nate Pulliam Feb 6 @ 1:00pm 
Perfect! Thanks you so much!
Sarekh  [author] Feb 6 @ 12:41pm 
hey there! In the 1.5 version that is currently up, you get to the launch deck and there is a button in front of the windows before every hangar. Each button launches the respective House pods. If you want to launch all, just run up and down the hall and launch them all at your will :) Juast remember to take the landing zone coordinates for all with you so you don't have to look for them for ages on the surface.
Nate Pulliam Feb 6 @ 11:34am 
Hello there. First off thanks for making what appears to be a pretty awesome scenario. Definitely fits what I want in a playthrough. I just want to make sure that I have my mind on everything correctly. I will be playing in single player. So all of the drop pods for all houses drop at the same time? So when I notice that a drop pod has arrived for my house I can go to the other landing areas and pick up their pods as well. I am wanting to be able to build everything.
Sarekh  [author] Jan 25 @ 1:39pm 
oooooh, thanks! I will rectify this immediately
rdr22804 Jan 25 @ 1:35pm 
The issue is leaving the main faction before clicking the buttons. If I join the faction I am going to work for before I click the buttons they don't work. Maybe this will help someone else. Thanks again for a great scenario Sarekh.