Log 4 – The Martian Habitat : The Tile System

Hi Colonists!

Today we are starting a new theme: the habitat, one of Rokh’s main feature. Building a strong habitat to survive the fierce conditions of Mars will be a key activity in your experience, along with harvesting, crafting, cooperating or fighting.

Most survival games start with a good old deforestation followed by a wood cabin construction. In Rokh, your place will not be made from any organic material obviously. It has been a first great game design challenge for us to find out of what your base will be made.  Some research on Mars geology have actually proven that you’ll be able to craft the element for your base with Martian mineral resources.

Keep your character alive in Rokh will be a difficult challenge, and having a great base will ease this task. First thing is to have an enclosed space to generate a pressurized living system with oxygen, and livable temperature. But also to defend yourself.

Because of this constraint and also because we wanted an easy to use construction system, let us introduce you… THE PANEL TILE!

The tile will serves as floor, wall, and ceiling.

Prototype version of our panel tile. Hidden socket in the center.

The Panel Tile

The Panel Tile is the atomic unit of the habitat building. You can use it for everything: floor, ceiling and wall. Being the elemental parts of every habitat, you will quickly use it to create an enclosed space, first step for survival!

But the tile is not only a protection barrier from Mars deadly environment, it’s also quite versa…tile! Each tile will be a hub for all survival devices related to your habitat. Each tile’s side contains a central socket and 4 directional slots for pipes and wires.

The Tile System

You will able to plug your devices in the main socket (lights, power generator, solar panels, pump, atmospheric water reclaimer, water driller, water tank, oxygen tank, batteries, armor… and many more), and link them with electronic circuit to carry energy they require to work, but also pipes combinations to carry liquid or gases if need be.

Of course, because each tile has two sides, some socketed items will interact with the socketed item on the other side of the panel (e.g. an electrical outlet connects exterior of the base to interior, input and output pipe flows).

Tiles without plugged devices, with wires and with pipes.

On the left tiles without socketed items. In the middle, tiles with an electronic circuit, lights and power generator socketed. On the right, tiles with pipes combinations.

To summarize, in addition to being your basic unit to build your habitat structure, the tile system will help you create complex electronic circuit or liquid & gases flows throughout your habitat connected to your survival devices.

You’ll be able to hide pipes combinations & wires circuits, connect outside and inside devices, redirect electricity from solar panels to batteries, or stock in tanks water & gases extracted from the environment. Better than a wood cabin, right?

Designing the tile

In the screenshots above, you can see the tile in its prototype state. Even if it allows players to clearly see the wires and the pipes, making it easier to build circuit and pipes combinations, we think it has a too much metallic/gothic aspect. Kind of reminds us of Blade Runner buildings. As Rokh is supposed to occur in a pretty near future, we want something more high tech and lighter, with a composite material aspect. You can see here our first draft of new style of tiles, with socket in the center and inputs & outputs for wires and pipes.

Concept design for our tile style

Concept design for our tile style

 

We’ve prefered the one on the right, with the round handle to open the socket. This design allows a better visualization of the component it will contain. Here are some more polished concept designs:

The tile style we've selected with plugged devices.

Concept design of tiles with pipes and wires. On the left a light is socketed on the tile.

 

Stay tuned for the final, 3D and textured version!

What’s coming up next?

Our next article will pursue the habitat theme: we’ll present you some complex interactions possible when you have a more advanced habitat. All survival devices can be connected together to help you survive on the Red Planet.

Follow us on our social channels to have our latest news, and if you have any questions, post them in comments, it will be a pleasure for us to answer them in our next Community Questions video.

Have a great day Colonists!

ROKH DEV TEAM