Space Engineers Survival Challenge: Part 4

I’ve set myself a challenge, playing the PC game Space Engineers in ‘survival mode’. Stranded alone on an unpopulated planet, I must struggle to survive and escape my isolation using only my wits and the resources to hand.

If you missed the previous episode in this series, you can catch up here.

Day 5

Dear Diary,

Tonight I am a happy man. An exhausted man, but a happy man nonetheless. As I write this, I’m sitting on the roof of my lander hut enjoying a beautiful sunset and watching my new turret pick off incoming meteors.

It’s a soothing sight, and I find the gentle rat-tat-tat of the gatling gun rather comforting.

Yesterday I set off to explore the surrounding desert scrub in search of magnesium ore and other useful minerals. I’ll admit that things didn’t go quite to plan. I got about 1,000 meters away from here when I discovered a boulder rich in nickel. I stopped to mark the coordinates on my HUD, but as I did so I braked and turned too sharply, flipping my solar-powered car onto it’s back.

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I spent the rest of the day trying to get the vehicle back onto its wheels, building scaffolding, rotor arms, gyroscopes, you name it. It honestly would have been easier just to build another car!

The rescue of Skeleton Bob went on through the night and into the early hours of the morning. Eventually I succeeded using a series of piston blocks to jack the car up bit by bit.

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It rolled over, bounced around for a while, and landed upside down again.

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This morning was very productive, however. I scouted the immediate area and found more boulders containing iron, silicon, silver, and the magnesium I’d set out in search of.

I also detected large deposits of gold and iron sitting relatively close to the surface. That was over at the base of the mesa in a spot I’ve christened ‘The Hillocks’. I’ve marked the coordinated for future reference.

And so I returned with large quantities of magnesium and used it to create ammunition for my re-built turret. It’s a good thing too; the base had taken another hit while I’d been away.

Tomorrow I’ll add some extra storage compartments to Skeleton Bob and repeat the same circuit, collecting nickel, silicon, and iron.

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I now have electricity, a good supply of uranium fuel, safety from falling sky-rocks, and an evening light show. What more could a guy ask for?

A better car maybe? A garage to park it in? A more efficient way to mine resources?

Who am I kidding – I’m a space engineer, I’ll never be satisfied!

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Day 6

Last night I dreamt I was visited by Finagle’s ghost. The ghoul rattled broken chains and reminded me of Finagles law – “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” I was woken from my slumber by the sound of explosions all around me. My shelter was being pummelled by meteors once again.

Clearly one turret isn’t enough, so I’ve built a second to see if that helps. I don’t expect the targeting computer to have a 100% hit rate, but this is getting ridiculous!

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Oh, and I’ve constructed a new cargo container underneath the lander so that I don’t have to keep running up the ramp every time I need building materials. It’s connected to the conveyor network, so I can retrieve items from any other inventory. I can also control my refinery and assembler from this terminal, which is pretty nifty.

More steel plating please. Thankyou.

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That was a close one!

Pretty soon the ground beneath my base will be completely eroded. I’m reminded of that old proverb – the one about the man who builds his house on sand.

  • What’s eroding the sand?

    • Meteor impacts!

    • Isn’t sand the end product of erosion? An Meteors erode the sand…Wow that game sure needs some basic science consulting…Do they even know what meteors are? Big ones ruin your day and everyone elses around…and might even “erode” sand into magma , little ones that are not burned up by the Air friction are not capable of “eroding sand”

      • A bit nitpicky. Erode was my creative choice of wording, nothing to do with the devs. Frequent impacts have left so many craters that the ground beneath the base is starting to look like swiss cheese.
        The sand isn’t eroding, but the landscape is. In fact it’s not really sand, just solid beige ground.
        I do wish they’d burn up in the atmosphere. It’s really strange that they don’t. Basically the same meteor mechanic is being used in the atmosphere as in space (basically random spawning near your base) since it’s one huge seamless map. In space it makes sense as micro-meteors, but on the ground it’s just annoying. Maybe they’ll fix it in the next update if we complain enough (the devs are good like that, and the game is in “continuous development”).

  • Would an underground base be easier..Meteor impacts…If you can destroy meteors with a Gatling gun..those rocks can’t be that big..or why they always hit your house. Either the entire lanet is under constant meteor shower activity or your house is targeted a) the game is not very logical or b) someone is dropping them on you? Again why not tunnel underground ?

    • I was thinking moving underground might be a good option, but the meteors are making some pretty big deep holes in the ground, and the ground can’t be repaired. Digging deep into the mountainside would be awesome though (I actually say that in the next episode, when I go exploring).
      The problem is creating the tunnelling equipment. I’ve just made a mining ship (which you’ll see soon), but it’s more of an open-cast mining ship. Maybe a straight down tunneller would be better, so I could build a base in the resulting caves. Another option is to move into a canyon.

    • The meteors only spawn near my base, and they’re definitely targeting it. They fall in quite a wide radius around the base, but they only do impact damage when they hit a block or the ground nearby.
      I’ve read that building a second base as a decoy could work, so that the meteor showers get shared between them.