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