In this blog post I’m going to describe the currencies available in ‘Space Station Designer’ (SSD), along with an overview of the mechanisms available throughout the game for earning them. In future entries, I’ll dive deeper and analyze the implementation details of these mechanics.
SSD features three types of currencies: ‘funds’, ‘research points’ and ‘industrial R&D points’. From these three, only ‘funds’ is the essential type of currency. Without them, players won’t be able to make much progress in the game, since all space station modules and resupply missions are acquired using this type of currency.
Players start the game with a fixed number of funds and have to ensure that the initial space station design is capable of providing at least some kind of steady revenue. From that point onwards, they can decide to go all in on a design that focuses on generating more revenue directly or go for an approach that generates the other two types of currencies. Since the demand for elements and services will be different every game, there won’t be a winning strategy, and so the player will have to adapt accordingly.
There are five different ways to earn funds:
- By selling the commercial goods produced by the ‘commercial modules’ in the market. The prices of these goods are constantly fluctuating, so they need to decide when it’s the best to sell and when it’s best to wait.
- By providing ‘space tourism’ services.
- By leasing modules to private entities: this effectively removes the leased modules from the player’s production chain for a certain number of turns but, in return, guarantees a certain income by the end of the lease period.
- By providing commercial services to industry and government.
- By selling and/or licensing industrial R&D technologies to private companies.
Alternatively, funds can be spend various ways, such as:
- Buying and installing new space station modules.
- Building facilities.
- Recruiting astronauts and sending them to advanced training.
- Acquiring new technologies from the tech tree. Notice that all technologies can be acquired by either funds only, research points only, or a combination of them.
The second type of currency are ‘research points’. Players start the game with zero and, if they want to generate more, they should deploy ‘research modules’ across their various orbital outposts and keep them functional. Research points can then be spent in order to acquire new technologies from the tech tree. Some examples of modules that generate research points are the Basic Research Facility, the Centrifuge and the Observatory.
Industrial R&D Points
The last type of currency are ‘industrial R&D points’. These points are generated by the ‘industrial R&D modules’, which are a specific family of modules. These type of points can then be used in order to acquire technologies from the ‘industrial R&D tech tree’, which is a separate tech tree from the regular one. These technologies can then be sold and/or licensed to private companies. In the thumbnails below you can see some examples, such as the Basic Large Industrial R&D Module for LEO, the Small Industrial R&D Module for HEO and the Large Industrial R&D Module for Lunar Orbit.
As I’ve mentioned above, only ‘funds’ are the essential type of currency. It will definitely be possible for players to go through the game without producing any type of research points but, depending on the situation of the market, they might be missing some lucrative financial rewards by not being able to lease research modules or licensing industrial R&D technologies to private entities.
I’ll be going through the details of the various mechanics that will allow players to earn these various currencies in future blog posts. I’m always interested in hearing your opinions, so if there’s anything you’d like to discuss, please don’t hesitate to leave a message in the comments section.