As your orbital outposts become larger, you’ll find that you need to spend more funds in order to keep everything running smoothly. If during the early stages of the game you opted for a space station design that favours the generation of research points, you can either invest in industrial R&D modules so that you can license the technologies later on or setup a group of manufacturing modules so that can you can sell commercial goods after ferrying them down to Earth. Both options are valid, but the downside is that it takes a non-trivial amount of time to set them up before they start providing financial rewards.
In order to work around this issue and give players more freedom when it comes to their designs, Space Station Designer provides a mechanism for leasing modules to private entities for a certain amount of time in exchange for funds. Unlike production lines, there are no proximity restrictions when selecting modules for leasing.
In order to start the leasing process, players need to select the “modules leasing” button, which is located in the right hand side of the orbital outpost screen:
This will open a screen featuring the modules leasing slots. If this is the first time this screen is accessed, all three slots will be empty and available for selection.
Clicking in one of the slots will start the leasing selection process. In this example, we’re going to select the slot in the middle:
During this process, players are informed about the rules when it comes to selecting modules:
After closing the information dialog, they can start selecting as many modules as they want:
Once they are satisfied with their selection, they need to press the confirmation button in order to move to the next step in the process. In this example, we’ve selected four modules:
Players will then be presented with three leasing options featuring different durations, upfront and end payments. They are all lucrative in their own ways, but players will need to carefully evaluate which option suits them better depending on their immediate needs for funds (upfront payment) and the amount of time they are willing to lend their modules (contract duration):
Once they have selected a leasing option, the originally selected slot will be updated in order to reflect this information. Players can then access this screen anytime in order to get an overview of their current leasing contracts and/or setup a new contract.
As you can see from the placeholder values in the screenshot, we still need to perform the balancing of this feature. But we expect that players who are constantly leasing most of their modules shouldn’t be able to obtain significantly higher rewards than those who adopt a different approach. In other words, we don’t want modules leasing to become the dominant strategy for maximizing income in Space Station Designer 🙂
What do you think about the idea of being able to regularly lease some of your space station modules? We’d be happy to take your feedback via the comments, the contact form in the ‘Space Station Designer’ webpage or twitter! We’re still working hard on the first version of the game and we’ll be sharing a new closed alpha with our mailing list soon, so if you’re interested in being able to play it as soon as it becomes available, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter (and don’t worry about spam, we only send a single e-mail per month).