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A proper functional Airlock building


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Hello everyone. I've started playing this game relatively recently, a month or so ago, and as a long time fan of Don't Starve I'm also in love with this survival take from Klei as well.

But immediately the one thing that irked me endlessly was how I couldn't reliably prevent gas from moving between rooms. And don't say waterlocks, I don't want waterlocks. Main reason being because there is no such thing as a waterlock. It's counter-intuitive, and breaks the realism that I so much enjoy in this game.

So the simplest solution I could think of is a super strong pump that can empty up to 4 tiles of air to a complete vacuum within seconds. Having this, I could easily make an automated airlock that would serve the purpose, however as it stands now, the current pumps can't possibly create a vacuum state in an acceptable amount of time. However, having this super-strong pump would impact the game balance, as it would require either high power to discourage use in other situations making gas transfer too easy, or some other flaw.

This is why I believe having a dedicated airlock building that does this super-pump function only to the enclosed space of said building. I have attached an image of this.

The total power consumption could be 480 Watts, consuming only while the building is operating of course. I've included doors as part of the building, but they can also be separate , and the building would only be the 3x2 blue area instead.

The way it would work is simple, If the building was entered from the left/right door, then upon closing the door with the duplicant(s) inside, the building would suck out all of the gasses to a vacuum (for say 3 seconds) and send it through the output pipe to the left/right side. From here, you may send these gasses back to their respected areas, or wherever you like. This process would repeat whenever there is gas on the inside of the room, even when no duplicants are inside to prevent the gas from one duplicant exiting entering the room from another duplicant entering from another side. Some automation options should also be available as a bonus, such as to not activate the airlock at all if it contains only oxygen.

 

Airlock.jpg

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Have you actually tried using the existing pumps for airlocks? Because it turns out they’re good enough. A door / pump / door setup does the job, and doesn’t leak gas, even with lots of traffic.

What generally happens is that 3 of the 4 tiles get emptied within 2 seconds, and the 4th tile slowly transfer air to the adjacent tiles. However, the fact that the 4th tile is not a vacuum isn’t important. The only place the air can go is into the pump.

When the door opens that 4th tile is only exposed to the same kind of gas, so again no problem. If it hasn’t achieved vacuum yet, you’re only adding a few grams to the air that will be in the tile. Often milligrams.

In some ways minipumps are actually better, because you can cover all 4 tiles. It takes a minipump about 4 seconds to empty its tiles, but after 4 seconds all 4 tiles are vacuum.

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Honestly I didn't actually try, but only because from previous experience those miligrams always remain when I've tried draining any room of gas. And as far as I know, one tile can always be occupied by only 1 type of gas regardless of its density, so if it were to sneak into my base in micrograms it would annoy me.

Are you sure this wouldn't happen in a setup like this? I'll give it a shot then.

Edit: It especially annoys me when it makes it's way into my plant growth area, and randomly stops plants from growing for a couple of seconds at a time due to pressure.

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I’ve run nothing but pump-based airlocks in a colony that’s over 1300 cycles old. They work.

It takes quite a while for a tile to reach vacuum unless it’s actively pumped, since it only moves 10% of its mass to adjacent tiles each second, and it doesn’t go to vacuum until it drops below 1 microgram. However, that one tile is unimportant because it can’t go anywhere. On one side is the same kind of gas, and on the other is a tile affected by the gas pump.

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My typical airlock has no automation at all, just two doors, a 2x2 room, and a pump. If the airlock separates two gasses, I'll put a gas filter outside the airlock so the gasses go to the correct side. I also use high-pressure vents (when available) so the pump won't get backed up.

If you really want automation, you can use checkpoints, like so:

5cb8d9fee0e49_AirlockCheckpoint.jpg.09960656c23a8df8be1ed08e580d9570.jpg

Basically, what you're seeing is checkpoints preventing Dupes from entering the airlock until it's pumped out a certain amount of air. Checkpoints work far better than locking the doors, because they don't interfere with pathfinding. A Dupe who wants to pass will patiently wait for the airlock to pump out gas.

You can set it to zero if you want to insist on a vacuum. Since the "resting state" of the airlock is a vacuum, the first Dupe can go right through. It's later Dupes who might be delayed, or the Dupe might be delayed exiting. Which is potentially bad, of course, if one side is unbreathable and you're not providing atmo suits.

The checkpoints can't be adjacent to the doors. If they are, a Dupe waiting at the checkpoint will open the door and keep it open.

I did the above checkpoint setup just to see how it would work. In practice I don't bother because it hasn't been necessary.

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Solution 1: VISCO GEL

Solution 2: Make a 2x3 airlock room with 1 pump and 1 atmo sensor. Set the pump to go until the pressure gets to very low.

 

I never used water locks either, I'm not a dirty cheater. :p

 

Edit: someone already posted that solution. Oh well no regrets/yolo/whatever

One thing to note though, is that high pressure zones will always move into low pressure zones, so it doesn't need to be a vacuum. If it's much lower pressure than the other side, the gasses will never escape.

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