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Early Game Base Layout Advice/Tips?


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As I make it to mid-game, I always run into the same problems... space.

Starting out, I tend to build everything pretty close together (with space between for good airflow and ladders/firepoles) because I always struggle with air in the early game. Which leads to me repeatedly demolishing and re-building parts of my base as I expand.

Any advice or tips? What layout techniques do you use?

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Check out the maximum room sizes: https://oxygennotincluded.gamepedia.com/Room_Overlay

You basically need two types: 16x4 (64) and 24x4 (96)

So you can build one two columns with 64 tile rooms and one with 96 tile rooms. The latter mostly for ranches and farms. That way you can change rooms and move them around, but the basic layout stays mostly the same

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35 minutes ago, Steve8 said:

Check out the maximum room sizes: https://oxygennotincluded.gamepedia.com/Room_Overlay

You basically need two types: 16x4 (64) and 24x4 (96)

So you can build one two columns with 64 tile rooms and one with 96 tile rooms. The latter mostly for ranches and farms. That way you can change rooms and move them around, but the basic layout stays mostly the same

The best methods are usually the simplest. hahah I usually don't pay attention to room sizes, unless I'm building something specific. That's gotta change.

What about planning for firepoles/transit tubes and such? And, is it better to have a mix of ways to move around, or focus on one?

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Alternatively, if you hate the way 24x4 rooms look, 16x6 rooms are also 96 tiles in total. They're a bit harder to dig out, but they look better (to my eyes) and are easier to integrate into a symmetrical base without interrupting your ladder shafts.

Speaking of ladder shafts, I tend to make my major vertical throughway's 5 tiles wide: three tiles for ladder, pole and tube plus two extra 'ledge' tiles outside your rooms for oxygen diffusers, deodorizers, statues, wild plants (for the nature reserve bonus), or whatever else you need at the time. I'm also considering increasing it to a whopping 9 tiles for my next base so I can plant wild arbor tree's all the way up and down my main shaft.

In the long term you'll rarely regret setting aside more space than you think you'll need.

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2 hours ago, Steve8 said:

I like to leave three tiles between room columns. That leaves space for a ladder in the middle, plus fire pole and transit tube on the sides. You can get by with two if you don't have tubes. Three is also good for airflow.

That's the method I'm thinking of using... and it's easy enough to just put mesh tiles in that third spot, where you could put decor items, or other utilities, until you have tubes.

33 minutes ago, QuQuasar said:

Alternatively, if you hate the way 24x4 rooms look, 16x6 rooms are also 96 tiles in total. They're a bit harder to dig out, but they look better (to my eyes) and are easier to integrate into a symmetrical base without interrupting your ladder shafts.

I was wondering about that... Because you want to take advantage of space above stations/buildings, etc. to add items to boost decor. (aaand there's also some machines or stations that are 6 tiles tall (and then there's the Wind Tunnel which is 5x6). So, I suppose a good mix of both 24x4 and 16x6 rooms is the way to go.



So, is it best to dig EVERYTHING, and have nothing but the rectangle grid rooms for the base.... or, do you want to spread it out a bit (for example, rooms that could cause temperature problems because of equipment in it)?

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6 minutes ago, CrutchPunk said:

you want to take advantage of space above stations/buildings, etc. to add items to boost decor. 

You can use glass/diamond floors for that later on

 or, do you want to spread it out a bit (for example, rooms that could cause temperature problems because of equipment in it)?

At first you can put some industrial stuff into your base. Later on you can give it its own insulated and cooled area. But there are many ways to do things

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1 hour ago, CrutchPunk said:

So, is it best to dig EVERYTHING, and have nothing but the rectangle grid rooms for the base....

That's usually what ends up happening in my bases. But early on it's usually a good idea to leave as much of the starting biome terrain intact as you can. The reason is heat management. Undug tiles have a lot of thermal mass and you lose half of that when you dig them up.

Leaving much of the temperate starting biome tiles intact will greatly delay the time when you need to start worrying about heat.

I just dig my rectangular rooms out as I need them, until I have a aquatuner/steam turbine cooling solution up. At which point you can just start destroying everything.

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2 hours ago, ghkbrew said:

Leaving much of the temperate starting biome tiles intact will greatly delay the time when you need to start worrying about heat.

I note that tiles improve movement speed by 50%.

Might it not be the case that a 50% reduction in "Long commute" means your dupes work faster which means you get to active cooling faster which means the loss of thermal mass doesn't actually matter?

4 hours ago, Yunru said:

As a general rule, I tend to have a 4 high room, then a 2 high maintenance shaft, then repeat.

Horizontally, I do [4x24 room], [3 wide vertical shaft], [4x5 maintenance alcove], [4x24 room]

The maintenance alcoves contain whatever doodads I need: transformers, gas pumps, gas/liquid locks, algae diffusers, tube stations, dispensers, whatever.

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9 hours ago, CrutchPunk said:

Any advice or tips? What layout techniques do you use?

Here's an old pic of a layout design I use for most of my base builds and expand using the same pattern keeping everything cemeterial

I always start with the printing pod as the center building a 16X4 room around it and from there build more 16X4 rooms with 2 tile gaps (horizontal for storage and vertical for ladders/fire poles)

20201129233834_1.thumb.jpg.83a2d7de44b1e02dc44c27cb7164f4e3.jpg20201129234129_1.thumb.jpg.2358763c7404c0da75f5b2d4f310aafd.jpg

eventually I make alterations to the pattern to fit unique builds like bathroom loops or algae farms

I try to keep the base sealed in until I'm ready to make exosuits and explore outside my base without having to expand oxygen production

0000000000000000000000000000000000001.thumb.png.74b3d34e8b6de0980ee8f3fa7df472af.png

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1 hour ago, Tsabo said:

I note that tiles improve movement speed by 50%.

Might it not be the case that a 50% reduction in "Long commute" means your dupes work faster which means you get to active cooling faster which means the loss of thermal mass doesn't actually matter?

I think it's reasonable replace the floors in your rooms with tiles from the very beginning. I was mostly trying to discourage indiscriminately digging up the entire biome.

But even assuming 50% increase in speed will get you active cooling 50% faster. Digging up natural tiles will decrease your "insulation" by a lot more than 50%. Usually you'll be replacing a 1800kg tile of rock with either 1-2kg of gas or a 200kg tile.

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1 hour ago, ghkbrew said:

But even assuming 50% increase in speed will get you active cooling 50% faster. Digging up natural tiles will decrease your "insulation" by a lot more than 50%. Usually you'll be replacing a 1800kg tile of rock with either 1-2kg of gas or a 200kg tile.

Fair enough.

Aside from my very first few games when i didn't know what I was doing, I've never found heat to become a problem before I get active cooling, regardless of how much I mine.

...but maybe that's because I now have a sense of when it will become a problem and so that's when I get my aquatuners going.

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5 hours ago, Yunru said:

Also, the printing pod can be used to grow Bristle Berries without consuming power or generating heat. 

It's more useful I find to use the printing pod as the research base. If you have the supercomputer and research station on either side of it then it count a "lit workspace" for 15% boost in research. If you have no recreational room then dupes will also go to the printing pod instead meaning they are likely to socialise with at least the researcher and get the decor bonus from the printing pod and it's natural light at the same time.

I also despise large bases. I like to maximise every single tile in my base for maximum efficiency so the only floor in my bases that is 4 tiles high is the one with the printing pod. The rest are 3 or even 2 tiles.

Just having 3 tiles high rooms with gold metal tile floor (and ceilings since it's the floor of the next level) alone gives 225 decor. If the rooms are 4 tiles high (or more) then only the floor counts so that's just 112.5 decor.

Not that decor matters too much since you can just spam vertically placed pixel packs later on, and that's the end of that problem.

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I would say to keep the starting biome for residential/great hall/clinic/hospital as far as possible. And maybe research.

Everything else can have a satellite location. Even cooking/farming. You could for instance find a location where slime/cold/caustic biomes meet. Build a room for cooking and ingredient storage in the centre where they meet. A mushroom farm in the slime biome, a sleetwheat farm in the cold biome, and a pincha pepper farm in the caustic biome. Waterworks to get the water/polluted water to the correct termperature. Then your farmers and cooks will spend most of the day there.

The starting biome is huge if you don't try to cram everything in there. Once you have transit tubes the entire map is close by.

For me the problem with having too many rooms in the base is never space. It's ventilation and plumbing pipes which turn into a tangle.

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On 11/30/2020 at 6:00 AM, Neotuck said:

Here's an old pic of a layout design I use for most of my base builds and expand using the same pattern keeping everything cemeterial

I always start with the printing pod as the center building a 16X4 room around it and from there build more 16X4 rooms with 2 tile gaps (horizontal for storage and vertical for ladders/fire poles)

20201129233834_1.thumb.jpg.83a2d7de44b1e02dc44c27cb7164f4e3.jpg20201129234129_1.thumb.jpg.2358763c7404c0da75f5b2d4f310aafd.jpg

eventually I make alterations to the pattern to fit unique builds like bathroom loops or algae farms

I try to keep the base sealed in until I'm ready to make exosuits and explore outside my base without having to expand oxygen production

0000000000000000000000000000000000001.thumb.png.74b3d34e8b6de0980ee8f3fa7df472af.png

You should be careful not storing inside hot stuff from outside your initial biome. It can soon boil your base. I've lost some base like it.

20t of 50°C granite tends to deliver a lot of heat in an already insulated base...

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Minor adjustment to my previous post: while establishing decently-sized rooms ahead of time works perfectly fine on most maps, I've recently been playing on Oasisse with ravenous hunger. On the very highest difficulty settings, wasting time digging out more than you need will only get you murdered.

My 4-dupe starting base is absolutely tiny: a 3-wide ladder shaft surrounded by a research lab (12x4) around the printing pod, latrine (8x3) underneath, great hall (6x2, but connected to a natural cavern so I can get the great hall bonus) and barracks (8x2) on the other side of the ladder shaft. Beyond that I spam planter boxes in all the natural caverns, then set up an electrolyzer, insulated mealwood farm and hatch ranch.

Absolutely none of this is permanent, but having a small, dense base makes early game survival so much easier when you're in desperate circumstances.

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This is a nice flexibile style I've used for a long time when space isn't a concern. Standard 4x8 rooms thats easily convertible as you progress through the game. Nicely utilizes mealwood as you transition to omelettes and then further when you move to BBQ. When you're done hatch ranching you've got 3 4x8 rooms to do with as you please. (right image just an idea of mid game improvements)

early game layout.jpg

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Early Game Base Layout

I simply don't care. I know my later base will be elsewhere. There's really no reason to build your base around the pod. Actually, more often than not, I find myself repurposing the old starting base as rookie area. Sometimes I've rebuilt the base more than once... so 1st base around the pod, 2nd base next to space, 3rd one it doesn't matter.

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On 11/29/2020 at 12:03 PM, CrutchPunk said:

Any advice or tips? What layout techniques do you use?

I used to be very structured.  Lately I've been a lot more organic and simply built what I needed when I needed it.  But, here's some tips that will definitely help make life easier for you and your dupes.

  1. Keep related things close.  For example, when your dupes get done working they either run to the restroom, or they eat -- and then they do the opposite.  So having the restroom and cafeteria close together will reduce the time your dupes are running between places.
  2. Put hot things either up high or far to the side.  Put farms down low, and rooms somewhere in the middle.  This will reduce the amount of heat you'll have to deal with in your base.  If done right, you can go a year without any other cooling.
  3. Late in the early game, dig down from your base to give somewhere for the CO2 to go and you won't have to worry about your dupes waking up in the middle of the night to catch their breath.
  4. Only dig out what is necessary for what you need to do.  This does several things.  First, it reduces the amount of oxygen you'll need to fill that space -- which in turn reduces the amount of heat you're producing.  It also helps stabilize your base temperature, as the un-dug mass is very high compared to anything you can build.  Finally, its less work for your dupes, so they can do other things like research.  You'll certainly want to dig more areas out as you go, but starting off a game by digging out a large area of the starting zone will just make things difficult.
  5. While we're talking about digging... keep an eye on your debris.  They can sometimes be useful, but usually are a nuisance.  For example, if they're from a typical starter zone, they can help stabilize the heat of whatever is on the floor with them.  If they're from a hotter zone, they can overheat plants and such that are near them, or strangely raise the temperature of water flowing by them in a pipe.  Also, don't forget that dupes don't like to see debris, so it is beneficial to clean them off the floor of barracks and dining halls, and other places dupes hang out.
  6. CO2 does not transfer heat very well, and chlorine is even worse.  This can sometimes be a problem.  For example, a copper coal generator running continually may overheat in a CO2 atmosphere and will overheat in chlorine.  If you find you're having some heat issues, check to see what gasses are around your industrial equipment.   
  7. As soon as I am able to, I upgrade from outhouses and wash basins to toilets and sinks.  A nice closed-loop system is water-positive, so you'll want to find a place to sink the excess germy water.  My favorite two methods are feeding it to electrolyzers, or a couple thimble reeds.  Whatever you do.. don't let it back out into your main supply until you can get the food poising out of it.

There are probably some things I'm overlooking that help with quality of life.  If I remember anything important, I can always reply to myself later or something.  IDK.  I should stop typing and go to bed before Meep decides to get into more trouble.

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On 11/30/2020 at 12:16 AM, CrutchPunk said:

"So, is it best to dig EVERYTHING, and have nothing but the rectangle grid rooms for the base.... or, do you want to spread it out a bit (for example, rooms that could cause temperature problems because of equipment in it)?"

If you can and if you need water, then try to melt ice - By melting ice you receive 100% of fluid, instead of 50% by digging it.

So put machinery stuff near ice fields, to melt them down with the machinery heat.

In the beginning of a colony I try to seal up all heat sources like volcanos` and hot geysir`s. Once you have researched them with scientists, check what stuff they emit at which celsius temperature. If its hot stuff, seal them off from your colony as soon as possible.

I build the entire map full of ladders columns, with enough space between so that a dupe can reach any cell. Every 4-8 ladder columns also poles and a big tube system later in the game. Make sure your tube system doesn`t get too hot, to avoid the plastic melting and keep in mind that gasses and temperature travels within the entire tube system, its commonly overlooked by new players.

I also airlock a lot of zones, in case there is a big colony accident somewhere. I love big accidents and messy cleanups. :black_eyed:

Wishing you a nice weekend :bee: Cant wait to play again on the 8th !!!

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1 hour ago, KittenIsAGeek said:

As soon as I am able to, I upgrade from outhouses and wash basins to toilets and sinks.  A nice closed-loop system is water-positive, so you'll want to find a place to sink the excess germy water.  My favorite two methods are feeding it to electrolyzers, or a couple thimble reeds.  Whatever you do.. don't let it back out into your main supply until you can get the food poising out of it.

Just for some quick math a closed-loop will produce 6.7kg water positive per dupe every cycle

and a single thimble reed can consume 160kg per cycle

so for each thimble reed can support up to 23 dupes 

keep this in mind when you build your bathroom loops to prevent backups 

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