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The Labs - beyond the Skew?

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I am having a bunch of fun with the Skewed asteroid and I realized that one of the things that keeps me coming back are interesting challenges and differences in play.  Having them directly in the game as extra ways to play, extra reasons to start a new base and new challenges sounds great.  To that end I wanted to start a thread about fun ideas that push a different play style in at least part of the run.  Also note that a bunch of these are Mods (many that I have played)... but I know that mods can show up in the base game when they are really good :-) (Pliers!!!).  My goal is to think of not just "harder" but encourage different play styles (and not deadly... I love my dupes too much).  In each case I am thinking of a single curated map... not full random generation.  Possibly one released with each update... so full random generation and edge case strangeness is not required.

<Name> - <Brief Description> - <Play section modified> - More words

Doable or done (either currently a mod or something that I think is small-ish changes):

  • Mini-base - as on the tin... a very small base - full game - The ur-mod which forces careful planning and minimal designs... this itch is also scratched by Spaced Out rocketry but still pretty awesome.
  • Super cold - most of the map just above liquid O temperatures - early/mid game -  I forget the mod name but had a bunch of fun trying to figure out how to build and grow in the early game with little to no liquid water.  The cold does not kill directly so really fun way to change up build orders but once you get a warm-ish core base it becomes if anything a slightly easy end game as you have huge cold sinks.
  • Tiny biomes - lots of small biomes - early/mid - as above might change build order and push for some interesting choices.  Doubly so if there are Baator style "traps" that you have to be careful to use correctly.
  • Gravitas office complex - tons of gravitas buildings / furniture / junk - early / mid - Would be an interesting start to scavenge as much as dig.  Trying to just co-op and use vs. full build

Medium (probably requires underlying code change but does not seem crazy):

  • Abyssal-heavy - abyssalite is really hard to dig - full game - As far as I know this is just something people (myself included) do for fun... try to mine as little abyssalite as possible and have a base organically conform to the boundaries.  My rule of thumb when I play is assume 20 dupe days per abyssalite dig... not impossible but not something to do lightly... trying to find natural breaks, looking for thin spots... it has a fun and challenge of it's own
  • Slow science - not more materials but much slower science - early/mid game - Current meta is to take a really good researcher and just knock out the whole tree by cycle 100.  What if you really had to choose?  Something like a cooldown or just more time cost to researching.  This one is a bit iffy since it is possibly just "harder" and might not force the interesting choices I am thinking.
  • Moody Dupes - Random overjoyed / stress reaction initiation - whole game - Morale effects the odds of reactions but nothing is for sure... this might just be too Rim-World-y but the way I play I have never even seen a dupe break and it would be "interesting" to have to deal with the fallout or care in dupe selection what the stress response is.

Really hard (probably not going to happen, but fun to think about):

  • Artist (Foodie, Physician...) colony - early/mid -  morale gain skewed and decays somehow to push play in a direction.  Decor hugely important but paintings / artworks fade like stickers do so need contestant refreshing to keep dupes happy. Or everyone is mildly sick all the time and only Dr.'s help can keep them running right so you need a bunch of Dr's and hospitals.  Or each dupe has a daily desired food randomly chosen and gets big (lvl 5 food) for getting it and terrible if it's not what they want.  Would require having a huge and varied farm system.
  • Weird buildings - whole game - What if the buildings we know and love were 2x the size? What about different sizes? Even crazier how about tetris style odd shapes? This would force some creative changes instead of the tried and true standard builds
  • Super Dupes - Science to up stats - late - Want to go beyond 20 in a skill... an exponential growth of science is required to up a skill maximum.  Makes the science buildings "useful" even late game and would be an extra goal (100 strength mega-Meep).
  • Different science - not just dirt and water - early/mid - What if certain parts of the tech tree needed different raw materials to progress instead of just dirt?  Need automation -> ores -> metals; advanced ventilation -> pump in gasses (normal -> exotic... rock gas for final tier?)

I know there are tons of other great ideas out there and would like to hear any you all have.  Double internet points for the easy changes that really push different play (without just upping difficulty / pain).




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A couple of these are already possible if you learn how to fiddle with the worldgen .yaml files. There is a TON of potential there.


It’s actually quite easy, there are some guides out there that can help you get started. Though, if Klei were to implement some kind of intuitive worldgen editor it would be much easier. Perhaps we could even be allowed to share our creations in The Labs :)

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