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Bribes for more Duplicants; discouraging low-pop builds.

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 The implicit benefit of more dupes is more labor, but I'm seeing mention of low-population builds as a solution to the game's entropic problems. With less food to farm and less oxygen to generate, keeping 6-8 dupes allows you overcome the game's challenge by taking it slowly. It's effective, but it feels contrary to the game's spirit, and it should likely be addressed early on in the development process rather than later when it might be more entrenched in the consciousness of the playerbase.

In that vein, why not make the acquisition of a Duplicant come with a short-term bribe or "band-aid"? An immediate benefit to temporarily offset the long-term problem of having another mouth to feed. These benefits could be based on the Dupe's profession, thereby allowing you to choose which one you want, and could also scale to the Dupe's level, making it more tempting to take high-skill/high-maintenance Dupes for their immediate reward.

This could come in two forms; temporary buffs and material bribes.

The "New Friend" buff is a good example of the former, though it doesn't have a noticable effect on base morale most of the time. Other forms of temporary buffs could include;

-Artist: Super New Friend - Increased stress reduction on spawn.

-Runner/Bodybuilder: Pep Talk - All Duplicants get a run speed/Strength bonus for 0.X cycles.

-Architect: Project Management - All Duplicants get a build speed bonus for 0.X cycles.

For the latter, rewards of non-renewable or difficult-to-renew materials would be approprately enticing. For example:

-Scientist: Biological Sample - Brings X Algae on spawn.

-Miner: Look What I Found! - Brings X Sand or Coal on spawn.

-Tinkerer: Spare Parts - Brings X Metal on spawn.

-Chef: Snacktime! - Brings X Meat or Emergency Rations on spawn.

-Doctor: Prescription - Brings X Placebo / Medicine on spawn.

Obviously, you could mix and match these, de-couple some of them from professions, add more passive temporary buffs like Research from Scientists or Digging from Miners, et cetera... but whatever form it takes, it'd be a way to encourage and reward the acquisition of new Dupes.


A second option is to gate certain gameplay elements to certain numbers of Duplicants, or otherwise make it implicitly beneficial to have more Dupes on hand. An example would be hostile enemies that might besiege your base or otherwise start spawning to cause trouble; have them aooear at a certain number of Cycles, but beat that event back with each new Duplicant added. If the timer is unaffected by your choice to spawn/not spawn more Dupes, then you'll still want to consider having more to fight this event off, rather than cleaving to the bare-bones crew that can optimally survive the food/oxygen challenge.


What do you think? Is the low-population build approach a problem, and if so, does this sound like a good solution?

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Personally, in games like this I just tend to like managing less people. It's not always about what is the most effective, in both this and RImworld I never want to build really huge colonies, because i prefer a smaller setup in general. Some people love the huge thriving colonies though. I don't think people should be forced or feel inclined to NEED to match certain numbers or be at a disadvantage because of it. 

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All those "bring X on spawn" suggestions have a serious problem. If it's generous enough to be worth it, then people who like lower pop counts (e.g. me) will just let them spawn and then let them starve to death. That's even worse, game spirit wise, than just turning off printing.

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