The surface of Nix, Pluto’s third satellite
Instead of terraforming, humans have found it much easier to take dispensable planets and carbonize them, by creating a molecular chain reaction that converts the entire planetary surface with a black coal-like crust. One of the effects of planetary carbonizing is the creation of an unusual liquid called cyanic methane, which settles into the lowest parts of the surface like oceans. If there is no atmosphere, the methane lingers instead like a toxic mist usually about 50 meters in depth until over years it dissipates into space; otherwise any atmosphere is converted forever into a superpoisonous envelope of cyanide and methane-laced air.
Predetermined swatches of dry land is then polished by thousands of self-replicating robots whose sole function is to prepare the surface for metallic overconstruction. Since the carbon finish is only about a meter thick, ore mining is not hindered in case the planet has materials that can draw a profit. Generally planets that are carbonized start off with one colony that branches out based on industries that are started or populations that balkanize. However, about 99% of labor is performed by specialized robots called cybernauts.
A random game always starts out with one dark bluish-gray island or islands (2048x2048) within an ocean of dark purple methane. Most of the surface has been polished and there may be methane canals already dug. The game begins with one colony, and a few industries nearby. A few primitive vehicles and vessels are immediately available, but time and technology will bring about the development of better ones. GPS dishtowers are scattered among the slopes, and lighthouses mark the edges of the landmass for marine vessels.
Generally the player starts with one colony built around a single freight port, which acts as the supply-and-demand center for the colony. Other colonies may be spawned by the player when certain conditions are met, and each colony has the advantage of adding demand to the supply side economic model, as described below. Independent industries have already been founded in various places on the island, but must have distribution in order to make money for the player.
Underlined products indicate colony generation prerequisites; a station must have these in supply before a new colony can be created by the player. Green products are automatically “produced.”
>> FUEL 1
>> CONTROL RODS
PLASMA STEEL >> MEGAPLATES
POLYPLASTICS + AQUEFLUX >> CYBERPORTS
STEEL + METHANE
STEEL + POLYPLASTICS >> MATERIEL 2
>> MAGNETURES 3
+ RESTORATIVES >> BASEBLOCKS
CYANOGEN + CONTROL RODS + MEGAPLATES + POLYPLASTICS + AQUEFLUX >> KINETO-NUCLEAR POWER 4
1 : Reduces operating expenses of all non-land transportation by 5% for every Fuel Refinery supplied
2 : Colonies’ growth is heavily influenced by the amount of Materiel it receives (zero if no Materiel is received)
3 : Track construction costs are cut by 10% for each Magneture factory supplied, to a maximum of 50%
4 : Needed to build Freightport
The Industries and their Cargo
GARBAGE COLLECTION: Garbage
Every industry and colony produces waste, and the hard reality is that this material must be handled. While in the future garbage can be degraded to viable elements within closet-sized machines, most homes cannot afford these miniplants nor have the time to handle the processed elements. However, small factories collect the waste and process these blocks en masse. Profit is minimal, but collection is easy and does not even require closed freightcars.
FERRITE QUARRY: Ferrite
Steel alloys are second only to polyplastics for construction; polyplastics degrade easily in non-gravity environments, but steel and its many versions can withstand many non-elemental forces. Iron ore, or ferrite, is still rather widely distributed among the planets, and relatively cheap to mine and process. However, since many ferrite veins are unstable, quarries are used instead of mines for extraction.
MAGMA CONDUCTION PLANT: Magma
By 3000 AD, manipulation of elements is found to be much easier when matter is in liquid state. Specifically, the metals can be atomically altered when molten, and the technology to use molten material becomes available with the invention of steel vapor, which allows iron to be controlled in a gaseous state, making it easier to develop “unmeltable” alloys. Magma as seen as the most universal molten commodity, since it is prevalent on every planet and contains every natural element. Highly usable metallic plastics called polyplastics can be drawn directly from molten lava.
HYDROGEN REFINERY: Hydrogen
Hydrogen, of course, is very common, but extracting it from composites uses A LOT of energy. But it is the fuel of choice for nearly a millenium, plus it has many other industrial uses. The initial cost of constructing a hydrogen refinery is hefty, but abundant supply pays for these costs quickly. Unfortunately, it is the most fickle economic commodity on the market.
NITROGEN DRILLING: Nitrogen
Nix is found to have pockets of nitrogen gas within its mantle, and therefore is a product specific to this moon. However, Nix's compressed nitrogen cannot be traded; it can only be used for processing on the surface, namely in the production of cyanogen.
HAFNIUM MINE: Hafnium
This rare metal is used primarily by the economies that are powered by kinetonuclear fusion, as control rods within nuclear power plants, including those of starfreighters. Hafnium mines are expensive to construct but the metal pays well on the intercorporate market.
SELENIUM MINE: Selenium
Selenium is the main agent used to produce Aqueflux, the electric wire of the future. It is rather rare and hard to acquire, usually requiring deep narrow mines that only cybros are able to work. This makes starting a mine very expensive, but the market pays high rates for this product, since Aqueflux is the only method of transmitting “electronic” data.
METHANE WELL: Cyanic Methane
Liquid methane is quite common in the moons of the solar system, but Nix’s methane is mixed with cyanide to produce cyanic methane, and is achieved mostly as a byproduct of planetary carbonization. While the substance is extremely toxic to humans, cybernauts can handle it without degradation. Nix’s methane would not bring a great profit anywhere else, so it can only be used for processing cyanogen and plasmasteel.
STEEL PLANT: Steel
Steel and its many alloys is still the age-old metal of choice even in the fourth millenium. It is cheap compared to other materials, and refining steel is still not as profitable as many other materials industries, but it definitely has a niche in the economic development of every conglomerate. A steel plant needs ferrite to process the metal, but some superplants can also produce many metal products on-site (such as the ones in this mod).
RECYCLING PLANT: Restoratives
These are the factories that oversee the collection of industrial and municipal waste and leech any usable elements from it. Most of the recycled material is turned into plastic polymers that can be used to make all manner of utensils, devices, and machines, and even building material. This recycled plastic materials are called restoratives.
FUEL REFINERY: Fuel
Almost all independently-powered land-based vehicles use a slow-fission engine for propulsion, mostly because many of them levitate to some degree or another. Hydrogen is the fuel required for these eighth-generation compression motors, since it is abundant, cheap, and functional in many different types of engines. The refineries are fairly simple in design, and require very little processing to translate plain hydrogen into a frozen block of quasi-nuclear fuel.
MAGNET TURBINE: Magnetures
Freight transportation between non-earth entities becomes so dangerous that systems are developed to tightly and automatically control the movement of any materials, whether raw or processed. Not only are cybernauts developed to oversee this simple function, but also a new type of mobility is introduced when it’s found that any moltable material can be magnetized. Further technology allows for almost all roads to be transformed into magnetic tracks, whose plates can have their polarities switched by computer, allowing freight cars to be moved like programmed trucks along the roadway. However, magnetic movement becomes so prevalent in the public and industrial sector that an entire industry is spawned to create the magnetic plates, called magnetures. Most magnetures are created with iron, so ferrite and magma are both needed in these factories.
PLASTICS FACTORY: Polyplastics
The manipulation of moltable materials at its most elemental level in magma is invented in 2980, where the use of various complex centrifuges and reagents make it possible to either extract certain elements while in its molten state, or control atomic alignment during the cooling phase. One of the easiest materials to create are called polyplastics, which have the strength of metal and the malleability of plastic, but which can be made organic (and therefore biodegradable), magnetic, transparent, lighter-than-air, or even resistant to destruction. Polyplastics replace the universality of polymer plastics, mostly because they required no petroleum and were found to be less toxic and therefore more compatible with organic tissue.
MATERIEL WAREHOUSE: Materiel, Baseblocks, Cyanogen
Materiel is another name for general goods, which is supplied to colonies in the form of clothing, utensils, medical and hygenic products, and appliances. Furthermore, inside these storage facilities are the small factories required to form baseblocks and cyanogen. Baseblocks are used as the internal foundations for many nonseismic buildings, retainer walls, and underground structures; as long as they are not subject to quakes, they provide a strong support system for most colonies and transportation lines. Cyanogen is used within the processing system of kinetonuclear power plants, replacing water as the primary coolant.
CYBERWORKS: Aqueflux, Cyberports
Cyberworks is the future name of computer manufacturing. By the end of the year 2500, Aqueflux becomes the primary means of data transfer. It uses a fluid form of fiberoptics which allows computers to process complex forms of electromagnetic frequencies (like optical light) as opposed to binary electronic pulses. This allows the introduction of cybronections, the biological interface between living organisms and computers. Humans can now literally plug into and become a part of their computers, which come to be called cyberports. Altho cyberports are technologically light years more advanced than today’s computers, AI has still not been mastered; cyberports still need to use programs to function (altho they can be infinitely more complex).
SUPERSTRUCTURE FACTORY: Megaplates
With the invention of plasmasteel, whose strength is increased by the mass of a single piece, their main use became as the enormous hulls of starships and space shuttles. However, they could only be produced on non-atmospheric, low-gravity moons like Nix. While this makes for a lucrative enterprise, these superstructure factories are inhumanly gigantic. They only require the importation of plasmasteel magma, but they must be built adjacent to a freightport to export their enormous hulls.
FREIGHT PORT: Oxygen, Colonists, Cybernauts
Freightports are mostly needed to export goods from the moon, but once built they cannot be destroyed. They are EXTREMELY expensive to create, require a LOT of space (12 square tiles), and are not even available for your construction until you can build your own starfreighters (which are also huge and expensive), many years into the game. Once they are built, colonies grow much quicker, the price of almost all constructions drop, and ratings nearly everywhere increase. Freightports allow the free flow of goods to and from the moon’s surface; colonists feel they are no longer “trapped” and industries gain a means of economic stability. Freighters also bring oxygen tanks, people, and robot workers, so these are also “generated” at freightports.
NUCLEAR CONSTRUCTION: Control Rods, PlasmaSteel, Water
These specialized factories are responsible for many of the articles that a power plant will use to generate electricity. This plant imports hafnium to make control rods, steel and methane to make plasmasteel (in molten form), and hydrogen and oxygen to create water (which is strictly used for the human colonists). The plant is quite large, and many different cargoes will be arrving and leaving this factory, so its station setup can become quite complex.
POWER PLANT: Nuclear Power
Over the next thousand years, after nuclear power becomes the primary means of power generation, both within communities as well as starships, the industry begins to use other fluids besides water to generate steam to turn its turbines, mainly because the byproducts of other elements can be used for other purposes. The new type of power generation is called kinetonuclear power (still ‘nuclear’ for short), because it is a flexible and dynamic, needs-based industry.
The Transportation Types
There are six types of transportation: Track, Monorail (rail for short), Tube (VT), Marine, Leviant, and Aerial. The first three are for land transporting, the cheapest but least efficient kind. Marine is slow but effective, leviant (or hovering) is better because of its universality, and aerial is fast but not universal.
Vehicles go between terminals that are built for their type, altho multiple terminals of that type can be blocked together.
TRACK TRANSPORT: Instead of roads, cube-shaped trucks run along magnetic tracks built in lanes between track terminals. When the trucks enter the terminal they are lowered underground, emptied, and then returned to the surface, where their computerized itinerary moves them to their next destination. Track transporting is the cheapest method but the least flexible. All trucks run the same speed, but some have higher capacities and are cheaper to buy or run. You may also buy multicar or faster lading trucks.
MONORAIL: Trains run on single rails at variable speeds but with less maneuverability. Their lading times depend on the size of the rail stations, but they can transport much more at once, as well as keep maintenance expenses low. They can intersect with magnetic tracks with no effect on speed to either system, and can use tunnels or bridges. Since they run on electricity, slopes have less of an effect on their speed.
TUBE: By far the fastest method of land transport is by vaccuum tube technology. While passengers cannot be transported via VT (due to high G motion), cargo packed for VT transport can go any distance VERY quickly. Cargo is shipped in small compartments to VT stations with no resistance or speed fluctuations. The main disadvantage (besides price) is that the tube canals cannot be intersected; they must run over or under other transportation lines.
MARINE: Traversing over seas or rivers of cyanic methane can be slow, but original costs are relatively cheap. Operation expenses are the highest with this method of transport, however (except for aerial ships). Vehicle speeds and capacities vary widely.
LEVIANT: Leviant Vehicles hover over smooth surfaces (both land and sea) between their platforms, and come in many appearances, capacities, and speeds. Some are quite small, but others use a train configuration. Like rail vehicles, their station size determines their lading times, and like aerial vehicles they are not bound to one path. However, they can only travel on smooth areas, and their speed is dictated by the slope they travel upon. It’s best to keep a clear unbroken path between its destinations.
AERIAL (Air-to-Space): Pluto's moon Nix actually has no atmosphere to speak of, so the term “aerial” is used loosely. Actually, most of these vessels travel between skyrise platforms on the surface, but some disappear for a while to go to an orbiting terminal (which is not shown). These freighters are big and bulky, VERY expensive to run and buy, and are really only worth their cost after a colony has exploded into one giant machine, many years into the simulation.
(preliminary...will be updated)
Below is the list of transport types, with data on terminal sizes, whether these vehicles are articulated (can tow trailers), cargo restrictions, effects of slopes on vehicle speed, etc
Type Tmnl Size Art? C/R Slp?
TECHNICAL AND HARD-CODE NOTES
Trak 1x1 Y none none
Monorail 1W x any L Y none .2
Tube 1x1 N psgrs none
Marine 3x1 N none none
Leviant 1L x any W N mgma .7
Aerial 12x12 N mgma none
Several modifications to the main code of Transport Tycoon Deluxe (open-source) will need to be made, as enumerated in this list.
• Besides the new actions and functions that the default vehicles will need to have, roads will need to be made into square panels which use magnetic technology to move cubic metal containers (as opposed to driveable vehicles) along its course. Since all tracks use the same speed, all the track vehicles will have the same appearance and speed (which does not need to be displayed). This may be a simple translation of the maglev system, without the train engine.
• Monorails should be easy to transfer from OpenTTD, only the graphics need to be updated.
• Trees and their growth needs to be eliminated. Instead of planting trees, patches with carbon debris can be smoothed. (The entire land surface has a black polished appearance.)
• If the capability of turning the surface perspective is implemented, then the allowance of projecting surfaces should be made. Projecting surfaces allow for two adjacent squares of differing heights to be non-sloped, so that cliff faces may be visible. If these can exist, they should be erectable by the player (altho at a high price). This changes how landscaping is done as well as tunnel and bridge construction.
• Leviant, or hovering, transports use the same ability to fly as aerial vehicles but can be impeded by ground objects. This may require adding (as opposed to altering) hard-coded functions to the program.
• Flight vessels such as space freighters and orbiter shuttles will need to disappear for a time when they go to orbiting stations off-map.
• Only one town (colony) is generated in a randomly-generated scenario, but they are produced with few tracks (roads) and with one main freight port, plus a few buildings that humans will use to work and relax. Travel is done either underground or within halltubes (remember the atmosphere is inhospitable to humans). All communication is done electronically so mail is not necessary; instead of mail, cybernauts can be tranferred between stations. All industries and colonies need these robot workers transferred.
• Like mail, every functioning structure generates garbage that must be collected. The collection of garbage and transfer of cybernauts is the most basic function of transport within this mod. While they make little money, if they are not done efficiently, the rest of the simulation becomes harder.
• While the main goal is to make money, the upkeep of human colonies must be the first priority, even though it usually is more of an expense than an income-generating process.
• The economics model is a bit more realistic but still not purely free enterprise, and subsidies still exist. An oversimplified version of needs-based economics is used to determine costs and profits, so that the more an industry needs a material to produce, the higher it will pay. This “bid” is also determined by the number of other industries of the same type on the planet, so that competition raises the price. However, all the industries are independent of the Transport company (the player), and may shut down if it can’t make money, which lowers the price the remaining industries of that type will pay for the product or service. Also the colonies use a separate economic model based instead on goods supplied, rather than goods demanded. This is because unlike industries, colonies need to grow for the purpose of administrating the planet and overseeing industrial management, and are more inclined to consume goods rather than produce them.
• Colonies use far fewer roadways and many more buildings than the current version of OpenTTD. Adjustments will need to be made to pack them in as tight as possible, centered on the freightport and outlying stations.
• Stations are highly simplified, but widely variant. All use the queuing method if spaces are filled (freighters hover until a spot opens up). Track stations are transparent depots that take in a transport cube, lower into underground on an open elevator, unload, then return the container empty in the middle of the station. Monorail terminals are covered, transparent, tube-shaped stations that are manned by cybernauts to load and unload the cars. VT terminals are simply tubes that disappear into the ground where the compartments are processed then quickly sent on their way to the next destination. Seaports use one square of shore and one square of liquid for each connecting dock, and multiple docks lead to faster lading times. (However, the ports use airlocks to protect against the outside elements.) Hoverlinks are the terminals that hovercrafts use to deliver goods, and are enclosed, oversized hangars where the vessels disappear into for lading. The largest terminals are the freight ports, which must accommodate huge starfreighters that load and unload by opening its belly into a closed environment underneath the landing pad. These freight ports have all manner of blinking lights and animated robotic labor in and around the landing pad.
The chart shows the cargoes and how the industries apply them to make transportable products. Each product needs the ones connected to it above in order to be made at its industry. For example, Steel needs Ferrite in order to be made at the Steel Plant, but is required to be transported to a Nuclear Construction factory (along with Methane) to make PlasmaSteel.