The campaign update is looming in the not-so-distant horizon now, so let’s take a closer look at one of its key ingredients: outposts.
Once the campaign update is released, outposts will come in many shapes and sizes, can be properly entered and introduce new kinds of events and NPCs. One could argue they’re the single biggest functional change Barotrauma is going to see during its Early Access period, so we’re both excited and terrified to be so close to releasing them (as minimum viable versions, first, but still!).
Enter physical outposts
As we’ve teased so many times, the campaign menu that we all know and are thoroughly tired of will soon be no more. In its place, you’ll find shiny new physical locations that you can enter, move about in, and exit again to continue your adventure.
The outposts are procedurally generated from rooms, or rather modules, made with the submarine editor. Besides being the way we do things, this is also an open invitation for you to make your very own outposts. And don’t worry: if you’ve already made stations of your own, you will still be able to use those following the campaign update.
So, we’ve got rooms. What now? Time to talk to NPCs to get missions, buy and sell stuff, poke around and generally enjoy your newfound square footage! We don’t want to spoil too much, but besides expanding on the walkable area available in the game, the outposts are designed to offer you new opportunities to express, immerse and perhaps incriminate yourself.
Besides new NPCs, physical outposts will introduce new kinds of events. We’ll let you find out more for yourself when the time comes, but for now, let’s say we’re expanding on the whole concept of ‘event’ with this update. Where events in Barotrauma have been very simple and with very few options for customization until now, the expanded event system we’re building makes it possible to create very complex, multi-step, branching scripted events. These can be used during missions too, not just in the outposts, so they should help both us and our modders make missions a lot more interesting, going forward.
Outpost types and evolution
Besides giving you a place to take your crew for a walk, replacing the campaign menu with actual outposts is finally going to do justice to the different outpost types that we have in the game.
Different outposts offer different goods and services – from NPC crew you can hire to materials you can buy – and depending on your actions in their vicinity, outposts may evolve over time. In other words, that humble little outpost you visited a few days ago might be a prison now, or perhaps a thriving colony, or even a nest of mudraptors spreading danger and difficulty in the neighborhood.
Location evolution makes each campaign map truly unique, as the map is shaped by the things that take place in it. Your actions impact this evolution, so if you want to foster habitation in an area, be good to that area! All of this is in the game even now, but it’s barely noticeable; with the campaign update, the different outposts are going to look and feel different, and the new events included in the update may also figure into location evolution.
That’s all this time
The campaign update will contain much besides outposts too, and we’ll write more about the other new features and content in the weeks leading up to the release. For now, the ETA for the campaign update is “this summer” – before that, there’s a minor update in the works that includes fixes and molochs!
We’ve also got some new gameplay material that we recorded a few weeks ago – many thanks to the esteemed crew who joined us for the session: Admiral Rivvion, Caith of the Loki, Jerry, Kaillera, Perald Baxter and Udrakan. Take a look and have a nice weekend, everyone!