Gas what?!

2015/07/17 on Turmoil by Gamious

As announced last week, there won’t be a Turmoil update this week. We need to take a good amount of time to focus on the implementation of a new resource: natural gas! It may be interesting for you to hear what this will mean for the gameplay, so here’s an explanation.

Let’s start with a messy drawing. If it worked to get the idea across to the programmer, it might work for you as well. If not, it’s still nice to have souvenirs like this documented! :-)

ugly drawing

Experienced players are probably able to see the Left Inc. building and two rigs. Below the ground we see a big oil reservoir and a smaller gas reservoir to the bottom right of it. The three pipelines show us three scenarios of connecting to gas:

  1. You connect a rig directly to a gas reservoir. Nothing happens, really. The gas escapes under high pressure.
  2. You connect a rig to an oil reservoir, and then to a gas reservoir. This can get messy! The high pressure of the gas reservoir exerted on the oil reservoir means the oil will surface much faster than normal. If you don’t have tons of wagons waiting and ready, there will be spillage.
  3. You connect Left or Right Inc. to a gas reservoir. It’s too dangerous to transport gas above ground, so you can directly connect it with pipes to the oil companies. Money in the bank? Nope! Onno and Kyle will not award you with cash. They will help you indirectly, however. When natural gas reaches Left or Right, the oil price will temporarily go up.

We think the gameplay implications of these three scenarios will be quite varied and interesting. To name a few:

  • You can’t depend on dowsers too much anymore, as they are only able to find oil. Still a miracle of course!
  • If you don’t scan where you drill, you run the risk of inadvertently connecting to a gas reservoir. This doesn’t have to be something very negative, but you will miss out on a chance to boost oil prices.
  • Using the huge pressure of a gas reservoir can be used to your advantage. If you’re close to the end of the year, a little boost of gas can empty an oil reservoir before you run out of time. You also save money on pipe upgrades that way.
  • Being able to influence the oil price means you can better plan the moment of when to empty those filled to the brim silos. But you need to take into account the costs of piping all the way to Left or Right Inc. Will it pay off?
  • Creating a huge network of all your pipes has the advantage of only having to pay for rig upgrades only once. But the presence of gas reservoirs puts the whole system at risk.
  • Piping used to be vertically oriented, but the addition of gas will cause underground conflicts, as you need to transport gas to the left or right. You can either bypass pipes used for oil, or also use them for gas when the time is right.

All these threats and possibilities put together, will probably force the player to do more scanning and planning. Where gameplay towards the end of the year was more and more able to be played on the automatic pilot, you will now probably be working towards a climax.

The addition of natural gas will also mean that a couple of upgrades will be introduced:

  • Left and Right will need to be able to start drilling to gas. Probably a factory upgrade.
  • To not make the player completely vulnerable to ‘gas boosts’, rigs will get a ‘lockdown’ upgrade. This means you can completely shut off rigs from distributing oil. But you can also turn them back on. Reasonably priced, of course.

We’re planning to introduce gas fields after the start of area 3. A save game reset is probably not avoidable. You can expect all of these in the next upgrade of Turmoil, hopefully next week.

We hope you’re looking forward to this as much as we do. Feel free to ask questions or share ideas!