An idea to do with R&D, give feedback please

I’m away from my computer for a week and so cannot code this idea yet, but I want feedback and ideas branching off of it. I plan to expand the current R&D system with a sub-department known as the Away Team.

The Basic Idea:

A large, semi-randomly generated abandoned space station is created on a separate Z-level roundstart. The away team is sent by the science department to investigate it and see what they can salvage for materials and technology. The team would have to use a mixture of engineering skill and combat prowess to make it past all of the obstacles and hostile mobs on board to track down and locate goodies for R&D to reverse engineer.


Away Team Crew:

  • Has basic research department and cargo access.
  • Is equipped with engineering equipment, some medical supplies and a special rifle that does very low damage, but does far more to the unique mobs in the station.
  • Tasked with opening up and clearing the station of mobs.

Away Team Salvager:

  • Has access to R&D but not cargo.
  • Is equipped with a scanner that can be used to detect special data disks. These disks can be broken down with a destructive analyser to gain unique technologies.
  • Tasked with finding the data disks as well as things like special equipment on the station to be taken back and put in the destructive analyser to be reverse engineered.

Away Team Leader:

  • Has the combined access of both the previous jobs, plus limited sec access.
  • Semi head of staff, protected from antag roll.
  • Leads the team and acts as sec within the team to protect them from antagonists.

The big questions I have are:
1: Should this be a sub-department of research or a full department in its own right?
2: Should the ATC and ATS be separate roles?
3: Should the ATL be a protected role with limited sec access or just the leader?
4: I have absolutely no mob ideas. Any you have would be great, as would any item ideas.


I feel like it needs a bit of rethinking but I will talk about that later. For now I will give some answers:

Full department, since they could salvage mineral and other stuff too, not only serving the science.

Yes, ATC is for more robust people that enjoy fighting mobs.

I feel like that the away station should be chosen from a list of pre defined stations such as KC13 or the other stations that are mentioned in charlie station’s papers. Enemies can be hivebots, russian corpses, a pack of mi go and other horrors, mutated clowns etc.

I’d say keep them in science.

I’d rather merge them into one and add a medic role.

Make him like QM, no sec access and no protections.

a true use for custom shuttles maybe?


1: Since the Away Team sounds like mining but bringing tech instead of ores, it should be a direct subset of Science, like cargo is to Supply. Science should be able to research better equipment for them in exchange for their finds.

2: Miners work fine both bringing in ores and killing the monsters guarding the ores, this should be similar. The Away Team could have different sets of equipment for the different roles and a less optimal all-in-one loadout, but keep the job slots undifferentiated like in Science.

3: The ATL doesn’t need head of staff privileges, the QM has more authority and responsibility than the ATL will, and they’ll primarily be working off-station.

4: Got a theme in mind? Since this is a space station, security systems are obvious, plus whatever’s left of and whatever happened to the crew. For greater overall variety there could be different regions/minibiomes of foreign flora/fauna/terrain like xeno nests or bee hives, asteroids or overgrown botany areas.

it sounds fun
you could call them techminers


Should be a new department that is then linked with mining, removing mining from being directly under cargo. Could easily be split into 3 main categories. Lavaland Mining, Space mining, Space Salvage. Both mining groups would have access to cargo, while space salvage would have access to RnD. You could add a “head” to this group, like the Away team leader you mentioned. partially depends on if you planned on making this a space ruin that always spawns, or if you wanted them to just go to space ruins that DO spawn.

The space ruin that you mention sounds like its just a spawner. So just make it a spawner. We could use some new ones. Replace something like Hotel with this? That would be cool. But having a bunch of people who round start spawn in space? They wouldnt have access to a radio, and their chances of making it home honestly arent that high unless there is a teleporter there.

well there are many people who just go round start space explore, we could give them a small custom shuttle and actual job under science

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they could have booty loocater which would be tech locator and could locate discs or some shit


1: The grand maneuver: you make it every department. One slot per department like a proper Star Trek away team that this draws inspiration from.

  • The away team shares an :h radio channel but each member is unique in that they also have their respective department channel in their headset.

  • Away missions become something more dynamic because you can design the locations around the team members and their knowledge.

  • The engineering representative can start with the tools needed to open a welded side-room with loot. Or to fix a clipped wire preventing something from having power.

  • The scientist representative’s starting item could be a multi-function analyzer. Clicking it in your hand can change between object scanning, atmospheric analyzer function, and lifeform scanning. Object scanning is essentially the cargo tech scanner but it tells you the research point worth of whatever it scans.

  • Medical representative starts with things that deal with minor wound treatment but mostly taking tissue samples for the geneticist, virologist, and optionally xenobiologist to use.

  • Security representative’s starting weapon having a kill and stun function for fauna. The stun on this particular weapon helps for capturing things alive.

  • Supply representative is all about dosh. Captured creatures can brought to the station and sold on the cargo shuttle. They can start with a plant bag to take plant samples for botany (and by extension the chef) to use. Needs more interesting angles other than Cargo Tech: Space Edition™.

2: Separate roles! It’ll accommodate different play preferences.

4: Stealing this from Dead Space but a necromorph concept where the enemy is dealt with by de-limbing. Removing the arms will keep them from dealing damage. Removing legs will make them horizontal but still able to slowly crawl towards you to attack. They won’t die until you stomp 'em. I understand there’s already boots that let you kill by stomping.

I don’t think NPCs can be delimbed. Maybe have it be players controlling them? Gives the ghosts something to do.


Sounds cool - I would definatly play it if implimented.

In terms of mob ideas: a coil of wire that turns into a snake and attacks you, and baby space dragon, a wierd looking alien that hops around very fast but attacks very slowly(more of an annoyance then a fight), a bird looking thing that flies at you very fast but turns around when it gets hit so you have to play pong with a wall until it dies and a creature that injects you with morphine so if you get hit too many times you fall asleep and inevitably die if your comrades can’t save you


This reads like mining 2 - research edition.

With our current research tree it wouldn’t mesh too well, but if we get some restructuring and some new nodes it’d be great.

One thing I’d do is instead of there being an abandoned station, I’d give them a department-specific shuttle or teleporter and a whole bunch of places to raid, each corresponding to a tech tree.

If we make the nodes tiered it could work with a simple system where the away team uses an analyzer on any major things they find, creating a data disk. You could then merge data disks to create better versions that unlock the upper tiered nodes.

TLDR: pick which location you’re raiding, and thus which tech tree you’re after. Go find major items or slay major enemies, scan them, and bring the disks back to upgrade that sweet tech.

One last thing:

Should I move some existing tech nodes behind this system and require them to be found on an away location?

Some ideas for expansion of this later which some people had in this thread are:

  • Multiple locations
  • Ghost roles on the ship

make a department called: space exploration unit. your job is to search for artifacts that could benefit the station, materials and research on alien and enemy technology.

this would be great if it had data cards containing end-game loot and stuff you gotta use the destructive analyzer for

such as illegal tech, abductor tech and possibly even more

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or its own category “ancient tech”

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so some new tech, some research points, some new and exciting items, some nodes like miners get the disks from loot so special stuff like that from design disks. Maybe special design disk items too. Importing/exporting designs is so rare to see happening on the station.

I guess you could move illegal tech behind this system so people can’t just rush contraband from armory roundstart for it

and of course, you would have to make some brand new tech, something that would make this appealing for players. this could probably also be a good way to utilize some items that cant be normally found or created ingame, pretty sure there’s a bunch of them in the code.


Able to craft sm sword sounds great!

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illegal and alien tech can get moved to this.

some other extremely lategame tech can also be made available earlier but locked behind this to compensate.

of course the addition of new tech would help greatly. magic tech, t5, or whatever you guys can think of.

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