When you first started playing...

The main thing that I just don't know about, is how much this game is supposed to wind up being about tinkering vs. survival vs. some kind of endgame goal. I like the survival aspect myself, and I've been pretty consistently disappointed with how easy it is. Algae is rather common, water is easy to get in abundance using steam geysers, food is generally easy to obtain (though TU and AU had some difficulties with it in the early game), and stress is usually not a big deal. So the only way for survival to really be hard is if you try to go big, but the game has no strong motive to go big. I have the same problems in Rimworld and Dwarf Fortress. These games are difficult, but the central difficulty is combat, not the immediate environment.

I could also respect an endgame goal of some kind, just something to give a clear direction to strive toward. But I don't know whether it could really be done well in this format. Rimworld did it, but it didn't really "work", in the sense that neither of its goals really motivate the player much. Playing normally (not speedrunning), you eventually build a ship sort of just because you can, not because it's "the thing to do".

Yet the playerbase at large seems to want tinkering out of ONI. In particular, oxygen condensers (which for some reason are all called "hydrogen bubblers" even if they use a radiator instead of a bubbler) are what gets most of the attention on Youtube. Maybe this is an artifact of the pre-TU days, where you needed to do something like this to live because otherwise clean water would eventually run out. Anyway, I've never been much interested in such devices in my own games, and I'm kind of skeptical that this will turn into a truly good tinkering game down the line. It just doesn't seem like the right format. If I want a tinkering game, I'll go play Factorio.

/r/Oxygennotincluded Thread