(Please help proofread prior to publication: spelling, grammar, and pointing out any inconsistency or confusing section. Gameplay feedback not needed until later, we want to focus on getting the book to print). Terraforming and Base Building One of the player’s main objectives in Em-8ER is terraforming new zones and building them up while defending them from Tsi-Hu attack. Players mine resources with their THMPR MEK/A and can contribute these resources to found bases or improve them. Improvements can range from expanding and creating new base structures, to enhancing defenses, to accelerating the terraforming process. Bases are important because they reveal mining locations around them and provide a return point for THMPRs to return their resources. Since players must escort THMPRs back to the nearest base to deposit their resources, having a nearby base makes the job a lot easier and safer. Bases also manage the terraforming of zones. Each base can have a terraforming add-on, which accelerates the transformation of the zone, which in turn unlocks higher tiers of equipment and abilities for players. Building bases bears some resemblance to an RTS (Real Time Stretegy) game. Buildings are paid for with resources, and placed one by one onto the terrain. Each building gives specific functions or benefits to all players nearby or even zone wide. Some buildings are pre-requisites to building others, and many buildings can be improved with more resources. But unlike RTSs, building placement is pre-determined by the terrain and design (for both anti-exploit design reasons, guaranteed smooth gameplay, and to reduce player disagreements). All buildings have building times, and those times can be accelerate by additional resources. Building are also destructable. Kaiju can rip apart buildings and, budget and time permitting, piece by piece in dynamic, physics based destruction. Players can repair these buildings by allocating resources towards them. Damaged buildings are reduced or halted in functionality with progressive damage. Establishing Bases Each zone has several locations of strategic importance. There may be up to a dozen of these locations in each zone, depending on size. These locations are highlighted on the zone map and represent the areas where players can establish a base. They may be ideal defense points, or near ancient Tsi-Hu ruins, or nearby caches of resources. By pooling resources, players can establish a base as founders. Once players have gathered enough resources, the players trigger the dropdown of a nexus. The nexus building unfolds from a special crate dropped by dropship. As it builds and unfolds, it will invite attack from nearby Tsi-Hu. If the nexus drop is successfully defended, it will unfold completely and the initial foothold will be established. Expanding Bases Much like an RTS, bases can be expanded with different buildings and structures. Each building confers new benefits to nearby players or to the whole zone. Expansion requires resources. Most of the time, these resources are beyond the ability of a single player to provide. Instead, players can pool their resources into different building goals for the base. The building goals are displayed on a special base interface. Players can see which goals are available, what the contributions have been and how close they are to completion, and contribute to the various pools for one or more goals. In this way, players are actually voting with resources for what buildings they would like to see completed first. In addition to building goals, each base has a set of specific goals related to the type and nature of the buildings it encompasses. These might be damage repair (Nexus building), research (science facility), etc. Building Types Here are some examples of the buildings being considered for Em-8ER. Depending on gameplay tests and budget factors, there may be more or less, and some might re-assigned as upgrades to existing buildings: Deepscan Array - Deepscan arrays are surveying stations that extend the range of discovery for resources nearby. A Nexus gives a basic radius of scanning, but is rather small. Adding a Deepscan Array will increase the range and rarity of the resources discovered nearby. Refinery - A refinery allows players to manipulate resources in various ways. Resources can be broken down for a chance at discovering rare resources, or converted between common types. Terraforming Station - Terraforming Stations are massive floating structures that transform the atmosphere nearby and perform other functions to make surrounding areas habitable for humans. They are linked to buildings on the ground that ferry supplies and beam power to the Terraforming platform. The more resources contributed, the faster the terraforming. Omniframe Hanger - Omniframe Hangers serve as the nearest place for players to store and browse their omniframes. Omniframes are delivered via dropship from the closest base with a hangar, and hangars are where players can repair, craft, and outfit their omniframes. THMPR Hanger - THRMP hangers are where player THMPR MEK/A are launched on demand. The THMPR hanger is also where THMPRs can be rebuilt or repaired and upgraded. Tactical Sensor Array - Shows nearby enemy activity around the base. Tactical Sensor Arrays provide a variety of information about number and composition of enemy forces on the player’s map. Supply Depot - Allows players to store their resources and other items too numerous to carry. Supply Depots are linked to each other. What is deposited at one depot is available to all others. Repair Depot - Accelerates all repairs within a certain distance from the base. The repair depot sends out repair drones to assist with any repairs in the field nearby. Turrets - This is the general name for any kind of defensive weaponry the base might have. Buildings have hardpoints where players can deploy a variety of weapon systems to fortify the base against alien attack. These weapon systems improve with more resources. Research Labs - Additional global crafting recipes can be unlocked through research. Players can contribute resources to the research efforts at these labs to speed their overall discovery for use by all players. Some recipes might require Tsi-Hu artifacts discovered during mining, or Kaiju body parts to unlock. Datacenter - For Hacking and extracting info from alien computers and bots Orbital Comm Tower - Construction of an Orbital Comm Tower allows the use of calldowns from orbiting starships for strikes on the ground. Useful against larger Kaiju or swarms. Reactor - Provides additional energy for powering buildings and weapon system. Acts as a general accelerate for all base activities, cooldowns, construction, etc. Shield generator - Envelopes the base in a protective shield that prevents Tsi-Hu and Kaiju from damaging or entering the base. Dropship Pad - Enables fast travel between zones via dropship.