Stranded: Alien Dawn Developer Journal – Work Areas

Jens Erik

Senior Community Manager
Hello Survivors!

The new free Jungle Update is just around the corner!

We're here with a new developer journal, featuring our friends over at Haemimont Games, to talk about the new survivor tools and how your survivors use them.

Let's dive right in:

Hello! We are absolutely thrilled to have you here with us. Could you please introduce yourself to everyone reading?
Greetings, fellow survivors! I'm Ivan Grozev, the lead game designer of Stranded: Alien Dawn.

Area Flags and Work Areas are a brand-new addition to Stranded: Alien Dawn - could you briefly talk about what they are and how they work?
Certainly! Work Areas are designated zones where survivors live and work. When a survivor is assigned to an area, they will focus solely on tasks and resource gathering within that specific zone.

The creation of Work Areas is facilitated by placing Area flags, which become accessible after researching the new Camp management technology. Each constructed Area flag establishes a new Work Area. The size of the area can be adjusted and survivors can be assigned or unassigned to it directly from the flag. Additionally, survivors can be assigned to any area from their info panel.

At the start of the playthrough, all survivors are automatically assigned to the Global area, which covers the entire map. Survivors in the Global area have the freedom to carry out tasks both within and outside of existing areas. This can be useful for resource transportation between areas or for allowing certain survivors to explore beyond the base camp.

What made you decide to add this new feature?
Since our Early Access release, we have received numerous requests for a feature that would enable players to establish smaller camps and areas where tasks could be allocated and completed. We wholeheartedly agreed that such a feature made perfect sense given the expansive nature of Stranded: Alien Dawn’s maps.

It sounds like this can effectively allow players to build and operate multiple bases and outposts - even splitting up their group of survivors into multiple sub-groups!
Absolutely! We designed this feature with various scenarios in mind. One of our main objectives was to provide players with the ability to divide their survivors into several independent camps, witnessing their struggle for survival on their own. Additionally, players can establish mining or harvesting outposts by assigning a single survivor to live and work independently.

Can this be an effective method of splitting up survivors who don't get along during a playthrough?
This feature offers a great solution for separating survivors who may not see eye to eye. By creating separate areas, you can provide space for wounds to heal or even foster unexpected relationships.

Interestingly, I hadn't considered this particular application until I started answering this question, but indeed, it's a possible use of the work areas feature.

What happens if a survivor manages to move outside their assigned area?
Survivors who are assigned to a specific area generally tend to stay within its boundaries. However, they are allowed to venture outside if a task requires them to do so. For example, if a survivor is hunting prey, they will complete the entire chain of subtasks, including hunting, butchering, and delivering the meat. Afterward, they will return to their area and continue with other tasks.

Can Work Areas overlap? What happens of multiple Work Areas overlap?
Yes, Work Areas can indeed overlap. This feature can be utilized to divide your camp into a larger work area encompassing outside farms and a smaller area where cooks and crafters reside. Survivors assigned to the larger area will have access to and utilize all construction sites, relaxation devices, and resources within the smaller area.

However, production devices such as campfires and workbenches are assigned to a single work area and will not be accessible to the survivors from both overlapping areas. Nevertheless, it is possible to assign these production devices to the larger area if desired from their info panel.

How will direct orders work? Will they override your Work Area setup?
Direct orders can always be given to a survivor assigned to a specific area, allowing them to perform tasks outside of their designated zone. The survivor will complete the requested chain of subtasks and then return to their assigned area.

For instance, if you send a survivor to harvest bushberries, they will fulfil that task and then bring the collected harvest back to their area.

How are Work Areas visualized? Are they easily distinguished?
Each newly placed flag is assigned a unique colour, which is displayed on the flag itself. A coloured square corresponding to the flag's colour is then drawn on the terrain, visually indicating the area covered by the flag. You can toggle the visibility of this square by enabling or disabling the Orders overlay.

Furthermore, each area is assigned a unique number and is referred to as "Area X," with X representing the area's number. Each area can be renamed from its flag, and the assigned name will be displayed above the flag, making it visible from a distance.

In the portraits bar at the top of the HUD, the portraits of survivors are rearranged according to their assigned areas, with each area's colour indicating the group. This grouping is also reflected in the survivors' names in the Priorities and Schedule UI, as well as in the Expeditions UI.

Thank you for joining us for our final dev journal! The free Jungle Update is out tomorrow. If you'd like to learn even more you can join our livestream on 28 June at 4:00pm BST. The community team will be joined by developers from Haemimont Games for a run-through of the new region, and the rest of the new update on Twitch and YouTube. We'll see you there!
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