Startopia


The RTSC Guide to Startopia
Part 16: The Bio-Deck

This is the uppermost deck of the Station, a giant glasshouse containing artificial "nanosoils" and climate control to build alien ecosystems. The Bio-Deck is the "soul" of the Station and offers a spiritual and natural environment for your Peeps to shelter in. Its where the Zedem Monks raise their Temple and the Karmaramans plant your forests. All of Startopia's homesick population find their spiritual and aesthetic needs met here as they relax and commune within a deck that mimics the conditions of their homeworlds. This is the game's most spectacular turf. You can see clear across the Station through the vast panoramic windows, and even truck outside in outer space to take in the whole Station. Whole forests can be grown up here, either to cultivate for cargo or just for the sheer hell of it!

You can see across the Station through the panoramic windows, and even truck outside in outer space to take in the whole Station.

You can grow whole forests up here, either to cultivate for cargo or just for the sheer hell of it! Every type of plant that grows here yields some type of Supply Crate. Small shrubs produce one; trees produce two. To grow vegetation, simply hire some Karmaramans and just leave them to it. They will stroll around planting trees and shrubs all through the sections of deck that you control.

The fantastic thing about the Bio-Deck is how you can sculpt and landscape it to your whims. You can raise and lower land, pour or drain lakes, build snowy hills or scorching deserts. You get four controls: raising and lowering land; adding or subtracting water; cooling or heating the soil, or saturating or drying out the soil. There are nine types of nanosoil, determined by the combinations of moisture and temperature and a tenth: water. Each type can only produce the one type of plant and shrub, but you can mix and blend nanosoils together to get some pretty nice organic effects. Any plant that finds itself outside its habitable soil and conditions will slowly wither and die.

The most effective Bio-Deck - i.e. the one that attracts the most paying customers - is the one that has the most interesting terrain. Raise lots of mountains, build some nice swimming holes and create different terrain to please different kinds of Peep. The more you mix and match environments, the more visitors they tend to attract. You can accessorize them further and beam Statues and other Deck items like Litter Bins and Street Lamps. But in order to do this you need to set them up on one of the lower decks and then beam them to the Bio-Deck via your Transporter Buffer.


Enjoying the Bio-Deck
Peeps stroll about either enjoying or coping with the multitudinous conditions that you conjure up. Rather than progressively gaining or losing character points, the moods in00.txt and moods out00.txt files seem to suggest that a Peep spends a certain "unit" of time and then cops a small hit, almost like a regular Facility on the Entertainment Deck. Regardless of who they are or what conditions they happen to be in, all Peeps lose -100Nourishment -100Toilet during their jaunt. All that walking around in the simulate great outdoors builds up an appetite; but the really important thing they score is lots of Fun. Peeps take in the sights to enjoy themselves: the only time Mind plays a part in the Bio-Deck is if the Peep happens to be in a zone it doesn't like.
Hostile conditions!
-500Mind
+1000Fun
-250Body
Hate the place!
-500Mind +1000Fun
It's okay
+2000Fun
What a great spot!
+3000Fun
It's just like home!
+4000Fun

Notes

Each nanosoil type will only grow one type of tree and one type of shrub, unless you mix to types of terrain together. Raising terrain tends to chill it, so you'll get snowy mountain tops if you pull it up high enough.

Right clicking on a shrub will yield a single Supply Crate, while a tree will produce two. These are represented by the Supply Crate icons to the right of each terrain description.


Cold - Dry

Cold Dry conditions

Grekka TargThis is a recreation of the Grekka Targ homeworlds and their collectivist insect hives. Its a freezing, bone dry expanse of rock where only the hardiest of plants can survive. The main reason you create this terrain is to grow your own Alien Artifacts. But of all the cultivable cargo types, these are the slowest and hardest to grow.
Alien ArtifactsShrub
Frostarian Snapper - similar to a Venus flytrap
Industrial ItemsAlien ArtifactsTree
the Pinecale - a giant succulentBack
Dahanese Sirens
Hurts it!
TurrakkenPolvakian Gem Slugs
Hates it!
GreysKasvagoriansKarmaramans
Its okay...
Groulien Salt HogsZedem Monks
Great spot!


Cold - Medium

Cold Medium conditions

Groulien Salt HogsThis is a recreation of the Groulien Salt Hogs homeworld. Its cold, but brisk.

The Gem Slugs lose nothing except -100Nourishment - the Salt Hog's land has no effect on them otherwise.

Salts Hogs love mountains. Make sure you give them some!

Luxury GoodsShrub
Palabast - a small ring of white flowers
Food SuppliesBlack Market GoodsTree
Willonidia - a giant Norfolk Island style evergreenBack
KasvagoriansDahanese Sirens
It hurts!
Polvakian Gem Slugs
-100Nourishment
Zedem Monks
Its okay...
Grekka TargGreysKarmaramansTurrakken
Great spot!


Cold - Wet

Cold Wet conditions

GreysThe land of the Greys is as cold as they are: its a snowy Winter wonderland!

Greys like swimming. Make sure you give them some freezing water holes! brrr...

Medical SuppliesShrub
Iciqueue (very amusing) - a lily-like plant with white flowers
Industrial ItemsMedical SuppliesTree
Ashvella - its a Christmas tree analogue!Back
Kasvagorians
Hurts it!
TurrakkenZedem Monks
Hates it!
Grekka TargKarmaramansDahanese Sirens
Its okay...
Groulien Salt HogsPolvakian Gem Slugs
Great spot!


Moderate - Dry

Moderate Dry terrain

Zedem MonksThe land of the Zedem Monks is a fairly Mediterranean or veldt-ish sort of place. But like the Monks, their land may be a bit harsh, but it does yield much fruit for those willing to endure a little discipline and hardship.

Zedem are a bit hydrophobic: they all walk on water!

Food SuppliesShrub
Drickling - a dry, woody plant
Industrial ItemsFood SuppliesTree
Morpani - a crooked sparsely crowned treeBack
GreysDahanese Sirens
Hates it!
Groulien Salt HogsTurrakkenPolvakian Gem Slugs
Its okay...
KasvagoriansGrekka TargKarmaramans
Great spot!


Moderate - Medium

Moderate Medium conditions

KarmaramansThe default terrain of the Bio-Deck, and the "getting you started" farming field for when you need to get that first Sick Bay stocked and make a little cash selling lots of Luxury Goods. Everyone likes this one - its ideal for a "Central Park" zone for your Station and all Peeps score extra Fun in this terrain. Comfortable temperature, not too dry, not too wet - this mimics the Karmaraman's fertile farming world.
Its no surprise the Karmas score 4500Fun instead of 4000 here.
Luxury GoodsShrub
Lillith - a little rose bush with brown flowers
Industrial ItemsMedical SuppliesTree
Elderbaran - a shady Weeping Willow like treeBack
Grekka TargGreysKasvagoriansDahanese Sirens
3000Fun
Groulien Salt HogsTurrakkenZedem MonksPolvakian Gem Slugs
3500Fun

Moderate - Wet

Moderate Wet conditions

Polvakian Gem SlugsThe lush terrain of the Polvakian Gem Slugs is a cool, dim jungle. This isn't terrible popular with a lot of species. Peeps that would normally think the terrain was okay (scoring +2000Fun) score only half Fun.
Black Market GoodsShrub
Succulus - a dark, shiny indoor plant
Industrial ItemsFood SuppliesTree
Mangotana - an immense, green banana palmBack
Grekka TargKasvagorians
Hates it!
Groulien Salt HogsTurrakkenZedem Monks
Okay, er...
GreysKarmaramansDahanese Sirens
Great spot!

Hot - Dry

Hot dry conditions

KasvagoriansThe dry, scorching desert conditions are just the thing for the Kasvagorians to test their mettle in. They're not that crash keen on moisture, and the desert has a bad effect on any Peep that needs cold and/or moisture.
Industrial ItemsShrub
Cactoidal - a spindly little bush with no leaves
Medical SuppliesFood SuppliesTree
Eucalymus -a tall, thin, succulent with a branching crown Back
Greys
Hurts it!
Groulien Salt HogsPolvakian Gem Slugs
Hates it!
Grekka TargKarmaramansDahanese Sirens
Its okay...
TurrakkenZedem Monks
Great spot!

Hot - Medium

Hot Medium conditions

TurrakkenThe homeworld of the Turrakken is precise and orderly - a hot temperate land at odds with the indoor nature of the Turrakken researchers...

For some reason, the Gem Slugs score nothing from this terrain. Apart from their exertions moving around, they score no change in Fun or Mind at all.

Black Market GoodsShrub
Krans - a light green fern
Industrial ItemsFood SuppliesTree
Amadinka -a telegraph pole tree with a small crownBack
Polvakian Gem Slugs
nothing!
Grekka TargGreysZedem Monks
Hates it!
Groulien Salt Hogs
Its okay...
KasvagoriansKarmaramansDahanese Sirens
Great spot!

Hot - Wet

Hot'n'steamy

Dahanese SirensThe tropical island fantasy is the playground of the Dahanese Angels. The steamy conditions seem to polarise Peep's opinions - some can't stand the tropical conditions.
Food SuppliesShrub
Bazack - a lush, leafy plant
Luxury GoodsFood SuppliesTree
Ebonicle - a cheesy, tropical coconut palmBack
Grekka TargZedem Monks
Hurts it!
Groulien Salt HogsGreysKarmaramans
Hates it!
KasvagoriansTurrakkenPolvakian Gem Slugs
Great spot!

Water

Comes with its own fish, too

Peeps love to swim. In fact, swimming beats stomping around any day!
Medical SuppliesEdge
Stickrush - your classic wetland bulrush with spiky flower
Luxury GoodsFloating
Lilyenta - Floating lilypad with white flowerBack
Black Market GoodsUnderwater
Weedicle - seaweed like plant
Kasvagorians
+1000Fun
Grekka TargZedem Monks
+2000Fun
Groulien Salt Hogs
+3000Fun
GreysKarmaramansTurrakkenPolvakian Gem Slugs
+4000Fun
Dahanese Sirens
+5000Fun


Cultivation

A Karmarama Farmer  panoramaWithout a doubt the best way to obtain your vital supplies is to grow them on the Bio-Deck. This is dirt cheap, apart from the cost of opening new segments and initially hiring the Karmaramans to tend them. You have to be a little patient waiting for the first crops to grow but once you have sufficient Bio-Deck with its own gang of planters, you'll never run out of supplies again. You determine what type of plants grow by adjusting the moisture and temperature levels in the nanosoil they sprout from.

Each nanosoil type can support one type of shrub and one type of tree. Each plant type yields a different Supply Crate. Shrubs produce one crate; trees produce two. To farm vegetation, right click on a plant and it will be transformed by the Station's transporter system into its cargo crates. If the plant is not yet mature, it will show a timer icon to let you know when its ready. Plants are automatically harvested the moment they are "ripe" and the resulting crates will be automatically collected and stashed in the nearest Cargo Bay by your Scuzzer Droids. Well, most of them anyway. Your robots are not always prompt, and a little forgetful if you turn over too many trees. Some will be left behind and rot away to become useless Damaged Goods, fit only for recycling. Only Supply Crates can be obtained from the Bio-Deck - nobody's genetically engineered a Lavatron tree just yet! You will still need to buy or manufacture Hardplan, Tech and Furniture crates on the Engineering Deck.

Each plant type yields a different cargo. Shrubs produce one crate; trees produce two. To farm vegetation, right click on it. It will be transformed by your transporter buffer into its cargo crates. If the plant is not yet mature, it will show a timer icon to let you know when its ready. Preset plants will be automatically harvested and the crates picked up by a Scuzzer droid to be deposited inside the nearest Cargo Bay.

You can also beam up plants and then transplant them into Plant Bio-Pots, which allow you to turn your drab lower decks into shimmering tree lined paradises. Trees can be planted outside on the decking in pots, but only potted shrubs can placed inside Rooms. There's something about lots of lush greenery that can turn a dingy deck or a stark set of Rooms and Buildings into a warm, fuzzy environment you'd want to raise your kids in... Peeps do notice the difference.


Do trees or shrubs actually do anything?
Apart from just looking cool? You bet. Its the smart Administrator who grows a jungle on the Bio-Deck and then starts placing potted shrubs and trees everywhere else. Trees can be placed on the main decking outside rooms and buildings, but shrubs can go anywhere. Some underwater plants can't be potted (or at least I've never managed it) Greenery does wonders for drab station decks and all Peeps like their greenery. It doesn't matter what kind of plant it is. Each species scores a one-off hit every time they pass a bush, tree or reed, a +1Soul +1Body bonus, regardless of where it is, plus the small Mind and Fun bonuses tabled below.
Grekka Targ
+2Mind+4Fun
Groulien Salt HogsKasvagoriansTurrakken
+3Mind+6Fun
GreysZedem MonksPolvakian Gem Slugs
+4Mind+8Fun
Dahanese Sirens
+5Mind+12Fun
Karmaramans
+6Mind+14Fun

How badly are Karmaramans affected by chopping down trees?

KarmaramansThey suffer a -100Mind -10Body -50Soul hit per cultivated plant. Don't get too carried away and strip mine everything. Its a mental and spiritual loss, compounded by a minor health hit. Go too far and they'll start resigning and leave.


You'll know your ecosystem in the Bio-Deck is up to scratch when Karmaramans start emitting Karmagasms. A Karmagasm is a red shockwave of energy that pours out of a Karmaraman in an expression of pure bliss and Oneness with the Bio-Deck. These are good vibes for the betterment of others: Peeps caught in the karmagasm's wake enjoy Mind, Body and Soul bonuses. Even Scuzzers are affected by this phenomena. Conversely, criminal Karmaramans emanate "bad auras" - little shockwaves of negative psychic energy that actually harms Peeps and Scuzzers within range.


What happens when a Karmaraman generates...
...a good karmagasm? Karmarama karmagasmingAll Peeps are equally "blessed" when caught in the red shockwave of a Karmagasm. Karmagasm's score all Peeps, regardless of who they are a massive hit of healthy goodness:
+1000Mind +1000Body +1000Soul -1000Sleep & -100 Drunk
The Karmaraman emitting this light wave is affected by it, too. Even the non-living are affected: Scuzzer droids get repaired by +1000Body (they are characters like everyone else, you know!) and enjoy a full recharge (+10000Nourishment)!
...a bad karmagasm?
Criminal
In stark contrast a criminal Karmarama emits evil vibes that have an adverse on everyone they wash over.
-2000Mind -500Body -1000Soul
Hapless Scuzzer Droids get knocked for a six, too...
Fuzzers
Scuzzers
-1000Body -1000Nourishment
Mk I's
Scuzzers

-1000Body -1000Nourishment
Mk II's
Scuzzers

-2000Body -2000Nourishment
Mk III's
Scuzzers
-4000Body -4000Nourishment


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Last modified Wed, Oct 27 2004 by Lindsay Fleay