Space Station Manager v0.9a Demo

Mistaril has released an updated demo of Space Station Manager, allowing you to try out this 3D strategy simulation. The demo lets you play "a limited portion from the full game". Thanks: 3DGamers. Gamer's Hell Local Download:
  • Space Station Manager v0.9a Demo (6 MB)
  • Space Station Manager - Manual Introduction Since the space revolution began in 1957 humanity has taken larger and larger steps away from our beloved planet. The boundless horizons of this new frontier, coupled with a steady stream of scientific understanding, has kept space in the heart of us who feel the winds of adventure in our soul. The quest is among the most noble a sentient being can take, the quest to understand the world one is born into. Space Station Manager is our humble contribution to this spirit of exploration. It enables you to step into the shoes of a station manager running the one of our primary outposts, a manned space station in Low Earth Orbit. It lets you see, hear and feel the structure and surroundings of these complex organisms. It lets you touch and marvel at the growth and developement. And our sincerest wish, lets you for a moment be present. Thank you for sharing the voyage with us, The Mistaril Crew Basics Your task is to build and expand a Low Earth Orbit space station and successfully conduct research projects to keep the station funded. This requires you to carefully plan the layout of your station and to choose suitable research projects for keeping the station afloat. Starting new mission, loading and saving Start a new mission Click on Earth and select the mission you want to play. Loading and saving The center of the screen shows the save slots available. The left side buttons save to a specific slot while the right side buttons load the game from the slot. Moving the camera All movement of the camera are done by pressing and holding a mouse button or keyboard key and moving the mouse. You can also quick zoom and center on a specific module by double left clicking on it. * Rotating - left mouse button * Zooming - right mouse button * Moving rotation center - shift key or middle mouse button Time control Time control buttons The simulation starts paused by default. You can build freely in paused mode and it is recomended to stop time every time you start doing larger changes. However, for research projects to progress you have to start the simulation. The downside is that your running costs start taking their toll as well. You can control time either by clicking on pause or play in the time control panel or pressing the space key to toggle between modes. Building Creating the structure Your main tools for modifying the station structure are adding new modules, repositioning existing modules and rotating modules in place. While adding new modules costs credits, repositioning and rotating are free of costs. Build mode general controls Building interface Designing your station layout lies at the heart of Space Station Manager. You activate the building mode by selecting structure on the left hand panel. There are a few interface components that are constantly shown in build mode: * Info panel The info panel gives you a short summary of the curren status of your station. This includes module count and summary information for all resources. * Layer control The layer control is used for selecting the current display mode for the station. The buttons stand for (from top to botton): Visual, Energy, Thermal and Life-Support. * New module selector To start adding modules to your layout select one of the available modules from the bottom selector. Adding new modules New module interface After selecting the desired type of module to add to the station a few new interface components are available: * Module image The module image shows a scaled version of the module selected. * Module info The module info screen displays the most inportant characteristics for the module selected for addition. This includes production and consumption values in addition to flow capacities and special production. * Available docking port The green squares represent docking ports on the main station that are available for docking the new module to. To add the selected module to a specific port on the station click on the handle for the port. Repositioning modules Reposition interface Modules that are only connected at on point can be repositioned, rotated and recycled. When you select such a module by left clicking on it the following user interface elements appear: * Reposition handle The blue reposition handle indicates ports that are suitable for reposition the currently selected module. To reposition a module click on the handle for the port you want to reposition to. If the selected module has many ports clicking on one of its own ports will realign that port to be the one docked to the rest of the station. * Rotate handle By pressing and holding the left mouse button over the rotation handle you activate module rotation. Move the mouse until the desired rotation angle is attained and release the left mouse button. The module will automatically align itself in 45 degree increments. Rotation interface * Recycle selected Pressing the recycle button will remove the current module permanently from the layout giving you a small percentage of the initial cost as a refund. You can also recycle the current module by pressing the Delete key. Resources To keep your station running smoothly you need a deep understanding of the resources available and how they are produced, consumed and transported in your layouts. There are two main categories of resources: flow and non-local. Flow resources all require you to build a grid to support them while non-local resources can connect supply to demand without needing more work from you. Flow resources * Energy Energy production has to be at self sufficient levels in a orbiting space station. The main source for energy is through solar panels converting solar radiation into electricity. There are however also other sources of energy relying on fuel imported to the station. All energy sources produce electricity into the station wide electricity grid. Many station components require energy production and are then connected to the grid at their respective point of usage. Of all flow resources energy is the easiest to transport around the station. * Thermal Thermal control is of outmost importance on space stations. As most orbits expose the station to heavy solar radiation alternating with a very cold outer space environment the task of the thermal control system is to keep the station at the same temperature. Waste heat is also produced by many appliances aboard the station thus much of the thermal control system is panels radiating heat back to space. The thermal grid is a pressurized multi-loop system where coolant fluid is cycled through different station parts. Thermal control is present in almost all system aboard the station. Because of the fluid flow required it is more difficult to transport than energy. * Life-Support Enviromental Control and Life Support Systems represent a major part of the payload for manned missions. The integrated system includes circulation of air, food, water and different waste. The transport system is composed of multiple redundant loops to guard against accidents and breakage. Traditional methods of providing life support rely heavily on importing material to the station while next generation solutions try to maximize the recycling levels for all different components. Because of the large amount of mass to transport Life-Support is the most difficult to create flow networks for. Non-local resources * Credits Some modules require importing of supplies from the outside, signified by their requirement for a steady stream of credits each month. A few modules also produce income on a regular basis * Crew Crew space is a premium resource on orbital platforms. Crew is required for the operation of many different modules, most notably all research modules. Habitation modules also require high levels of Energy, Thermal and Life-Support to work, increasing their total cost in means of infrastructure. * Lab space Contracting for external projects is the main income source for the station, leading to a maximization of lab space. However, lab space is some of the most expensive to maintain because of the requirements of infrastructure to support it. * Factory space Factories have high requirements on infrastructure but produce significant gains in credits and manufacturing. They lower the cost of new modules and increase the returns gained from recycling old ones. Inspecting individual modules Info bracket Selecting a module by clicking on it opens up a info bracket with vital statistics. The information is grouped around the bracket into four distinctive groups. The most important indicator is the online indicator right under the module name. Online signifies that all demands are fullfilled and the module is operating normally, Offline denotes a problem with the station. * Top - General information Here you can read the module type, if the module is online, non-local resources produced or required. * Left - Production What does this module produce currently and what is the max capacity of production. * Right - Consumption Requirements for this module so that it can operate at full capacity. * Bottom - Flow The amount of flow currently routed through this module. Using layers and troubleshooting flow Warning sign Sometimes problems creep up with your design and the most prominent indicator is the warning sign appearing at the bottom of the screen. The warning sign tell you that one of your modules is offline, meaning that it has shortage of some specific resoure. Repeatedly clicking on the warning sign or pressing Tab will cycle through all the offline modules. When you have located the module and found what it is missing the next step is to start troubleshooting the resource. Layers Energy layers Thermal layers Life-support layers Layers change the visual appearance of the station to show information about a single specific resource. Modules that produce the resource for the selected layer are rendered normally. Modules that either consume of have transport capacity for the resource are rendered with the base color. The base colors are yellow, blue and green for Energy, Thermal and Life-Support respectively. Modules having shortage of the resource are rendered as bright red, bottlenecks with a more yeallowish hue. Non relevant modules are white. The active layer can be selected by clicking on the layer selectors or pressing the keys F1-F4. You can add modules normally while in layer mode. How to troubleshoot offline modules The general principle in solving all offline problems is to solve one resource at a time. The correct sequence is Thermal, Energy and Life-Support. For each resource you should start by checking if there is enough production stationwide of the resource in question. You can see this from the info panel in the left, bottom corner. If there is enough production and there is a Routing warning besides the resource you have a flow problem to solve. Flow problems may require you to add more production nearer the site of shortage or modifying you layout to accomodate larger flow capacities. Use the layers to find out bottlenecks and rearrange until problem spots have disapeared. Operations and research Projects Screen Operation of research projects is controlled by selecting the Projects button from the main menu. Performing research projects is the main source of income for the station. Projects need lab space to progress and give a revenue when completed. Only one project can be running at a time. The projects interface is divided into three parts: * Current project The currently running project is shown in the bottom left. It includes revenue when completed, completion percentage and estimated number of months until the project is done. * * Available projects The projects currently available for research are listed here. Moving the cursor over a project will open the project description for the project, clicking on the project will abort the previous project and start the selected one. You don't get any credits from the aborted project. * Project description This gives a more detailed description of the project highlighted in the available projects list. Larger projects have larger profit margins but they may take a very long time to complete with smaller station layouts. For all cases, you must be running the simulation for any progress to be made on the projects. Tips for great playing * Use all three dimensions Use nodes and truss nodes to branch the station out into all dimensions to avoid congestion or running out of suitable docking ports. * Place supply near demand You can solve a lot of flow problems by placing production of a resource near the consumption point for the same resource. An example would be to place radiator panels near an RTG. * Look at flow values when building your keel Many station layouts are based on a keel, a high flow capacity spinal cord that runs through the middle of the design. If you need to transfer Life-Support the obvious choice is the Keel module. For Energy and Thermal structure the truss is the primary choice. * Chain similar producers Sometimes the producer of one resource also has much higher capacity to transfer the same resource. For example, when building using the Life Support module you can chain many of these together. They have much higher flow capacity than normal modules. * Flow problems can be far from the shortage When troubleshooting a shortage of resources on one module it is many times usefull to use the layer tool for viewing the whole flow system. With larger layouts the actual bottleneck can be very distant from the module with shortage. * A great grid can save the day A heavy duty flow grid can be a lifesaver when building larger station layouts. By constantly keeping your grid running well withing its capacity you can save many troubles with flow in the long run. * Choose suitable research projects Choose research projects wisely so that you can grow your station at the best possible pace. Doing over 12 month projects is not advisable, you should probably aim at about 5 to 8 months. Contact information The design and development of Space Station Manager was made by Kai-Peter Bäckman. More information about the game can be found at: Mistaril website This manual is Copyright by Mistaril in 2003. All rights reserved.