There are five pillars, which may be excessive, but that will stand until the game loops are more established. The first pillar is humour. The second and third pillars are the inspiration for this game: the enemy is playing a european style game where players do not influence others actions directly and the player is the only one playing that acts with a zero sum game mindset. The fourth pillar is repurposing tools, an idea in the original concept that was not as developed as it could be in the original document. The fifth pillar is a collection of game theory concepts that I want to develop in the repurposing mini-game and the world domination meta-game. Respectively, they are mapping, ordering, and nesting, versus allocation, growth, specialization, cybernetics, and system dynamics. In order to achieve the second and third pillars, the enemy AI may have to be designed using complex adaptive systems as well. Stated simply, the fifth pillar is to keep these concepts in mind while continuing to design the game so that it can avoid becoming as convoluted or shallow as previous iterations.
1. You found an bike frame in a trash heap and you need to make it run again to make your UnderNauts able to move faster.
2. You ask the Starship Arya for a recipe to make the bike frame work and must complete one of several objectives to unlock a unique recipe that corresponds to the individual mission you completed. You will not be able to stumble upon locked recipes through experimentation until you level up the Science skill tree, so for now you must unlock them one at a time.
3. Salvage and combine parts to form any components that the recipe requires.
4. Attach these components to the frame as well as additional parts that are needed.
5. Solder these parts in an acceptable order to link them together and create a working bike.
Also, I want to move away from grungy and dirty, worn-out graphic design plans and towards a pre-school pastel and incorrectly assembled, misshapen style. This means revising HUD and menus, but I think it will benefit the game's aesthetic. The Prince of Thorns trilogy by Mark Lawrence has been another source of inspiration, but to explicitly say why would be a massive spoiler for those who number among the far too many that have not read these books.
More to come. Until then Happy Holidays!