Startopia


The RTSC Guide to Startopia
Part 15 States of Mind

 

At the end of the day, once you've addressed all the essential needs for your customers and employees, entertained them with your fabulous array of Station pleasures and turned the Bio-Deck into a second Eden, there's only one set of character points in a Peep that can make or break you: Mind Points.

Probably the best way to think of Mind is as an approval rating of your part of the Station. Everything that happens to a Peep during its stay affects its overall opinion of the Station. If it had a bad time and your Station was poorly managed the Peep winds up with a depleted Mind score. If things get too horrible for it and Mind becomes minimal, they'll promptly leave (or resign) and make for the nearest Port. Nothing at this point will convince them to stay on the Station. Peeps may get terribly bored terribly quickly, but losing all your Fun points is nowhere near as severe as losing all your Mind points.

There's no one facility that can replace Mind points; everything affects them and the process is perpetual and ongoing. Its happening every second of the game for every Peep; even when they idly stand around, or having a chat, or using facilities or apparently doing nothing taking in the sights of the Bio-Deck. There's several important things you need to keep in mind to encourage Mind, and lots of minor, minor details that can accumulate into big outcomes. Common sense tells you that when things go wrong, rooms fill up, queues are forming, facilities are dirty or damaged, there are dead bodies lying about, etc. etc. then you can be sure things are working against you.


Race Relations

Not all species of Peep get on with each other. Some species are easygoing and get along with everyone; others can be finicky. As mentioned earlier, each of the alien races in the game represents a general theme that illustrates their character and make the game readable. For example, the Sirens are sexy hedonists, and don't get on with the religious Zedem Monks, who find it harder to enjoy themselves. In building your Startopia, race relations is something you will have to deal with, although its not really life or death situation. Most of the time, race relations are expressed as a Peep's preferences: e.g. Salt Hogs don't use Palace Galacticas all that often, and Gem Slugs never, ever use Sleeper Berths. You'll never see a fight or a riot break out amongst your population. People simply leave if they don't like who's around, and even then they have to do a fair bit of interacting before that can happen. Racial differences only seem to come into play with conversations and admiring the racially specific statues that you can build. All other "racial" effects are hardwired into how each species reacts to various Station facilities and environments on the Bio-Deck. You can look them up in the moods in.txt and moods out.txt files found inside the \missions\00 subfolder inside your Startopia install. This is basically where most of this Guide's numbers originate.

So first up, the obvious stuff in Peep racial relations: conversations and statues.


Conversations

Terribly cute, manConversations are one of the driving social forces of everyone on board. All over the Station there are pairs of Peeps stopping to chat with one another. Sometimes they'll talk if there's nothing better to do, and - unless I'm imaging things - they might perform a little pantomime to show their feelings, so you can get some idea of what they're thinking and talking about. Talking to one another does wonders for their little minds. Every time two Peeps stop and chat, they each stand and talk, performing occasional little pantomimes such as jumping for joy, laughing or perhaps revealing their pressing most need with an emoticon.

Peeps generally count most life-forms encountered on the Station as being intrinsically worthwhile. They'll completely ignore your Scuzzer force (unless being arrested, of course) and despite the racket some packs of Scuzzers make as they hurtle around the Station they don't appear to upset and annoy anyone. They pet Memaus and even talk to Space Vermin.


Conversation Ratings: What happens if...
Conversations go in one of several ways:
...they like each other? If a Peep talks to someone it likes it scores a +100Mind bonus. This is your typical result for a typical conversation. Everyone gets on with everyone else most of the time.
...they really like the other! If a Peep talks to someone it really likes or to a member of its own species, it scores double the normal bonus: +200Mind. The Sirens often fall into this category.
...they have no opinion about the each other? Some species simply don't care one way or the other. They talk to someone, but they simply get nothing out of it and nothing is gained or lost: nothing happens. The Targ would be the most likely candidate for this sort of thing.
...well - actually, they really hate them! Some species simply don't get on, or are designed in the game to "counter" each other and make things more interesting for you, the player, to manage. The Salt Hogs and the Gem Slugs are the most obvious example. and if a Peep talks to a species it hates, then it scores a loss of -500Mind.

So. Who gets on with who?
Groulien Salt Hogs Polvakian Gem SlugsGroulien Salt Hogs and Polvakian Gem Slugs "counter" each other. Too many of one upsets the other, and vice versa. Other than that, Salt Hogs get on with everyone else and are simply the easiest to please on the Station.
Grekka Targ

KarmaramansTurrakkenEveryone gets on with the Grekka Targ, but they're hardly the life of the party. No one gets excited by these short insectoids. Their hive communities seem to discourage personality, and they come from a planets that are frozen rocks. Everyone who talks with a Targ only scores half points: +50Mind at best. Karmaramans see right through them, and only the intellectual Turrakken find them sufficiently fascinating to score as a normal conversation. The Targ get on perfectly well with themselves, though.

Greys Despite their creepy reputation for bovine vivisection and buzzing startled humans, their freezing climate preferences and their rather drab and blunt statue, everyone likes the Greys. I suppose its in keeping with their pop icon status. They have no likes or dislikes amongst any of the Galaxy's citizenry. Best of all, the Greys' medical theme awards any lucky conversationalist with a healthy +100Body bonus!
Dahanese Sirens KarmaramansZedem MonksMost people like the Dahanese Sirens. In line with their Love/Sex theme just about all species score a +500Love bonus whenever they chat up one. Intriguingly, a conversation with a male Siren results in a +500Love -100Toilet... Karmaramans share a special affinity with Sirens, scoring double the conversation bonus. Only the Zedem Monks react badly to them.
Kasvagorians  KarmaramansDahanese SirensThe Kasvagorians are probably the most disruptive group you'll have on the Station. While they're great in a fight, they do putt off the more peace loving customers. In particular the Dahanese Sirens suffer a -100Soul  loss in the face of the Gors. The Kasvagorians are countered by the Karmaramans.
Karmaramans KasvagoriansPolvakian Gem SlugsGrekka Targ  The Karmaramans' theme, apart from food and trees, is Sleep. Regardless of how other species get on with Karmaramans, they all relax and score a +100Sleep bonus in a conversation. In true hippy fashion, the Karmaramans have no absolutely interest in anything technological or with wealth, scoring absolutely nothing when talking to Grekka Targ or Gem Slugs. They are countered by the violent Kasvagorians.
Zedem Monks TurrakkenDahanese SirensPenitentsBeing highly spiritual, anyone who chats with the Zedem Monks scores a +100Soul bonus, unless the conversationalist is a risque Siren or an ultra-rational Turrakken, who can't stand them. Not surprisingly, Zedem score very highly conversing (when converting?) with a Penitent, collecting a whopping +1000Mind! Zedem Monks also clearly enjoy their own company, and they score an extra +400Fun bonus when talking amongst themselves.
Polvakian Gem Slugs Groulien Salt HogsSpace VerminThe Gem Slugs are fussy in their tastes, but get on fairly well with most walks of life... except the lowliest ones, the Salt Hogs. And they're particularly sensitive to Space Vermin, too. If for some reason a Gem Slug talks to one, its almost guaranteed to be so offended as to leave on the spot! Gem Slugs suffer a colossal -5000Mind loss every time they speak to one! If you're after their lucrative custom, keep things clean and tidy.
Peeps don't talk to Memaus; they pet them instead, scoring absolutely colossal character bonuses. A few of them are actually good to have around - provided you keep your litter levels to an absolute minimum. Otherwise things go horribly pear shaped. When petting a Memau, a Peep scores:
+1000Mind +1000Body +1000Soul +1000Love -500Sleep +500Fun
Skrasher Skrashers aren't the best conversationalists, unless bludgeoning someone's skull in with a blunt object is your version of sparkling repartee. If it moves, they kill it. If if doesn't, they demolish it. If there's no one around and nothing nearby to wreck, they look a little lost. For the results of a close encounter with a Skrasher, see Injuries.
Penitents Penitents don't seem to do much and simply wander around, not using any Station facilities. They annoy other Peeps intensely when they have conversations - if they have them: it seems to be a very rare event. Their effect on the Station's current population is then, marginal. However, the number of Penitents on the Station directly affects the number of Visitors that come to visit. That is, more Penitents you have onboard, the less Visitors will pass through your Station's Ports! You might score some short term bonuses with Zedem conversions, but your long term revenue is affected. More Details.


Statues

Statues are a good way to improve the Station's attractiveness and reputation for Visitors. Apart from conversations, they're the major feature that epitomises race relations. Peeps will gravitate around a statue and "admire" it. Civic art gives them something to do and for the most part most Peeps like most artwork. Usually everyone appreciates art regardless of where it hails from. If the statue happens to represent their kind then they'll love it to bits. Some Peeps will really dig the works of others, while some may be curiously unaffected by them. When it comes to races who don't like each other in the first place, then they'll stand there "admiring" it in a rather hateful sort of way and Mind points will be lost.

You should think carefully where you put your statues, although for the most part you can stick them pretty much anywhere and things will work out well for you four times out of five. More specifically, you can use statues to fine tune certain areas of the Station, enhancing areas you've set up to attract certain species with. For example, placing one or two Furies statues near Palace Galacticas and Gem Slug Apartments always seems to work for me...

Not only should you think of strategically placing statues, but also buildings and facilities to create little zones for various species. But sticking the somewhat intrusive Kategukhat in the middle of a pleasant grove filled with Sirens and Karmaramans tends to undermine that's area's effectiveness as a Siren and hippy jaunt. Once again, its all pretty free-wheeling and no one is really going to get hurt or that upset, unless you bury the Station in statues and venues they really hate. Multiple statues tend to multiply the effect by virtue that there's more to do and see in the spot you've artied up. Once you've worked out which aliens are which, strategic statue placement becomes fairly easy.


Statue Ratings: What happens when a Peep admires a Statue and...
Statues work very much like conversations, really.
...they like it? The Peep in question scores +100Mind. This is a typical result for a typical Peep admiring a typical Statue. Its just as if they'd had a typical conversation with another typical Peep. Most Peeps are art lovers deep down, and most Art appeals to them.
...they really like it? Occasionally, a Peep will really appreciate a particular statue just that little bit more, either because they really get along with the Statue's species or it's their very own monument, scoring
+200Mind +50Body+50Soul +50Love
Good statue placement is good for your Peeps!
...they have no opinion about it? The Peep in question scores absolutely nothing. They stand there completely unchanged by the experience. Some species' works simply has no effect on others, much like some conversations.
...well - actually, they really hate it! The Peep in question scores -100Mind. They really don't like it at all, and stand there hating your Station more. Oops!


Endeavour Legacy
The Endeavours of the Groulien Salt HogsGroulien Salt HogsYa gotta love the little fellas... inside the diminutive frame of your typical Groulien Salt Hog beats the heart of an adventurous idealist. The Endeavour represents the Salt Hog's aspirations to greater things and this bold statue of two Salt Hogs climbing a mountain top is a tableau often repeated in the Bio-Deck. Build any peak, regardless of climate, and you'll often a Salt Hog proudly scaling it. The Endeavour is liked by all Peeps, except for those snooty Gem Slugs. Bah humbug! Back The Legacy of the Grekka  TargGrekka TargThis squat piece of artwork that looks like an engine block represents the Grekka Targ's industrious colony structure. Grekka Targ are into all kinds of manufacturing and a predilection for cargo, especially of the technical kind. Its appreciated by everyone, except the Karmaramans, who simply don't get it and are completely unaffected by the Targ's symbol of heavy industry. The dry, freezing landscape that the Targ prefer complement this blocky arrangement of giant cogs perfectly. The Karmaramans prefer more greener and growing things.Back
Gmnerich Mother
The Greys' GmnerichGreysEveryone likes the Grey's Gmnerich. Heavens knows why! Its two cubes and a tetrahedron, chopped out of stone, and as sparse and ugly as you can get in Startopia. Bizarre.Back The Sirens' MotherDahanese SirensIn keeping with their loving ways, the Dahanese Sirens get the Mother statue. In line with their preferences for water, it comes with a small pond, and reveals a Gaia style heathen spirituality. You can see how the Karmaramans share a close affinity with the Sirens, and they doubly like the Mother. The Mother clashes with the Zedem Monks both on moral and religious grounds, while the Kasvagorians dislike it for its peace-loving symbolism.Back
Kategukhat Peace Totem
The Kasvagorian KateguthatKasvagoriansThis imposing monument to the Kasvagorians's proud and honourable - if not downright savage - past instantly dominates any part of the Station you happen to slap it down in. The Kategukhat, like the Kasvagorians themselves, is not shy nor retiring, and this aggressive declaration puts them at odds with the Station's peace loving peoples: the Dahanese Sirens and Karmaramans.Back The Karmaramans Peace TowerKarmaramansStartopia's environmental Karmaramans get this rather cool totem pole. While its colourful and light, it doesn't seem to impose itself so insistently like the Gor's monstrous Kategukhat does and its small footprint lets you stick it anywhere you like, be it discretely in a corner or boldly on a hill. Karmaramans and Dahanese Sirens have a close bond, and the Peace Totem is doubly liked by the Sirens, but disliked by the warlike Kasvagorians. The Grekka Targ return the same indifference to Karmas as the Karmas show towards the Targ's blocky Legacy statue.Back
Matter Anti-Matter Father Zederous
The Turrakken Matter Anti-Matter TurrakkenThis elegant white block epitomises the ordered and precise world the Turrakken researchers inhabit. Its what you might call efficient sculpture. It takes up little space, comes in a nice neutral shade of white so it fits everywhere and everyone on the Station likes it. Except the Karmaramans, who have no opinion about anything to do with industrialisation or urban living, it seems.Back The Zedem Monks' Father ZederousZedem MonksThe stern looking patron saint of the Zedem Monks glowers at all and sundry who gaze upon him. Like most statues on blocks found in any site, you can plonk the good Father anywhere you like without ruining the neighbourhood. Everyone seems to like ol' Zederous, except the Sirens who have issues with him. And no doubt him with them, if he were still alive.Back
The Furies The Planetscape
The Polvakian FuriesPolvakian Gem SlugsPolvakian Gem Slugs, idling aristocrats that they are, appreciate good art when they see it and often you'll find them hanging around your fine sculptures casting a critical eye that only those with too much money and time on their hands can. The Furies belies the Gem Slugs slovenly ways, but is disliked by the Groulien Salt Hogs.Back The Planetscape is one of three statues not specific to any species in the game. Its a rare item, and hard to obtain. It does attract a bit of a crowd and takes lots of station space with its Hills Hoist configuration. Fortunately, there's plenty of unobstructed walking space. This is an excellent complement to the Plaza Fountain, shopping mall or awkward space that you can't quite work out what to fill with. Everyone likes it, and its especially enjoyed by your local geekery: Grekka Targ and the Turrakken.Back
Uplanter Robot Heaven
The UplanterThe Uplanter's an odd statue: it only takes up one square of deck space, so you can plonk them down anywhere. Uplanters look better when you can make a row of them, lining boulevards or value adding to more important Station infrastructure. Everyone admires and appreciates them, especially the Karmaramans.Back Robot HeavenRobot Heaven is the ultimate in statues. But it's gigantic and takes up a huge amount of floor space leaving little room. Its castle like configuration makes it awkward to place without losing a lot of pedestrian space, and it really needs a lot of decking or a small plain in the Bio-Deck to properly place. This is, I think, the monument to V.A.L., your wry sidekick! Being robotic, it has no effect on the Karmaramans (again!) and is especially liked by (surprise surprise) the Grekka Targ and the Turrakken.Back


Rooms and Buildings

This is a frequent source of happiness and angst for any Visitors or Residents onboard, and you can make fairly direct adjustments about how Peeps might react and respond to your Station. Most of these suggestions would fit under the tweaks category: but tweaks are what can set an exceptional Station apart from an average one.

Like many sim management games, travel times can be an issue. If you want things to resolve themselves quickly an easily, placing the right buildings close together can do wonders for you. Weary space travelers need some basic sleeping, eating and toiletries close at hand - don't make them hike halfway around the Station to get to them. I usually cluster things together and try to keep a species' theme as consistent as possible so that Peeps usually have a short path to travel. That is, if I wanted to impress the Gem Slugs, I'd put their favourite Bio-Deck environment right above a mid deck segment with their favourite upmarket entertainments, below which might be some essential Engineering Deck facilities with the Salt Hog's Recyclers and Factories kept a little way away. Then its just a simple walk to and from a lift for them to get anywhere. You can sort of "zone" your Station to reasonably good effect. Sometimes, I've fluked the right combination of Bio-Deck environments and almost emptied the Entertainment segments near it...

Building placement can be a bit touch and go occasionally. I've positioned Rooms such as two Research Labs side by side, only to find one constantly empty and one constantly full, simply because one was closer to essential services and Turrakken haunts. Even equipping the empty one with better facilities did little to solve the problem. It became cheaper to simply demolish the empty Lab and reposition it a few segments away where it could become its own point of focus. Sometimes, you'll find a Lavatron with groups of waiting customers, while just a short distance away another Lavatron is completely empty. Peeps will prefer to queue at the nearest loo rather than walk the extra distance. Some struggling facilities simply need a few complementary attractions near them to get them going, achieving a sort of commercial "critical mass" by being in a group.



What happens when a Room is...
...full? It results in a queue usually. If its an entertainment or accommodation, then the Peep gets irritated, takes a small hit and looks for another facility. Queues are excellent indicators that you need additional facilities, especially with basic ones like Lavatrons or Dine-O-Mats. All Peeps lose -200Mind -10Soul when they encounter a full room they want to use so don't be afraid to build the same rooms and buildings many times over. I usually average a Dine-O-Mat and a Lavatron every two or three segments or so.
...set to double price? This quickly irritates most Peeps. Especially the poorer ones. On top of all the other bonuses they score when they use the facility, they will lose:
Polvakian Gem Slugs
-1000Mind -100Soul
Grekka TargGreysKasvagoriansDahanese SirensTurrakken
-2000Mind -500Soul
Groulien Salt HogsKarmaramansZedem Monks
-3000Mind -500Soul
...free of charge? What a bargain! This has the opposite effect of doubling the charges. However, those snooty Gem Slugs feel a bit miffed by anything that's too cheap and common - all though deep down inside its a little bit of all right. On top of all the other bonuses Peeps score when they use the facility, they will gain:
Polvakian Gem Slugs
+500Mind +100Soul
+50Fun
Grekka TargGreysKasvagoriansDahanese SirensTurrakken
+1000Mind +10Soul +100Fun
Groulien Salt HogsKarmaramansZedem Monks
+1500Mind +10Soul +100Fun
...turned off? Go to a room or building and power it down to watch all the Peeps inside lose -50Mind. Its very annoying.
...turned off - and the Doors all removed? Ah, well. Malicious Station administrators may wish to experiment with this one. Add to the effect by ripping out all the furniture and pot plants as well. Its a lot like being trapped in an elevator - Peeps are forced to hold conversations with each other. They're all still losing -50Mind - its just they can't escape. Come to think of it, this could be a really evil way to incubate a few diseases... but your victims are more likely to expire on you than anything else.

Does Furniture actually do anything?
...just stand around?

Why, yes, there really is a point to furnishing a room. Putting in nice pot plants and a TV screen makes a subtle difference to a Peep's ongoing existence, but its a small one. There's only a tiny, one off hit of +1Mind +1Soul encountering something such as a chair or TV. I don't think Mucky Foot got as far as coding in specific reactions for different types of furniture. As far as I can tell, there's no difference between a Lava-Lamp and a Chronometer, except for the aesthetic effect it has on you, the player!

Grekka TargGroulien Salt HogsGroulien Salt Hogs and Grekka Targ score +2Mind +1Soul when they encounter furniture. Simple pleasures for simple minds... Go crazy furnishing your rooms.

By the way, you can install TV's and clocks into a pub even though the default room editing menu's don't allow it. Simply beam ones from another furnished room into the empty wall spaces of your pub.




Death and Destruction

The the effects of combat and violence in general on the Station can be seriously harmful to everyone, even to those not directly involved. However, death is a fairly common event in a large population, and destruction and disasters sometimes strike. Attend to them promptly and ensure you have sufficient Scuzzers to quickly clean up and repair and damaged buildings.


What happens when Peeps encounter a dead body?

Its a regular corpse!

All Peeps get upset when they stumble across a corpse.Some are affected more than others. Everyone loses -5Body -100Toilet when they meet a corpse. Its a shock to their systems and their little bowels loosen a bit, but its not as nasty as it first seems. The Kasvagorians, tough guys that they are, only lose -50Toilet. Every species reacts according to their moral and personal fortitude:

KarmaramansDahanese Sirens
-15Mind -15Soul
Groulien Salt HogsGrekka TargGreys  
-10Mind -10Soul
KasvagoriansZedem MonksTurrakkenPolvakian Gem Slugs
-5Mind -5Soul

Its a dead body of their own species!

Things change a bit if they encounter a dead member of their own race. They each lose  -5Body -1000Toilet! (The Kasvagorians again only suffer half points of -500Toilet) Its generally a smart idea to tidy up bodies as you come across them, and its no surprise to find traumatised survivors weeping amongst the dead after a nasty big battle, before queuing up at the nearest Lavatron and Sick Bay. More Details.

KarmaramansDahanese Sirens
-80Mind -80Soul
Groulien Salt HogsGrekka TargGreys  
-40Mind -40Soul
KasvagoriansZedem MonksTurrakkenPolvakian Gem Slugs
-20Mind -20Soul

What happens when Peeps flee in terror?
Whenever there's a disturbance, be it an enemy Agent being shot dead, a starquake or a major firefight, you'll see innocent bystanders fleeing the scene. Rest assured that running Peeps are running scared, although its not that serious. There's a small Soul and a solid Mind hit, but Toilet is improved: Residents that can fill out a Security force will generally turn to engage in a fight, based on their performance ratings. Peeps are affected by terror in different ways, with the more peace-loving the most affected and the tougher species feeling it less.
Karmaramans
-400Mind -20Soul +100Toilet
TurrakkenZedem Monks
-200Mind -10Soul +200Toilet
Dahanese SirensPolvakian Gem Slugs
-200Mind -10Soul +100Toilet
Groulien Salt Hogs Grekka TargGreys
-100Mind -5Soul +50Toilet
Kasvagorians
-20Mind +10Toilet


Minor Details

Here's a short, quick list of all the minor details than can adversely or positively affect a Peep. Most are negative, since they are the results of mismanagement or disaster.


What happens when Peeps...
...just stand around? Not much. They're technically "idling", so a little bit of every character trait is slowly trickling away, much like you or I would if we were just standing around burning calories breathing and maintaining our body temperature. Every second, they use up
-2Soul -2Nourishment -1Toilet -2Love & -50Fun
Yep, you have exactly two hundred seconds before sheer boredom turns that happy and fulfilled customer to a depressed basket case. Startopia does not mess around when it comes to prodding Peeps into action.
...are strolling about? This is "first gear" for a Peep. Once they've decided to go somewhere it means they've now got something to do, so many of the losses they suffer from standing around feeling bored disappears. They lose
-2Nourishment -1Sleep -1Fun
per second on the go. Basically, they burn a few calories and slowly wear themselves out walking around.


That's it. We're gone!

Past the point of no return, when Mind finally zeroes, Peeps resign and/or leave in a huff. At this point there is nothing you can do to stop them: they're off and that's it. But there's one more thing you can do to really mess with them...


What the--? We can't leave!

Remove all the Ports in the Station. If a Peep can't leave, it suffers a continuous -20Soul loss. Enterprising Administrators may find a use for this situation - although its hard to change the minds of someone who desperately wants to leave.

Incidentally, merely turning off a Port still lets Peeps out, but doesn't let any new visitors on board.



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Last modified Tue, Dec 9 2003 by Lindsay Fleay