Survival Guide - Dust Settles: Exploration
In order to survive before you can produce
food, disposables, or building supplies, you must find them. If you do not explore
(and start exploring with at least 1/2 your starting population) from the very
first turn, you will surely perish. This is also the only way you will ever
be able to increase your total land. Exploration takes many forms and can be
adjusted throughout gameplay. Remember, depending upon the class
you choose, certain main resources may be much more difficult to find. Use the
ones that are easier to find to your advantage.
When you click on the Explore menu option, you will be presented with a screen
showing how many of your camp members are
currently unassigned. Obviously, this tally of available camp members is constantly
being updated. You can't have someone assigned to build
a building and explore in the same day. So make sure to always keep a few
unassigned for this purpose.
Once you have clicked now, you will see a message similar to the
one above in the place of the original set up menu. As long as you have not
yet ended a turn, you can disband this
group of explorers at any time by clicking the gray button.
The number of people you send exploring
must be entered manually by typing the number in the text box (or accepting
the maximum number that will be entered automatically) and clicking now after
setting the other variables. Once you have set up a group to search, you will
receive a basic message telling you how many people you are sending out in that
search. These people will be unavailable for any other task until you cancel
the search or until the search is over.
You will have the ability to assign your people to search specifically for
a desired resource or to just search
for anything. No matter what you search for you will always find some little
bit of each resource type, except maybe land
at the very beginning of the game. Your best bet, though, will be to actually
send your explorers searching for a specific resource. You won't get quite as
much of the other resources as you would if you just searched for "Any
and All," but you will get a much better return on the specific resource
you search for. Disposables will be the easiest resource to find, followed by
food, supplies, and then land.
At the beginning of the game you will only be able to send out your explorers
for a single day at a time. Later on in the game, you will be able to open
the ability to send out your search parties for up to five days at a time.
You will select the number of days that you want to send them for from the drop-down
menu beneath the text box where you enter how many people you want to send.
Ingenuity is the primary research modifier
for exploration. Time Management allows for sending multiple-day search parties.
You will also be able to eventually send out buses
to aid in your searches.
Once you have opened the ability to build garages, you will be able to send out buses with your explorers. You will be limited to 1 bus for every 50 people you've sent out. Sending any more would be a waste of gas and could cause too much wear on the vehicles. Another limitation to your buses will be the size of your camp, both because of fuel costs and because as your size increases your number of allowed buses will increase. Along with having enough fuel for your buses, you will need 1 staffed garage for every 4 buses that you are sending (remember, staffing is changed through the Construct screen). The final limitation will be your Vehicle Transport research. As you increase this, the number of buses that you can send out at a time will increase. Though there are restrictions, sending buses with your explorers will increase your exploration returns to a point that they are worth dealing with.
Your first limitation for exploration returns is available storage space. You will be able to send people out when you have very little storage, but you will only get to keep what you can fit into the storage. This means if you only have room in your storage for 5 disposables and you come back with 15, 10 will go to waste. Keeping extra storage space around is helpful for multiple reasons, so don't be afraid to build more when you get short on space (as long as you can afford to of course). When your storage space is low you will get the above warning after you have set a group of explorers to search.
Your other major limiter will be communications
coverage. At the beginning of the game when you have less than 5,000 land,
you will be able to send out explorers with little more than old maps, compasses,
and maybe a couple of walkie-talkies and have them all come back safely. After
this, though, your people will be wandering too far away on strange terrain
(this is the apocalypse, the cataclysms would have changed the landscape a bit)
to be able to always find their way back. This is where communications
coverage comes in. You will want to build enough comm
relays to keep yourself covered. If you see the warning above, you are lacking
the needed communications coverage and you will lose explorers when they are
Each person can only really search so much land in a single day. After all
you are sending these people out from the edges of your camp to go as far as
they can that day and come back by nightfall. Even when you send out a search
party for multiple days, half of that time will be used going out, while the
other half will be used coming back. Your camp radius is used to determine how
much land you could possibly expect your people to search at one time. This
will provide a limiter for your population once you get large if you do not
increase your camp size physically as well.