So i read on your trello-board thingie that you wanted to add somethingz to your current sandstorm to make it "more dangerous" (but i guess "not so annoying" too, respecting the pace/spirit of the game etc...)
I have thought about it and here are my ideas. IRL, Sandstorms are dangerous because it slows/pinned you down when you travel (and reduce visibility; and you may be lost too) so i inspired myself on that.
=> For a bonus annoyance (but not too strong), it could (like for the solar panel) "bury" some of the basic farm plots (must dig it to continue using it! incentive to make the "interior ones" more pricey! ;-) ). I use these "lazily" by planting a seed, and waiting for rain... and one day i can harvest "free vegetables"; Sandstorms could make it less "easy/lazy"; by checking if some are buried or not after a sandstorm at the bare minimum. (and if not, eventually every exterior plot will be buried! take that lazy brain! XD If buried, plants can't grow or maybe even lose a stage of growth after a certain time buried too.)
It could bury (by a nice graphical "pile of sand" lol) random items put on the floor by the player too! (could be an incentive to make containers etc... and not lying around all materials like some love to do. But it seems to me that sandstorms make disappear some of the items on the floor already no? was it my imagination?! :-O It is more intuitive/fair-play that they are buried i think... they are less visible too that way! (è_é) > WHERE are my Artefacts??!! WHAT is this pile of sand??!! hahaha XD Funny moments for everyone! lol)
=> But for the main part, it seems that sandstorm already slows the player down (even vehicle maybe?) no ?! If not, it can be the interesting "danger" like this: a "full slowdown" is annoying for all IMO... so i was thinking of a directional slowdown! B-] (like IRL with sandstorms, you can't walk against the wind, or it is very painful/slow). What i mean is the sandy wind will come from east or west (maybe north or south too as well if possible) and in that direction ONLY, the player will be slow down x2! The danger here is that if you venture too far outside your base and you have the unlucky sandstorm slowing you down from returning rapidly at base, you must have some oxygen tanks & food ready to "wait it to pass" (so it is a indirect threat, quite interesting & intuitive IMO). If already damaged, it could be fatal if you are too far from home etc...
=> For the vehicle, i was thinking of a more active "push": a directional push of the wind. So when driving a buggy, if a sandstorm hits sideways (8 directions on the buggy should be sufficient for the effect i think)... it "pushes/drags" the buggy in that direction slightly (more speed you have, more dangerous it will be) [Coding wise, it will add a % of the current speed in that virtual direction... so that at zero cruising speed there will be no inertial push, at limited speed it will be negligible, but at moderate/high speed the effect will show/annoy strongly] . Chances are you will hit a rock easily! (indirect danger) :-P So in that case, you will have to "compensate" the direction of your driving (or at least make a detour to be aligned with the wind etc...) during the sand- storm, and reduce your speed to not damage your buggy... but the smart decision should be to wait it out in your stopped vehicle (but have you got the resource for it on you/trailer? XD)
Here are my ideas to help you make the sandstorm more potent/intuitive without annoying too much players! Hope you love it Cairn4! (and Players reading that! Tell us if you like these ideas below! :-D) =^^=