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Aven Colony

Aven Colony is a sci-fi colony-building sim - create humanity's first settlement on an extrasolar world! · By mothership, Mothership Entertainment, ellie_team17

Thoughts on Micro Management, QoL

A topic by aeaus created Dec 02, 2016 Views: 415 Replies: 3
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First thing that needs saying is great job with the game. It's enjoyable, it's interesting, and it's got potential. I only have about five hours invested (and am at the 3rd mission), but I feel I'm at a point where I can make some suggestions and offer some feedback. These are in no particular order, and I'm sure many of them are on your roadmap.

Building Ledger

Upgrading buildings and checking tier levels is a PITA right now. Some of the models are clearly differentiated, but most are fairly difficult to tell apart (farms, storage depots). I'd really love a building ledger where at a glance I could see:

  • Building Type
  • Efficiency
  • Workers
  • Output / Habitation / Crop Type
  • Tier

And most importantly, I'd like to be able to upgrade immediately from that screen. Would be extra-happy if I could queue all tiers of upgrades too (this is particularly time-consuming with something like a solar farm where you have 8 panels and a battery).

Drone Auto-Repair

I can't imagine myself ever not using this option (although I'm sure it's a bad idea on highest difficulties), it would be nice if it was available before the first referendum.

Tunnel Damage

Tunnels are extremely important right now and it's very easy to miss the notification that one has been destroyed to extreme detriment. It would be nice to have a policy to have these be auto-repaired or rebuilt.

Tunnel Tiers

I know it's not a city building game, but having only one type of road feels like a bit of a miss. Would love to see a higher tier (more expensive construction, upkeep) that perhaps has a people-mover of some sort. A colony housing hundreds or thousands of people would likely have some sort transportation backbone and rely less on walking.

Housing Occupancy

The occupancy mechanic doesn't make much sense to me (i.e Low, Medium, High). Maybe the policy instead should have an AoE letting the player dictate the range at which occupants can commute to their jobs? Sometimes I'll have a spur of my colony to grab a resource, build an apartment building and see it filled up very quickly while some of the workers next door seem unhappy with their commutes. I specifically built that to provide housing for workers around it, not half my colony away. Perhaps the levels could be:

  • Close (5 Tiles)
  • Medium (10 Tiles)
  • Unlimited

Also, in the population hover dialog the % Occupied is extremely non-obvious and difficult to immediate check at a glance. Maybe housing limits needs to be part of the population display? Just like you have happiness, a pie-chart to show % Occupied would be an amazing time saver.

Energy Batteries

This is one of my bigger time-wasters right now. Energy Batteries would be so much more useful if they had an automatic mode that would pull energy when I have a surplus, and discharge when I have a deficit. I really don't want to manage this building manually and I can't see any benefit to doing so. It would be interesting to also see a summary of my available capacity next to my energy base load production.


Let us set hard production limits (i.e. produce up to 100 units of X), or dynamic limits (i.e. produce up to X units per Y colonist) for our Chemical Plants (and possibly Mills).

Right now my Chemical Plants will happily produce thousands of units of Antibiotics and Antivirals when I have no need for them.

Better yet, since anything I do at any building of a type seems to affect all others, let us have a production window so I don't need to hunt down my chemical plants, flour mills, etc. when I need to make a tweak.

Non-Productive Buildings

It would be nice to flag buildings in the UI that irreversibly can't produce anything. I've had mines run out of their deposit and maintain their energy consumption (and their workers) producing nothing.

AoE Buildings

Would be nice for these to show their area when you select them, rather than having to click on "Show Range"

Automated Buildings

Would be nice for these to have some indicator in the building bar to make this obvious.


Resource Management

Let us remove more than 25 units of a resource at a time, or better yet impose a limit. For some reason my colonists really seem to hate porridge.

Economic Management

A lot of the suggestions I made imply a degree of economic management, maybe there could be a building to enable a lot of the micro-management reducing items I've discussed (e.g. resource limits, production throttling, etc.)


Great post, aeaus; thanks for all the feedback!

Quite a lot of this is stuff we've long wanted to address (though not necessarily exactly in the way you suggest here). We'll be doing everything we can to address many of these between now and launch (or even post-launch for anything we're not able to address between now and then).

I don't have time to reply to everything in detail, but a few points:

  • Good point about non-producing buildings.
  • We'd love to add a "show range" button and recently did this for drone stations.
  • We're considering options for long-range transportation.
  • We do plan to fix Drone Auto-Repair to also replace lost tunnels.
  • "Building Ledger": ideally, the buildings tab in the Colony Control Panel should support a lot of this.
  • Why do your colonists hate porridge?

Thanks for the response, as for the porridge, I'm not sure, I seemed to have built up a large supply on one of the campaign missions for an unknown reason (despite relatively poor production of the precursor, barley IIRC). The lack of an ability to cap production of certain items is a bit of a pain so maybe the mill happily burned through all of my barley because it could amd I didn't stop it in time.

I also tried to do a non-campaign play-through and managed to get a colony on Sandy Gulch up to ~1.1K population before the game became unplayable, noticed a few things with that:

Basic Income Paradise

I basically had 30%+ unemployment and if I kept playing I'm sure that number would eventually get pretty close to 100%. I'm not sure what the goal is, but it seems like long-term colonies make little sense, although this works fine in the campaign mode and it's a bit far from release anyway.


I really wish the batteries required no micromanagement, at scale it's just impossible to go through them every season. To avoid this I just tried to cap my energy usage at what I had in the previous winter and that sort of worked.

Mine Depletion

I had two iron mines, both got depleted. One I removed and built a tunnel over, the other I left alone. When I reloaded the game the blue energy producing resource appeared there visually, but there was no resource at the location.


Hang tight.

We're working on fixing the batteries in the next few weeks.

Long-term colonies: no worries, some big and surprising features coming soon.

As for the third point: thanks for the bug report; we're looking into it.