New Player Guide

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Revision as of 04:16, 16 December 2017 by IDA Games (talk | contribs)

Welcome to the Player's Guide for Beyond Dark's Alpha! This guide is intended for anyone that wants to find out more about Beyond Dark as well as the Alpha players that have been invited to test the game and help get it ready for Beta.

Before jumping in and playing, we strongly recommend blitzing through this page - it'll get you up and running as quickly as possible (for Beta there will be an interactive in-game tutorial).

Any questions, requests, or feedback, please let us know on the forum (clicking the forum login link will take you to the IDA Games account login page where you can login using the credentials created during the initial game setup).

Getting started

Before you can begin playing you will need to:

Welcome to the galaxy

Scanner Coverage.jpg

Your fledgling empire will begin with a home planet and two ships. This home planet will already have a population of 100,000 citizens (already taxed and generating an income for your empire) and a handful of structures.

In the above image, the home star system is in the middle of the circle. The icons below the name of the star system indicate there are: five planets not colonized (empty circle), one planet colonized by the player (filled circle) and two ships belonging to the player (triangle). This visibility of the galaxy is provided by the scanner on the home planet.

Are you alone?

Your view of the galaxy may appear quiet at the start of the game, but that doesn't mean other players aren't close!

  • While in a star system, a ship can only be seen by another player if they also have a ship in the same star system
  • While a ship is orbiting a planet, it can only be seen by another player if they have a ship in the same planetary orbit

Therefore, your ships won't expose your position if they are alone in a system - even while moving between planets - and you can hide from other ships in the same system while orbiting a planet. Travel between star systems - across deep space - can be seen by other players if they have scanner coverage of that area.

Of course, you and other players could be using cloaking technology...

Scanner coverage

The image above shows the player's scanner coverage.

  • The outer circle represents the entire range. Stars and fleets within this range can be detected.
  • The inner circle, sensor range, can provide additional intel on objects. For star systems, the planets can be seen. For fleets, the owner, number of ships and how they are equipped is available.

To the right of the image above a UFO is marked in red. This shows that another player's fleet has been detected, but because it isn't within sensor range, no information other than its position is available. If it moved within sensor range (the inner circle), the fleet owner and fleet composition would be known.

Main UI

Hovering the mouse cursor over any of the main UI elements at the top of the screen will reveal a popup with additional info (this goes for most things in the game).

First things first

When first entering the galaxy, a notification pops up briefly at the bottom of the screen. Clicking a notification will open the galactic news panel. You can also open this panel by clicking the notification icon in the bottom left of the UI (next to the chat icon).

Start Game Notices.jpg

Clicking notifications will usually take you to the object that the notice is about. In this case, one of the notices mentions the home planet, and the other is a recommendation to begin researching technology.

Researching technology

Research Screen.jpg

Research is something you should always have ticking over in the background. Any time your laboratories aren't researching a new technology is wasted. You can open the research screen at any point by clicking the research icon in the top right of the main UI.

Each technology has a difficulty which determines how long it will take to be researched. There are a few which only take a few minutes to complete and are a good place to start (colony deployment is a great early technology to unlock as it will enable you to build colonization vessels).

The speed at which research can be performed is determined by the total science power of the empire (constructing additional laboratories in the future will increase science power - research centers first needs to be unlocked).

Navigating the star map

Holding either the left or right mouse and dragging will pan the camera around. Mouse scrolling will zoom in or out.

Hovering over the name of a star system will reveal an eye, which when clicked, will zoom you in to that star system (if it is within sensor range). You can also double click the star, or single click it, and then select a planet to go to from a drop-down list.

When you start zooming in to the game it's easy to lose your bearings at first. There is usually a button in the bottom right corner which will take you back to the previous screen (these back buttons are sometimes missing, the backspace key is a useful way to move to a previous screen, or mouse scrolling out).

You can find out more here: Navigating to stars and planets (there's a couple of videos to help). As your empire grows, it can be quicker to navigate around your empire using the galaxy overview.

Exploring the home star system

Home System.jpg

After navigating to the home star system, the home planet is identified by the emblem of the civiliation next to its name. Non-colonized planets have an empty circle. At the start of the game, you should also see two ships in orbit of the home planet.

Home System Planet.jpg

Clicking any planet in the star system will open the planet management screen for that planet (you can quickly change to another planet by clicking it from the list on the left). For planets not colonized, the information available about the planet will be very basic.

Native Population.jpg

Occassionally, you will see a non-colonized planet with a native population. Colonizing such a planet can provide a huge boost to income due to the taxes that can be collected.

Home System Planet Orbit.jpg

If you have a ship in orbit of the planet, it is possible to see more info e.g. resource deposits and surface resources. Any ships in orbit of the planet are shown in a list to the left of the planet. Clicking the I icon to the right of the planet name opens the panel showing more info about the planet including the total mineral deposits and their densities.

Moving a ship within a star system

Star System Inner Fleet Move.jpg

To move a ship into a planet's orbit: click the ship to select it, the mouse cursor will then change into a destination selector, and clicking within the orbit of a planet will send the ship there. You can also click the planet itself which will open a context menu, move to orbit being one of the options.

Collecting surface resources

Transfer Surface Resources.jpg

When a ship is in orbit of a planet, it is possible to transfer any surface resources from the planet to the ship - even if the planet is not yet colonized.

Clicking the ship in the planet management view will open the transfer screen. The planet's resources are on the right. Click one to select and send it to the ship.

Early game ships cannot carry many resources, so you will need to make a few journeys around the system to collect all of the freely available surface resources to bring back to your home planet (or build a freighter).

Home planet

Home Planet Management.jpg

The planet management screen for a planet colonized by the player looks a little different. Details of the colony are on the right and there may be a shipyard present on the left (the home planet has a shipyard, other planets need to build one if required).

The colony section shows the colony reserves of the main five resources (hover each to find out more about them) and the rate at which they are being mined (if they are). Further to the right shows the civilization populations, the science power and credits generated by the colony, along with the power supply and consumption rate.

Colony populations and happiness

Not all civilizations are affected by happiness e.g. Syntis. For others, happiness can have a serious affect on population growth and normal colony operations.

Population Status.jpg

Population Manage.jpg