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Base Design that complements the terrain of the Southern Kelp Forest – Subnautica

Subnautica Base Design

I made a Subnautica base (“New Fiji”) that complements the terrain of the Southern Kelp Forest.

Vertical base stratification provides a lot of potential for unique base design, but whenever I tried my hand at it in a flat area, my creations always looked awkward. So I built a base in the Southern kelp forest in an area with complex vertical topography. I hope you like the results! I’ve labeled the rooms/features visible from this view. (the entire base extends down quite far and is not visible here).

Again without the labels. I compromised on realism and aesthetics. So for example, I made a point to build the farm near the surface, where my plants have better access to light. But I didn’t build them above water because that would have looked silly (this is where the glass roof for the multipurpose room would come in handy),

Here’s a slightly different view. I took some shots before I’d furnished the bar, hence the empty MPR above the Fab Lab

Side view of the main multipurpose room stack.

Desalination plant. Austere.

And sometimes eerie with the creepvine everywhere

Inside the nursery. Not too many fishies at the moment.

The farm is physically supported by this column that extends almost to sea level. It’s accessed from the nursery. You can see an airlock on the right. I’ll get into that in a sec.

The previous picture was actually taken during a solar eclipse. Here’s the sun breaking out again.

And at sunrise. I get the chills sometimes playing this game. UW did an amazing job with the cinematics/ambiance.

Maybe not the most efficient food source. But Val and Shuchun love them (yes I’m shameless I made up an entire crew that operates this base – getting to that later).

Glass walkway from the MPR stack to the rest of the base.

The walkway connects to the Fab Lab where most of the action happens.

Directly above the Fab Lab, the chic vending machine bar is poised to distract.

The ability to store items in counters would some functionality to them besides aesthetics.

*sigh* where most of the gameplay actually happens

Bar Fiji! Karaoke on Thursdays I heard


Fab Lab airlock

Kinda confusing, but this shot shows the moonpool-level general airlock, as well as the actual moonpool airlock.

Panning over to the seamoth moonpool. It’s accessed from the main MPR stack/Fab Lab by a ladder in the glass walkway, down one level.

Welcome to the seamoth moonpool! I named her Magellan because something Ferdinand Magellan something naval explorer. Here you can see some of the crew lockers! Milton, Sabelia, Valery (Val), and Shuchun. Not pictured: Tobias, Eve, I forget who else.

Closer up from outside. I built an observatory a level below to serve as “mission control” for the seamoth (or cyclops! – getting to that soon too). I built the base by placing this moonpool first. This is important if you’re trying to build a base very deliberately btw! Once you start building a base and you try to build a moonpool, you can’t rotate it. Probably a bug that needs to be fixed, but the point is that I started building this base from the MPR stack first and screwed myself because I could only build the moonpool perpendicular to the orientation shown here. Hours of wasted work but worth it. It fits in perfectly between the rock pillars such that two of its four supports don’t disappear.

And with the cyclops parked! You can see the control tower in the distance.

View from inside seamoth mission control. You can also spot the living quarters ~60 m below. The cyclops propulsor is immediately beneath the observatory.

The clearance is a bit tight. You can see the main ladder extending down to the Prawn moonpool and its mission control room in the back.

Unhappy with left moonpool pillar.

Another view of the top levels of the base (before the bar was furnished). Again, thank you UW for delicious cinematics.

Gorgeous Subnautica is gorgeous

The back side of the New Fiji

At the very top of this image you can see the ladder that extends from the glass hall (from the desalination level) to the seamoth moonpool, and then down again to the seamoth mission control level. Another airlock here.

Ok so what’s the deal with these airlocks? I erred on the side of realism. If this were real life, you wouldn’t be able to open an upward- or sideways-facing airlock on the base. Even if you had superhuman strength, as soon as you opened it, water would begin rushing into your base. Enter airlock! The only way to get into and out of this base is to enter a pressurized airlock from below. The idea is when you enter the chamber, you will go through decompression, after which point you’ll be able to open the bulkhead to access the rest of the base. The moonpools also have double airlocks, as they’d have to be pressurized to displace so much water with air.

A view from the inside. They’re eerie at night…

Here you can see the top of the main ladder. The floor below goes to storage (hidden behind the creepvine) and the extended decompression chamber. Another level below is the Prawn moonpool. I’ll get to that in a bit.

Better view. The extended decompression chamber is in the back.

When fully pressurized, you can enter directly from the water using the hatch below. As you decompress, you’d no longer be able to use it.

These single beds barely fit.

View from the foot of the bed

Here’s the storage room (upper level). I’m not very satisfied with it, let me know if you folks have any suggestions.

From the perspective of the decompression chamber. The main ladder is on the right and extended down to the Prawn moonpool (barely visible).

The next images will show the intermediate and lower levels of the base. So far I’ve shown the upper levels (what you can see here + farms + seamoth moonpool).

To orient yourself: you access the rest of the base from the crevice between these rock formation. The main ladder is immediately to the right of the Prawn moonpool and descends several levels further.

And the Prawn moonpool is below the main MPR stack

Hello Prawn moonpool! And the Prawn mission control below.

Really satisfied with how it fit between the rock pillar on the right and the arch on the left. The ground below makes for a nice landing zone when you disembark.

View through the arch

Panning out, you can see some lower levels of the base peak out of the terrain.

It’s quite a ways down from the main MPR stack (top right).

Thought this shot was pretty

Another level down is access to the large fish nursery.

Panned out. It spans four levels. Its first level is the lowest level of New Fiji. Cut off in the bottom of the shot there’s an empty observatory for looking around, musing, etc.

Another view

You’ve arrived at the bottom!

The spacing worked out really nicely with the drooping stingers.

Thank you devs for the eye candy

One level up from the bottom to access the scanner room (back, right) and the living quarters (back, left).

The scanner room fits nicely underneath another arch.

I haven’t found a good way to capture the entire base in one shot, so the relative locations of everything might be confusing from pictures. But to put in perspective where the scanner room is: This is the view from a creepvine close to the scanner room, looking up at the main MPR stack.

The living quarters are accessible from two levels, both through the large fish nursery stack.

Living Quarters I

Multi-tiered, with ladders connecting them in the center

A peak inside


Remember the parked cyclops? You can see the living quarters below.

Two airlocks

And the moonpool from the perspective of the living quarters

A similar view, but inside one of the living quarters airlocks.

That hatch to be exact

You’ve reached the end! I’d like to put in a captain’s quarter’s at some point, but tbh I’m kinda burned out for now. Showing a few more photos that I liked…

Good perspective showing the layout of the lower levels.

Control tower

Taking advantage of the window fade glitch from the seamoth to see the entirety of the base w/o occlusion from terrain. You can see it’s much taller than wide, but a lot is hidden.

Eerie sunsets

Bonus: did I mention this game is cinematic? Let me know if you have any suggestions! Disclaimer: I made this in creative mode so I didn’t have to worry about hull integrity. Also for the nitpickers, yes, I realize there’s no double airlock on the Prawn moonpool. It bothers me to no end but I can’t figure out how to reposition the moonpool to leave room for the *proper* airlock without compromising the continuity of the main ladder.

Original Link – Continuation of discussion

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