Author Topic: Mapping the results of the tech tree: Has anyone managed to do it all?  (Read 19263 times)

Offline MichelGuenette

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Back in 2016, I decided to start up a new game of Outpost, v1.1. I made it as easy as possible on myself, because I wanted to do some testing.

I have the original game from 1994, which I played on my 386/66 or 486/DX2 (I upgraded it at some point in the mid 90's to its current 486/DX2 status). [I still have that PC sitting a shelf, but not operational.] I managed to complete all the research during one of my games and even got to the stage of placing terraforming buildings. I was learning as I was playing. That PC was very slow to compute a turn. It was necessary to turn off all the animations because it could not handle the processing load.

Even back then, I was recording information. I have my original notes of all the star systems and the planets that orbit those stars. I even tried to track which "bold new discovery" resulted from all the technology that was researched. As some have pointed out, there are a lot of duplicates, like "Improved Morale", that are discovered but hidden from view, if it was already discovered before. My list was incomplete, but still sitting in a folder in my desk drawer.

Over the decades, I never quite had a proper gaming machine. And I was busy with university and work during the late 90's and early 00's. I tended to play newer games, like Civilization 2 & 4 and Master of Orion 2 & 3. Even the newer PCs and laptops that I owned would hit limitations just as I was getting into the late game.

A neighbour in my apartment building had an old IBM ThinkCentre that he was offloading. We had chatted in the past and I mentioned how my build from late 2003 had an unstable motherboard and I had not had an opportunity to correct it. So, he gave me the IBM ThinkCentre and we installed Windows 98 on it. At least this gave me a decent 32-bit PC for playing some of the oldest games in my collection.

Fast forward to the mid 2010's. I was feeling reminiscent and I decided to load Outpost. I found some of the newer versions online, but I ended up reverting to my tried and true CD version of the game (v1.1).

I wanted to have a full tech tree, similar to what would ship with Civilization 2 and 4. I would open it up and check to see the dependencies and the costs involved. Once I had most of the results memorized, then I did not need to use the tech tree map as often. This is what was missing from Outpost.

So, I proceeded to play the easiest game that I could and ended up with a morale victory over the Rebel Colony. I took the decision not to perform any research whatsoever. I did not construct any buildings that could affect research or education. Earlier, I figured out the perfect 30 squares-to-an-edge diamond that is centred on the Command Centre. I used that to my advantage while I was designing the layout of the base above ground and below ground.

Once victory was mine, I saved the game before constructing my first UG Laboratory. I started with an organization chart that I created and printed. (I cannot remember where I saved the original file, so I might need to recreate it.) Primarily, I wanted to map each technology to its graphic, so that when I could build a better version, I would be able to glance at the tech tree and know where were the dependencies, what the results would be, and how long it could take. As I got started, I was losing track of which images matched which technologies, so I probably used Word to put together a simple table with an image, multiple rows (the same height as the image), an image, and multiple rows. Again, I printed it out. I started this process back in 2016, but I stopped after a dozen or so technologies because of the long wait times between closing and loading the same file each time.

Fast forward to June 2019. I decided to revisit my technology research project again. Part of the inspiration came from watching streamers on Twitch play Surviving Mars. So many of the elements are the same.

I found my lists and print outs in the old Manila folder that I have kept for 25 years. I started with some of the simpler branches of the tech tree and started tracking the number of turns it would take to complete each technology. My morale was at 999, so if there are any bonuses to research speed based on morale, they were at their maximum.

If a branch opened up a new tech level, then I would research only one technology at a time. I would always close and reload the game, so that I did not have any research results, except those that would be obtained along the current branch that I was testing.

This took many hours, but I managed to complete most of it. Some technologies did not produce any results and I recorded that. Also, I know that there were some technologies that did not become visible, like all the probes and satellites under Physics > Aerospace > Satellites and Probes. There is probably a dotted line dependency that I need to track down. The same goes for the technologies after Replicator in Hot Physics tech tree branch.

I still have more research to do. According to the description, the UG Administration building adds a research bonus to an adjacent UG Laboratory or UG Factory. (I do not care about the UG Factory at the moment.) Now, that means there are a few things to verify.

  • UG Laboratory edge on to a UG Administration
  • UG Laboratory diagonal to a UG Administration
  • UG Laboratory 1, 2, 3, ... tiles away from a UG Administration
  • Maximum number of UG Administration that can influence a UG Laboratory
  • Improved UG Laboratory versus UG Laboratory
  • Improved UG Administration versus UG Administration
  • Setting multiple UG Laboratories to research the same technology

Because I have the full list of technology costs for my current game, I can create new saves after the requisite technologies are researched and the buildings constructed in my base. Since the costs vary (i.e., 25, 40, 50, and 100), there are certain experiments that can be done, so that the numbers come out right and I can try to avoid rounding errors.

I would be interested to know if the dotted relationships between different branches of science have been recorded. I read nearly every thread about nanotechnology, so I want to verify how that works. If I can verify that I have every result for every technology, then I might sit down with Visio and build a proper tech tree that I can distill with Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Sorry for the long explanation, but I figured that a bit of history about why I am so interested in this topic mattered.

Offline leeor_net

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Sorry for not replying sooner, it's been a busy couple of weeks and I'm dealing with slight burnout from work.

Anyway, to answer your question directly, there's been some effort on that part in the past. I can't for the life of me find the posts now but they do exist that detail some or most of the research.

I did start transcribing the research tree from the 'official strategy guide' on the Wiki but I got only part way through before things got too busy. It unfortunately doesn't specify exact changes caused by research, only generally what they do.

A project like what you suggested would be extremely valuable to the community. I'd be able to provide some assistance/pointers where possible, I'm sure others would be interested in it as well (including Sirbomber and other forum users that aren't as active as they ought to be, you know who you are).

All that said, a belated welcome to the forums!

Offline MichelGuenette

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I have not had an opportunity to continue my research into research, but I figured that I could provide a first draft of the tech tree that I managed to create using Visio and Excel.

The formatting of the text is quite rough because the original elements (i.e., shapes) are relatively small: 1 inch wide x 0.75 inches high.

If someone cares to zoom in and use the hand to pan around the wide page, they will be able to see what I managed to accomplish.

The first page is what I would like the final version to look like. I plan on adding the image beside each technology and if there happens to be a building that corresponds with a result, I will add those as well. For the other results, I might need to resort to making up mine own images, though I would probably limit them to simple text and colour.

When (and if) I get close to making the final version, I will try to make it searchable and I will break up the tech branches onto different pages to improve navigation.

Please let me know what you think.

Offline MichelGuenette

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I felt inspired last weekend. I decided to chase down a few "bold discoveries" that I knew existed, but they did not show up after researching only one technology at a time. Also, I needed to figure out which technology (or technologies) was a pre-requisite to the different satellites and probes.

This is what I discovered.

Satellites and Probes
In order to reveal the sub technologies under Satellites and Probes, you need to research Optics. It makes sense when you think about it. Without lenses, which rely upon optics, it would not be possible to see anything. Also, when Optics is researched on its own, it does not produce a bold discovery. Finally, not every technology for a probe or a satellite will produce a result.
  • Physics > Optics
  • Physics > Aerospace > Satellites and Probes > *
  • * Solar Power Satellite; Weathersat; Comsat/Navsat; Meteorsat; Geological Penetrator Probe; Orbital Observer; Flyby Probe; ULBI Probe

Mass Driver
In order to get the result of Mass Driver, it is not enough to research Superconductivity. It also needs Mathematics.
  • Mathematics
  • Physics > Theoretical Physics > Superconductivity

Monorail System
In order to get the result of Monorail System, it is not enough to research Superconductivity. It also needs Metallurgy. Also, when Metallurgy is researched on its own, it does not produce a bold discovery.

I have to assume that the buildings are unlocked at the same time. I am still performing my testing with v1.1. Monorails were not enabled in this version of the game. I will verify when I try a new game on my laptop using v1.5.
  • Chemistry > Physical Chemistry > Metallurgy
  • Physics > Theoretical Physics > Superconductivity

Multiple AI (5)
There are two technologies that are required. It is not enough to research Advanced Processors. You need AI Managers as a pre-requisite. Also, when Advanced Processors is researched on its own, it does not produce a bold discovery.
  • Computer Science > Advanced Processors
  • Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence > AI Managers

Space Program
This result was a bit odd. Originally, I proceeded to research all the technologies under Physics. Nothing happened. Learning my lessons from the Terraforming result, I tried to be more selective of the technologies that would lead to the correct result. I discovered Mathematics was a pre-requisite because it gave me Mass Driver and SpacePort at the same time as Factory Efficiency Increase.

I was getting some weird results. For some of the technologies, I was getting the message about a "bold discovery", but none of the technologies was supposed to generate one according my first pass through all the technologies. Once I figured out that Extraterrestrial Mining was a pre-requisite, then I was able to start crossing out many technologies that are not part of the dependencies.

When I was doing my third pass through my list, I discovered Orbital Mechanics was another technology. It was one of those technologies that gave me the "bold discovery" message, but no new result. That saved me more than 20 technologies. This left me with about 10 technologies to verify. In the end, Propulsion Systems and Aerospace were the ones where I needed to concentrate my effort. These also turned out to be the technologies that produced the "bold discovery" message, but no new result. That was great to confirm, after the fact.
  • Mathematics
  • Physics > Orbital Mechanics
  • Physics > Propulsion Systems > Standard Propulsion Spacecraft > Low Orbit Freighter; Heavy Lifter; Asteroid Miner
  • Physics > Aerospace > Spacecraft Testing and Analysis; Wind Tunnels
  • Planetary Sciences > Geology > Mineral Resources > Extraterrestrial Mining

I am not going to go into the same detail here like I did in a different thread. These are the technologies that you need to research in order to unlock it.
  • Biology > Medicine
  • Biology > Exobiology
  • Biology > Ecology > Alien > Atmospheric; Terrestrial; Marine
  • Biology HL > Genetics > Genetic Engineering
  • Planetary Sciences > Meteorology
  • Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science HL > Nanotechnology 1
  • Physics > Theoretical Physics > Quantum Mechanics
  • Physics HL > Nanotechnology 2 > Nanomachines > Assembler
  • Physics HL > Nanotechnology 2 > Nanomachines > Replicator > Terraforming

I confirmed the results of others who posted in a different thread. What I can add to their results is that either Construction or Mining will produce the Nanotechnology result. So, then it comes down to a decision on the part of the player. Do you want Factory Production Increase (from Construction) or Mining Improvement (from Mining) as a "bold discovery" at the same time?
  • Chemistry > Biochemistry; Quantum Chemistry
  • Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science HL > Nanotechnology 1
  • Physics > Theoretical Physics > Quantum Mechanics
  • Physics HL > Nanotechnology 2 > Nanomachines > Assembler
  • Physics HL > Nanotechnology 2 > Nanomachines > Replicator > Construction OR Mining

There are still a few technologies that I need to verify that did not produce a result.
  • Biology > Entomology
  • Physics > Theoretical Physics > Anti-Matter; Nuclear Physics; Plasma Physics
  • Physics > Electrical Engineering > Robotics 2 *
  • Physics > Communications > SETI
  • Physics HL > Nanotechnology 2 > Nanomachines > Replicator > Food Production

* According to a different thread, this technology might be necessary to allow certain types of robots to be constructed, even though the "bold discovery" is in the list of results.

I have not had a chance to perform the other research related to the number of laboratories and whether or not Administration buildings speed up research. If I can determine if the remaining technologies produce results in combination with other ones, then I should be done with my verifications.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2019, 09:46:06 PM by MichelGuenette »

Offline HegemonKhan

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ya, we got someone continuing working on outpost 1 mechanics!

I myself made my own tech/research mapping, similar to you and sirbomber and whoever else:

got morale to 1000 (max), without any research labs, and saved game

researched every tech, one by one, and then reloaded, rinse and repeat

so, I had mapped out what every individual tech resulted in (turns it took for a single research lab, new buildings, new graphics, new techs, and other/misc bonuses), along with what were the direct-line-path prequisite techs

but, I stopped with that... wasn't going to try to map out the multiple techs... too many combinations... lol... ya could use some common sense... and work from there... and it probably wouldn't be too bad, but was too lazy and bored to do it... as at that point in a normal game play, you just keep researching stuff anyways... wasn't worth the effort to try to map out the multiple techs out


there's so many mechanics to test out... (wish we could just see/know them, lol... if someone could reverse engineer to create the source so we can see the mechanics used directly, sighs)

(seriously, wish the owners/companies would make their source code public after it goes obsolete/unavailable/unplayable/unfindable/unsupported and no longer making any profit off of it)

it would improve the knowledge base, and likely would have some ingenious things to further improve the knowledge base... sighs


when you change truck assignments, do you lose the minerals they're carrying?

confirmation of whether resources can travel through buildings or if they need tubes, and/or how much resources are lost going through the buildings if it is so (know we have a user posting about this, just like to know if this is confirmed or not)

and a gazillion other mechanic questions, that you've mentioned much of (such as does have mutliple labs working on the same tech improve its speed?


not confirmed, but I have seemingly found that the improved lab buildings and administration building DOES lower/lessen its research-time/speed, for example, techs that take normally 100 turns would take like 50-75 turns instead

(its easy to test: research exobiology: 100 turns with no bonuses, then try researching exobiology with improved lab building, then try again after researching basic research, then try again after researching 2 levels of basic research, then try again researching exobiology using multiple labs, using a tech that takes 100 turns, you'll see more drastic differences in turns shaved off, as likely a lot of mechanics use fractional/decimal/percentage modifiers)

the 25 turns for research seems to be a hard-capped minimum as the quickest you can research something


I too found that for the most part (there's some exceptions that are in between them), tech research uses these turn-research intervals:

25: example embrology : (2 turns adds 1 graphic research bar)
50: example mathematics
(probably a few/some at 75 or 70 turns as well, but can't remember off the top of my head)
100: example exobiology
(can't remember if there's anything at 150... I think 100 is the upper max limit, but could be wrong, with it being 150)

(you learn pretty quick and remember which techs take 25, 50, and 100 turns)


pretty sure entomology is needed for the new robots from factories (insect-sized-shaped drones, lol --- this was probably sci-fi when this game came out, but now its already reality I think --- not for the public use though of course)


but there's so amny other mechanic questions... too... I'd have to think more about it... (I have been playing outpost 1 again just recently, but my brain is failing me... too many mechanic questions exist... lol)



I also found that on hard difficulty, you need to take life support with you in the starship screen, but on beginner you don't
« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 08:57:50 PM by HegemonKhan »

Offline leeor_net

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Very nice work!

I've been a little scarce lately, I do apologize for that. But I'm still keeping tabs on things!

If you'd like access to the Wiki to update the OP1 research sections, send me a PM and I can get you set up on that.

Offline MichelGuenette

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Right now, I am not ready for that level of responsibility. I am in the middle of a v1.5 game. Still performing more experiments.

When I returned to my v1.1 game, I noticed that Robotics 2 would hide all of the sub-level technologies under Robotics 1. I am assuming that there was an error in that version of the game. Because the sub-level technologies were visible AFTER researching Robotics 1, there was no need to research Robotics 2 to reveal them. However, if Robotics 2 was researched BEFORE the sub-level technologies under Robotics 1, then it was impossible to see them. I believe that there was a problem with a value.

For example:
  • If Robotics 1 Researched is True, then show all sub-level technologies. (Number of Trues == 1 == 1. No error)
  • If Robotics 2 Researched is True AND Robotics 1 Researched is True, then "show" all sub-level technologies. (Number of Trues == 2 > 1. ERROR)

Because I went after Humanoid Worker Replacements (HWR) early, I was able to confirm that both Robotics 1 AND Robotics 2 are required to show the sub-level technologies for the different types of robots. (Number of Trues == 2 == 2. No error)

* Even if HWR was researched and the result of Humanoid Workers was listed, the option to build them in a factory did not show up. They were not enable in v1.1. The same goes for the Road Building Improvement. Only in v1.5 did I get the option to select them from the list in a factory.

Number of laboratories with concurrent research
Still working with my v1.1 saved game, I decided to perform some testing with the number of laboratories performing research on the same subject at the same time. I was able to get results for nearly every use case. I might need to use my v1.5 game to verify or debunk my results.

Increasing the number of laboratories that are performing research at the same time works, to a point. Because I have the total number of turns that it takes to complete the research for each technology, I was able to cherry pick my way through the tech tree and select subjects with more than 25 turns (i.e., Mathematics == 50).

  • I constructed 5 laboratories and set them all to research Mathematics.
  • I kept all of their progress bars open and visible on the screen.
  • I noted the starting turn and I began advancing by one turn a time.

I had great results. There was a mouse visible in each progress window after each turn. But, when I reached turn 10, which should have meant that I was done (50 turns / 5 laboratories [producing 1 research point / turn] == 10), the progress just stalled. I kept counting as I kept playing more turns. It took 25 turns to complete the research of Mathematics with 5 laboratories. This is not an efficient use of resources.

Later, when I repeated a similar setup with a different technology, I selected only 2 laboratories. The technology was completed in 25 turns (50 / 2 == 25), as you would expect.

Taking the experiment a step further, I selected one of the 100-turn technologies. I selected 4 laboratories. The technology was completed in 25 turns (100 / 4 == 25).

So, we can conclude that a technology that requires either 50 or 100 turns to be researched, should have 2 or 4 laboratories assigned to reach the hard cap of 25 turns.

* All of the above research was conducted with the Tier 1 underground laboratories. I did not build different tiers of underground laboratories.

Laboratories and Administration buildings
I did not see any changes to the number of turns necessary to complete the research of a technology. It did not matter if the technology needed 25, 40, 50, or 100 turns. Also, it did not matter how many Administration buildings were surrounding a laboratory.

I tried with one Administration building immediately adjacent. No difference. I tried with five Administration buildings shaped like the letter 'C' around a single laboratory. No difference.

For the moment, I believe that it might be a limitation of v1.1. While I continue to play my v1.5 game, I will attempt to perform the same sort of experiments and track the results.

Basic Research
Based on the results above regarding assigning multiple laboratories to the same technology, I set 2 laboratories to conduct Basic Research. I had inconsistent results.

After two rounds of Basic Research, which took 25 turns each, for a total duration of 50 turns, I stopped the research in those two laboratories. I selected Robotics 1 because it needs 40 turns to complete. I recorded 38 turns, which led me to believe that I had generated 2 extra points of research.

I decided to run three more rounds of Basic Research (i.e., 75 turns). This should give me a total of 5 extra points of research.

However, when I selected Orbital Mechanics which needs 50 turns to complete, it still took 50 turns to complete instead of the anticipated 45 turns (50 - 5 == 45).

I looked through the tech tree to find the other technologies that require 40 turns (Terrestrial, Atmospheric, Alien Pharmacology). Each of them was completed after 38 turns instead of the anticipated 35 turns (40 - 5 == 35).

I did not bother to experiment with 100-turn technologies. Either they were already researched or the fact that Orbital Mechanics did not produce a result, I was not confident that it would be different with a higher value technology.

I will probably need to restart a v1.5 game to redo some of these experiments with Basic Research.

Bold New Discoveries
There are 62 results of bold new discoveries in v1.1. They are the same ones that I recorded 25 years ago. This time, I have better information and the complete set of associations between the results and the required technologies.

I am hoping that with v1.5, I will be able to determine if the last few technologies that did not produce a result in v1.1 will this time, even if it is a duplicate that I need to hunt for. I can already scratch Robotics 2 off the list. That just leaves me with six more to go.

It is too bad that it is taking so long to play a turn in the game because I am dozing and digging within the 30x30-tile area around both Command Centres. My experiments would go so much faster if I was not actually playing the game with the goal of winning. Oh well!

Offline leeor_net

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Basic research was only provided to reduce research rates and reduces research times by a maximum of two turns. The 'Official Strategy Guide' by Balfour does mention this. I'll have a look around for the book again and see if I can transcribe that passage.

Offline White Claw

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I wish I saw this post sooner, but I've been away a while.

I did a tech tree for OP2 once upon a time, but never completed one for OP1. The tree is certainly more in depth and I remember getting lost in it for long periods of time. If I get the chance, I will try to dig out my manual (in a moving box somewhere) and see if it has any additional information.