PlanetBase – Disaster Warning Levels

I found this a while ago, and it took me a little while to find it again. When you have a telescope and a telescope console in your control panel, you can get advanced warnings for disasters. I haven’t found them very useful because I want my colonists to keep working for as long as they can.

Here are the warning levels I found. I have yet to verify these:

detected10 hours out
hitting soon5 hours out
Sandstorm approaching / Solar Flare Warning Levels

Keep in mind that solar flares will only happen during daylight hours. If you get a warning at night, it won’t happen until daytime. Perhaps this can result in extra time.

Disaster Preparedness Tips

As soon as the warning of “imminent” happens (which you don’t need a telescope or console for), I immediately enter Security controls (F6) and enable the Yellow Alert Mode, and disable all mines. Once everyone is in, you can disable all Airlocks and turn off the Yellow Alert if the sound is annoying. Disable any Starports or Landing Pads to save power, since no ships will be landing during this time.

When is it Over?

I think the easiest way to know when the disaster is over is to listen for the tense music to stop. For sandstorms the strong winds will stop. During solar flares the brightness of all the buildings is increased, and it will go back to normal once it’s over. But this can be hard to tell.

How do you prepare for disasters?

Astroneer – Fall Update Earn Rewards

The current limited-time event in Astroneer is called the EXO F.A.R.M Event, and we see SturdySquash (like SpookySquash last year). It’s been a little while since I’ve played a limited-time event, so I couldn’t remember how you exchange the biofuel for rewards. You can easily find how many points each biofuel is worth, and how many points are required for which rewards, but it doesn’t explain how to turn these points into the rewards. Does it happen automatically, so as soon as you make enough biofuel, the rewards unlock? No!

Exchange BioFuel for Rewards

First you need to print the EXO Request Platform:

EXO Request Platform lets you turn in your biofuel and earn rewards

Second, you need to activate the quest by the control panel on the platform.

Then you can place a Medium Gas Canister filled with your produced biofuel on the top of the rocket module. In the control panel again, you’ll see how much your payload will be worth in points and your current progress. You’ll have to pay bytes to send the rocket off — 500 bytes for each payload. You’ll also get some goodies for the payload, I got a proximity repeater, and a research sample. Maybe graphite and aluminum, although those might have been in my backpack already. My second payload, which got me past 2400 points, got me 2 leveling blocks, EXO chip, narrow mod, alignment mod, solid-fuel jump jet, 2 small canisters. So very random stuff.

BTW Does anyone know how to use the leveling block? It only seems to modify a very small radius and seems very unuseful. I probably will just shred them.

Astroneer Fall Update and Delay Repeater

Astroneer’s Fall Update is out and includes Spooky Squash again! We have different types like Knobbly SturdySquash, and different types of Caudrangeas that produce biofuel from Spookysquash samples and hazard seeds. After making a bunch of biofuel you can get enough points for some reward items.

This time I really need to set up some better automation in order to get enough points. So I’m watching videos on the various repeaters. The new one added in this release is the proximity repeater, which will automatically plant the seeds or harvest the pumpkins in its radius when activated. This will be the first time I use the repeaters.

Looks like the delay repeater has to be activated by something else, and doesn’t .. eh .. repeat again after the first activation. But you can set up a feedback loop with a button repeater and the delay repeater such that it activates again and again, automatically. Place a button repeater, and set its target to a delay repeater. For the delay repeater, set a segment down and branch it back to the button repeater so that it sets it off again. The second part of that branch can be set to whatever else you want to activate (e.g. the proximity repeater). This image below shows my setup.

Proximity repeater with spookysquash growing, button repeater, and delay repeater

Delay Repeater Not Working

I was really confused when my delay repeater was not being activated by my button repeater. Be careful on what type of “pin” is attached to the delay repeater. There are two types: a Segment Pin and a Target Pin. When dragging the anchor point out from the top of a repeater, you can set a segment pin (anchor) down on the ground with your activate key ( F key for PC). You won’t be able to pick that up again and use it as a “target” pin to activate anything. Hover over it, press the activate key to make a Target Pin, which you place on the object you want to activate.

Segment pins are on the ground, Target Pins are on the repeaters

New this year is that the squash samples and seeds will disappear after a time. To avoid this, the samples need to be stored or slotted somewhere, and the seeds need to be planted!

Happy Automating!

Railway Empire – Basic Rail Network

For quite a while I was addicted to Railway Empire by Kalypso Media. It is fun yet the scenarios are quite challenging. This only makes me more determined to work harder and try something different in order to complete the tasks. It has many game elements that I look for: strategy, entrepreneurship, a bit of exploration, and unlocking new tech. Also, trains are cool!

Cattle Drive Scenario

Scenario – Cattle Drive

One of the tasks in the Cattle Drive scenario seems impossible. How are you supposed to buy out the AI competitor??

Rail Network setting: Regular track network

One of the settings before starting a campaign or scenario is “Rail Network” and option of Realistic, Normal, and Normal (AI). Does anyone know what the Normal (AI) means? That AI’s trains get to pass through each other but yours don’t?

Astroneer – Automation

I started playing Astroneer again, after being away for a year or two. The automation update (June 24, 2020) is great! I love the “Medium Resource Canister” that holds 32 of the same type of resource. So far I have one for iron, aluminum, compound, zinc, ammonium, and titanium.

Setup Auto Extractor

I was out of ceramic, but I found a clay deposit (Sylva planet). I found out that the “Auto Extractor” produces more of the resource than using your tool. (You’ll need to unlock using 7500 bytes and construct it using the large printer with 2 Steel, 1 tungsten carbide, and 1 rubber). I created one and dragged it over to the deposit. It’s too big to put on my tractor or buggy. I also dragged over a medium platform, medium generator with some carbon, and a few small wind turbines. I placed a Medium Resource Canister on the top of Auto Extractor, connected it to power, and turned it on (don’t forget that). It took awhile, but of course I was doing other things while it was working. But it filled up the canister without depleting the deposit!
Tip: It seems that you need to put 1 resource in the Medium Resource Canister first, so it knows what type it will “accept”. Then the Auto Extractor will deposit the resource nuggets in it.

Simple setup of Auto Extractor on clay deposit


Now, I can automatically smelt a resource from the source canister to a destination canister, and it doesn’t need an “Auto Arm”! Just put the canisters on the same table as the Smelting Furnace. See the tip above – I had to put one Ceramic in the “output” canister first, and tweaked the “Enable Output” setting until the process started automating.

Simple automation of smelting from one canister (clay) to another (ceramic)

How is your automation going in Astroneer?

SimCity BuildIt – app review

I have become addicted to SimCity BuildIt on android! It’s similar to the latest SimCity desktop/online game, but much more micro-managing. You don’t zone residential/commercial/industry, but you plop specific buildings within each of those categories as they get unlocked. Then you have to manage what gets produced in your factories and commercial buildings and use them to build up the residential buildings.  The objects that the commercial buildings create depend on objects created in the factories. So there is basic supply and demand. Each residential building has several levels to build, each one making it taller, and requiring the residents to be happy and have basic needs met.  Once a building level is completed, you get points towards a level up, as well as some simoleans. You get taxes from your population (you have to collect it frequently or every day from city hall) and the tax rate is based on the residents’ happiness. The happiest population (maybe over 90%) will give you a 20% tax rate. As you level up, you unlock more commercial stores and city management – like police, education, a health system, and bus system. Once they’re unlocked, people will start clamoring for it. The fire system is one of the first to unlock. This style of game is similar to the Facebook games where you set some objects to be produced, and then wait “real” time for them to complete – the objects unlocked in later levels take longer and longer to finish.

It’s very challenging but very addicting too. You can leave it for several hours while you’re waiting for things to be built, then come back to complete the requirements, collect taxes, and queue up more to be built.  I find it very hard to get a large cash supply because the new unlocks cost so much, yet you need to supply some of them or else your residents will become unhappy and buildings go abandoned, ruining your happiness and population level, thus your taxes decrease and you can’t make any money!


You’ll need to keep dirty factories far away from residential. In other SimCity games, residential next to industry would just become low-wealth. I’m not sure if here they would abandon their house or not, but they do complain a lot. To save money for city services like fire and police, keep your residential areas dense around those buildings and don’t put things like water towers or sewage plants within the residential. Land is at a premium within the fire and police zones! Build up before you build out (opposite of other SimCity games!!). This means that you won’t’ need as many fire or police stations. BUT be careful when you get a lot of skyscrapers in one area – traffic will become a major problem and they will abandon their building for this reason. The 4 lane road upgrade is not too expensive, but a 6 lane road segment could be over 10,000 simoleans! So you have to balance the high-density buildings with smaller ones.

There are a lot of features to this game. Have you tried it?

Intergalactic Growth Pod and Unidentified Fruit Object

I finally found the UFO plant and completed the Gardening collection. There are so many collectibles that require the Rocket Ship adventures, and this is one of them. Do you need to have a specific skill level in Rocket Science before you get access to the correct adventure that produces the UFO plant? Do you have to be in the Astronaut career? Do you have to answer the correct way on the adventure questions? Well, all I can say is that I kept going on adventures with Sims who were not in the astronaut career and had up to level 6 skill, and never got the UFO. But my Sim who IS in the astronaut career gained level 7 Rocket Science; only level 5 of the career; and then got the adventure of the Green Man. The correct answers to the questions are: the Jungle, Take the Weapon. You will defeat the Nega-Sim and as a reward get a UFO plant and Cowberry plant.

Intergalactic growth pod

Sims 4 Tense -Watch the Fireplace Channel

One of my Sims just got a Whim to ‘Watch the Fireplace Channel’ after becoming Tense. But when I click on the TV, I don’t see that channel. Maybe this is why I can’t seem to complete the achievement of watching every TV channel and listening to every radio station! Do you have to have a fireplace to unlock this TV station, or is it a bug that it’s missing?

WatchFireplace channel

Sims 4 Collections -Breeding Frogs!

I’ve been exploring the Sims 4 collections lately, to fulfill the ‘Curator’ aspiration. I think I’m on the final task of ‘Complete a collection’ but it is hard!! My Sim Adelyn has the Collector trait from choosing a Nature aspiration (The Curator). She’s found fossils, crystals, metals, frogs, and My Sims trophies. The crystals and metals can be sent to the Geo Council to be converted to Elements, which can be collected as well. There are only 15 elements, but it still seems hard to collect all of those 🙁 Here is my current Element collection:

Element Collection

Frog Breeding!

The Frogs are unique in that you can breed them to make ones you don’t have yet. I found more information on which ones to breed to get desired traits here: . Each ‘column’ in my screenshot below is an ‘attribute’ that a frog can have: None, Striped, Dotted, Surf, and Whirl. Each ‘row’ in the screenshot represents an ‘Element’ the frog can have: Leaf, Dirt, Eggplant, Heart, and Sunflower. Some of them have self-explanatory names, like Spotted Leaf Frog. But others have unique names, like Tiger Frog (striped Sunflower) or Bullseye (Heart Whirl). I was missing the DirtWhirl frog, so I bred the Dirt Frog and the HypnoFrog (Leaf  Whirl), and it generated the DirtWhirl on the first try! There are 4 combinations of elements/traits that it could generate, so you may need to keep trying to get what you want. The forum article explains it better.

Frog Collection

EDIT: This is by far the easiest one to complete, because you don’t have to travel to different lots to find new frogs. You can only breed once every few hours though. I got them all now!!

Frog Collection

My Sims Trophies

I think I’m only missing one MySims trophies. They are annoying because you find the time capsules they come in so frequently!! I wish there were less of those and more crystals and fossils!

MySims Trophies


Have you been able to complete the collections yet?