Oxygen Not Included is all about managing to create a complex ecosystem of Duplicants, creatures, plants and machinery that is as healthy sustainable as possible. Along the way of building up your colony and exploring and ultimately leaving the asteroid there are several challenges that one will face.
Bath Runs and Pollution Edit
The first challenge a colony faces is ensuring that the Duplicants are able to relieve them-self and that one can take care of the resulting waste. Particularly the Duplicants produce two types of hazardous waste that needs to be treated accordingly: Food Poisoning germs and pollution. Pollution is organic pollution, not germs!
Food Poisoning germs can be get rid of by:
- assigning disinfection duty of the affected areas (via the "germs" overlay, top right of the screen)
- immediately assign mop up duty to Duplicants who throw up or relieve them-self on the floor to create bottles of Polluted Water
- ensure enough Composts are erected to turn the Polluted Dirt that has the germs in it as well is broken down into clean Dirt
- place the contaminated item in a room with Chlorine gas or Bleach stones or in a storage compactor with a Bleach stone (the latter release Chlorine very slowly though and you need at least 1.8 kg of Chlorine to be effective)
- have them use Hand Sanitizer
It is good practice to have a reservoir in a special room where a Bottle Emptier is assigned solely for emptying out bottles of Polluted Water. Ideally you design your colony so that toilets are easy to reach and they are inside a bathroom: "building" overlay on the top right gives the requirements for a room to be defined as such, that room definition decreases Stress a lot too!
Food Safety Edit
The next challenge one usually has to address is food safety. The colony comes with a very limited supply of Nutrition Bars in the Ration Box. Muckroot growing wild can be uprooted only for the fruit and then be eaten directly. Tiles with any kind of resources which have cracks in them can contain seeds or critters or other plants can be uprooted for seeds and the farmed.
Farming makes plants do grow faster than natural growth in unmodified dirt tiles - provided the temperature, light and atmospheric conditions are met. Those vary for different plants. How much faster a plant grows depends on what farming method is used (Planter, Farm Tile, Hydroponics), what farming skill the Duplicant has and if there is fertilizer applied. Fertilizer can be found naturally or produced with a Fertilizer Synthesizer.
Most plants produce fruits or such that are directly edible by Duplicants or creatures. But the nutritional value is usually low. You can process ingredients into different cooked foods which often have much higher appeal (reducing Stress) and nutritional value. The lowest food quality is the Mush Bar which is made from dirt and water and causes pretty soon Diarrhea in the Duplicants, increasing their needs for bathroom run and their stress level. This Diarrhea is NOT necessarily caused by Food Poisoning germs but simply the quality of the diet - but any toilet use releases Food Poisoning germs since these are part of the Duplicant digestive system but normally kept at bay by their immune system.
It is recommended to build relatively soon two Microbe Musher and one Electric Grill and produce Liceloaf & Mush Bar with the first two with similar high priority and convert the Mush Bars with the Fryer then on high priority to Mush Fry (which does not cause anymore Diarrhea and has higher appeal).
Any edible item that is not placed into a Ration Box or Refrigerator can be eaten by Creatures that roam your colony. A Refrigerator reduces food rot into rot piles but does not stop it. To stop food rot completely one can place the Ration Boxes storing the cooked food in a sink room filled with Chlorine.
Make sure no germs are spread onto your farm and food supply by placing a wash basin or sink in front of your farm and having sterile gases like Carbon Dioxide or such used to grow the plants inside!