Barotrauma

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Barotrauma is a 2D multiplayer resource management game currently in development by Undertow Games and FakeFish. The game was released for free as a pre-alpha version on July 31st 2015, and has received regular updates since then. An Early Access commercial release was launched on June 5th 2019 on Steam. The game's source code can be found on GitHub.


Development[edit | edit source]

After the success of Joonas ("Regalis") Rikkonen's SCP - Containment Breach, he was encouraged to begin pursuing a career in game design and to start his own company, Undertow Games.[1] He would later begin working on an entirely new game which deviated greatly from his previous works. Barotrauma draws inspiration from several different sources. The resource management aspects of the game were inspired by Space Station 13, and may have intentionally given Regalis the idea to make the game two dimensional rather than 3D. The horror aspects and underwater setting of the game were inspired by Pressure. Pressure is a game concept that originated from 4chan's video game board /v/. The game woud've taken place in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean inside a research lab. The lab is then attacked by underwater sea creatures and it is then up to the player to try and escape the lab. Several developers have attempted to make an actual game based on the concept, but so far none of them have been completed. The idea of having lovecraftian monsters be the main threat in the game most likely also inspired the enemies in Barotrauma as well.[2] The game's art style is said to be inspired by Link-Dead, a 2D side-scrolling shooter which had also been in development for a while before being presumed dead.[3] The game's wiring mechanic was inspired by Minecraft's redstone mechanics and MechComp in Space Station 13.[2]

Plot[edit | edit source]

Barotrauma's time period takes place several hundred years in the future, during an era where humanity is technologically advanced enough to achieve manned interplanetary space travel. The setting of the game is on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, which was colonized during the space age. Due to the surface of the planet being too irradiated for survival, colonies and outposts have been established under the layer of ice covering the surface of the moon. Beneath the ice layer is a vast ocean used as a transport network between colonies and as a source for natural resources. The ocean also allowed for the creation of transportation shafts which interconnect the colonies throughout the moon. The ocean itself is inhabited by a number of aquatic creatures, as well as natural forming cave systems.

Objective[edit | edit source]

See also: Campaign

The primary goal in Barotrauma's Campaign mode is to maintain a Submarine and navigate it through the depths of Europa. Players can individually control any crew member on board and hire new ones in Outposts; all crew members has a specific Job which influences what Skills the character excels at. After a destination has been selected upon leaving an outpost, the submarine will have to steer through a randomly generated level to reach the next outpost or location. Once out in the ocean, the submarine and its crew will be under constant threat from the local aquatic Creatures, which attacks may breach the hull, causing floods and potentially letting them enter the ship and attack the crew. Fixing leaks and damaged Installations is crucial to survival throughout levels. To defend themselves, crew members can access the submarine's weaponry, consisting of Coilguns,Railguns, Depth Charges and the Electrical Discharge Coil. In the event of a break-in, or when venturing outside the submarine with a Diving Suit, a variety of handheld Weapons are at their disposal. Ressources such as minerals and plants can be harvested from the cave walls, and may later be processed in Fabricators and Deconstructors to craft a wide variety of Items.

In multiplayer, the game features other Game Modes, with different goals and styles.

GUI[edit | edit source]

Inventory[edit | edit source]

The inventory consists of 16 slots (medic's uniforms have 3 extra slots). Six of those slots are for specific equipped Gear, as indicated by their icon; one slot each for an ID Card, Headset, headgear, innerwear, outerwear and Toolbelt. The other ten slots can hold any items. 2 more slots, one for each hand, are shown to the left of the hotbar when holding items by hand. Items can be equipped by double-clicking them, clicking on the small bar above each item icon, or by using the appropriate hotkey. Characters can also carry items in their hands, and some items may not fit in the inventory slots due to their size; for example, storage containers, Fire Extinguishers or Coilgun Ammunition Boxes can only be carried by hand, Crates are carried with both hands, and the Diving Suit cannot be carried, only worn in the suit slot.

Store[edit | edit source]

Main article: Store

In campaign mode, stores allow players to purchase or sell items, hire new crew members, improve the current submarine's installations, or acquire new Submarines. Purchases are made using Marks, the local currency, that is rewarded to the player after successfully completing Missions. Crew hiring is inaccessible in multiplayer modes.

Wiring Interface[edit | edit source]

Wiring UI.png

In order for any of the submarine's onboard electric instruments or devices to work correctly, they must be wired. To enter the wiring system, a screwdriver is required. Pressing E while in proximity and highlighting the desired installation will open up its connection panel. (That feature can be disabled in server configurations or inside the sub editor).

While the connection panel UI is open, one can remove wires by clicking and dragging it out of the plugin, which will disconnect the wire on that side. Unplugging one side of the wire will disable its functions as expected, and will leave a loose wire that will spark. To completely remove and recover the wire, one has to unplug it on both ends and drag it to one's inventory or outside of the connection panel UI.

To connect a new wire, the player needs to have a screwdriver equipped in one hand, and a wire in the other. When these conditions are met, opening an installation's connexion panel will display the new, loose wire at the bottom of the interface. Once again, connecting it to an unoccupied slot is done by drag-and dropping it. Once the first end is connected, the player can safely exit the first installation's connexion panel and repeat the process on the second installation, using the same method. While walking towards the second installation, left-clicking anywhere on the wall will attach the wire to that specific location. In case of mistake, right-clicking then allows to cancel the last action. While this feature may appear purely cosmetic, it can also help visualizing and keeping track of elaborate wiring systems. To that same end, different wire colors may be used as well.


Controls[edit | edit source]

This is a list of the default controls. The keys can be customized in the options menu.

Actions Keys
Use E
Movement WASD
Sprint L-SHIFT
Crouch L-CONTROL
Select / Use Equipped Item MOUSE1 (Left-Click)
Aim Equipped Item MOUSE2 (Right-Click)
Creature Attack R
Ragdoll Controlled Character SPACE
Chat T
Radio Chat R
Push-to-Talk V
Local Voice Chat B
Grab G
Health H
AI Crew Orders C
Command Interface MOUSE3 (Middle-Click)
Next AI Character Z
Previous AI Character X
Info Tab Tab
Toggle Inventory in Sub Editor Q
Open the console F3/Fn+F3

References[edit | edit source]