Like any good life sim, Exocolonist has a variety of life skills. They affect which options you can choose during events, and how hard battles of that type will be.
Skills are organized into social, mental, and physical suits, which matter mainly for card battles.
It was hard to narrow it down to only 12, so some are a bit overloaded – most knowledge is shoehorned into Engineering (the dry sciences) or Biology (the wet ones), while social sciences, arts and humanities are absorbed into your Creativity skill.
With survival on the line, some skills will come up more than others, like your ability to recognize and and interact with alien species (Animals skill).
|Empathy||Social||Understanding other people|
|Persuasion||Social||Charisma to command people and speak in public|
|Creativity||Social||Artistic ability and capacity for novel ideas|
|Bravery||Social||For both social and dangerous situations|
|Reasoning||Mental||Problem solving and general knowledge|
|Organization||Mental||Dedication to neatness, management|
|Engineering||Mental||Study of machines, physics, math, and programming|
|Biology||Mental||Study of plants, chemistry, and the human body|
|Toughness||Physical||Physical strength and stamina|
|Perception||Physical||Ability to find things and sneak past things|
|Combat||Physical||Tactics and weapons|
|Animals||Physical||Familiarity with xenofauna, hunting, ranching|
Battles and Perks
Battles can challenge any skill, and are played out the same way whether your Combat skill is being tested (eg during sparring practice) or your Engineering skill (eg fixing a robot or taking a math test). Yes, you can even have an Empathy battle! More on battles later…
Once a skill reaches 30%, 60%, or 100%, it will unlock perks which grant permanent effects. Creativity unlocks crafting recipes, Organization lets you equip more gear, Perception makes collectible resources easier to find. Some unlock new career choices, shop items or give you a boost in battles.
I’m still ironing the perks out but they’re going to be cool and help make every playthrough different.
Kudos, Happiness and Rebellion
Three skills are different:
Kudos is the game’s currency – a virtual coin used mainly to reward children. For the most part the colonists don’t use money and instead share resources according to need (yeah… they’re Space Commies). But when someone goes the extra mile, or your kid finally cleans up their bedroom without having to be asked, it’s customary to say thanks with a few kudos. They can be spent in the supply depot on small luxuries like candy and fancy clothes.
Stress increases when you work, battle, explore, do just about anything. Too much and your performance suffers. It can be reduced by spending time relaxing.
Rebellion and Loyalty are at opposite ends of the same dial. It starts in the middle, and is affected by how you deal with authority. Neither rebellion or loyalty is inherently good or bad, but if the dial swings far to one side or the other it will close some event options and special endings and open others.
The colony itself has hidden stats like Food, Defense, and Morale. These are directly affected by your actions – every time you forage for a new edible plant, or help repair an automated turret, or perform a particularly beautiful song on your photophonor. But you’re just one child and I don’t want to overstate your importance, so they’ll either be tucked away or hidden completely.
Although your actions may affect whether your colony survives, thrives, or fails, Exocolonist isn’t a colony simulator so much as an RPG. You’ll have your hands full managing one teenager’s skills, equipment, and future.