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I adore Grounded, the devs have really made an amazing game! After about 76 hours in, I've completed the main quest and explored nearly every inch of the yard, which saddens me greatly. I've been thinking over a lot of ideas to add more content, and this monstrous list is the result (may be edited). If you choose to go through and read it all, you have my gratitude!

TL;DR: Story/lore ideas, new locations, enemies, factions, items, and gameplay mechanics.

Lore:

Story ideas for worldbuilding.

  • Town is owned by Ominent entirely, most residents are employees and their families; scientists, engineers, researchers.
  • Encouraged to be as productive as possible, many residents perform experiments at home, keeping equipment, specimens, prototypes, etc. at their residence
  • Other neighbors near current home: mycologist, entomologist, nanotech engineer, genetic engineer, roboticist, herpetologist, marine biologist
  • Entire town is quarantined due to outbreak of infectious parasitic fungus and sealed under massive dome. Residents have been evacuated, everything is deserted.

Areas:

New areas as separate world spaces and maps. Progress from one to another via transition locations like holes in walls or swimming through pipes, open windows, etc.

  • House/front yard
  • Other neighbor houses/yards
  • Sewers
  • Gas station
  • City area outside
  • Office inside
  • Library
  • Labs
  • School
  • Aquarium
  • Terrarium
  • Museum

Bugs:

Specific types of critters for the bug faction.

  • Dragonflies, damselflies larva and adult
  • Butterflies, moths, caterpillars, cocoons
  • Flies, maggots
  • Centipedes, millipedes
  • Fleas
  • Mantis
  • Worms
  • Scorpions
  • Tardigrades
  • Jumping spiders
  • House centipedes
  • Silverfish
  • Murder Hornets
  • Wasps
  • Leaf cutter ants
  • Snails, slugs
  • Roaches
  • Scorpion fly
  • Stick bug
  • Thorn bug
  • Goliath beetle
  • Hercules beetle
  • Crickets, grasshoppers
  • Flower-spike bug, adult and nymph
  • Silkmoth
  • Tarantula
  • Assassin bug
  • Camel spider
  • Bot flies
  • Tongue eating louse
  • Trilobite beetle
  • Velvet ants/cow killers
  • Katydids

Other Enemies:

New enemy types and factions.

  • Large Scale Animals: Similar to crow or koi in proportion. Squirrels, Rats, rabbits, frogs, newts, fish, crabs, birds, snakes, lizards, turtles, bats. Drops unique animal specific items like fur, hide, scales, feathers. Cannot be killed but flees area for awhile after defeat. Use grappling hook to mount and climb around on to attack vulnerable areas.
  • "Smaller" critters: similar to the above, anoles, geckos, amphibians, rodents, etc. Not as big as large scale animals, but around the size of larger insects.
  • Microbots: small scale robotic enemies similar to those ingame. Formed from experimental nanotech and shrunken Burgl type bots. Animal like designs for maintaining ecology. Drops metal, circuits, wires, etc. Think Horizon Zero Dawn but tiny micomachine toy-sized.
  • Planimals: evolved form of meat sprouts/infested fungi. Predatory mobile plants and plant-like animals. Killer tomatoes and such. Drops plant materials.
  • Chimeras: experimental genetically engineered hybrid organisms, scaled down with Spacr tech by Ominent for easier containment and research.

Items:

New items/production station ideas.

  • Grappling hook: crafted utility item for mounting large scale enemies and navigating the environment. Unlocked through science shop.
  • Utility items: new category of item for existing gear and new items. Gas mask, goggles, canteen, headlamp, breathing gear, grappling hook. Seperate slots from inventory like other equipment. Can be worn with armor, updated models to fix any clipping or replaces armor cosmetically. Equips when needed or triggered use from inventory. Start with two slots, increase in science shop. Unlock tool belt in science shop to gain ability to equip hammers, axes, shovels, knives, and torches to utility item slots.
  • Utility pouches: craftable, wearable inventory expansion for specific item types like food, smoothies, ammo, and healing items. 5 slots per pouch, can only obtain one of each pouch, slots appear beneath standard inventory for total of 20 extra slots. Crafting blueprints unlocked through science shop.
  • Equipment flavor schemes: different color schemes for armor and weapons based off of scab colorations. Applied with one time use dye appliers, a new craft able item. Research blueprint at science shop. Use with gear at paint station, new craftable production station. Select item and unlocked scab color scheme at station and apply with use of dye applier. Can also restore default colors at paint station.
  • Mushrooms: more mushroom types that can drop different resources (caps, stems, etc.). Also add mycelium/hyphae fibers that can be woven in to rope.
  • More meats/hides: creature specific hides and meat and and creature specific chitin.
  • More armor/weapons: diverse equipment types that reflect the different types of creatures and materials available. Mixed sets that incorporate both creature and plant parts.
  • Chem lab: new production station that can craft pheromones to alter bug behavior or take them. Craft bug repellent to keep away hostile bugs. Can also craft medicinal substances that can heal or buff players, or poisons to coat weapons with.
  • Climbing gear: utility item, specialized craftable set of gloves and shoes that allow player to climb up vertical surfaces. Might require insect parts or maybe reptile parts, something like the feet of an anole or gecko.
  • Stone building materials: large, stackable, carryable stones that have to be transported like stems or grass planks. Smooth round riverstones, slivers of slate.
  • Glass: craftable glass from sand smelted in an oven. Used for windows and weapons.
  • Wagons: buildable wagons and carts that can be harnessed to an appropriate pet, acting as mobile storage and a way to ferry large resources like grass and stems.
  • Cable cars: upgraded ziplines using parts of a normal zipline and spinning wheel with added basket to ride in. Can be used to travel in either direction via hand crank. Can be further upgraded to add storage for carryable resources like grass or stems.
  • Gliders/parachutes: dandelion reassigned as parachute, usuable as utility item. New craftable gliders made from insect wings, plant fibers, amphibian and/or bat webbing. More forward than downward motion compared with dandelion tufts. Can also craft better parachutes from clover leaves and spider webs. Maybe tap jump when airborne to deploy parachute, hold to deploy glider, or parachutes only deploy automatically when falling.

Mechanics:

Ideas for new gameplay features.

  • Dodging: dodge and roll with B button to avoid attacks. Drains stamina.
  • Hotbar tweaks: infinite hotbar wheel. Assign as many items as you want to hotbar. First 8 can be accessed via number keys, everything else has to be used from the wheel. Think like warframe, it just spirals more with each item you add, with the first assigned item looping back as the last item is reached.
  • Target lock: lock the camera to a target when in combat.
  • Inventory Sorting: button to auto-sort inventory and storage by item type, merge stacks.
  • Fatigue: fatigue meter fills the longer player stays awake. Sleeping reduces it to zero. Long periods without sleep is penalized by reduced stamina, maybe even inventory capacity. Sleeping in better beds also applies bluffs like reduced stamina drain, reduced hunger/thirst drain, resource stack increase, hauling buff. Scab can remind player when to sleep at specific time. Toggleable and adjustable in menu.
  • Dual wielding: use tools and weapons in either hand at the same time. Harvest alternate resources without changing tools or get resources faster if using two tools of the same type. Wield two different types of weapons or two of the same type for more combos/crits. 
  • Character customization/outfits: different non-armor clothing like shirts, headgear/accessories, pants, shorts, shoes, etc. Different hair styles/colors for each character, different backpacks. Can be crafted from ingame materials like plant fiber or webbing, and found on small toys or action figures. Can provide a buff of some kind but no defense or resistance. Special full body skins (like the skeleton) can be unlocked by player with some kind of holographic emitter gizmo.
  • Mod support: allow players to browse, download, install, and manage load order of mods through the game itself through the starting menu.
  • Scab display: allow players to toggle display of additional elements like minimap, compass, clock, temperature gauge, season.
  • Pet expansion: tame all creatures except large scale animals, rideable mounts, flying mounts, hitching posts for fast travel. Different sized pet houses for different sized pets, feeding and watering station, pens they can be sent to when not in use. Maintain happiness with treats and toys specific to each animal.
  • Fast travel: requires mount and hitching post at starting and ending points. Travel progresses game time and drains hunger and thrist, both based off of distance traveled. Can only fast travel within a distance that doesnt completely drain hunger/thrist.
  • Temperature: extremes in hot and cold debuff players with status effects. Cold reduces max health and movement speed, heat reduces max stamina and increases water/food drain.
  • Seasons: summer hot to moderate temperatures, current animal and plant spawns, current available resources, longest days shortest nights. Fall cooler to moderate temperatures, fewer creature spawns, more dry grass, browner foliage, shorter days. Winter cold temperatures, barely any creature spawns, little plant growth/resources, bare foliage, animals hibernate, water freezes in to ice, must be harvested with axe, koi pond, swamp, and puddles freeze, longest nights. Spring cool to moderate temperatures, more creature spawns (but lesser than summer), more plants/resources (slightly less than summer), budding green foliage, longer days. Each season lasts about 90 days.
  • Adjustable time-scale: allow players to adjust the time scale to normal in game time where 1 second is 1 minute, or a real time mode where 1 second in reality is only one second in game, each in game minute only passes after a minute real time. Hunger and thirst drain slower in real time mode, day/night cycle passes realistically. Can be set to match computer time.
  • Bug part sorting: a production station that sorts non-specific creature part stacks in to a more specific item like leg, mandible, head, antenna for more advanced crafting. Example, spider parts can be sorted in to spider leg, spider eye, spider mandible, spider meat. Repeat for each insect. Items can still drop from killed creatures, like ant heads or gnat meat, but specific items can drop less in favor of general "parts" that have to be sorted later for the more useful items.

Anyway, that's all I've got so far. May add or remove things, but if you've made it this far, thanks for the read!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Personally, I like all of your ideas and have a few of my own that I wish would be included that could enhance the game as well. Personally, I think it would be cool to see a Frog in the Upper Pond. The frog being more like the wolf spider is naturally aggressive towards the player and smaller bugs, like aphids, ants, and weevils. The Frog goes to sleep at night and wakes up around noon staying within 30 (game distance) of the Upper Pond. The Frog's aggro range is 10 (game distance) Where the Frog travels around (or where it sleeps perhaps) the Frog will leave little droppings (acts like clay) that can have those bug parts in them or even a backpack (10 percent chance of spawning maybe). The Frog's HP will be like the Green Shield bug, the Frog's attack is a tongue shot where it flings its tongue at the player (and bugs) if it hits the player the player is brought towards the Frog where it can bite the player or bug. Since it is a Frog, it can also launch itself at the player to get closer doing a small AOE damage. When killed the Frog will drop its tongue which can be used as like a grappling tool of some kind, and its legs that can be used as a better fins upgrade but also allows you to jump higher and take less fall damage. The Grappling tool is crafted with one Frog tongue, one bombardier part, 3 sap, one berry leather (or pupa leather), and a mosquito beak. The Grapple can go as far as 10 (game distance). The Frog could also drop some Frog Eggs which can be used to make a food item that gives a jump boost, swim boost, and fall resistance for a short time and fills up half of your food. The Frog could also be a boss if the game Developers also chooses to. (These suggestions are all on the steam community page under Grounded Creature Ideas, hosted by emceeparkour.) I have another suggestion for a Landmark. The Landmark can be in the center of the Great Oak Tree below the branches. It can be a hole the size of the bird and that is where the bird's nest is with a small branch right below it for the bird to land. Every three days (more or less this is the developer's choice.) there can be up to five feathers and maybe some spider or other bug parts. A way up to it besides building would be a hole (small enough for a player to go up) at the bottom of the trunk opposite corner of the milk molar that leads right to the nest. I also have a suggestion for a few additions that are more of an ease of use rather than full of game change. These suggestions are a change to how the mutation Mom-Genes works and how you can view certain tools. The tools would work like this; When looking at tools (specifically axes and hammers) you can see what they can break at their current tier. For instance, Tier 1 hammer says it can break sap, rocks, and acorns. While the Tier 1 axe can say that it can break grass, dandelions, and berries. Shovels could say they can dig up bugs, and, depending on the tier, what they can currently dig up. (Example for shovels: tier one can dig up bugs, tier two can dig up bugs some treasure and gum.) In my own opinion I think this would especially help new players who have never seen how the game is played. The suggestion for a change in the mutation, Mom-Genes, would work like this; For the mom genes mutation I think it would be best to have the spiderling summoning either be via a key press with a considerably long cool down or the status say at what point it will activate.

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