Fishing is an efficient way to obtain seafood and other creature-derived resources for your colony.

A brief walkthrough of the fishing process.


  • Fishing is an order-less work activity in Outer Colony.
  • Fishermen with access to necessary equipment and a fishing area will spend their work shifts fishing on the shore.
  • Fishing attracts aquatic creatures, who are drawn to the fisherman’s location.
  • When a fisherman hooks a creature, it can be caught and killed. If the fisherman hooks a creature that is too strong, it won’t be caught, and it will break the fisherman’s pole, rendering the item useless.
  • Once an aquatic creature has been killed, its corpse can be transported to an appropriate stockpile, after which it can be butchered for raw materials.

Fishing Prerequisites & Mechanics


A great fishing result! A caught nikanaki fish, and a big one.

Before an NPC will engage in fishing activities, several criteria must be met.

  1. A fishing pole must be available to the person. Fishing poles are tools that can be manufactured at equipment manufacturing stations.
  2. An accessible fishing area must exist next to a source of water. Fishing areas are area designations like any other. It’s best to create fishing areas next to large bodies of water that are populated by the greatest numbers of aquatic creatures.
  3. The fishing activity must be enabled on the worker’s activity configuration. Fishing is a special kind of activity that doesn’t satisfy specific orders. Rather, enabling the fishing activity on a particular person simply directs a person to fish on their work shifts, whenever possible.Enabling the fishing activity on a person will trump pursuit of orders in an NPC’s prioritization logic, so you should only enable the fishing activity on NPCs that you want fishing to the exclusion of other endeavors.

It may be worthwhile to set some sort of scheduling mechanism that limits the number of hours in a work shift that are spent pursuing order-less activities, like fishing and hunting, but the current system works adequately for now, and I haven’t had time to add these sorts of refinements.

Once the prerequisites are satisfied and the fishing activity is enabled on a person during his work shift, the person will begin to fish. Under the covers, fishing involves deploying bait and luring an aquatic creature. A creature that’s being pulled in by a fisherman will either be successfully caught, at which point it dies, or it will break the fishing pole being used, if the creature is too strong.

Once a caught creature is dead, its corpse will be available for transport to a stockpile like any other. After the corpse has reached a stockpile, it becomes eligible for butchery, which can be used to convert it into usable resources.


In some ways, the fishing industry can be thought of like logging, as both involve the exploitation of renewable resources. Just like with logging, overfishing can completely wipe out the population of organisms that you’re using, rendering the industry dead. If you’re fishing in a smaller, confined area, limit the number of fishermen you employ and minimize the duration of their work shifts in order to prevent overfishing. Once a local population is wiped out, it won’t return, unless you artificially restock it.

Additionally, oceans can contain very large, dangerous creatures. If one of these is enticed to the shoreline by a fisherman’s bait, the largest specimens can easily break most fishing poles and may identify the fisherman as edible prey. As such, it can be wise to arm fishermen working oceanic coastlines and to provide them with some combat training.

Posted in Game Design, NPCs