The Chief Engineer, is in charge of the station and the AI. That means making sure there are no breaches, equipment remains operational and the AI doesn't get any weird laws. They command the Station Engineers and the Atmospheric Technicians.
You are the head of the Engineering department, which includes not only Station Engineers, but the Mechanic and Atmospheric Technicians as well. Essentially, your job is to boss Engineering and Atmospherics around and make sure either the Singularity Engine or Tesla Engine, atmospherics, and the solars are so that the power and air are constantly flowing.
Other than directing the workflow of the department, you're also expected to carry out general engineer duties and maintain the AI. To be a good chief you must have a good working knowledge of how APCs, SMES cells, and power in general works, how to decipher atmospherics, how to efficiently set up the singularity and solars and how to get your engineers moving.
It's no secret that engineers are more often than not the laziest of the station's crew and that no job surpasses the capacity for an atmospherics technician to be completely clueless about his department. This is where you come in! As stated above, your duties consist pretty much entirely on telling the engineers and atmos techs to work or just doing their jobs yourself. Listed below are those jobs.
At the Start of the Round
Greet your team over the radio and establish your authority. Find out who you will be working with, determine what engine that you're going to use (Singularity or Tesla) and how many of them, and make sure that everyone has a job to do. Designate someone to do solars (unless someone else volunteers first) and get everyone else working on the engine that you determined. If you take command of these first minutes of the round, most of Engineering will follow the rest of your orders until the round ends. If you stay silent then when you suddenly need something done halfway through the round, you can guarantee that nobody will listen to you or know who you are. If nothing else, speaking over the channel will at least tell you who on your team you can rely on.
Singularities, Teslas and the Setting Up Thereof
- If you want Lord Singuloth, your priority is to open up secure storage at the start of the shift so the engineers can fill plasma tanks for the radiation collectors (remember to close secure storage later).
- If you choose Lady Tesla, you can ignore the radiation collectors entirely and focus on the Particle Accelerator and Containment setup.
Most of the time your team will be fairly competent and you'll only need to supervise, but sometimes you'll have to step in. Read the guides, and make sure you know it inside and out. If someone's new, help them out a bit and show them the ropes. If someone's being an idiot then just start shouting at them and forcibly demote if they continue. With these points in mind, the Singularity (or Tesla!) should successfully come online and start generating power. It's always a good idea to announce this to the crew when it happens.
Whilst the main engine outputs a ton of power, a hardened engineer like yourself knows that it's incredibly unreliable at the best of times. This is where Solars come in. Solars output a decent amount of energy and can keep the station running at a bare minimum whilst you inevitably sort out an issue with the singularity or tesla, but they need setting up first! Luckily this is even easier than setting up an engine and you can just designate one of your engineers to go out and complete the task (better yet if they volunteer).
Atmospherics, the Great City-State of Pipes
The singularity is running, the solars are wired and the engineering team are at your beck and call. The station is getting a steady supply of power and you're confident your team can maintain this and repair any damage to the hull. Your job is done, right? NOT SO FAST, my friend! Haven't you forgotten Atmosia?
Yes, as hard as it is to accept, that convoluted bundle of pipes and its clueless staff are under your jurisdiction and it's your responsibility to make sure that it's keeping everybody breathing. As the CE, you are expected to know the basics of how atmos work, how to optimize it, and then how to keep people from messing it up. If possible, it's recommended that you have as much experience in Atmospherics as you do in regular construction and engineering. Nobody likes a Chief Engineer that does not know how to re-pressurize a room correctly. Again, read the guide and learn it.
All you have to do with atmos is get acquainted with its staff (You can do this at round start along with your direct minions, as they share the engineering channel), make sure they know how to optimize it (if not, do it yourself - better yet teach them), and then check back in periodically to ensure some one hasn't tampered with it.
Now that the station's systems are running at maximum capacity or are in the process of being made so, you can relax a little and
order some pizza. Here is what you should be doing:
- Make sure the plasma tanks are switched out when they get low in the radiation collectors, or no power will be generated! (not necessary for the Tesla)
- Periodically check out Atmospherics to make sure nobody's messed it up.
- Listen to the radio for hull breaches. When you hear of one, send a couple of engineers out to mend the damage.
- Supervise the singularity or tesla and take action when it looks like it's going to escape or fail.
- Talk to your team. Make sure solars are wired or in the process of being done, and ensure there's always at least one engineer in Engineering to monitor power levels.
As Chief Engineer you may authorise autolathes to be set up to assist engineering. You can also ask Security if they will allow you to build a security camera computer to assist engineers in monitoring damaged areas.
So you've been hired to kill/steal something on this ship? Great! This is one of the easier jobs when doing this since you have access to most of the areas where the steal objectives are and, even if they are somewhere you can't get to, you can easily just hack open the door or RCD the wall down.