Author Topic: High Tech Survival  (Read 6110 times)

Xecutor

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High Tech Survival
« on: April 04, 2015, 10:47:33 AM »
I'm going to continue development of my 7drl 2015.
Here is a little more detailed idea. I'm open for suggestions, corrections etc (more like I really need them :) ).

First of all player will need to find sources of:
  - oxygen
  - food
  - water
  - energy

Planet is defined by:
  - temperature (day and night)
  - oxygen in atmosphere (with possibility of toxic atmosphere, but with oxygen)
  - terrain

Terrain types:
  - rocks and stone (whole range of temperatures)
  - swamp (not too cold and not too hot)
  - forest (taiga when too cold, jungle when hot)
  - desert (hot only?)

Ideally there should be at least 2 ways to get crucial resources for each combination.
In a forest with breathable air there should be hostile and non-hostile, but annoying (too curious) animals.

To make thing more fun, following encounters could be generated nearby:
  - hidden space pirates base (can be aggressive, the base might contain useful machines, food etc if conquered).
  - abandoned secret laboratory/military base with still functioning defense systems (passive, if conquered, always contains useful machines).
  - smugglers entrepot/base (can be neutral or aggressive, no machines, but might be food and raw materials).
  - ancient ruins (passive mechanical traps, might have some raw metal may be?)

Ways to get oxygen:
  - condenser (?) for low oxy atmosphere
  - filter for toxic atmosphere
  - hydrolysis from water (expensive?)

Ways to get (drinkable) water:
  - boil + filter if there is source of water nearby
  - thaw snow ice, then boil+filter
  - collector of condensate early in the morning? (in desert)
  - drill underground water
  - collect cacti in desert, use squeezer to get cacti juice, filter it to get water?

Food (need more here):
  - in forest/swamp/jungle: vegetables, fruits, animals. kill children of dangerous animals and get attacked by parents?
  - rocks + stone: - mushrooms in caves? animals may be?
  - desert: bugs? :)

Energy:
  - solar panels in desert
  - wind generators in rocks?
  - oil refining and combustion engine+generator if there is source of oil (or natural gas)
  - bioreactor that generates methane (combustion engine+generator) :)

Probably it's better to do one thing at a time. I'll post ideas about production chains for plating and fuel rods once things above are settled.

AquaTsar17

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Re: High Tech Survival
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2015, 02:15:19 PM »
Deserts are not necessarily hot, they are just extremely dry (very low to no precipitation, no or extremely rare vegetation). The polar regions and high mountain plateaus are often called deserts for this reason, even though they are not hot.

On that same topic, collecting water from dew sounds good but you could also collect rain water. This could also be automated if you want, having dew or rain collectors or you have to manually do this by using barrels or nets. If you just had a method by which precipitation falls at various points in a day (depending on the frequency of rain) then you could also change the type of precipitation based on the planet. For example, there is precipitation on Venus but it's not safe to drink nor even safe to be standing in (photos from the Venera spacecraft on the surface showed parts of the probe had melted off and were lying on the ground). This way you could also require water filtration on some planets and have it unnecessary but helpful on others (to avoid harmful bacteria or something).

Hence, you could have hostile environmental conditions to avoid: sandstorms to damage machinery, acid rain, daylight being too warm for your suit, electrical storms that could disrupt your equipment, etc.

Your on-board ship computer could provide a synopsis of the dangers of the planet, and you could augment it with additional sensors for tracking weather or something.

You could also grow small plants, algae or moss for oxygen and possibly food. If your planet lacked soil, perhaps you could process plenty of rock with other chemical elements to produce some. Alternatively, you could try aquaponics (growing plants in only water) which would work out great for algae. Combined with a bio-reactor for energy, you'd be able to harvest plenty of necessary resources assuming you had a surplus of water.

For developing this, I would start by hard-coding the type of planet and getting all possible sources working there. For example, start with a barren rock planet with no atmosphere (and hence no precipitation). Add in the ways to get oxygen, food, water, and energy. Then change the soil type of the planet. Then, add a faint atmosphere with wind and some of those effects. And so on. By the time you get to a jungle environment (the more interesting one, with animals and such) you would already have a large suite of working possibilities for resources, so you can focus on the animals [basic plants and insects don't need to be in a jungle so you would've developed them already]. For releases, whenever there is more than one planet type available just randomly determine which one is used; for development though, I think it's best to hard-code the one you are working on so you can test and expand it.

Although you could just randomly assign values to things like atmospheric-oxygen-content or surface temperature, these values could be calculated from more abstract concepts (e.g., planet density, distance to sun, orbital rotation speed for length of day, atmosphere density and composition, etc). Again, gradually add the possibilities of these and expand on them; start with the worst circumstance (no atmosphere, tidal locking for permanent day/night, etc.) and add from there.

akeley

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Re: High Tech Survival
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2015, 02:18:54 PM »
I'm going to continue development of my 7drl 2015.

Great news! Glad you weren`t put off by "players these days" ;) 

These ideas look cool so far and add much more interactions to the already solid skeleton. Yeah, some hostiles are a must, plus weapons to deal with them. My favourite so far are the simulation elements, how the subsystems inside the ship work, your suit and all that. If you can apply similar rules to outside environments that would be awesome. Then add maybe random occurrences (weather, pirates etc), expand on survival elements and ship rebuilding and hopefully all together it can turn into a brilliant game.

Xecutor

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Re: High Tech Survival
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2015, 02:00:46 PM »
Thanks you for your comments and suggestions.

Quote
start with the worst circumstance (no atmosphere, tidal locking for permanent day/night, etc.)
Isn't it a bit too harsh? :)
I'm not sure if it is possible to survive in conditions like this.
I'm afraid that if I add machines that can make it possible survival in these conditions (especially eternal night),
survival with these machines in softer environment will be piece of cake.
Hm... Probably I can alter starting items/gear depending on planet?

AquaTsar17

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Re: High Tech Survival
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2015, 03:25:56 AM »
Isn't it a bit too harsh? :)

It depends on what you want to include. Obviously surviving on the side of Mercury that always faces the sun would be very different from surviving on some plant- and water-rich world with normal temperatures. Simply having running water available (or animals to catch for food) makes that resource far more trivial to obtain.

Different starting gear could be a good idea for this, or you could require different equipment that varies in power-usage or maintenance. Perhaps when there is running water on the planet surface you just need to hook up a filtration unit, but it needs regular replacement of filters (that you need other resources to make). In contrast, the water condenser for worlds without running water can be placed anywhere and doesn't require maintenance but it uses a lot of energy. Similarly, on worlds with harsh temperatures you don't have animals but just need to limit your time out in the sun (or something); worlds without harsh temperatures with animals means you have to deal with annoying creatures that might disrupt or steal machines.

Balancing your tools and machines this way might be another way of keeping the hazards roughly the same in terms of difficulty, but still vary in interesting ways. Or you could just assign a "danger" level to things and ask the players at the beginning of the game how difficult they want it. (i.e., how hard of a planet do you possibly want it to create?)

Xecutor

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Re: High Tech Survival
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2015, 05:45:05 AM »
Hm. Difficulty level that filters out more/less difficult planets might be a good idea.

In case of planet without atmosphere I'll need to implement proper airlock.
With 'always day' planet there is no problems with power - solar panels are very efficient.
With energy you can make cave with more or less acceptable conditions for farming.
But realistically speaking there is no way planet like this will have any organics on the surface.
And source of water could be a problem too. Lakes in caves?

akeley

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Re: High Tech Survival
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2015, 12:19:57 PM »
realistically speaking

This is something you need to decide on - are you going with super realistic universe that mirrors ours or do you grant yourself the sci-fi license and take liberties.

In the latter scenario it`s no problem to make things up accompanied by plausible explanations - therefore you can create lifeforms that exist even in most improbable (for our current knowledge) conditions and random events (or new rules) that can make survival on even Earth-like "easy" planet difficult too (and balance the game).

I think both realistic and sci-fi methods can be interesting.

I`m not a fan of difficulty levels so "randomize all/deal with it" option would be much appreciated.

You can also have a look at how Rimworld deals with things - it`s a similar subject matter, though their aim is not a "winnable" game but more of a story generator.

Xecutor

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Re: High Tech Survival
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2015, 03:31:17 PM »
I played RimWorld quite a lot :)
While I like it, I find it strange that in futuristic environment there are no means of automation :)
All the work is done manually.

As for realism...
Given that the game will have quite a lot of gamey elements...
Probably you are right. As long as there is reasonably logical explanation, it doesn't matter if it is totally realistic from standpoint of our knowledge about the universe :)

So... On planets without atmosphere main source of ... basically everything could be found in caves.
In case of tidal locking outdoors should be too hot/cold even for machines.
i.e. machines need working temperatures range.

In addition to pipes and power cables I think I'll add data cables to transfer data and signals.

Btw. What information about words is needed for proper localization?
Plural form, gender, 'a' or 'an'. Anything else?

p.s. Probably detailed information about how to connect machines can be presented in form of manuals on the bookshelf in the cockpit? :)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2015, 03:33:58 PM by Xecutor »

AquaTsar17

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Re: High Tech Survival
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2015, 04:05:55 AM »
Btw. What information about words is needed for proper localization?

That is a huge topic. Do you mean any word or just nouns (e.g., items, terrain, creatures)? For nouns, your list should be fine: plural form, gender (male, female, neutral), and article ('a' or 'an'). However, you may need to care about their position in a sentence, depending on how you localize such phrases.

p.s. Probably detailed information about how to connect machines can be presented in form of manuals on the bookshelf in the cockpit?
You could store them there, but first-time players may not think to look in the bookshelf unless explicitly told to do so; and in that case, why have it in a bookshelf and not a help menu? Perhaps the books could give the basics and hints regarding specific arrangements, but the basics are always available in a help menu.