Welcome to another one of our Hardcore Mechanics posts! This time we will be focusing on three systems: Hunger-Thirst-Sleep, Diseases, and Temperature.
Hunger, Thirst, Sleep
As with all games that have any sort of survival gameplay, our hardcore will include an option for enabling Hunger, Thirst, and Sleep, or HTS.
Hunger and Thirst are the first two statistics in the HTS system and is used to track the amount of food and drinks the player has eaten and drunk as well as the time it's been since the last time you ate/drank. Likewise, Sleep, the third statistic, is tracking the time since the player slept, drank something with caffeine in it, such as Sparkle Cola. It is worth noting though that in the latter case the rate at which the player will get more tired will be multiplied once caffeine stops affecting the player, making it only a temporary solution.
Statistically they all work almost the same, with all of them based between 0 and 1000, 0 causing player death, decreasing over time, all have various tiers that cause debuffs every 200 points, and all have a dynamic debuffs that scales in intensity based on their respective stats.
The differences between the three stats lies with their debuffs; Hunger for example dynamically affects your carry weight, as you get more and more hungry your carry weight become lower and lower. Thirst however affects your AP and strain costs, the higher your thirst, the more expensive AP cost and spells will be. And finally, Sleep affects your ability to recover from physical activities by reducing your AP regeneration.
Way back before Fallout 4 announced their Survival mode, introducing diseases into the wastes, we had already planned our own take on the system. Mark us relieved to find out that our system wasn't completely identical to theirs.
In our game the player will contract various diseases as they wander the wastes. When the player contracts a disease they will be given 1-2 randomly generated symptoms, each of which give the player varying status effects. Over time, if the disease is not treated, the disease will get worse by adding more and more symptoms. So for example, if the player got “Food Poisoning” disease from eating uncooked food they might be given the symptom “Tummy Ache”, which gives the player -2 Perception, if they do not seek medical attention for it eventually they might get the “Vomiting” symptom, which not only can cause a unique animation, add -1 Charisma, and -50 Thirst every time the animation plays. The symptoms will keep stacking up until the disease is treated, but there will be items to slow down the process.
In order to get rid of a disease the player has three options; The first is to pay a doctor a sum of caps based on the disease and the amount of symptoms, the second method is to use the extremely rare antibiotics item, or as the third option the player can treat the symptoms directly and individually. To treat the symptoms the player needs to take meds that treat those specific symptoms. So for example if the player has the symptom “Headache” or “Fever” they would need to find “Aspirin”, if they have “Tummy Ache” or “Diarrhea” they would take “Tummy Tablets”. Once all the symptoms to a disease are cured, the disease is removed.
Now if you think all that sounds complicated, strap in, cause we aren’t done just yet. An additional part to the diseases module, and one that can even partially affect the HTS system, is Temperature. Temperature, or Temp, adds a base body heat to the player, which is then modified by Temp zones, which are placed throughout the game world. On top of this, the player’s body heat is further modified by actions; For example, if the player is constantly running, eats a hot meal, or is wearing thick clothing/armor, their body heat will go up. If they are swimming, drank a cold drink, or wearing rather thin cloths, their body heat will go down.
Depending on the player’s body heat, various different factors are applied to the player. In the cold, not only are diseases easier to catch and worsen, but certain diseases are only caught in cold areas.
At least, that is the current plan. However, after discussing about this system over a longer period of time, we are no longer entirely sure whether people would find a temperature system like that interesting or worth it, or if it would just be considered a hindrance and annoyance.
Because of this, we would be very interested in hearing your opinions! Please write up in the comments if you think we should go forward with the temperature system, or if we should just scrap the idea on concentrate on other things.
You may be looking at all of that and be thinking "Whoa, that's a lot of info, but I wonder what are the exact details on those systems?" Well, starting today, certain design team posts will also be accompanied by separate forum posts, which will include excerpts straight from our Game Design Document! Because these will contain more detailed equations, values as well as in-depth descriptions, they would not fit the style of our blog posts to be added into them directly, but we wanted to give the curious bunch of you the chance to read a little more anyway.
As an obvious disclaimer, while they will have the latest information we have at the time of posting and we try our best to make sure they are as close to a finished design as possible, anything and everything in them is subject to change on a later date. Especially since these are for you to read, comment on, and provide feedback to us on what you think could be made better!
Click here to get a link straight to this weeks GDD discussion post.
We’ll be looking forward to hearing from you!