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The Cheshire Cat

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About The Cheshire Cat

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  1. I had the "organ donor" thought a while ago. My thinking was that at some point they could add in station-wide directives, which would be kind of like the ordinances from the Sim City games - universal laws which affect everyone on the station and provide some benefit at some other cost. One of the ideas I had would be "mandatory organ recycling", which forces everyone to be an organ donor, making them more widely available, but making everyone less happy (for obvious reasons. Even people who volunteer to be organ donors probably wouldn't like the idea of other people being forced to do it!) being an organ donor could also make people available for post-death cyborgization in some future update. It would have to have drawbacks though - being a cyborg shouldn't just be an "extra life". The idea is that most people probably shouldn't WANT to have it done to them. I think they did have plans listed for a more detailed damage system, which would probably be part of a medbay related update. I think it would be cool to see a really detailed Dwarf Fortress style injury and treatment system, since hardly any games really bother with more than abstract HP.
  2. It might be a nice feature when they're implemented to do something like Prison Architect, where you can browse a list of all the custom names in the game and manually add them to your station.
  3. I'd just ignore it. Sounds like a problem that will solve itself really. No cause for alarm.
  4. Instead of shift length/recreation time, what might be a bit more intuitive would be a slider for the number of crew of each job type you want active at a time. So if you have say 8 techs and set your active number to 5, then they would rotate out the 3 that are off-duty as the on-duty people get tired/hungry/whatever. The crew would try to maintain that level of activity at the expense of their own needs, but naturally forcing them to keep working when they're exhausted or lonely will seriously damage their morale and impact their job performance, so you could set your number of active techs to 8, but they would all work themselves to the point of near-death and be miserable because of it (they should probably automatically go off duty to deal with a need that's critical, even if it would drop the count below what you've set, but normally they'd rotate out much earlier than that if there's someone that can take their place). A build queue is a good idea too. Although since you might potentially have a bunch of stuff queued at once, you should be able to easily bump something to the top of the queue by selecting it in the world rather than just in the queue screen, since it might not be obvious just looking at the list which "Build door" order is the one you actually want.
  5. Hah, I was actually trying to avoid the "recreational drugs" angle just because it might not be the kind of thing they want to include in the game, but I do like the idea of people potentially getting addicted to medicines and trying to steal them from the medbay/garden to get their fix. I like the idea of access restrictions too, but there needs to be a reason to have them other than pointless bureaucracy, and crew potentially stealing valuable medicines is a good one. People could even get addicted to things through legitimate medical treatment, say if their doctor has a low skill level and over-medicates them. An interesting extension of the security levels idea might be the concept of contraband trading, too. Maybe someone can't get into the garden because you have access restricted to botanists, but they have enough space cash or something to bribe a botanist to steal things for them from the harvest. I think there are already plans to have a sort of crew economy with personal items, so having a black market would be an interesting extension of that concept.
  6. This wouldn't be very relevant to the game as it works currently, but once medbays and doctors are in, it seems like it would be a natural extension of the latest update to add in the ability to grow medical plants that could be ground up into various treatments. It could work somewhat similar to how food works - doctors without the right medicines might be able to get by with basic painkillers and such, but with proper cures available they'd be more effective at curing diseases and treating injuries. What might be a nice implementation would be to put checkboxes on the hydroponics cultures for food and medicine - players could check one or the other to specify what they want grown there, or if they leave both checked, the botanists themselves will decide what to plant with an aim to keeping things more or less balanced (so that if someone wants to just make a big garden zone and not worry about the details, they won't have to). Perhaps there could even be some food plants with medical properties, so that when eaten they'll help people recover from ailments - doctors would prescribe them those foods when they visit the medbay, and afterwords the sick person will try to get that specific type of food when they're hungry.
  7. Glowing fruits and vegetables should be what happens if you put your garden next to your reactor room. Get your recommended daily dose of radiation in one serving!
  8. If you wanted to go nuts, you could extend that to allow cross-breeding of plants to create new ones with the combined traits of their progenitors, the idea being to emphasize more desirable traits over generations much like actual farmers do. Of course it should be a system that could be ignored without too much consequence since I doubt everyone would want to micromanage their crops to that extent. Maybe have some crazy plants that could only be discovered through breeding as a nice bonus to people who do play with it.
  9. I'm in favour of this idea. I made a big post a while ago here and ventilation was one of the main things - I think it would be a lot more interesting being able to pipe gasses around with vents and scrubbers rather than just having it automatically spread room to room (it makes sense that it transfers between rooms too, but not as the only option). It would also be nice because it would let you run ventilation ducts through space to spread oxygen to areas of your base that aren't directly linked to your atmospherics room (say if you have a little mining/refinery module off near a bunch of asteroids). Basically I'd want to have an atmospherics room that looks something like this: http://wiki.ss13.eu/images/4/49/Atmospherics.png
  10. This is a thought I had a while ago - will different alien races have different special abilities? What made me think of it initially was an incident where one of my crew asphyxiated in a room that lost all its oxygen, but it took him a really long time, and his Spaceface comment seemed to come off as being more mildly annoyed by the lack of air than actually dying. So what if one of the races breathes at a dramatically lower rate than others, and so can survive in a room with no O2 much longer? Or maybe another that produces a pheromone that makes them literally invisible to parasites/monsters, so they could go right up and punch one in the nose without being in danger. The idea is that the different races should have something unique about them that's not necessarily gameplay altering to the point of just being flat out better at certain jobs than everyone else, but just something interesting that makes it more than just having a different graphic than humans.
  11. Sort of related, but I read that update a little while ago and just remembered a thought I had about trying to decide what food gets made. What if the player could set a menu of food available in a particular bar? The idea being that a higher variety would be more difficult to provide for because of the wider range of ingredients, but also more satisfying to crew. Also, crew themselves could decide what they want based on their preferences, but to keep them from just ordering the same thing all the time, maybe they'll also have a need for variety, so even if they absolutely LOVE burgers, some days they're really just feeling salad instead. Also, if we're going to have almost, but not entirely unlike tea, we'd need to have pan-galactic-gargleblasters as well. You're only allowed to put them on the menu after you've set up a special ward in your medbay, though.
  12. I don't know if co-op multiplayer would work for DF-9, but competitive multiplayer might be interesting! Some kind of base invasion mechanic. Maybe even just an asynchronous things where players can "invade" bases made by other people and steal resources, where the player being invaded gets some kind of bonus if they fail (they don't lose anything if the invader succeeds, just to avoid griefing. It's more of a "for fun" idea rather than an attempt to put a serious competitive angle in). Anyway, I was trying to edit my original post to clarify a few points but apparently the size limit has changed since I wrote it and trying to save any edits results in an error saying it's too long! So here is what I was going to add: -Singularity engine: Like the heat engine, it's interesting not just because of what it is, but because it's built out of a bunch of different objects with their own properties interacting with each other, rather than just being a monolithic entity built from a menu - Radiation collectors, containment shields, laser emitters, the particle accelerator (which itself is multiple parts, although they don't actually do anything independently, so it's not a great example), and the singularity itself can all be placed and activated anywhere on the station with backup supplies provided by the map design or ordered by the station quartermaster player during the game. Generally there isn't much to do with them in SS13, but in a game like DF-9, I can think of a lot of creative ways someone might want to use laser emitters or containment fields on their own. That ties in with my point at the bottom of the post, about objects vs. rooms. One of the things that makes SS13 so interesting is that pretty much everything in the game is built from the interactions between different objects, rather than baked-in behaviours that only serve one purpose. I think part of why people find Dwarf Fortress so fascinating still despite there being more user-friendly clones being developed is that it still does emergent gameplay through system interaction better than anything else out there. That's the kind of thing I want to see in DF-9, and it's exemplified so well by SS13 in the same setting, which is why I think it's really worth taking a look at. Especially since so many of the systems in SS13 would really serve this kind of game so much better than the game they're in! Despite the game having a fully built station when you start a round, you could technically build almost the whole thing in-game without using any sort of admin tools or developer cheats (there are a few vital, unique objects that can't be created by players, but it's a surprisingly small list). There isn't a lot of reason to do that in SS13 since rounds last on average maybe half an hour (usually a lot less for most players since death means you're out until the end of the round, Counterstrike style), but the fact that you CAN is interesting enough. Anyway, the only reason I feel like pushing this point so hard is just because DF-9 feels currently more Dungeon Keeper than Dwarf Fortress - dungeon keeper is not a bad game at all, mind, but it's not really as interesting as Dwarf Fortress, and one of the main reasons for that is that essentially you just build rooms to fulfill quotas. It's about resource management rather than freeform experimentation, and I'd really like to see DF-9 take the latter route. As an aside - you can check out the systems on your own time by running a local BYOND server hosting the TGStation open source download, which I do sometimes when I want to deliberately mess with atmospherics or something and don't want to worry about pissing off other players or just getting brained by a toolbox. Goonstation is worth checking out anyway though, for the stuff they've done with chemistry and medicine at least.
  13. Quickfire ideas: -Changelings: Basically . A possible alien type that can devour crew members and then mimics their appearance. Like parasites but SO MUCH WORSE.-Cyborgs: Possible ways to resurrect a dead crew member. Build a robot body, stick their brain in it! Like the plans for androids, could follow the same "obedient/rampant/transcendent" behaviours. -Access control/Chain of command: Ties in with traitors, but useful anyways just to control general misbehaviour - be able to set up custom access restrictions on rooms/areas/doors, maybe a general rank permission, with special access permissions for specific jobs (i.e. security would be very highly restricted, but you might want to give your janitors special access so they can get in and clean without making them Captain rank). The AI: Central control of the station's systems. Could make your station run much more efficiently and allowing the player to access certain object settings directly, rather than having crew do it, but very expensive to build (probably requiring lots of research too), and has the possibility of going rampant which would be very bad. -Rare resources: Mining could be more than just collecting raw matter. Maybe have some materials that can't be replicated, but have to be mined or bought from traders? This would allow for special rare objects to be made difficult to build without just costing obscene amounts of matter. -Survival in a vaccuum: Getting spaced in SS13 doesn't necessarily mean instant death (although usually it does). Vacuum exposure doesn't actually kill you instantly in real life (nor does it make you explode like in so many movies - going from normal atmospheric pressure to a vacuum isn't enough of a change to do that to a human). What happens is you'll lose consciousness after about 10-15 seconds, and then suffocate in a couple of minutes. The thing is, for about the first minute, a person in a vacuum can be saved with no long-term repercussions - after that brain damage will start to occur, but they can still survive the experience. These are supposed to be short so I'll just get to the point that if someone gets sucked out into space, they should be rescuable for at least a couple minutes before they die; and brain damage could easily be represented by changes to their personality or skills (or special effects like damage to their senses or motor control or something).
  14. What is Space Station 13? Space Station 13 is a multiplayer game based on the BYOND client (which is terrible). Gameplay-wise it doesn't have a lot in common with DF-9, but systems-wise? It's VERY interesting. To get an idea, this is a game which models chemical reactions to the extent where you can sneak two components of an explosive compound into two different cooked meals, then have someone eat them and become a living bomb as the chemicals mix inside them and explode. You can also play with a person's genetics in the medbay and turn them into the Hulk, or give them a permenant stutter. It's also a game where space wizards can cast spells to blow all your limbs off and attach robot arms to severed human butts to make buttbots. There's a wiki here for the Goonstation version, developed by members of the SomethingAwful forums, and it's probably the most complex of the variants. There's also an open source version based on an older version of Goonstation, which is developed by members of the /tg/ board on 4chan, and it has a wiki here. Both of them have their own unique interesting aspects and I'm going to be cribbing ideas from both. There are other variants too, but I haven't tried them, and those two are the most popular. So what can we learn from Space Station 13? A lot of aspects of SS13 overlap with things that Dwarf Fortress does, so I'm going to ignore those since the devs are already well aware of that game, and instead focus on things that are unique to the space station setting or just different. Some of the elements also just wouldn't make sense in a game like DF-9 since they're related to the multiplayer aspect of the game, but others could be adapted to work for this style of game in an interesting fashion. So without any more introduction, here are the things I'd love to see adapted to DF-9: Atmospherics This is an element that was a big part of the original SS13 and is still present in TGStation, although it's mostly been removed from Goonstation for multiplayer balance reasons. The game has a very complex model of gasses and pressure, to the extent where it's not just a matter of filling rooms with O2 and calling it a day - there's an extremely complicated network of pipes throughout the station that serve to distribute breathable air (20% oxygen, 80% nitrogen), and scrub harmful gasses like CO2 or various leaks of things like plasma or NO2. The key is that air doesn't just magically distribute around the station, it needs to be delivered via vents and piping, which can be disrupted by accidents or disreputable crewmembers. Likewise, people don't just subtract from the breathable air available; they actually produce CO2 which needs to be removed from the air by the same system. High oxygen concentration is also a serious hazard because it makes basically everything flammable from even the slightest spark, so just pumping everywhere full of oxygen isn't enough. Power generation This is something that both variants do differently, but in a game like DF-9 both engine designs could easily be made available and up to the player. I'll explain them both individually since they're pretty different, but one of the key aspects of both is that it's not just installing a generator and getting X power - you can do that with the default setup, sure, but you also have the freedom to tweak the systems to produce more output, but also potentially breaking containment and causing a huge disaster. Both versions also have solar arrays to generate power which are generally secondary to the main engines, but they're fairly simple so I'm not going to bother explaining them. Goonstation version - The Hellbeast This is basically a classic Stirling engine on a large scale. You've got a huge length of piping which travels through a plasma-fuelled inferno (the "hot loop"), and another length of piping which goes outside into space (the "cold loop" - yes I know space isn't actually cold, but in SS13 this is how it works). The amount of power generated is based on the temperature difference between the hot and cold loop. What makes this interesting is that it's not some magic pre-defined structure - all those pipes are the same generic piping that's used by atmospherics and a host of other stuff. The only "special" component is the piece in the very middle which allows you to view the temperatures and actually generates the power. I like this approach because in a game like DF-9, you could experiments with different piping and chamber layouts to try to get the most out of your engine, as well as the SS13 method of playing with gas mixtures and pressurization to get optimal output (or cause a massive explosion. Sometimes and). TGStation version - The Singularity This is a radically different kind of power generator, which captures radiation generated by a contained singularity with special collectors, and converts it to electricity. It's mostly hands off once it's been set up, but it would be an interesting possible setup for DF-9 just because of the ridiculous risk involved in harnessing a singularity then deliberately feeding it with a particle accelerator in the name of energy generation. Traitors This is the main element of the multiplayer aspect of the game, which doesn't seem like it would work as well in a game like DF-9, but hear me out - it's already planned that crew members will be able to get in fights and such, and the original prototype even had them murdering each other. What if you could potentially have crew members that deliberately try to undermine your station while remaining undetected? The station itself could be shrouded by fog of war, and you'd only be able to see crew in well-lit areas that had active camera coverage, or had security personnel reporting in (think Prison Architect). If someone gets killed or something gets damaged in an area in the fog of war, you won't be automatically told who did it - you could have your security personnel investigate and try to determine a culprit based on evidence found in the area - or you could just immediately accuse someone that's been causing trouble and use it as an excuse to throw them in the brig or just space them (I imagine how humanely you deal with criminals could have an effect on station morale, so while execution might be swift and easy, it's going to put people on edge). Less "Room driven", more "Object driven" This isn't something unique to SS13, but I still think it's something to think about for DF-9. In SS13 there are no "magic" objects, that kind of just perform their function because they're in the right room. Trash chutes actually have a system of tubes that funnel things place in receptacles out to a disposals room, air vents are hooked up to the central atmospherics system via piping, even power is distributed by wiring throughout the station, which itself is hooked up to capacitors in engineering that store the output from the engine. Stuff is around because it's used, rather than just because a room requires it to be present. It's kind of hard to dictate my thoughts well here, especially since I'm running out of space in this post, but essentially any object will function in any room so long as it's connected to the proper systems. Things are organized into rooms not because they have to be, but because it just makes sense to put them all in the same place. It feels more natural and ensures that every object in the game has a function - if it doesn't do anything, players won't use it, so why bother having it? I'm just about out of space here, but I'm going to follow up this post with a few quickfire ideas I like that will be more bullet point format.
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