Last week's work on hacking tools and treasures continues.
As mentioned last week, I've been working on ways to flesh-out the hacking skill in NEO Scavenger, to make it a more worthwhile skill. There are places in the game where it can be used, and plans for more in the future, so it'd be nice if the skill wasn't dead weight in between those instances.
Adding to the iSlab and laptop artwork from Friday, I drew some item artwork for smartphones and cellphones. I also added a battery for the laptop.
As you might have noticed, I've made a few changes to the screen art for each. Previously, I had different screen art for each "mode," such as the iSlab lamp app and GPS. However, upon further thinking, this might be an unsustainable precedent. Every time I want to add new apps to the game, I'd have to add new screen art for each piece of hardware, and that's a scalability nightmare.
Instead, I decided to trim each hardware art set down to three images: off, locked, and unlocked. That way, the item can be either unpowered, powered but inaccessible, or powered and usable with any app.
I'm still not decided on how this stuff is going to work, in terms of UI and game code. But I have some ideas. The following is a brainstorm of things I'd like to try, if it's not too crazy in terms of code:
- Some hardware will start locked (common), others unlocked (rare).
- Software can only exist inside hardware.
- Hardware cannot be hacked nor used unless powered.
- Hacking skill and tool required to unlock hardware.
- Lamp software only works inside iSlab or smartphone, and should work like flashlight.
- GPS software only works inside iSlab or smartphone, and could reveal nearby hexes, spawn new scavenge sites nearby, and/or reveal creatures carrying GPS nearby.
- Hacking software only works inside laptop, and can be used with powered laptop to "scavenge" iSlabs, smartphones, or cellphones for bank account info (rare). Somehow this bank info can be transferred to player's account, maybe only via DMC activity.
- "Scavenging" iSlabs, smartphones, or cellphones with hacking can also produce important personal info (rare) that a fence in the DMC or sprawl will pay for.
- Alternately, "scavenged" personal info could be email snippets that reveal setting background info, much like headlines.
- The DMC/sprawl fence will buy locked and unlocked hardware at a flat rate, even when not hacked. Unlocked will be worth more, but neither will be worth the rare data/paydirt found via hacking.
- Field guides may be substitutes for certain knowledge skills or recipes. This could affect balance, though, so I'll have to tread carefully.
And, of course, there's encounter stuff to be added (e.g. using computer skills in the DMC, in a digitally-secured facility, or work done for Hatter, etc.).
Also, all of the above comes with a big caveat that it's theoretical until working. It sounds good on paper, but there are some tricky UI and game code hurdles to overcome with the above.
However, I think a lot of the above could make hacking more fun to play with. It'd be a huge trade-off against more practical wilderness skills, but it might make the proper blend of urban and wilderness skills lucrative.
Still lots to figure out, but that'll be all for today. Hope everyone has a good night!