Crew Control and Drafting

Hey Folks! Michael and I had a chance to talk today, and spec out some of what we can tackle next. And I did a bit of crew selection reworking during the rest of the day.

One of the next things we might tackle is crew "doing their job," so to speak. There are things they need to do to keep the ship running, and setting things up so they do them when appropriate is the first step. Once in place, he'd like to look into whether he can introduce interesting drama during the execution of those tasks. There was a brief period in which we both mused about literally adding random fires to the ship periodically which, while hilarious to both of us, also poses a risk to me overengineering a fire feature. So we might stick with damaged wall repair in the short term.


Anyway, I also started reshaping crew controls and selection today. It's a bit like Rimworld mixed with Sims now.

First, you now only control the captain directly. Clicking on other things does nothing, and any context menu opened on an object assumes it's the captain doing it. This is the part like Sims.

Second, you can "draft" crew. Assuming they are a member of your crew, you can opt to take direct control of them by drafting them. Once that's done, they are now a thing you can click on and select, and any context menu opened now assumes they are doing it. This way, you can command an away team to go around and do stuff, or force crew to do tasks at consoles, etc. This is the more Rimworld-like part.

Next steps might be to make this drafting contingent on how they feel about you, and their current status. If you've micromanaged them too much, maybe they won't do what you say for a while? If they're cowering in fear, maybe they need a pep talk first?

Just hypothetical right now, but we think it might be both realistic and fun to play with. We shall see!

Tags: Ostranauts


ra1's picture

It might be frustrating if a crew member that you cannot control (because they don't like you) continues to sleep/poop/whatever while air is being sucked out of their room, or some other important event.

dcfedor's picture

This is definitely a danger. Though in practice, this is more about open defiance or a mental break a la Rimworld. Their emotional state is so damaged you can't get through to them, or they are so fed up with the captain they refuse orders.

In both cases, I'd expect the AI to honor self preservation. But in complex cases, it might not be able to survive as well as a human-directed pawn. E.g. can't pathfind to safety alone, panics, and dies.

Ignoring the airlock example, this might more often be a case of giving someone a pep talk when they've lost hope, reminding them of loved ones, or a stern disciplining to get them back in line.

"You put that fire out now, scrub! Or we all die! You hear me?" Crew snaps out of it, falls back under captain control, and resumes fighting fire.

Or something like that :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games