Drowning in Data

Hey Folks! Continuing with filling-in of missing data in the Ostranauts needs and thresholds system. And since there isn't much to look at yet, I figured a peek into the data notes might be interesting.

On the left we have a snippet of the threshold data, which is denoting condition payloads to apply at various thresholds for each stat. In the middle, we have some relevant status conditions from NEO Scavenger, and how they map to existing stats in Ostranauts. And on the right, the spreadsheet I'm using to keep track of physiological stats for use in Ostranauts.

So far, I've got yesterday's new stats into a spreadsheet with their expected thresholds mapped-out. I've since tweaked a few names to be clearer, and added one called "StatWeird." StatWeird is going to be used to track exposure to supernatural events, and will likely have an effect on the AI's level of paranoia and how often they perceive strange events. Sort of like radiation exposure, except for the weird stuff we see in NEO Scavenger. I'm looking forward to exploring this a bit more.

Anyway, I was able to transcribe the threshold spreadsheet into the game data. And I'm now in the part where I add conditions to represent each threshold state. I'll need a loot data object for each, too. And once that's done, I think it'll be time to start transcribing a lot of the NS conditions like "severe abdominal pain" and "headache" so they can be used as symptoms of these states.

I might also have to setup the health/pain/medical stuff, too, so these effects have something to play off of.

It's a lot of data, and a lot of data entry, research, and mental modeling. 100% game design, I guess you could say. And it's a bit of a slog. But I'm looking forward to seeing the increased diversity in AI states once it's done!

Tags: Ostranauts


Josh_A_Culler's picture

Dan did you ever play Gnomoria or Dwarf Fortress? Whenever there was combat, on screen graphics didnt show much animations or anything at all except units being adjacent, but you could also view a text log of combat in realtime, showing stuff like “Bob hits wolf in lower leg, severing an artery... Wolf bites bob on arm... Bob hits wolf in head, blinding it” etc etc etc

What I noticed by playing such games is they definitely leverage “ALL THE DATA” in ways that makes the game more interesting to players by providing the UI with some sort of equation or set of algorithims that puts together various labels of states, and other raw data into coherent statements. You are probably already doing this with player status etc, Im not sure. But it seems like with a bit of forethought and planning ahead, you might be able to expose some of this “backend” information in a way that fleshes out the game itself for the player... i.e. ( X player hits Y creature in Z location, causing A and/or B) etc .. please forgive my naïveté here...

But what Im saying is there is probably more creative ways to allow equations and simple AI to harness giant sets of data for you, and also put it to use directly as feedback for players in the game...

This is something Ive always been fascinated by in these Dwarf Fortress type games, and it seems like many things could be done with a bit of creativity... to allow for even more happy accidents and all kinds of emergent stuff


dcfedor's picture

I've played a fair bit of DF, and only a smidge of Gnomoria. But I totally dig the mechanical depth surfacing as text, and letting player imagination run with it.

NEO Scavenger's combat did this to a certain degree, but I'd like to try and expand on that in Ostranauts. I think a certain type of player (i.e. me) really enjoys the semi-prose it generates!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games