Nightime. Oh, the darkness...

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Nightime. Oh, the darkness...

Hi,---------------- Intro or the case for a darker night ---------------------Walking around in the dark without any form of illumination (torch) on hand and no ambient lighting (streetlights etc.) is bloody difficult. Try walking through the woods at night with nothing but your eyes.You'll cover a fraction of the ground that you normally would in daylight and you're situational awareness of your surroundings will be minimal. Ideally there is a cloudless night and a full moon which can be a big plus but ideal conditions don't happen all that often. In the Sahara desert maybe, not in Michigan.Imagine stumbling around in the dark where there are things out there willing and able to harm you. How fast would you move? How willing would you be to move anywhere in the first place?Now take this disturbing scenario and transplant it into a decaying, semi-demolished, urban situation. Simply moving around without breaking your leg or putting your foot on a sharp nail would be a challenge.Scavenger, as it stands now, gives you a visual range of 3 squares in daylight if you stand on a hill, 2 if you don't. At night you still get 2 squares on the hill and 1 square elsewhere. Importantly you can, at night, still see where you have already been out to a range of (I'm guessing) 5 or 6 hexes.This is pretty generous in my humble opinion. Maybe everybody eats a lot of carrots.----------------- Suggestions to blacken the night -------------------------Night should be a scary time. So scary that you probably don't want to move during the dark unless you really need to. Find somewhere safe (made a few suggestions about this elsewhere) and hunker down till dawn.So...1: Tweak the interface so that the player gets an indication of the time of day. Something simple would suffice but if night is going to be scary you need to give the player an inkling when it will arrive so they can act accordingly.2: Drop the visual range on the map to 0 squares. You can see the hex you are in but that's it. Climb a hill and you'd see 1 square in all directions.3: Nightvision skill. What to say here. Bionic implants? I'd change it so that it has no affect on visual range (show me a human who can see twice as far as another at night with their naked eyesight). Turn it into something like 'Night Awareness' where it gives you a greater situational awareness. Bad guys coming? They'll still come but at least you'll have time to react.4: Moving through difficult terrain at night (woods, urban, hills etc.). Do this at night without any form of illumination and you run the risk of injuring yourself (or getting lost). 5: Give the player the option of making torches, a-la-Bear Grylls (rags + branch + lighter) to provide illumination. They only last for so long. Long enough to climb that hill. Note that illumination from a torch isn't going to increase your visual range on the map, just your ability to avoid stepping into a hole.6: Scavenging at night. Should be just about impossible. Maybe if you have the 'Nightvision' skill and a torch for illumination then you could try it but even then the odds of getting loot would be decreased and the danger risk would be upped.7: Lighting a fire at night or a torch runs the increased risk of attracting unwanted attention. Lighting a fire on a hill or in the open would jump the risk higher than if you did it from within the woods or an urban area where it can be assumed you have enough sense to do so somewhere down low and out of sight.A minimal (?) UI change would be to display the player's avatar at night with a surrounding halo if they are sitting at a fire or carrying a torch. Bound to cheer you up.8: During the hours of night your ability to see the hexes that you have already traversed could be removed further heightening the sense of isolation. Even if you had a photographic memory you would still struggle to backtrack because of your limited ability to see visible landmarks. Take it all away, says I. Drop the onscreen indication to that single hex that you are in (or the six surrounding ones in the case of standing on a hill). You could offset the minimalistic onscreen display by making it really scary. Throw in a looping ominious, dark musical overlay with the odd 'things that go bump in the night' sound effect to crank up the immersion.  Get the player thinking  "Hey, it's night. I can't see diddly squat. I'm hearing sounds. I'm not happy."9: Getting into the 'nice to have' wishlist zone but it would be a great if, as you stumble through the night, that you - all of a sudden - notice a light on a hex (the range for this could be bumped up to 2 or 3 hexes provided there aren't any hills, towns or woods in the way) indicating a human presence.Do you head to the light, meat cleaver clasped in your sweaty hand, or do you quietly sneak off in the opposite direction?Cheers,Plugger

I feel like this could be pretty freaking awesome, and especially immersive and dark expierience, especially for someone's first night. However, a few things do seem a little extreme. Maybe let people with eagle eye or Night Vision see at least ONE square around them, because I'm pretty sure even a normal human could see things like hills, forests, cities in the night. Or let these be visable, but not much else. Overall though, this would DEFINATELY be something i'd like to see  put in.

Hey plugger!Sorry it took a while to get around to this. Been wrastling bugs in the opening weeks, and slapping my wrist every time my mind starts to wander into new features. Gotta finish my homework before having fun :)However, as the save game gets more stable, I've started looking to the next most-voted-for feature: player camp. These darkness ideas are really interesting, and probably overlap camp in some ways, so I've got a note in my list pointing to this thread for future reference. I'm definitely on board with making night time play differently than daytime, and many of these suggestions fit the bill.I also noticed some other threads involving the intersection of bushcraft, hiding, and sleeping. I'll resurrect that thread as well, to rekindle discussion of player camp ideas. Thanks for the brainstorm!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

I really like your ideas to make night terrifying.  As the day/night cycle currently works though, it might be unmanageable for many players.  Night lasts so long that if you didn't go into it with plenty of food and water you could end up dehydrated or starving very quickly.  Have the bad luck to get injured at dusk?  You're screwed.Like I said I do like the ideas and maybe this should be a voice towards making a shorter day/night cycle.  I haven't considered all the implications of that though.  I do have one idea in keeping with yours - having a torch or nightvision or whatever skill/item could show others in the hexes around you without actually showing you the hex.

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Ketchup Packet Hoarder

This is becoming extremely tempting now that camps are working. I may tinker with this tomorrow.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games