Paydata and GPS

Some of you might've noticed a brief site maintenance window this morning. I apologize for that. I had to update some software versions on the website in order to keep security current. It went pretty smoothly, and I haven't found any issues with the upgrade. But if you notice anything awry, let me know!

I continued work on the hardware/software items today, and finished setting up encounters for both the iSlab and smartphone. Now, each of those devices can switch to lamp mode, or activate GPS. The lamp works like a flashlight, draining the device's battery each turn, and providing benefit only when held.

The GPS is more of a one-shot tool. Each discrete use provides a benefit and discharges the device. One usage will reveal a handful of nearby hexes, if they were previously black. It may also reveal some nearby scavenging sites. The idea is to simulate getting local cached map data from GPS devices, since the satellite network is still intact enough to be useful for positioning. The game isn't smart enough to keep track of each usage, though, so it's possible to use GPS multiple times in a location with cumulative effect. However, since this costs electricity each time, and has diminishing returns, I'll live with the unrealistic limitation.

I also decided to disable the code in combat which automatically advances turns if the player has been unconscious for more than three consecutive turns. I'm not certain this is the cause of the endless turns bug, but since I don't have a solution yet (indeed, I don't even have a reliable cause figured out), this might be a useful experiment. Perhaps we'll see the reports of the bug drop off with this feature removed. Besides, I think the reason it was added in the first place is no longer the case. Since unconscious creatures tend to be looted or die much faster now, there shouldn't be a lot of waiting on the player's part.

Finally, I started making the data items that can be found on hacked devices. I wasn't sure exactly how I wanted these to work, but they'll probably be software items that can cross from any device to any other device, unlike apps (which are device-specific). Also, they may or may not stack, just so they don't take much space.

They'll probably be a bit like the headline/newspaper items in that they're a shared item type with unique descriptions. They'll likely be shorter than headlines/newspapers, too. Rather than 1-2 paragraphs, they'll be something like:

  • Database: Address Book. Last known addresses and contact info for people.
  • Text File: Bank Account Pre-Authorized Debit. (Active DMC Personal Account)
  • Text File: Corporate Procurement Records: Defunct (Corporation Dissolved Long Ago)
  • Text File: High school history report on the rise of China
  • Video File: "Real American House Husbands" S1E1
  • Image File: Cat in a bathtub, looking cute.

Some will be worth money to a fence at the junk market, but most will be worthless. Some players might find entertainment value in the short descriptions, though. I know I sure enjoyed writing them. I.e. one part commentary on the inanity of our times, one part alternate history.

Work on those will likely continue tomorrow morning, followed by figuring out how best to add their data to the game. Then, it's assigning prices and rarity to all the items, and trying them out!