Hardware Loot Tables

I finished adding the first batch of random data file items to the game this morning. There are a handful that are worth something, and a sea of files that are worthless. In many cases, though, the file describes something about the world that was, whether silly or serious.

Once those were done, it was time to start populating the loot tables. I made a few tweaks here and there, namely to start treating the iSlab as a potential tool rather than junk, and to make locked/battery-less hardware a viable junk item. I also setup "random hardware" and "random software" groupings for appropriate items (e.g. laptops can contain laptop software, but not iSlab software). And finally, I wired those into the appropriate world loot tables (e.g. making sure the random loot and tool tables pointed at the new item groupings).

There were also a few encounters that needed fixing after these changes. Since the old flashlight and night vision goggles were the same item whether on or off (depending on the slot), I needed to change the way those items were flagged in encounters (such as scavenging). I also needed to update things like the Hatter and Zom Zom's encounters to accept the new iSlab modes (previously, they only accepted the "off" iSlab, as that was the only one available).

And I realized the hardware could be exploited in buying/selling at the junk market, so I added a stop-gap there to prevent it.

Of course, encounters are going to need an overhaul at some point, both because of the new tools I've been adding in the past several months, as well as plot changes I've been thinking about. So I'm not going to spend a lot of time reworking encounters that use these tools just yet, as there are still a few items that need doing (e.g. mechanic and electrician items).

My initial test involved about 45 minutes of playing, and I have yet to encounter any hardware :) That may not be a bad thing, as that stuff should be somewhat uncommon. However, I may need to debug-force some hardware at some point, just to see how it feels in practice. But so far, the raider I knocked out didn't have any, nor did the two-dozen places I've scavenged. Even the two looters I saw mauled by dogmen in the distance came up empty. I may have to consider giving them at least a higher chance of a hardware tool, given their usual proximity to the DMC.

Anyway, most things are hooked up and (ostensibly, anyway) running. Some more testing is needed on Monday, and hopefully I can start thinking about uploading a new build for you guys to try.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!


Rovlad's picture

Zom-Zom actually accepts anything and I don't think the cost even matters, I paid them a whole spare shoe once.
That said, plot stuff, get to it please.

Scavenger's picture

I am actually not sure about the need to improve chance for enemies near DMC to possess computers. Even if still uncommon, it will kind of negate the whole idea of making area near DMC difficult in providing worthwhile loot, so people won't just go back and forth amassing wealth.

Realism-wise it also shouldn't be a problem. I'd suspect that those really using such hardware daily are the ones behind the walls of DMC proper, people of sprawl probably have far less of a need for such, with exception of business owners, hackers or a few rich, yet shady enough to use hi-tech yet not move in to the city's core guys. Regular looters though, many of whom are desperate, poor or misfits, I'd gather, to decide to explore very dangerous outside probably would care more about getting a gun as far as technology is concerned, instead of some sweet laptop.

Other than that, glad that something may move in the direction of plot soon. Currently it's one of the biggest things indicating that NEO Scavenger is in early development stage, rather than a full game. We certainly would use both more fluff, choices and events.

Rovlad's picture

How do you figure a barely working and rapidly dying artifact of the old world could match a warm squirrel fur coat?
You'd probably be trying to post on instagram while having your intestines pulled out of your throat.

Cryovisitor's picture

IDK, maybe there should be some sort of Cyber Shack in the DMC? Place you can get the phones/slabs/laptops/etc. and the software to hack said devices (if you have Hacking skill, as I assume that would also include appropriate Lingo/etiquette, so the shady clerk knows you're cool...)

Sure, that doesn't help get your hands on the devices to hack, but getting the software seems like it could turn into half the battle otherwise.

dcfedor's picture

Re: the sprawl, I picture it as having its fair share of mobile devices (smartphones and cellphones), but probably few laptops and tablets. Like you say, only VIPs, business owners, and the shady might have bigger hardware. However, most folks couldn't live without their mobile, and living in the shadow of the DMC makes that easy (network towers are probably within range of the sprawl, if not lining the great wall).

That said, you're right that looters carrying too much hardware near the DMC would make for a dominant game loop. I'll have to be careful about that. And as Cryovisitor points out, maybe I need to be careful where one gets their hacking software, so it doesn't feel too commonplace in found hardware.

As for plot, I think you guys are right. NEO Scavenger's burning a hole in my peace of mind, so to speak. I get antsy when it's been a while since the last build, but then it gets better once I do. However, there's a longer "stress arc" going on with the game as a whole, and levels are on the rise as the game is still not done after two (plus) years.

This whole Greenlight development has kicked things into high gear, too, with various storefronts contacting me about selling the game. This is the final stretch, and plot is probably the biggest remaining thing on the board. New features are being put in the v2.0 bin now, and only critical stuff makes sense on v1.0.

There's balance and bug fixing, of course. I'd still like to adjust skill/trait sizes according to their utility, plus tweak stats for things like loot frequency, combat lethality, etc. And I was hoping to get mechanic/electrician to the point where it was useful, but maybe I need to rethink that. Maybe they just need to be smaller, "cheaper" skills. It'd bug me, since they seem like they'd be just the opposite in the wasteland, but spending weeks on that might be out of scope.

Maybe I can drum up a few items and recipes within existing constraints to make those skills viable, without any system work.

Of course, plot can shore-up these skills, too. Maybe I just need to make those skills useful via plot.

Anyway, thinking out loud here. I just wanted to say that I hear you, and I think you're right. I just need to apply constant effort to fight my own perfectionism and workoholism :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Malacodor's picture

Combine electrician and mechanic into technician (or tinkerer) then there'll be one skill less to care about.

Making skills useful via plot encounters feels lame. How do you convince players to choose these skills, with a descpription like "this skill is good due to secret reasons"?

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool