Human Meat Peddling and "Hot Bricks"

Work continues on the range of new items, encounters, and rules I've been making. Today, I finished up some testing and polish on what happens when players try to sell human meat at the junk market. Here's a hint: you get one warning :)

I wanted to make sure that the player didn't get penalized twice for the same infraction, such as dropping the meat, leaving, and returning (the game applies ground item effects to players when they visit a hex). Also, I had to make sure it survived saving/loading, particularly if the player dropped human meat in the store and then saved their game.

I also finished testing and fixing a special move that a new creature can do. Let's just say you don't want this one sneaking up on you in your sleep. Best not to corner it, either.

During this testing, I noticed that some creatures were getting omitted during save/load. The game was ignoring any creatures that were in unexplored hexes. So now, populations should be a bit more reliable between save games.

Finally, I figured I'd share some new item artwork before the weekend:

IMAGE(http://bluebottlegames.com/img/screenshots/screenshot-2013-10-18.png) Digital water testing device, and Bob's "Hot Brick."

The item on the left is the same item I described the other day. It can be used (if properly charged) to determine water potability in the crafting screen. A handy tool for any wastelander!

The item on the right might already be familiar to some. Players who have encountered "Bob" will have heard him mention selling "Hot Bricks" to customers. Well, now that we have stuff which requires electricity, Bob's "Hot Bricks" are certainly more handy. Maybe he should actually sell some!

What is a "Hot Brick," you ask? Why, a radioisotope thermoelectric generator inside packed inside a soup can, of course! Called an "RTG" for short, they convert the heat generated by a radioactive material into electrical power. They've been in use by governments and outfits like NASA for decades, especially on equipment that needs long-lasting power supplies (e.g. satellites, lighthouses, even pacemakers!).

What's the catch? Well, they're radioactive, for one thing :) But hey, they're warm. So that's something for those on cold nights without a blanket!

One of the other benefits of an item like this is that it generates power over time, unlike a simple battery. I have yet to determine how I can simulate this (or if I can). I'd like to, as there are a few other items I'm interested in adding which would benefit from item-spawning abilities. As always, though, I don't want to chase something like that down the rabbit hole. So hopefully that won't be too hard to rig.

Anyway, another day of adding content comes to a close. The next build is already full of some fun surprises, but I think I can still pack in some more.

Hope everyone has a good weekend, and see you Monday!

Comments

Scavenger's picture
Scavenger

Very interesting, especially the Hot Brick. Are there any plants of introducting radiation poisoning from extended use of this device, together with means to prevent/cure such (environmental suits, anti-radition drugs - especially since according to what I read, we're, IRL, on the verge of finding really potent radiation purification medicines)?

Kaaven's picture
Kaaven

There is already a CRS condition (stands for cutaneous radiation syndrome), contracted when dealing with Gertrude's "hot brick" without a proper skill, but I was unable to find out if it does anything (besides status window info) and causes any lasting effects.


<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
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dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

Yeah, like Kaaven says, I'll probably hook-up the CRS condition to the hot brick if the player is exposed to it for long periods.

It's been a while since I researched that stuff, but I think the reason I went with CRS was because of the nature of the brick's radiation. RTG cells tend to rely on materials that decay into alpha particles, due to alpha particle's high potential for thermal conversion. And alpha particles are usually stopped by the skin (unless the radioactive material is ingested).

So radiation isn't as much a concern except for burning of the skin. And even then, it might only reach the skin if it's held directly in the hands. (i.e. the contents of a backpack might warm up if a hot brick is in there, due to alpha particles being absorbed by intermediate materials and converted to heat energy)

Also, I think CRS is a pretty long-term illness/condition. And it has a "latent" or "dormant" phase, so many players might not realize they have it until much later. And it might appear to get better before it gets worse (if they survive that long).

If there's some sort of treatment for CRS, let me know!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Rovlad's picture
Rovlad

Unrelated, did you fix that you can apply multiple bandages to the same wound? Or this is WAI?

Rovlad's picture
Rovlad

Also, radiation doesn't really work like it does in, say, Fallout 3. In that game, you get stat maluese when your radiation counter is above some value. Not that base stats or derived skills actually mattered, it was a game for brain-dead people.
In real life, you never notice being irradiated. Uncontrollable cell growth (i.e. cancer) happens WAY much later, we're talking about 10-20 years here. Much more than the game span, considering a turn is an hour.
Also, I'd actually revoke my right to play the Beta if I could, considering you're doing nothing for the actual plot except posting about it once in a while. Can you do that for me and return my money, dcfedor?
The last paragraph was a joke.

Scavenger's picture
Scavenger

While I am aware of general effects and typical length of damage progression due to prolonged radiation, it really depends on how strong such radiation through prolonged use of Hotbricks is. Obviously, radiation doesn't work as some magical debuff turning people into zombies (because of certain family member, I do know that well) as it does in Fallout.

What I wonder though is that assuming it's not really much, there's no need for condition as skin irritation etc going up to the first degree burns won't really affect much the character and according to what I read - will be most probably taken care of quickly by body's natural healing ability upon moving away from radiation's source. Which leads to my question about radiation prevention and care as if there's 'a catch' (and, apparently, associated condition) I think it's natural to assume it will have some effects during the game, unless we really got whole condition for the sake of fluff.

Thus, I am lead to assumption that one can actually acquire dose of radiation high enough to do more than make one feel as if he'd be sunbathing a bit too long :P

If I did misunderstand something, please correct me.

Rovlad's picture
Rovlad

You misinterpreted me, I didn't mean that radtiation has no place in the game. All I've stated is how it behaves in real life conditions, and games are everything BUT real life, which is mostly why people play them.
If it's better for the sake of gameplay that it makes everything grow in size and comes in barreled glowing green goo, then by all means it should be doing precisely that. Yes, it's unrealistic and B-moviesque, but realism is secondary to gameplay.

b133d_4_u's picture
b133d_4_u

so wait....is the new plot data added now?im a little confused....

Z.I.T.-Zombieologist In Training

Kaaven's picture
Kaaven

There haven't been an update yet mate.


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Malacodor's picture
Malacodor

You have to look at the whole decay chain. The product of an alpha decay might emit beta or gamma radiation. Also, material directly from a mine should be far from pure and usually contains several different decay products, like the radioactive gas radon.

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

Re: radiation, the CRS condition that NEO Scavenger uses is unlike Acute Radiation Syndrome, which is what most people think of when talking about radiation effects. ARS is internal poisoning, due to radiation being absorbed by internal organs, bones, and blood. This is usually the result of high-dosage, high-energy, penetrating radiation across all or most of the body, such as from a reactor meltdown, nuclear weapon, etc. There are a lot of symptoms, at varying times (a.k.a. "radiation sickness"), but usually they result in death, eventually.

CRS is from non-penetrating radiation, and now that I look at the info again, I might be confusing it with Cutaneous Radiation Injury (which, by definition, occurs outside the context of ARS). Also, confusingly, there is "Chronic Radiaiton Syndrome," which is also sometimes referred to as CRS. But for our purposes, CRS is skin-deep, burn-type damage. The worst of it is pain and slower wound recovery until healed. (Mostly "fluff," as Scavenger puts it. There's a minor effect, but it's mostly to scare players.)

Re: radioactive material purity, it's true that raw materials are going to be impure. However, Bob's hangout isn't a literal "mine." His source is a stockpile.

Re: plot, that's pretty much all I'm doing these days. I'm cagey about being too detailed in my daily reports, as it's pretty spoiler-heavy, but be assured that it's underway. New creatures, items, and hexes are just details I can share out of context without spoiling the story.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Maklak's picture
Maklak

You could have the hot brick have space for electricity that slowly fills over time, the exact opposite of devices that use charges over time.

I think the hot brick should be most dangerous when carried in hand or pocket, less so in a backpack, less so in a vehicle and safe when on the ground or inside a camping site.