Water Changes, AI Fixes, and More UI

Work continued today on the UI update, but before I dove into that, I had a few fixes to make.

First of all, two separate folks asked me about the way hydration works in NEO Scavenger. Both were pointing out that a bottle of water seemed to do less for hydration than they expected. Since I've heard this a few times in the past, too, I decided to go back and review the numbers. If you're interested, here's the data.

The result of the discussion is that I'm going to try making water stack up to 2 per drop, instead of the current 1. This should make the water bottle function more like the way it looks: as a 500mL bottle, instead of the current 250mL effects.

I also fixed some AI bugs that were pointed out, namely involving the ATN talking encounters. There were some gaps in the trigger coverage which caused some conversations to prematurely end, which I've filled in. I also added some code to prevent outstanding offers to talk from continuing into subsequent battles. Players had their talk triggers trimmed after battle, but I forgot to do NPCs, too.

I spent some time reviewing the ATN encounter, too. Some great points about the ATN's role in the world came up on the forums (both here and on Steam). I may need to update the encounter to explain some things better, and change some others.

Once those were done, I continued working on the 1024 width resolution option. So far, it seems like I can take the 800x450 UI and upgrade the larger sections of text to the larger font in a 1024x768 UI. Things like encounters, player conditions/stats on the item screen, and the message log. Other text, like UI labels near containers, may need to stay at small font size. And I can't make the items 2x without 1360 width (which is already a tight squeeze).

However, even then larger font in sections of large text should be an improvement for folks who struggled to read the tiny font on their 1024 and 1280 width monitors.

Work on that will continue tomorrow!


Scavenger's picture

I certainly like the fact that edibles, or at least drinks are looked at again. While we had discussions about such in the past and made an approximation of how much would character consume per day to be able to keep going and how close it is to what we get in the game, with in-game time progression in mind that often means that the character is required to undergo rather frequent 'refills' or situations where after a day or two character gobbles down humongeous amounts of food and water just to stave off starvation.

Glad to see different screen ratios/resolutions being added. It's nice to see I'll be able to use my screen a bit more efficiently as it's hardly a widescreen.

dcfedor's picture

Food may still need tweaking in the future. I think one of the biggest issues with food is that hunger and nutrition should be separate. One shouldn't be able to eat 4kg of meat in one sitting to go from starvation to full. There should be a limit to what one can eat at any time, and nutrition should gradually change based on food intake habits long-term.

As for water, I'm thinking that at least this change makes the bottles more realistic and intuitive. 2 drops per bottle means players can carry twice as much water in the same space as before. So while this might not change the amount of water one needs to survive, it might reduce the frequency of purifying a bit.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Waladil's picture

Maybe also add some bigger bottles? I mean, I'm sitting here in RL with a 2-liter bottle sitting next to me, which holds almost enough fluid for an entire day of resting water consumption. I find it hard to believe the PC would never break into an office and find, say, a 2-liter bottle or one of the big bottles for an office water cooler. Obviously these would be much bigger and harder to store (I know from experience that my small backpack can carry two 2-liter bottles and very little else. The game backpack is a larger hiking backpack, so it'd be better able to fit extra stuff).

Dragoonseal's picture

Or for that matter waterskins or hydration packs like the CamelBak stuff, which I thought were pretty bog standard when it came to hiking or military gear.

dcfedor's picture

You're right that bigger containers should be more common. But part of the reason they haven't been added yet is because it would allow players to store multiple liquid types in the same container. The game isn't smart enough to know that mixing infected and pure water in the same container results in all infected water.

Adding more bottle types to the game would be trivial, otherwise. The question is what's more realistic: no 2-liter bottles in the game world, or 2-liter bottles that magically keep liquids separated while inside? :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Dragoonseal's picture

I figured that was the case.

NEO is pretty realistic in a ton of ways and it's great, but it's not like it doesn't have plenty of game-y aspects too, stuff that's the way it is purely for game play or balance reasons. Personally, considering the style of inventory system, I don't think containers that store multiple types of liquids is really that odd.

Also I guess you could cheat and add a higher end CamelBak with a built in filter that only accepted water and always gave sterilized water when you drank from it.