First Peek at Wounds

After another day of coding and art, the wound system is starting to take shape. I put together a new screen for viewing and treating wounds, and replaced the current "Conditions" list with it. Here's a screenshot of the current layout in action:

IMAGE( That's gonna need some Bactine...

It's still got a long way to go, but at least things are starting to get hooked up. There are some finer details yet to be worked out, but it was almost impossible to deal with them without having some major pieces in place. So we're putting some pieces in place!

What we see here is the same paper doll used for items. Wound graphics will appear over the doll when the player sustains an injury. In this case, it's a deep cut in the upper arm, and it's gushing blood. The white crud on the cut is an infection, and the lightning bolt signifies that this wound is very painful.

This wound could have been a scratch or a bruise, the blood loss could have been less, and there could have been no infection. Pain could also fade to almost non-existent. I may have to hard-code locations for certain wound types, such as cuts vs. fractures. But there's enough real estate on this guy to cram in a decent number of separate wound locations.

You'll also notice the three new stat bars on the right. Similar to camp, this screen shows more detail on a few stats.

  • "Blood supply" shows how much blood the player has left: lose too much, and bad things happen.
  • "Immune System" shows the overall health of the player's immune system. The player can resist a certain amount without help, but below a certain value, it's downhill fast.
  • "Pain Tolerance" shows how much more pain the player can take. Like above, things worsen the lower this goes.

What are the specific effects as those bars go down? We still need to hook those up, but we can play with things like body temperature, fatigue, action points, success rates...Cameron even thought it might be cool to try delerium (e.g. random movement). We'll see what we can hook up, but the aim will be to make wounds something critical to address.

What can the player do to improve their situation? Well, stopping blood loss is probably priority #1. Of the three, blood loss will probably kill the quickest via hypovolemic shock, dehydration, and/or hypothermia. Bandages will be an option for sure, and we'll see about other tools.

Infection is what Cameron's taken to calling the "slow burn crisis." It's a big deal, but it sneaks up over time. Let this one go too far, and the player goes into septic shock, and likely death is soon after. Antibiotics will help. Prevention may be a bigger tool, if we can sort out some methods to make it work (e.g. using clean bandages, and using antiseptics on the wound before dressing).

Finally, pain is something that won't kill directly, but will start messing with activity. If left to go too far, it may cause the player to pass out, which is a crisis of its own.

So what about the conditions listed on the old "Conditions" screen? Well, I'd like to see if I can get them to fit on this screen, so we get a whole picture at once. It's crowded, but I didn't want to sacrifice the crafting or ground slots, as creating items like splints and bandages while viewing wounds seems necessary.

And what of the old wound bar on the left? I'm thinking this may be replaced with a bar that shows the worst of the three health bar values. So if this bar suddenly gets really low, the player will know something's up on the health screen.

Of course, this is all still work in progress. Things could change depending on roadblocks or playtesting. But I figured I'd share progress so far, to give you an idea of our intended approach.

More to come tomorrow!