Camps (Navigation and Bushcraft)

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Camps (Navigation and Bushcraft)

Hi,Great game. Lot of potential here and pretty good as it stands.I have a suggestion - long one but entertaining - for two additional skills.Navigation ------------------------------------------------------------------------------Getting lost as you travel the wasteland would be, I'd imagine, a fairly common experience. Who hasn't got disorientated in a strange city, let alone one in an advanced state of decay?Trick is to make navigation a feature rather than an annoyance. Here goes...Whenever the player enters difficult terrain - forest, urban, swamp, hills etc. - there should be an internal roll made to see if they get lost. The roll would be tweaked by the presence of having the 'navigation' skill, a compass (a rare find) or a local map (of varying quality - quality determines how much effect on the roll. Also a map is only good for, say, a dozen hexes in all directions from where it was found).If you fail the roll and become lost then your turn ends there and then, regardless of how many action points you have remaining. You can do nothing for the turn in that hex if lost - no scavenging, looking in crates etc. You could, of course, still have an encounter.To avoid players gaming the system if you enter the hex with your last action point (so there is no penalty if you get lost) then you should have a doubled chance of an encounter (eg. effectively spread over two turns).A secondary advantage of the 'Navigation' trait would be to be able to mark a location on the mini-map (say a purple/red square). This would only be useful if there were locations that were worth returning to but I'm assuming that these will come in a future build.Alternatively you could have the mini-map display have the information (where you've been) 'decay' over time so that a player without a sense of direction won't be able to backtrack via the mini-map. Perhaps if your sense of direction is really poor you don't get access to the mini-map.  Running with the same thought your level of navigation (determined by skill and/or any tools/maps) might set the 'range' of the mini-map. Eg. the mini-map only shows hexes that you have travelled through out to a certain distance determined by your ability.Myopic Mike, for example, with the homing ability of a legless lemming might only be able to see half a dozen hexes back on the mini-map whereas Vasco de Geoff can safely backtrack an unlimited amount.Bushcraft -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Being the ability to survive in hostile natural environments. Another way to think of it is that you went to scouts when you were young and can dib dib dob dob your way around the place with the best of them.This skill has a number of functions, the obvious one being the ability to get better forage results when in any non-urban hex. Eg. your crates are likelier to be better supplied with water, sticks and berries, for instance. Botany already does this but Bushcraft could help.Second function is a bit more interesting. Whenever you enter difficult terrain - urban, forest, hills etc. - there could be an additional button (where 'scavenging' and 'rest/heal' are) saying something like 'Hide'.Pressing this (it costs an action point to do so, just like scavenging) lets you spend time searching for a 'secure' location. This could be a cave in a hill, a basement or attic in a house or a concealed thicket in a forest, for example. It's not guaranteed that you'll succeed in doing so but you can burn up more action points in further attempts.If you succeed you find a 'secure' hidey hole where you can sleep or crawl into and hide from any pursuers (you're probably wounded and can't outrun them). Your secure location that you find would have, like any object, a quality rating. At 100% (rare) you are effectively invisible and can snore away till the cows come home. At 20%, for instance, your cave may be quite conspicious and there is a good chance you'll be found if somebody is tracking you down.However even a lowly 2% hidey hole is going to give you a chance of evading a pursuer and be more secure for sleeping than just laying down where ever as per the standard game.Bushcraft skill affects your chances of finding a secure location and the quality of the location.  Although thinking about it further you could simplify this into a one stage process (rather than two). Everytime you press the 'Hide' button you automatically gain a location (but only if in difficult terrrain - you can't disappear in the plains) but the security (or quality) of that location isn't ever going to be very good unless you get a good roll or possess the Bushcraft skill.A third function would be the ability to set an ambush. This would specifically apply to situations where you are being hunted down. It would, if successful, allow you a bonus in combat against your pursuer. If you had a flaky ambush that was detected by your pursuer then it probably isn't going to end well. The player would have to make a judgement call here.Maybe you could set an ambush 'on spec' in the hope that something or somebody wanders into it. You'd need an additional button on the top right of the screen called, unsurprisingly, 'Ambush'.  The more action points you have remaining in your turn when  you set the ambush the greater your chance of it being put to good use.Summary ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The idea of both the above skills is to give the player a touch more ability to 'strategise' rather than 'react'. Stumbling around the wastes is never going to rival Napoleon's sweeping turning movements but giving the player a few subtle options to tweak things in a particular direction isn't a bad thing - in my opinion.Oh, while I'm into suggestions, could I put in a vote for more hotkeys. The game tends to get too 'mousey' after a while. I've tried voice activating my avatar across the badlands but all I've succeeded in doing is frightening the cat.Cheers,Plugger

Hi,After a lot more playing I'd revise my own ideas.Finding a secure hiding place where you can rest up is pretty important. Forget the percentage quality of the hiding place. You either find a really good, secure bolt hole or you don't. They are hard to come by. They should be marked by a coloured square on the mini-map so that you can return to them and reuse them.Finding them could be done automatically (if you made the required internal die roll) via the Scavenging process, eg you stumbled over the entrance to a cave or a hidden basement trapdoor, or you could actively look for them as per the above post.
Finding them could tie in with the 'Hiding' skill or you could develop another such as Bushcraft.Whenever you are in a secure hiding place you have the option of saving the game.So they become a refuge for sleeping, a valuable place to return to and a save 'checkpoint' (I've read  through the 'save' topic debate - here's my idea)Cheers,Plugger

A tactics skill?  Reduces the chances of encounters (especially during sleep since you set up a better place to "nest"), gives you advantages in combat due to positioning and ambush opportunities?  Otherwise the existing skills pretty much replicate anything that might apply to bushcraft.

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Bushcraft has some similarities to my idea for Sleeping as an Encounter Event - I would like to echo Plugger here and suggest Bushcraft as a way to, perhaps, increase the odds of success of finding a safe sleeping slot in "natural" areas, either as the secondary balance to Botany (as I suggested Tracking/Hiding) or as a one-stop-shop for Sleep options.I'd also like to echo his thoughts on Navigation. Having it as another option might increase the "realism" of a hard game, but, of course, this brings into question the "How many skills is a good balance of a total number of skills?" situation that I brought up in my post. So, basically, "bump."

Canned soup and a bottle of hootch.

Bushcraft would also be a great way to allow the player to start fires without needing a lighter.

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Starting a fire with just twigs (and maybe newspaper) would be a great feature.

Bushcraft already seems represented by the trapping, tracking, hiding, and botany skills. Seems kind of redundant to add a new skill, would be better to just add the ideas you have to their respective skills; eg. Finding a secure bolthole with the Hide trait.

Unless, of course, the skills were revised. Perhaps a two-tier approach - Primary skills versus Secondary skills, or Physical skills versus Educational skills.. ..I'll flesh this thought out in my own Post. But thank you, Burrich, you gave me the idea.

Canned soup and a bottle of hootch.

As I mentioned in plugger's Nighttime thread, I'm starting to look into the next voted feature now: player camps. And this discussion definitely fits the bill, so I've resurrected it.I like the idea of finding various hiding places in a hex, and choosing one in which to setup camp based on certain criteria (e.g. visibility, likelihood of encountering others, shelter, space, etc.). When I originally thought about player camp, I was picturing a place for the player to stash his stuff, craft/collect amenities like a source of heat or water, fashion some shelter from the elements, and generally make a home base from which to operate. However, you bring up some interesting points here about temporary camps, multiple safehouses, and even tying that in with save functionality. I think the camp system could probably support most of these things, it would just need some clever designing. Also, the aforementioned Nighttime thread mentions some important considerations for camp, such as campfires attracting enemies, or being seen in the distance. Such things would probably overlap this system, though might have to come with a batch of night/darkness features at a later date, depending on complexity.For now, maybe it's best to start with the purpose of establishing a player camp, from the point of view of the player? The most obvious reason I can think of is probably safety. Players have little to no control over dying from attacks in their sleep, so camp should provide some ways to mitigate that danger. The noise trap (and Yukon-exclusive Jar) help in that regard, but they're pretty limited at present. So concealment and protection are some benefits.Another obvious benefit of a camp (as pointed out by a few other forum posts) is shelter from the rain, and potentially cold. Quite a few players actually assumed this already happened when entering certain hex types, though that's just coincidence. However, making the penalties for rain lower (or zero) based on the presence of camp isn't too hard to do, so I think that's a no-brainer for me to add.So what else? In particular, which existing game systems could be leveraged in the camp system? E.g. body temperature and shelter from rain already have meaning in-game, so the camp system can reinforce that gameplay element. Conversely, setting up a store in which to sell loot to wandering monsters, while an interesting thought, requires all kinds of new systems to be written. It's doable, but probably better for much later in development.Also, I don't mean to brush aside the navigation, getting lost, and bushcraft elements of this discussion. Those are great ideas as well, and I've taken notes on those. I just want to bring forward the camp portion of this discussion, as that's relevant to the feature voting page priorities right now.As always, thanks for the feedback!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Hi,Some further thoughts on the camp concept...1: It's a temporary camp. The way Scavenger is set up at present you 'harvest' an area of resources and need to move on. Not much point in having a permanent camp in this scenario. You could, if you wanted, tie it into some kind of navigation skill (mentioned elsewhere) so the player has the ability to return to their bolt hole but this would be difficult to do unless you were geographically aware.A camp, by its nature, has safety as it's prime consideration (as pointed out). For a temporary camp this would revolve around high levels of concealment. Eg. it's going to be hard to find. For any temporary camp scenario, spending time fortifying your camp
beyond jamming a door shut or placing a bush over an entrance, for
example, would be a waste of effort. Any quickly erected defence that
didn't add to your concealment would be easily defeated by a bad guy who
happened upon you while you were asleep. The effort required to do the job properly is beyond the scope of an overnight shelter. 2: Some locations could be better than others as mentioned above. You'd have to make a judgement call.If you had variable quality camps then you could have situations like the following...Imagine sleeping at night in your
hidden cave. As a precaution you've set your noise traps. Suddenly you get a message (inbetween the 'zzzz's' that "Something has tripped one
of your noise traps". You've now got a white knuckle moment or two before the
program decides whether they  locate your cave (program rolls vs. the camp concealment quality%) or wander off, not realising you were there.If they did find you, because of the noise traps, you'd be ready for them. Whoever them is...3: It takes time to locate a concealed location. They don't just pop up out of the blue. You have to hunt around for them. This, I'd imagine, would lend itself to being tied into a specific skill. Because of the time factor - the player would have to make a decision to allocate time to the task - you'd have to give them a means of ascertaining the time of day. Eg. 'It's getting late, I'd better find a place for the night'.4: Evolving the camp concept into a storage centre for gear isn't going to have a great payback in game terms - personal opinion - due to the need for the player to keep moving on to 'undepleted' areas.If you did have a storage capacity then the player would need to be able to locate their concealed hidey hole (difficult to do, point 1 above) and hope that nobody else has looted it in his absence, or perhaps even set an ambush in the hope that the owner would return for their goodies.5: Shelter from the elements could be a major reason - apart from safety - to find a camp. You could buff the camp concept a little by allowing the player to light a fire secure in the knowledge that nobody can see it. Another big reason to find a concealed camp.If you went down this road you'd probably have to do something with lighting fires outside of a camp. High risk of attracting unwanted visitors, particulary at night, but even during the day. The smell of roasted squirrel  wafts a long way downwind...6: I'd also give the player the ability to heal faster in a camp. They say that stress kills and I reckon I'd be stressed to the eyeballs if I was lying down in the open with a broken leg hoping to get better. As soon as I started meditating my way to good health somebody would put a meat cleaver through my skull.You could, if you subscribed to the stress theory, make it that the only place you could get sufficient rest to heal would be a concealed camp where you had the ability to relax. Another good reason for a camp.7: It's mentioned elsewhere but I'd be inclined to make the night scarier. Currently there's minimal downside to continuing to wander around at night compared to the day. Nightime in the wastelands infers a more dangerous place to be. Higher chance of 'creature' encounters (Dogmen look nocturnal to me), really difficult to scavenge anything (without a light source), easy to get lost and higher chance of adverse outcomes (collapsed roof, fall down a ravine etc.).Moving around at night should be a riskier option than it currently is. The scarier the night, the more valuable a camp becomes.Cheers,Plugger

One of the problems I've been facing with camping is that of being overwhelmed by my own trash.  Perhaps there needs to be (Unless it already exists and I'm missing it) a "delete" button for items on the ground.  Maybe to tie into the E-tool I've mentioned elsewhere... "bury your trash" option.  Of course, if you move regularly, it won't be much of a problem: afterall, "the solution to pollution is dilution".

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