My ideas going forward about Camp Mates

State So Far

So as the camp mate system works now it really feels like just an add-on. It doesn't feel real or alive and they are really just cannon fodder or human shields. I've made the decision to make camp mates, exactly that, mates that stay in camp. I am working on you being able to assign them jobs like farming, guard duty, lumber jacking, etc.  (more on this jobs in a future post). Also expect the camp mates to drink your water and feed themselves (hunger and thirst). Hunger leads to slow movement and thirst leads increased tiredness and possibly death. So the 'farmer' and the 'water hauler' should be high on your priority list, until you get automated that is. Automation is much more efficient (humans are slower and get tired) and frees up your camp mates to do much more lucrative jobs (ranching/mining) or defend your base better (guards get strong weapons; non guards get bats). So that decision leaves a pretty big hole: It will get boring if you are roaming the wastes by yourself. My solution is as follows:

Unique Companions

So I've had plans for awhile to add a few unique companions from other races (once you complete enough quests) that would join you and act like a regular camp mate. I've decided to take this further and expand on the idea. Thinking back to my days playing (in my top 5 games of all time) Fallout 1 and 2 (and yes I consider them one game) I wanted to kind of mimic the party system there. So you go through the first part of the game solo and come across a companion that will join you if you want them to. As you progress along you come across more and more that will follow you. Fallout had a companion limit based on charisma. I have decided you will be able to gather them all in your base, but maybe not use all of the at once.  So here is what I am thinking so far:

  • A person from Steven Farm (Human)
    • A sharpshooter with a rifle
    • High critical chance
    • Dodge roll ability
    • Relates everything to corn and corn accessories
  • A raider (Human)
    • A shot-gunner
    • High health
    • Poison Bullets
    • Hates most things. Except cats.
  • A rhino
    • Melee
    • Hugh health
    • Heal Over Time
    • Hostile vegan
  • A frogman
    • Ranged
    • Electricity attacks?
    • Stuns/slows
    • Speech is ribbity (it's a word)
  • A ink person
    • Melee and ranged spear
    • Taunt and shield ability
    • Doesn't speak, uses hand gestures
  • A combat robot
    • Must be repaired with wrench
    • Laser rifle (penetrates)
    • Makes 'jokes' about killing all humans
  • Maybe a few hidden ones :)
    • Unlocked through a DLC (LOL just kidding)

These companions (for the most part) will be unlocked during the main quest line. A few hidden ones might be on side quests or at hidden locations. I think this will flesh out the camp mates better as being the dudes that help you run the base and the companions as those that help you fight/explore.  Making them companions unique with cool abilities I think will make the game MUCH better.

As always let me know what you think. This change is going to be fairly big and I expect will take me a while. Do you think it is worth it?

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ABSOLUTELY!!! it's totally worth it!!! Awesome Idea!!!!


Working on it now

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This is an awesome game so far. It's very fun to play and reminds me of Autonauts without feeling like the sole purpose is automation. I love a game where you can do it all yourself if you prefer, but automation helps a ton. Another nice thing is that the further you go from the base, the more risky life gets for you.

I love the idea of having humans do work in the base. Currently I build a huge group of humans and then mow down the wasteland, but in the base they just stand around or get in the way, so having them work is a great idea.

I would have robots be faster and have a boost to efficiency. For example, if 1 harvest is 1-2 corn for a human, it would be 1-4 for a robot, incentivising you to move up the tech tree to robotomation, which would free up those humans to do another task.

I get more irritated than I should at how hard it is to come up with metals, so building a mine and sending humans in could be cool, and possibly have side-effects such as more thirst, or even having beasts come from the mine and attack the base. I don't think robots should mine (perhaps they should), however, having a refinery where the ores are processed into metals could be automated with an efficiency boost by bots.

Since you're legitimately interested in listening to people, I thought I'd share my two cents. Love your work, man! 

PS: When I play games, I don't like to waste time. Sometimes my time is very precious. You have addressed that with the faster version of the game, but have you thought about teleportation? One of the first mods I look for is a teleportation mod so I can play faster and do cool things. I don't mean teleportation between cities. I am referring to a maneuverability mod where you can blink across the screen (for example, if you just want to exit the map). I'd love it if that were to appear in the game :-p.

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Building a mine is a good idea. I also am also really liking the idea of monsters coming from the mine. You could have it collapse after a certain about of metal/rocks are mined so you have to build a new one. It would be expensive to build (basically trading wood (for support beams) for metal). After it collapses your miners have to spend time clearing it before you build a new one.

Your PS gave a pretty fun idea. Right now I have a hidden dev menu ~ that allows you to build stuff that you can't normally and for free. It also shows debug information. What if I had a dev tool bench. So you had tools (like normal ones) that did dev like things. Spawn skelly, teleport, kill things, spawn resources, invincibility, resurrect, ect. Haha. I think that would be a neat thing to add just for fun. Obviously not an object you can build normally in the game. Maybe you have to enabled it in a file outside of the game.

Thanks for your post! You are right, I honestly like hearing from anyone who plays and lots of times I add the things people suggest if I feel like fits the 'spirit' of the game :) being a solo indie dev doesn't mean I have to make this game alone.

As we discussed, I certainly am for 'domestic' villagers, ones that actually do your work, but may be also guards or whatnto depending on what jobs you give them. In general, I think that automation would need to be harder, however, given its benefits - something locked behind certain quests and technological advancements you mused about in the past.

I also will underline I'd like getting the villagers in the first place slightly harder as they're now showing up all the time as long there's beds. Actual conscious effort in recruitment, perhaps?

All for them dying if you won't be able to provide basic food/water to your villagers, but again, they have to be somewhat harder to acquire if that is to impact the player. What's a few deaths if people to replace them keep coming in all the time, guaranteed?

Certainly I like the idea of unique or merely rare quest/secret NPCs. I am not sure there has to be a lot work to flesh them out with unique traits, though. Slightly different stats, robot NPCs possibly using up some electricity for an hour a day instead of sleeping/eating/drinking but also requiring 'wrenching' to heal would be fine. For me, most of their value would be in that they stand out and are unique, not in any particular mechanics gimmick but I may be in minority on this one.

Certainly, as written in my wall of text in suggestions, I wouldn't mind some NPC/player customization - both in terms of looks and names!

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Yes to all of these. Not everything will be unlocked to build at the start of them game. I just made it that way so we can all play around and test them out. I still haven't decided on 'finding' or 'researching' blueprints. Maybe one of the jobs could be researcher. I like the idea that doing a quest could unlock new blueprints though. So when you complete quests for one race you unlock their special decorations, technology, and building materials. I also like the idea of a tech tree that can unlock blueprints or make certain technology more efficient using points you get from research.