Forensic Friday 17: Tying up loose ends - Zones, Research & Dreaded Pipes

Hey, everyone! Sorry for the delay! We greet you with another Forensic Friday! This one will be a short and sweet one but as per usual will go through all the stuff we have been up to this week! So without further ado, lets dive in!

NPC & Zones #

Prison Zone

I’ve been working on fixing some zone behaviour issues this week. Currently all done! Now when you specify restriction zones, NPCs who are assigned to those zones will automatically restrict their movement to the area. Which is perfect for specifying where your Category Cs live and where different restriction levels are in your facility. Though, don’t expect convicts to comply to your plans, if a convict doesn’t want to stay inside the restriction zone, they can run away. So keep them in by force or by maintaining a good hospitable conditions!

Tying up loose ends - Research #

Experiment Zones

I have also been working on the finishing touches on the research system. Experiments can finally be carried out, as long as all prerequisites are set. As you can see in the image above. Scientists attend experiments by navigating to an observation room (if the observation room is directly connected to the containment cell), similarly, Category-C are led to a staging room by a guard. Once this is done, the Category C are let into the containment cell and the experiment progress. A little loading bar shows the progress of the experiment to completion. When the experiment is completed then, the scientists return to their daily activities and the Category-Cs are returned to their cells (currently are just returned to the closest prison zone but this will change). You can see this all in action in the video below!

With the experiment execution finished for the most part, I am just working on tying up loose ends. This includes implementing the actual research aspects of the gameplay loop. When an experiment is completed, one of the attending scientists is given a report of the experiment (as an item). They then haul this item to a suitable laboratory on the site, and store it if a cabinet if one is present. Then as long as the report remains in the laboratory, it is processed into research points, which can then be spent on the research tree. This is mostly the last thing I need to implement before I can say experimentation (at least the barebones implementation) is done. There are also some slightly out of scope ideas we thought about implementing, but because they are out of scope we have resigned them to future development threads!

These ideas included a in-game amazon like browser, where players can order highly specific items to the site, for uses in containment, experiments, arming staff, or other miscellaneous reasons. But alas, these are ideas that we will leave for our future selves to implement!

Resurrecting Pipes #

Experiment Zones

The forbidden word has resurfaced once more, the dreaded PIPES! We have discussed how to actually tackle pipes, and have settled on a new model which we hope to implement very soon. The F L O W model. As it says in the name, we hope to better the model by working with the concept of “flowing” water between containers rather than “distributing” water between then. If that means anything to you, HURRAH! Otherwise, just wait 2 or 3 blog posts! Anyhow… with the completion of pipes, most if not all construction elements of the game will actually be complete, at least in terms of the framework for us to build upon and add more content. This is very significant because it means that out attention will be shifting to the more systematic and simulation aspects of the game; NPCs and their interactions; which is where the game really brings in most of its interest. I will very likely tackle the dreaded pipes after I have finished with experimentation, which will nicely mesh with what @Dil is about to start working on. Prisoners! (Prisoners need to shower and use the restroom, showers need water, water is supplied by pipes). After I tackle pipes then its onto prison guards! But first I must let Dillan talk about how prisoners are going to work! You can always check out Forensic Friday 11 if you would like to find out a detailed description of how convicts work! Well, I’ll pass the file over to Dillan now….

Category C a.k.a Convicts a.k.a prisoners #

Category Cs’… one of the categories of all time. Our planning phase for them is now complete which means we have a technical step by step plan on what to implement and how to do it. The crux of the matter was what should be prisoner NPC specific, and what should be implemented for all NPCs.

For all NPCs, we are planning on making a way for NPCs to make friends. This will be influenced in the same way as real life. Similar characteristics will help people get along, and spending time with each other will naturally make them closer - or hate each other if they already didn’t like each other. NPCs will also be given traits which will give them passive buffs/nerfs. Examples could be clumsy and lucky. With these newfound friendships, NPCs will be happier, and spend time with one another on breaks to solidify a life long friendship. (We stress life long because they’ll probably kick the bucket sooner or later)

On to the prisoner specific stuff. Prisoners will have everything mentioned in the paragraph before plus a few extra things. Prisoners will be able to form gangs. Gangs will have hierarchies of prisoners, and be able to do…. gang stuff? Gang stuff right now is organise mass escapes, gang wars if 2 gangs don’t share ideologies, and so on. It should be noted a lot of the gang actions in particular are not going to be fully fledged during this implementation, but will set us up for doing it very nicely.

a.k.a a lot of work #

So yes, a tip of a very large iceberg has just been completed. Now we look into putting this plan into motion during the coming week. It will be a lot of work, but keeping a clear goal in mind, and sticking to the plan should hopefully make this a quite smooth and well thought out process.

Case closed #

That’ll do it for this week, thanks again to all our readers and we’ll catch you next week, hopefully actually on the Friday!

All the best,
The Team,
Plasmarc Studios