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Immersive Phototrophy [Design Doc]


Omega Haxors
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Alas, it's the one thing that everyone hates in video games: hunger systems. If only there was some way you could like, IDK eat sunshine or something.
It's not like you could do such a thing in real life, right? Right? Well as it turns out, it's not actually all that hard to imagine, because the math checks out.
Actually doing such a thing in real life would run into countless ethical issues, no doubt, but who cares? It's a video game. We don't have to worry about that here.

That's right: A photosynthesis mod that's actually balanced using real life math. Even though lighting in game is weaker than in real life, it balances out because of the player's slender proportions. Conveniently enough, that means that the extra surface area from the taller player character makes up for the in-game-universe's lower solar irradiance. Woopee!

 

The mod adds a mechanic known as Exposure to Light. This stat determines how much energy light is providing to your character.

Light level determines how much energy is available, which is used as a base for calculations (See: Algorithm for determining light level)
(To summarize: Light level is at its highest at 12:00, and reduces down to 0% towards 6:00 and 18:00 respectively)

Wearing armor and clothing reduces your surface area, which reduces your Exposure to Light (See: Algorithm for determining Skin Exposure)
(To summarize: Wearing armor blocks off a lot of skin. Clothing blocks off some.)


Efficiency determines how much Exposure is converted into energy when using the Phototrophic trait.
The efficiency of Exposure is a simple config. Here are the options you have to choose from:
Pessimistic: 5% (Assumes a poor integration which hurts either the amount of chloroplast or their ability to function)
Realistic: 10% (Default Value. Benefits and downsides of integration roughly cancel out, leaving both organisms well off)
Idealistic: 20% (Assumes excellent integration where symbiosis results in ideal conditions which generate energy in excess)
Fantastic: 40% (An absolute best-case scenario which assumes everything goes perfectly right. Cannot physically be higher)

Here are the values you can expect for each config setting. One Calorie is equal to 1 Satiation.

Pessimistic: 0.39Cal/s at 100% exposure - Only enough to support standing still
Realistic: 0.77Cal/s at 100% exposure - Almost enough to support nonstop walking
Idealistic: 1.55Cal/s at 100% exposure - Enough to support casual sprinting
Fantastic: 3.11Cal/s at 100% exposure - Enough to support nonstop sprinting

Keep in mind that 100% exposure requires the dead of noon, wearing no clothing or armor, and being outside. Those needing to restore hunger are best just finding a good spot and 'sunning' themselves until they're at a point where they're comfortable. With proper planning, one can easily go completely without needing to eat at all.

 

And all of this would be completely meaningless if there wasn't a way for the player to access it, so alongside these new traits comes pre-built its very own class!
Meet the Tender!

"When times got tough, beast and man alike turned against the peaceful Tenders out of desperation. All but the most ruthless were devoured as food supplies dwindled. The remainder who forgone their tenderness survive to this day. Even though their knowledge of cultivation had decayed over the decades, their symbiotic bond to the plants they once tended is as strong as ever."

+ Phototrophic: Restore hunger and air while *exposed to light* EDIT: Also restores Stamina for the VS Movement Mod
+ Sugar Rush: Increased *move speed* while *exposed to light*
+ Thick Skinned: +50% damage reduction

- Heavy: -20% move speed
- Fragrant: +50% animal tracking range
- Nutritious: All animals will be aggressive towards you and you drop food on death

The Sugar Rush trait increases move speed based on Exposure: ranging from 0% at no exposure, and 50% at 100% exposure.
This means that your move speed will be -20% in the dark, and up to +30% in the light

Since wearing clothing and armor blocks Exposure to Light, Tenders have naturally thick and heavy skin which helps them survive attacks from the animals they draw in.
When exposed to sunlight, the sugars created by their thick and heavy phototrophic skin gives them a lot of energy, allowing them to achieve impressive feats of speed.
Your traits will naturally draw you to the open outdoors, a place which serves to put you in the most amount of immediate danger.
For this reason, they trade the mundane survival of trying to stay fed with the more action-oriented playstyle of fending off attacks.
Those who choose to hide indoors or underground will grow to long for the addicting sunlight to grace their skin once more...
Winter will be suitably challenging to the unprepared.

Edited by Omega Haxors
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Basic infrastructure has been established. Upon logging in, the player is granted with some custom data which will be used to apply effects. A command will also be included which will allow any class to activate Prototrophy, for those who would rather use another class (essentially allowing it to be used as a cheat mod)

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Photosynthesis code finished, and it feels great. I had a chance to test the default config, and I feel like it's exactly where it needs to be. It's impossible to camp light sources because your satiation will drop slightly faster than it restores, but if you play the game normally you shouldn't have any problem keeping it topped up.

Edited by Omega Haxors
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I'm axing the class support, at least for now.

For the sake of actually shipping in a reasonable time, it will simply be a command.

Classes are new, undocumented, and buggy as hell. Needs more time in the oven.

The effects of Phototropic, Sugar Rush, and Heavy will apply when using the command as those are all calculated internally within the mod itself.

Edited by Omega Haxors
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