I decided not to upload the patch this week. There’s not much new (just the Doctor), because we did some 4th of July things last week.
When I started working on the doctor, I wasn’t entirely sure how I wanted to implement it, so I spent a lot of time planning.
Here is what I wanted a doctor to do:
Heal injured colonists
Cure perks, like insane and addict
Colonists should be able to heal themselves without a doctor present. There are 2 significant reasons for this:
A doctor should be able to heal themselves
It’s difficult to reliably sync up colonists. Where should they meet up? How long should they wait? What happens if one of the colonists dies during or before the rendezvous?
So I added 2 new items to facilitate self-healing.
Any colonist can use a medkit to instantly heal 2 health and stop bleeding. Medkits are created at the Medical Desk and require doctor level 4 to be crafted.
Medkits cost 1 biomass.
Medicine is the “fuel” required to operate the Medical Bed. 1 medicine can fully restore a colonist to 100% health, but it takes 60 seconds to heal 1 health. If the medical bed loses power it will periodically damage the colonist inside.
Medicine is also crafted at the Medical Desk, and require doctor level 2.
Medicine costs 1 biomass
Disease is not implemented yet.
I moved disease to the Missions milestone, because it makes sense that a disease can be acquired whenever a colonist interacts with foreigners.
The goal for disease is that a doctor has to somehow figure out a cure, produce it, and then distribute it.
I pushed disease back because I don’t think it will add the most value right now (compared to other things). For example, there’s not much difference between randomly acquiring a disease when eating raw food vs randomly taking damage when eating raw food. In both cases a colonist requires a doctor to be healed.
I’m also not sure how cures should be acquired. It would be dumb if a doctor can discover a cure and then forever treat a disease, because that effectively removes the disease from the game.
I thought about implementing a system where each disease is randomized in the sense that each disease requires a cure to be researched and created. This creates a “race against the clock” type scenario, and is possibly interesting.
But this solution would require implementing many brand new systems.
I moved this to the Combat milestone, because it seemed to be related to combat. I’ll possibly implement it earlier, during the Disaster milestone.
At first, I wasn’t sure how to implement this. It would be crazy to have a shelf full of limbs that a doctor can just glue onto a colonist.
A cloning pod, however, is much less crazy.
The basic idea is simple: The player orders a colonist to receive a genetic scan, a clone is grown, and the brains are transferred.
There’s a lot of depth with this idea too. Scans can have “integrity” ratings based on the doctor’s level. A poor quality scan can lead to deformities, aesthetically different bodies (the clone has different hair color), and some sort of “displeasing to look at” effect.
The consciousness transfer itself can have risks: memories can be erased, skills lost, and there could be a chance to acquire madness or other mental perks.
This would require the implementation of a very basic “order / directive” system, where a colonist can be commanded to receive a scan.
Scans can serve as back-ups for colonists too. You should be able to create clones of multiple colonists, with each clone having the memories and skills of the original colonist when scanned (memories might be difficult to persistently copy).
Similar to replacing limbs, the player would be able to remove bad perks through cloning. Maybe memory related perks, like madness, would require a complete mind wipe. (I’m not sure how you’d get a crazy colonist into the cloning pod).
I’m happy enough with the Colonist+ milestone. I added perks, skills, relationships, a basic fighting system, and a basic doctor system.
I’m going to spend the next week or two polishing and balancing all of the new features. This will also give Victor some time to create art for all of the new things (it takes a long time to create all the art).
I made a pretty sweet Google Sheet spreadsheet today too. It automatically shows item creation and usage, broken down in all sorts of ways (we store everything on a spreadsheet, it’s easier to balance that way).
The next milestone is External Areas, this will include things like solar panels and a concept of the “outside” in preparation for missions.