Hit-Point Dilemma

Discussion in 'Clockwork Empires General' started by Triskelli, Oct 10, 2012.


Ideally, how would you want unit damage handled?

  1. Health Points

  2. Limb Injuries

  1. Triskelli

    Triskelli Member

    This is running off the assumption that most people have played or are familiar with both Dwarf Fortress and any Real-Time Strategy title. In most RTS games, each unit has a set amount of hitpoints, and can survive and escape without any negative effects at 1/100 HP. This is fine for the majority of cases, but it's not exactly how real life works.

    The alternative is a system like Dwarf Fortress, where individual body parts are modeled and react to injuries differently. But instead of "The Minotaur punches the Dwarf in the upper body, fracturing the bone and bruising the lung!", the system could be abstracted a great deal and still provide meaningful story-based gameplay. Here's my hazy, corner-cutting model:

    The body of each Citizen would be divided into 6 distinct areas, the Torso, Head, Left Arm, Right Arm, Left Leg, and Right Leg. Different kinds of attacks target different areas, and a number of effects can be randomly applied based on the kind of attack, ranging from Bruised to Broken Bone(s) to Burns to Severed and more. There could even be cases where the Head is attacked and a citizen's brain gets scrambled, randomizing all their preferences, fears, and traits.

    Like I said, half-baked and hazy. Still, I hope body and incremental damage is implemented over HP, but it would add a couple extra layers to the simulation that might not be needed, it would make fights rapidly one-sided, and will take up computational power where it could be better spent making the game Fun. Any opinions?
  2. Landtank

    Landtank Member

    Sounds like unnecessary complications to me.
  3. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    ^^ This. I want my game to be about building and exploration, not about worrying how many of my citizens have leg injuries.
    Marak likes this.
  4. EvilCyst

    EvilCyst Member

    Maybe a simplified version of limbs, a torso and a head. More like Fallout 3's system than anything else - theres a maximum hit points, but limbs can be damaged or lost to kill or cripple citizens. I think having the potential for missing limbs from a Tragic Accident is too good to pass up.
    Marak likes this.
  5. Midnight Tea

    Midnight Tea Member

    I really don't think a limb system is necessary here. Part of why Dwarf Fortress eats up so much memory is because it's intensively calculating the status of so many parts. You can have this both ways, though, if limbs or other parts are a part of HP damage. This is done in most RPGs where different armor pieces have a purpose beyond providing additive slots.

    To provide the illusion of complexity all you need from there is for there to be a chance for damage to cause an injured status, with a dramatically increased chance for an unprotected part (or on a critical hit).

    I hope I'm not being a wet napkin by saying I hope Clockwork Empires isn't too combat-focused anyway.
    Vitellozzo likes this.
  6. Turbo164

    Turbo164 Member

    I'm now picturing a soldier who replaced one missing arm with Clockwork, and the other with a cultist Tentacle. :p

    That said I don't think the game needs to track 6+ body parts for every single citizen, but having monsters and Perfectly Safe Explosions occassionally inflict "missing limb" instead of just "lightly/heavily injured" could be fun.
    Vitellozzo likes this.
  7. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    This is one of the biggest challenges, as far as I know. Need to find the balance between just a hp bar and ridiculous simulation of 37 layers of ligament tissue of Dwarf Fortress.
    Mashirafen, Marak and Vitellozzo like this.
  8. mining

    mining Member

    IMO limited limb injuries - as the game isn't ASCII, obvious stuff like missing limbs is really easily communicated.
  9. dbaumgart

    dbaumgart Art Director Staff Member

    But also really expensive in terms of art. Think of animating for each character prop use animation for a case in which a character is missing the left or right hand, then how about one leg + crutch + using a prop. Or how about missing two legs, but with both arms, and .. doing stuff. Or missing one leg and one arm on the side where the crutch would go, using an axe. And same case, but other arm missing.

    It's a bit of a nightmare for a small team, all told.
    Vitellozzo likes this.
  10. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Bah. Just don't do missing limbs; do injured limbs and simple white bandage wraps to indicate 'injured' or 'not'. Not that I'm not still against this idea, of course, just being contrarian to my own double-negativity. Not!
    Vitellozzo, Kazeto and mining like this.
  11. Nadd

    Nadd Member

    Missing limbs is probably unnecessary. Hit points don't sound great, but like Midnight Tea said, the complexity is too much for advanced limb damage tracking. I'd like to see a combination (like SS13), where citizens have 100 hp, but taking to much damage to a certain limb causes negative modifiers. Too much damage to the arms causes slower reloading/firing/swinging speed, leg and torso damage causes slower movement, and hitting the head could deal extra damage, or cause unconsciousness. A quick way to determine damage locations could be 3 extra animations, holding arms into body, limping, holding head.

    I think a mix is best.
    Vitellozzo likes this.
  12. Midnight Tea

    Midnight Tea Member

    Well, you also have to ask yourself how much that degree of granularity adds to the game. It is a part of Dwarf Fortress because granularity is a major selling point of the game itself. It doesn't necessarily add to the experience when taken on its own. And as dbaumgart suggested, you also have to consider whether it's a good use of art assets.
  13. Nadd

    Nadd Member

    The problem is that this game is largely influenced and inspired by DF, and the the reason such great granularity is possible in DF is because of ASCII's simplicity and it's 6 year everyday development. Such complexities and tiny, beautiful details cannot be asked for this game, but hit points just seem to basic for a game like this.
  14. EvilCyst

    EvilCyst Member

    Maybe it could not even show injuries on the model, but still track them? Leg injuries walk slower, arms work less quickly, head randomly faints, etc? Just having hitpoints seems a bit too simple for a game like this.
  15. James009

    James009 Member

    I truly believe that Dwarf Fortress is onto something fantastic with their unique injury system, I hope Clockwork Empires takes a bit of it. Don't necessarily over complicate it with soap, crutches, and other mandatory medical stuff (that is hard to get) but allow for doctors, medics, and hospitals to take care of people.

    Honestly, what about a hybrid HP-limb injury system. Each part of the body has certain amount of HP (based on stats) and can be variously injured after taking so much damage. This might be overcomplicating it but could work well in this sort of game to mitigate hospital micromanagement (as injuries could be harder to achieve).

    Also, add diseases!
  16. Wolg

    Wolg Member

    While thematically the notion of someone Engaging in Charitable Works to Ease the Suffering of the Lower Orders (and other such phrases that are Suitably Capitalised when appearing in the Empire Times) is appropriate and perhaps even Admirably Philanthropic, I suspect real-history Victorian era health care might make that in DF look *advanced*, even before the concept of Eldritch Surgery gets involved.
  17. Bohandas

    Bohandas Member

    BOTH! Hitpoints for each limb!
  18. mailersmate

    mailersmate Member

    I don't see any need for injury simulation beyond hp and characters getting a "is a cripple" or "missing an arm" or "missing an eye" flavour description. A disease generator would be fun though. Get a strange name and some random numbers for infection rate, infection radius and an effect (like housebound for x days / pernamentally or death or transformation). I don't think it would be too code / artwork intense (something like green glowy people) and would definity add to the Fun Of Starting A New Life In The Fresh Air Of The Colonies.
  19. A happy compromise could be that the faceless masses of common labourers could go by a hit point system, while the skilled inidividuals, who the game is apparently more focussed on, go by a limb damage system.

    Diseases are a must, our colonies must be able to both catch bizarre foreign afflictions as well as unwittingly (or wittingly) spread diseases to the natives.
  20. Loren

    Loren Member

    But then you have to code and debug two systems of damage tracking.