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. This is true. I'd be happy with either system really. Perhaps there could be an injury system in which each limb isn't tracked. A concussion or bad leg would apply a debuff to a character, in the same way that depression or insanity would apply debuffs to characters.
  2. Warlock

    Warlock Member

    just a partly weird suggestion to Gaslamp; hit points should also be something your soldiers or your governor guy should be able to collect every time they hit things, which they can later exchange for fabulous prizes. Or at least a bobblehead Cthulhu.
    With this out of the way I would like a mix of both systems; hit points for overall status of unit but also limb damage, which if it occurs by chance or design should be able to provide its own effects to the health pool, like massive immediate damage and permanent life reduction if they survive it. That said, a one-legged soldier taking on eldritch abominations with a plasma rifle, crutch and all, sounds pretty badass to me.
  3. Bohandas

    Bohandas Member

    I too think they should somehow combine the two systems
  4. DuckAndCower

    DuckAndCower Member

    I voted for limb injuries, but I'd like to point out that I'm not just voting for individual limbs to have hitpoints (e.g. limb injuries in Fallout 3). If I get 10 bruises on my arm, it isn't suddenly broken. Hitpoints have never really made a lot of sense to me.
  5. Wootah

    Wootah Member

    Can I vote fore neither? I think a system where it decides how immediately the character needs care would be more interesting. So they have a progression, of either improving or getting worse. The progression itself then is more interesting interaction with the state machine. A character that has light damage from breathing toxic fumes that registers that it is getting worse, might go seek help. A person with a significant wound that is getting treated might wait till treatment is done. Then instead of dealing HP damage (oh noes you have 3 HP left!!) you would have something Factory accidents mark the person as hemorraging which might go and seek help before fixing the problem in the factory.

    Of course when you mix madness into things, they could pervert the assessment. An Evil source might make people actively seek out ways to harm themselves minorly but not push them to the edge. Or people might choose to get excessively drunk to ignore their continued deterioration...
  6. Vitellozzo

    Vitellozzo Member

    I have got an idea. It should simplify the damage system.
    Each peasant has got a total of 3 hit points, so the full hitpoint pool is 3/3. Each threat (soldiers, demons, magic, incidents, fun in general) can lower from 1 to x hit points. The peasant get debuffs for each point of damage s/he takes:
    - for the first point of damage (2/3 hp) he works way slower than in full hp (3/3), but he can do most of the tasks - maybe a cool workaround for this is to make 3/3hp a prerequisite for certain particular, difficult or hard tasks, like build clocks or erect a building;
    - for the second point of damage (1/3 of total hp) the peasant is considered permanently wounded, s/he stop working ever again, and s/he has major chances of becoming insane for something (the unit is alive, but is lost anyway) - can produce madness or gog knows what;
    - for the third (and subsequents) point of damage, the unit simply die.
    A medic can either cure the first or the second point of damage (bringing back to respectively 3/3 and 2/3 hp their patients), but with a twist: until a citizen never reach 1/3 hp, he can be healed infinite times; once his hitpoints drops to 1/3, he get permanent scars that block any healing after the first treat (so they will fail), decurting his health pool to 2/3 max hp. The "scar" (permanent debuff) can have different natures, like battle scar, incident scar, corrupted scar and mystical scar. Each can have secoundary effects, maybe, and they can work together to the madness system.
    Now we consider the military. First of all, we can consider soldiers as more resistant than peasants, since they train for the war and things like that, so they should sustain more hits. For balance of what I will say later, let's make their health pool of 4/4 hp, instead of 3/3 a peasant has; the rule of the last hp blocking the little men still applies, so a warrior with 1/4 hp is useless (or dangerous, depending of the nature of the scar). 3/4 and 2/4 hp warriors can work the same (slower at work/battle than the 4/4 soldiers), or 2/4 can be slower than 3/4, which are slower than 4/4. Now, how to effectively manage those hit points in a battle.
    Basically, it's a Advance Wars/Warhammer like feature: battle units are what the name tells you (in military speech!), a unit of x mens trained for a kind of thing. Units of fantry riflemen, units of grenadiers, ecc. This is how you train warriors, how you manage them and, more interesting, how you treat their wounds as a platoon, instead of single soldiers. So in a battle you can manage platoons instead of single units, and their enemies attack the platoon, not the single one. Depending of the formation one player can choose, more or less warriors can be hit by aoe damages, and normally the first lines get more shots than the back rows.
    Single units on their last hp run regardless their train, not-warriors run at the sight of any danger and upon any amount of damage, and warrrior never run from not-mystical enemies. Soldiers in the squad do not run away from the first danger they see even if some of the warriors get to 1/4 hp, if the squad has more than the 50% of their total max hp.
    So, for example, a unit of 4 riflemen has a total of 16hp (4hp each soldier, for 4 soldiers => 4*4=16). They fight until the entire squad is destroyed; if hp of a soldier drops to 1/4, he will run only if the squad hp is 7 or less (16/2=8hp), otherwise he will fight until death, or if another new danger comes out (let's say the squad fight a group of bandits: it they take casualities and a demon shows up, the soldiers could start running away).

    If something isn't very clear, I can try being clearer.
    Kazeto likes this.
  7. Niknud

    Niknud Member

    You are partially right. The reason dwarf fortress eats up a lot of memory is because there are a ton of unnecessary tags. One of the biggest offenders is butchered and skinned animal parts. I don't think a limb damage calculator would hog to much memory if you kept it basic.
    Kazeto likes this.
  8. Zentay

    Zentay Member

    I don't think the benefits of a DF style injury system can justify the development time investment needed.

    MOOMANiBE Ah, those were the days. Staff Member

    While obviously nothing I say here is final (or even necessarily what we'll end up deciding on), it's worth noting that removal of limbs is unlikely due to the insane amount of extra animation it'd require.

    Nearly every human animation in the game - and there are currently around 500 of them - would need to be re-animated or programmatically adjusted so as to have a "one-legged version" for each potential missing leg. To say nothing of left-handed variants of every pickup, drop, attack anim, conversational anims, etc. How does someone missing two limbs animate? Etc. That kind of workload is utterly impossible for me and I suspect doing it procedurally is an undertaking more along the lines of a AAA studio's money-sink project.

    Again, disclaimer - nothing is set in stone, or even firmly decided; maybe one day Nicholas will have a stroke of genius and we'll end up putting it in somehow. But from an animator's standpoint I consider limb removal (or any simulation of limb incapacitation) extremely unlikely.
    Kazeto likes this.
  10. Gorbax

    Gorbax Member

    Looks like Blagh'rarsh, One-legged Fiend of the Mountains, will have to resort to just eating his victims, rather than dealing out ironical, incapacitating but non-lethal punishments.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  11. Wootah

    Wootah Member

    Even if you weren't animate the limbs. There is an alpha out there and hopefully an internal build (and things decided in the pit). How is the game currently (or planned to) handle character health?
    Kazeto likes this.

    MOOMANiBE Ah, those were the days. Staff Member

    I'm not really the person to answer this, I'm afraid, as I am waaaay behind on what the programmers have been doing for the past few months - I don't wanna give out outdated info.

    Of all the art team I spend the least amount of time actually running the game, since animation polish is mostly going to come very very late in development and right now most of my focus is spent rigging and animating new characters/creatures/whatever. :X
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  13. dbaumgart

    dbaumgart Art Director Staff Member

    No removable limbs.

    They're incredibly cheap when your characters are ASCII, they're incredibly expensive when your characters are textured, animated 3d models. It'd require either 1. a lot of animation and therefore a large team of animators to make them or 2. some clever technical feature that would have had to have been a core element of engine development, and we've got enough of those on our plate already. We decided that things like 'deformable terrain', 'buildings with customizable floorplans', and 'being able to run hundreds of characters in the simulation' were more important than detachable limbs for the sort of game we were making. So here we are.

    Good news though: You can remove heads!
    Kazeto likes this.
  14. Nicholas

    Nicholas Technology Director Staff Member

    This is a pretty good idea for a blog post so I might save it for that, but I will note that we're not animating the limbs or sinking money into that. I know how we *would* do it - we'd get Mr. Triolo to animate walking with each limb missing, we'd blend them using the basic animation stack from Spore, and we'd do the rendering using something like what Left 4 Dead 2 does. But that's a *lot* of technology to get working.
    Kazeto likes this.
  15. Are you saying that games can't be thrown together haphazardly over a weekend? Everything I know is wrong....
    Kazeto likes this.
  16. Nicholas

    Nicholas Technology Director Staff Member

    Oh, goodness no. That's how we did at least one Dredmor expansion pack.

    (More specifically: both the Diggle God statues in RotDG and Vlad Digula in CotW - as well as most of Diggle Hell, admittedly - were added about 24 hours before we shipped.)
  17. Gorbax

    Gorbax Member

    I don't know about you guys, but until a few moments ago, I thought I couldn't like Gaslamp Games any more than I already did. And just a moment less than a few moments ago, I was proven wrong!
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
    Kazeto and convolutedthinker like this.

    MOOMANiBE Ah, those were the days. Staff Member

    God, I remember that IM. It was what, ~8 hours before the expansion launched on steam?
    Kazeto likes this.
  19. So are the last 24-48 hours before release mostly crunch time?
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  20. Wootah

    Wootah Member

    -Holy Crap! So much awesome information in this post. Thank you for answering.

    -I look forward to the technical blog post explaining how the health of units is currently being handled. It is details like health and stats that make players really feel invested in how their characters (in CE's case citizens) develop. Seeing a soldier with insane stats (and maybe a fear of Fishpeople) will give us some comfort knowing that he will have no problem mowing down treasonous poet inspired rebels.

    -The fact that you could piece together the steps (even if it was too resource intensive) is fairly impressive.

    -I must say that both Diggle Gods and Diggle Hell are fairly impressive for shipping less than a day later. Even with iteration. You guys must not have gotten any sleep for those 24 hours.
    Untrustedlife and Kazeto like this.