anxcon

Life support - what would you like to see?

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So been working on a new life support mod, as everything that exists is very.....hardcoded...in how they work, i like open-ended things that can be extended, and fit any and every playstyle, only needing config to change - that said, the current model works like this:

config file applies the following, as many or as few, as liked, and not limited to the names mentioned
stat bars (like hunger, hydration, air, etc), when they rise/fall past limits, they trigger effects
resources (like oxygen, water, snacks) when consumed at the configured rate, raise a stat, or lower if not
effects (currently death, turn to tourist, spawn at ksc) what effects happen based on stat bars
conditions (gravity, walking, swimming, eva) basicly behave like resources, without the resource

currently only runs in flight mode, mucho work to still do, but hey modding life is never complete :D

so anyways, what else would people like to see?
what other effects and conditions can be added? (note it also has an API for mods to add their own)

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Maybe some kind of hygiene. That when f.e. the hygiene of a ship drops below x%, your kerbals start being less productive or get diseases.

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6 hours ago, Nippie1995 said:

Maybe some kind of hygiene. That when f.e. the hygiene of a ship drops below x%, your kerbals start being less productive or get diseases.

technically already works atleast to a point, in config i can add a stat bar "Hygiene" and resource "Water", when water not consumed hygiene falls, low enough and death effect fires - so the only bit "new" is adding a disease effect.....which i have no idea what itd do besides death :D

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This is brainstorming, so take the bits you like, and discard the bits you don't, but my big wish regarding life-support all has to do with long-term voyages. I can best explain this with some storyboards:


Brett is performing a 2-day mission in space to study the effects of microwaving popcorn in microgravity. His craft needs water, food, oxygen, CO2 scrubbers, and waste disposal facilities, but isn't fitted with exercise or washing facilities. His mission is short enough they're not needed, he can always shower when he gets back.

Jenna is undertaking a six month mission investigating a strange monolith. Her craft is equipped with similar facilities to Brett's above, but also includes water recycling, two dozen boxes of wet-wipes, and some jumbo-sized rubber bands. The first shower back on Kerbal will be amazing, and getting used to full gravity again will be tough, but manageable.

Zorblax is the machine intelligence managing an off-world colony. The colonists have access to centripetal gravity, full gym facilities, showers that don't require breathing masks to use, and an enriched environment with entertainment and socialisation facilities. Nobody wants to go home, and some colonists were born here in space.

 

The idea would be that kerbals have (optional) strength, hygiene, mental, and physical health stats. Facilities provide both a set-point that these stats move toward (showers are better than wet-wipes), and also determine the rate at which that decay occurs (being in space for prolonged periods will cause your mental health to suffer, but a well-stocked library and crew members you like will slow the rate at which it happens).

Facilities may require resources to run (water, wet-wipes, electricity, etc), may produce waste, and may be limited in how many kerbals they can support. Kerbals being low in one stat may influence others: a lack of hygiene or strength and influence mental and physical health.

An advanced mechanic may be that having different types of facilities provides bonuses over a single facility. Having a library *and* a videophone is better than either one on its own. Standard rations may be fine for keeping you alive, but mixing in some freeze-dried ice-cream and tubes of vegemite can add variety and influence mental health appropriately.

The end goal for me is that when planning a long voyage, or a station with long-term residency, I have to think more about facilities over the basics of food, water, oxygen, and waste. And even if I do, then kerbonauts will still need to come home eventually for health reasons, unless my station is so amazing it's become a full and enriched habitat (which would be a serious megaproject).

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On 13 april 2016 at 4:50 AM, anxcon said:

technically already works atleast to a point, in config i can add a stat bar "Hygiene" and resource "Water", when water not consumed hygiene falls, low enough and death effect fires - so the only bit "new" is adding a disease effect.....which i have no idea what itd do besides death :D

Well, every shortage of a resource just causes death. But getting a disease could become a serious problem, if you are having something like a super colony. One kerbal could get infected, who would infect another kerbal and so on. If the disease goes around long enough, your entire colony could just die out. But, as already said, I think this would only be "useful" if you have a really big colony with alot of kerbals.

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but what is "disease" though? the "effect" mechanic i have is the end result, X happens when Y is gone, so what does it DO?

i could tag a kerbal as having disease, and that enables usages of another resource ie "medicine", as it is, resources just get used if they exist, havent made anything for turning on/off usage yet :D

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I was thinking about this the other day.  I thought it would be useful to be able to ration water, food, elecricity etc  to stretch a mission by a few days or a week. I know you can kind of do this already with current LS mods but it involves turning off the resource completely and turning it back on before the kerbals "die". That gets tedious and often forgotten.  For example if your kerbals are using 3.0 "food" per day you could reduce that intake to 0.75 to ration the resource prolonging their life.  I guess the consequences of doing this could be a system much like USI LS where they just get lazy during the time that rationing is happening. Maybe it could be done like using less thrust on an engine?  I dunno just an idea

 

Sorry if my idea is all over  the place.  I had a tough time collecting my thoughts :)

Edited by Berlin

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already have rationing mechanic in, but needs tweaking 

so far it lowers consumption by X%, but the end result is the same as if you cut off supply
example, you have 60 seconds oxygen left, using full ration runs out at 60, then oxygen stat drops 1%/sec
with death being at 0% oxygen stat, thats 160 seconds til effect fires
example2, ration by 50%, oxygen stat goes down 0.5%/sec, 120 sec til oxygen gone, stat at 40%, 40 sec til effect

no real difference in which way to go
thinking have it drop on a curve, so 50% ration acts like 75% satisfied
downside to that is you could ration, later set full and recover, and either recovery is slower (which seems weird) or its a way to get free resource without any loss beyond short term -.-

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Ok, I will try to give an example:

You open an habitat UI (f.e.). There, along with the other bars, stands "Hygiene" or "Cleanity", even if that is not a real word. It says 100%. As soon as you run out of a certain ressource, f.e.  Disinfectation Liquid, that "Hygiene" bar will drop. And when it drops below 40%, your Kerbal has a chance of getting a disease. Now the Kerbals UI also has a bar which says "Health". Once that will drop below 50%, your Kerbal will "die", but without the death part. Which means that he wont be able to control the ship, do EVA's and so on, but if you give him medicine, his health bar will fill up again. Although when you dont give him medicine, and the bar reaches 0%, he will actually die. There is also a change that when there are other Kerbals with a sick Kerbal in a habitat, they will get the disease too. It could even transfer between habitats. As long as a Kerbal is sick, he carries the disease with him, meaning that moving between habitats wouldn't be a good idea, since that could infect other Kerbals. The best thing would be to have a medbay, but since you're a coder and not modeller, that would require some help.

I hope that you get it now, because I lost track halfway through:confused:

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@Nippie1995 in your example, he effectively becomes a tourist (and thus loses control), aside from lacking ability to "spread" / having a medbay to isolate, the rest is already coded and works, so i need to think of how to make some effect spread.....

again this is more of a framework, so anyone can choose their style, turn on/off options - i want this to be the end of life support coding :D assuming i can finish it

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basicly a tourist kerbal doesnt allow any control, just an empty kerbal taking up space - i should see if i can add another though, calling it tourist seems weird

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This is a HUGE idea, so I'll nest it behind various spoilers divided by topic.  I have every respect for mod development and coding, but you specified that you wanted frameworks that could be extensible.  I know this is WAY complicated.  These are intended as idea-nuggets.

I'm reminded of KeepFit, which at one point was talking about scaling downtime / recovery time at KSC after missions according to how long they were deployed.

Spoiler

Quick suborbital hops, a kerbonaut can be turned around in a few days, such as with Kerbal Construction Time -- upgradeable with Astronaut Complex upgrades or Strategy investments.  Long term surface deployments to a ground base on Laythe would involve much longer recuperation periods back on Kerbin unless the Laythe base and the transits to and from were equipped with amenities such as a well stocked medical bay, an exercise facility, decent food and activites and contact with family and friends back on Kerbin through continuous contact with RemoteTech.  Certain lucrative contracts can be generated at Mission Control that would involve extra downtime because they involve particularly rigorous or dangerous activities in space or on the surface of Mun / Duna / Moho / etc.  Live payload return of life support waste products (urine and solid waste) can yield significant Science point gains, and specific nodes on the tech tree can involve the benefit in reducing kerbonaut recovery time at KSC.  Making the life support byproducts generate Science simulates "increasing our understanding of the long term effects of spaceflight," and provides an incentive to carry that mass all the way back from a ground base elsewhere and spending the dV to do it instead of just dumping it.  Of course, permanent facilities would still have the operational incentive to recycle wastes, but a damaged recycler is no longer a total-lose scenario, because at least the stockpiling waste material could be worth something if it can just be transported back to the lab at headquarters.  Integrate this with Station Science so that experiments can be performed on it in the field for contracts or other gains, or to introduce meaningful medical bay modules.


We already have caste-imparted stats (Scientists convey Science gains, Engineers increase mining output, and Pilots allow for advanced maneuvering.) 

Spoiler

Allow further specializations, possibly with XP points accrued on missions, manning experiments, performing tasks / contracts, etc.  Something where you could even spam-accrue them, if you like, at the expense that XP points can only be applied to increase stats with kerbonauts at KSC after they've had a chance to rest and recuperate from their mission.  Specialties can only be chosen once they've attained 4-star or 5-star status, but max specialty level can only be attained on 5-star status.


Pilots:

Spoiler

Pilots can sub-specialize as base administrators, communication and logistics specialists (RemoteTech emphasis) daredevil pilots (capable of increasing apparent dV budgets by 5-8% (random range, but maxed when fully leveled -- when you first begin specializing, the benefit is only 1%) so that a fuel-stricken return craft might have a chance in heck of making it back into Kerbin SOI where a rescue can meet up with it) EVA specialists (EVA jetpacks are easier to control, finer controls, maybe an EVA "SAS" function) or rover-driving specialists.  Specializing in one of those fields locks out the others, so you must choose, and if you want a selection of one of each, you have to have large crews with lots of supplies and resources and room to sleep and you have to train and level them individually over the course of years in the space program across multiple or even dozens of missions, or hundreds / thousands of spaceflight hours (with some way to discourage "send them into orbit and forget about them for years to level them up.")  Any kerbonaut of any caste or specialty can learn one or two "basic" Pilot-only skills, at some kind of training cost.  "Basic flight training" so that they'll have the flight-control abilities of a 1-star Pilot, and "Basic Communications Training" such that even with no RemoteTech signal, they can manage to transmit scientific data one-way back to KSC at a really slow rate, perhaps 1 mit / hour.


Scientists:

Spoiler

Medical Specialist capable of acting as an in-flight doctor or medical officer.  Geologist, capable of generating better data about resource deposits (both stock Ore and mod resources such as Kethane / Karbonite / KSPIE / etc.) so that when in orbit with a scanner and this specialist aboard, or when on an exploratory rover seeking to strike the first vein of ore with a test drill apparatus, either you can see a higher-resolution color map on the ground providing more accurate data about ore concentration from further away, or simply the operating drill generates ore at a 5-8% bonus rate.  Observational specialist allows for greater Science points from experiments when they're taken, or reduced penalty for transmission of the data back to HQ instead of live returning with it.  This specialist also capable of performing a special EVA-action allowing them to examine a control pod and "remove data" relating to the KSC recovery bonus of "craft that visited the surface of Minmus," so that 80% of that science bonus can be obtained without actually returning with the original lander.  Processing specialist, greater gains or faster standard gains when operating the MPL or a Station Science experiment.  "Basic" Scientist-for-all skills includes ability to reset a single one-time-use experiment (goo, material bay) but it takes 60 in-game minutes.  If they drift too far away from the experiment in zero-g, they lose their progress and the timer resets.  Another Sci-for-all ability might be "Basic First Aid," which is limited doctoring ability that can prevent or delay death but cannot heal anyone past 80%.


Engineer:

Spoiler

Equipment Specialist, items are better maintained generally / less prone to failure from DangIt.  Payload Specialist, dV penalties from payload mass is reduced by 5-8%.  Extraction Specialist, mining rigs with this kerbal aboard will accumulate waste heat more slowly.  Electrical Specialist, life support systems and other power-consuming equipment consumes 5-8% less electricity.  Systems Specialist -- life support recyclers are more efficient when this person is aboard.


With life support consumables run out, have a kerbal's functions on a decay curve. 

Spoiler

100% is whatever their maximum usefulness is, whether they're on their first mission and haven't leveled at all, or are maxed out.  Until finally they become "unconscious" (tourist) for a few minutes / hours, then they die.  The tourist state before death allows for them to be resuscitated if resources can be restored prior to death.  Perhaps even a two-tiered pre-death state.  Say, for oxygen deprivation, the ability-decay period is a decrease from 100% at 1% / minute.  A veteran kerbonaut with maxed specialty stats at the same rate as a rookie with no experience gained, so 1% drop is a bigger deficit for a veteran.  At 40%, they go unconscious.tourist.  At 20% they go coma.tourist.  At 0%, death occurs.  If oxygen is restored while they are above 50% (not just conscious, but lucid and aware, simply struggling) they begin reviving at 1% / minute, because they're still aware and capable enough to know to start sucking on a breathing mask with a fresh supply.  From this circumstance, they can recover to 90% with enough time.  If oxygen is restored when the kerbal is below 50% but above 20%, oxygen restoration only causes them to revive at .25% / minute until they hit 50% again to simulate just recovering blood oxygen through normal autonomic breathing, then they recover at 1% / minute after they hit 50% and wake up until they reach a peak recovery of 75%.  The last increment of recovery requires a visit to a medical bay with a properly specialized doctor on staff.  A Pilot or Engineer with Basic First Aid can only bring someone to 80%.


"Rationing" supplies is possible on two settings for each resource. 

Spoiler

80% for "basic rationing," and 40% for "emergency rationing."  Emergency rationing is only possible on a base or station that has an Administrative Specialist, and also has either a Doctor or an Equipment Specialist with them (must have two specialists, one of them must be an Admin Spec).  Basic rationing halves recovery rates and caps natural recovery rates at 60%, maximum healing rates with a doctor to 75%, first aid won't help.  Emergency rationing stops all recovery, caps medical treatment recovery at the same levels, but causes a 1% / hour decay rate in their abilities.  Supply exhaustion penalties are added every minute, rationing penalties are applied every hour.  Each resource (food water air) might have its own decay rate -- much more dangerous to run out of air than to run out of food, for example.  "Entertainment" or other morale-resource causes decay to a floor of 35% with unconscious.tourist being the result.  They're "alive" and not dead but they're experiencing depression / hallucinations / insubordination.  Medical treatment and first aid will help with morale-related health decay, the equivalent of talking it out with a doctor or playing a game of cards in terms of first aid.


Environment-specific hazards, too.  Weightlessness, cosmic radiation, solar radiation, a special third type of interstellar radiation of a player is running a mod that introduces other star systems.  High-g stress for Eve bases.  Reduced long-term-deployment penalties for planets with breathable atmospheres, like Laythe.  Tech nodes that allow for advanced planetary EVA life support, so that eventually on Duna or other thin-atmosphere planet, a person can walk outside with a simple oxygen mask instead of a fully sealed helmet.

I have no technical coding experience, but I can learn if someone walks me through it.  Elsewise, I have creative writing and some amateur gameplay story-design experience (tabletop RPGs, and I've directed a few amateur stageplays) so if there's a way to "write a backstory" for a specific mechanic, please let me know.

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