A new update for Copper Dreams looks at social interactions and other things.
Micro-Tiles with less corners
Since moving to micro-tiles, the larger hex shapes required for the volumetric LOS and therefore the environment, began to be obsolete. While larger squares are stupid for navigating, having micro squares makes it so it doesn't really matter. Importantly, it makes navigating obstacles a little more obvious, as the hexes made for some confusion in tighter environments (determining what was 'behind' a small pillar or box that was hexagon shaped is less obvious at a glance than squares). Fortunately all the maps were already fairly squared off, we just arranged some of the tile-sets to remove the unnecessary angles, and things are looking good.
Characters can be made up of a variety of sizes, children, bugs, rats or tiny robots being one, and the usual being the 5 size. For 5 sized characters we have basic orientations for determining directional attacks (like shots to people from behind add to hit chance). Front, two flanks, and back. We haven't coordinated these with medical yet, but it's a possibility to determine which arm gets hit depending on the orientation of a character. The way we have it in the ruleset right now is pretty nice feeling, with misses falling on nearby limbs in order of proximity before missing completely, but it's an interesting concept we could look into later. We'd be curious to see what you think when you start playing.
The actual pathfinding grid is now made up of 9 tiles for every LOS / environment tile, which fits nice and easily. We're using a d&d method that was used at some point for diagonal tile movement, or the dementia is kicking in early and we're misremembering. Every two diagonal tiles is an extra tick for movement. Things flow smoothly and predictably, so we're happy with it.
For a Social skill, we wanted to make social actions have actual agency, where a player would have tangible results and rolls they can foresee and be used as effectively as any other skill like pistols or chemistry. The result was very simple, but only made possible by having robust systemic behaviors of NPCs, patrols, and AI for enemies where they can react to successful or fail rolls with fun results.
Most guards you come across aren’t going to shoot-to-kill unprovoked. Cybermutants or kill-patrol robots sure, but your average rent-a-cop isn't going to start with warning shots right at your face. They yell at you and what we call the patience meter pops up above them, like any other ticks for an action. If the timer runs out, or you piss them off early, then they’ll start attacking you.
Mechanics for this are designed with two types of NPC Patience Meters, an Unwanted Patience meter accounting for locations you aren’t wanted, and a Hostile Patience Meter for places you most certainly aren’t supposed to be. These meters for now are 20 and 10 ticks, respectively, enough time to talk to the NPC or move away from the situation.
You’re told to scram, with three outcomes:
- Leave line of sight and meter ends
- Don’t leave and turn into a hostile patience meter
- Aggravate NPC and start combat
- Thwart NPC in some way
- Player gets stunned thrown in a dumpster outside or in Jail, depending on the NPC group they are in.
- Don’t do as told, or aggravate NPC in some other way, and start combat