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Topics - REMworlder

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Ideas / Alpha 13 Character Records: kill count titles and glory
« on: December 31, 2015, 02:49:51 PM »
Alpha 13 is set to introduce character records. Character records will offer a better, clearer view of how a colonist has lived. Details that were easy to overlook will now be a huge part of each colonist. Losing a colonist with high melee skill is bad enough, but losing that same colonist who also had 40 confirmed kills in her character record? Tragic.

Character records which keep stats on each character like number of kills, injuries, surgeries, etc. 1

The record offers a great chance to flesh out characters. Games like Dwarf Fortress use kill lists to assign titles to dorfs who kill notable creatures. Weapons and shields have kill lists too, but that's another exciting topic. RimWorld colonists could be given titles based on criteria like special kills or kill volume.

Besides Dwarf Fottress, ther games make great use of stat-driven descriptors. For example, Crusader Kings II has a range of Nicknames that are generated based on stats, character actions, and a probability factor. Characters with special combinations of stats might be labelled "The Lionheart," or "The Lame." Similarly RimWorld stats could be used to give a character a nick name or title. To keep everyone from having crazy titles, the required stats could be exceptional or use a probability or factor-based system like in Crusader Kings 2.

Western-inspired Rimworld nicknames based on kills in the colonist's character record

Legend would summarize the important parts of a character's recorded stats. Stats like kills or how many high-quality items have been created would contribute to a Legend stat. The point of Legend is to show a character's accomplishments and reputation.

A character's legend stat could:
-Serve as a modifier to social skill ("I'm talking to the famous Redfields"!)
-Give a small buff to that character's thoughts ("I'm famous, I can't break down")
-Cause thought debuffs on enemies ("I'm being shot at by Six-gun Sophie, who has over 300 kills!")

The point of both Kill Count Titles and the Legend Stat are to flesh out the upcoming character record system. It's nice to have data, but it's coolest when it's meaningful. A character record is meaningful when it's actionable -- when it can be used in decision-making -- or has a clear impact on other systems, such as the development of a legendary reputation.The character record system could use one more step so it's not just a feature that only impacts the player, but also the colonists and the in-game universe.

Ideas / Single-Sentence challenge: your worst suggestions
« on: December 19, 2015, 12:11:59 PM »
Awful suggestions that probably shouldn't be in RimWorld. One sentence per suggestion pls.

Some examples to kick things off:
-Colonists now require underwear.
-New class of cuddle mechanoids that attempt to violently nuzzle colonists.
-Introduce a Human Resources work category, which assists in colonist workplace safety and pension decisions.
-New type of "lava" carpet, which is literally liquid lava.

Ideas / The Luddite Hero Cults
« on: December 06, 2015, 09:12:15 AM »
Every locale had its own set of local heroes. Some of these heroes are well known to us through epic and tragedy, while others are never mentioned in any poetry known to us. The local hero of hero cult could be male or female, adult or child.

The Luddites
Throughout history, RimWorld inhabitants have found themselves drawn to the ancient ruins around the world. In many of these places, luddite cults have emerged. Luddite cults worship the final resting places of what were obviously mighty and powerful humans who did great things. Luddites believe the deceased heroes of legend still have supernatural powers.

A step up from pure ancestor worship, luddite beliefs are fueled by the many mysterious ancient ruins commonly found on rim worlds. With the original purpose of the old structures forgotten, luddites shoehorn their oral traditions into local geography. An abundance of poorly-understood technology and human remains tends to reinforce luddite beliefs in ancient heroes formally buried in twisted structures of plasteel.

Fig1. Gigantic, largely intact, and conspicuous. Luddite cults tend to form around such structures in devotion to the mighty hero entombed inside.

Cult Behaviors
Why luddites shun technology in combination with their beliefs is less obvious. Ordo evidence points towards mechanoid incursions playing a key role in luddite rituals, and mechanoids seem to avoid certain ancient sites for reasons that are unclear. In part because of this, luddite cults tend to be heavily territorial, centered around the relative supernatural safety provided by their hero's tomb.

Recent scan compilations indicate most prominent luddite tomb sites harbor semi-active ship cores, EMP devices, or hardened military subroutines. Luddites seem largely unaware of these technological entities, which may be the source of what luddites perceive to be supernatural benefits.

Luddites don't eschew all technology, just most of it. A strong belief in the supernatural provides great purpose to the technology adopted by luddites. What we might identify as old school energy weapons or nutrient paste synthesizers are often, to luddites, magical artifacts provided by their worshipped heroes. Technology isn't bad to luddite cults simply because it's technology, but because it's bad magic. Context is everything to luddites.

Hero cult was a fundamentally local practice, confined to a specific locale. There were literally thousands of hero-cults throughout the locales of the ancient Greek-speaking world.

Luddites and You
Luddites are territorial, hesitant to leave both the protection of their deceased benefactors and to leave their precious tombs undefended. While this might seem to make avoiding luddite cults a straightforward affair, the vast number of ruins on certain RimWorlds can cultivate thousands of competing luddite cults and spinoffs.

The best way for pre-established colonies and outposts to avoid luddites is stay away from ancient structures. Activity near ancient sites may lead luddite cults to assume those sites are worshipped by the colony. Luddite cults have no qualms about engaging in hostilities with factions they feel pose a threat to their own hero, especially if the oracles of their hero find this is needed. Luddites certainly believe in the existence of other heroes, they just know theirs is the most worthy of veneration.

Luddite attacks may involve a wide range of tactical and strategic threats. While primitive ranged and melee weaponry is common, luddites may also bring "magical" EMP-based weaponry. It's possible these are fielded as an escalated response to feral mechanoids or other technological threats where conventional primitive weaponry is ineffective. In full conflict, luddites will attempt to disable mechanical defenses before engaging in primitive close combat.

Fig2. Spess ruins! Spess ruins everywhere.

Greek hero cults sprang up around unknown structures, and the ruin-laden rim worlds seem like a great analogue to that. I like the idea of luddites as a tenuous mix of magic and technology. Just like hero cults may have actually worshipped prehistoric bones thinking they were larger-than-life remains, luddite cults may actually be under the protection of ancient barely-functioning systems designed to subtly protect human life. While I've often thought how cargo cults might emerge on RimWorld, hero cults seem a bit more natural.

Best of all is luddites are the natural enemy to mechanoids, which lack real opposition and walk over every faction out there (yes, technically megascarabs are the bane of mechanoids in lore). A faction that disables mechanoids using "magic artifacts" --EMPs-- then tears them apart with ad-hoc primitive weaponry seems like the perfect counter. A nice step above being totally primitive and seeing complete robo-massacres.

Visually luddites are absurd. TogasSimple clothing and ritual space helmets on a few leaders, both marked with the markings of their sacred tombs. Thematically elements should mash together. Picture priests offering blood sacrifices and libations on an altar, which is actually a nutrient paste machine from the backroom of a local school cafeteria.

Ideas / What holidays are found on RimWorlds? What are they like?
« on: December 02, 2015, 10:00:49 PM »
Holidays, festivals, celebrations... Groups come together seasonally to remember historical events, pay respects, practice traditions and rituals, or just have a good time with lots of food and alcohol. How do they look in RimWorld? Here's how holidays feature in similar games, and some thoughts on what holidays in RimWorld might look like.

Holidays in comparable games
Stonehearth added festivals as part of a stretch goal. Festivals will probably create worker bonuses as long as enough celebratory food is available. From the stretch goal description: Join your townsfolk as they celebrate popular holidays like Solstice, Harvest, and The Monday of The Twelve Golden Fruit. Properly provisioned festivals produce happy, energetic workers. Forgotten events invite the wrath of greater powers...

Dwarf Fortress has festivals as well, though they currently only happen in the world generation and adventure mode. While players may celebrate certain times of the game themselves, Gobin Christmas isn't technically a festival. A note on how festivals will work from dev notes:
We're well into the world gen festivals. Their main purpose at this point is to provide something interesting and interconnecting for the new artists to do before we move on to dwarf mode. The festivals that rise to the level of importance required for legends mode tracking are established as part of a fair in large markets with multiple trade partners, for religious purposes in temple cities, or to commemorate specific events such as the slaying of a dragon. The game looks at the values and ethics of the civilization and the overall purpose of the occasion to come up with the schedule of events -- performances, competitions (from art to various races to wrestling to etc. etc.), processions and ceremonies, with various little details. We're still on track to finish this part in a day or two.

Sim City 3000 Unlimited has several mostly appearance-based holidays and seasonal items, with Christmas lights, Gingerbread houses, and Christmas tree lights in December and occasional Thanksgiving parades in the fall -- provided the city was big enough. Not technically a Dwarf Fortress-esque game, but the pool of examples is kind of limited.

Where are the holidays?
I was surprised holidays or their equivalents weren't more commonly found in similar games. Holidays strike me as a great way to enforce pacing and make both in-game and lore events memorable by reminding players about them. Holidays also keep a game topical. A great example of this is League's Harrowing or Warcraft's Feast of Winter Veil, though arguably player engagement is the greatest priority for these types of games that live and die by their player base and subscription size. This doesn't discount the importance of holidays for single-purchase games like RimWorld, though, and the fact the biggest game franchises use holiday events heavily suggests just how important they are.

Vincent van Gogh - Celebration of July 14 in Paris (1886)

What's a good holiday?
The worst holidays are copied directly from reality. In a game with open-ended lore and lots of creative possibilities, probably the worst narrative choice is to give the player something 100% familiar. Worse than being boring, events ripped from reality highlight in-game shortcomings and highlight all the ways the copied event is hollow and incongruous with reality.

That doesn't mean reality isn't a good source of inspiration. Being able to intuitively figure out the basis for a holiday without having to read a wall of background text is good. Plus the foundational reasons for some holidays can make a lot of sense, like harvest or solstice celebrations. The trick is grounding all these things in the RimWorld universe.

The good holiday checklist:
[ ]Unique - not simply a copy of Christmas cuz that's boring
[ ]Relatable or Intuitive - does the celebration purpose make sense
[ ]Reinforces in-game events or lore - does the rest of the living, breathing world celebrate this?
[ ]Sentence Simple - I can describe it in a simple sentence

Instead of some examples of good events, here are some not-so-good ones:
-Derivativemas: celebrates the discovery of derivatives. Unique, but not relatable or intuitive or tied to the lore.
-Ka'Val Dun's Swift Victory Over Sisters in the Agnatic Conflict Over Inheritance in Western Tribe Lands: Ka'Val Dun's advisor swiftly decapitated the king's arch enemy on the field of battle by using a powerful weapon that was made by a forge on this RimWorld by some craftspeople who liked ale because their genetic history predisposed them towards it. Deep lore maybe, but overly complicated and unclear.
-Birthday of X: Not really unique, and a little bland because literally everyone has a birthday. Is X even notable?
-Thanksgiving: At least call it Space-giving or something, remind the player he's not on Earth.

Anyways, I've devolved pretty heavily into word vomit by this point. What are your sexiest RimWorld Holiday suggestions?

On a suggestion for trained animals to avoid cooked meals and eat raw foods instead, NoImageAvailable brought up that animals eating cooked foods was actually a good thing because of the improved nutrition in meals. That made me curious about the nutritional relationship between hay and other foods when they're cooked.

I used the recently posted data behind the Detailed Crop Growth Information on r/rimworld by Oertelbrein. I only used the given harvest yield/day and didn't adjust for difficulty. If any errors do exist, I'm hoping they're equally applied since this is for comparative purposes.

I started by cleaning up the data and looked at the best case growing scenario for each plant. The yield/day is how many units of output are grown every day, best case scenario. The following is the non-cooked nutritional output each day of growth represents.

In terms of raw nutritional yield/day haygrass is the best

When a meal is cooked, the nutritional value per input unit rises. A simple meal costs 10 input units and gives 85% nutrition. So the improved nutritional value per unit is 85%/10=8.5%. What does cooking the raw food given look like?

When the raw food is cooked, haygrass becomes the second-worst source of nutrition

When the raw food is cooked, haygrass becomes the second-worst source of nutrition, just a little better than strawberries. But this is assuming every plant is growing in its optimal location like hydroponics or rich soil. What happens when all the plants are grown on regular soil?

On soil the relative rankings still hold.

The takeaway is the high yield of hay makes it initially attractive, but since hay lacks conversion value crops with lower yields that can be made into food become more attractive. So if you have a decent cook be sure to use it. Since I don't know current hunger tick stats to give an applied colony or herd feeding example, here's an example of the value of cooked food in play:

An animal eating 5 times equals roughly 85% nutrition consumed five times= 85%*5=425% nutrition. In cooked simple meals, feeding 425% nutrition requires 50 raw food units. In uncooked raw foods, that same 425% nutrition requires 85 raw food units. Over the course of 5 meals 35 raw foods units are being saved by not eating raw food, which is enough for 3 meals by itself.

Here's a link to the spreadsheet I used.

Ideas / 5 Faction Trade Events
« on: November 22, 2015, 01:34:41 AM »
An upcoming feature mentioned by Tynan is ground-traveling trade caravans from other factions. As the caravans set off in search of distant markets, they're weighed down heavily by not just wares and silver but also intrigue. Here are a few events that might happen. Since we don't know much about how trade caravans might work, assume the messages happen in a manner similar to the Chased Refugee event.

I. Smuggler? I hardly know her
The player receives a message from a local enemy colony, sent by a smuggler. Your factions are enemies, but the trader turned rogue needs to get rid of the goods desperately.
  Options- ignore the offer or send over some silver in exchange for the goods in question.
  Outcomes- random chance of nothing happening, or the badly wounded smuggler appears on the map with a message that his traitorous trading was discovered and he joins the colony

Just for the record, the weather today is partly suspicious with chances of betrayal.
Chuck Palahniuk, Diary (2003).
II. With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?
The player's relationship with a local faction is great. Members of the allied faction appear on the colony map and politely demand food from the player, claiming their colony is starving and it's desperately needed. They offer nothing in return but goodwill.
  Options- give the faction the raw food or meals demanded, or refuse to help them
  Outcomes- the faction takes the food and leaves, or, if refused or ignored, attacks the colony and steals what food they can

III. hey its me ur brother
The player receives a message, saying "hey its me ur brother." The message asks to trade with the player for weapons.
  Options- the player can agree or refuse
  Outcomes- if the player agrees, the player receives several inexpensive low-quality weapons, or a legendary weapon with a description

Caravan - Martiros Saryan 1926
IV. Black Market Friday Deals
On a day that's a multiple of 7, the player is messaged with an offer about GREAT HOLIDAY SAVINGS. The seller offers heavily discounted gold or items made of gold.
  Options- the player can buy the goods or refuse
  Outcomes - if the goods are bought, the player can get really good deals on gold

MACBETH: Duncan is coming here tonight.
LADY MACBETH: And when is he leaving?
MACBETH: He plans to leave tomorrow.
LADY MACBETH: That day will never come.
V. Lady MacBeth
The player is asked to kill a factionless (eg spacer) neutral visitor on the map in exchange for compensation.
  Options- the player attacks the visitor or doesn't
  Outcomes- if the visitor is killed by the player, the player receives silver. If not, nothing happens. A spooky spot of blood appears near the silver.

RimWorld's all about emergent storytelling. The problem is, the chaos that's so fun can end up hiding the details we build our colonies on, or the details are hidden and hard to discover without ways to interpret the data visually. Likewise with suggestions, sometimes the coolest feature ideas get hidden behind walls of text.

Your challenge: post diagrams, data tables, venn diagrams, story boards, gantt charts -- anything you think could help visualize what players want to know or tell an interesting story.

Here are some examples, but I'm really interested to see what you guys have in mind:

What does my colony's power usage look like? Do I need to build more power? Is everything hooked up? New players especially want to learn more about the energy needs and production that fuel their colonies.

Especially when there's more than four or five factions on the map, diplomacy tables are a pain. The Civilization franchise did a great job of using relational diagrams to make diplomacy easier to understand. Also useful for inter-colony relationships, with the social relationships update coming someday.

Tired of toggling the beauty tab just to stare at small numbers? Turn your mouse into a sphere representing what a colonist sees and mouse over your colony. Red highlights ugly things, green showcases what your colonists like to see.


spooooooky John Kenn

Lots of what makes danger a compelling subject is the uncertainty. RimWorld eliminates much of this, down to the exact percentages I see of how likely a shot is to hit a target. What we need is something that goes off the rails and threatens not only the colony, but the player's imagination.

The narratives we find in historical tales are pretty scary, like Black Forest witches eating children or Aztec priests ripping out conquistador hearts on bloody pyramids. And some fates are worse than death: don't get your soul devoured by Ammit the Egyptian soul-eater! Or you might be turned into something you don't want, an unwilling shade, werewolf, vampire, or undead lich.

Now these are all predictable tropes, but many more abound in lesser-known tales and imagination. Really what makes these exotic and supernatural dangers less scary is they're quite well defined. A good threat is ambiguous and painted in broad strokes with only brief highlights of the especially horrifying. Beset by one monster -- yes that's bad -- but what if he has buddies? And what monsters scare your monster?

Colonists: the real monster?

In all of this, the funny thing is RimWorld colonies are probably the most terrifying places on the planet, strewn with human meat and leather, decomposing bodies, and art commemorating gruesome victories. Not only will a colonist shoot off your leg, she'll throw you in a room, take your organs, and feed you nutrient paste made of your friends. Then immortalize it in sculpture.

Meanwhile, raiders, tribals, and mechanoids all are lethally-straightforward. Sometimes they'll kidnap a colonist -- and there's some ambiguity there -- but most of the time they'll just apply bullets or arrows until your colonists are dead. In this sense they're not entirely different from dealing with the flu or other illnesses, albeit the method of treatment varies. Adopting very clinical attitude towards them is easy.

Scope: dwarf the colony in size
The suggestions:

Feed some details, but not too many
-Imagine tribals carry human flesh instead of meals in their inventory. If colonists get captured what happens to them? Possibly lunch. What a great implication.

Add some scary monsters
-The animals in RimWorld aren't that weird; they're all analogues to what you'd find on earth with the exception of boomrats and boomalopes. But boomrats don't hunger for human flesh and just do their own thing. Manhunters are a start, but some genuinely eldritch horrors are needed. Picture a warg digging up corpses or dragging its incapacitated prey away.

Hint at scope
-A giant shadow falls across the map. A group of tribals appears, but they're already fleeing. A mechanoid ship crash lands, and you find a human inside hooked up to something. None of these give specific stories, but give broad strokes that add to the emergent stories players are building.

A Fear Debuff
-Some things should scare players. I'm not suggesting re-introducing the Fear system, but fear is an intuitive emotion. In contrast to bad thoughts caused from things like psychic waves. Fear should be brief -- it's not dread -- and triggered by specific types of enemies, objects, or environments.

The void gods
Like mentioned in the kickstarter, gods are great for providing a little ex machina and the occasional punishment for hubris and lack of faith. Also a great source of curses and religious cults that go maybe just a little too far and summon something they shouldn't have.

Unbeatable odds
You know how in zombie apocalypses people are told to stay inside? More events to force a player to lock the doors and hide, just like the Maneater event. Except maneater is more an opportunity for free food than anything. Different than a raid where the threat actively destroys the colony, these lock-the-door threats should be solvable by locking the door and not opening it for any reason for awhile.

While Towns now rests in development hell, it did a good job incorporating spooky elements into the game. Especially ghosts, which spawned when townies were left unburied and would rampage among the living meting out violence. RimWorld wouldn't need to use the same mechanic, but imagine the shimmering outline of a dead colonist roaming during a psychic wave event. Ghosts -- or whatever their RimWorld equivalent is -- are a great recurring player in myth. Their consistent irritability, remote personalities, and aloofness are great for suggesting greater scope as well; how bad is something if it bugs someone who's already dead?

Ideas / One sentence challenge: add a feature to the Factions system
« on: October 25, 2015, 06:53:45 PM »
You're playing RimWorld and drinking nutrient paste when suddenly your communications console whizzes to life. A message spits out. It's from Tynan, who's rafting down the Amazon and only has intermittent access on his handy two-way satellite text messaging device.

Quote from: Tynan

What do you reply?

Ideas / Allow small animals on beds
« on: October 23, 2015, 03:29:30 PM »

Sharing beds and living quarters with animals is an age-old practice, perpetuated by millions of pet owners nightly and by idioms like three-dog night. Anyone who's had a dog knows beds are irresistible magnets for sleepy canines, a habit practiced for generations by peasants, pharaohs, and kings alike.

No Utility: Fixing a Problem
Small animals serve very limited purpose in RimWorld because they can't haul or rescue, and die easily. While we have nuzzling, it's unreliable.

Small dogs and other small pets have been bred for centuries for companionship, but in RimWorld large animals like tamed wargs provide just as much companionship -- nuzzles -- as a small lap animal like a yorkie, while also providing much more utility by being able to haul. Expanding on the animal-colonist relationship by introducing a special, simple mechanic for small animals would solve this discrepancy.

Defining the Mechanic
Small animals can sleep on human beds, treating them just like animal beds

3 Ways to Implement
Basic: animals can sleep on human beds
Two-stage: if animals are small they can sleep on trainer beds
Complex: small animals can sleep on trainer beds, providing automatic nuzzle bonuses whenever a colonist is also in the bed. The animal occupies the lower portion of the bed, or the unused side of the bed for royal beds.

Where small animals could sleep on the complex iteration
Examples of Player Usage
-The player has a depressive colonist who has lots of mental breaks, so he buys a yorkie to improve the colonist's mood.
-Instead of killing off the starting small animal in a tragic accident, the player keeps it because it provides a mood boost every night.

-Hot dog. Animals sharing bed offset "slept in cold room" penalty thoughts
-Disease vector. Animals sharing bed track dirt onto bed.
-"Three dog night." More than one animal can sleep on royal beds
-Dogs only. The mechanic only applies to dogs. Sorry chinchillas.
-Prison rehab. Animals can sleep on prisoner beds.
-No master. Tamed animals will sleep on any colonist bed, with no preference.
-Muse. Animals sleeping on human beds get mentioned in art.
-Lamarr! Megascarabs are cuddly too.

Is this Needless Complexity?
I really like this mechanic because it humanizes colonists, playing into RimWorld's emergent form of storytelling. Animals don't feel quite like pets, but this establishes character links and makes it visually obvious to the player: the small animal is sleeping on the colonist's bed. This all involves players and helps them develop personal stories.

On top of improving the narrative, the mechanic balances out small animals. My starting yorkie, or tamed squirrels, rabbits, etc are all pretty useless and nuzzling it pretty uncommon. It's hard to establish a meaningful relationship with animals when the player gets almost nothing out of it at any level.

General Discussion / Does RimWorld feel Western?
« on: October 13, 2015, 06:43:31 PM »

Once Upon a Time in the West, 1968

RimWorld has an unapologetic western Firefly-like vibe with its sherrif's badge logo and opening guitar riff at the start of every game. But lately I've had trouble feeling it. New features in the last few alphas have been cool, but none of them have had the same western punch you'd get from earlier alphas centered around last stand gunfights between cowboy-hatted settlers and American indians tribals.

With the most recent alpha especially, I thought the addition of more animals would play heavily into the western vibe. Livestock like cattle are what created the cowboy mythos in the first place, and countless gunfights came about from range livestock and water wars -- but I'm reading too far into that. The more I realized I expected to see Western callouts in the game, the more I was missing the point.

Part of the issue is what makes Westerns good is a nebulous thing and hard to nail down. When we look at prime examples of Space Westerns like Firefly, Borderlands, or even the original Star Trek we see they all avoid embracing tropes too obviously. They realize adding in western throwback props like space-horses or astronauts wielding lassos is a special sort of creative laziness (Cowbows and Aliens), made even worse by the western genre itself becoming oversaturated and cliche. Not to say cowboy hats are only worn by sellouts: Western props aren't themselves bad, but relying on them exclusively is.

So what did they do right? They focused on the themes that make the Western genre distinctive. To name a few:
  • Interpersonal relationships: unique characters drawn together for survival, feuds, duels
  • The struggle for civilization and justice
  • Harsh and unforgiving frontier wilderness
  • Lawlessness, violence, and physical courage

At this point I'm not entirely sure where I'm headed with all this. I'd love for RimWorld to feel a bit more western, but I'm not sure what that means, exactly. Given part of RimWorld's allure is its emergent storytelling, players have to take some responsibility for making the story of games what they want it to be. But the right foundation has to be in place if the player's going to find a western-esque experience.

What do you think? What makes RimWorld a Space Western? What would help?

Ideas / Snow should cover solar generators
« on: October 09, 2015, 03:57:11 AM »
+ = Snow-lar Panels

When snow falls it covers everything -- or it should. Right now solar generators get a free pass. Alpha 8 added two features that set up snow-covered solar generators: snow that falls in layers, and snow clearing zones. To drive home the hostility of winter on an unforgiving RimWorld, snow should accumulate on panels.

What's the effect?
As more snow covers the panels, solar generators will lose efficiency and produce increasingly less electricity, requiring colonists to go out and clear the panels. Requiring colonists to clear after snow storms helps deter against turtling, and encourages players to have multiple types of power generation.

Not unlike wind turbines requiring open area to function efficiently, solar panels should require clear, unobstructed panels.

Other details
To compensate for snow clearing, a small boost could be added to solar generators when snow covers nearby ground. IRL, it's found that the reflectivity of snow results in efficiency gains when nearby solar panels are cleared. Low temperatures could also cause power boosts, as photovoltaic systems are most efficient in colder temperatures.

Snow, dust, and other debris covering solar panels are pretty big issues. At least until we get cleaning robots. Since snow is the easiest problem to work with, it's a good starting point for mirroring this common problem with photovoltaic solar and for driving home the hostility of RimWorld winters.

General Discussion / How do you feel about the backstories in RimWorld?
« on: October 06, 2015, 10:19:12 PM »
I'm curious about everyone's thoughts!

One reason I've enjoyed past alphas has been because of the strangers that would pop into existence with each new update. For the last two or three alphas, though, the character list has felt stagnant to me.

Deja Vu
Repetition has added a weird sense of familiarity, and it's kind of jarring. Redfields? But you're dead! Burnt to a crisp last week! And trying to get a colonist with a certain skill is also kind of weird since the same handful of specialists seem to be the only ones that come up. I want an artist? Better roll for core world jeweler or pop artist. I need a grower so I'll capture an oaf. Lots of oafs around. Oafs have been around since the first alpha, or even before then, tales say.

Part of this is a self-fulfilling prophecy and I'm simply remembering memories. But I think a good chunk of the reduction in new characters is due to all the kickstarter-submitted backstories finally being finished, with not many future characters coming in due to the raised price.

Say what you will about kickstarter being first-come, first-serve. And maybe the Steam version will have a really popular upgrade available for character creation. And undoubtedly the effort put into drafting and vetting custom background stories is a pain. And maybe modders will sate my hunger for background stories.

But if Tynan happened to come back from vacation with a floppy full of backstories and RimWorld lore that would be cool too.

Ideas / Should turbines produce more power during hard snow?
« on: June 04, 2015, 04:43:07 PM »
Just thought I'd check. I run into a fair amount of weather like hard snow and it seems turbines sometimes get a power boost but not always, and sometimes output is nonexistent. Is this supposed to be the case? I don't remember how absolute the relationship between turbines and weather is supposed to be, and I know there's supposed to be natural variation in output.

The problem is doctors waste valuable medicine treating frostbite when it isn't needed. I don't think I've ever gotten frostbite infections unless the wound has been completely ignored; non-medicine "poor quality bandaging" has worked 100% of the time.

For my last few games I've started forbidding medicine because otherwise it gets wasted on random frostbite cases. Instead of requiring players to micro to save their medicine from being wasted on frostbite, why not stop doctors from using it in the first place?

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