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Colfer manic rambling about theoretical game mechanics (Undefined robot game edition) (Bibliophobia warning)

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Ok listen this is going to be a long one, but it needs some context, if you don't want to read for a while no-one is making you read this (I hope?)

So in this robot game, you have many things, engines, legs, modules for the legs, your robotic organs like your brain, and program chips for your brain which are rare and powerful, but you only have limited slots, and so on, but one thing that I thought was lacking complexity was how hacking worked see;
Before this, hacking, in my head, worked like a binary off and on, either you hacked the person, or you didnt, and if you did, you could mess with things like distort their hud, stop them from being able to lock on, forcefully disconnect their modules and so on, but I felt this wasnt complex enough and didnt have much of a personable touch as many other systems, like customizing your own mech down to its many many details. After getting covid recently, I was hit with a sudden inspiration and enough material to flesh out the idea. 

For context, mechs have a size class, 0 is under human sized, 1 is human sized or above, 2 is vehicle sized or above, 3 is mech sized or above, and 4 is building sized. Your class determines many things, including how dangerous the weapons you wield can be (As you cant equip class 4 weapons if your class 1) as well as your health (obviously), but also the complexity and strength of things like your hacking resistance, but also your hacking strength. Now onto the idea
-------THE IDEA--------
On the hackers side, you can customize your hack and how bad it could possibly be. Hacks act like biological diseases, going through stages, as the machine builds up "immunity" to it (decodes it and finds a way to stop it). You can assign symptoms, vulnerabilities, how many stages, as well as its resistance to immunity buildup. Assigning more symptoms means that your hack will progress exponentially slower the more you have.
You can assign as much of all this as you want if you can afford it, but certain symptoms have caps on how dangerous they can get. Symptoms get more dangerous the earlier they appear in the hack, each "stage" of the hack increases all current symptoms danger + adds a new symptom (if theres one that would appear). So for example;
If you were to start a hack and it gets to stage 3, (Symptom 1 would be at a power of 3 and appears first) (Symptom 2 would be at a power of 2, and appears at stage 2) (Symptom 3 would be at a power of 1 and appears at stage 3). Symptoms dont do anything if the stage hasnt revealed them with some exceptions, like stealth modifiers to the hack.
Now lets look at some examples of symptoms, and other mechanics

*CPU Degradation
 Lowers the players framerate, graphics, resolution which gets progressively worse with each stage, eventually making function virtually impossible by stage 6, where its effects stop
*Information Encryption
(Stage1: All hud elements and menus have 1 letter per stage changed to "X", EG: HEAXX(Health))
(Stage2: Numerical values, such as the number of bullets, parts, repair kits you have is locked to "XX", you dont know how many you have anymore)
(Stage3: Bar indicators, such as for your integrity, heat, or your hack immunity are glitchy and unpredictable)
(Stage4: Hud elements are censored)
(Stage5: Menus are blurred)
(Stage6: Audio is glitchy and unpredictable)
(Stage7: Video is glitchy and unpredictable)
(Stage 1: Makes the machines engine produce more heat, getting worse with each stage, infinitely.)
(Stage 2: Makes movement produce more heat, getting worse with each stage, diminishing returns, but infinite)
(Stage 3: Reduces heat dissipation, getting worse with each stage, until heat dissipation is 0)

Now lets talk about mechanics, including what you can do if your being hacked in this game that doesn't actually exist.
You can assign vulnerabilities to your hack, this makes them weaker, but gives you more points to add to making it, such as increasing the number of stages, adding more symptoms, or adding modifiers. Some modifiers/vulnerabilities are things like making the hack appear as if its coming from a lower class mech, has less stages than it actually does, or makes the hack able to be instantly removed by checking through certain menus in the players mech, like the inventory.
-Symptoms cost less the lower down you put them on the stage, you can have a hack that does nothing for multiple stages yes, having a symptom appear on stage 3 will cost less than stage 1
-Vulnerabilities become active depending on which stage they appear for example, adding a vulnerability that makes your virus weaker at the last stage will give you 10% the points, while putting it at the first will give you 200% more points.
-Stealth modifiers are removed and alerted/revealed on the stage they are placed, eg; adding a stealth modifier on stage 6, that makes the hack only appear to have 4 stages, will update the affected player once it reaches stage 6

Adding another symptom decreases the speed of which your hack progresses additively, which means that mechs with better immunity generation may be able to beat it before reaching later symptoms.
Class 4 mechs have more points to use when creating hacks than class 1 mechs, obviously, though they both pool from the same abilities.
"Well that's great and all, but what can I do as the person being hacked? Do I just die?"
No actually, you can edit your mechs settings to generate more heat in order to overclock your immunity, but if that doesnt work, you can enter "Safe mode" where your mech becomes inactive, all systems stop working, and immunity generation is increased by 25%, while stage progression rate is decreased by 90%. This is for emergencies where a hack is causing fatal damage to your mech or its systems and you need it to be removed now, and you dont care about the consequences.

Also, certain program cartridges can make hacking a non issue, but you must remember that program cartridges are rare, and you can only have a couple of them at the time, they are often so good its hard to choose which ones you want. Some program cartridges make it so that you simply cant be hacked at all, regardless of class difference.
"Why did you make this"
I unno, food for thought, pick it up and play around with it in your tabletop game, or something if you want. I asked a few people if I should make another one and some people said they liked to hear my weird, random ideas that are trapped in my mind

You were warned

Edited by Colfer
I forgot about stealth modifiers
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6 hours ago, pocheto said:

colfer you should manic ramble about what games would be best to run aurora settings in


asking for a friend

I made an entire game system spanning many many years of refinement first using rimworld as a framework to tell mechanical events, to other games like cogmind. I stopped using these systems in favor of one master system; my fucking giga brain
The best thing I can tell you is that my character, World Crawler, is beloved by many for the games I let people roleplay out
Do you know the secret to world crawler? Its just improv, I made up a bunch of rules that sound cool and make the game really simple to run in my head, and thats it. How do medical supplies work? I thought it'd be cool if players didnt have to scrounge for specific supplies, they instead get medical charges, these charges can be expended to heal 1 damage severity (Minor/Moderate/Serious/Severe/Critical). OR you can use medical charges to specify a medicinal item, and what it does, and I'll determine how much that costs based on how useful it is

The key of the game is to make t he game FUN, I fudge roll, I fuck things up all the time, I forget, but in the end the game was really fun for my players, thats all that matters, world crawler stories arent intended to span hundreds of hours, they span like 2 or 6 at most.

What im saying is that, if you want to make a game to run the aurora setting in, make one up based on your favorite rules from other tabletop games, come up with a couple scenarios in your head, then advertise these scenarios with a general guideline on where they start, and where you want them to go and end, don't railroad or make the game overly complex

I actually made an AURORA BASED SCENARIO for world crawler, it was called "TCFL Robot Revolution" where you were a mech pilot trying to keep your dysfunctional mech from fully going kaput while deep in enemy positronic territory, tearing off enemy limbs to use as your own, and so on

TL;DR: When you run it

Edited by Colfer
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