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Next Steps


jackfractal

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So the IPC aesthetics thing seems to have gone off without to much of a hitch. Mad props to my assistant MasterZipZero who helped iron out all but one bug, and the fix for that one that’s sitting in a changelist waiting to be merged.


So what next? I have a few projects I’ve been sitting on for a while and I was hoping to get some input as to which ones people are interested in.


Size is rated 1 to 5. A rating of one is something quick and easy I can do in an hour or so, while a rating of five is something of the scope of the IPC thing I just did. It will probably take a month or two.


They are, in no particular order:


Revise the Law System for Robots - Size 2


Basically I’m planning on attaching Laws to a brain rather than mobs. I’m also planning on making laws more flexible and reducing clutter by modifying how the law circuit boards work. The plan involves creating an “Artificial Intelligence Computer” which would let you program laws.


This would solve the issue with IPC’s created during the round, because you could install a law computer on them.


Doing this would unlock Fix Robot Controlled Mecha, Create a Key-Based System for attack_ai, and Create Mindslave Implants.


Fix Robot Controlled Mecha - Size 2


You can put an MMI in a mech right now, but that sucks for everyone. The MMI is not law-synced, and it also lacks attack_ai, so it can’t do things like open doors properly or cycle airlocks. In general, it’s awkward for the MMI, and dangerous for the crew, so nobody does it.


Fixing this is pretty easy, if I’ve already done Revise the Law System For Robots. One half of the problem is solved, just put a law-synced MMI in the mech, and it isn’t allowed to rampage. The other half involves giving them attack_ai, the ability for robots to interact with remote objects.


Create a Key-Based System for Attack_AI - Size 4


Attack_ai is the name of the function that allows for robots and AI’s to remotely interface with objects. Right now, if you have attack_ai, you can interact with, and control, all objects programmed to work for the AI.


This is cool, but it does mean that we can’t easily create limited ai’s or robots. You either get everything, or nothing. I’m planning on creating authorization codes for different access levels which will limit a synthetics ability to interact with that object. Don’t have the code for that? You don’t get to open that door, or use that computer.


This wouldn’t really affect gameplay for existing synthetics that much, they’d still spawn with a full set of keys, but it would open the door for some interesting stuff in the future. Think: Infowar.


Create MindSlave Implants - Size 1


Traitor item, injectible, lets you install a custom Law or Laws in a regular crew members head. Can be removed with brain surgery. Does not work on the loyalty implanted.


Create Emergency Holographic Crewmen - Size 3


“Please state the nature of the medical emergency.”


These things would be temporary, holographic crewmembers designed to do a single task and then despawn. They’d maybe use the emitters like the AI holograms, and they can’t move very far from their initial location without derezzing.


The idea behind these is to create a drone-like character for non-engineering tasks. Do you need a surgeon when there are no surgeons on staff? Activate the surgical hologram and it will ask the ghosts if anyone wants to do that job. If someone does, the ghost spawns in, does the job, and then despawns.


Taking any damage will cause them to derez as well.


The balancing factor for these guys is that they will DRAIN power like nobody’s business. You’ll only have a minute or two before the emitter runs out of power and they derez. These are to be strictly temporary. One task only.


That task can be murder if someone has emagged the emitter.


The places I see these things being useful are in surgery, chemistry, genetics, cargo, the bar, the CSI lab, robotics, and the Head of Personnel's office. These are areas where people tend to be very prone to SSD but when you need someone there, you need them there now.


Revise the Character Creation Screen - Size 5


The character creation screen is both confusing and a mess. It’s badly organized, slow, and difficult to extend.


I want to rebuild it entirely from scratch.


The ability to register only one character at round-start is irritating, and doesn’t work so great for an rpg server. Right now, you register one character who has a priority list of jobs, but most characters only have one or two jobs they can reasonably play as, which means on high population rounds, a lot of people get bounced back to the lobby.


I propose, rather than having one character and a priority list of jobs, you have a priority list of characters (who may themselves have a priority list of jobs).


In addition to a job priority list, characters would have selection criteria linked to antag status. This would let you create antag-only characters, like nuke-ops who never work for NT, or dedicated cultists.


Revise the Tool-Robot Module System - Size 5


Right now the module system for cyborgs and androids is really basic. I’d like to extend it to allow for customizable robots.


The basic idea is that robots have a number of slots, and different systems and toolkits consume a different number of slots and have a different weight. Weight would interact with the robots movement system and determine the robots speed. Weigh a robot down too much, and it slows to a crawl.


This would replace both the existing modules and the existing components system, combining them together. A radio takes a slot, the binary communicator takes a slot, the brain takes a slot, armor takes several slots. That kind of thing.


There would be three different sizes of robots, small (size of a monkey or dog), medium (size of a person), and large (size of a mech). Size would determine your number of slots, your base weight, and whether or not you can vent-crawl or use disposals like a drone.


Each module or toolkit could get damaged individually, allowing you to shoot off a robots wheels, or hack off their surgical saw with a hatchet.


I’m tempted to try to make this revision into a replacement for the mecha system as well. I’m thinking of a ‘cockpit’ component for large chassis that allows for human drivers.

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Before you go making huge changes, remember that idea's need to be functional over if they are cool or not, not game breaking, and don't allow people to bypass whitelists.

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@Susan, I don't think that's a new bug, but it should be easy enough to fix.


Did you add it to the bug tracker? I don't see it anywhere.


I've got a few other issues with the skin stuff to work out that Rey and Meow brought up.


Oh! And I might port the progress bars from paradise. Hmm... I'll edit that in later.

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You should fix the bugs with the current shit first before you add more shit.


Like IPCs being able to equip things to the eye slots.

 

...You mean like sunglasses?


There's not really much of an alternative unless we make eye-wear from scratch to fit IPCs.

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