Bionic Limits Framework - working thread

You can activate Bionics that don’t have a hotkey installed, though.

And for the record, I’m saying I like the system of install space that’s available right now, or rather, I think it could be good with some changes. I was not talking about the ability to install all the cybernetics (though I do hope it is kept as an option through a mod).

EDIT: Forgot to add this part: My main concern is with the system for determining Install Space that the OP has put forward. It seems needlessly complex, and I have yet to get a reason why it should be as such.

I could see the proposed system working as a possible method for determining how much space a body should have, while the actual space required for a bionic could be determined by looking at existing technology and items. However, I have to wonder if a “space” system is moving in the wrong direction, and perhaps we should consider another method for limiting bionics or making them more realistic.

The first one that comes to mind is integrating the encumbrance system. I.E: Each bionic on a body part would contribute a small amount of encumbrance, similar to some mutations, except for bionics which are small enough (e.g. Integrated Dosimeter). Each body part would get a small amount of leeway, enough for a few simple bionics, but to become a full cyborg would cause quite a problem and taking each and every bionic would be nearly impossible.

A more complicated but, to me at least, more satisfying and realistic method would be something actually modifying the characters body. As body parts have bionics installed, their health bar would be converted to “integrity” or something along those lines, the idea being that limbs and flesh are being replaced with steel. Integrity doesn’t heal on it’s own or with medical attention, but can be repaired with a welder, or probably far more advanced tools. Balance would consist of requiring a great deal of time or special materials for repairs, or maybe even limiting repairs to special machines found in hospitals and military buildings. Alloy plating would also cease to give an armor rating, and would instead give some free integrity to the part it’s attached to. Steel parts would also be far more durable than flesh, but might be more vulnerable to electricity or acid causing the player to become more of a glass cannon.

The two systems could both be in place, and either one could also include the ability for bionics to prevent mutation. E.G, your superalloy head plating prevents you from growing horns, and they are painfully removed if you install it while having horns. This helps to prevent overpoweredness by limiting the ability to go into both bionics and mutations

The idea of using encumbrance above a threshold has a lot of promise and seems doable. The choice to be a ponderous, lumbering cyber-monster, or have fewer bionics but retain your mobility and humanity, appeals to me.

Have you checked this out since we’re talking about it:

I agree the OP seems over complicated, if I’m following correctly it’s proposing 4 semi-overlapping systems to manage this, that’s too much. Just the ui to expose all of that is going to be downright silly, and it’s going to be very involved to make tradeoffs.

In more detail, I don’t follow the argument about using surface area as the primary limitation, there are tons of bionics that have no external exposure through the skin, too many to relegate to a fallback like “essence”. The argument about linking them to organ groups is likewise flawed, a large number of very important internal bionics simply take up space. Using body surface area as a proxy for internal volume seems likewise problematic, I don’t see anything backing up the assertion that they’re closely related.

Setting aside the rationale, I don’t see how this maps to a slot-based system, and even more so, I don’t see how we can expose both the system itself and the rationale in a unified way. A critical aspect of a system like this is making it understandable to the player, and this proposal doesn’t seem to be doing that in its current form.

I could see multiple bionics being combined when created, but not in an ad-hoc manner when installed. Re: your example, there would be a toolset-with-flamer bionic that would have the functionality of both bionic at a lower installation cost than installing both individually.

As in, there’s an installation kit you need to find in order to install bionics? This is a possibility, but does nothing to limit the number of bionics the player can install, so it’s off topic here.

This is not a feature we must keep, I’d be totally fine with installation of more bionics being irreversable.

I could see this being part of the balance for the system, but not the only drawback. For one thing it does nothing to address the simple conservation of volume issue, where you can currently install more volume of bionics than the entire volume of your body.

I think this is a key piece of the system as well, but it’ll be tricky to get right. This is going to be our version of the essence system, except the tradeoff isn’t magic vs cybernetics, it’s mutations vs bionics. Both mutations and bionics should draw from a shared pool of resources, but I’m not sure how conflicts should be resolved when they occur.

Switching to a proposal, here are my basic assumptions:

  • All bionics and mutations consume space when installed.
  • Some bionics and mutations additionally consume specific areas of the body, e.g. eye augmentation, arm replacement, modified digestive system.
  • Placement of bionics and mutations must be detirreversible.

Proposal that meets the above requirements.

  • Each bionic and mutation receives a body part and a “volume” expressed as a proportion (number between 0 and 1)
  • Optionally, bionics and mutations can have additional tags that cause them to consume a proportion of more specific parts of the body, such as eyes or digestive system or hands.
  • If installation of a new bionic would cause any proportion to exceed 1, the installation is not allowed.
  • If acquiring a mutation would cause any proportion to exceed 1, there is a conflict, which the mutation system can resolve by failing the mutation, triggering a different mutation, rejecting a conflicting bionic, etc.

There has been a proposal to allow more extensive cybernetic upgrades, up to and including limb replacement, which would allow higher volumes of bionics to be installed, at the cost of preventing or removing mutations and imposing maintenance costs and stat changes on the player. This is a cool idea and is like to keep it in mind as we proceed, so we don’t end up making it difficult to add later.

* The reason for this is to avoid ordering constraints. I.e. installing bionics in the order A, B, C should have the same outcome as the order C, B, A. If bionics are allowed to be installed “wherever there’s room”, it’s possdible to end up in a situation what certain sets of bionics must be installed in a certain order. That’s non-obvious to the player and a pain to deal with, so let’s not do it.

I see where you’re going with that, but that would mean adding a whole bunch of different recipes and nonsense. Plus, it means finding another of a bionic you’ve already installed to get that bonus. I was thinking of that more as a reasonable way to approach the balancing of actual volumes. If something already exists, there’s no reason that a new installation couldn’t utilise the same components, so it would be reasonable to balance some bionics around the assumption that some or all parts of it are redundant with other bionics.

These are generally commercial and military grade bionic installation kits, so it’s feasible that they could interface to some degree. Taking say the expanded digestive system and recycler unit, both parts make significant alterations to the stomach. Having this occur twice seems silly when the new parts from one could be attached to the existing parts of the other.

I will admit though that there are less overlapping bionics than I thought when I wrote that…

It does. Increased encumbrance doesn’t just represent the limb or body part being heavier or something, it would represent that the body part is literally bulging with metal and electronic parts jammed into it and sticking out, possibly getting caught on things or just making you unbalanced.

Of course, the point where you can install more volume in bionics than your own body would be fairly extreme and would carry severe penalties, to the point of being practically unplayable.

One issue being that there are some mutations that actually make the body larger, such as inconveniently large. Those would have to carry a body size bonus rather than penalty, and might cause issues if you purify that mutation away. There’s also the case of mutations which couldn’t conceivably take any actual body space like quick or infection resistant. And bionics of that type as well, things like the integrated dosimeter or subdermal carbon filament, being nanotubes and all. These could either be treated as a free power boost (which is fine), or some other form of restriction would have to come into play (which would be a pain in the ass).

Edit: It might also be worth adding some form of reward for staying human. Perhaps a StatsThroughSkills sort of “experience” system where stats eventually become stronger through use while bionics or mutations upset this. Alternatively, negative aspects could be added to bionics and mutations to make them less obvious choices, since bionics have no real drawbacks and most mutations are either good or bad, to the point that having all positive mutations gives you no drawbacks (even if that is difficult to do).

The reason is it’s nonsense. What you’re describing is a level of integration that hardly ever exists, and in the pre-cataclysm world there was never any reason for it to exist, since it’s hundreds of times simpler to have distinct products as I described them.

To the extent of doubling or tripling your total volume? What are the bionics attached to at that point?

Just because they make your body larger doesn’t mean there’s more usable space.

I disagree but there isn’t really that many overlapping bionics so I’m not going to bother arguing.

Whatever is left, each other, whatever makes sense to you. If you get to the point of having more bionics than can fit inside your body I suppose you would just put them on the outside, kinda like cyborgs in tv shows and such. An exceptionally high bionic encumbrance could also cause a lot of ugliness, like mutations do.

I don’t understand your logic for this at all. If there’s more body, there must be more space. Perhaps you’re thinking there wouldn’t be more room for things like eye augments because they probably wouldn’t get bigger? Fine, just have mutations that increase body size not affect those.

So it comes down to numbers, aka ‘slots’ or volume. We have numbers.

What about the total number of stats a player has?

My thought is how strong, agile, smart and perceptive you are ties in some way to all of these bionics for control.

Strength is how sturdy the body is to handle having these put in.
Dexterity is how well you can control the body after you have their foreign objects inside of them.
Intelligence is how well you can micromanage them, turn on/off, use information from them.
Perception is how well you can control and adapt them for use in the environment or internally aka macro management.

So if you say have all 10’s. That is 40 points. You could make it more ‘complex’ by trying to tie each bionic to a body stat, or just have it use so many point based on the overall number powerfulness. I personally dislike tying it directly to each stat as that makes it hard to ‘classify’ them. Use the overall number in some way. How powerful the bionic is already based on the ‘slots’ usage number.

Also tie this in before any mutational changes. Like a static human body upon creation. Otherwise mutations would make this even worse. Also add bionic strength could make you handle more. We don’t want a system feeding itself making it stronger.

This means investing in stats is important if you want lots of bionics.

If the straight number of ‘points’ for a 1:1 ratio is too low then make it something like 1:1.25.
This ratio can easily be adjusted.

This keeps it simple, and yet ties it into the humanity, and new players could understand it, as the bionic would take ‘this many of your bionic points’ derived directly from your stats.

The hardest part of this is then assigning the ‘space’ each bionic takes up. Decide a good number overall then look at the ratio from the stats and find the middle ground. Then make that ratio somehow changeable if people really want to adjust it.

The issue with that is that it takes the already overall strongest characters and lets them become even stronger for rather wishy-washy reasons, and it still provides a hard cap without any sort of leeway one way or another. I think the intended balance for this is that everyone has the same space for bionics, so that meaningful choices can be made rather than just taking each and every bionic. Of course that would require that each and every bionic was actually valuable, but that’s another matter.

A thought occurs. Once we have all this worked out and actually implemented, could we include a trait that makes a character more open to bionics, gives them 30% extra bionic space or so? Something similar to Robust Genetics for those who prefer bionics.

It’s going to be a hard cap.