Flesh out the terminals and the Computers skill a bit

So, right now, the computer skill lets you do neat things, but very infrequently. Things like hacking hospital computer equipment and so forth should be the high end uses of the skill, not the only uses. How about some lower-risk, lower-reward actions? And hand-in-hand with that, let’s make terminals craftable and usable at home.

-Make new items:

[ol][li]monitor - cannot be crafted[/li]
[li]computer - can be crafted (with electronics skill 1, computers skill 1) from processor board, 2 RAM, 2 USB drive, 4 scrap metal[/li]
[li]thermoelectric cell - can be crafted (with electronics skill 5) from 5 plutonium power cell, canister, 4 scrap metal, 20 copper wire – this item should be heavy[/li][/ol]

-Make terminals craftable in the construction menu from a monitor, computer, and thermoelectric cell power cell (the power cell is there since at least right now terminals have what appears to be self sustained long-term power)

-USB drives should come pre-loaded with random programs right now, besides the zombie data and the software from the quest we could have video games, cat videos, books, and crafting recipes.

-Using a properly loaded USB drive at a functioning terminal you built, you could play the games (trading nonproductive time at the terminal for a morale boost), watch the cat videos (ditto), read the books (just like using a paper book), or peruse the recipes.

-Installing various software on a computer would be low-end computer tasks that would take time and train the computer skill.

-Maybe a late-game goal high-computer skill task would be incorporating research data from the hospital centrifuge and what you can get at the labs to do… something cool.

I think we’re all looking forward to computers having a bit more of a use, and a bit better minigame to go with them than just making an awkward skill check. Still, you’ve got some good ideas here.

The internet is gone, obviously, so you’re going to be limited to what you can find as far as media goes. Offices, homes, internet cafes, these are the places that’ll still have computers. Of course, playing a game takes time, as does reading instructions off a screen, so you may want to simply download the data and use your assembled or stolen computer back at your base.

I like the idea that, unlike books, computer stuff isn’t a complete comprehensive guide to a skill, or a long term source of entertainment. A cat video lasts 3 minutes, regardless of your intelligence, and everyone gets the same enjoyment out of it. A how-to guide only covers one small aspect of a skill, and while it may give you a 5% boost, it can only be used once.

Later uses for the computer skill could include stuff for both exploration, and base development. Both compromising and building security systems, linking turrets or patrol robots up to a central computer that can be used to control them. Accessing elevators or doors in buildings, which already sort of exists, but it would be nice to see more. Mapping out buildings as well; downloading blueprints and whatnot. Getting random missions: you find an unsent email telling someone about the location of their LMOE shelter, a scientists computer has a log of shipments of purifier, a radio stations automated computer tracks incoming broadcasts from odd locations that might be other survivors, etc.

Computers have a lot of potential, and I look forward to seeing them developed into a more involved part of the game.

Although, as regards cat videos only being used once, I always assumed that all the entertainment stuff, even the books, would someday get used up, as soon as the coders could get around to it. Right now, once you get one comic book you are set for life and don’t really need scifi or drama books except for flavor. Any literate lonesome survivor should have a reason to amass a sizeable library, or perhaps toss books once you’ve read them.

Once entertainment-for-time items become limited-use, we will need more variety, and something like a video game will be more useful.

Eh, if anything computers should have less a role in the game as there isn’t any electricity. Why should turrets and computers function but the emergency lights don’t? Who would lug around a fragile computer in the middle of a horrific disaster just to watch cat videos?

Really, you would be using a welder to cut open these doors, not a 900 page technical manual on computer programing to hack into a computer terminal that should not be working anyways. Who uses a computer to control door access anyways? ‘Oops, blue screen of death, looks like these 70 miners won’t be escaping the underground fire until the IT guy gets here’.

But there is electricity. Bust open an eyebot and you’ll find plutonium power cells inside. This is the future, and there’s more than just grid power. People are apparently using things like small solar panels and minireactors in this time period, so emergency power makes sense. Most major buildings today have gas generators out back for extended blackouts, I guess in the Cataclysm world the terminals in emergency shelters have some kind of long-term reserve power. The terminals at the public works, by contrast, are all dead, because grid power is down. This is consistent.

Though you’re right, there should be emergency lights, especially in places like sewage treatment, waste sarcophagi, and so forth.

Well that’s true with the plutonium cells. I guess they must have finally defeated all the terrorists in the future to have plutonium powered computers and ubiquitous robots with easily extracted cells everywhere. Even more so if mundane emergency lighting got the same treatment.

I’d think in the kind of backstory setting the game has, there would be micro-reactions, the like aborted Galena Nuclear Power Plant, that would still be working, or have a blown fuse or something you could restore power through a quest or something before any terminals or whatever work again, I guess that’s just quibbling and off-topic.

Agreed, some additions to computers should definitely be added as the game gets more fleshed out. That was always one of my favorite things in the Fallout games after all, finding out the stories from old logs and whatnot of people before the apocalypse.

As for emergency lighting, Yeah there probably should be at least a little bit. I’ve found some old references in the code that point towards an old “flickering emergency light” terrain piece that was at least partially removed/not updated. Possibly with a little work it could be added back in, at least for areas like the LMOE shelters.

We use computers for stuff like that already, and a lot of places have backup power. In the future, like he said, there’s rad-stacks and solar panels for electricity. And as a society, we’re constantly finding new ways to link stuff to computers. But from purely a gameplay perspective, having computers allows players to tackle some problems from a different direction. It makes it so the best solution to everything isn’t just “crowbar”. If you don’t want to use computers, fine, don’t use computers. But if it adds gameplay options and the potential for different styles of play that integrate well with the core game, I say we should have it.

More usage for being a skilled hacker would probably be atm machines and stealing money by using a computer. (Usefull when trading with npc’s becomes a norm mmmm npc towns) also the LMOE shelter definitely needs artificial lighting like computers will give out, the stress of building so many light-strips just to get the whole area lighted is annoying

i think with high hacking skill you should be able to use the police station computer to summon friendly (or at least zombie unfriendly) cop bots.

hehehe friendly copbots mmmm that would be a good addition, been trying to code making copbots from crafting but it’s hard without json support. Edit Got a working copbot wheeeeee! whoop whoop. (But then something makes them crash the game when they bump each other)

Computers and Electronics skill needs more robotics creation :l

Yeah, sounds good.

Better still: put yourself in the police database, so you can enter without setting off alarms. (Radio Stations may be available as an emergency power; creating a search warrant for Pawn Shops should be a separate process.)

If this gets added people will want to be able to watch porn on the computers.

-With Love, GlyphGryph

we already have playboy and porn on the computer will just be another morale modifier with better rating and waste more time.

Enough with the giant images, if you can’t think of anything to say, then don’t say anything.

I feel like porn should be included, if only because that is totally a real thing that people garner entertainment from. I’m not saying that we should take the upcoming ‘tastes’ system to the fullest extent and have dozens of different files to find with porn to cater to every fetish or anything. But I am saying that porn is a thing, and in a game based around creating a believable and immersive world, we shouldn’t cut something out just because it makes you uncomfortable to think of other people using the mechanic.

I understand this argument could also be used to justify things like adding pooping to the game, and I want it made clear that I don’t support that, before you respond with some annoyingly oversized image. Porn fits with the current mechanics, and adds to the diversity of gameplay. Something like having to use the bathroom adds an unnecessary new mechanic that doesn’t really make the game more fun in any real way.

Re porn: It’d be nice to see some sexy men, too. Playboy only works if you prefer women.

I would like to add that if/when the research system goes in, computers, esp. lab and corporate and government computers, are going to become a LOT more useful.

Research system? Like, to discover new crafting recipes or unique skills? Or will it be for something else?

yeah probably some recipes not normally available like how to cook humans,Italian food,gun related stuff, unique weapons. (Internet for the win)