Is it possible or worth it to make vehicles more realistic?

I hope this isn’t beating a dead horse because I am sure a read someone touching on this subject before, but I couldn’t find it through the search so I apologize ahead of time.

I was wondering if it would add to gameplay or even be feasible to make vehicles more realistic. Having some vehicles modern, with mostly plastic and alloys, some would be older with some plastic and mostly steel over alloy, and others would be more vintage, made of completely of steel with little plastic. It would actually make modern cars unable to be repaired with what is currently in game and would add quite a bit of extra vehicle parts, pieces, and related tools.

My view on this would create 4 category’s of vehicle (modern, older, vintage, military) with 2 subcategories (car, truck) in the first 2 categories (new, older). The reason for the subcategory is keep it more simple and to differentiate that while, for example, a large pickup truck does have some modern plastics and alloys in it, it’s structurally more related to the main category previous.

A few examples to hopefully clarify the thought process:

MODERN_CAR - the FRAME would be an alloy frame (i.e. magnesium or aluminum alloy) and be much lighter than standard steel with similar strength except a standard welder can not repair or install it. There would be a plastic quarterpanel that would be only repairable with a special epoxy, and far lighter, but could not take near as much damage as a standard quarterpanel. This would include changing all parts, from the wheels to the dashboard.

OLDER_CAR - the FRAME could be a standard frame in weight and strength and the plastics could be repairable with heat as well as superglue. For the most part, what is already in the game.

VINTAGE_CAR - the FRAME is actually thicker. It would consist of the thicker and heavier steel than in the OLDER_CAR, but the plastics would actually be of worse quality, when it exists at all.

The above thought process would extend to the fossil-fueled engines as well. I actually have a lot of ideas for all standard parts of the vehicle and how it would fit in. such as older frames could be welded in to vintage frames but modern ones could not be effectively welded to straight steel without compromising the part, essentially isolating most modern car parts from the other categories. But I just wanted to try to throw out a summary instead of an in depth view of the subject.

Would anyone even want this level of complexity, if it were possible, in the game?

Pretty sure it’s been said that if its complex for the sake of complexity and doesnt add to the game then it isn’t really worth doing but I wouldn’t quote me on it, imo I like vehicles the way they are.

This would basically accomplish a couple things as far as I can tell
1.create alloys and advanced components that could be disasembled
2.more varied ‘road clutter’ with a higher amount being ‘unusable’ (although numbers could be compensated to adjust for this)

not necessarilly bad things, but for them to acomplish anything worthwhile there would then need to be uses for what gets salvaged from them. So for this to see implementation it needs to make sense to be able to craft something out of components that you get from them. Because EVERYTHING in CDDA can be salvaged for SOMETHING usable.

Which means the question comes to - What can be more easily made/better made out of alloys and digital car parts than random chunks of things.

This could be done. 90% of it could probably be done with JSON only edits. But if you want this done, you’re going to have to do it.

Start by defining the new frames and other parts for the MODERN_CAR. Then add new modern vehicles using the new parts. Then add those new vehicles to the vehicle spawn lists.

See Guide to adding new content to CDDA for first time modders for advice on how to make all this happen.

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@Stone : my thinking is it wouldn’t do away with all vehicles done in the game as they are, but would likely change being able to simply start all of them with a screwdriver, or maybe even the abundance of easily workable parts. I would hope for it to not be over complex as much as it would make it more realistic.

@Litppunk : That is wonderful food for thought. Although I am not sure how far to go with that before it becomes unrealistic. But i definately agree cata has always been the ultimate recycling game.

@mlangsdorf : I was afraid of that, lol. The last time I seriously created any code was C++ on an XP platform. I do understand JSON to be more scripting than coding so I am sure I could do it, but being a father, husband, grandfather now :slight_smile: means this would be a while before anything concrete would be seen. Thank you for the references. I will definately check it out.

Overall I’m not opposed to the idea, though it’s not a priority. Differention between frame types in particular is something we don’t currently do much of, so it would be interesting to add what amounts to quality levels in addition to levels of “heaviness”.

You have it backwards, when we add something salvageable, someone inevitably finds a use for it.

Whether something like this happens or not, I intend to seperate pre-cataclysm frames from types of frames the survivor can make. Pre-cataclysm frames are highly engineered and custom fabricated, whereas survivor frames are going to be cobbled together from whatever is available.

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Huh, really? I would have thought things were a little more intertwined then that. Especially with pressure to not add frivolous things that don’t add anything to the game. Crashes that can’t be repaired, or salvaged into usable bits seems like it would fit that description without at least a plan to add usability to it.

Soooo…this? @ 2:10 ish, or there about lol
(he makes crap out of spare parts, like his mother’s sex toys)

The way it goes is, someone change butchery toadd organ meats rather than generic offal. Someone else, usually pretty quickly, says “now that we have liver we should be able to make liverwurst” and adds a recipe. Someone else adds their favourite liverwurst and pickle sandwich using that. Soon there are a dozen uses for liver, some of which the person who added it couldn’t have even thought of.

I think in general we want an addition to be made with a goal in mind, but adding complexity of this sort is where emergent gameplay comes from. It’s probably a bad plan to add something just because it seems more complex, for no other reason, but as long as there’s a clear reason for it I don’t think it’s usually frowned on

For me, the additions would be to make it more realistic. If a true cataclysm occured, the thought that someone could start a modern car with a screwdriver is insane let alone a modern car being able to strike a moose at 65 and keep driving as though nothing happened. And modern alloys, once damaged, can not be remelted and reformed without heavy factory smelting equipment and extras like magnesium. And modern plastics, even when repaired with modern epoxy are not the same again.

But with that said, i was thinking it could be balanced for gameplayability, such as requiring an electrohack to start and allowing steel replacement parts. Allowing the specialized control modules to be disassembled into electronic scrap and creating new with specialized software in laptops expanding their use. Also original ingame vehicles would still exist representing older vehicles.

I now know its possible to do, i’ve begun playing with the script. The goal is realism. So the end question now would be, do the players want to continue making this game more realistic, or when it comes to vehicles, is it too much for them?

You’re not really changing much from the average player’s view, are you? Pre-cataclysm cars might be slightly higher performance and made of lighter materials, but get wrecked more easily in crashes. Post-cataclysm cars are slightly harder to put together, because the frames will be harder to get, but have basically the same performance profile.

Go make your changes. They’ll improve the game, and that’s good.

My problem is i dont think I can answer that question objectively. I mean afterall, getting into and driving a 1995 car is totally different experience than getting into and driving a 2019 for example. I dont know each and every persons view on what they see in their minds when they read the words “normal car”. That was actually what brought me to ask the question in the first place. Do players want it to be that real?

I am, in real life, an automotive master technician. I specialize in audi and Volkswagen, but am well versed in Toyota and Honda as well. I understand the modern car and all its 38 and often more, main computer modules. But i know players wouldnt want that much detail.

So i am trying to find a good cutoff point. So far your statement is exactly what I am trying to aim for, but to be honest, may still be too much for the average player depending on what they expect in the game. Especially since I have insight that the average player does not.

Since I am so busy during the normal year, no promises on any timeline, but I guess we will have to see ifI hit the mark or not.

I’ll defer your to expertise. There are some fundamental constraints on the CDDA vehicle model:

  • Players have to be able to assemble vehicles from the wreckage of other vehicles. The new vehicles do not have to be better than the old vehicles, though they might be better adapted to the new threat environment.
  • We’re pretty much stuck with vehicle walls taking up an entire tile. I have some ideas on how to address that, but it would be a substantial change to the foundations of the game.
  • I don’t intend to implement transmission or gearing support anytime soon - all that is going to be abstracted for at least the next year unless someone else does it.
  • Engines should mostly be black boxes, so we’re not going to model cooling systems, cams, carburetors, fuel injectors, or anything like that. Turbo-charged and super-charged engines are okay, but they need to be implemented as single entities in JSON, not add-ons to the existing engines.

I think we can support vehicle parts on pre-Cataclysm vehicles that can’t be removed and replaced, ie an “advanced frame” with high durability that disassembles into standard frame, and when that standard frame is reinstalled, it’s still a less durable standard frame. I already want to support this for security systems, but it could be generalized for lots of parts.

Aside from those constraints, I’m interested in seeing what you want to do and can probably provide some C++ coding support if you need something special implemented.

Have implemented a few test engines already, using your base engines as a start. Power output is in watts it looks like, but to keep confusion down, i used your engines as baseline for a standard car circa late 1990’s, early 2000’s, and used percentages off the baseline to make the modern versions circa 2018. One trick used is aluminum and plastic to lighten weight, which makes engine much much more fragile. Another is a turbo. Make no mistake, these turbos are not aftermarket and as such give much better performance and mpg per pound of boost but would be nigh impossible to fabricate without a full blown machine shop and are integral to the engine they were built because of computer software.

Current numbers are based on across industry averages as close as i can estimate. Power +25% . Mileage -18% . Weight -10% . Durability -30%. But is why most are turbo i4 ( such as ecoboost ) these are gasoline figures. Diesel is different.

Anyway i think i am rambling. Very sorry if so. Question is does this sound reasonable to you so far?

Engine power is in watts, yes. That should be specified in doc/

I know what weight, power, and durability are, and those seem like reasonable adjustments for a high performance turbo. I’m not sure what you mean by “mileage” - do you mean consumption?

Sorry, yes, fuel consumption. In that case I mean to say +18%. I gotta think in game terms and not accidentally get something twisted. I’ll explain a bit more, aftermarket, racing turbos often make the engine consume at least as much as and often times more than, the power the turbo produces: say 25% more power, 28% more fuel consumption.

New turbos are designed far better and try to address the heat problem, resulting in better fuel savings: the 25% more power will increase fuel consumption by only 18%. (Some OEM can do better, some do worse depending if they use water cooled turbos, etc.)

Did that clarify?

EDIT: Sometimes it’s hard for me to put what is in my head to paper and I twist my meanings. When I write something it won’t always reflect what I am thinking. So I definitely appreciate anyone asking for clarification if something sounds wrong.

If you have standard engine with Power 1000 and Consumption 2500, and a turbo engine with power 1250 and consumption 3200 (which is +25% power and +28% consumption), then the standard engine is has 0.4 efficiency and the turbo has 0.39 efficiency - it’s less efficient than the standard engine, but only a little. Which is what I think what you want for the old turbos.

The new turbo with +25% power and +18% consumption would have power 1250, consumption 2950, for an efficiency of 0.42. The maximum practical achievable efficiency for a reciprocating gas engine is around 0.5, so that seems plausible to me.

Good, definitely glad you approve. I tried to use industry averages. As I’m sure you know, different makes and even models have varying degrees of efficiency, but I thought these figures would be good round figures to keep from going overboard with complexity.

One question, is it possible under the current code to make a part repairable but only up to a point? As an example, take a modern vehicle created with modern alloys and plastics, has take damage and the player is lucky enough to come across an advanced welder (I can explain the difference between standard welder and advanced welder if you wish) so they can actually perform some repairs on alloy. The problem is modern alloys, once bent, crushed, or torn, can never really be completely repaired and must be replaced due to the manufacturing process.

(get to the point Dae… lol) a modern alloy frame brand new would have say 600 on durability, but after damage, or at any time, can it ever be repaired above 400. Or maybe, if it is, it would increase weight significantly. How would you tackle that under the current framework of the game?


It’s not currently possible to limit how much parts can be repaired, but it wouldn’t be hard to add. Having them change weight as they got repaired would be more complicated but not impossible.

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