Potential engine solutions and fun stuff

I apologize in advance for the verbosity of my posts, I just try to give enough detail to get everything across.

I see with recent updates that we can now disassemble engines into basic components. Can’t take the engine itself down to pistons and bolts, but we can take all the important stuff attached to it. With this, I think we’re starting to get the basic foundation for what I’m gonna talk about here.

I’m not going to suggest stupid-complicated things that have little benefit for their complexity and really just end up being minmax fodder. I’m just going to put out some fundamental things that will flesh out engine mechanics and vehicle types and possibly actually save effort in the long run.

  1. Power adders

There are two basic types of engine power adders: Turbochargers and superchargers.

Turbochargers are run by exhaust gasses, and superchargers are belt-driven.

Turbochargers require engine load to spool up and start working, so their benefits are generally at the high-end of the powerband. They would only activate under significant acceleration and would take a while to activate. These would be most appropriate for heavy vehicles, since this game doesn’t really have a practical purpose for, well, drag racing. This is actually what they are most commonly used for: Things like heavy trucks and tanks. A super heavy dump truck has around 14 turbos, actually, but let’s not go there. It’d probably work well to limit it to two. A single turbo for lighter vehicles, and twins for heavier ones. Under practical use, a standard car would have no tangible benefit to having two of them.

The larger the turbo is, the harder it is to spool up. So maybe there could be more than one size, potentially instead of having more than one on the same engine.

Superchargers are belt-driven, so they’re always active, but driving the supercharger puts a certain parasitic drain on the engine. The ridiculous supercharger on the Dodge Hellcat engine, for an extreme example, requires 80 horsepower to run. This would make them very unsuitable for heavy vehicles, but quite useful for smaller ones. They’re also much easier to install, so the skill required might be a tick or two lower.

As alluded to, the larger the supercharger is, the more power it takes to run it, so you could do a similar thing here. There are three types of supercharger, but there’s really no point in differentiating them here. They all do the same thing.

In both of these cases, their addition increases both the fuel they consume and they noise they make. Turbos make whistling and sputtering noises, while a supercharger makes a distinctive gear whine. Neither of these noises are affected by a muffler, as they come from outside the engine.

They burn more fuel because they are forcing more air into the engine, effectively increasing the displacement. More air = more fuel. Unless you want the engine to explode, of course.

  1. Variable engine sizes

This could be either in addition to or instead of #1.

Basically just have more than one displacement for a given engine configuration. Even with engines of the same physical size (and model), there can be variations in the displacement by increasing the size of the cylinders and the throw of the crankshaft. It would be unreasonable to expect swapping the parts themselves, but it would be fun to find a new and more powerful engine and try it out, or even a smaller and more appropriate engine for what you want to do.

These both lead to:

  1. More vehicle types

These would give you room to have more vehicle variety. You could add things like muscle cars, dump trucks, supercars, hot hatches, all kinds of stuff. It would make looking through the streets a lot more fun and interesting instead of being able to tell absolutely everything about a car at a glance. Sure, give visual indicators, but surprise me once in a while. It would take a lot of monotony and tedium out of traveling. The vehicles don’t even need to always be usable, it would just be great to find new stuff on a car and think “Oh, that’s cool” once in a while.

Which would justify:

  1. Junkyards

A place where you can go and see if you can strike gold. Get some cool parts off of broken things, provided you can fix them. It could be about the size of a hospital and have wreckages of various types along with normal broken cars. They would have parts already missing, but you just might find something awesome if you know what to look for. It would also give a singular place to go to look for parts, instead of scouring the streets looking for vehicles scattered around.

You could even make it better by adding broken robots, or stuff that happened way in the past such as really old hidden weapons in questionable condition. Populate it with a few enemies, so you have to kill them quickly or risk losing useful parts.

  1. Closing

Thanks to anyone for reading this, if you did. I appreciate it. And thanks to the devs and contributors, you guys are super cool.

I also have a lot of simple mutation ideas to flesh out that part of the game, but I’ll save those for another time.

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  1. There’s no good reason to assume that you’re going to be able to either build or find an appropriate turbocharger or supercharger for your engine. Engines are currently black boxes with the exception of maintaining them, and that’s a great state for them to be in. If an engine already has one, it’s factored into its stats, there’s no need to support them as a separate part.
  2. This just requires variations on the base engine definitions, it’s already supported.
  3. Just a matter of adding them.
  4. Same, just add it.

Junkyards would be super fun loot sites. I’d suggest trying your hand at making one… Map generation is actually really easy.

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Shade tree mechanics have been installing superchargers for about as long as there have been cars. If a survivor can install a second engine and transmission at Mechanics 8, she can figure how to adjust the pipes to add a supercharger.

That said, it would be easier to add supercharged engines as single installations. Separate turbo- or superchargers would require some code support to adjust the fuel consumption and engine power, but a single engine that included those numbers could be done in JSON immediately.

Anyway, almost all those things you want to add can be done in JSON, and there’s advice for adding them in the Guide to adding new content to CDDA for first time modders. So please go ahead and add them.

Just curious, but could turbo/super chargers be treated as a seperate engine for installation, then somehow not be considered an additional engine if you were to add another actual engine (so not to change skill reqs for 2nd engine install)? Was thinking that way you could activate from vehicle controls screen just as you would a backup engine.

You can set in JSON whether an engine is harder to install if you already have an engine installed. So yes, you could make turbo-/superchargers into extra engines.

The problem is that you could then turn off the primary engine and just run your supercharger, which would be weird.

Really, there’s no good way to have separate 'chargers without adding some annoying code support. None of it would be hard, it would be just something you’d have to change.

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Ahh I never thought of the turning off the main engine bit. Thanks and good point!

Hey, even simpler. Just more diverse and flavorful engine types. Sounds good to me.

Yeah, I know this part. The older wiki pages list engines to have variable displacement. I’m not sure why if they’re not in the game, though. Was it like that before, or is it just ripped from the code?

Oh dear. That’s an intimidating prospect. I have absolutely no coding knowledge, but alright, I might as well give it a try. Maybe my experience with localizing Darkest Dungeon mods will come in handy. And if that’s successful, maybe I could add some mutations myself as well.

Keeping it up to date and fixing it is a scary thought, though. Depression would make that very difficult to do. Half of my apartment space is filled with unfinished projects. This computer is pretty much the only one I have finished, and even that took 6 months.

Wow, that’s…an unpleasant realization.

Mapping is straight JSON, which is markup rather than coding. It’s not too bad. Maps have two components, a palette where you define what a letter means, eg.

".": "t_floor",

Means that a period symbol in your map corresponds to a floor time

And then it’s got a 24x24 character block of text that places the tiles. Pop open a map file and check it out, they’re in /data/JSON/mapgen and are pretty easy to figure out. The toughest part is item placement.


I keep seeing the comment, that JSON isn’t coding. It isn’t a specific language, but it is by definition programming.

If you can’t insert logic into to it, it’s not programming IMO. It’s just a specialized text format.

Options in dialog and branching quests = programming.

It isn’t elaborate. But if I get to interact with it, having multiple paths. Yep! It is a program. =D

Junkyards already exist, so you don’t need to add them, but might need to adjust vehicle spawns there.

Wonder if adding wreckage would work better. That way if any overlaps occur and make the vehicle look like crap. Nobody would notice, heh :wink:

There exist definitions of these terms. JSON is not a programming language, although it can be used for some scripting.

It’s not even actually a markup language, really, although that’s an easier way to think of it. Technically it’s just a human legible file format that c++ can be made to understand fairly easily.

I’ve never seen one, and I’ve mapped about two thousand square miles.

In fact, I haven’t seen half of these. This seems to be somewhat out of date as well. All 5-ish cemeteries I’ve seen have been larger than listed here. I believe all of them are 2x2.

This isn’t an update, it’s a request, so apparently not all of these were implemented.

(Why does “cemeteries” have four e’s in it???)

I get the feeling that’s what wreckages are to begin with, actually…

Thanks, I’ll do that. Probably tomorrow, I’m burnt out today. What would you think the odds or frequency of having to update it would be? Because I probably wouldn’t be able to.

By that definition, writing a CYOA book is programming too.

> If you'd like to try to defeat the wizard Zalboz by scribbling new entries in the dictionary, turn to page 73.


As a matter of fact it is. I hope you were serious. That is how computers began, friend =D

Analog was a fun time. The imagination begot everything we use today ^_-


Well, what I meant was the normal car propagation is not something we usually would expect in a junk yard. The car crash/ aircraft crash wrecks are different if I am not mistaken. =)

Computers began with Charles Babbage designing a theoretical machine, based on formal logic and mathematics, and not with the publication of The Golden Sword of Dragonwalk.

I thought computers came from the soil… Uh, server farms, hello? :grin:

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