Psychological disorders and compulsions

Psychological disorders, at least in my mind, play a crucial role in an apocalyptic fantasy like CDDA and play a huge role in survival that stands at the core of the game. They also give a tremendous opportunity for character-building and immersion.

The main problem, other than game-balance and taste are potentially unforeseen consequences like having a disturbing effect on individuals who suffer from such disorders IRL or even causing someone to acquire them through play. Or would it be possibly cathartic and beneficial instead, also giving others some insight into what people with such disorders go through IRL? So I’d like to hear your opinions on the subject.

Or do you think that current traits cover generalized symptoms adequately? jittery - anxiety, chemical imbalance - bipolar, hoarder - compulsions, shizo - shizo, disorganised/forgetful - adhd, clumsy - depression minus mood debuff.

The main issue is specifically with compulsions. Removing people’s agency in a game is pretty universally un-fun, so generally we just avoid that sort of thing entirely. This does make addiction in particular pretty much impossible to do anything with, because that’s THE main symptom.

Agreed. But then again people would probably have to choose these traits consciously, most of the time, or they wouldn’t care much if they choose random characters. And it could be a mod.

Otherwise, isn’t the entire game about juggling agency and urgency? For someone with compulsions washing their hands may be as urgent as drinking clean water and in the end, in reality of cata. this might actually be fun.

That would help yea, I had considered making the trait addictive personality unlock compulsive behavior like this, but I’ve never gotten around to it. If I added this, it would most likely be in the context of overhauling drugs and addiction as a whole.

I don’t follow, where is there a loss of agency? Imposing consequences, like having you starve if you don’t eat for example isn’t a loss of agency.

What’s the difference to starving as opposed to having a psychotic break due to not fulfilling a compulsion?

Or do you mean to make compulsions something that AI would take the character over for even if just as simple as the auto-inhalator-use feature?

Btw what about things like ‘you start screaming uncontrollably’ which would attract monsters, ‘you are paralyzed with fear’ which would make the player very slow and automatic self-harm like ‘you cut your arm with your hunting knife’ or ‘you bite your lips until they bleed’ if you don’t have a sharp object? Medical mutation gives the player an option to self-harm and there are traits that give pleasure from pain.

the difference is you can pick when to eat, you can be hungry for a while and then eat whenever, a REAL compulsion would grab your hands from the controls and make your character do something without your say.

I’d be down for Addictive Personality making addictions do some of this. Like when addicted, your character will automatically grab his fix if you step near it, so it starts to pop up in your inventory unexpectedly, and if he starts to withdraw, he’ll not just grab it but try to eat it. Maybe with a confirmation “Y/N?” box 50% of the time. It’d make me have to play carefully if I was trying to break an addiction, whereas now it’s just “don’t take any lol”

Agree with @tarburst98, immediacy is the difference. If you can schedule fulfilment of your compulsions, they aren’t all that compulsive.

Yes, something like that, though in that case you’ve opted in to automatic inhaler use so it’s not lack of agency, it’s delegation. Other examples are auto-pickup and safe mode.

This is actually a trait (“shouter” I think?) and an example of loss of agency, since there’s not much you can do about it. It’s pretty far from demonstrating that, “the entire game about juggling agency and urgency?” though.

Your other examples are similar, though the self-harm example starts moving into a “potentially triggering” area, and I’d be hesitant to add it.

This is pretty much how I was thinking of it, it has a decent chance of really upsetting someone if they didn’t know it was going to happen, but if you opt-in because you want the handling of addiction to be more challenging it’d be great.

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