Safe mode equivalent for items?

Sorry if this has been decided to not work or if it’s already in but I don’t know how to use it -

I think the safe mode is one of the best innovations in this game. Would something similar for items work? For example, when you’ve been searching for that wrench for a long time, but just missed it when passing a shop window, your character saw it on a counter, but you didn’t go for it because you didn’t press shift+v every step. Or when you’re moving 100km/h on your deathmobile, and see a lab ID card or the vehicle part you’ve wanted on the road? Or looking for that particular clothing item to complete your fashion style among piles of dirty zombie clothes? Pausing the game when your character sees certain items on the ground, probably with the range limited by perception, would be an awesome feature IMO.


Yes. I’ve been struggling to come up with something like this but you nailed it. Let’s call it “item spot mode”. The player just compiles a list for the spot mode, similar to the auto-pickup system.

This is a solid idea, it surfaces information the player “should” be noticing anyway and helps you cope with the large number of items.

We might be able to make some nice streamlined ways to add items to this list, like an, “add consumables to wishlist” command in an items interaction menu, so e.g. you find a 9mm pistol and trigger the command, it would add all kinds of 9mm ammo, magazines and accessories to your wishlist.

That’s a seriously good idea! I got nothing to add, really, just to show support. It would help a lot and be really useful!


+1, really good idea.

I was just looking for some prussian blue to get rid of radiation sickness, so I packed up and drove all the way to a lab, only to find upon my return that there were some laying right next to the house I had stayed at prior to departing for the lab. Yeah this is a good idea.

This SEEMS like a pretty good idea, and I understand players like it because it removes some tedium, but it would have a fairly profound effect on game balance. Also, it wouldn’t be very realistic. Pressing shift+V and sifting through the list simulates the player stopping and looking around (turning head, focusing eyes, etc) carefully at all the objects that are within view (I don’t know whether shift+v takes any in-game time, I think it doesn’t, but maybe it should).
In real life, I would also like an object recognition device that I could configure to look for a particular object via all lines of sight simultaneously and sound an alarm when found (especially if I was participating in a scavenger hunt or somesuch) but it doesn’t exist.

I think if anything, you might have an idea for a new item, like a personal, configurable eyebot or something.

The thing is though, if you put V in game you actually CAN see it (otherwise it wouldn’t appear obviously) you just have to look for it in the menus and item lists. So having that feature would actually be realistic.

If balance is an issue, we can have a ‘spot check’ to determine if the player can see an item, and enforce it across all interfaces. Making it harder to find for the user but not the player is bad design.

Maybe you guys are right. It would certainly alleviate some tedium.

By changing game balance, I was talking about the fact that it will be easier to find specific items if you implement this, but I guess that’s probably not a big deal.

It’s really not realistic, but since the player can already see 360 degrees around them (I guess we all have the eyes-in-back-of-head mutation), it is at least consistent, and anyway, realism is probably overrated.

I hope it can be implemented so it doesn’t affect performance too much when there are a lot of items coming into sight…

On the other hand, and as an aside, it would be interesting if that anti-realism was fixed by giving the player a field of view (whatever direction they are facing), like in a car, and then walking/running could work sort of like driving (except on foot you’d be able to rotate while not moving, maybe at a minor cost of time, and then keys for rotating head at maybe no time cost), and I guess stuff like shift+V would only apply in the direction you are facing…

Not for everyone, maybe, but I think it would be really cool as a setting. I guess it’s not really a priority though.

As a string it could be awesome, but people do have strong opinions in the matter. There are roguelikes who did it great, though.

Glad to see that lots of people like this. I can’t code so it’ll be really great if my suggestion can lead to something useful :stuck_out_tongue:

My own horror story that inspired this was looking for a hydrogen canister that I vaguely remember seeing in a lab. I only learned later that it’s a material for diamond weapons, so I searched through 3 levels of lab for it. I eventually found it but it was quite tedious.

As for the balance issue, I saw a relevant post about the game’s design against micromanagement, in this thread about field of view. It is a quote of a quote though, so I wish if someone can confirm whether it was the original intention:

Just replace “turn around” with “press V” and the quote fits perfectly. If the game already simulates the player character checking the surroundings, it really isn’t a far stretch to assume the player character is also looking for wanted items.

If it really is balance- or immersion- breaking to have your character noticing every little item around them all of the time (which now I’ve typed it, I can see how it really is bad for immersion), I’m sure something can be implemented to limit that. After all, I’m pretty sure (could be wrong) the V menu already doesn’t show all items on screen, depending on distance. At least it takes care of some items being not visible at distance, such as items in containers being only visible when the player is in an adjacent tile. I hope it wouldn’t be too hard to apply the same limit to the item safe mode.

Maybe the feature could only run when you’re idle or not in combat, for example when you press 5 to wait (but requiring a key input kind of defeats the purpose)? And distance, perception, lighting, item size, the amount of items on the same tile, and even speed at which you’re moving could all contribute to the spot check. I guess it all depends on whether the feature is really that balance/immersion breaking to require so much coding. And as the OP of course I’m biased towards implement first and nerf later as needed :slight_smile:

Lastly on the interface, perhaps at the very basic level it could be integrated into the autopickup menu? Have a shared list of items between the two features, while players can decide whether they want an item to be notified, autopickup-ed, or both. The more advanced interface feature I can think of is to add tools and materials through the craft, construction, and even vehicle installation menus.

The player is always shaking his head, so he has 360 degree view, and avoids being identified by police bot.

[quote=“Kevin Granade, post:3, topic:13101”]This is a solid idea, it surfaces information the player “should” be noticing anyway and helps you cope with the large number of items.

We might be able to make some nice streamlined ways to add items to this list, like an, “add consumables to wishlist” command in an items interaction menu, so e.g. you find a 9mm pistol and trigger the command, it would add all kinds of 9mm ammo, magazines and accessories to your wishlist.[/quote]

For usability, I wouldn’t want this feature to automatically pause the game upon spotting a certain item. That could get real annoying around my home base, for example. Adding another hotkey for “item spot mode” and keeping track of whether or not “item spot mode” is on would be undesirable additions to game flow. IMHO, game flow is more important than game balance. (I would still like the option to autopause on finding crazy rare stuff like Hydrogen though, and it needs a way to be disabled around vehicles or containers that you own)

Possible ways to display the item, from least to most intrusive:

  1. Text message on bottom left of screen: “[Item] spotted [Distance] to the [Direction]!” (change color of text for added visibility, don’t allow it to grey out after new messages appear). If you’re at your loot stash “There is lots of stuff you like here” and feature is disabled until you leave the area. This would be by far the easiest to code.

2: Blinking Tileset: Tile with wanted item shows the wanted item on top, shows an animation in a 3x3 square similar to how rain is currently displayed, or has the item blink rapidly (to avoid eyesores, “blinking” could mean changing between 2 different colors at a slow blink rate). At the very least a wanted item should always appear at the top.

3: Arrow: An arrow or line, similar to that of the V menu, extends from the character to the desired item even outside the V menu.

4: Auto-V Menu: Upon spotting the item, the game opens the V menu for you and selects the desired item.

Lastly, to add items to the “item spot list”, simply open the “autopickup” menu and press tab to see the “spot item” list instead of the “global/individual autopickup” lists. Then add the item description as current implemented in the autopickup menu. This way no knew key bindings or menus would need to be added, and players would naturally find the feature about the time they start needing autopickup.

PS: The V menu in general could be streamlined. It would be nice to at least be able to sort by item category.

Honestly, this could be achieved by extending the auto-pickup menu to have an additional highlight/notify flag, which causes the item to be put on top of the list in V menu, and/or show a message about its presence.