The Effects of Temperature

I have been playing Cataclysm since it first popped up on Bay12, and it is one of my absolute favourite games. The best part of Cataclysm for me isn’t fighting off zombies or building a bunker; it’s the desperation of trying to meet the necessities of life in a hostile world. Scenarios such as desperately trying to find shelter when the acid rain starts or being forced to enter a city to find water while suffering a heavy speed penalty from your thirst. These “Man vs. Nature” conflicts provide a nice strategical complement to the tactical conflicts of combat or crafting. In my perfect Cataclysm there would be an equal number of deaths from starvation, radiation, etc as there are from combat. Unfortunately, food and water are a little too easy to find, and the best equipment tends to be the best in all situations (high volume, high defence, low encumbrance). This makes hazards such as starvation too easy to overcome compared to combat.

Temperature would provide a useful way to boost the deadliness of running out of supplies, and would play a major role in the player’s choices (do I sacrifice a bit of volume for warmth? or can I make it back home before I catch hypothermia?).

Temperature would decrease in the winter and increase in the summer, ranging from ~ -30°C to +30°C. Temperature would be effected by wind and rain, both of them decreasing it. Wind especially can turn a -30°C day into a -50°C day, as anyone who has lived in at a high latitude can attest.

  • Temps < 0°C should give dex penalties to players with insufficiently warm clothes (a coat + long pants should be enough)

  • Temps < -15°C should give penalties to speed and int and slowly damage uncovered hands and feet. (winter coat, pants, warm hat, gloves, shoes)

  • Temps < -30°C should damage any uncovered body parts (frostbite or total limb death after ~2hours) and cause hypothermia after about an hour if the torso is uncovered. (winter coat, gloves, hat, face protection, boots)

Very hot temperatures in the summer should likewise have effects, causing heatstroke, etc. making it beneficial to wear less clothing.

Coding for localised increases or decreases in temperature would allow for things like heating your home with a fire, or having deepfreeze rooms in grocery stores or labs.

A temperature system like this would allow for scenarios like being trapped in your fire warmed shelter because you don’t have enough warm clothing while you slowly run out of food or water. Or, you find a deepfreeze in a lab that is storing valuable sciency items, but is so cold that an improperly protected person would die from exposure before getting to the other side of it.

I would love to hear people’s opinions on this, and whether they think it would be a worthwhile addition to this amazing game.

I totally agree, temperature will be a major danger, it’s only a matter of when and how. Just a few comments from the technical point of view.:

Temperature should be indistinct, outside of a thermometer item, the game should just be reporting descriptive terms like, “Scorching”, “Very Hot”, “Hot”, “Warm”, “Pleasant”*, “Cool”, “Cold”, etc…

There’s already a warmth value for clothes, so that’s a major hassle we don’t have to worry about. What is missing is the mechanism for applying penalties/damage based on excessive cold/heat, and possibly conditions one would acquire due to exposure. Currently the only thing that really makes sense for combating exposure is being “inside” vs “outside” vs “underground”. Though an effect where being near fire or some other kind of heat or cold source shouldn’t be too difficult to add.

*Yea pleasant is a terrible term, someone please recommend a better one.

Mild, normal, fine, or nice.

Just ‘‘warm’’. Warm is pleasant.

…because you know, we are hot blooded.

He already has warm, feel free to face palm now.

I am learning how to code and will work on sleep and temperature! I already added a line in my game that one in (current temp / 5) chance of waking up due to cold, and I actually woke up due to cold :slight_smile: I actually logged on to start a thread in the contribution section too :slight_smile:

Just my two pence; I absolutely love the idea, and think that it is an absolute must for making it more of a survival simulator.

However, I think it would be good to avoid it becoming toooo much of a hassle having to change clothing constantly or suffer minor effects (such as a slight drop in dex if it suddenly drops to cold from normal (I really think normal is the best word for it!)), especially with how careful you have to be with encumbrance as well.

Having to have warm clothing/fire to fend off terrible cold and issues with wearing too much in the heat would be absolutely fantastic though. It could also make for interesting scenarios with things like having to go down to a basement to turn the heat back or having to smash up traps to keep fires burning.

I haven’t taken a look at how dynamic the temperature is, but there should rarely if ever be a situation where you need to change clothes frequently in order to account for temperature changes. The main thing being a swing in temperature along with the day/night cycle, but that should only go a few steps of the scale, so not require a total wardrobe change.

One exception I can think of is you may encounter weather anomalies where the temperature is set to some unnatural extreme and you have to deal with it short term, but in that case you’re probably not changing clothes, just trying to get out.

Temperatures seem to attempt to hover around their averages, so there shouldn’t be much movement there. It would be neat to add a weather effect of “cold snap” or something, or “piercing winds” requiring either much warmth, or requiring at least a layer.

hmmm, wind, environmental exposure, shifting gaseous fields… muahahaha
Kevin disappears in a puff of brimstone

I think the best way to do it would be to make the effects gradual. So, your body parts accumulate ‘cold’ or ‘heat’ based on the difference in temperature. You don’t have to worry about spending a couple turns in the cold without sufficient protection, but spending a whole day out there will give maximum penalty unless you have sufficient protection.

The body parts could even normalize over time, so for a normal person, warm to cool would effectively be ‘slowly returns to optimal’, and we could have mutations like ‘cold-blooded’ that eliminate that restoration, or ‘extreme metabolism’ that give a big bonus to shedding cold points.

Things like biting wind could easily be abstracted to effect all outdoor areas whenever they happen, and to increase the speed at which this cold transfer occurs. (much like in real life)

That sounds good, I just had a fear of a suitcase carrying apocalypse.
Gradual weather changes (that correspond roughly to their average temperature) sound great, especially if coupled with some sudden temp drops/raises that mean you try to keep mostly covered up in colder/average weather and mostly not in summer/hot weather in case it gets suddenly a lot colder/warmer.

Also, being wet AND cold could have huge penalties, and result in hypothermia and the like.

Seasonal weather changes will be absolutely awesome immersion wise!

Edited for silly mistake

Being wet could easily have the same effect as wind chill but more extreme… with the added benefit of wet clothing not providing any sort of insulation.

In fact, it would be awesome if clothing didn’t even PROVIDE any sort of heat or temperature resistance, but instead just changed this rate. So if you get the cold-blooded mutation, wearing all the clothes in the world won’t save you - eventually you’re going to freeze to death if you can’t find a heat source and warm up (and at that point, you’ll probably want to take off all those clothes to do it faster, heh).

Hmm… I could probably come up with some more exact equations given some time that would balance things nicely. There are additional considerations (specifically - wearing less clothes in hot weather is often NOT the best option).

And we might want to take things like that into account (but in an easily abstractable and user-visible way, obviously)

Well, nothing wrong with assigning a temperature to body parts… idea : warmth is used as insulation. Your body temp is 65 and it is 30 out. Every x turns / y insulation, your body temp increments towards the outdoor temp. Weather and wetness can decrease in increment timer. When your body temp is too far away from “normal”, you get adverse effects.

Sounds simple enough to do… I wish I had more time to think about these things!

Glyph beat me to the punch, but yeah :slight_smile:

It would be nice to see if temperature took its toll on the zombie population, Say in winter zombie populations are culled a bit, Or even just give them speed/stat penalties, I can imagine in cold weather zombies would not fare too well.

Making it to winter would provide a bit of a change up in the way you play the game, Instead of Player verses Zombies we would have an alternate more Unreal World experience.

Instead of fighting zombies, the player would be fighting the environment.
If you survive until winter it is safely assumed the player has some skills and resources required to cope with winter, this would prevent the game from becoming dull, if the player has a lot of resources he/she will have to expend them to survive through winter, thus making the player brave the zombie menace one again in summer to restock.

I love the idea of it gradually changing, it might be hard to indicate to the player what’s happening/how to combat it though (especially as this normally isn’t a computer game consideration). Obviously user common sense works most of the time though…

Completely agree with wad, I think winter should be really hard to get through unless you’re completely stocked up for it (no wild animals about, freezing temperatures, frozen up cars and the like)

On a side note (and I’m taking this way too far), could cars have heating (which you have to build in) and like wise a strong mechanics/building/electronics skill could give you ways to heat your bunker? I could imagine fuel burning fires which give off a lot of heat but burn precious, precious fuel and similarly a compost heating system which runs off dead bodies.

Got a bit dark at the end…

I’d love to see the cold basically destroy the zombies.

And then, thanks to our new adaptive zombie system, they come back as something even worse.


But seriously different enemies in winter would at least be fun, and Unreal World winters are dreadfully boring and not something I’d want to emulate. Having all the resource problems PLUS a bunch of proper threats would be perfect for any player who has survived until winter, as they clearly need a larger challenge.

Could we also have Cataclysm set waaaay up north, so that there are a few days of endless sun and a few days of endless night (maybe it could be semi darkness/light during the ‘wrong’ times of the day)? I think that leads to a nice change up, with the endless nights being slightly easier (in a completely unforgiving winter) and the endless days being a bit harder in the comparatively easier summer.

This could only be for like two days a year or something, but it might just add a bit of extra flavour.

At first the idea of tracking body part temperature left me cold, but now I’m starting to warm to it. (ok, I think I have it out of my system now)

I don’t see any need to make it anything complicated, just track body part temperature, and if it’s different than ambient temperature, have a chance of being adjusted closer to ambient temp based on the pertinent factors of warmth, weather, wetness, and the difference between body temp and ambient (possibly some other stuff too).

Additionally once an endurance system goes in we can hook it up to body temp too, so exerting yourself increases your temp, which is good in winter, but problematic if it’s really hot out.

For player feedback, I’m thinking of just reporting the condition of the “worst” body part on the main screen, and a part-by-part report in the ‘@’ screen or something. So if your hands are freezing and your head and legs are merely cold, it reports “freezing” on the main screen, and in the @ screen it lists:
Head: Cold
Torso: Comfortable
L Arm: Freezing
R Arm: Freezing
L Leg: Cold
R Leg: Cold
Along with penalties for each, as appropriate.

This would be in addition to reporting ambient temperature, but as a “feeling” rather than a number.

Sound good?

You additionally might get some conditions, like “numb hands”, “heatstroke”, “shivering” that impose specific additional penalties.

I think the game may actually have some temperature based diseases, pretty sure it still has heatstroke and the like, but the system could definitely do with extension. Cold hands would incur a dexterity penalty and whatnot. (You guys look to have hashed it out plenty, so I’m basically just saying that I approve)