Panic: a gameplay element

BroseidonBroseidon Members Join Date: 2011-07-18 Member: 110935Posts: 136 Advanced user
I think if most of us imagined being in the middle of an open alien ocean we would feel a bit uneasy. So why wouldn't the character you play as feel the same way? Playable characters have feelings too!

Some assumptions
Blood sugar: After seeing THIS VIDEO
It would appear that blood sugar is a thing from that green percentage bar. So i'm going to assume it's Hunger/Energy. (Does anyone else have an idea of what it is? Does our character have diabetes?)
That is about all the assumptions really so let me talk about my idea.

The stress bar
A bar representing the stress level of your character by pointing at current stress state with an arrow or other indicator. Depending on how stressed your character is, your character will have buffs or de-buffs, interact with creatures differently depending on how stressed you character is and other effects. Depending on if you are in a safe or hostile zone your stress bar will decrease or increase over time, or no affects over time at all. Think a bit like sanity in the game Amnesia but more advanced and it affects more stuff.

Stress bar states and effects
These are just some examples, feel free to give suggestions on things to add or change.

Panic (Top 10% of stress bar):
Your character is consuming 20% more oxygen and 15% more blood sugar. Swimming movement speed is decreased by 10%.
Hyperventilation sound effects and sometimes muffled yelling.
Most creatures flee from you.
Some creatures are attracted to you.
Small shake screen effects (for people that have it enabled).
Panic swim animation.

Stressed (Top 25% of stress bar):
Your character is consuming 15% more oxygen and 10% more blood sugar. Swimming movement speed increased by 10%.
a lot of creatures flee from you.
some creatures avoid you.
some creatures are suspicious of you.
Fast breathing sound effects.

Uneasy (Middle 30% of stress bar):
Your character is consuming 10% more oxygen and 5% more blood sugar. Swimming movement speed increased by 5%.
some creatures flee from you.
some creatures are suspicious of you.
Normal breathing sound effect + occasional heavy sigh sound effect.

Calm (Bottom 25% of stress bar):
Your character is consuming 5% more oxygen and 2.5% more blood sugar.
Some creatures flee from you.
Normal breathing sound effect.

Relaxed (Bottom 10% of stress bar):
No Oxygen or blood sugar penalty's are applied.
Relaxed breathing sound effect.
Some creatures are attracted to you.

Creature behaviors
Flee: These creatures flee from you when they know you are there.
Avoid: These creatures keep their distance if they see you and will flee or attack you if you surge towards them or other threatening acts and some may give you warning signals.
Suspicious: These creatures keeps a fin distance are harder to interact with than normally and some may give you warning signals.
Attracted: These creatures want to interact with you more than they usually want to. But this is not always a good thing. ex: a predator could be attracted to you because it thinks you are vulnerable and a fun meal to play with.

Things that increase stress
These are just some examples, feel free to give suggestions on things to add or change.
The players stress will change depending on what it can observe, hear, feel and more.

Heavy stress increases
- Heavy damage
- The empty oxygen tank warning noise sound

Medium stress increases
- Medium damage
- The low oxygen tank warning noise sound
- Stunned by a creature/plant
- Poisoned by a creature/plant
- The submarine creaks from high pressure

Small stress increases
- Light damage
- a creature does a warning signal
- Strange noise in the distance

Things that decrease stress
- Interacting with friendly creatures and plants
- Finishing an upgrade
- Finishing the construction of a tool or a vehicle
- Eating underwater mushrooms

What would it add to gameplay?
These are just some examples, feel free to give suggestions on things to add or change

Immersion: Subnauticas focus will be on single player and I think most of us can agree on that a game like Subnautica must have immersion.
Interesting unique mechanics: Maybe Subnautica would get some more attention for having unique feature like this one (Or is it unique? How many games have a similar system?)
Annoying in the long run: Would it be to annoying that the player is having a harder time interacting with creatures they want to interact with because of earlier things that happened in the game. Should the environment affect the player or the player affect the environment more?
To hard to implement for what it is worth: I'm not a programmer so I have no idea how hard it would be to implement a system like this or similar. But I can imagine it would be pretty hard.

So what do you think?
Steam: Calleohr


  • ezekelezekel Members, NS2 Map Tester Join Date: 2012-11-29 Member: 173589Posts: 1,385 Advanced user
    Ah insanity in amnesia could have had so much more done with it. I have no idea how this game will be though, so the idea itself is cool for sure BUT you may want to keep this as a toggleable option if anything.

    Sort of like how modders made sanity in amnesia get more crazy if you downloaded their extra hard mods etc etc. Speaking of dark descent.. I cannot wait for frictionals 4th title SOMA!

    Back on topic, I think it's a cool idea. Implementation would probably be difficult but it could add a lot of atmosphere to the game so you have my +1 (but keep the feature as an option) some people like to explore without handicaps!
  • AurOn2AurOn2 COOKIES! FREEDOM, AND BISCUITS! AustraliaMembers, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Forum staff Join Date: 2012-01-13 Member: 140224Posts: 2,130 mod
    edited August 2014
    Silence is a sound. :)
    A forced 'i'm scared' feature doesn't help. i found it just made amnesia (and other games similar) more annoying than scary.
    If you want to make someone shit their pants - do it by making them shit their pants.

    Stress bar = bad. The only resources you should worry about is oxygen. If you're running away from a big fishy with teeth... you shouldn't be having a "oh no i'm scared" Meter going up. That is bad gameplay.
    Also, it doesn't help with immersion AT ALL. it's a gameplay feature for the sake of a gameplay feature when none others' would be easy to implement.
    Send me a private message if you need me to kill someone "help" with anything.

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  • VetinariVetinari Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Posts: 3,469 Advanced user
    You're basically telling the player "You should be scared now", in a completely immersion breaking and non-subtle way. If you have to design your game like this, you already did something wrong. The player is supposed to have feelings, not the player character. The player character is just the medium between you and the world.

    I'm sorry if that sounds harsh but I don't think it's a good idea ;)
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  • Soul_RiderSoul_Rider Mod Bean Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2004-06-19 Member: 29388Posts: 4,269 Advanced user
    If the person controlling the player is scared and they want to, they should be able to swim away quickly, using a sprint type key. If the player decides to swim away quickly, then oxygen should be used at a faster rate.

    The player character should not be getting scared, but should use more oxygen if the player is swimming faster. That is the correct way to implement fear into a game, where a players fear causes repercussions, not some arbitrary mechanic.
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