It’s very important to me that players feel an emotional connection to their peons. This is mostly because peons die a lot and I’m quite a mean person. With the various personalities the peons have (talking about their stats, their traits and their memories) – means they act very differently and every peon is fairly unique. But how do I expand on that emotional connection when it comes to more than just numbers and behaviours?
The answer is by doing it graphically. Not just the base model – but dynamically creating procedural textures at runtime to reflect what is happening to the peon. This includes dirt, wounds and clothes gradually wearing away. Graphically, the peon model updates whenever clothes are changed – I’ve gone into detail about the clothing simulation before.
Fringe Planet can be a dirty place, digging around and chopping down trees. Every interaction the peon can have with a world will get them a tiny bit dirty. A dirty peon is a sad peon. Rather than having a bar or number showing a dirty a peon is – the model will get gradually get dirtier as time pass.
Wear and tear
In such a rough environment – it’s understandable that clothes won’t last forever. Each clothing item has a quality value associated with it. Here we can see the peon’s coat eroding over time, revealing more of his shirt underneath.
Peons will bleed, they will also get covered in blood from combat. Much like wear and tear, blood is a per clothing item value. Here you can see just the peon’s t-shirt getting more and more bloody.
Peons are going to get injured and those wounds will go through all cloth layers. This animation simulates two wounds which have pierced the skin – and you can see how the wounds are on a per layer basis. Interestingly, the white half of the first wound is actually the peons underwear. Graphically underwear doesn’t have wear and tear and dirt applied to it. Also though the wound is there, I’m not going to remove underwear to reflect the damage. Note – this may change (if I can think of a way of handling it in a tasteful manner).
And through the magic of debug, I’ve healed the chest wound here (and changed the peons underwear, no one should wear tighty whities). You can still see the damage on the undershirt, where the blood from the wound has soaked around the hole, but the skin underneath is smooth and undamaged.
|I hope you found this interesting, and feel slightly more emotionally connected with the peons. If you really want to help the peons – why not check out the Fringe Planet merchandise store? Every purchases will make a peon (and me) jump for joy !|
There is a lot more to read about Fringe Planet… why not try: