Combat in 0.4.0, turning ideas into gameplay


Well we are getting to the point now in this release cycle that it is nessessary to start answering questions such as, how big does a cell need to be to engulf now maxhp is no longer based on cell size so do we change that to be based on hex amount? Will it be 50% bigger or just one hex?
How much damage does that do,

toxins are going to be clouds? How do we balance that.

How much damage will pilus do? Is everyone at 100 hp including bacteria? Do they need less? Etc.

This post is for answering these questions.


In addition to the purpose of this thread, maybe we should add a organelle that is specifically for increasing max health at some point?


I think that might be a bit to game-y for thrive. We’ll need to first figure out the formula for max health, but even that should wait for playtesting so it should be after 0.4.0.


I think some of these questions are answered here. Yes every cell should have 100hp. I think it will be weird and not the right system but I think it’s a good starting place for iteration. I don’t think we’re ready to change toxins into clouds yet, the problems with doing so are outlined here.

The question on how a pilus should work is an interesting one. If you put the point of a pilus inside another cell what should happen? Should it only take off health when entering another cell or can you leave it sitting in the cell and have it’s health go down slowly over time?

Can you just hold the pilus inside the other cell or is there a force which pushes it out when it does damage?

A spear thrust in a regular game kind of gives a small window of time when you can hurt people after pressing a button, should we have something like that or just have a pilus be a static thing like a spike trap?

I’m open to suggestions on this and am happy to try any implementation to see what it feels like.


Perhaps multiple kinds of pilus?
One for just spearing prey and another for killing prey from a distance like a feeding tube.


The plan is to do just a melee damage pilus now and then to add more different types later on (such as ranged or a straw or an agent injector etc).


But you just asked if we could have it just sit in a cell and do damage, so why not have that and the spear variety as their own things.(just my thought)


How would you go about doing that? The other type only activates the damaging effect for a time after pressing a button?


When I say spear I mean you swim into a cell it gets stabbed like a spear but it only does damage on contact and pushes the cell away, the other you could keep in a cell and it does damage over time and doesn’t push them away.Maybe I need to be clearer. You don’t press any buttons.


Okay so you meant that the spear variant collides with other cells where as the “leave it in” variant doesn’t. It’s still a bit inconvenient to detect proper collisions between things that are overridden to not collide (like in engulfing).


Yeah we could have both, so long as they felt sufficiently different. I guess lets just try some stuff out and see what we like.

Also if one type is easier to make than another then maybe that’s a good place to start.


I’d say a colliding variant is easier to make (to have the collision detect be perfect) and maybe it is even possible to adjust the damage based on the velocity. That would make it more effective to use a pilus if you have tons of flagella for speed to deal more damage on impact.


I feel like having a single cell health is a little too great a level of abstraction to be either realistic, or engaging, gameplay-wise. Ideally, a cell should have one main health for the intergrity of its membrane, such that if that ever hits zero, the cell ruptures and dies, but internal organelles should also have their own health, and the cell can potentially die if enough of its vital organelles cease to function. And engulfing should be a completely separate process that doesn’t deal damage per se, but does kill the victim cell upon completion.

I have additionally been thinking about how to make predatory pili more reasonably balanced, and have come up with the following proposal: Make them work like the barbs that nematocysts (the organelle in the tentacle cells of jellyfish that sting) use. Simply bumping into another cell with a pilus won’t do a huge amount of damage to that cell’s membrane, but can still function as a limited deterrent against engulfing. If you want to use pili offensively, you need to arm them in a fashion similar to the way nematocysts wind themselves up. Arming pili costs a small amount of ATP and can stay armed for a limited time, but allows them to deal massive damage to the target cell’s membrane, and possibly some damage to internal organelles.


These are nice ideas for ways we could develop the pilus + health system after 0.4.0


Those are really cool ideas