Q&A on Discord: Barotrauma First Aid System

Hello everyone! Join us on Friday December 14 at 10 PM UTC in the #baro-questionsandanswers channel of our Discord https://discordapp.com/invite/xjeSzWU for one hour with Regalis and Chad Husk!

The topic is the Baro first aid and health system, and you can read up on it in advance on our blog https://barotraumagame.com/gameplay-fea ... m-release/

If there are any questions you know you will want to talk about, you can let us know in advance by replying to this thread. See you on Discord next Friday!

Re: Q&A on Discord: Barotrauma First Aid System

^ Regarding the psychosis effect, it would be really nice if the person affected by the hallucinations would see in his own screen as if he received damage/drowning/burns from the visuals, but others would just see him flailing about without any real damage being done to his character. It would probably be a bit tricky to code though, especially the water related interactions.

Re: Q&A on Discord: Barotrauma First Aid System

Thanks again everyone who participated in the Q&A last Friday! As it turns out, it wasn’t all about the first aid system, but we had a lot (really, a lot) of very good questions that we liked answering all the same. Here is a topic-by-topic summary, with some additional answers to questions we missed in the chat.

Happy holidays! :)

First aid system

Q: The Psychosis looks really cool, but I'm worried about balance. For example, what if some event occurs where half, or god forbid all of the crew gets Psychosis, and nobody is fit to man the ship because everyone sees it as underwater or on fire and nobody can tell if anything is real? How is Psychosis countered and do you plan to limit how easy it is to get?

Chad Husk: Psychosis right now can only be 'contracted' in one particular way, from aliens, or in their ruins more exactly. It can be treated readily with drugs, though of course the drugs may have side effects. And if the whole crew goes down with the good old space madness, well that sucks, and it's going to make the mission that much more difficult, but you can prevail none the less.

- it looks like psychosis is only visual but are there going to be other effects, such as the fire "actually" burning you without other crew members being able to see it
- ^ Regarding the psychosis effect, it would be really nice if the person affected by the hallucinations would see in his own screen as if he received damage/drowning/burns from the visuals, but others would just see him flailing about without any real damage being done to his character. It would probably be a bit tricky to code though, especially the water related interactions.

Chad Husk: Great ideas. We will see what we can do about that.

Q: How will psychosis work? I mean if someone sees the ship sinking will it be going down on their screen or will it be still moving normally?

Regalis: Currently psychotic characters will randomly see imaginary fires and floods that no-one else can see. There’s also imaginary hull impacts, you may hear an impact sound and have the camera shake even if the submarine didn’t actually hit anything. In the single player campaign psychosis also affects NPC dialog: when controlling a psychotic character, you may hear the rest of the crew plotting against you or speaking incoherent nonsense.

Q: How many psychosis dialogues do you have so far?

Regalis: A few dozen psychosis-specific lines atm.

Q: I know you said that if you had less medical skill the game would offer less help in terms of what to do for certain statuses, I’m just thinking that in terms of selecting correct medicines that someone after playing medic a couple of times wouldnt need the in game help anymore as they would eventually commit to memory what medicines for what situation… so maybe unskilled crew members can only see items with incredibly vague labels such as “a syringe containing a liquid” “a bottle of pills” “A container labelled with some word too hard for you to pronounce”. I think SS13 randomises medicine effects which would work without a vague item description but only for round play as over a campaign it wouldnt make sense and again players would just memorise it over the course of time.

Regalis: We're planning on doing something similar: We do have the "hint system" that recommends you some treatments, and these recommendations may be misleading if you have a low medical skill. Of course if you've memorized everything and know what the drugs do this makes no difference, but we do have an additional feature that will make the doctors more important: if you have a low medical skill, there's a chance administering a drug will cause a harmful effect instead of the normal one.

Q: I'm not really fan of the new way to administer meds to people , I liked the way you did by taking them in your hand then. But love all the new changes.

Regalis: We're not planning on removing this, you can still inject drugs by stabbing people with a syringe. The only change we are doing is simplifying the system a bit: every medical item is a syringe, so we're getting rid of the additional step of loading medicine into a syringe and refilling them.

Q: Fentanyl you say? well, would be interesting if some sort of addiction could happen if too much is used

Regalis: This has actually been implemented already, you can get addicted to opiates (morphine and fentanyl) if you use them too frequently. Opiate addiction causes withdrawal symptoms that'll get progressively worse if left untreated. As a temporary remedy you can also take more drugs to get rid of the symptoms, but that'll obviously cause even more trouble after the effects of the drug wear off

Q: Are more medical features like pain, sanity, and overdose planned in the future? Do you plan to add any sort of advanced damage system to the creatures like humans have? Do you plan on adding more fictional drugs like space station 13, or to keep the medical chemistry more realistic? Do you plan on any atmospherics to poison the air or at least some way to be sneaky about lethal poisoning? Do you have any idea if a temperature simulation is feasible for more realistic scenarios in event of fires? How do you think the issue of pvp missions being ruined by nukes could be solved, since much of the intricacy of pvp in the game is lost when the other side is nuked from many meters away?

Chad Husk: We don't have immediate plans for pain, though we can produce psychosis, and drug overdoses, and drug addiction already. Dow we plan advanced damage for creatures? Not at present. Do we plan on adding more fictional drugs? Absolutely. We have a whole lot already designed and just waiting for me to plug them into the XML actually. We do have plans for poison atmospheres, stand by for more on that in a few weeks I guess. I dont know about temperature simulations, I guess if we had a good usecase for that we might investigate what it would take to put that in, but at present we have no plans.

Q: Forum post in response, about a new concept for contagious afflictions: https://undertowgames.com/forum/viewtop ... 04#p124304

Chad Husk: I really like the idea a lot, and we have discussed it already in a roundabout way, relating to another potential feature. I worry though about the potential that it introduces to the game of overburdening the player when already a lot of stuff goes wrong very very easily. Having said that, it is really easy to implement as a mod and I would love to see it on the workshop for those who do want that extra challenge.


Q: Do you plan on adding physics to the sub such as banking towards it's gravity center when it's on uneven terrain?

Regalis: At the moment we don't have plans to make the submarine rotate, because the submarine logic is implemented in a way that would make it extremely time consuming to implement and honestly I feel it's not a feature that would be worth the effort. It'd be a nice little addition, but a nice little addition might not be enough to justify such a huge code overhauling task.

Q: Will you be adding and improving economy so that subs have a price and items inside of them , When you are building the sub in sub editor each part has a different price bigger and more advanced subs will cost more you will be buying them in cities or military outposts with credits that you get from missions same goes for the items and supplies

Chad Husk: that idea for balancing the price of a sub as a function of the parts it's made of is interesting. We will consider it!

Q: Will we ever get a multiple subs mode, where multiple people can be in separate missions in the same campaign?

Regalis: I've been dreaming of an "MMO campaign" with multiple submarines traveling across the map and occasionally encountering each other, but I'm afraid it might be a bit out of scope at the moment. Maybe at some point in the far-ish future!

Q: In the steam release pictures theres a curved/slanted wall on the submarine. How will they be placed? How will they be filled with hull spots and bqckround and maybe windows?

Regalis: Currently you have to build rooms with curved walls out of multiple hulls. It's admittedly kind of a hack; we have improved the water distribution logic so that it's not as noticeable, but it's still unnecessary work required from the submarine creators and we will be looking into alternative solutions (probably the option to create non-rectangular hulls and/or automatizing hull placement).

Q: Are there any plans to make the SUB V SUB modes more engaging? At the moment, fights are over within 60 seconds, is won by the first person to launch a nuke shell. It's not very fun, and encourages sub crews to camp near their spawn.

Regalis: Unfortunately we don't have much plans regarding the sub-vs-sub missions at the moment, we're focusing mainly on fleshing out the campaign mode. But I do agree that it needs a lot more love - we’ll definitely look into it after we’ve gotten some of the more high-priority stuff out of the way.

Other gameplay

Q: The health system improvements are pretty radicool and will make being a medic more fun. Are there any improvements (like on reactor for example) that you can reveal ?

Chad Husk: Thanks! The whole reactor control gameplay has been overhauled and is now a bit more fun and hopefully engaging than the original mechanics. On top of that, we have new jobs for engineers and mechanics: Every mechanical and electrical system degrades over time - the mechanics and engineers must balance their time between their main jobs, and getting around the sub doing preventative maintenance to the various systems lest they break down totally or catch fire.

Q: will there be more creatures that can get inside the submarine and have to be fought mano-e-mano?

Regalis: For the early access version we're just aiming to improve the current monsters, so initially there will be no new monsters (neither ones that can get inside the sub or ones that stay out). But there will definitely be more in the full release.

Q: are we gonna actually have a use for the dead bodies of the giant creatures we kill? i mean, there's a lot of M E A T in there not being used. just need a grill and im set for cooking.

Chad Husk: Yes! you can scavenge all sorts of crap from them and turn it into other things via the fabricator.

Q: 1. new environmental stuff? (heat, cold, electricity, air pockets) 2. new small arms? 3. will the game retain the "link-dead" artstyle?

Chad Husk: 1. heat: no, cold: no, electricity: yes. Radiation: maybe! 2. for sure.

Regalis: 3. To some degree, yes. Link-Dead’s (an unreleased game by the creator of Soldat) artstyle was one of the sources of inspiration I initially looked into in the early stages of Baro, but during the development and especially after FakeFish’s art team jumped into the project, we’ve taken a slightly different path. Perhaps slightly more stylized, but the new artstyle still has plenty of the grittiness and semi-realistic feel of Link-Dead.

Q: Will minerals and elements be available to mine from the ice?

Regalis: Yep, there will be mineable resources scattered around the levels. The functionality has already been implemented, and we'll start adding the actual items next week.

Q: I'd like to suggest an idea of diving tethers, basically it fixates onto your back and allows you to go EVA. Crewmembers can pull you inside in case of urgency. The rope can be broken.

Chad Husk: Great idea. We will see what we can do about that. We have been talking over the last few days about grappling hooks too, so that ties in (haha) nicely

Q: would you be able to build your own outposts if you are planning on making it so you can walk in them?

Regalis: Building your own outposts in-game won't be a thing, but we will implement physical, explorable outposts and of course that'll be moddable and you can add new outposts if you can use the sub editor (and probably do a bit of XML editing)

Q: Proximity voice chat?

Chad Husk: We're working on voip features atm, it's already partially functional and we're aiming to get it ready before the Steam release. Our VOIP functionality will mute dead players, distort and break up over distance, and muffle when the player is wearing a diving suit.

Q: More guns and melee weapons and if yes then what kinds

Regalis: We have a few new weapons coming up, we're giving the crafting system a little overhaul and there's a few new items you can craft out of alien materials. Basically improved versions of the current weapons augmented with alien features.

There’s also two new stationary weapons that will give you some more options on dealing with monsters outside the sub. The coilgun is basically a rapid-firing turret that’s most effective against smaller enemies, and the electrical discharge system allows you to temporarily stun enemies near the submarine and get them off from the hull (as some monsters can now latch on to the external walls of the sub).

Q: Any new plans for wiring or are you going to keep it the same mostly?

Regalis: One major change I want to do to the wiring system is making it possible to detach one end of the wire without taking out the whole wire. So basically you have to detach both ends of the wire before you can pick it up, and you can just detach one end (temporarily?) without the whole wire being removed. We also definitely need to make it easier and faster to wire things in the sub editor, currently it's way too much of a pain in the ass.

Q: Will AI ever be fixed and given brainpower above "intellectually challenged" to where the Single Player "Career" mode is an actual option to play, or is Multiplayer where everyone is supposed to be playing?

Chad Husk: I'm counting on it! AI is getting better step by step, and not only that, we are giving you more control over them to get them doing the right thing and being functional shipmates. They will never be as good as a human, but they will be good enough to have fun with.

Q: When do you think campaign mode will be added post-launch (onto Steam Early Access)?

Chad Husk: There will be a really really bare bones campaign already in the first release, and it will be expanded upon and improved over the whole course of the early access period

Q: Is the game going to have a lvl up system like in skyrim you do stuff and you lvl up by doing it several times or something like books? I don’t really like that of random skills every round. Also about all that is there gonna be character customization?

Chad Husk: Yes! though for multiplayer games of course, we can't have a persistent global stats system for everyone.

Q: Would there be a VS mode like in Left 4 Dead where people can play as fish and try to kill the crew?

Regalis: Yes, again not a high priority thing to add but I feel we do need a mod where people can control monsters. I've had so much fun messing with the players by controlling a monster that I feel we'd be missing out if we didn't expand on that feature.


Q: How long are you planning to support the game? How many updates

Regalis: Our current plan is to move out of early access with the full release at the end of 2019, so there will be plenty of updates throughout 2019. After that, we’re not sure yet - it depends largely on how successful the game is going to. If everything goes well and the game manages to really take off by the time we do the full release (or after), I’m quite certain that we will still keep adding new content for a long time!

Q: Will we keep our barotrauma if we downloaded, and do we get to play the new graphics update?

Regalis: You can keep the old version and keep playing it, but you will not be able to get the new version without purchasing it on Steam. You also won’t be able to use any of the Steam functionality such as the Steam Workshop or play on servers hosted with the Steam version.

Q: Will you be adding more modding tools to barotrauma so it is possible to do more than add just reskins. And will there be a steam workshop that you can download both mods and subs of?

Chad Husk: Absolutely. So already implemented is the character editor which allows you to import a sprite sheet, hang it off a skeleton and create a procedural animation as well as tune the stats and whatnot of the creature or character in question. We also have sprite and particle editors in engine, and a level editor. The plan is that whatever you mod you can upload to the workshop and publish, and of course subscribing to those mods will make installation of them automatic.

Q: Would you integrate the BTE mod into the base game? Would you ever consider using the work of the community (BTE, for example) in an official release?

Regalis: I personally love what Chiko has been doing with BTE and we will definitely be taking some inspiration from it when designing new content for the vanilla game. However, I don’t think we will integrate it into the game as-is: first of all, even if Chiko gave us the permission to do so, from what I’ve understood the mod uses some assets (audio files at least) from other games which we have no right to use. It also includes a bunch of additional mechanics and items that I feel work better as an optional mod instead of a part of the core gameplay and features.

Q: Also, do you have any plans for different versions at different price points, like a Special Edition, or Pre order?. Although I'm personally against pre ordering, I wouldn't mind being charged an extra pound or two for the game and a soundtrack

Regalis: I don’t think we’ll be taking preorders - we’re already so close to the early access release that there wouldn’t be much reason to do so in my opinion. We’ve been tossing around the idea of doing some type of “Special Edition” release with perhaps a soundtrack, an artbook and/or other additional stuff, but at the moment we don’t have any concrete plans. But we’ll see!

Q: How Successful do you predict the game to be? It's not going to be Like The Culling Two, but who knows, might be the next smash hit!

Regalis: I don’t know, but of course I’m hoping it will be a big hit. :) It’s a very niche game so it’s obviously not going to be the next Minecraft, but if everything goes well I think it could be a very successful “indie hit”.

Q: Is the game getting more than one language?

Regalis: Atm we're not planning on supporting other languages in addition to English in the initial Early Access version, but we've improved the translation support a lot and it's going to be way easier to make custom translations.
We will also implement official translations somewhere down the line, even though they're not among our top priorities at the moment.

Q: Hey there, three questions!
1. Favorite part of the game?
2. Any planned expansions in the future?
3. Will steam non-portfoward servers/p2p connections be a feature when steam release happens?

1. I can’t name a specific game mechanic or part, but in general I love how the game generates these “emergent stories” that happen as a result of the game mechanics and the player’s actions. Things like having a traitor come up with a convoluted plan to assassinate the captain, then getting caught by an engineer while messing with the wiring on the captain’s quarters, giving the engineer a bribe in exchange for keeping his mouth shut, and finally having their plan ruined because the engineer was smart enough to do a few minor adjustments to the wiring to save the captain…
2. Yep, we’ve got plenty of plans (many of which we’ve already mentioned in the other answers). We’ve got most of the major features planned until the final release, perhaps the most important being the walkable outposts. As for what happens after the final release, we’ll see - and we’ll of course be listening to the player’s suggestions to help us decide what should be added. :)
3. We’re looking into using Steamworks (or some custom NAT punchtrough solution) to bypass the need for port forwarding. It might not be implemented yet in the initial early access release, but most likely before the full release.

As for P2P connections, I’m not 100% if I understand what you mean, but if you mean removing the need for server and have the clients communicate directly with each other, that probably won’t be added. It would make cheating and griefing practically impossible to prevent on public servers.

Q: What's the game's current budget?

Regalis: It’s hard to put an exact number on this because for the most part of the development it was just one solo developer living on his savings and student benefits, but it’s in the 6-digit range, and might become a 7-digit number before the eventual full release.

Q: Would there like some massive servers with like 200 people limit each one? I mean first of all you know what runescape is? I am gonna put that as a example a world where everyone can do what they want like traveling, looting from monsters, loot sunken submarines, ruins, raiding other people or stations, make and join crews, sell, buy, trade...

Regalis: Probably no. This would be an enormous task, not just because the networking architecture and many of the game’s core systems would have to be completely redesigned to support hundreds of players on the same server, but also because of the amount of work it would take to design the gameplay in a way that it would make sense to have that many people playing with each other.

Something that could be more feasible (although still way out of scope for the time being) is some sort of a semi-MMO campaign mode where you can see other submarines travelling on the same map and occasionally meet up with other crews on outposts or during missions.

Q: Where do you intend on taking the game in the future ie story and upcoming items/features.

Chad Husk: I can't talk too much about the story right now, unfortunately. As far as features and Items go, we are closing in on already having most of the big features we really wanted. Walkable outposts is a big one that will be going in, that will be a game changer I think. Items and whatnot are a work in progress so I can't say too much about that either, mostly because we are really just evolving things week by week at this point and a lot changes.

Q: Where are you drawing inspiration from? I mean the lore, monster designs, core ideas, etc.

Sorry, but I also really want to ask another one. What is a feature not yet implemented in your game that you're really looking forward to implement in the future? I mean like, you're personally most excited about that thing.

Chad Husk: I'm pretty excited about the huge amount of resources you will be able to gather from the environment and creatures. That is going to add a really interesting layer to the game.

Regalis: Personally my biggest influences have been SS13, Lovecraft, the Pressure game concept (a game idea that's been floating around on 4chan), Peter Watts, a bunch of miscellaneous horror movies... And the feature I'm looking forward to the most are the physical outposts. I think those will make the campaign way way more interesting and offer a lot of new interesting gameplay possibilities.

Q: 1) Will there be lore about the creatures such as "The coelanth is 6 meters and has 2 rows of teeth" like an autopsy, and will there be more lore about the ruins
2) Do you think it would be a good idea to make other players turn into ie: husks when they have psychosis and it will hide the name
3) whos the cutest barotrauma developer?

Regalis: 1) Yes, the lore/story layer is something we haven't fully designed yet, but there will be more to it. Most likely in the form of some kind of hints you stumble upon while playing the campaign and exploring the outposts.
2) Perhaps, in general making the players see fake monsters could be an interesting addition. Making you see other players as monsters could be a little risky, there's a chance you will be considered a griefer and get kicked out.
3) Let's have a vote on the offtopic channel, there's a few pictures of us on the fakefish website and my twitter feed :)
Yours truly,
Barotrauma Community Liaison Officer