Design and documentation journal for my interactive fiction (text games); also reviews and other miscellaneous stuff.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weight and Volume

I did some basic weight and volume stuff earlier, based on Eric Eve's Bulk Limiter. I have fixed a few things, upgraded bulk from being a number to being a volume, and added some very boring default messages.

Eventually, I suppose I'll tweak the default messages when the player lifts something very heavy, or picks something up close to her endurance capacity, or maybe add bits where the player drops something, but mostly that's fluff.

Currently, strength is set at 25 kg. That seems okay to begin with - I may even set it a little lower originally. How much can a out-of-shape person carry? I can certainly shift 60 pounds, but I'd be hard pressed to carry it far. (I'm more of a "roll this thing end over end" person anyway.) On the other hand, with a proper pack, I can carry 30-40 lbs for quite a distance. Anyway, I can look up upper-tier numbers for backpackers and what-not later, when I start working on attributes.

How much volume one can swing around is something else entirely, partly because it's based so strongly on distribution. Properly packed and distributed, I can imagine carrying a lot of volume. 500 liters isn't unimaginable, given the use of straps and packs and a light, balanceable weight. On the other hand, 10 bushels seems pretty high, and that's only a fraction of 500 liters. I think I settled for about 10 bushels, assuming most of the stuff the player will be hauling will be heavy enough to prevent abuse. I may have to tweak it down quite a bit, though - for regular items, I can only imagine myself handling maybe a bushel or two on my back, and carrying another 3-4 in my arms.

Also, there's the question of containment - an armful of leaves may only be a cubic foot or two, but you can't just take another one. (A good reason for wheelbarrows and things.)

Still, a simulation has to stop somewhere, and this is it for now. Maybe I'll revisit this if I implement wheelbarrows (which I intend to do, eventually, but it's a helpmeet and not a fundamental requirement, so it's on the back shelf.)

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