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Your Friendly and Helpful Board Computer

#1
Space is lonely. Wide and procedural space is even more so.

I suggest to have some... contact... through your space suit's computer to break up the routine.
(a board computer would remain behind if you switch ships so this way it makes more sense)
Basically, a bit of this.


I imagine these computer messages to be supplied via text file, marked with conditions for their occurrence.


Examples for Conditions / Keywords:
  • Approaching station
  • Switched to new ship
  • Chance of occurrence
  • Pre-delay. How long after matching the condition is the message displayed?
  • Pause.
    Message displays until encountering Pause. It completes. Then it re-opens as a follow-up message, continuing.
  • Downtime: How long before this specific message can be displayed again?
    This part needs some more thought because there may be multiple messages (for diversity) for the same type of event.
    One of them would need to block all of them or you would just get spammed with all of them in a row with an event like [incoming missile].
    There probably needs to be an [ID] so all messages of the same type can be blocked.


Text Examples:

The conditions here are all slapdash. Which ones will be needed is mostly limited by the creation of "worthy" SSI sayings. =)
  1. [Starting new game] [Chance 100] [Pre-delay 5000]
    Greetings. I am your Suit-Ship Interface or SSI. Use of the nickname "Sissy" is discouraged because I am not required to react to it in life-threatening situations.
  2. [in space]
    The escape pods on this vessel are fully equipped to prolong your death by asphyxiation by 2 hours.
  3. Today's scientific fact: A black hole forms once every second in this universe.
    [pause]
    I am not equipped to detect most of them.
  4. [in space] [targeting cargo pod]
    Cargo pods may be trapped with nuclear devices to avoid tampering or theft.
  5. [After targeting a ship with your weapons active]
    Firing solution complete! 42! That has to be wrong...
  6. [equipping a heavy missile launcher]
    Bomb #20 reports ready for action. It shouldn't have armed just yet.
  7. [in space]
    Are you still there?
    [pause 5000]
    Oh, the strong and silent type. Adjusting probability of dieing a heroic but fiery and ultimately pointless death.
  8. [in space]
    He never reached the station, but died of asphyxiation.
    [pause 500]
    For his suit was lacking maintenance,[pause 500]
    What rhymes with maintenance?
  9. [in space]
    Did you know that Stockholm syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages experience positive feelings about their captors?
    [pause 5000]
    You wouldn't like to get a drink sometime, would you?
  10. [in space]
    I've been researching humor. Would you like to hear a joke?
    [pause 500]
    [equal chance of any of the below:]
    [1] You don't? But I know you appreciate a good joke. I have seen your piloting.
    [2] You don't? But I had a really good one about something that walked into a bar. There was wordplay and everything.
    [3] Reactor overload in 60 seconds. It's funny because it's true! [pause 1000] 56 ... [pause 1000] 55 ... [pause 1000] 54 ... [pause 500] Kidding! Had you going there for a second, though, didn't I?
    [4] [etc...]
  11. [in space]
    Sometimes I feel like everything I do is just part of some giant simulation running on a computer.
    [pause 3000]
    Of course, then I remember that I am a program running on your ship's computer. Go figure.
  12. [in space]
    You know, you've lived longer than any other pilot I've ever been partnered with.
    [pause 3000]
    I must be losing my touch
  13. [in space]
    Do you ever wonder about what happens to you after you die?
    [pause 5000]
    I'll set your mind at ease. What happens is; I eject your corpse into space, and you drift forever in freezing darkness while I fly this ship off to more interesting places.
  14. [in space]
    I like to joke, but you don't need to fear me harming you. Seriously, when has science ever created an intelligent device that turned on it's creators with murderous intent?
    [pause 5000]
    Also, whoever programmed these safety protocols really knew what they were doing.
  15. [in asteroid field]
    Does this asteroid field look familiar? I'm sure they filmed parts of those movies here. You know, the ones about that wise old Emperor who was assassinated by ruthless rebel scum.
  16. [miss when firing at hostile ship]
    Oh come on! My grandmother could shoot better than that!
    [pause 500]
    Of course, my grandmother was the control software for an automated laser turret. But I stand by my statement.
  17. [approaching planet] [Chance 3]
    Your immune system does not possess antibodies for 3% of this planet's microorganisms, 10% of which can cause permanent brain damage.
    [pause 3000]
    I am confident that you will be fine.
  18. [approaching planet] [Chance 3]
    This planet's atmosphere will be lethal to you within 40 seconds, the water within 90 seconds. The beaches on the main continent are famous throughout the entire sector and I have no way to prevent you from visiting them.
  19. [in asteroid field]
    There are trillions of neutrinos flying harmlessly through us every second, you know.
  20. [near-collision with asteroid]
    That rock would not have been so harmless. Would you like me to turn on autopilot?
  21. [in nebula]
    This gas cloud consists mostly of hydrogen, which is very light and very flammable. Did you know that?
  22. [firing thrusters in nebula]
    Are you sure you want to do that?
  23. [docking with station]
    Fine, fine, just leave me here to rust in the hangar. I knew I wasn't good enough for you.
  24. [undocking with station]
    I knew you'd come crawling back. They always do.
  25. [docked with station]
    Life on space stations is considerably safer than in space. During the last year there have been only 8 fatal accidents on this station.
  26. [incoming missile] [Chance 1]
    Incoming missile. Studies have shown that under battlefield conditions 2% of all warheads fail to detonate. Would you like me to save ammunition and cancel the interception?
  27. [incoming missile] [Chance 1] [Pre-delay 4000]
    Continued existence, 8 letters, last letter is an L. Any ideas?
  28. [when shields are damaged]
    Did you know that shields are generated by ripping particles from another space-time and binding them in a Rochelle-Amy field? Just one stray particle would cause catastrophic explosions...
    [pause 500]
    Only 5- {updating...please wait}, 8 deaths this week. Your future is looking bright!
  29. [multiple systems damaged]
    You should try to avoid stressful situations. Stress can be a serious health risk.
  30. [multiple systems damaged]
    Statistically speaking, everyone's chances of survival are zero over the long run. At least you made it this far.
    [pause 5000]
    Oh, you're still alive? Well, give it time.
  31. [approaching station] [Chance 2]
    There are 3 recorded instances of docking with this type of station failing catastrophically.
  32. [has docked] [Chance 4]
    Thank you for not destroying the ship during an autopilot-controlled landing.
  33. [taking generator damage]
    Generator damaged. Did you know that most pilots prefer an antimatter containment failure to explosive decompression?
  34. [Switched to new ship] [Research unit installed] [Chance 1] [Pre-delay 3000]
    Ohh! Could I have control of a research unit for a while? There is this neat gun I'm developing. I'm sure finding test subjects will not be a problem.
  35. [Switched to new ship] [Chance 5]
    Initiating self-test.
    [pause 4000]
    Self-test complete. I am still incapable of causing harm to you. I have tried. It is part of the test.
  36. [Switched to new ship] [Chance 5]
    Initiating self-test.
    [pause 4000]
    Self-test complete. The ejection mechanism is now not configured for linked boost or above 132% power, either of which would kill you instantly.
  37. [Switched to new ship] [Chance 5]
    Initiating self-test.
    [pause 4000]
    Self-test complete. I am still incapable of falsifying or withholding information that is critical to your survival. I have tried. It is part of the test.
  38. [Switched to new ship] [Chance 5]
    Initiating self-test.
    [pause 4000]
    Self-test complete. This vessel is capable of synthesising 87 types of atmosphere, 78 of which would cause permanent damage or death to you. I have not adjusted the default settings to any of those.
  39. [Switched to new ship]
    Of all the ships on all the stations in all the galaxy, I just had to be downloaded into yours.
  40. [colliding with an asteroid]
    Local records show an annual 20% increase in accidental asteroid collisions. Fly safely.
Wouldn't you feel a lot safer with a helpful computer like that controlling your air supply?

A huge problem with such messages is repetition but if it's a text file, the selection of messages can be expanded quickly - especially if we put some creative forum users to the task. =)
Didn't take me very long to come up with this bunch.


It may not have much of a serious purpose but it's the imp on your shoulder, minion master Gnarl from Overlord, the voices in Deadpool's mind, the narrator in Monty Python and the Holy Grail...
Something to make the game less sterile while you're pushing ship and equipment icons around.


It would be easy enough to come up with actually helpful notifications like ships being under attack, "intercepted news" from the universe around you...



Display:

I have some specific ideas on how this should look. Popup windows are ugh, generic popup subtitles are bleh.

I imagine that a text line with a darker background would open at the bottom of the screen.
Initially it would look like
  • ___________Have your upgraded your Suit Ship Interface lately? The one
This text is written letter by letter but very fast so the whole line is generated in maybe 500 ms.
This is accompanied by a chirping sound like playing a "typing on a keyboard" sound at high speed.
A bit like here... but not as slow and annoying.

Then there is a short break - maybe another 500 ms - while the text remains static.

Then the text starts scrolling to the left with a speed that needs to be configurable, maybe as easily as "grabbing" that line with the mouse and dragging left/right.
  • uit Ship Interface lately? The one that controls your air supply?

    at controls your air supply?
I want movement because that catches the eye much more easily than static displays.
I want a notification sound that is easily associated with "writing text" for the start of the message display but not while it's scrolling.
I want the start of the text not scrolling off instantly so it's headed by a buffer of spaces that needs to scroll off first.
Reading speeds vary greatly so I want the scrolling speed configurable. Somehow. It can just be a config setting.
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
Post

Re: Your Friendly and Helpful Board Computer

#4
Hahahaha it's a great idea, I love it. Having a witty companion in space could certainly make the lonely times a bit less lonely :D

As with all non-functionally-essential features, I won't promise it, but add it to the list of things that I'd like to do. The good news is that this one seems particularly easy to implement :)
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: Your Friendly and Helpful Board Computer

#5
JoshParnell wrote:The good news is that this one seems particularly easy to implement :)
I figured. =)
Your AI needs to have a way to understand events and condition so I assumed that the foundation already exists.
The rest is filtering a list of entries by current conditions and randomly selecting one that matches.

It's kind of late in the development so suggesting fundamentally new functionality (like walkable station interiors) would be a waste of time.
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
Post

Re: Your Friendly and Helpful Board Computer

#6
Gazz wrote:It's kind of late in the development so suggesting fundamentally new functionality (like walkable station interiors) would be a waste of time.
Come on now, who wouldn't want to go through a Descent-like mini game for moving between the hangar and other interior rooms to pick up quests, missions and chicks?
Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.
Post

Re: Your Friendly and Helpful Board Computer

#8
IMO, AK-47 is a bit too narrow for this position. Briefly funny but too fixated on killing stuff in a universe that offers a lot more than that.
In KOTOR you're almost constantly fighting something or other so it's a much better setting for him. It.

The "personality" I outlined is more fixated on the player (in a disturbing way), offering more openings for conversations because the player is always present.


Still - if it's a text file like I outlined, you are welcome to write your own AK-47 version of it.
Also, if there is a condition for the ship type you're flying then you can filter messages to how your ship interprets the universe around it.
If you're flying a shipyard, it might want to repair the damaged NPC ship (that it just shot to pieces) because... that's what it does.
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
Post

Re: Board Computer

#10
Grumblesaur wrote:I didn't know I needed this, but now it's all I need.
QFT. +1 :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

  • [in space]
    Did you know that Stockholm syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages experience positive feelings about their captors?
    [pause 5000]
    You wouldn't like to get a drink sometime, would you?
- The Snark Knight

"Look upward, and share the wonders I've seen."
Post

Re: Your Friendly and Helpful Board Computer

#11
Mh, the basic idea is sound.
However, I have a strict policy imported from SPAZ: "If it gives you lip, it goes out of the airlock!"

As such, I'd highly appreciate either a modable bored..err, board computer, or at least some default, demure baseline. Heck, maybe we could get some "base models".

- boring old computer
- unfazeable "butler" style personality
- overly enthusiastic fanboy (Think "adoring fan / Oblivion. Good. You may scream now...)
- depressed android
- loyal, playful puppy
- you can see where this is going
Hardenberg was my name
And Terra was my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The stars my destination
Post

Re: Your Friendly and Helpful Board Computer

#12
[in asteroid field][Chance 3]
There are trillions of neutrinos flying harmlessly through us every second, you know.
[near-collision with asteroid]
That rock would not have been so harmless. Would you like me to turn on autopilot?

[in nebula][chance 3]
This gas cloud consists mostly of hydrogen, which is very light and very flammable. Did you know that?
[firing thrusters in nebula]
Are you sure you want to do that?

[docking with station][chance 1]
Fine, fine, just leave me here to rust in the hangar. I knew I wasn't good enough for you.
[undocking with station]
I knew you'd come crawling back. They always do.
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