Heliconian Dev Log 07: The Health System

March 5, 2020
Antti Lehtinen
Example of the Heliconian health system

In this update I cover the health system of the Heliconian and its crew. Maintaining the starship and the crew members in good health is probably the most important thing in the game. In Heliconian, death is a permadeath, for both the ship and the crew members. The game ends if either the Heliconian gets destroyed or all the crew members die.

Heliconian Health System

The vessel has 9 hit points and when they are gone the game is over. However, it is not that simple. Each compartment/room of the vessel can take maximum of 3 damage and after that enemies will target other areas of the ship. This system spreads out the damage nicely and avoids the terrible situation where all the damage would be concentrated in one compartment. When the damage is spread out to several compartments, the crew members have shorter walk to the nearest damaged compartment and they can repair multiple different compartments simultaneously. In the picture, the Heliconian has taken 4 hit points of damage marked with the yellow exclamation mark icons. The damage is spread out between the torpedo room, the medbay, and the crew quarters.

Crew Member Health

Crew member’s health system is a little different and there are two aspects to it. First, is staying alive. A crew member dies if he/she takes 2 wounds or a wound and a sickness. So in this sense a crew member has only 2 hit points. It gets serious whenever anyone takes just one damage and goes hand in hand with the feeling of constant threat I am trying to create. This makes it extremely important to treat any wounds and sicknesses as fast as possible. Another aspect of crew member’s health is his/her working capacity:

  • A tired crew member works at 75% capacity.
  • A sick / wounded crew member works at 50% capacity.
  • A tired and sick (or wounded) crew member works at 25% capacity.

A crew member can also suffer a permanent damage which is called handicap. Handicapped crew member cannot be treated in the medbay and he/she suffers a further 25% penalty to his/her current work capacity.

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