Health

What could also possibly be shown by a wristpad are various health parameters, such as heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, energy (carbohydrate) level, and hydration (water) level. This could be simplified, or perhaps just a single health index can be shown (0-100%).

With the game as currently conceived and explained in this document (i.e. non-violent), there are really only a few things that can adversely affect a player's health:

  • running out of oxygen, water or food
  • freezing to death
  • a breach in a suit, pressurized rover, dome or building, i.e. running out of oxygen and possibly also freezing to death

Health does not really play a large part in the game and it's tempting to suggest leaving it out altogether. The only thing is, players should not, for example, be able to go outside without a marssuit - if they do then they will quickly freeze to death and asphyxiate. Similarly if they drive a rover off into the middle of nowhere and don't take enough food or water or fuel, then they should eventually starve or die of thirst (of course, they can use the emergency channel to call for help).

If these sort of consequences aren't enforced in the game, then realism is lost. For this reason, some indication of health level is necessary.

What happens if a player dies? They can start again as a new colonist. They would lose any accumulated money and belongings, which could become the property of a nominated heir (any other player), their collective, or possibly the Martian government. So, this is a strong incentive for a player not to get killed - however, since staying unhurt will be relatively simple (it's just basic common sense to go outside with a marssuit on), players should theoretically die very infrequently.

One problem with willing property to a nominated heir is that players can make pacts with each other whereby, if one dies, the other gets their stuff, and then just gives it back to them when they "re-incarnate". This takes the sting out of death - it may be better for them just to lose their property for good, or for it to go to the government.

SolSys Developers' Site