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An overview over the new health system in the upcoming UW 0.6 demo.

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Preamble: Regarding the Kickstarter campaign

Those of you who are following us on Twitter or are members of our Discord server may have noticed that we announced that we're going to start a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund the development of UW.

Being busy with the development of the upcoming 0.6 demo, all of us just kept working on other things until it was time to launch the KS campaign. We posted our first announcement with only two days notice and none of us really thought about whether that was the proper way of doing things. Thankfully a member of Discord server, who knows more about the subject than us, shared his thoughts in a kind manner.

A friendly Discord member kindly giving advice.


We realized that too much hinges on its success for us to simply rush it.

The Kickstarter will launch together with the new 0.6 demo. A lot of work went into it and after a substantial amount of changes, it's fair to say that 0.6 and 0.5 almost feel like demos for different games. Leading up to the Kickstarter, we'll be posting regular updates.

The Kickstarter campaign and new demo will launch in a few weeks. The exact date will be announced soon™.

The new health system in UW 0.6

Today's devblog will cover the new health system that we'll introduce with the upcoming 0.6 demo.

The old system

Thus far, UW has used a very simple health system. Every unit's health was represented by a single integer value. A unit's health may be 20 HP and each attack with a particular weapon might reduce it by 2 or 3 points. When your unit's health value reached 0, the unit died.

The way armor played into that was equally over-engineered and limiting. When you equipped armor-say a helmet-the 3D model of the helmet would come with its own hitbox. The game would then have to perform a multitude of calculations to properly determine whether your helmet protected you from a particular attack.

This system was very primitive and a remnant of the days where UW was a much, much simpler game (you can read more about that here). More importantly however, it was very restrictive. Using small integers made balancing difficult. For a weak weapon dealing 1 damage, the smallest possible increase doubling it. The integration of armor was a convoluted, difficult to work with mess. It also had the side-effect that the hit probability the game displayed wasn't entirely accurate.

Clearly, we needed something better.

The new system

Design challenges

UW 0.6 comes with a big change in direction, which will get its own devblog here soon. For now, all you need to understand is that for UW 0.6 to work as intended, the units in your squad could no longer be allowed to die permanently. This radical change required us to handle unit health in a radically different fashion.

Rather than building upon the old one, we decided that the best course of action would be to scrap it entirely and start from scratch.

Blood

Whereas the old system used generic ‘HP' units, the new system measures your unit's health in milliliters of blood. The max health of each unit is determined using real-world values. More precisely, it's calculated using Nadler's method which approximates the total blood volume (TBV) of a person based on height, weight and gender.

Units that lose 2/3 of their TBV, are either incapacitated or die. If they are a part of your squad, they are always incapacitated. This puts them out of action for the rest of the battle, unless a medic revives them (which can only happen once per battle). After the battle, they are returned to your squad with little health.

Localized damage

Rather than having a single blood value, units now take damage to different body parts:

  • Head
  • Torso
  • Left and right arm
  • Left and right leg

Localized unit damage in UW 0.6


Damage happens either instantaneously or over time, when a unit gets wounded and starts bleeding.

In future versions, damage to different body parts will cause different debuffs. For example, a hurt leg will slow your unit down while a hurt arm will reduce reload speed and accuracy.

Healing and recovery

First aid kits no longer restore health as they used to up until now. Starting with 0.6, their only effect will be treating wounds to stop bleeding during combat.

Recovering health can only happen outside of combat. Blood recovers over time, with each turn on the world map, based on how many rations you're giving your unit (rationing will be covered in a future devblog). If you reach a town and can afford it, you can rest there, which will also recover blood. The third and last option is to have a medic perform a transfusion between two units while camping. While it does not increase the total amount of health in your squad, you use this to give some blood to your squad's weakest link ahead of combat.

Blood transfusion being performed during camping


Summary

  • Health is now measured in milliliters of blood
  • Losing 2/3 of its blood kills or incapacitates a unit
  • Health now uses localized damage. Head, torso, arms and legs get hurt separately
  • No more healing during combat. First aid kits only stop open wounds from bleeding
  • Your units no longer die, but get incapacitated
  • Only medics can revive incapacitated units and every unit can only be revived once during combat
  • There is no free way to regain blood. You either feed your units rations or pay to rest in a town
  • Medics can transfuse blood between units while camping

This shall be it for this devblog. Look forward to the next post, which will cover our revised tank damage system.

Your sincerely,
The Unconventional Warfare Development Team

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