So, first off I've got to mention a milestone. My current FNV game has exceeded 100 hours now, and is still fully playable. I'm pretty sure that's a first for me in any Gamebryo title.
Anyway, with my interest in Skyrim rapidly winding down, I fired up FNV again the other morning.
Before Skyrim hit, I had finished the initial draft of the 'hardcore' code for one of my personal companions; but not tested it.
Since it's set to advance at the same scale as the player's needs (one point of hunger every 25 seconds, one point of thirst every ten) there was really no way to test but to play and wait and see if it fired. Unlike the player's needs, the companion needs are scripted; they only advance when the script is running in the Gamemode block -- not during fast travel, sleep, or wait.
This game is nearly done. All the DLC is done except Lonesome Road, and the main quest was left at the point where I had entered the Lucky 38 and spoken to Mr. House; but not gone after Benny yet. Otherwise, the only quest left active is gathering eggs for the Thorn.
I played through confronting Benny; splattering his head across the presidential suite, and taking the chip back to House. We got down into the basement, where House's droning is promptly interrupted when my companion grabs my attention and tells me she's thirsty. I give her a bottle of water, she thanks me; boring ass exposition scripted display continues.
Completed the rest of the chat with House without her interrupting; so it would appear that the 'thirst' counter reset correctly.
So, yeah... apparently hardcore mode for NCCS is going to work, after all.
I think I'm going to rework the values a bit, though. The more I think about it, the more I don't like one food or drink item completely resetting the counter. I'm going to reset it so that it only decreases the counter by the same amount the item would for the player; albeit at 100 survival skill.
I could script it to change based on the companion's survival skill... but we're talking about a lot of extra scripting, and I seriously doubt anyone other than me would ever even notice in the first place.
Currently, the code has the companion check their own inventory; and eat or drink something they have rather than bugging you to give them something. If they have nothing appropriate, then they ask the player. I'm planning to add a third possibility -- a new dialogue option where when they ask you for something, you can tell them to just grab something from the survival container -- this will be a randomly chosen item, ideally lending a bit of an idea that the companion looks through the container and picks what they're in the mood for at the moment.
I have to say, the last couple of projects I've tried have gone almost... unnervingly smoothly. I keep expecting something to blow up in my face. Must be getting a bit gun-shy after a year of modding FNV.
Anyhow, I'm not sure when exactly I'll have this ready for upload (it's a lot of dialogue to create and script) but it's working and in the pipeline, now.
Still trying to decide whether I want to add personalities for dialogue responses or not.