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So I realize none of my ideas are ever original, and I'm pretty sure some variant of this has been suggested, but I'm new on the forums and I wasn't having any luck with the forum search and I think it's a pretty innocuous idea even if repeated.  So here goes:

ONI has some minor idle aspects, due to its multi-level control/agent hierarchy.  So sometimes it does make sense to queue up a lot of work, prioritize priorities, go get a soda or a sandwich, and come back 15 minutes or even an hour later.  You might even go to bed with the game running, and wish it would just pause when it no longer made sense to keep it running.

So here's my thought:  Some sort of "temporal alarm" machine, probably a Utility, whose only function is to pause the game.  Here's a mix of use cases and specifications (leaving out my biggest uncertainty, which would be activation cost):

1.  If misused, it becomes trivial and stupid.  Set it to priority 9 with no automation input, and dupes will pause the game incessantly which would probably be extra annoying.

2.  If not connected to an automation line, it would almost certainly only be useful at a low priority.  Set it to priority 1, and you basically pause the game when one or more dupes would become idle.  I think this alone would be a useful function, and if you don't have anything to queue up to get the game running, just queue a disable of the utility itself.

3.  If connected to an automation line, then it basically defaults to a "panic button" for the dupes with your choice of severity grades as determined by the machine's priority.  It could be as simple as a clock sensor (pause every cycle at this time) or more likely a set of environmental conditions (pause any time a filtered AND of oxygen presence and atmo pressure fail a given condition for a given time threshold), or something cleverly esoteric (pause any time a dupe runs past this pressure sensor to get a material from this backup storage).

For what it's worth, I especially enjoy the fact that the dupes would have no concept of what happens when they activate the alarm, just that ostensibly things start to get inexplicably better when they do.  I also think an appropriately hilarious work animation with the dupe frozen at just the right frame of it would be good for a chuckle or two.

Anyway, so far this is just a dupe-operated machine with an automation input.  The part I'm especially unsure about is the activation cost.  I think this _should_ be a costly event, but not to the point of uselessness.  I can't think of any other machines which require dupe cooperation (_not_ counting hamster wheel power), but if it's an easy thing to do I think this would be an appropriate utility for that.

The most basic form I can think of is a slow manual activation with a reasonably (but not painfully) high power requirement.  90% of a hamster wheel (360W) with an activation time maybe double that of a metal refinery (not sure how long that is) or even a bit longer would make sense to me (just make sure it takes longer to activate than to disable manually!).  A material cost seems reasonable as well, but I don't know what that might be.  Heck, maybe Abyssalite since it has been rendered otherwise completely useless  once it's mined (and isn't renewable, imposing a maximum number of times the utility can be activated), or maybe a sacrificial liquid/gas input.  These could be relatively expensive, since this is inherently self-limiting (a player has to un-pause the game every time one of these is activated, and might even choose to roll back to an autosave at that time), without ruining the experience.  If this seems _too_ broken/overpowered, then a high activation cost could be a deterrent to over-use.  That said, I don't like the idea of activations failing outright (delayed execution is another matter, and a perfectly acceptable risk IMO) due to excruciating activation costs.


Thoughts?  If this is a stupid idea, is there a way to fix it?

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