I don’t like the current implementation of hacking, to be honest. It certainly serves its purpose. However, it’s rather simple too simplistic for my taste, acting as a sort of one-time minigame, which carries no risk and has extremely minimal complexity if one has the appropriate tools.
I envision a couple potential major overhauls.
The first would involve interacting with wires more along the lines of what the Integrated Electronics module accomplishes (I do realize that my obsession with the IE module is now bordering on creepy). One would open the hacking menu as usual, and contained within would be unlabeled components, connected with wires of various colors. Hacking would instead be accomplished by rewiring one component to another, or cutting a connection between components. One can discern the function of a component by what other components it is connected two (number of wires leading in and out). Each machine/device/whatever type would have a different component layout, with particular wire colors that would shift from round to round. One would maintain Assembly module integration by allowing one to insert a signaller into the “assembly” that is the machine, and wiring it to components. This approach is entirely similar to what we already have, but would require more interaction with the system to achieve the desired result, instead of a single click with a tool in hand.
The second would involve shifting the required “minigame” to more closely resemble a software approach, rather than a hardware one. A tool would be created, and when it is used on an open machine, a menu would appear. The menu would be an abstraction of the logic of the machine, laid out in terms of “instructions”. By clicking and dragging, one could introduce new “instructions” into the machine’s logic, or change the order of existing “instructions”. One could potentially save a desired “instruction set” to some kind of disk. Available “instructions” would be generated based on the particular machine type (or, if modularity were a goal as well, based on the components which compose a machine). This would resolve hacking in a similar time frame as it currently stands, after the desired “instruction set” is generated. However, it would require a higher initial time investment, and higher degree of technical expertise.
Is this is even an issue to begin with? Any other thoughts on how hacking could be improved, if it even needs to be? Particular thoughts on the above notions?