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The Electronic Surveillance System (ESS) provides a tactical overview of the surrounding environment. The player uses it to evaluate options and strategise future plans.

Posted by GamesOfEdan on Nov 11th, 2013

What's the ESS?

Zygote's Electronic Surveillance System (ESS) is a piece of upgradable kit providing the player a tactical overview of the environment. This kit combines eight sensors and five vital-sign-monitors. The player uses the ESS to evaluate available tactical options and strategise future attack/defence plans. Note that these details are works-in-progress and subject to change. But for now, here's a sampling of the ESS display...

The Scan Display (zoomed-in) with three Sensors Installed (IFF, ESM, GPS)

Zygote's Electronic Surveillance System

The Sensors
The ESS can be upgraded with up to eight sensors. Each sensor has upgradable attributes including Range, Accuracy, Damage, Durability, Technitium-usage and Weight. They operate in a Line-of-Sight (LOS) mode or upgraded to work without the LOS restriction. They either operate in an active or passive mode depending upon the sensor.

An 'active' sensor actively 'pings' the environment and interrogates the returned signal. It uses considerable energy (ie. technitium) and is susceptible to enemy detection but usually provides the best tactical information. A 'passive' sensor only 'listens' to external signals and is undetectable by enemies. However it may not provide complete tactical information.

The player starts the campaign with only a GPS sensor installed.

The ESS sensors include:

  • RADAR - Radio Detection and Ranging: An active sensor that 'pings' the environment to detect range and bearing information to nearby targets.
  • IFF - Identification Friendly or Foe: An active interrogation system used to identify friendlies that also have IFF equipped.
  • ESM - Electronic Support Measures: A passive sensor used to detect enemy RADAR usage.
  • JAMMER - RADAR/LIDAR Jammer: An active device that jams nearby sensors preventing detection.
  • LIDAR - Laser Detection and Ranging: An active sensor that can also detect elevation information to targets. Smaller detection range than RADAR.
  • LRM - Long Range Microphone: A passive sensor that can detect high-dB audio from long-range. Including gunfire & explosions.
  • GPS - Global Positioning System: A passive sensor used to identify importance locations (eg. objectives) or to create user-defined markers.
  • COMMS - Communication System: A passive sensor used to receive comms from remote cameras, motion sensors and alarms.
ESS icons, indicators and display can be zoomed or anchored to different screen locations

Zygote's Electronic Surveillance System

The Monitors

The player's vital signs are monitored by the ESS to give the player information on:

  • Heart-rate: The player heart-rate increases with physically exertion (running, jumping etc.). This uses Glucose & Oxygen at faster rates and the player may eventually black out.
  • Oxygenation-level: Measures oxygen saturation levels in body and rate of consumption. If Heart-rate is high for too long, the O2 levels may reduce. If player is in a low-O2 or high-CO2 environment, the O2 threshold will reduce and lower heartrates will cause O2 level to drop
  • Glucose-level: Measures player's energy level. Player must eat/drink to maintain glucose level.
  • Blood pressure: The player's blood pressure will drop after sustaining damage. It drops quickly when player has a higher heart rate. Eventually the player may black-out or die if the blood pressure drops too low (eg. bleeding out).
  • Temperature: Measures the Players Core Temperature. If this value drops too low (in cold environments), players can black out. Player's core temperature may increase if their heart-rate is high for long periods of time
Objective markers and user-defined locations can be shown on display

Zygote's Electronic Surveillance System

What's next?

I'm continuing work on the HUD Display and Electronic Surveillance Systems (ESS) this week. Specifically designing and adding the ESS monitors to the HUD. Please follow me on twitter and have a chat. I'm always around... and you might stumble on a few extra Zygote notes or links to articles I've been reading this week.

More Information


  • Zygote for high resolution screenshots and logos of our game
  • Games of Edan for background info and photos of our team

Until next time,

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Oct 31, 2010
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