Add Wearing small grids
I'd like to suggest adding a special "harness" block (2x1x1, Small grid only) that would allow player characters to wear small grids on their very back at the cost of discarding a backpack and possibly slower movement.
Discarding a backpack like that leads to several drawbacks:
- The backpack is dropped as an item, similar to when a player dies. It can be picked up later at any time - though if the player dies or disconnects, it will become subject to the usual body despawning rules.
- The player loses access to their inventory, antenna, whopping 90% of battery, jetpack and the hydrogen tank. Oxygen tanks, however, are integrated into the spacesuit itself for safety reasons, and as an anti-frustration measure.
While worn as a harness, the grid provides special effects for the player:
- The grid's blocks can be interacted with in the player's menu at all times, as if the grid was accessed via a control panel.
- The grid's inventory blocks are accessible in the same fashion, all at once, and items picked up from the world are automatically placed into the containers, with system inventories (if any are matching) and those with the least available space having the priority.
- The grid's batteries, while continuing to power the grid, also power the player's internal suit battery (the remaining 10%).
- The grid's antenna will function as the suit's antenna, with broadcasting toggleable on and off with the matching hotkey (broadcasting, not toggling on/off, because we still want to be able to see external antenna/beacon signals).
- Some other blocks work as you'd probably expect them to - an O2/H2 generator refills oxygen, a survival kit slowly restores health, a gas tank supplies its gas... though lugging around something as heavy and bulky as that will likely considerably constrain the character's movement. Still possible, though!
- The harness block itself has a [Control] button in its settings, similar to a Remote Control block, which basically allows the player to access the grid's hotbar (the harness block basically acts as a cockpit), which may prove useful for more complex grid setups. Perhaps it could be bound to a hotkey?
- The thrusters and gyros assume the jetpack's function. When activated with [X], the player snuggles and stops walking - the actuating controls are now given to the small grid, just as if the harness block was a cockpit. A rather... small cockpit. While, naturally, it is harder to control compared to the regular omnidirectional jetpack, it provides other benefits - such as sheer power and ability to fly without using up hydrogen fuel.
- All the grid's blocks can be also bound to the player's character hotbar through the [G] menu. Simpler to access than a harness' hotbar menu, but turning into blank spots while the grid is not worn, it becomes merely a matter of preference.
The grid keeps functioning as usual even when worn. It does not become a virtual equipment item or anything - rather, it simply has the player character as its main actuator with some additional QoL controls and conventions. As a consequence, it can still bump into things, let the character stuck and do other things you'd expect an awkward blocky mass easily larger than your body and attached to your back to do. For quality of life reasons, I also suggest that heavier grids shouldn't slow the player down as much as they would've been realistically expected to; rather, carrying more weight simply increases the battery drain speed. This can be handwaved as having smart artificial muscles coupled with microhydraulics integrated into the spacesuits, sort of like an internal exoskeleton. This seems like a fair assumption even in the current version of the game. considering how much weight can be carried around without slowing down even a bit. Still, the worn grids do slow the player down proportionally to their masses, and grids that are too heavy can't be walked around with at all.
All in all, a harness-worn grid is something of a middle ground between a "naked" character and a proper small grid ship. It's easier to handle and move around as it uses the character itself as main actuator, but it simply can't fitted with as much functionality and slightly slows the player down when not flying. Easy to build and design, good for specific tasks - and having quite a few fascinating uses when coupled with a programmable block! - but not becoming a replacement for neither regular ships nor the character's "vanilla" backpack. I think it's worth a consideration. :3