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Topics - vache

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The Lab - Contributions and Mods / Building Editor
« on: September 16, 2015, 04:27:43 AM »
For the past couple weeks I have been working on a building editor for Cataclysm.  I feel like it's at a point now where I can unleash it upon the world.

Cataclysm Building Editor for Windows
Linux build coming soon.

Keep in mind this is like the early access alpha 0.1 version, and it's very rough around the edges right now.

On first load, you will have to select your cataclysm-dda\data directory.  After that, it will select this directory automatically (but you still have to hit select folder to continue).  It will scan the data folder for json files and load whatever it finds into the toolbox on the right side.  From there, just select what you want to paint and click on the building area.  Item Groups, Monster Groups, and Vehicles each open a special area for inputting extra information, pay close attention to this!  Also, like all mapgen json, the upward direction is the direction that will face the road.  There are three brush type tools that can be selected at the top right, and the "Write" button will write the building out to json.

Currently supports placing terrain, furniture, traps, items, monsters, item groups, monster groups, vehicles, and toilets.

If you have a bug report or questions post them here or GitHub.  You can also check out the GitHub for an idea of planned features or to look at my horrible horrible code. 

I've been thinking a bit about how to make more random structured specials generate, and I've come up with a few ideas that I'd like to get some feedback on.  The end goal is to allow people to create structures like labs through json.

The first thing it needs is a field containing a tile or an array of tiles for each connecting direction, like the json mapgen roads.  So, there would be something like an array for straight connections, dead ends, perpendicular connections, 3-way connections, and 4-way connections.  Next, there would have to be arrays for up and down connections (these would also exist in the other connection arrays where applicable).  Then there will be a set of parameters to control how large it can grow in each direction, including a min, max, and possibly a skew size (if you want a size between 2 and 8, but skewed towards 3).  Finally, I think there should be some way to specify a set of features that have to be generated, and the randomly generated portions will fill in the connections.

Another way to specify could be to set up an array of "edge" tiles, then an array of "filler" tiles.  Given a size and the given sets of tiles, it would generate a randomly sized structure with edge tiles forming a border and filled in with interior tiles.  I think that works better for open spaces, like a junkyard, while previous method would work better for more detailed and enclosed structures, like a mall or a lab.

Any thoughts/suggestions?

The Lab - Contributions and Mods / Computer Revamp
« on: December 15, 2014, 08:16:09 PM »
Basically, I am trying to rework computers so that they can be loaded through json.  It's getting fairly close to a releasable condition, so I am submitting it here for everyone to review and tell me what I'm missing.  One of my big worries right now is that a lot of this work is in the context of how the current computer system works, so I'm probably missing out on a lot of exciting possibilities without more outside input. 

Requesting Input on These Items:
  • As designed, all failure actions trigger in the event of one security check failure.  Should failure actions be associated with a specific check? Further, should there be support for failures as a combination or a distribution, allowing for things like critical failures, etc.?
  • Right now this is a ton of json, even without things like distributions and associations, one idea I had was to use templates to simplify a lot of this code.  What sort of templates should be supported?
  • Did I miss any security check types or action types?  Any potential for combination and reducing complexity here?
  • Should the computer option prompts include what is necessary for the security checks, or should that be the responsibility of the creator to include?
  • LUA.  Does anybody use it and want support for it added?

Major Changes:
  • Loadable through json
  • Multiple computers per submap (rotation needs work)
  • New computer actions (in work)
  • Maintain support for hardcoded actions
  • Load hardcoded actions through json (in work)
  • Various bugfixes

How it Works:
New json addition to map code, "place_computers", takes x,y location, name, prompt, and set of options. Each option contains a prompt, a set of security measures, a set of actions to take on security check pass, and a set of actions to take on a check fail.
When accessing a computer, each option's prompt is displayed. Selecting a prompt triggers the security checks, which in turn trigger the applicable set of actions.

Security Checks:
Password - Parameters: password - Requires a password to log in. Will have to include the password in an accessible terminal or on an item somewhere to be used.
Item - Parameters: item name, item count, consume - Requires a set amount of items to log in. May consume the items or not.
Hack - Parameters: difficulty - Requires successful computer skill check to log in.
Trait - Parameters: trait name - Requires player to possess a certain trait.
Pass or Hack - Parameters: password, difficulty - Requires either a password or a successful hack attempt.
Trait or Hack - Parameters: trait name, difficulty - Requires player to have the trait or pass a hack attempt.
Item At - Parameters: location, item name - Requires an item to exist at the specific location. May roll this into Item.
Container At - Parameters: location, watertight, software, empty, contents - Requires a container to exist at the specific location. If watertight, requires a liquid container. If software, requires a usb drive (currently, may be adapted to include SD card, PDAs, etc). If empty, requires the container to be empty. If contents are set, require the contents to be in the container. Also may roll this one into item.
Skill Check - Parameters: skill name, difficulty - Require passing a generic roll of a specific skill and difficulty.

Change Terrain - Parameters: location, terrain - Changes the terrain at the location to the specified terrain.
Message - Parameters: message - Display a message on the computer display window.
Change Level - Parameters: number of levels - Changes z-level.
Noise - Parameters: volume, description - Makes a sound with given volume and description.
Spawn Monster - Parameters: location, monster - Spawns a monster at given location.
Spawn Item - Parameters: location, item - Spawns an item at given location.
Fill Container - Parameters: location, contents, charges - Places number of charges into container at location with contents.
Reveal Map - Parameters: z level, radius, terrain types (optional) - Reveals circular area of map at z level with given radius, specifically the given terrain types if given.
Add Trap - Parameters: location, trap - Adds the specified trap at the location.
Remove Trap - Parameters: location - Removes trap at location.
Add Field - Parameters: location, field, density - Adds specified field with given density at location.
Remove Field - Parameters: location, field (optional) - Removes all fields at location, or just specified field if given.
Explode - Parameters: location, power, shrapnel, start fire - Creates an explosion at location with specified power and shrapnel levels, and whether it starts a fire or not.
Kill Monsters - Parameters: top left location, bottom right location - Kills all monsters in a rectangular area.
Disease - Parameters: disease name, duration - Adds a disease to the player for a duration.
Pain - Parameters: min, max - Givens player random amount of pain in range.
Event - Parameters: location, event type, when to trigger, faction association - Triggers a given game event centered on location, at the time, and with certain faction association.
Cascade - Parameters: - Trigger resonance cascade. (May be removed)
Nuke - Parameters: - Trigger nuclear missile targeting. (May be removed)

General Discussion / So...
« on: December 15, 2014, 01:29:34 AM »
Does anybody know where I can buy some cheap prescription drugs?

"Vox Populi"

A group of technically savvy rebellious citizens who were attempting to reveal the exploits of the government and warn of the impending disasters in the months leading up to the cataclysm.  Seen mostly as conspiracy nutcases, pranksters, or terrorists by the rest of the populace, they attempted to spread their messages by hijacking communication systems, mostly radio and cell towers, but also took advantage of ham radio, littering the streets with flyers, hacking popular news websites, and several attempts to hijack television news broadcasts.  They claimed to have cracked the encryption on the secured networks connecting the labs, but it is more likely that they had been contacted by a rogue scientist who had realized the full implications of what was to come.  In addition to the information relating to the cataclysm, their messages also included various conspiracies relating to continuity of government plans being enacted, the heightened tensions between the Chinese/NK, aliens, and more.  In general, they were nonviolent, but because they lacked a strong leader, splinter groups formed which attempted to destroy or disrupt government facilities.  In general, members of VP did not associate closely with one another, and mainly carried out their plans in their basements, with some members attempting to duplicate the government research in crude basement labs, while others assembled black market radio equipment in theirs.  It is suspected that some radio stations may have acted as VP fronts, or that the VP may have other covert meeting areas, possibly underground or in the deep woods.

The basement labs can now be assumed to belong to VP members, and if they contain mutagen/purifier, it's assumed that they were a successful attempt to duplicate lab notes.
New flyers warning of the cataclysm can be added, but they should remain relatively rare, as the government would have cracked down on anyone seen handing them out.
Occasional radio broadcasts can be detected, with snippets warning of zombies, government VIPs being escorted by heavy security details to undisclosed locations, and interdimensional beings.
Radio stations can sometimes be found as VP fronts, and a possible mission could be to visit on and recover the VP information stored there (way more useful information than the national weather transcripts).
Sometimes VP bases can appear in underground caverns connecting to the sewers, or in cabins in the woods.  Loot here is mostly lore and electronics, slim chance of explosives. 
Possible new vehicle with mobile radio/cell tower.  No function now, but possibly used in future missions, or to set up communications with NPCs.
Possible groundwork for an NPC faction.
Ham radios possibly being a method to communicate, for now, another thing to disassemble.

First picture has 2 roads composed entirely of sidewalk, with an X of water in the middle of one with a manhole.  Next picture shows the same thing on the other side of the bridges, but without the X of water and manhole.,kDqykFb

So I'm trying to think of ways to scale up the difficulty without relying on traits/starting conditions, mostly options that could be set during world generation to set an overall difficulty to the world.  There could be a set of difficulty settings that set a canned value for each of these settings, then a custom setting that lets you set your own.  Some of these are already implemented, some would just apply some scaling factor to values read in from the json, and some might require a significant amount of work to implement.

World Settings

Item spawn rate
- Separate rates for specific categories of items (100% fewer guns, for example)
Monster spawn rate
- Separate rates for specific monsters (0% zombears, 200% hulks)
Map special spawn rate (corpse clusters)
Ratio of special to normal monsters
Monster toughness scaling (HP, armor)
Monster damage scaling (melee ability, melee damage, power of specials, rate of specials)
Movement penalty scaling (lower movement rate penalties for monsters)
"Hive" world generation rates (triffids, fungals, ants, bees)
"Hostility" scale (increase sensory distance, increase chance for non-hostile monsters to turn hostile (ants?))
Increase monster difficulty over time
Decrease item spawn rate over time
Item durability decay rate

Player Settings

Movement scaling (all moves cost +10% turns, etc)
Movement penalty scaling (bushes now cost +10% turns, etc)
Skill learn rate scaling
Damage scaling
HP scaling
Success rates for bionic installation/mutations

Right now labs come in two flavors, with a set of 5 or 6 finales that are shared between them, with the major distinction between them being that one is cold.  It would make sense for there to be more lab types with more thematic separation and definition between them.  Here are a few ideas:

Biological Lab

Among other nasty things, this is where samples of the blob were tested.  Medical isolation ward type areas would have groups of zombies in quarantine, airlocked biosafety suites where the blob is evaluated for warfare purposes, and the classic cages full of test animals (that have all zombified) would all be possible areas that could spawn.  For the majority of it, this lab should have more "environmental" hazards, rather than zombies themselves.  Most of the stronger zombified things should be isolated or quarantined or locked in cages after all.  For environmental hazards, we could introduce some sort of toxin/bio-agent field that induces sickness if you are not wearing protective gear.  This could play out in many different forms, you could experience flu/cold-like systems while in the area of effect, you could get the flu after prolonged exposure, you could experience a series of increasingly dangerous symptoms while in the area, like coughing->vomiting->wild temperature changes->hallucinations->death, or it could give you some other disease that hasn't been introduced yet.  The dangerous areas would have to have some sort of indication that they are there, like dangerous areas could have a red tint to them, or before you enter an airlock with an infected area beyond it, you can access a computer that tells you.  Or, the entire lab could be infected, and it could be a sort of a race against the clock to loot it as much as you can.  Potential rewards would be advanced chemistry recipes, like the zombie pheromone recipe (it would have to be removed from current books), possibly mutagen recipes, lots of advanced medical supplies, possibly tailored biotoxins to do things like kill triffids/fungals quickly and efficiently, and other chemistry crafting supplies.

Summary: Environmental hazards focus more than zombies. Containment suit required for prolonged exposure.  Chemistry/medical supplies/recipes, and special use weapons as rewards.

Weapons Lab (semi-conventional)

Standard projectile/explosive based weapon R&D lab.  Features include workshops and firing ranges, along with metal/ammunition crafting supply storage.  This lab type would have to be smaller than the rest, to keep from providing too much overpowered loot.  You might have to use explosives to breach into some of the storage areas, but those should be relatively abundant.  Turrets should be guarding a lot of the areas and should be the primary enemy (maybe have these areas lit by emergency lighting so they're not completely useless, or have them be IR turrets).  This could be where the mininuke launcher was developed, so potential rewards could be mininukes, mininuke launcher plans, fabrication parts/tools, armor/armor parts (for testing purposes), and the obvious weapons, ammo, and ammo crafting supplies.

Summary: Guns, but you've gotta fight turrets.

Weapons Lab (energy weapons)

Energy-based weapon R&D lab.  Basically the same as above, but with energy weapons and electronics parts.  Maybe integrate them into the same lab, but that would be too much of a pinata. 

Materials/Chemistry Lab

Basically a source for the high powered materials, superalloy, car reactors, crafting materials, etc.  Not sure how to arrange it thematically, but it would definitely include large, open, manufacturing areas.  Robots could be an enemy here, maybe they were utilized for the majority of the production, and now they're running amok.  Radiation could potentially be an environmental hazard in some areas, along with accompanying hazmat robots.  Finale rewards would include things like the minireactors, superalloy, quantum solar panels, possibly construction related bionics, like the toolkit and muscles, and possibly strong armors.

Summary: Manufacturing-type area with robotic enemies.  Strong materials and rare vehicle parts and CBMs as rewards.

Teleportation Lab

This will probably become the standard lab, since according to the lore, most labs became dedicated to the teleportation research due to the immense amount of energy required.  I imagine it looking a lot like black mesa, random computer equipment and other typically science-y things.  Hard to pin down exactly what it should include, besides lots and lots of zombies, and whatever other creatures managed to sneak through.  The main thing you get out of it should probably be lore, along with some advanced electronics.  There should be a small chance for mutagen, and basically the spawns in the labs we have now, with a few exceptions.  One thing that could be done with these labs is have some sort of a "coordinated finale".  After going through some steps, you can re-power the facility.  After powering up so many facilities (probably 3), all of the labs now become available to host a portal to the nether dimension.  They could possibly have other finales, but honestly, the armories that spawn sometimes are way better than any of the finales currently, and probably any I can think of to replace it.  There could potentially be a small cache of gear near the portal entrances, including weapons, armor, a little food and water, a little medicine, and science equipment that would be used by a potential exploratory team.

Summary: Standard sciencey type area.  Nether portal finale.  Generically decent loot as reward.

Genetics Lab

Mutagen ahoy!  This is where even more sinister and disturbing experiments than those in the biological lab are performed.  When the government discovered the mutagenic properties of the blob, these facilities were created/repurposed to examine the potential of breeding all sorts of mutants, from radiogenic hybrids to be used to clean up their various nuclear mistakes, to super-soldiers, and just good old fashioned playing god throwing genes around to see what sticks.  Convicts, mental patients, and the homeless were all rounded up for the various experiments, and the ones that have not died and turned into horrible mutant zombies have gone insane from the sheer mental strain from being horribly experimented on.  Features include cloning vats, autopsy rooms, horrible experimentation chambers where mutants are tested, incineration chambers to expose of failed experiments, and cages full of animals for genetic samples.  New monsters would include mutated humans (still living and still human) and mutated zombies.  It would be nice if there were a system that rolled for the # of mutations they had, then rolled again to determine which mutations, then named the zombie based on the most obvious/most dangerous mutations (mutated beast zombie, mutated bird zombie, etc).  Then for finales, there could be mutated horrors that contain an amalgam of all sorts of different mutations.  Killing the horror causes it to drop a scientist's journal, which reveals that he has discovered the formula for the ultimate mutation and that he used it on himself so that he could become a superhuman/save himself from the zombies/advance the human race/just test it out.  After reading it, you can learn the formula for one of the hybrid mutations.  The butchered meat should also be useful for some special crafting recipe, possibly the aforementioned mutagen.  Other finales would probably just be similar mutated horrors, but those would be actual experiments, not the result of a scientist infecting himself, and would give no special reward besides the meat.  The labs loot in general would be mutagen themed, recipes, mats, tools, misshapen things, etc.  Other potential hazards could include having a path you need to go down blocked off, forcing you to navigate through an active/malfunctioning test chamber, where you have to dodge fire/acid/etc., and turrets at chokepoints to keep the mutants inside.

Summary: Mutated humans/zombies, animals, cloning labs, experimentation chambers, autopsy rooms, mutagen/chemistry tools and mats, mutated horror finales that give particularly good recipes


A couple others that people will probably want will be bionic labs.  I haven't had a chance to put thought into those yet, but they might fit in as part of the materials labs.

Also, I'd probably pull almost all advanced recipe books from spawning outside of labs and move all of them to inside labs only.  Even books on corpses should be exceedingly rare in my opinion.  The player should be encouraged to explore everything they come across, and things like the environmental hazards should tantalize them and stick around in their mind as they wonder what's beyond and how they can get past them.

The Lab - Contributions and Mods / New Building Ideas
« on: September 25, 2013, 03:59:02 PM »
Moving this away from acidia's building thread to keep them all in one place.  If anyone has any feedback, I'm all ears.

Here is a rough attempt at making a 3x3 baseball field structure:

(click to show/hide)

And an attempt at making a football stadium, based off of the baseball field:

(click to show/hide)

Invisible relatively weak (about the strength of a regular Z) zombies that move in groups of 5ish.  They can be spotted with any sort of infrared or heat vision, and if you get next to them, they will be revealed.  They have extremely long vision/scent/sound ranges.  They tend to stay 3-4 tiles away, and will only attack if you have been immobile for several turns, but a fire or another strong heat/light source will scare them away.  If they manage to ambush you, the area nearby will spawn/attract many zombies for the next several days.  A group will spawn near you every month/season just to keep you on your toes.

Basically, I want them to scare the shit out of you while you sleep and cure you of any false sense of security you may have.  It may make sense to make them only attack at night to keep from being mobbed while working on your car or cooking, but these may be good times to be attacked too.  I think as long as you are careful, you should be reasonably safe.  Closing doors to your safehouse should be all you need to keep them away, but if you happen to become careless...

I hate when I am fighting ranged and the auto-targeter automatically picks the closest creature to me to attack, so instead of hitting that brute that's been chasing me, I hit the squirrel that snuck up behind me.  Is it possible to rework the targeting system so that it checks to see if the last attacked creature is still alive and in range, and make that one the default target?

1st bug: Started a game, explored a little, saved the game in a house.  When I loaded the game up later, my only understanding of the world was of a small area immediately around the house.

2nd bug: Got an NPC to follow me, had them teach me one skill, asked for more training, selected the "more" dialog option, game crashed.

I haven't read all the other suggestion threads, so I am probably duplicating somebody else's for some of these but here goes:

New Building Ideas:
New buildings bring variety and more places to explore, but if there is not anything useful to be found in any of them, nobody will bother going to them (when was the last time you went in a restaurant?), so I tried to think about how the buildings would be used and how they would fit into strategies.

Stadium/Arena: 3x3 zone, variants include baseball stadium, football field, hockey rink, basketball court, and concert venue.  Some could just be empty stadiums, with things like bats, hockey sticks, hockey helmet, football gear (shoulder pads, etc) laying around, not much value.  Others could be converted to act similar to FEMA camps: lots of zombies, potentially decent supplies, etc.  Gameplay and strategy effect would be minimal, just a place to grab supplies, or possibly a quest goal (travel to the stadium and set up the beacon in the middle)

City Hall: 3x3 zone.  Contains a bunch of administrative functions for a town.  Possible source of storyline and other lore.  Good potential as a mid to end game quest target.  Could be included in something like "claiming the city hall for a faction will expand their influence and bring the city under that factions control".  Another potential use is for road maps and subway/sewer maps.

Hydroelectric Dam: Special size, crosses river.  Late game goal, or faction quest goal.  Something like "Take control of the dam for faction x so that they can generate power from it again".

Airport: Maybe 3x3 square, with a 1x3 section of road acting as the airstrip.  Also has hangars which contain loot much like garages.  Maybe find a small plane to try and fly?

Dock/Harbor: 1 square, 1x3 section of bridge acting as the dock.  Same as airport but with boats!

Large military base: 3x3 or greater.  High value loot here, but lots of tough bad guys.  Maybe an underground area with rare military CBMs.  A faction may want to clear out a military base to serve as an encampment (and for all the loot).

Factory: 3x3.  Source of raw materials.  Different factory types may have different loot: one for computer parts, one for metal, one for wood, possibly a clothing factory as well.  Rarely a factory may have high value rare items, such as a minireactor.

Warehouse: 3x3.  Same as above, but may have more finished materials.  Random loot in general.

Office Building: 3x3.  Source of computer components.  May contain a safe or a research area with a rare item.

School/University: 3x3.  Source of books, backpacks, etc.  May contain a chemistry lab with chemicals for future crafting.

Apartment Building/Hotel: 1x3 or similar.  Same loot as houses, but higher density.

Robotics Center: 3x3. Control active robots and make them friendly.  Activate inactive robots and reprogram them to follow you.  Potential quest goal.

Fast Food Joint: 1x1.  Get some hamburgers that never spoil!

Natural Spring: 1x1.  Source of completely uncontaminated water.

Solar Panel Farm:  1x1.  Disassemble the panels to acquire some to install in your vehicle.  Also possibly allow player to connect to the panels and charge CBMs/batteries. 

Truck Stop:  Basically a gas station surrounded by parking lots.  Parking lots contain lots of semi truck trailers which may have valuable supplies, or may make a nice home.  Sometimes a semi truck cab is present as well.

Mid/Long Term Goals:

Some of these imply that since the player has survived long enough to attempt them, they know enough of the lore to understand what they're doing and why.  Also, most assume that NPCs are way more fleshed out.

Claim city for faction:  Mentioned previously, take over a city hall and claim the city for a faction.

Capture/Restore Hydroelectric Dam:  Mentioned previously, take over dam and restore it to provide power.

Close Netherworld Portal:  Every once in a while (after player reaches a certain point), a large netherworld portal will spawn, and while it remains active, the amount of nether activity in the world increases noticeably.  The player must travel inside the portal and collapse the sub prime focus stabilizers, which causes the portal to close.  Upon destroying the stabilizers, the player has a certain amount of time to escape, or they will be trapped in the netherworld until another portal opens.  Not sure how this will play with the gate in/out mechanisms already planned.

Assassinate Enemy Leader:  Take out the head of an opposing faction.

Diplomatic Mission:  Convince enemy faction to ally with you/your faction.

Kill Zombie Lord:  Kill an incredibly powerful zombie.  Possibly require gathering an army to back you up.

Rescue Scientists/Soldiers:  You receive a message over your two way radio from soldiers pinned down in an outpost nearby.  The turrets have gone haywire and started shooting everyone.  They are pinned down inside the barracks.  They will follow you/join your faction/give you cards to access a stash/give you other supplies.

Some of these missions could be a part of a chain, ie: capture a city and expand your factions influence, in order to convince an enemy faction to ally with you, in order to restore the hydroelectric dam, in order to generate the power to shut down the netherworld portal, so that you cut off the nether enemies, which gives you the opportunity to finally take down a zombie lord with your new allied friends.

Skill Changes:

Add a chemistry skill that is used to create explosives, and whatever other good uses there might be for chemistry.  Maybe something involving the hydrogen power supplies that some things use?  Also roll drug recipes into chemistry.

Most cooking recipes seem a little useless to me right now, since I can get all the nutrition I need from just butchering one of the millions of squirrels around and cooking that.  The other recipes should be easier to craft (I haven't seen a zucchini yet) and provide more useful bonuses outside of nutrition, ie. cooked meat gives +1 strength for 1 hour.  Another way to make food more interesting is to add something like a watered down addiction mechanic where your character suddenly has a craving for pizza, maybe with a slight morale drop.  Eventually the craving will go away once you decide that pizza is a luxury, and there is a zombie apocalypse going down, but if you manage to make the pizza and eat it before your craving goes way, you get a huge morale boost and a small boost to all stats.  I think a gameplay mechanic like this will encourage more people to try and craft the harder cooking recipes.

Once you reach high driving skill (8?), you can drive boats with ease, and even higher skill (12?), you can drive planes with ease.  Also roll high mechanics skill into modifying these vehicles.

Add fishing skill.

A way to train computing skill besides books might be useful.  I'm not sure exactly all the ways it can level now (I know hacking, electrohacking train it, does regular interaction without hacking, like downloading maps, reading notes level it?), but it seems like there are not that many good ways except for reading.  I'm not sure how you would do this in a post apocalyptic world, but it would help.

A skill available to high level electronics (12+?)  to craft a random CBM from parts, possibly involving burnt out bionics from shocker zombies/terminator units, and other parts that aren't trivial to acquire.  A bionics factory would be a good (but rare) source of these parts.  Maybe have the results be something like: 50% power storage, 40% common, 10% rare CBM.

The World:

The game right now is set in New England, but I think it would be interesting if you could select what region of the country you want the game to bet set in.  That region would determine the map features, wildlife spawns, weather patterns, and composition of cities.  For example, if your world was set in the midwest, you might see less forest area and more open field, more farms on your map, prairie dogs instead of squirrels, hotter summers, more thunderstorms, and fewer large sized cities.  A longer term idea would be to make the regions connected, so that with enough travel you eventually reach another region of the country.

More map features in general would need to be created to help make that idea work, such as a desert land type, mountain, lake, island, etc.

More buildings outside of towns, like gas stations/truck stops, lake houses, maybe even abandoned towns with crumbling buildings.


More broken down vehicles on the side of the road and in parking lots.

Add mount points for inactive turrets, and a manhack docking station.  You can install a metal tank with a storage battery to create a manhack docking station.  Drop manhacks on the square to load them.  While you drive around, the manhacks constantly fly around your vehicle and attack enemies until you stop the vehicle or they get destroyed. 

As mentioned earlier, include airplanes and boats into the game.  Airplanes would likely involve some new keys for ascend/descend, and new gameplay mechanics to drive that, such as during takeoff with a low driving skill: "You think this is the right speed to ascend..." vs takeoff with a high driving skill: "You should ascend now."  Planes should be very difficult to fly well, and you have to land them on an airstrip or a road to avoid destroying your plane.  Also consequences for crashing should be much more dire than a car.

Long Term Survival

A few things I have seen mentioned before, add farming, add a method of rainwater collection (but make sure to drain it between acid rains).  Collection of acid rain could be used to create batteries possibly.

Make it slightly easier to build permanent structures, especially in a "settled" area.

In the long term, if for example the hydro dam is back up and running again, you could run a wire from it to your house and use the oven again, have indoor lighting, food refrigeration, and whatever else electricity is good for.


Make notes show up on minimap.

Improve maps in indoor areas, like science labs.  Possibly make this a bionic.  CBM: HUD - you get an accurate readout of your hp levels, stored information of your travels in a detailed map, better tracking for items (hmm... I need a rain coat... HUD, where did I last see a rain coat?), radiation levels (replace geiger counter in this regard), and more detailed skill information (chance of success for crafting, etc).

Add in more distraction techniques.  I think these may work already, it seems like it sometimes, but throwing bones/meat to distract animals and zombies.  Would it be possible for items to generate a scent?  Add in a scent masking item, possibly from sporting goods stores.

Some enemies are intended to be boss style, such as the lord/terminator/spiked abomination.  Spiked abominations and gaseous blobs are intended to stop some of the cheaper tactics, like running everything over in a car, or hiding behind a broken window and smashing everything as it comes through.

Zombie Lord/Overlord:  An extremely powerful zombie that seems to direct the other zombies.  Capable of some sort of ranged attack.  Very low frequency spawn, possibly only spawn during event.

Zombie Horror:  A terrifying zombie.  Causes reduced morale when in its presence.  Has a chance to fear you and cause you to back away (1-3) squares, or prevent movement towards it.  Frequency similar to brutes.

Zombie Hybrid:  An amalgamation of parts from various creatures.  Always found in the presence of zombie necromancers or some other powerful zombie, maybe the masters and the lord/overlord as well.  Very slow, and reasonably weak, but does serious damage.  Frequency similar to spitters.

Flying Zombie:  Some sort of zombie/bat mutant.  Flies.  Frequency similar to spitters.

Spiked Abomination:  Large spike covered creature.  Not sure if nether minion or otherwise.  Deals minor damage from spikes when hit in melee, but has a very high chance to destroy a car that hits it.  Frequency similar to brutes.

Gaseous Blob:  Floating gas sac.  Will explode when it dies, and attempts to float towards you and suicide.  Do not want to hit these with a car, but easy enough for melee to avoid unless they are careless/hiding in a window.  Frequency similar to smokers.

Terminator Unit:  Very powerful robot.  Drops mechanical/electronic pieces when it dies that can be used to make CBMs.  Very low frequency spawn, possibly only during event.

Different wildlife depending on region:  elk, moose, prairie dogs, various birds, various fish in the rivers, armadillos (armadillo armor anyone?), etc.


HUD: Mentioned above.  Passively shows exact current HP, and detailed map in inside areas (labs, mines, etc).  Activate to search memory banks for location of a previously seen item and detect current radiation levels.  Medium rarity.

Personal Protective Device:  Activate to push all enemies of your size (maybe your size +1, so large zombies, but not hulks) or smaller within a one square radius from you, away from you up to 4 squares and stun them (the stun takes place even if the push does not).  This would have to be a rare CBM and have an expensive activation cost to stay balanced.  If the push mechanic ends up being difficult to implement, possibly replace with straight up damage.

Personal Copilot:  Not sure how useful this one would be if you weren't going to fly, but it would allow an autopilot mode for your airplane.  Set a destination on the map, then wait for it to arrive.  It will also assist in the landing process, such as guiding you through the steps, or illuminating the lights on the airstrip if you're landing at an airport at night (maybe the markers on the runway only show up to people who have the bionic?).

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