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Deadshed, otherwise known as Zafehouse 2

I’m writing a sequel. I couldn’t help myself.

My original, completely devious plan was to write an expansion to Zafehouse so players could control building encounters… instead of staring at a steady stream of text, text and text. Yet, as I started hacking away, I found the feature detracted from the simple formula that makes Zafehouse so cool. I decided to split the module, called Deadshed, from Zafehouse and turn it into its own game, with the RPG flavour of SimMMO, another project I’d shelved a while back. The above screenshot is the result.

If I had to make up a genre for it, I’d go for “zombie survival horror RPG”… or something better if I was more creative. The game design itself is in a state of flux (I’ve already rewritten the combat engine), but there are a few details that shouldn’t change that I can share.

Firstly, instead of 40 odd survivors, there’s just six. I’m tossing up between having six to start, or one guy who finds some mates, but the functionality is there whichever way I go. Survivors have three “stats” – health, mental state and stamina, and can hold three types of items – weapons, tools and medicines (or consumables).

The game is set in a deserted town, much like Zafehouse, except our survivors have arrived at the peak of the invasion. There will be multiple objectives, so you can complete the game anyway you like. I’m toying with: a “survive until this point” victory; one the requires you to kill a certain amount of zombies; and a story mode, where you have to clear the major buildings in town for some mysterious reason (to get to a helicopter, say).

Weapons are weapons – you shoot them, they fire. Unlike Zafehouse, there’s a lot more variety and… ammo types! Tools provide a minor bonus while you hold them, and a big bonus if you consume them, while medicines cure you of various conditions, and serve to calm the survivors, improve their stamina or boost their health.

Instead of turns/hours, there’s a clock that ticks a minute every second or so. It can be paused, allowing the player to ponder their situation and switch items around.

Each building – well, the bigger ones anyway – will be like mini dungeon crawls. You’ll have to make sure the survivors are stocked up and have the right combination of abilities before proceeding.

The biggest feature of Deadshed is the event timeline. It records all the major events that occur in the game, so you can see a history of your efforts at any time. Clicking on a building will filter events for it, so you can reminisce over your close encounters with the less-than-alive.

Zafehouse was a fun random number generator. Deadshed on the other hand will have loads of handmade content in the form of encounters. These encounters will check your various statistics, or require the player to make a choice – such as trading an item or taking a risk. Lots of stuff to do, basically.

I don’t have a release date… I’m still tinkering with the design, but I’d like to have something reasonably playable before the end of the year.

~ by Logan on September 11, 2008.

8 Responses to “Deadshed, otherwise known as Zafehouse 2”

  1. Sounds awesome. Was looking forward to seeing SimMMO, so it’s good to see some of the ideas are resurrected here.

  2. sounds good, i really enjoyed zafehouse, simple but fun

  3. gaaaaaaaaaames………..

  4. Very fascinating. Still waiting for a someone to produced a RPG-Esque game that incorporates a semi-random conversation engine thats dependent on each individuals state (i.e. health, mental status, etc).

    anyway tried producing something along similar lines a while back; failed of course because I’m a newb at programming and DirectX :P

  5. I accidentally a zombie.
    Is this bad?

  6. just waiting, i want it :)

  7. […] before moving to Melbourne, I was chatting to my brother about Deadshed to help me get perspective on some of the concepts. From this conversation, I came to the […]

  8. could someone leave a link so i can play deadshed? im looking for it everywhere but i cant find it