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Barricading doors 101: How to keep those pesky undead outside

A game of Zafehouse 2 is broken up into three phases – scavenge, fortify and defend. During the scavenge phase, you’ll need to gather supplies, survivors and survey buildings to assess their ability to hold up against attack. For the fortify phase, barricading doors, upgrading buildings and positioning survivors will be your top priorities. Finally, the defend phase will have you fending off waves of undead until the last walking corpse collapses at your feet, the victim of a well-placed bullet/machete/chainsaw wound. Today we’re going to take a quick look at the second of these phases – specifically the art of barricading.

Everyone knows how a door works; it’s a big hole, usually with some sort of removable hunk of wood or metal, that allows or denies passage between two areas. This pretty much describes the doors in Zafehouse 2… with the exception that you can transform a door in Z2 into a nigh-impenetrable force.

If you watch the first gameplay video, you’ll see doors are barricaded by right-clicking on one and selecting a reinforcement level. I wasn’t entirely happy with the simplicity and non-interactivity of this model, and so it’s evolved significantly in the last month or so. The biggest change is that doors can undergo three types of modification – barricading, narrowing and blocking. These upgrades are applied on a door-by-door basis, so you’ll have fine-grained control of your defenses.

Barricading is the most important mod. Currently you can have up to six barricades in place, and each one increases the amount of punishment the door can take. As a door is attacked by zombies, there’s a chance a barricade will fail. This chance increases each time the door is attacked, and resets once a barricade falls. The higher the barricade level, the longer it takes for each barricade to fail. So, sure, you can have a single barricade on a door, but expect it to fail pretty quickly.

Barricades also reduce the chances of a zombie attack “slipping” through. With six in place, it’s unlikely the survivors defending that door will get hit by a stray undead fist. A single barricade however means there’s a good chance a survivor will get hit. Note a survivor cannot become infected by attacks through doors, unless all the barricades have failed.

Narrowing reduces the number of zombies that can attack a survivor through a door. A door that hasn’t been narrowed at all allows four zombies to have a go at the survivors defending it, while a fully narrowed door halves this number. Narrowing also slightly reduces the strength of zombie attacks against the door.

Finally, blocking a door stems the flow of zombies into a room once the barricades have failed. Normally, eight zombies can shamble into a room each turn, if no survivors are there to stop them. A door that’s been totally blocked reduces this amount to four. As with narrowing, blocking a door shaves a bit off the damage a zombie can do to the barricades each turn.

Modifications can’t be performed on a door that’s under attack, so don’t be scared to barricade the hell out of any door that could face an assault. And you’ll want to make sure you have enough barricades to go round – each modification has a different supply cost, with narrowing being the most expensive and standard barricading the cheapest.

Expect screenshots of this feature soon!

~ by Logan on December 10, 2009.

10 Responses to “Barricading doors 101: How to keep those pesky undead outside”

  1. I like this a lot. Making gameplay deeper is always a good thing. Just make sure to balance it right.
    Question> How many baricading material is used by blocking and narrowing?

    Idea: Instead of getting baricading material by searching, every room could have something like furniture pool. You would assign survivors to transform this pool to baricading material thus lowering the pool and gaining planks for baricading. My point is that searching for planks shouldnt be based on luck, instead it should be players tactical decision how much and how fast he wants to have those planks and how many survivors should chop that furniture to pieces instead of doing something else.

    BTW good zombie game with baricading management is “Cottage of doom”.

  2. …and it would force the player to keep moving when the furniture pool is empty.

  3. But what if the player moves all around the map, uses all the furniture pools and the game hasn’t ended yet? your kinda screwed arent you? how about that it regenerates over time so that you would have more of a chance to live? oh and are there still custom names in the game? (i know ive asked before but its just cause i didnt know if it has been removed with recent editing)

  4. @kulik242: Currently, blocking has a cost of 2 and narrowing 3. Narrowing is more expensive because being able to use your survivors more effectively as meat shields is strong. The cost seems to be working fine for now.

    Gathering supplies is fairly predictable in Z2. A warehouse for example will often turn up a lot of barricades, but not much else, while the hospital pretty much provides at least one unit of medicine no matter what you do. There’s still some randomness in terms of the combination of supplies you get, but each building has a primary supply type that turns up most of the time. The more useful supply types are found in the harder buildings (police station, hospital, etc), so you have to decide when your group is capable enough to go for the good stuff. Go to soon, it’ll end in a blood bath. Leave it too late, and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a zombie-infested hospital as the sun dips below the horizon.

    The idea of furniture has my brain ticking over though… I’ll give it some thought.

    @murray: The custom names feature was the very first thing put into Zafehouse 2. That’s because I just copied the code straight across from Zafehouse. :)

  5. Well its your call, my sugestion would shift the barricading a bit towards reality i guess and it would be a change from find/use mechanic.

    Take an example> Every room has some sort of furniture or equipment you can use as barricade its not a problem to find the furniture in that room (If your not blind it takes you seconds to find it. :D) the real problem is to make it to barricading material and then not run out of it.
    Different kinds of rooms should have different amounts of barricading materials (furniture pools), as you say in warehouses are shitloads of crates so you couldn’t run out of planks.

    …its not cruicial as that outside movement thing but give it some thought pls.

  6. But like I said, what if the pool runs out? And would you be able to take cade supplies from the warehouse to the building you are staying in? I don’t mind if this feature isn’t implemented, Personally i just want the game out by the end of next year.

  7. murray: If the pool runs out you are standing in a empty room with only carpets at the floor. :D It would force a player to keep moving. I imagined you would have to change your safehouse at least two or three times over the game.
    Actually its a positive thing. Eventualy there will be a place like hospital or police station that would be a ideal place to stay. So everyones strategy would be to run inside and camp there for the rest of the game. With this feature you would run out of furniture to break and you would be forced to move somewhere else. So, what would you do? Stack on ammo and meds from these buildings and defend the till you run out of planks? Or try to survive somewhere else and try to clear these buildings later in game (with more zombies inside) so you can deffend them when zombie infestation becomes critical? Will you defend them with minimal baricading to save planks but risking health and infection to benefit from the higher finding rates? Decisions, decisions, decisions…that’s what survival is all about.

    Actually i dont like the “Finding rates” too much. Wouldnt i be better if every room has its own partialy-random inventory combined with finding rates? You would still have to search for things but you would alway have doubts of maybe im searching an empty room or i search a little longer maybe there is a shotgun somewhere. Every standard house in the game right now is the same because you get the same searching rates and those don’t change, so you can stay in one house and benefit from the rates over whole game. With this system you would be motivated to search other houses once you found most of the items in that house.

    For instance,but this would be heavilly randomized,:
    hospital room-15x medkit, 15x drugs, 6x serum, 5x alcohol, 2x melee weapon, 1x firearm, 3x ammo
    Police room- 2x medkit, 3xdrugs, 5x melee weapon, 4x firearm, 15x ammo
    House room- 1x medkit, 4x drugs, 4x melle weapon, 1x firearm, 5x alcohol, 5x ammo

    …note, i dont have a slightes idea if those numbers are sufficients in terms of games mechanics so its just an example.

    Yeah, its up to Logan what he desides, i agree its another feature to be implemented thus shifting release. Maybe the best way to make a game is like Today makes Dwarf Fortress. Once in a while there is a new version with lots of new stuff changes and features. …but DF has so manny fans and donators he quit his job and he lives from donations, while this is a part time project.

  8. @kulik242: After some consideration I’ve adapted a variation of the furniture system you’ve suggested. It’s a nice idea, and provides a unique way of acquiring what is probably the most important resource in the game in a predicable way.

    As for the finding rates… no room is every empty – you always find something. It’s just that some buildings will only provide certain resources, so searching houses all day will leave you in a fairly bad state when the crap hits that fan. It’s unlikely you’ll have lost anyone, but you won’t have gained a lot of people either.

    That said, I have been working more on how the raiding system works, so expect more info on that in a later update. I also plan to release a bunch of new screenshots.

  9. *Drool* looks awesome.

  10. Im glad i could help. :)