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Help Zafehouse 2!

Yes, you can help Zafehouse 2 be better!

Combat’s looking solid right now, as you can see from the above screenshot. Lots of shells, blood and graphical niceties exploding about the place. What’s not so solid is what happens outside of combat. You know, the walking around, searching for gear part of the game.

See, I don’t feel there’s enough going on when you’re not fighting zombies. Sure, you might say, that’s okay – it’s all about putting the undead back to bed – but I don’t think it is. I think there needs to be more going on when the hungry masses aren’t directly in your face.

I can recognise when I’m too close to a project, so I’m putting the call out for some ideas. At the very least, it’ll rejuice my drying creative cogs.

Best to start with a list of things you can do:
1) Move around inside buildings and out
2) Trade items, including ammo, weapons
3) Searching furniture for items
4) Breaking furniture for barricades
5) Barricading. Or yeah, barricading. I meant to show you guys this a lot sooner:

Neat, right?
6) Dispense medicine, break bottles, drink
7) Erm… that’s it, really.

What I believe needs to happen is for more “stuff” involving the survivors themselves. Tweaking personalities or statistics… some element of micromanagment. Something you do on a turn by turn basis to produce… stuff, be it a resources or survivor improvement.

See what I mean? I’m not really churning out the killer ideas here. That’s where you come in.

So, come in!

~ by Logan on July 1, 2010.

17 Responses to “Help Zafehouse 2!”

  1. I have some ideas. For example, in the beginning, you just only can choose one of the survivors. The other survivors may fight the zombies separately, so you need to regroup the people. Some people may dead before you find them out. Or some people may not join you for some reasons. (That house is his house / lots of food in there / suspicion, etc…). Maybe can have a skill to increase the probability of people to join our group. Maybe, they will form a group by themselves. Or they will find us by themselves… is that too complex?

    Another thing, I suspect the wood’s house can defend the zombie or not. I think if the house is concrete wall is better. And I think the door and window can reinforce to no one can go in or out. That mean it have a message that “if you continue to reinforce, the door cannot open anymore.” Eh… something likes this.

    I know my English is poor. So, if I wrote any unclearly, please forget me and indicate it out.

  2. On an apocalyptic setting, things to do beside fighting the undead, i’d work around the morale/hunger/mental stability of survivors. Working around perks, maybe a survivor has some sort of addiction he needs to satisfy, releasing some stress after a night of fighting. That way, they’d be more focused on the next fight. Maybe some PCs have long terms goals, beyond surviving yet another day…Thats some stuff on top of my still drowsy head…

  3. Hmmm… when you mention tweaking personalities and statistics, I get a very RPG vibe. Have you considered something along those lines? Leveling up can lead to various abilities and upgrades that gives them new powers and allows them to fight better?

  4. Just a few ideas, not entirely sure how plausable they are.

    1. Add some sort of levelling to each survivor. So when you click on a survivor an info box will appear where everything is managed, and information is given about how long they’ve survived etc.

    Some of these skills could be,
    “Ranged Weapons” (could include a crossbow or something as a random weapon?)
    “Melee Weapons”
    “Perception” (By this I mean how much you will recover through a raid, things like that.)
    Obviously could include more skills. Each increase of a weapon skill would improve weapon damage and accuracy. Could be given 1 exp an hour and these are allocated, so that 1 exp improves each skill.

    2. Be able to manage the survivors in groups? So that instead of just having all survivors in one group or in a building, could group the survivors into subgroups. Each group could then search for specific things. Obviously the smaller the group there is less protection, but there is also a smaller chance of being attacked.

    3. Instead of fortifying buildings, add some sort of terrain to fortify? For example One side of town could have caves which you could inhabit, or form a base camp somewhere for all survivors who cannot be placed in a building will survive?

    4. Some sort of zombie hording? For example if you fortify a building, all yoru survivors in there only had quiet melee weapons, then they won’t make a lot of noise when attacking any wandering zombies. The nosier a group is, or the more attention they draw to themselves the more zombies will group and attack. To counter this for ranged weapons, could introduce modifications like silencer (I appreciate this is now becoming ridiculously complex!)

    I can’t think of anything else at this moment in time!

  5. Just another idea, instead of just surviving in one area, how about you can move across certain areas.

    What I mean is like, they could start off in one town,but instead of just staying there for how ever many hours the group could spend a days travelling and move to another town, only if they have transport or what not. Just a thought.

  6. Maybe you could have classes that would have different perks, going down the RPG field a bit more. For example, a Doctor, which would help heal others better than a Cop, who would be better at fighting. These would be evenly spread with some jobs being rarer. Also, a save system would be very nice :)

  7. Thanks for the ideas guys, there’s some great stuff here. Please, keep it coming!

  8. Maybe at the beginning or end of each day, we can see some scripted dialogue based on personalities between the characters. Like the alcoholic complains about not having alcohol and the wiseass makes a wiseass remark to the alcoholic.

  9. Just following on from the classes and perks, maybe just call it professions? So building on what Klosec12 said

    Doctor in your group = Better healing
    Carpenter/Builder = Better Baricades
    Cop = Better leader/Stronger fighter
    Soldier = More efficient ammo usage/ More accurate.

    These perks would be either individual or group based. And they only effect the group that the member is apart of.

    Just another idea, what about introducing the ability to have a dog in the group? (If you find one)

    He’d still consume water and need healing, but would be able to fight and would increase chances of finding survivors or other items?

  10. Model a bit the zombie infection ! So that the player can have an influence on how dangerous the place is. I have posted such a simulation on the forum. But this one takes the infection from day 1 to 4 months later. Which is not your purpose (12 hours ?)

    But, in a bit of simulation there could be :
    – Zombies feed on dead bodies. Cleaning them (burning ?) reduce the chance that they would be attracted and maybe avoid to increase the zombie rate (or lower it ?)
    – Dead zombies might come back to life. Cleaning them (burning, cuting in small bits…) avoids them to come back.
    – Infected survivors ? (but I think that your game is more on small groupd of survivors. So it could not be the main source of sombies…)
    – Hungry survivors attacking your stronghold (which means implementing survivors encounters, and deal with different reactions… It is another big job)

  11. First off I just wanted to say: beware of feature creep!

    That said, I do have a few ideas:

    Traps might be something to include, so you can do more to manage a base.

    Anti-Zombie raids or ambushes, combat events where the player has more control over the variables (like how many zombies there are), and which grant bonuses for things (like less zombies in anti-humie raids until the next day).

    NPC survivor missions. The player could find or hear the distress call of other survivors in trouble, and could set out to help them, either with combat or additional supplies.

    Stealth mechanics. For example, maybe making too much noise outside draws zombies to you or your base (this can be combined with ambushes). There could be instances where retreat is better than combat for fear of drawing a horde.

    Diplomacy. This would probably be a big thing, but one of the main features of zombie movies is interaction with other humans. You can restrict it to just the people the player controls, trying to manage inter-personal relationships. Often in movies, it’s a sudden breakdown of the group that allows the zombies to penetrate the base. You could also go crazy and introduce NPC holdouts, other groups living or traveling in the area, that you can trade with, or who may wish to take your stuff (think Dawn of the Dead).

    It’s also hard to come up with ideas without playing what you have so far. I would advise finishing up what you have now and adding in the additional things after you have a beta out.

  12. Just wanted to say, I loved playing zafehouse and cannot wait to play zafehouse 2! Can’t wait for you to finish it. :D

  13. […] a proper tutorial. Sound. These are slowly being rectified in the sequel. Graphics are being taken care of handily, and a tutorial will be implemented once, well, the game […]

  14. I think there should be other survivor factions where you can attempt to allie with them or attack the or try and bribe over survivors with meds or food or something.

  15. The pictures are great, good work!
    As for the stuff you could do, i think that most part of trying to survive should be:
    1. Make a safehouse
    2. Find supplies that will help you to survive
    3. Create a routine to stay safe
    4. Fight the stress so you don’t blast your brain out
    Now lets see what kind of features we could get out of it.
    1. I think this point is fully covered by features you already have. (Finding a building, clear it, baricade it.)
    2. Same, everything covered.
    3. Now i imagine you could manage your group on hourly basis. Every survivor would have a schedule what to do, so you could plan who and when someone is holding guard, resting, repairing equipment, taking medical care of wounded, socializing.
    4. As Liack said “work around the morale/hunger/mental stability of survivors” What about fighting stress be a part of a gameplay? For instance managing who’s gonna read a book, listen to walkman, having sex (:D), praying, making origami…

    Some additional stuff>
    Detailed medical stuff- Some more detailed system of treating wounds, like different outcome depending on who is treating the wound, how quick should it be done, how much medical material should be wasted.
    Crafting- making molotovs, improvised alarms (can + string= door alarm, cat + cage= area alarm), bat+nails= nailbat, gasoline+piping+lighter= flamethrower,
    Ability to be saved, like sometimes a army helicopter would land somewhere in a city, you would get a message “helicopter landed in sw part of the city”, if you could make your way there you could be saved.

  16. Thanks again everyone for your input. Here are some of the major takeaways for me:

    1) A safehouse. Oddly enough, this has been in the game for the last couple of months. It’s not complete, but you now have the option to select a building to be your focus. The other significant change this brings is that survivors are attracted to your safehouse, and you will no longer find survivors while hunting around (but clearing say, the police station will greatly increase the chances for the cop to show up at your safehouse).

    2) Food and water are back, in the form of “rations”. You won’t need to eat and drink every hour or anything, but your survivors will start off peckish and getting food into them will increase their strength for the final stand. Additionally, I’ve added another dimension to the game – preparing for the end-end-game. So, you’ll need to stock up on rations and other things to survive after the main game is won. I’m hoping to have a little story at the end telling you what happens to each survivor, based on injuries, the amount of rations you were able to stock up, and their personalities/mental state.

    So it’s possible for everyone to survive the final fight, but maybe die in the end story because you couldn’t find enough rations or were not able to treat their injuries properly.

    3) Tasks during the final hours. Like “go here to get some cool bonus” or “go here to improve your chances in the end-end-game”. They will be optional, but if you can leave your safehouse and complete these tasks while not getting killed, you’ll get major kudos (in the form of an improved score, supplies, etc).

    4) Impulses and dilemmas. These are the major aspects of a new mechanic for out-of-combat gameplay. I’m still formulating the details, but I’m really excited about the potential. More on these soon.

    It’s a lot of extra stuff to pile onto my plate, but it’s all tasty. The downside to all this is that it’s looking more likely that the July demo will be a combat demo only. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just a lot smaller in scope than I (and I imagine you guys) would like. But it means that there is something out there for you to play and provide solid feedback on.

  17. I have been following this game for some quite some time for months (long time listener – first time poster) – I would be happy with anything to test and give feedback on.

    One suggestion if I may – I believe that humans are the biggest threat to your survival as a survivor in a zombie outbreak (diplomacy, loonies etc.) , so I would like to see some combat against other humans!