header image

Zafehouse 2?

Sorry for the lack of updates folks.

I’ve been pretty busy at work lately, and I decided to spend what little spare time I had on the 4e Power Toolkit. I wanted to get the class upload out the door – the longer I left it, the more momentum it lost.

But that’s done now. I don’t plan any major updates to the 4ePT for the time being, so I’m back on Zafehouse 2.

It’s in an odd state at the moment. There’s plenty of core functionality in there, but I feel like it’s missing that extra bit of spice – a quality to really separate it from the original Zafehouse. I’m still trying to nail down what that quality is, but if you have any suggestions, feel free to mention them.

So far we have survivor personalities (and less survivors), the barricading of individual doors, a larger map with randomised building types and sizes, improved perks, getting bitten has more of an impact, an improved events window, survivor conditions (insanity, fear, crippled, etc) and much greater control over the resources you receive.

The objective of the game hasn’t changed much, but there’s now a purpose – collect survivors and supplies and then barricade yourself for a final attack. Your choices, both in resources and the treatment of your survivors, will determine your fate.

So it’s definitely better in many, many ways. But I think it needs more love.

~ by Logan on July 12, 2009.

12 Responses to “Zafehouse 2?”

  1. do you have an estimate os to when zafehouse 2 will be released? ive been waiting for it to come out for ages as i love zafhouse, oh and can you use custom names in zafehouse 2?

  2. Hey murray,

    I don’t have a definite date, no, but I have been working on it almost exclusively for the past few weeks. I’d like to have it done in the next few months.

    And yes, it currently supports custom names. :) Glad you liked the first game – I have no doubt you’ll love the second!

  3. ive seen the screenshots and i like the layout of the game and the map, would it be possible for you to post more of these screenshots?

  4. I’ll try and throw a few more up before the end of the week.

  5. ok thanks, itsjust to see how you are coming on with the game.

  6. Hey man, this is looking awesome. Can’t wait!

  7. Hmmm… I’m no expert when it comes to game but you could have an inventory system for each of the characters or if that is too much just for the entire group of survivors, if you’ve ever played neverwinter nights, (Which I’m hoping you have seeing as you’re keen on D&D) then you’ll get the general jist of what I’m trying to say here, Limited storage so it keeps you on your toes, it could also make it easier to manage.

    Another idea is making groups of people, I always get bored quickly sorting my Veterans who get to sit indoors with their shotguns from the new guys who I left out for the zombies in Zafehouse 1, some way to quick select only those in a special group of people you have made would be great.

    Also have you ever thought about a sort of versus mode for the game? Perhaps you could put the survivor in the zombies boots with some sort of game mode? It may be hard to do but I’m sure people would enjoy ripping the survivors to shreds. It could go a little something like, you go to the menu choose say “Zombie Mode” and set some variables for the game say if you wanted it easy you could set starting zombies high and survivors low, or make it hard and do it vice versa, from there it could be the same general game except instead of controlling the humans you control the zombies, you could tell them to attack certain buildings. Each one that dies stays dead but if you bite the survivors then say five hours or so later he becomes another infected with you. You could always have a system similar to the supply crates in some rooms where there is a contsant stream of zombies and survivors arent that plentiful and they’d probably have guns. It wouldn’t be the most realistic option but it would be the easiest and for hardcore players you could always turn it off.

    I don’t expect this to be put in the game though, as nice as it would be t’would be too time consuming on your part. However if you do want to use it then feel free. If you’ve read through this then thanks for your time, I hope that I’ve given you some inspiration.

  8. I actually started working on the inventory system last night.

    Z2 has always had survivors with limited capacities for things such as ammo, meds, etc. But you can store supplies in rooms now and even leave little caches if you like. Great for when you need to retreat and restock.

    Currently, I’m looking to have survivors carrying two weapons/items max, with each room having a capacity of eight. As for ammo, meds, etc, I don’t see any logical reason to limit the amount you can keep in a room… not that you’ll have a large supply anyway!

    There are two games modes right now – Scenario and Custom. Scenarios will have online scoreboards and fixed parameters, while Custom will let you set everything from zombie counts and strength through to the climate! (I saw Dead Snow a few weeks ago and it got me thinking: there’s no reason not to replicate the “cabin in the snow” scenario in Z2).

    I do like the idea of controlling zombies… but I think it can wait for an expansion.

  9. That was my original thought for the zombie control to be fairly honest, if it was put into the main game then it could add another month or so to development time which in no way is bad for the game itself it is annoying for the players. In fact twould probably be very good for the game, I mean look at Fable 2 another month or two ironing out all of the bugs and taking out that horrible co-op camera and switching it with a splitscreen of some kind would have made it one of the best games ever in my book.

    I also got to thinking last night, wouldn’t it be great if there was also some sort of way to use vehicles. Like say if you wanted to go faster you’d pop down to the local bike store and raid a bike, it wouldn’t have to be graphic although that would be awesome but it could just give you a speed modifier of say x2 or something, or if you’d rather go with the gas guzzling beasts that are cars you could raid some sort of garage or something? something that would be cool if there was some sort of skills system would be that it requires the character to have a hotwire skill or something. Then again this is zombie survival and Cars are simply not a good idea when the streets are crowded with other abandoned cars and petrol is probably rare.

    Another thing I think would be great is another group of human’s I think i’ve read this suggestion somewhere else about this game but It would certainly spice up the game wouldn’t it? An enemy whose constant thought is not just Bite! Bite! Somebody who can actually use a gun and fight you properly. It may be a bit of s stretch though like the controlling zombies thing. An expansion would fit this perfectly methinks.

    A quick question about the game, will the buildings just have multiple rooms? Will any have extra floors or perhaps an option to station survivors on the room with guns? Also will there be any sort of story element? And last but not least a question which I’m sure you’re getting annoyed with, are there and decent guesses on the release date? As I’m itching to play this game :D

    By the by I noticed you said that it had most of its core functions up and running, would it be at any sort of testing stage? If you I’d be more than happy to spend some time driving through the game looking for bugs and inspiration for more suggestions. Although the latter of the two are more likely to get on your nerves rather than help.

    And on a more personal note, you’re a games journalist aren’t you? Are there any tips you could give someone whose looking for work in that particular job? (Sorry if I got that bit terribly wrong)

  10. Hey Carl,

    Movement is pretty streamlined at the moment. The amount of actions a survivor can perform is determined by their location. Clearing an unexplored or retaken room and entering/leaving a building takes one turn. Moving from any one room to another room within a building takes one turn, so long as the path between the rooms is clear. Barricading all the doors in a room takes one turn, while combat can occur over multiple turns. Each turn is around 15 minutes, and the entire game occurs over the course of 24 hours. So you’re looking at about 96 turns in total, but there are ways to reduce/increase this number through perks and events. Basically, I’m not sure how vehicles would fit into this. It might be the basis of a scenario though.

    Zombies won’t be the only enemies you encounter, but combat currently is purely with the undead. Events will come up that ask you to deal with other survivors, either by incorporating them into your group, giving them supplies or, if you’re feeling evil, killing them. It’s possible that an expansion might include combat with humans (or even animals) but the AI to do this would be a task in itself. As you can imagine, zombie AI isn’t massively complex. :)

    Buildings will only have multiple rooms, yes. I was contemplating multiple floors, and it’s still a possibility, but it’s very low on the list (mainly for technical reasons). There’s already quite a bit of tactical decision-making and I’m happy with the balance right now. As for survivors in rooms – that’s the core gameplay! Making choices about which building (or buildings) to hold up in for the final assault, which doors to barricade, how many supplies/weapons to leave in caches (as your survivors have limited carrying capacities) is what it’s all about. :) Also, the shotgun is no longer the be-all, end-all of weapons. Some are better at taking out zombies when they close in on a building, some are better at picking them off through barricades, and others are superior when they’re right on top of you. That’s why survivors can carry two weapons. For example, a bolt-action rifle is great for the first attack, but you’ll be dumping it quickly once they’re at the door for an SMG, and then when they bust through, you’ll have the shotgun or machete ready.

    There’s a lot of backend stuff that’s been done. Most of the work now is content-related (writing event text and actions) and getting the combat system working (it’s probably the most complex part of the game). I could release something, but it’d be like playing Solitaire with the numbers missing on the cards. :P I plan to release a demo at some stage, but it won’t be for a few months. Sorry!

    I was a games journo for six years (two of those spent as an editor) before moving into game design. The best tip I can provide is getting email addresses (which are readily printed) for the editors of magazines/blogs you’re interested in writing for and submitting what you can. I can tell you that games reviewers are a dime a dozen, and while writing a great review is a skill, writing something good enough isn’t hard. What will get you noticed are interesting, topical and entertaining articles. That’s always what impressed me as an editor. Keep in mind that magazines were hit hard by the GFC, as mags are already struggling against the Internet. What this means is a lot of editors are leaning on staff writers (that is, writers on salaries) for content and not so much on freelancers (who can be expensive). So, you might have trouble getting anyone’s attention as bottom lines are really important at the moment.

    Not the best news, I know, but that’s the reality. Things will improve, I’m sure.

  11. Thanks for the reply. The entire game sounds great at the moment and I still can’t wait to get my hands on it. I’m passing time by watching TV and playing some other games. (Fresh prince of Bel Air and Civilization :D.) The advice you gave me for the journalism is much appreciated. At the moment I’d not really ask for money for pieces that I write, mainly because I’m fourteen and I don’t know the laws on it at the moment but also because if I do manage to get something out there then at least I’m getting my name out there right?

    Anyhow I wish you the best of luck with this game I’m hoping to see that it has the same replayability as the first game, which from what I’ve heard it most definately will.

  12. Just wanted to let you know how brilliant zafehouse was…