ID:181059
 
Hi all. I'm considering starting development on a open-world Zombie survival game. There are alot of ups and downs to these games and not very many co-op/mmo games out there.

When I vision a game like this, I see 5-15 players on a 500x500 map, with hordes of zombies roaming around. I don't like a total guns blazing scenario and prefer the use of strategy, and of course running the hell away, with the option to smash in a zombie or two while doing so. Alot of sneaking and hiding in the shadows. I also like having player-errors in the game(car alarms, turning on the lights at night and giving the zombies a target, etc.)

I also would like to have a tunneling feature, where players can tunnel to other buildings which would take a lot of time and effort. This could also allow other groups to become 'neighbors' of each other and connect other 500x500 maps, which will, in turn, start creating a new world.

So I was wondering, from a zombie survival fan's perspective, What would you want in a survival game like this? Things that will allow players to work as a team, etc.

When I think of Zombie Apocalyptic Survival, these come to mind:

- Ability of player to become sick (cold, disease, hunger), fatigued (enough to pass-out if not replenished with sleep).

- Money is no longer useful so marketing and business would be done with valued trades. Think Native American. You have a gun, and I have 50 bags of ramen noodles, we trade based on value.

- Environment (This part is huge. Practically 1/2 the game should focus on this). Besides the obvious different buildings and stores (hospital, gun shop, grocery store, etc.) things should be involved like trees and grass can burn, power lines can be broken causing electrical loss to certain buildings, radio, water, etc.

I don't want to just run around and shoot zombies to collect money to buy more ammo to repeat the process.
I'd like to actually survive. I'd take over an abandoned house, board/bar up the windows, secure the doors, set up a back-up generator and gas supply, gather food from the grocery store, etc.



Conclusively:

When people design a Zombie Surival Game, they base their game off of Resident Evil. That's great and all, but it's already been done dozens of times.

What people 'could' base their game off of, instead, is something like Dawn of the Dead. Where there's more focus on the actual fact that people are human beings and human beings have many needs, and less focus on alien-bred demons (fake zombies that somehow have the ability to grow tentacles, multiple eyes, and whatever else they shouldn't have).
That doesn't mean sacrifice zombie interaction, because zombies should be able to hear, see, smell, and follow heat. So, if a player jumps in some cold mud and bathes in it as well as use blunt objects and silenced weapons, they aren't going to be chased as much as someone with cowboy boots and a chainsaw.
In response to Mr. Robert (#1)
I actually started designing something along these lines with a world that randomly generated as it was explored(similar to minecraft's world generation). Most of the world was open terrain such as woods/plains, but towns and cities would randomly generate as you explored and provided an infinite source of materials and supplies to continue the game with.

A friend and I actually had a pretty long discussion about how to handle a "realistic" zombie apocalypse scenario and a lot of it ended up in the design of the game. Sickness, tainted food/water supplies, how a "real" zombie would act, long term effectiveness of various shelter types, etc. were all part of it. We also discussed the various types of disease transmission and different ways a zombie could "realistically" come into being. Each way had a different solution to handling it. If a zombie's disease can be transmitted through fluid exchange, then melee would be a very risky option since you would have their blood flying all over the place, potentially getting in your eyes/mouth and infecting you without ever actually biting you.

I don't see how zombies would suddenly gain heat vision or super sensory capabilities if you're going for a more realistic scenario, if anything the brain damage caused by whatever made them into zombies would dull their senses quite a bit.

Regardless, it never happened and probably never will, mostly due to my lack of motivation to complete projects.
In response to Robertbanks2 (#2)
Well, there's a theory that if zombies were to be real, they would revert back into an animal instinct and that basic motor functions would be dulled, but the animal personality would kick in. This would include the comfort of heat and whatnot.

However, the whole point of zombie being undead, their organs, nerves, etc. don't function anymore except for some reason the need to feed, that means they can't hear, see, taste, touch, etc. and just plainly nom nom noms.

Pre-4.0 I had a big project just about going, most basic things done as well as some advanced stuff.
Then came a terrible bug in BYOND that corrupted every icon I would ever compile with, so I lost motivation on that. I have tried starting it up again, but I find myself too busy.
In response to Mr. Robert (#3)
Yea I agree that a Zombie's senses would be dulled and they wouldn't be able to effectively sense out their prey. But if they are going into 'animal' form, then they would gain some sort of hunting ability and gain their instincts from that.

I also agree that the design has to be quite detailed in order to make this an effective survival title.
In response to Saladon (#4)
Saladon wrote:
But if they are going into 'animal' form, then they would gain some sort of hunting ability and gain their instincts from that.

How so? A human's strength is their ability to act rationally, create tools, and use their environment. These things are lost when the ability to think rationally are lost, as is the case with any zombie scenario. Humans don't have an "animal form," the closest an average person will ever get to strengthening their senses is learning to pay closer attention to their environment.

In a true "zombie" apocalypse situation, your goal isn't to survive a hoard of freakishly strong monsters with superhuman senses, it's to avoid being potentially infected by the slightest contact with a stupid, unaware person that is infected and wants to eat you. It's more about constantly being aware of your surroundings to avoid even encountering them in the first place than about running around smashing their heads in because they saw you from 200 feet away or smelled the canned beans you spilled on your shirt 3 weeks ago.

If you're going to go with something that has superhuman capabilities, then it's not really a zombie, it's just a mutated human with superhuman capabilities and a fried brain, see super mutants/ghouls from fallout.
In response to Robertbanks2 (#2)
Robertbanks2 wrote:

A friend and I actually had a pretty long discussion about how to handle a "realistic" zombie apocalypse scenario and a lot of it ended up in the design of the game. Sickness, tainted food/water supplies, how a "real" zombie would act, long term effectiveness of various shelter types, etc. were all part of it. We also discussed the various types of disease transmission and different ways a zombie could "realistically" come into being. Each way had a different solution to handling it. If a zombie's disease can be transmitted through fluid exchange, then melee would be a very risky option since you would have their blood flying all over the place, potentially getting in your eyes/mouth and infecting you without ever actually biting you.

I don't see how zombies would suddenly gain heat vision or super sensory capabilities if you're going for a more realistic scenario, if anything the brain damage caused by whatever made them into zombies would dull their senses quite a bit.

I did something similar with my Zombie game (more like 'Last Stand 1+2' than open world) in which I thought quite deeply in roughly how many would turn, how many would just die outright, how many were likely to be killed by remaining humans and how they would walk around the world. This is based on the 'Zombie knows where his grub is' and effectively makes the players the eventual only targets left for hundreds of millions of Zombies.

Its a system I'm still perfecting, but from the start I developed it based on actual world populations (grouped into regions for easier use) and even backdated it for various past years. Unfortunately, such a system is a drag on development time when it'd be better off to make pre-programmed assumptions; but I got this far so I'll continue :p

The whole Zombie concept, like others have already posted is more to do with how remaining humans interact with each other than the Zombies themselves. The 'oldschool' slow, rather pathetic Zombies is intended to act as a disastrous horrible death for indecisiveness and breakdowns within a groups decision making. Its something I'm slowly exploring in the development of my Zombie game but its a long way from being interesting yet.
In response to Robertbanks2 (#5)
Robertbanks2 wrote:
Saladon wrote:
But if they are going into 'animal' form, then they would gain some sort of hunting ability and gain their instincts from that.

How so? A human's strength is their ability to act rationally, create tools, and use their environment. These things are lost when the ability to think rationally are lost, as is the case with any zombie scenario. Humans don't have an "animal form," the closest an average person will ever get to strengthening their senses is learning to pay closer attention to their environment.

In a true "zombie" apocalypse situation, your goal isn't to survive a hoard of freakishly strong monsters with superhuman senses, it's to avoid being potentially infected by the slightest contact with a stupid, unaware person that is infected and wants to eat you. It's more about constantly being aware of your surroundings to avoid even encountering them in the first place than about running around smashing their heads in because they saw you from 200 feet away or smelled the canned beans you spilled on your shirt 3 weeks ago.

If you're going to go with something that has superhuman capabilities, then it's not really a zombie, it's just a mutated human with superhuman capabilities and a fried brain, see super mutants/ghouls from fallout.
_______

What I'm trying to get at is if Zombies were able to live long term, they would have to gain some sort of hunting ability, or they just wouldn't know what food was, and they all would just die in a single month.


In response to Saladon (#7)
Yeah, the problem is that zombies don't work from a realistic perspective and always require some hand waiving. The closes you can get is some rabies like pathogen, but then the infected die off after a while (ie 28 Days Later). The walking corpse thing is fantasy. Which is still fine for a game!

Alot of post zombie apoc scenarios make bad assumptions, though. Things would get rough, fast. Power would quickly be lost (month or two max without a generator- most places would lose it very quickly from unmanned power stations combined with damage to power lines from fires, car wrecks, overloads, etc.). Personal generators generally rely on gasoline and are noisy, which would be a huge liability in most zombie scenarios (they also generate carbon monoxide, so keeping them inside an enclosed space can be deadly). Gas is probably short supplied too, as no trucks are running to regfill stations and refineries go down. Without power, there is no refridgeration which means lots of food and medical supplies expire (insulin, for example, goes bad in about 30 days after removed from refridgeration and faster if exposed to more heat). Running water would also dry up pretty fast as pump and water stations suffer from a lack of electricty.

Then you have the people problem. Initially, mass panic will lead to a lot of bad situations. Afterwards, looting and crime would become commonplace among the survivors. Gangs and bands would likely form for mutual protection, but intense competition for resources would be a major source of conflict. Without access to reliable fresh water supplies or food, survivors won't last long. But it's a loosing battle anyway as the zombies never go away and humans have enough trouble surviving in such a harsh scenario (total catastrophe) without the living dead. Even moving into the wilds isn't great unless the zombies do not wander at all (in most fiction, they seem to wander and be attracted to the living, even at great distances). Most likely, all humanity would be gone within a year under most zombie scenarios.
In response to Saladon (#7)
They would gain some hunting ability, but it wouldn't boost their senses, they would be limited by the physical shortcomings of the human body just like the uninfected, except lacking the higher brain functions that allow us to survive in spite of those limitations.

@Jmurph

On the topic of electricity, solar panels are wonderful for the bare necessities such as refrigerating drugs. Any grid based power would be gone within a couple of days(if that) though, as you said.

The wilderness would be infinitely safer than staying in a city. A zombie would still have to eat, and there is considerably less food that they would be able to get in the wilderness. If nothing else, their numbers would be considerably thinner to the point that you could erect a wall/fence around your encampment and be reasonably secure. All of this is assuming that the zombies fall into the category of "realistic" and need sustenance, rather than just eating you for the lulz. You could also consider moving into colder/higher terrain that might have significant snow cover to severely limit their mobility. Without the ability to create things like snowshoes or skis, and taking into the account the noise they would make in the snow, it would be pretty easy to keep from getting yourself surrounded.

The wilderness/mountain setting also drastically reduces the number of competing gangs. If you end up in the same area as someone else, you walk 10 miles in any direction and set up camp at the closest fresh water pond from that point. The gangs and looters would be sticking to the cities, far away from you. The cold also does all of your refrigeration for you.

Another option, though considerably more extreme, is to create a real world rivet city situation, but on a functioning boat. You make your way to a port with a small yacht or something, get it out to see, and anchor it in place. Then you can ferry people back and forth with rowboats for supplies. This completely eliminates the threat of a zombie attack on your home and allows for any scavenging/hunting to be done at the safest possible times. Your base being mobile is also pretty nice if you can manage to get a sail on it(to remove dependency upon gas).

But this has moved considerably farther away from the original context of the thread than I had intended, so I'll stop now.
i believe the game should include these core features

1. Zombie i mean a zombie Apocalypse is one with out them but . their shouldn't be demon like thing like in REO

2. Trading system money is no longer valueable so a player . . trade system is important

3. A Map that has only its natural resources replenished . . makes the player learn to survive without normal or . . . learn to make what the want

4. In a apocalypse after people will like to talk but theirs . no ooc so you need to have Ham Radio

5. In an apocalypse everyone has and can learn skills

6. In an apocalypse you can build, make up or even repair. so . a crafting system is need
One thing a lot of Zombie Survival Games lack is Roleplaying. Roleplaying lets people get active in their roles as survivors. This means that players interact as if they were in that position, so it feels more like a real setting than a game. When a game stops feeling like a game, that is called Immersion. Players who Immerse themselves in your game are much more likely to be loyal players.

Even if only 20% of your game is actually spent fighting zombies, it still gives players the feel of a real survival situation. In fact, if you keep the actual encounter time lower, and focus more on roleplaying, I guarantee that you'll attract a lot more players than your standard Cookie Cutter BYOND Zombie Game.
I'm not going to sugar coat it, this sounds a LOT like Falacy's Paradise Falls

Good job, hope to see it soon!
If I made a zombie MMO it would probably just be a 2D multiplayer version of STALKER. It's actually quite a simple game to make, mechanically speaking. Zombie AI is expected to be a bit dumb and with an even blend of Action/RPG stat building the gameplay would work out well on BYOND.

The problem lies in getting the pixel art made. There's just so much work to be put into an MMO. Every tree, every tile, every creature, the player and mountains of item overlays. It's quite daunting when you catalog everything which needs to be made.
In response to SuperAntx (#14)
SuperAntx wrote:
It's quite expensive when you catalog everything which needs to be made.

Fixed :)
In response to El Wookie (#15)
Yeah, it adds up so quickly.

Say you're paying $3 a 32x32 frame, 3 directions with east/west mirrored. With just the bare minimum in mind and as much recycling as possible you'll need a set for unarmed walking(3), small arms walking(3), small arms shooting(1), rifle walking(3), rifle shooting(1), heavy walking(3), heavy shooting(1), throwing(2). 17 frames * 3 directions * $3 fee = $153 for just the player sprite.

Sure, $153 seems reasonable, but that's just the player sprite. You still need all the clothing, weapons, effects, enemies, map tiles, HUD, etc. When you add up all the fees on artwork alone you're looking to spend anywhere from $600 to $1000 dollars.

Oh, and then there's sound on top of all that.
In response to SuperAntx (#16)
And don't forget HUD design, abilities, etc.

Or you can use placeholders.

Decadence has awesome graphics, BTW. Maybe y'all could spin those off into a modern/PA RPG?
i have had the same thought if u would like i would help you with ssuch game ( i know that wasnt the question) what i have wanted in a game is traps and schematics of sorts that poeple wouldnt think of in a game like catting down curtans and making a trap to suspend the zombie in mid air you know natural supplys u would find in about any house and trust me i have many many more ideas but i dont want to reveal anything more cause i was planning on creating such game ..like u said reply to me and if u want i will join the staff of such game if u wish to do it ...have fun everyone :D