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So...the world has ended. What do you do now?


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#1 Programmer16   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1935

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 06:24 PM

Ok, I've reworded this a little bit as it was kind of confusing.

So, let's say the world has ended and you are one of the few survivors. It doesn't really matter how the world ended, but I'll post some facts to make things a little more interesting:
  • The majority of the water supply is no longer available (dried up, tainted, whatever)
  • Of the population (per state/province) 5% survived as normal, living human beings.
  • Of the population (per state/province) 30% turned into mutants/zombies/[insert something else mean or scary here].
  • The remaining population has died.
  • Animals, buildings, the landscape, etc were unaffected by the tragedy.
  • There are a few known 'safe havens'
As I stated, you're one of the survivors, so what would you do? Obviously there are no right or wrong answers and you can post whatever you think. You can also post more than one idea.

This is a question that I've always been curious about; I know (or rather, I'm pretty sure) what I would do, but I'm curious what others would do.

Anyway, I'll start off:
I'm kind of a scrounger, but with the threat looming overhead I would find weapons and armor first. Then, I might just go looting. I'm also the protecting sort, so I would probably be looking for other survivors/people in need while doing said looting. On top of that I'm smart enough to realize that I'd have to rest eventually and that usually goes better with someone watching your back so I'd either start looking for one of the safe havens or start building a fort of my own.

Edited by Programmer16, 19 February 2012 - 10:15 PM.


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#2 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 06:26 PM

Well that's easy. Learn the secret art of Hokuto no Ken and declare myself as Raoh the Conqueror.

Can there be any other options???
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#3 Programmer16   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1935

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 06:40 PM

Well that's easy. Learn the secret art of Hokuto no Ken and declare myself as Raoh the Conqueror.

Can there be any other options???

Lol, nice reference and an excellent choice. I haven't seen Fist of the North Star in quite a while, but how are you going to fare against a gun or a car? *thump thump*

#4 Heath   Members   -  Reputation: 344

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 08:16 PM

Hmm. Few survivors, but multiple (presumably sparse) known safe havens, and obviously not all survivors are good people because some of them are bandits or mutants. Possibly ex-cons from Philly.

And then next thing ya know, the old man at the farm you're staying at is keeping zombies in his barn, and then what's her name flips her car. O_o

#5 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 08:19 PM

So in a world like this, you'd either:
  • Join a group of deputies (law enforcement)
  • Join a gang
  • Join a group of pirates/runners/underground sellers
  • Create a reputation of being a killer/thief/hero/a legend (where the NPC wonder if you are or are not real)
To answer you're second question, first you have to be able to aim. Second, you have to be able to pull the trigger. So if you can't do either, then I win and you lose.
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#6 Heath   Members   -  Reputation: 344

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 08:57 PM

In reality, you'd need to be agricultural, and you'd need to defend your settlement. Given your description, it doesn't actually sound like you'd need to defend against much. Some bandits and some mutants. Hmm. Not many, because by your definition, you're one of the few survivors. That said, you may need to move camp until you can actually find a good place to settle.

One of the first places you'd need to go is actually a library that has survived, and find books on agriculture, because chances are you are one of the hundreds of millions of people who knows little about it. (Like me, that's why I'm not being too specific. :) )

An existing farm would be great, actually. As with the library, you haven't said if any structures are still standing or how this end came about. Perhaps there are still some structures standing, perfectly intact, with no one around, ripe for the taking.

Who's you? Who's we? Are you capable of reproduction? Because you're going to need to repopulate and grow your settlement, for many reasons beyond what you might think. You will quickly meet the economic law of diminishing returns on your settlement if it is only you.

You won't necessarily need electricity, but you'll find use for it to aid you. Back to the library. On the way, perhaps there's a Freightliner or Peterbilt intact with enough diesel to get you where you need to go. You would also be interested in the fact that Rudolph Diesel originally fueled his engines with peanut oil, and was quoted as saying that vegetable oils may one day be needed. Despite the cost ineffectiveness of biodiesel in today's economic climate, you are not today's population, and you will want to grow your fuel. Oh, and you'll want to know how to drive that truck. :)

Don't fool yourself with any kind of barter system idea. Adam Smith may have claimed it and every economics textbook since then may claim that barter systems predate modern economics, but history does not support this. That's not how primitive people ran things and it's not a healthy way to build a civilization, for the simple reason that you want to build healthy relations with your neighbors where you can. You want to conquer all-under-heaven intact, not in pieces. So don't buy some idea that money and currency is somehow evil and that you wouldn't need it at this point in human history. Indeed, territories in Europe in the dark ages didn't always have Roman coinage, yet they continued to use that system of currency as the empire declined and broke up. And it was millenia-old Sumerian cuneiforms that contained financial records from that time in history.


Also, what's up Programmer16. :)

#7 jefferytitan   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2246

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 09:21 PM

I'm not sure, but a few points occur to me:
- Cities may become too dangerous. They're focal points for all types of bad people to raid, buildings are close together so fires could rage out of control, and if there are dead bodies it could rapidly become a health hazard.
- Major infrastructure would likely be lost. Do you know how to control a power station safely? I don't.
- I heard that petrol tends to evaporate or suffer other badness within a few years unless sealed in airtight containers. Cars might be out after a while.
- There is likely enough canned etc food to support a decimated population for a few years before things get tight. Becoming a farmer too soon may just make you a target.
- Libraries etc would be good. Early looting of essentials would be important, as would hiding and securing them.
- You need other people, as someone else said you need to sleep some time.
- "Decent people" may not prove as decent as you hope when desperation kicks in.

So I guess get a crew, make the most of the old world stuff while it lasts, but keep a view to a radical change in circumstances. Set yourself up as best you can.

#8 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2205

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:08 AM

I don't have a particularily good plan. I think I'd try to head north and see if I could maybe get accepted on a reserve or something. If they turn me away and don't shoot me as I try to leave, maybe I'd try to go work at the toxic waste facility in the hills. Gotta immagine business there would be booming.

#9 Katie   Members   -  Reputation: 1375

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:58 AM

"- Major infrastructure would likely be lost. Do you know how to control a power station safely? I don't."



Much, much worse than that -- what happens when the fuel running the generators running the cooling systems in the nuclear power plants runs out? You want to be a few hundred miles away from any of them.

"- I heard that petrol tends to evaporate or suffer other badness within a few years unless sealed in airtight containers. Cars might be out after a while."



Six months to a year.

"- There is likely enough canned etc food to support a decimated population for a few years before things get tight. Becoming a farmer too soon may just make you a target."



And when you decide to become a farmer? Where will you get livestock from? If someone hasn't been feeding them in the last few years, they won't be around. Where will you get seed from? Seeds can survive many years, but only if you store them properly. What power sources will you be using? Horses? Again; unless someone's been keeping those breeding populations of horses alive while everyone is off being Mad Max, at the point the world needs them there won't be any.

Modern farm buildings are modern buildings - they need maintenance. The farms are likely to have fallen down by the time you decide you need to be growing stuff. The fields will be overgrown and overrun. Even if you have fuel for it (alcohol say), a tractor that's been parked for a couple of years may be unusable.

This is actually what will kill everyone else -- by the time they get organised to remember to go and feed the animals at the nearby farms (remember, they're probably locked in and will have a few days food at best), then the breeding populations will be gone. And then you've got five years before the cans and MREs run out.

{Personally, I'll be raiding the pharmacy for a nice painless exit. Because I've at best got a couple of months before my meds run out.}

#10 cmdnvs   Members   -  Reputation: 103

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:48 PM

I'll probably get branded as one a nut now, but, I'd do exactly what I already plan to do. Unlike I guess the majority of people, I have a disaster plan. I carry a pistol 24/7, even at work or at home, and in the back of my truck are 40 gallons of gas, a bag containing everything I need for 7 days as far as food, clothing and shelter go as well as a water purification kit. With the bag is are two sets of US military issued body armor, and a few changes of BDUs (everything is multicam, seemed the most appropriate.), a .308 hunting rifle and an AR-15 and a compliment of ammunition for both rifles and my pistols (pistols are all the same caliber, only 3 types of rounds between all my guns).

I've got 8 months worth of food and supplies to support 6 people stored securely (buried) at 3 seperate locations. One is near a house (I don't own, but feel I could appropriate and protect), a second is in what I consider a fallback location from the first, and the third is what I consider to be quite remote, all three have access to water, and reasonably close access to food. I rotate the food every 4 years and check the conditions of the supplies to replace as necessary.

In the event of a disaster, regardless of it's nature, if I feel that it has put me in a position to abandon my life as I know it, the first order of business is a hastry retreat to the first location, the only detour involved being to retrieve my dog (which I admit could be a hinderance to my survival but, I wouldn't feel right leaving her to die), afterwhich it's straight to the first location. I keep 4 maps with seperate routes in my trucks center console, each with multiple routes from different cities I've lived in or work in/visit regularly, generally seperate by direction of approach depending on where I am when things go south.

I've made provisions to allow 6 people to live for 24 months, however only one other person knows of my planning, and even they don't know where it is, I've agreed on a rally point with them, and promised them I'd check it every 7 days, afterwhich they'd be on there own. I have no intentions to retrieve family or friends, and assume the other slots would be filled with people I feel could benefit myself and whatever group we formed. I'm not a typically loving or empathetic person, I'd be looking for people that have no qualms about doing whatever it takes to carry on, stone cold without being sadistic. I have no reservations about taking from others to guarentee my own survival, even if doing so requires killing them or making their own survival impossible otherwise. If I were to take on a group, I'd protect them with the same fervor as I'd protect myself, and for that reason I'd keep that group small and functional.

If it were a civilization ending event as you described, my next step would be to find a self sufficient group, and implant myself and/or my own group as the law, by force if necessary. I'd offer protection from anything that comes, and guarentee safety in return for sustaining myself and/or my people, and I'd uphold that agreement with swift consequences to anyone who threatened it, insiders or otherwise. That'd be my position.

I don't care for growing food, I don't care for saving those who didn't plan ahead and can't help now. I wouldn't go to the lack of morals you see in most post-apolocalyptic stories, I don't believe in rape or torture and wouldn't stand for it. I wouldn't kill someone who left me with a choice not to, but not giving up food or supplies I need, or the threat of exposing myself to worse things (a party of even less poral people, for example), or taking part in things that destroy the group I'm with (stealing from within the group, killing another group member, rape, treason - whatever), I wouldn't hesitate to kill for.

Anyway, that's about what I'd do. I'll survive it if something happens, will you? Posted Image

#11 jefferytitan   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2246

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:51 PM

And when you decide to become a farmer? Where will you get livestock from? If someone hasn't been feeding them in the last few years, they won't be around. Where will you get seed from? Seeds can survive many years, but only if you store them properly. What power sources will you be using? Horses? Again; unless someone's been keeping those breeding populations of horses alive while everyone is off being Mad Max, at the point the world needs them there won't be any.


Modern farm buildings are modern buildings - they need maintenance. The farms are likely to have fallen down by the time you decide you need to be growing stuff. The fields will be overgrown and overrun. Even if you have fuel for it (alcohol say), a tractor that's been parked for a couple of years may be unusable.

This is actually what will kill everyone else -- by the time they get organised to remember to go and feed the animals at the nearby farms (remember, they're probably locked in and will have a few days food at best), then the breeding populations will be gone. And then you've got five years before the cans and MREs run out.


Note to self: free any animals I pass by that I don't eat. I hope I'd do that anyway out of empathy, instead of leaving them to starve. At least there'd be critters to hunt/recapture then.

#12 ddn3   Members   -  Reputation: 1330

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:18 PM

5% of the population is still large enough to continue a relative modest civilization. A city of say 1 million people spread out in 100 square miles, means 500 people per square miles still are alive. A city contains an enormous amount of material resources which any surviving peoples would use. These includes guns, fuel, food, shelter, books, electronics, computers, lights, etc.. Though there are zombies about, if they are like zombies in games, they would only be a threat for the first 2 weeks before the remaining humans wipe them out.. A zombie isn't even as smart as a dog, a single human with a shotgun and enough bullets can clear an entire square mile of them, a group of humans can clear out an entire city with enough ammo..

Water might be tainted but luckily water falls from the sky in most places so it would only be awhile before the rains renew the aquifers or reservoirs, in the mean time the survivors can live off bottled water available in the city. Humans would rebuild very quickly as long as there is no systemic threat, which zombies are not unless there is a ramptant infectious disease still on-going making more zombies..

Truthfully even with these circumstances, it's not dire enough to result in a Mad Max type complete collapse world. For that to happen 99.99% of the population has to die off and there has to be massive destruction, destroying not just the people but the knowledge of the previous civilization.. and even then all that would do is set humans back 1-2 thousand years, still not enough to destroy civilization as we know it. Look at the black plague of Europe, 30% of the population died and it only took them 100 years to completely recover that population but civilization didn't stop..

-ddn

#13 jefferytitan   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2246

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:26 PM

The problem I see is *key* people or knowledge. If the people who can keep the phone system, the power system and the transportation system going long-term die, we could eventually become cut off from each other and unable to share knowledge well. This may seem unlikely, but sometimes a single person leaving a company can cause upheaval. It's surprising how much key knowledge is not shared within an organisation, such as admin passwords, where essential files live, the knowledge of which switch to flip when things break down. Sometimes hands-on knowledge is much more important than theoretical knowledge. Also if we lose the ability to create microchips, it would be a long road to get back to that stage.

#14 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 06:41 PM

Isn't Fallout 1 and 3 (3 on the 360) based on the scenarios you're asking about? Have you taken a look at those to see how they went about it?
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#15 Iron Chef Carnage   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1840

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 11:55 PM

Like ddn3 said, 5% is a hojillion people, and with a 6-to-1 ratio of monsters to normal dudes, you're looking at one of two possibilities for that battle:

1: Monsters win in a hurry. If they're smart and fast and able to use tools and immune to bullets, they'll storm through the cities killing everyone like a wildfire. The safe havens would either me in a state of permanent siege, fortified against the abominations and struggling to maintain their barricades while sending out heavily armed convoys to load up trucks with supplies, or else the safe havens would be somehow mobile, like a ship or a caravan of fast-moving vehicles. Either way, in a few months either supplies dry up, the havens get overrun or the population is reduced to such a small number of such uncannily qualified survivors that it looks more like The Road than anything else, changing the dynamic of the setting considerably.

2: People win in a hurry. Even if only one in ten survivors are willing and able to shoulder a rifle and fight an army of mantis-men, it's a simple thing for each soldier to get an average of 60 kills against zombie mutant bikers. Some basic strategy, good equipment and common sense will allow the humans to orchestrate situations in which they'll mow down the baddies with ease. Then the situation will be reversed, and you'll be looking at a Fallout scenario: A diminished population rebuilding a smashed society while managing the dangerous wildlife that exists in the wilderness around their settlements. The chief problems here will be people versus people, as they squabble over water rights, deal with unethical leadership or do battle with roving bandits, with the monsters serving primarily as a backdrop.

A good workaround might be to go with the Minecraft paradigm, where beasties are largely inert during the day, but make nighttime virtually useless, leading to a good "build by day/hide or fight by night" system. Link it to the sun, the moon, some kind of semi-predicatble rhythm.

hat way, you can have the enterprising scavengers going out to score phat lewts for sale in the underground bazaar, you can have the bored, incompetent defense force that complacently checks the CCTV cameras every time the airlock activates and waves people in or out, and you can have the elite zed-bashers who go out and actively try to cull the army of darkness. You can have human drama between splinter groups or religious zealots or thieves or adorable little girls who have begun to show signs of demonic possession. You can have a tech bay where dune buggies get machine guns welded to them and leather jackets get metal plates sewn in and everything gets a kickass skull painted on it. You have room to build characters in the safe havens, but can still dispatch endless redshirts in nighttime sorties.

Enough tangential ramblin's, here's my answer to your question: I'd get involved in training and education. There'd be a big job to do, compiling and cross-checking data about our current situation and the nature and strength of the abominations. Communications with other safe havens would have to be established and maintained and we'd have to put together a solid plan for acquiring and managing resources of all types. People would have to know how to operate to avoid death or mutation, fighters would need to be skilled and efficient, not wasting our ammo supply or getting hurt unnecessarily. We'd need a corps of skilled workers to handle medicine, water management, equipment construction and maintenance, food production and preservation, all the stuff. The nuts and bolts of running a post-apocalyptic society would be like playing Dwarf Fortress with a really good texture pack, and it would be fun and rewarding to talk to other administrators, discover our needs, orchestrate missions to collect them, and generally XCom the whole thing. Plus, you rarely get eaten by interdimensional hellbeasts when you're working behind a desk, unless you do a really, really bad job.

#16 Krohm   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3261

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 02:26 AM

Short term I'd get better weapons. I'd look for iodine and proteins. Secure a path to water supply.
Mid term objective: acquire a generator and some petrol, hopefully this will allow my 5.7kW solid-state generator to operate, useful for surveillance options.
Long term objective: put my maize seeds to good use (they last about 5 years with little to no care FYI), operate my wood oven to make bread.

As a side note: give up on killing your livestock for food. It's very inefficient energetically speaking. We are going to not see meat in a while.

#17 Anddos   Members   -  Reputation: 520

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:33 AM

I would sit on the internet and read gamedev :), altho there would be no replys as everyone is dead :/
:)

#18 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4004

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:24 AM

  • The majority of the water supply is no longer available (dried up, tainted, whatever)
  • Of the population (per state/province) 5% survived as normal, living human beings.
  • Of the population (per state/province) 30% turned into mutants/zombies/[insert something else mean or scary here].
  • The remaining population has died.
  • Animals, buildings, the landscape, etc were unaffected by the tragedy.
  • here are a few known 'safe havens'

Well, if we assume realism (and not a game scenario) these assumptions are mutually exclusive. If majority of water is not available how animals could be unaffected? What about oxygen? No water means no plants, which means there is a long term danger of suffocation Posted Image What about oceans? Also, there is a huuuge population, a whole 5% survived, it means the problems are traffic jams when you want to leave cities (until they die out of hunger and thirst). Also how the 5% population could have survived more than a week? What they ate? What they drank?

Again, most games/movies in that setting simply ignore realism and put you into some artificial desert and let you survive on air while threatening you with low priority dangers like radiation and other humans Posted Image

What would I do. I guess I would have two choices, first go to the nearest coast and become fisherman (can distill water + food). The second choice is to learn hunting these mutants so I have something to eat (it seems the best source of food available...)

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#19 Dinner   Members   -  Reputation: 267

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:31 AM

I would first start by gathering weapons, I don't own a gun, so checking nearby neighbours would be a good idea between zombies mutants and humans who just want to kill others, they would be more of a danger then initially running out of food and water

Id also try to gather a group of people, perhaps a bus for carrying them

Before heading to somewhere more remote I would gather other supplies, solar panels would be good, half the houses in the neighbourhood have them, I have a Ute for loading them on, a decent source of energy and petrol will not last for long, tools, my work has allot of tools and repair supplies, so assuming all the chemicals didn't catch fire and blow the place up it would be a good place to raid, and its near a few supermarket distributor warehouses, so there should be ways of getting a truck, and loading it with pallets of food/supplies, most people i think would head for the local supermarket, which would be to dangerous (also where library usually are as well, so id skip them)

The city would be to dangerous to stay for long, so after gathering everything to last until a safe location and getting settled, not sure where after that, assuming that I have a group, then it would likely be a group decision, my leaning for somewhere remote, with a large pool of water perhaps a natural dam that we can then fortify against roaming bandits

I think it would be best to be quick. get everything and get out of there, before someone with more force is able to gather and take the supplies from you.

#20 CryoGenesis   Members   -  Reputation: 499

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 02:27 PM

Well I would have some kind of list of all the things I would do...

1. I would most probably find some kind of building to shelter which is away from the city centre but not too far from it also.
2. I would spend the day looting houses for tinned food, fluid, Toilet Paper(because it will be worth more than gold) and Batteries.
3. I would survive quietly for a few days and listen to all radio frequencies for survivors.
4. If I were to run out of water I would look for some kind of purification device and use my stockpile of batteries to get it working.
5. I would look for high hills/mountains in search for rivers to get water from.
6 If by then I could not find any survivors I would most likely look for weapons but seeing as I'm in Britain its pretty hard to find weapons (especially ammo).
7. I would head for the most fortified building in the UK, The Royal Mint or Buckingham Palace ;D.
8. I would spend the rest of my days going into buildings and doing things I wouldn't have been able to do whilest people were still around.
The End :)
I probably would end up killing myself before number 4 due to the annoying fact that everything the human race ever worked for, ever discovered will die with us.




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