On The Island of New Wight: A Tactical, Party-Based, Zombie Survival RPG
Now I will let you know that I've mostly focused on the Narrative and Structure of the game itself, choosing to focus on Programming after I get to a point where my programming knowledge (which is currently limited) meets an adequate polish on the structure of the game. I'm very aware that this screams "Never will see the light of day", but I do appreciate any input on it, and would expect it to help push it to completion. Thank you in advance for reading, and for any critiques you may have.
The game takes place on the Island of New Wight, a fictional New England island. While it does have a historical district, most of the buildings are rather recent. Thus, it has influences from all over the United States, such as New England, the Midwest, the South, and the Northwest. Geologically, it consists of a dense metropolis along the north, with a surrounding suburb leading into wilderness and farmland. At the southernmost point of the island rests Park Hill prison. In this world, Zombies are an obscure genre limited only to 50's B movies. Apocalypse preppers do exist, but not in the numbers they do in real life.
The way I see gameplay is that it exists on three tiers: Non-combat interactions with NPC's based on the PC's established personality, Turn-based combat utilizing multiple characters for the player (one of which is always the PC) on a grid-based system, and a city management-like sim where one indirectly controls the actions of other parties associated with the PC's, but not containing that character.
Each of these are established, in that order, at set points in the narrative; and each tier does not eliminate the tier before.
The story begins with the Player Character being processed and shipped over to Park Hill prison. It is during this section that the Player will create their character, completing the criteria below, as well as a face creator. This will also establish what crime the PC was charged with, as well as their guilt (personal or legal; either of which will play a role in the narrative at later points). The PC is quickly sent to a wing of solitary with no other inmates. After a couple days, the routine abruptly ends, cutting off any semblance of time for the PC. After a long time, the PC notices a lone guard limping into the wing. It quickly becomes apparent that the guard is a zombie, something the PC may or may not know. In a way determined by the PC's established personality, the PC eventually escapes using the keys from the guard, finding out that most of the prison has been slaughtered. There are two small bands of a mix of inmates and guards, one attempting to oppress the other, as zombies are assaulting the outside. The PC bands with one of them, taking out the other and eventually escaping to the island. They find the island has been overrun with the undead and quarantined by the military, and try their best to find a secure enough place. After the PC becomes well enough known as the surviver to be with, people start suggesting a colony for survivors to get to. The people who associate themselves with the PC will be based on the PC's actions during quests and negotiations; ranging from basic survivalists to draconian darwinists to psychotic raiders. Finally, after the PC's colony has a good foothold, the PC decides they are tired of being stuck on the island and want to escape.
The Player Character
The Player Character is created through a series of cutscenes at the start of the game. A (very) basic breakdown would be thus:
Character Name: A superficial aspect of the character, but it helps establish that connection between Player and Character.
Various Physical Features: These include hair color, eye color, skin color, hight, weight, race, and gender. None of these will affect interaction with NPCs, save race and gender, because what's a good zombie story without exploring different character interactions?
Character Class: Certain skills and perks are available to certain classes at character generation, with specialized perks later on. This also determines aspects like PC Hit Points and affects the cost of Action Points for various actions during combat.
Statistics: These are broken down into Intelligence, Charisma, Wisdom, Strength, Agility, and Endurance. A seventh skill, Luck, will be hidden from the player; it will be standardized and changed by events of the game.
Mental Traits: These will contain things such as phobias, biases, habits, and motivations. They will be chosen (though not directly) by the Player at character generation.
Physical Traits: Identifying features such as tattoos and scars, as well as physical disabilities (which would allow for min-maxing, but the game at large would not require it).
History Traits: Where the PC came from (including whether or not they lived in New Wight for long, how long they lived there, and how well they were known on the island) will be established at character generation. Like the other traits, I like the concept of assigning them indirectly over the course of the game.
Skills: Basically what determines how effective the Player Character is at certain things. Currently it's a toss-up between a simple and abstract system of Guns, Melee, Speech, Medicine, Survival, and Stealth; or a more complex one expanding on those concepts (and more).
If I go for the more complex Skill system, it would be more like: Small Guns, Long Guns, Automatic Guns, One-Handed Melee, Two-Handed Melee, Ranged Melee (a la Bows or throwing knives; name subject to change), Barter, Leadership, Negotiation, First Aid, Pharmacology, Surgery, Scavenging, Rationing, Survival, Burglary (breaking and entering), Pickpocketing, and Sleight-Of-Hand. With either system, I want to include a skill set for when the PC get's to the Colony tier of the game.
And this is pretty much what I've got so far. I'm aware it isn't much (I don't even have an established idea for how combat will work, but I'm leaning towards Action Points). This is my first project, and any advice and criticism would be very much appreciated. I really do want to see something come from this, even if it is only improved story-telling and programming skills.