A survival RPG in which the player character's well-being depends on inventory and friendship with AI agents imposes a lot of disagreeable constraints on the "apocalypse":
- The disaster must be fairly advanced, with the game set when society is already collapsed, after the interesting slow initial period in which people attempt to prepare and adapt with increasingly desperate measures (not catching the plague, escaping the enemy, containing the zombies, avoiding the war, etc.) but are not forced into a survival adventure.
Things can go from bad to worse (for example, you might be reduced to hunt rabbits for food until you begin finding disgusting mutant ones) but not really from good to bad.
- Most natural catastrophes aren't bad enough. A game about finding food, water and shelter for many days until rescue ships reach a tsunami-blasted island or until the first helicopters are able to fly into a burning city would be emotionally weak. A true collapse of civilization requires a global problem and a relatively long time to cook.
- If civilization is over, shouldn't NPCs be hostile and self-interested? Can a friend be more useful than a slave?