Hey guys, so as you know, we're making a zombie survival game. I have told you details about the game, but they're small compared to what we've decided to do and expand on. We've finally made some changes and decided the overall ties for it.
What is World War Z?
(WWZ is a placeholder now, as I've been informed that the name is being used ?) Anyway, World War Z is a survival game during the apocalypse. After thinking for a while, we've realized that so many games have been made where you stand around and blow endless waves of zombies' heads off. I've decided that it's time for a change. Our game will be less of a shoot 'em up and more of a "simulator." This means surviving by looting houses, eating, sleeping, drinking, boarding up walls, and basically, surviving the apocalypse.
After thinking for a while, I've decided to integrate a story into this game. However, it will be your choice. For example, during the story, you might find someone who asks you to do a task that effects the game later on. Our story mode is still in the thought process.
This is where everything is. Like I said before, it's not standing around blow endless waves of zombies' heads off. It's surviving. It's eating, drinking, sleeping, shelter on several HUGE maps. You can explore different maps from forests to big cities. This isn't an arcade game anymore, it's a simulator. This game will also have a day and night cycle.
This will be the best but most challenging part to make. However, it's going to be the best part. During survival, you can choose to do single or multiplayer. If you choose multiplayer, you will be on a map with other people. The rest is up to you. Will you have them join your team, or will you shoot them so they won't take all of your food? The choice is yours, whether you want to form a team or be a one man army.
The core mechanics of this game will be based on a system our awesome programmer made. Here's what he said about his system: "That's great! I'm basing my ideas mostly on Skyrim, but also on Fallout 3. If you don't need a mechanic from the system you can disable it, or you can adjust the mechanics to fit fantastic, modern or futuristic settings. Well, at the moment I have fully designed 6 roles for the player: warrior, hunter, magician, adventurer, thief and landlord. Here you can read more:
The roles are just categories to define skills trees, like in Skyrim. There are several trees per role, for example in magic there is invocation, elemental, transmutation and sensing. But to differ from Skyrim, the alchemy, incantation and conjuration skills will be dispersed among the magic trees. That way sub-roles are not monotonous.
I also designed lockpicking in a more advanced way than Elder Scrolls/Fallout. You don't only have lockpicks (and maybe a lever), you also have wooden probes and metal bars. And the mechanisms will not only have pins inside, but also various components allowing to create simple or very complex puzzles. Pins move lineally and are unlocked in a given position. Gears rotate and are unlocked in a range of angle. Active crystals are unlocked by fragments of the same crystal in the tip of the probe. Active metals vibrate when touched with the same metal, since tools (except the probe) can be made of different metals. Traps are opened by bars, but can suddenly close and break probes and lockpicks. And there is also the magic inscription that has a code-break logic, and is unlocked with symbols written in a bar. In this system the enemy of lockpicking is vibration. Some components produce it and the player has to be careful. Might sound like a lot of complexity, but lockpicking in not perceived as a "good" behavior, if a player wants to do it, it shouldn't be easy.
The combat system is an hybrid between Toribash and classic fighting. Here you can read more:
I designed "imaginary" training sessions, where the player can craft it's techniques unarmed, with direct contact weapons and shields. I recently summarized the concept in that thread, so I'll copy-paste it here:
"There will be some pre-defined parameters for the techniques, and the combination will give a large amount of decorative poses and movements. For example if the player wants to mimic a mantis, he can choose a similar starting stance and pose (frontal, with arms up, hands down), but also a slight decorative movement like moving arms back and forth and the head side to side. That will do the illusion trick. After that the player can choose the movements that his character's anthropomorphic anatomy is able to perform... in other words, kicks, punches, turns, etc. Everything will be predefined, but blended with the poses. The statistics of the character will also affect the execution of each technique."
I'm just waiting for Mecanim and it's IK solving API to begin implementing this mechanic.
I also fully designed the economy and government, which I'm afraid, might not fit with some deep story designs since it's kind of chaotic. Here is more information on it:
For material objects, my idea is to allow unlimited production of unlimited-lifespan items and unlimited inventories (no space/weight limits), with a balanced economy... a totally contradictory concept, since this will generate hyper-inflation. That's why I'm introducing a chaotic mechanism: pests and plagues. These features work as a natural recycling system to balance the game's economy. The pests basically degradate specific materials: mold (for food and ingredients), moth (fibers, cloths, leathers), termite (wood), vitriol (metals; except pure gold, ie. money), weevil (bones and large scales) flash (gems and glass), ghostly entity (ethereal). The good side is that players can benefit from this pests in the way of accelerated mana generation, and food for pets (not decided/designed yet).
Services will be controlled with fees and taxes which is not as chaotic, indeed it's pretty normal in games.
I'm also working, but haven't completely designed yet the character customization system, here is an early idea:
He also said this: "The kit will have some useful mechanics that can be applied to a survival game. I have based my ideas on Fallout, yet I'm going a few steps further. In a survival game the player will gather most of his items from loot, and here the lockpicking mechanic will make the game more interesting and realistic. I'm thinking on a DayZ style, where you are afraid of being surprised by a zombie, and you hurry to unlock a vault that might contain some weapons. You have to decide whether to spend time lockpicking or run to a safer place, so there is a portion of strategy. But the locks are not as simple as in Fallout, there will be several parts that you have to move in order to unlock it. These puzzles can be as easy or as complex as the designer wants. Another mechanic that will be useful is the skill trees, that are pretty similar to Fallout. I haven't decided yet, but there will probably be drugs, and the player will suffer withdrawal effects when he runs out of supplies just like Fallout. The combat system won't include V.A.T.S., because it's not possible to implement bullet time in a MMO game (you can't freeze everyone's time). But I'm adding customization with fighting techniques that I think people will like, and won't see in other games. And finally there are crafting and hunting mechanics, so the player will be able to build weapons and survive in the wilderness." This kit as well as the game will take time, but in the end we can create a great game.
Well, there is so much to write about the details of these mechanics, and what he has implemented. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
Well, that's it guys. Also, we still need someone to do zombie models, so if you have good modeling friends, please, ask. Also, I posted something in the Unity 3D collaboration forums as well as the gamdev.net forums, so we should be hearing from them soon. Also, I have created a simple chat/forum site, so if you ever want to discuss the game or talk with us, you can go there: http://zombiegamepro...itetoolbox.com/ the chat on the top bar is a chat room, while the chat in the bottom corner is for a 2 person private chat. It's not pro, but it'll do for now. Thanks guys, I think that this is an ambitious project, but if we work together, we can get this done. Like I said, it'll take time, but it will get done, and we won't give up. Also, I would like to welcome a few new team members today. Today we have gotten a level designer/3D artist, sound designer, and graphic artist!