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dtg108

Feedback on Unique Zombie Survival Game Idea?

27 posts in this topic

Hey guys, I'm Dakota Grossman, and I need your help. I have just started using Unity 3D, even though I have been working with DAZ studio for a couple of months (it’s an animator/3D creation program.) I am hoping to make a zombie survival game with a twist. You will survive, but you will have to find ammo, food, etc. Also, there will be missions, such as exploring a building, finding someone, or other things (It will have a story). This game will hopefully have good graphics, but I am not hoping to make a HUGE blockbuster best seller, because we are not there yet.
There will be a couple of modes. The first mode will be Story. It will follow the campaign of a survivor as he finds more people and makes important decisions. Next will be survival, which is where you survive against oncoming hoards of zombies on a free-roam type map. You will have to get ammo, food, water, etc. If we have the chance, we will make co-op. This isn’t for sure, however. This game is FPS
Here is the very first mission on Story Mode (Not Yet Developed):
The Character (Eric Reece) wakes up in the middle of a field. He has no recollection of anything. However, he sees that he has a police uniform on, so he knows that he must have been a cop. Also, there is a cabin standing He stands up, and this is where you take control. The objective simply says: "Find out what's going on." When the character gets to the door, a cutscene starts. The character grabs a note off of the door, which reads: "The world has gone to hell, run." The character turns around when a zombie pops out, knocking the player to the ground. There will then be a button that pops up on screen, and once pressed, the character will grab the gun and shoot the zombie.
That's all I have so far for the story. Later on, you will find more people in the story, and they will come with you. Also, there will be some important decisions that will be made throughout the game that can affect the outcome. Survival MIGHT be co-op, like I said.
One more thing, please don't say that I can't do it, because I am just the animator/creator. I also have a team of coders and artists (check out my thread in the classifieds if you want to join).
That's it guys. I'm open to constructive criticism, ideas that I could add to my game, and, ultimately, the question: would you play it? Hopefully I will release a demo, soon and then you can play. Edited by dtg108
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So basically, DayZ + WarZ + The Walking Dead?
I'd play it. The question is if you can build it? [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/wink.png[/img]
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Amadeus, yes, I love the walking dead, never.played day z or the other game you mentioned, though. Can I make it? I am an animator, and a 3D artist. I am in the process of picking a programmer and another 3d artist. Hopefully, we can make this game. You're welcome to join.
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Play those mentioned games. You will become a better game designer (since that's the role you are taking right now)
Also, I also recommend the MMORPG called 'the Secret World', it's not great in terms of gameplay, but some of its missions are awesome. The investigating ones really make you look around the place, seeking clues, and piecing the info together to find out what's going on.


Also, is this FPS ? TPS ? Top--down ? Isometric ?
Are there RPG elements; like, inventory (grids or slots ?), classes ?, character advancement ? character progression ? Armors ? Trading / Bartering ? (with AI Merchant or Players on Co-op ?) ETC ETC ETC
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PyrZern, it is an fps, as mentioned above. No inventory, no classes, no ranks, (maybe team leader), trading (maybe in the future, can't say spoilers), trading on CO-OP. I'm going for realism here. Edited by dtg108
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The problem here is that ur entering a STACKED field. Another Zombie survivor FPS? Ok, but what makes this unique? Why should THIS version of the formula concern me?

I see in ur post u have not played Day Z, the mod for Arma that is soon coming out as its own game.
Day Z is, right now, the latest craze in the Zombie survivor FPS genre, well here is what you need to know.

Day Z has permadeath. In other words u die... ur dead. No saves, no extra lives, no respawn points. U play, till u die.

Apart from that its also ultra realistic in the sense of taking damage, eating food, sneaking around, loot etc etc.. One thing is getting Zombies on ur tail that will follow u forever, whil u will run out of stamina running to far, another thing is other players, which permiate the landscape and brings with them everything u might imagine of PvP douchebaggery and random murder.

So Day Z is designed around this mechanic, the permadeath.

So that's an interesting, new and fresh take on what is by now a very old formula.
What do u have?

-Exo Edited by Exodus111
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I was worried as soon as I saw the thread said this was unique. Are you saying that most game ideas on this forum rip off stuff? Not that this is unique.
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aattss, I wouldn't say rip-off. Many people from different corners of the world can come up with the same or very similar ideas on their own, or simply by being inspired by the same things. (zombies, + FPS + realism + etc)
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[quote name='dtg108' timestamp='1351545816' post='4995169']The Character (Eric Reece) wakes up in the middle of a field. He has no recollection of anything. However, he sees that he has a police uniform on, so he knows that he must have been a cop. Also, there is a cabin standing He stands up, and this is where you take control. The objective simply says: "Find out what's going on." When the character gets to the door, a cutscene starts. The character grabs a note off of the door, which reads: "The world has gone to hell, run." The character turns around when a zombie pops out, knocking the player to the ground. There will then be a button that pops up on screen, and once pressed, the character will grab the gun and shoot the zombie.
[/quote]

So what stops us NOT going to the cabin? Perhaps an objective like 'investigate the cabin' would be better, at least this lets the player know what objective you intend ... why cut away from the action so shortly after giving it to the character with a cutscene? Can't we just have one cutscene of Eric waking up, looking at his uniform, going over to the cabin, reading the note and being attacked - que game start? Or perhaps there is no cutscene and you read the note and spawn the zombie attack in play?

Perhaps its me, but cutscenes as you describe feel very interuptive. I'd also have to agree with everyone else though, theres nothing that pops out as unique or 'wow never seen that before' from what you describe. Edited by All Names Taken
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[quote name='dtg108' timestamp='1351545816' post='4995169']
The Character (Eric Reece) wakes up in the middle of a field. He has no recollection of anything.
[/quote]

Consider not using the amnesia trope. Its has been done to death. >___<
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Most tropes have been used before, and amnesia is a good fit for a story based video game.
But so far there is nothing here that is Unique.

The title should read "Feedback on Zombie Survival Game Idea?"

So far there is nothing Unique here, the story sounds like something straight out of The Walking Dead.

-Exo
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[quote name='Exodus111' timestamp='1351706602' post='4995902']
Most tropes have been used before, and amnesia is a good fit for a story based video game.

But so far there is nothing here that is Unique.
[/quote]

1. "Most tropes have been used before" is not a sound reason to use tropes that has been done to death.

2. But I agree with you: tropes can be ok if there is a reason for it, like if your way is unique. E.g. Johnny Mnemonic or Total Recall's amnesia sounds plausible and is different from simply waking up with amnesia from knocking your head.

[quote name='Exodus111' timestamp='1351706602' post='4995902']The title should read "Feedback on Zombie Survival Game Idea?"
So far there is nothing Unique here, the story sounds like something straight out of The Walking Dead.
-Exo
[/quote]

Agreed. Even the starting scene feels similar to The Walking Dead video game opening. The rest of the description sounds like what other zombie games are already doing. Although I am a big fan of zombie games, there is pretty much nothing compelling here.

To OP: You should come up with some truly unique elements and highlight them to us.
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[quote name='Legendre' timestamp='1351735126' post='4996040']
To OP: You should come up with some truly unique elements and highlight them to us.
[/quote]

Hey guys, I've toyed with the idea a little more, and thanks for the CC. In the last week, I've gotten another programmer and animator/3D artist, and we have brought a couple of other things to the table that we haven't seen yet. NOTE: Please, tell me if it's in another game. I WANT to know:[list]
[*]An inituative combat system- We are bringing a combat system into a zombie game, something I haven't seen much of. You can stab a zombie with anything from a knife to a screw driver, or you can smash their skulls in with a baseball bat. The choice is yours.
[*]Decision Process- As the story progresses, you choose decisions that could affect the outcome of the game. Will you choose to kill that person, or let them join the team? A player was bitten. Do you put him down, or try to cling on to the last bit of hope you have? This option allows you to make decisions while still being in full control of the character without making a storybook feel.
[*]Wear-and-tear system- A new system design that affects how your character progresses. Based on your decisions, your character could become very dark, or he could be a saint. Our programmer has been working ont this one for months, before we joined as a team, and it's still in production.
[*]Group effectiveness- the choices you make will decide whether the group likes you or not. Will your group hate you or look up to you?
[*]Multiplayer- You can play in Survival co-op, where you can create classes and customize your character's looks based on the currency you earn. Also, in head-to-head, you can be infected OR you can be a human.
[/list]
Once again, please tell me if these are in other games, and if so, what games. Edited by dtg108
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[quote name='dtg108' timestamp='1351738239' post='4996051'][list]
[*]An inituative combat system- We are bringing a combat system into a zombie game, something I haven't seen much of. You can stab a zombie with anything from a knife to a screw driver, or you can smash their skulls in with a baseball bat. The choice is yours.
[/list]
[/quote]
I think Left 4 Dead and Dead Island do this to a degree.

[quote][list]
[*]Decision Process- As the story progresses, you choose decisions that could affect the outcome of the game. Will you choose to kill that person, or let them join the team? A player was bitten. Do you put him down, or try to cling on to the last bit of hope you have? This option allows you to make decisions while still being in full control of the character without making a storybook feel.
[*]Wear-and-tear system- A new system design that affects how your character progresses. Based on your decisions, your character could become very dark, or he could be a saint. Our programmer has been working ont this one for months, before we joined as a team, and it's still in production.
[/list]
[/quote]

Can't say I know a zombie game specificly but the likes of Knights of the Old Republic and I believe Mass Effect (Also Dragon Age? Jade Empire?) do something of this vain. It often comes off abit hackneyed in execution so if you can do this really well that could count.

[quote][list]
[*]Group effectiveness- the choices you make will decide whether the group likes you or not. Will your group hate you or look up to you?
[/list]
[/quote]

Again I think Mass Effect/Dragon Age does something like this?

[quote][list]
[*]Multiplayer- You can play in Survival co-op, where you can create classes and customize your character's looks based on the currency you earn. Also, in head-to-head, you can be infected OR you can be a human.
[/list]
[/quote]

Hmmm, well there are a few class based co-ops now, the most obvious being Left 4 Dead as the zombie example ... customization I suppose adds abit of a welcome change but not something that hasn't been done in other genres. Again Left 4 Dead for infected or human play.
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[quote name='dtg108' timestamp='1351738239' post='4996051']
[quote name='Legendre' timestamp='1351735126' post='4996040']
To OP: You should come up with some truly unique elements and highlight them to us.
[/quote]

Hey guys, I've toyed with the idea a little more, and thanks for the CC. In the last week, I've gotten another programmer and animator/3D artist, and we have brought a couple of other things to the table that we haven't seen yet. NOTE: Please, tell me if it's in another game. I WANT to know:[list]
[*]An inituative combat system- We are bringing a combat system into a zombie game, something I haven't seen much of. You can stab a zombie with anything from a knife to a screw driver, or you can smash their skulls in with a baseball bat. The choice is yours.
[*]Decision Process- As the story progresses, you choose decisions that could affect the outcome of the game. Will you choose to kill that person, or let them join the team? A player was bitten. Do you put him down, or try to cling on to the last bit of hope you have? This option allows you to make decisions while still being in full control of the character without making a storybook feel.
[*]Wear-and-tear system- A new system design that affects how your character progresses. Based on your decisions, your character could become very dark, or he could be a saint. Our programmer has been working ont this one for months, before we joined as a team, and it's still in production.
[*]Group effectiveness- the choices you make will decide whether the group likes you or not. Will your group hate you or look up to you?
[*]Multiplayer- You can play in Survival co-op, where you can create classes and customize your character's looks based on the currency you earn. Also, in head-to-head, you can be infected OR you can be a human.
[/list]
Once again, please tell me if these are in other games, and if so, what games.
[/quote]

Ok, sorry if my previous posts have been harsh, I only meant to inform.

This is looking interesting now, let me go through ur points.
[list=1]
[*]Dead Island did this, putting player choice in weapon at the forefront of the game.
[*]The walking dead, this is pretty much what the walking dead game is all about, decisions decisions decisions. (not an FPS though)
[*]A binary choice between a good or an evil ending has been done a lot in RPGs, from Fable to Mass Effect. As Zombie game, id point out Fallout and Bioshock. (Not straight Zombie games but close enough)
[*]Left 4 dead focused on group effectiveness in player based environment.
[*]Part one: Borderlands (Zombie Island of Doctor Ned makes it technically a Zombie game), Part 2 sounds straight out of Left 4 dead.
[/list]
Ok, so most of these points are not exactly what u describe, except for point 3 and point 5 part 2, that u should look at.

But, let me point out, all these features comprise some of the best features, from some of the best games in this genre over the last few years, putting these features together into one game sounds really awesome. Ambitious... yes, but awesome...

Looking forward to the game.

-Exo
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You, and/or your team, really needs to start playing Zombie games. Like. All of them.
Because it sounds like you haven't.

Also, I think you should think about [b]focus[/b]. DayZ is awesome because of the harsh setting and the PvP. The Walking Dead is awesome because of the story and its characters. Dead Island is great because I can rage and bash zombies with anything I want. Left4Dead is cool because I can co-op with my friends.

Trying to be all of these (and more) at once is most likely just[i] too ambitious[/i]. That said, I hope you pull it off [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] Edited by Amadeus H
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Did anyone else chuckle upon seeing the word 'unique' beside the words 'zombie survival game idea'?
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[quote name='dtg108' timestamp='1351738239' post='4996051']
NOTE: Please, tell me if it's in another game. I WANT to know:[list]
[*]An inituative combat system- We are bringing a combat system into a zombie game, something I haven't seen much of. You can stab a zombie with anything from a knife to a screw driver, or you can smash their skulls in with a baseball bat. The choice is yours.
[*]Decision Process- As the story progresses, you choose decisions that could affect the outcome of the game. Will you choose to kill that person, or let them join the team? A player was bitten. Do you put him down, or try to cling on to the last bit of hope you have? This option allows you to make decisions while still being in full control of the character without making a storybook feel.
[*]Wear-and-tear system- A new system design that affects how your character progresses. Based on your decisions, your character could become very dark, or he could be a saint. Our programmer has been working ont this one for months, before we joined as a team, and it's still in production.
[*]Group effectiveness- the choices you make will decide whether the group likes you or not. Will your group hate you or look up to you?
[*]Multiplayer- You can play in Survival co-op, where you can create classes and customize your character's looks based on the currency you earn. Also, in head-to-head, you can be infected OR you can be a human.
[/list]
Once again, please tell me if these are in other games, and if so, what games.
[/quote]

1. This has been done quite a bit in zombie games. Tripe As: L4D, Dead Rising, Dead Island. Indie: Dead Frontier, Urban Dead, Zombie Pandemic. Knife, screw driver, baseball bat, golf clubs, frying pan, shotguns, pistols, machine guns, rifles, chainsaw, chef's knife, tire iron etc etc.

2. The Walking Dead definitely. But I think you're right that not many zombie games deal with story. Hmmm...Resident Evil series?

3. This is quite common I think. Bioware games?

4. Most RPGs I suppose.

5. Left 4 Dead! Probably the best infected vs humans and survival co-op out there. Also, Dead Space multiplayer allows you to play either as survivors or infected. Edited by Legendre
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[quote name='Rybo5001' timestamp='1351769885' post='4996152']
Did anyone else chuckle upon seeing the word 'unique' beside the words 'zombie survival game idea'?
[/quote]

Well....actually no. Because I has a very unique idea for a zombie survival game as well. :D

Not everything has been done. E.g. the survival aspect is still lacking is zombie survival games.
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Look into State of Decay. Its coming out for xbox live arcade and PC in 2013, but it is all about surviving in a zombie apocolypse.
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[quote name='Exodus111' timestamp='1351748403' post='4996087']
The walking dead, this is pretty much what the walking dead game is all about, decisions decisions decisions. (not an FPS though)
[/quote]
I think people are misunderstanding this. It's not like the Walking Dead where the whole story is decisions. You also play like a normal FPS.
I know the Infected vs Human part is not unique. I haven't seen zombie games where the create a class and currency systems are in play. PLus, a lot of you guys are listing games that aren't even zombie games. It's hard to explain, but I'm throwing a lot of these out into this game in a different way then some. Edited by dtg108
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[quote name='dtg108' timestamp='1351781846' post='4996205']
[quote name='Exodus111' timestamp='1351748403' post='4996087']
The walking dead, this is pretty much what the walking dead game is all about, decisions decisions decisions. (not an FPS though)
[/quote]
I think people are misunderstanding this. It's not like the Walking Dead where the whole story is decisions. You also play like a normal FPS.
I know the Infected vs Human part is not unique. I haven't seen zombie games where the create a class and currency systems are in play. PLus, a lot of you guys are listing games that aren't even zombie games. It's hard to explain, but I'm throwing a lot of these out into this game in a different way then some.
[/quote]

I wouldn't discredit the games people are bringing up. Even if they don't have zombies, I don't think that was really their point. Just because a game features zombies or not, they share similar elements. When told that the ideas are unique and "never seen it done before", they obviously approach the ideas with skepticism. And the games listed by people are great examples of the different features you're looking to add.

And from what I've read, I can't say I disagree with everyone. The ideas have all been done before in multiple games; with zombies and without. To me, it seems like you have a lot of good ideas, but you didn't do your research. As it sits to me, a lot of other designers had the same great ideas. There are tons of games that have already done your games features. And that's where things get tricky. Designers have to learn to adapt and researching existing games. Adding the same features isn't a bad thing, but you need to learn how to use them to your benefit. How they were implemented in games before you.

If you don't, your game will feel like a poorly cobbled together mess, and you don't want that.

So the last thing I'll say is this. [b]Stop being so fixated on your idea being unique. It isn't. [/b]Your idea [b]is not[/b] original. And that's okay.

Just make a game that you want to play and you're passionate about and hopefully others will see that and love your game too.

Sorry if I come off a bit harsh, I just hear so very many people spout how their ideas for a game are so original and they get really bent out of shape when they find out its been done before. Who cares? Just make the game good and people will respect/like it. Edited by DaveTroyer
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