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dtg108

What would you want from a zombie apocalypse simulator.

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dtg108    394
Hey guys, first of all, I'm going to make this short, as I'm on my phone. A while back I posted about feedback for my idea. Now, since we are working on models, we want to know: what would you like to see in a zombie simulator? In our MMO, we will make it where you have to eat, sleep, drink, and pretty much, survive. We were just wondering what you would like to see in this game.

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Ashaman73    13715
[quote name='dtg108' timestamp='1353558586' post='5003115']
In our MMO
[/quote]
First off, get rid of the first M. The zombie setting lives from the doomed, forlorn setting where only a handful of people survived, there's no place for massive.

[quote name='dtg108' timestamp='1353558586' post='5003115']
zombie simulator
[/quote]
What is a simulator for an unknown fictional scenario ? Simulators are not really funny at first and for sure are not really games. The reason people play simulators are, that they try to overcome a certain challenge or to provoke certain emerging situations. So, I would like to see some interesting challenges and a pretty high degree of interaction with the environment.

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Hodgman    51220
[quote name='dtg108' timestamp='1353558586' post='5003115']what would you like to see in a zombie simulator?[/quote]DayZ ([i]hardcore, lawless, survival[/i]), but without the cheating epidemic that ruins DayZ, and with more tools to allow for attempted civilized interaction with other survivors.
Also, infection. You get bit and you've got to hide it from your crew, lest they shoot you before your time is up.[quote name='Ashaman73' timestamp='1353568553' post='5003149']
The zombie setting lives from the doomed, forlorn setting where only a handful of people survived, there's no place for massive
[/quote]Massive player counts could be cool if the world was also equally massive.
DayZ avoids crowding by 'sharding' 100,000 players into few thousand world-instances of 50 players each, so that on it's 225km^2 map, you've got a good chance of being alone. This works -- meeting another player is a rare event, and personally, I usually hide or run because of the 'stranger danger'. Can't trust anyone if they know you've got beans!

If instead, the world was 10000 times bigger and no 'sharding' was used, it could be pretty damn epic. It's common in the apocalypse setting for people to be hearing news of places 100's of miles away ([i]via rumour, or radio, etc[/i]), which results in a "quest" to reach the source of that news, which takes a very long time, seeing that working motorized transport is now rare. This doesn't work in DayZ, because I can walk anywhere in the world in about an hour or two. Edited by Hodgman

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Madhed    4095
^This^

What I really hated about DayZ apart from the bugs was the zombie behaviour. Those spatic, zig-zagging, hawk-eyed sprinters... really killed it for me.
I'd like to see some more complex behaviour. Different types of zombies, with fast and aware types being the exception.
"I am legend" types would be pretty cool, you know, thoses that only come out in the dark.

Some kind of alliance system with base building, safe-zones, pvp.

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Luau Design DF    231
Wha tI want from a Zombie apocalypse simulator:

- To be like NeoScavenger in 3d and in real time.
- To NOT be multiplayer at all, specially MMO.
- To be necessary to wear chemical suits, and avoid all physical contact with zombies. Edited by Luis Guimaraes

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dtg108    394
[quote name='Ashaman73' timestamp='1353585492' post='5003208']
... but taking a look at the avatar of dtg108, I believe that he will not change his mind
[/quote] Sorry, but it's true :D. Please din't suggest not using zombies.

Anyway, I've decided to use some of the ideas you guys suggested. Here's what they are so far.
[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1353585623' post='5003209']
DayZ (hardcore, lawless, survival), but without the cheating epidemic that ruins DayZ
[/quote] Agreed, we will have classic zombies, the slow moving, mindless ones.
[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1353585623' post='5003209']
with more tools to allow for attempted civilized interaction with other survivors.
[/quote] Also agreed, we will have a surrender system, as well as a couple of other features allowing you to communicate more directly.
[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1353585623' post='5003209']
Also, infection. You get bit and you've got to hide it from your crew, lest they shoot you before your time is up.
[/quote] You sir are a genius! I hadn't even thought about this, but I'm definitely using it.[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1353585623' post='5003209']

If instead, the world was 10000 times bigger and no 'sharding' was used, it could be pretty damn epic.
[/quote]Yes, the terrain is in production, and it is way bigger than Day-Z's terrain. Also, only about 50-100 to a map, because it will be bigger than Day-Z.

Thanks for the ideas guys, keep'em coming :D!

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MatthewMorigeau    1672
Crowds, real threatening crowds of humans and zombies and the true spread of panic and confusion. Watching the faces of people shift from being unsure and unsettled, to worry, to panic then to horror and true fear and flight. Dynamic true sim of group fear during a disaster. If this is meant to be a simulator then this is the angle you should explore, navigating the chaos of panicked dangerous people. Capturing the emotional distress of the masses and the true disaster of the chaos these masses create. Zombies aren't scary, people are scary. Zombies (like all monsters) just show a side of people that we can't escape.

I disagree with this being something other then a zombie game however if its suppose to be a simulation, then zombies should be just another part of what is the real survival during this type of apocalyptic outbreak. Since the real threat is surviving each other. Finding ways to survive together (this is why walking dead is so go).

The book World WarZ explores the idea of people losing their mind and believing that they are zombies and how dangerous they are because although they can feel pain they have full mobility these are proper running zombies.

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Waterlimon    4398
-Good armor and all, and good health-kits, and so that you fall easily and people can take ur stuff, but you will likely be able to heal yourself or be healed. In most games the enemy needs to kill you to get your stuff, i find that annoying.

-Ability to build an awesome base out of planks and random metal pieces, and surviving there for a year with your rainwater gatherer and carrot farm.

-Zombies or whatever you will use should move in groups and less often individually. Groups should move slow. So if you are scouting its easy to avoid them but if a large group is slowly advancing right towards your base you have a problem. Individual zombies shouldnt be a problem for bases because they shouldnt dig and investigate everything on their way.

-Making huge reserves of everything like loaded batteries and food and resources is fun.

-Vehicles like bikes and trailers and whatever because fuel is rare

-Ability to communicate
*Diaries
*Player in game drawable maps
*Smoke from fires

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Orymus3    18821
I've been interested by such a concept a while back.
I think you should envision this as a survival game first.[quote name='dtg108' timestamp='1353558586' post='5003115']
we will make it where you have to eat, sleep, drink, and pretty much, survive.
[/quote]
Now, that's all good and fine, but this is a feature list and its really just that.
What you need to do is make sure that:
A - These features are fun to interact with, not just requirements that you need to grind.
B - That they fit within your gameplay and are part of a loop.

To make sure its fun and not just a grindfest, it implies there is gameplay involved, and as little manipulation as possible. Picking up consumables as you walk over them has its uses (it emphasizes exploration for example) but it won't really emphasize "eating" per se. It all depends what you want to emphasize.
Likewise, sleeping is nice, but if this is an MMO and everything occurs at the same time for everyone, "sleeping" will be mundane and boring. You'll go to sleep and wait until you are rested while staring at your blank computer screen. Even with a creative approach, such as sleeping while you're away (meaning other players need to defend you for example) you end up with a limiting strategy. Players can't log on more than X hours per day so they can let their character rest. But at least, it gives a reason to find a safe haven and return there, although it doesn't appear to be "fun".
What's your take on "sleep" as a gameplay element?

Now, to make sure everything is part of your core gameplay loop of survival, you need things that interact well together. As previously mentionned, eating by stepping over consumables (supplies/food) is going to be relevant. It forces your players out of their safe haven, into the "risky zone". Assuming your zombies aren't particularly bright, they probably won't be able to kill you in your safe havens, but eventually, you'll need to draw out for supplies and whatnot, and this mechanic interacts well with the core loop: players go out, take what they need, try to survive, and come back to the safe zone.

I can see a number of things working:
- Scarce ammunitions and the ability to raid depots (forcing you out to maintain peace keeping at safe havens where you can just snipe zombies). This also forces you to take on zombies hand-to-hand whenever possible to minimize bullet consumption
- Crafting at the safe haven: a lot of zombie games are anti-social, where everyone is in for themselves. It is hard to force people to cooperate, and may not be the goal, but having a "common gathering place" will force social interactions. One way to do this is to make these safe havens, easily defendable but without supplies (food, etc).
Add in all components in there to perform crafting, and you'll toss your players on their way to acquire components.
For example, if you have a bullet-making machine in the safe haven, but no gunpowder or shells, players will go out, find the necessary components, pile them in stashes, rebuild their ammo stocks, and perhaps sell the rest to other players or something. They may end up trading bullets (what their safe haven can produce) for food (what another safe haven can produce) and organize raids together to get as much resources as possible.

While some players may choose to band together, others will be lone wolves or roguish bands. It's the natural order of things that some players will do the hard work (fetch component, craft, try to replicate a near-functioning society) whereas other will take advantage of this new society. These rogues will scavenge what they can, oftentimes putting other players at risk, or plainly attacking them for their supplies. The enemy is not always the one you'd expect, especially in times of crisis.

So that said, what I'd like to see in a zombie survival game is: less zombies. Having too many of them often makes the difference between something eerie and a plain shooter. If you take a look at System Shock 2 as reference, you'll see that there were few "zombies" but that their psychological impact was more important.
Some games focus on fast zombies, the idea being that you need to find quick shelter to survive the encounter, or keep your cool and overpower them through bullets. It works, but let's try something else. Others focus on slow "tough" zombies, that everyone can ignore, but somehow choose to fight.
I'd like to see a game where zombies are not particularly tough or fast, but unexpected. You don't want to encounter them, because it means you'll have fewer bullets.
Zombies should have places they hang about, and reasons to do so. They may all be "eat flesh" and all, but they are still standing and roaming about. Flesh out their personality: are they "surviving" on instincts? thirst? What makes them tick?

One thing I'd really like for such MMOs is the idea of events.
Thing of this: The game has been up for 10 days, by now, players are settling in, have found ways to adapt, they have routes they've cleaned up, supply caches they've taken from, and they are starting to communicate with one another. From then on, the game can quickly go downhill, boring so to speak. Time to do something horrible:
- Create an upheaval of zombies in a specific base and give them an objective (for some reason, they are moving west). See how players respond to this menace and adapt to this change in their ecosystem. With so many caches no longer available, how can survive hordes of zombies?
- Find a few people on the roguish side. Give them a reason to "spread the virus": give them a means to turn more and more zombies and lure them towards specific objectives. Allow the Rogues to use zombies as a means to further increase their wealth and cleanup other survivors' nest. Yes, this is evil, but you can be sure there would be men to take advantage of these situations.
- Things have been hard on the players, and the world is a more dangerous place. Food is extremely scarce, and people are losing this war. Give them hope, give them a means to eradicate masses if they reach an area, say, a science labs that's been operating and have a limited supply of a toxin that burns dead flesh.

I think a lot of the fun an MMO could generate would be in the ability of its developers to make it evolve with simple features that aren't part of the original product, but can be fired when deemed appropriate. Having a strict set of metrics to track when that moment actually makes sense would be necessary, of course.

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hupsilardee    491
- Colossal map.
- Hunger/thirst simulation
- 10-50 players per server. Incentivise sticking together in smallish groups, but not too large. Battle other groups to get their resources
- Guns and ammo are rare and valuable
- Fast zombies, slow zombies, large zombies, small zombies, zombie dogs, zombie fish...
- Motor vehicles, but also bicycles, horses, rowboats.
- Make fuel a (valuable) commodity
- Build a fortress and craft items (traps, explosives, weapons even) from stuff
- Make it winnable (maybe make one game mode winnable) Eg - "the chopper arrives in 10 days, survive until then", or "the zombies spawn at the evil pentagrams scattered about the map, visit and destroy these to win" - forces players to explore the map.

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Orymus3    18821
[quote name='hupsilardee' timestamp='1353617435' post='5003313']
- Make it winnable (maybe make one game mode winnable) Eg - "the chopper arrives in 10 days, survive until then", or "the zombies spawn at the evil pentagrams scattered about the map, visit and destroy these to win" - forces players to explore the map.
[/quote]
Like, boost a character, win the game, repeat with a new character (another survivor) but gets a bonus for how many times you've "completed" the game?
I can see something interesting in that, kinda goes back to the idea of having a fun game LOOP.

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dakota.potts    455
I touched in another thread about factionalization, improvisation, more realistic weapon scenarios, and things of that nature. Focus on implementing a realistic health, combat, thirst/hunger, and human interaction (ie. the consequences of killing somebody) and make the gameplay solid.

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dakota.potts    455
I touched in another thread about factionalization, improvisation, more realistic weapon scenarios, and things of that nature. Focus on implementing a realistic health, combat, thirst/hunger, and human interaction (ie. the consequences of killing somebody) and make the gameplay solid. Also, as a zombie nerd and manager of a family run zombie company, I feel safe in saying that us zombie fans want to be able to hole up and make a fortification. We want to be able to make harrowing supply runs, drag our wounded back, post lookouts (with long range weapons of some sort), and when our system inevitably fails, we want the satisfaction of a last stand against the zombies where we use everything we've got with massive losses on both sides. For me, part of the thrill is stocking up the weapons, explosives, manpower (etc. etc.) to let it all rip at once before I go down.

That, and any kind of experimentation is a plus. You're a hobbyist, right? Fresh out of the market with no job to lose or no fans to disappoint. If you're in it for the passion like most of us, there won't be any loss from a bad experiment, and you can have a lot of fun with it.

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hupsilardee    491
Looks like my last post was fairly well appreciated so here are some more suggestions

- Zombie body parts come off. Can't think of any games that do this even though it would be fairly easy to implement.
- Auto turrets that need to be repaired and reloaded
- Lots of traps! Mines, beartraps, barbed wire, razor wire, pits/trenches with spikes at the bottom, Star Wars Ewok style falling/swinging logs. (Rolling logs off an elevated position to crush enemies is in both Crysis and Oblivion, and probably more)
- Stealthy weapons so I don't alert nearby zombies (and marauding players that want to get their dirty mitts on my ammo). Crossbows, throwing knives, ninja stars.
- Samurai swords and chainsaws, obviously, and maybe some blunt weapons: sledgehammers, baseball bats (with or without spikes), crowbars
- Sniping from rooftops. Love sniping, in any game.
- Exploding barrels. Every good game ever in the history of gaming has exploding barrels. (half life. crysis1+2. etc). Is this going to be a good game? Yes. Thus according to theorem 2.2, the game will contain exploding barrels. As a fun twist, make them indistinguishable from normal barrels.

Wow I have been in quite a creative mood this last week! (Or perhaps a destructive mood ;))

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dtg108    394
[quote name='dakota.potts' timestamp='1353649953' post='5003392']
I touched in another thread about factionalization, improvisation, more realistic weapon scenarios, and things of that nature. Focus on implementing a realistic health, combat, thirst/hunger, and human interaction (ie. the consequences of killing somebody) and make the gameplay solid. Also, as a zombie nerd and manager of a family run zombie company, I feel safe in saying that us zombie fans want to be able to hole up and make a fortification. We want to be able to make harrowing supply runs, drag our wounded back, post lookouts (with long range weapons of some sort), and when our system inevitably fails, we want the satisfaction of a last stand against the zombies where we use everything we've got with massive losses on both sides. For me, part of the thrill is stocking up the weapons, explosives, manpower (etc. etc.) to let it all rip at once before I go down.[/quote] All I have to say is: yes.

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dtg108    394
Hey, [url="http://www.gamedev.net/user/174694-hupsilardee/"][color="#284b72"]hupsilardee[/color][/url], I'll tell you some features from your list that we were going to add already:
[quote name='hupsilardee' timestamp='1353721102' post='5003632']
- Stealthy weapons so I don't alert nearby zombies (and marauding players that want to get their dirty mitts on my ammo). Crossbows, throwing knives, ninja stars.
- Samurai swords and chainsaws, obviously, and maybe some blunt weapons: sledgehammers, baseball bats (with or without spikes), crowbars
- Sniping from rooftops. Love sniping, in any game.
[/quote]
Here are your brilliant ideas that I didn't think about adding that I will add:
[quote name='hupsilardee' timestamp='1353721102' post='5003632']
- Exploding barrels. Every good game ever in the history of gaming has exploding barrels. (half life. crysis1+2. etc). Is this going to be a good game? Yes. Thus according to theorem 2.2, the game will contain exploding barrels. As a fun twist, make them indistinguishable from normal barrels.
[/quote][quote name='hupsilardee' timestamp='1353721102' post='5003632']
- Zombie body parts come off. Can't think of any games that do this even though it would be fairly easy to implement.
- Auto turrets that need to be repaired and reloaded
- Lots of traps! Mines, beartraps, barbed wire, razor wire, pits/trenches with spikes at the bottom, Star Wars Ewok style falling/swinging logs. (Rolling logs off an elevated position to crush enemies is in both Crysis and Oblivion, and probably more)
[/quote] Thanks, and keep sending ideads!

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MatthewMorigeau    1672
You should make a Black Friday game ;D no need for zombies. Surviving a store is scary enough on Black Friday.

Have you played Left 4 Dead? I'd say it sets the bar for zombie combat. Plenty of dismemberment there. However realistic weapons use here could be interesting (since you're looking to simulate).

You should consider the use of zombies as well, being able to trap them "alive" and use them as weapons against other dangerous survivors could be interesting. The idea treads on some grey area but I've never seen this done in a zombie story (short of necromancers I suppose).

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dtg108    394
[quote name='Mratthew' timestamp='1353725990' post='5003648']
You should make a Black Friday game ;D no need for zombies. Surviving a store is scary enough on Black Friday.
[/quote] YES! lol.
[quote name='Mratthew' timestamp='1353725990' post='5003648']
You should consider the use of zombies as well, being able to trap them "alive" and use them as weapons against other dangerous survivors could be interesting. The idea treads on some grey area but I've never seen this done in a zombie story (short of necromancers I suppose).
[/quote] Good idea, might use it!

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Acharis    5979
What kind of game are you exactly trying to make?

Something like Urban Dead with humans vs zombies (where both groups are players) or something like Die2Nite/Left4Dead where players cooperate to survive against hordes of NPC zombies?

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Randel    328
Not sure about zombie apocolypse simulators, but I've recently been playing Planetside 2 and I really like it, particularly for the faction involvment.

Basically, in PS2 there are three empires waging war over territory and that territory gives resources to the controlling empire. Players each choose an empire and can play classes (switching between them as needed) to help support their team. In addition to things like Heavy Infantry, Light Infantry, and Infiltrators (basically snipers with cloaking and hacking ability) there are also Combat Medics and Engineers.

I particularly enjoy playing Engineer because it is the class that repairs vehicles, base turrets, and generators to help defend bases. As an Engineer, you can get a decent amount of experience just by going through a decent size base and fixing up all the busted equipment after your team secures it.


How does this apply to a zombie apocolypse? Well, suppose there are several factions of survivors in the world and they all want to take control of the surviving infrastructure. Say:

Loyalists - They believe that just because the world is infested with zombies doesn't mean their nation is gone. They work to enforce the laws the old world had, restore it to its old glory, and deal with any traitors or looters they see. The land and buildings were once property of the governement or its citizens and since they are carrying on its legacy then naturally they should have it all.

Raiders - This faction was fed up with the old government and its rules and like this zombie-filled environment just fine, thank you very much. Oh the zombies are dangerous, no argument there, but the Raiders are more dangerous! Raider government is ruled by the strong and the weak either get looted or make themselves useful. They will take anything they want.

Intellectuals - These guys saw the problems of the old world and wish to improve upon it, with the power of SCIENCE and LOGIC! They know all about history and science and socioeconomic theory so they will be much better suited to creating a perfect world from the ruins of the old one, and theirs will be efficient and fair and everything... now all they need to do is deal with these zombies, rival factions, and collapsed infrastructure.


Basically, three factions with their distinct flavors and these groups all want to take control of the area. Players may start out on a team or be nonaligned. Once they play, they can either be more assault based to take out the zombies, or loot buildings, or maybe work as farmers, engineers, or medics to support the other members of their team. Depending on how resources are made, or rather the effectivness of farming vs looting buildings there could be players who would rather play some sort of in-game farming simulator to get resources for their faction. Resources that could be looted by their rival factions.

Or maybe there are various 'farms' set up around the map and players can work them regardless of allegiance, but the farm itself can be contested through some sort of capture the flag game. Basically, farmers work the field and the factions fight to control one building where the food is stored. Ideally, the farm can be taken over by anybody with the workers just doing their job and paying tribute to whoever is their new overlord this week. So long as said overlord keeps the zombies at bay, they don't mind (though life might such under the Raider faction).

Actually, the farmers would most likely be NPCs or invisible while players just help to boost the farms productivity.

Of course, along with the three main factions, the zombies are a constant threat in and of themselves and there can be plenty of unaligned players doing stuff. Some players might find out ways to control the zombies and maybe lead hoards of them into enemy bases to stage assaults, or lead them into traps to help their faction clear out an area.


Anyway, just tossing out that after a zombie apocalypse it would make sense for groups to form for mutual protection and to control the remaining resources.

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dtg108    394
Randel, I really like your ideas and haven't thought about it in that way. I don't think we will make it like 'classes' on multiplayer, but more like during missions. During a mission, we could be entering a place to loot it and get shot at. Then, they could say that they were 'loyalists' and they work for the government. You try to tell them that there is no government but they won't be convinced. Eventually, you have to kill them. Some things like this could really run well in a storyline, I like it!

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