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dtg108

How to stop the killing?

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Some of you may know that I'm working on a zombie survival game. I really want the players to work together and not just kill each other, but how are some ideas to force them to work together, but also give them free will?

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Try thinking in terms of bribing them to work together rather than forcing.  Reverse the prisoner's dilemma - make the payoff bigger or the penalty smaller when two players work together.  Or allow players to give each other bonuses that don't cost the player giving them anything.  Or allow players to give themselves a bonus but only if they also/first give it to someone else.

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Some random thoughts.

 

limited ammunition i.e. 10 zombies Player 1 has 5 bullets, player 2 has 3 bullets, player 3 has 4 bullets

 

limited inventory space requiring miscellaneous items to be spread through the party

 

Interactive elements requiring 2 or more to make the interaction achievable eg:

  • trap setups using live bait (player) and trap closer (player) 
  • ropes - player 1 on ground about to get eaten - player 2 drops rope from building top and lifts player 1 out

complicated food recipes to which people can contribute ingredients to make a shareable meal for consumption now or storage for later

 

hard target goals that cannot be solo'd

 

damage received on body in locations requiring a second player to treat with first aid

 

abiilty to move larger objects for example a vending machine to block doorways

 

driver and gunners - if utilising vehicles

 

Hope these help smile.png

Edited by Stormynature

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That's funny; I just commented on this very thing today in a thread that's currently right alongside this one. smile.pngLink.

 

In summary, you'll need to give the players reasons to co-operate instead of killing each other. Here are just a few ideas off the top of my head (keeping in mind that I've never worked on a zombie game):

  • Make the zombie threat so awful and terrible that players must work together or be destroyed: the zombies could be super numerous, super tough, etc. (This idea seems ill-defined to me; sorry for that.)
  • Make killing players a difficult and not-very-rewarding task. E.G. when a player dies, all of his gear is severely damaged or flat-out lost.
  • Killing a player nets you bad reputation, which is permanent and blocks you from safe havens and marks you (very obviously) as a player-killer; you probably want to make this get worse with player-kills in order to cushion against accidental deaths...or build in an atonement mechanic (or at least a long cooldown after which the player-kill counter decrements).
  • Set up a bounty system. Make it very rewarding and easy to track down perpetrators (and, of course, killing a known player killer should not mark you as a player killer.)
  • Make bad rep attractive to zombies; i.e. it becomes harder for you to hide from them, or something.
  • Perma-death could fix it super easy, provided that there are massive advantages to surviving for a long time span (lots of skill points, good gear, completed maps, etc.)

I hope there's something of value in there for you. :)

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* If killing other players gives you a benefit (e.g. you get all their stuff), then create an alternative to it. For example, you could have a "put your hands up!" button and a surrender button, allowing players to rob each other to get the above benefit without killing. Or also add a pick-pocket system, so you can steal other player's gear without them even knowing (if you're lucky).

 

* Have moral choices (like killing) mark the player in some way. If you game has skill points/etc, then perhaps you could have a "good judge of character" skill. When you look a player in the eyes and use this skill, your character could remark via their inner voice "I don't trust this guy, he's got the cold eyes of a killer", or "I don't want to turn my back on this guy". If someone has committed a large number of murders, you could even just have their character occasionally mumble insane ramblings about killing everyone, to give their future victims a warning laugh.png

 

* You could allow victims of player killing to get revenge in some way. Killed players could become zombies, so if you don't run from the corpse immediately, the killed player can shamble after them for some brain eating revenge. If characters have permanent names, then after respawning, you could place a bounty on their head, or publicly name them as a killer (on some kind of common noticeboard, or radio station?)

 

* Create some other kind of punishment. Perhaps a killed player's blood simply attracts zombies, so the killer will possibly be overwhelmed by default, unless they're careful. For a psychological twist, you could have anyone that you've killed appear in a ghostly form from time to time, like the flashbacks/ghosts in System Shock 2, distracting or scaring you at inopportune times.

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*  If someone has committed a large number of murders, you could even just have their character occasionally mumble insane ramblings about killing everyone, to give their future victims a warning laugh.png

I really like this idea; if the idea is "dark realism" then this fits the bill. While player-killers might consider more and more intense insane ramblings as a badge of honor, it can both serve as a warning to other players as well as attract zombies. smile.png

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It's quite trivial, make the zombies attack the players :) Therefore, since we (the players) are the ones that have a common enemy we are natural friends (if the another player is killed there are more zombies coming at me, since they have no other "distraction").

 

Note that you don't even need to implement "shooting at another player", there is still a free will involved in a decision of helping/not helping another player that is surrounded by enemies while you are not at the moment. Effectively you can "kill" another player even without any "friendly fire" allowed. Also, the most vicious hostility vs another player would be to go and just... stand still in order to get killed so the other player has more enemies to deal with :D

 

You simply do not need to do anything at all to assure that player's behaviour :)

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Here is one more suggestion.  Do something in your Player Scripts.  The military and civilian aviation use transponders that emit signals.  This signals alert military hardware tracking these transponders has either civilian, freindly or potentially hostile.  By embedding such a transponder into your code idendifying potential targets, you could cause the weapon not to fire on so-called freindlies.

  If you want a little person to person combat, but with penality, assign a code to those players firing upon freindlies as aligning themselves with the Zombies and then reduce the damage against the Zombies until they stop attacking freindlies.

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