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Zombie types (enemies)

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Im making a topdown 2d zombie roguelike/diablo/adventure/RPG mix game. Its set in the US. I'd like some feedback on some enemy ideas.

Its good if enemies can have a distinct look so the player can differentiate them.



Normal enemies - take full damage from all weapons


walker - slow. found in large crowds.

runner - very fast but otherwise the same.

boomer - explodes when killed. Bloated like the one in LFD2.

spitter - mid-ranged projectile attack. Spits acid. Look?

alarmer - when notices player will schriek which spawns more walkers/runners that come to the location. Look?



Armoured - take very little damage from normal weapons and full from armour-piercing


SWAT zombie - has SWAT-gear. Little faster than a walker and stronger attack.

Brute - mutated so its bigger. Has hardened skin and a really strong attack

Boss zombie?


What about this for a start? More armoured types?

Edited by suliman

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One small note:


Might make the selection of weapons more deliberate, and is actually pretty realistic:


High penetration guns should do less damage to unarmoured targets. One of the reason the is special "manstopper ammunition" because the normal ammunition has to much penetrative power, thus a. leaves a very narrow wound in the target, which, as long as no vital organ is hit, or bone broken / shattered, and the target has a high pain resistance, is not stopping a combatant (bleeding mostly becomes only real problem when a main artery is hit, the rest can be bandaged quickly). b. The high penetrative power means more persons could potentially be hit by the bullet exiting the original target without having slowed down enough, which is why the police often uses such rounds.


Now, if you use a 0.5 HMG with AP ammunition as a amrour piercing weapon and hit a human sized target with it, I guess it doesn't matter much... a 0.5in bullet will leave an enough broad wound canal to almost guarantee some vital damage.

We have a very powerful AR in service here in switzerland. Actually to powerful against normal unarmoured targets. But, there is a weird thing with the flightpath of the bullet. Bullet tumbles for the first 100 meters, when it starts to stabilize to travel another 400 or more meters. AFAIK not really a "feature", but helps making hits against unarmoured targets more lethal as the bullet would often hit the body at a slight angle, thus getting into a spin inside the body, leaving a very nasty wound canal.


But these are exceptions. Most of the time, the better the armour penetration, the more narrow and long the projectile, and the more speed it has. Both mean a less severe wound, or overpenetration in case of vehicles.

When more penetration is achieved by increasing the energy of the porjectile beyond more speed, by increasing caliber and mass, that overpen effect might be mitigated somewhat by the larger wound (or penetration) canal and thus higher chance to hit vital spots, or shattering bones (nasty)



Coming back to your game, maybe you want to reduce the damage of high penetration weapons against unarmoured targets because of this? So the player needs to carefully choose his weapons arsenal?



EDIT: Almost forgot. A more technical explanation to why higher powered projectiles to less damage to soft targets:


Damage done could be expressed as energy transfered from the projectile to the target. A projectile with a ton of energy (which is mass times speed or something like that), that hits a soft target and leaves the target on the other side has not transfered much of its energy to the target. Aside from a mostly clean wound canal, not much damage done.

A manstopper round fired from a lower powered gun will transfer ALL of its energy on the soft target. It has been designed to deform in a way that it transfers its energy more efficiently, and thus will most probably not leave the soft target. ALL energy has been transfered to the target, which, besides a much broader wound canal because of the deformed bullet, means more secondary damage to the tissue, and shock.


This is also the reason why a shotgun CAN have the effect of hurling even a soft target back many meters. Pellets are small, but slow and built to not leave the target. if many hit, the transferred energy might be enough to hurl back a human.

Contrary to how hollywood and games often show it, the same shouldn't haben if you get shot by a highspeed round into an uprotected part of your body. Shot will go clean through, without the target being flung against the wall.


But I stop my rambling here.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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I would make the SWAT zombie a possible modifier to all zombie types.  Conceptually speaking, a SWAT officer that's been killed and becomes a zombie could be any type of zombie; walker, runner, boomer, spitter, alarmer; now with better armor.


Also, I would view walkers as just more damaged versions of runners (in particular more damage to the legs, which is the cause of their reduced mobility).  So, as runners take damage, they become walkers.


On the alarmer, it should be possible for the player to detect the alarmer before the alarmer detects the player, and instead of just spawning addtional zombies, the alarmer just pulls in existing zombies from a large radius.  This would give players the option of trying to clear out all nearby zombies before engaging the alarmer, or just charging in guns blazing.


As for distinct looks, a cheap and easy option is just distinct colorations.  Give spitters a green or yellow tint, alarmers a red tint, etc.

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Some other possibilities:


zombie animals

zombie torso's: The aftermath of a zombie feeding frenzy, incapable of much motion, but hard to notice

slightly sentient zombies: Able to use simple tools or shoot a gun

guard zombie: chained in place, sign a human wants to keep people out

graveyard zombie: The risen dead, more rotted and so weaker, but in especially big hordes

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Ambush zombie, hiding in something the player might not at first think to look.  Under a manhole cover, in a fridge, closet, etc.  Could even have those torso zombies hiding in a cupboard or other small place.


Frankenzombie, a large zombie that is actually multiple zombies stuck together?  Kind of like the rat king.


Not sure of your fiction, you could have zombie limbs that are still moving.  Like writhing arms.  (or maybe make a zombie that has no arms that or one arm that throws another arm, that it then controls remotely?)  Similarly could have a Zombie that throws zombie heads that act like limpet mines.


Some sort of support zombie, one that makes all zombies move faster, or organizes the zombies, maybe one that makes them tougher somehow?


As long as your taking inspiration from L4D, there's the leaper AKA the Hunter, and the Jockey, a pupper master type that can control/incapacitate a player.

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Many of the proposed "types" are actually orthogonal attributes that could be combined in highly varied ways to get a diverse zombie horde

  • walker vs. runner, easily distinguishable as soon as they start moving
  • "boomer" vs. non-gas-filled (*), undistinguishable without deliberate appearance differences or until they die
  • spitter vs. plain (*), undistinguishable without deliberate appearance differences or until within spitting range
  • pistol, rifle, shotgun, baseball or cricket bat, crowbar, axe, knife, countless other serious and improvised weapons, or bare hands, easily distinguishable by appearance.
  • "alarmer" vs. attacking stupidly, easily distinguishable as soon as they start moving
  • naked, clothed, bulletproof vest, possibly heavier armour, easily distinguishable by appearance.
  • normal size vs. giant (*), easily distinguishable by appearance.

Some features (*) require fairly specific fiction assumptions about zombies that might not make a lot of sense, the others imply only somewhat smart zombies.

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