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suliman

Gameplay flow of zombie survival game?

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Hi

I have started a game that I plan to build around the game structure of "Death road to Canada", "overland" or similar games.

1. The players (2P local coop) travels and must reach the "end" of the journey to win.

2. You "travel by car" (there is no gameplay to the actual driving) and get a choices of 2-4 locations to stop next for looting (like food store, school, police station etc). The locations are randomly generated and have enemies and different loot depending on type, like food store (lots of food) and police station (has guns to loot). This basically continues until reaching the end or being killed.

3. The main gameplay is fighting and looting in these locations, but the choice of which locations to stop at is important and tactical (you can also just continue driving but normally you need to loot)

4. The player must balance and hunt for some (main) resources:
    Food
    Fuel
    Supplies (for regaining lost health).
    Weapons and ammo
    Skills (upgrade these with books)
    Followers (not sure if this is needed, those would help fighting enemies but drain resources)

5. Some events arrive at certain points in the travel, and at the "end" there would be a large fight ("final boss").

What do you think? Anything you wouldnt like, would add or remove?
How could it be made more varied?

Thanks
Erik

Edited by suliman

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First off, nice to meet a fellow Erik.

Without asking for more information about your mechanics, the only thing I could suggest is instead of giving 2-4 locations, just limit the player to one. That way, the player would have to decide whether the risk of entering and looting that area is worth the reward. If yes, they play the level. If no, they simply keep on driving. Have these locations pop-up semi-randomly (like pick between a range of numbers and set them on a timer) and give something like a danger rating.

 

So the flow would:

Player is driving along -> Police Station Encounter pops-up -> Player notices ammo is low but fuel is high -> player notices danger rating is maximum -> player must decide to enter the police station to get a lot of ammo but must do so at a disadvantage or continue driving on and hopefully finds a less dangerous place to restock on ammo.

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Hmm maybe, but it's also fun to have a choice of locations:

"Do I prefer the police station OR the hospital, I can't have both"

Maybe the location popups are highly varied, so sometimes only 1, sometimes more. This could also depend on some "scouting" skill.
I do believe just having one is more logical, you are following a road and something pops up, however im not sure It's the best choice gameplay-wise.
 

Edited by suliman

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I think that some of the game should be decision-based to make the game have a more "stressful- flow". Other than that It sounds like a nice idea! I would beta test it

Have a great day!

~Cobra

 

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It really depends on what kind of emotion you're trying to evoke. More choices doesn't automatically make it more fun, especially if the choices are kind of made up for the player. For example, if you give the player a choice between location A and location B, and A offers more food, which the player is low on, and B offers more ammo, which the player has in abundance, than A is the obvious choice (which means there was no choice.)

 

So you either have to make the choice of locations much deeper (which also can be not fun when a player has to remember a ton of info), or you limit the choices per encounter so that the choice is never obvious. Or at very least, one choice just isn't always clearly better than the other.

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Pretty good. As Stevent said, you can add moment with "decision" who will change action in good or bad way. Like a quick decision with a timer.  :)

Edited by kalamelle

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Regarding location choice, stopping everywhere and looting as much as possible appears to be a good default. To avoid excesses of "farming" looting stops should have a cost; for example there could be a time limit of X days to reach the destination, with each stop and its implied detour, resting, exploration etc. costing hours of potential travel progress.

Getting hurt is of course another excellent price to pay for looting; letting the player recover hit points with time would reward combat skill (prudence -> less wounds -> more fighting -> more defeated zombies -> more loot).

You could also have fixed stops for story-related reasons (e.g. picking up friends) and let the player decide what places and objects are worth looting and fighting for at every location.

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