A POST-APOCALYPTIC CITY BUILDING
GAME BY SARAH NORTHWAY
20 March 2015, 11:29 pm
Where we’ve been lately
Colin and I enjoyed another Christmas in the southern hemisphere. We had a mind-blowing road trip around Namibia where we saw animals. All the animals. So many animals!! Also the world’s tallest sand dunes, blasted moon-like valleys, spectacular cliffs and salt flats that stretched forever.
Next we spent a month in beautiful Bali, Indonesia, where I worked on Rebuild to the sound of monks chanting at our local temple. I’m an atheist and not into yoga or meditation or spirituality in general, but Bali has this culture of melding art and religion with everyday life in a way that makes it all seem more meaningful. Every day someone has to prepare little offerings to decorate the family shrine, the doorway to their business, the dashboard in their car. The bustle of modern south-east-Asian life (think gridlocked roads and honking scooters) is woven in with daily pilgrimages to local temples to leave offerings and receive blessings. The Bali religion is a mix of Hinduism, monotheism, ancestor worship, animism and superstition. You name it, they probably worship it in Bali. It was oddly like being in a video game world where magic was real and permeated everything around us.
Religion in Rebuild 3
Alright, well, none of that’s going into Rebuild 3. Most of the religion in Rebuild is predictable old Christianity, though I imply that the churches are all multi-faith. Religion spreads from devout survivors to their friends if you post them to missions together. Those devout survivors have more conservative cultural views and might disagree with policy choices like encouraging women to be soldiers.
This is a stereotype, I know, but it’s something I feel we should be thinking about and discussing more. Is religion a positive force that brings communities together and gives meaning to the chaos of the universe, or does it hold us back by reinforcing oppressive cultural norms and magical thinking? Can it do one without the other?
I often wish I was more challenging with this kind of “political” content in Rebuild, despite the possibility of angry fans. As is, you might not even notice my political leanings unless you read every scrap of text in the game. Rebuild 3 is me (Sarah) trying to be respectful, and reflecting the world as I see it.
In version 0.90 (currently in the Steam testing branch), I added the first half of Rebuild 3’s story mode and the campaign map. The story takes place in the Pacific Northwest of the US and Canada. You start off fleeing the destruction of Seattle, then head north in search of a cure. Every city has some unique element, plotline or alternate ending to discover.
The second half (Canada) will be the final piece of content that makes Rebuild 3 complete. It’s almost done! I haven’t picked a release date yet but it’s getting very close, so stay tuned… the Android and iOS versions should follow a few months later in the summer. I still have… ugh… 400 items on my TODO list, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. I even found time to write this post.
Thanks as always to the wonderful beta testers who’ve been so diligent at finding bugs and sending me feedback with each new release. Thanks to everyone waiting for the mobile version for your patience and support. Not long now!
13 December 2014, 9:31 pm
Colin and I are still in South Africa, because screw winter. The days are getting longer, the weather hotter, just the way it should be. Perpetually.
We’ve fallen in to a routine here of working, then doing more work, then working when we have some time between work and work. Progress is being made on Rebuild 3, which eases the feeling I’ve had for the last year of being in a tunnel whose end gets further away the faster I walk. Finally, I’m gaining on it!
Since we finally have some purdy Adam-art for all the equipment, and close-to-final descriptions and effects, praps it’s time I publish the definitive (*cough version 0.71 cough*) list.
The mandala of pain. And gardening.
Boring old hand-to-hand. I added some silly melee weapons in Rebuild like the shovel and golf club because I just love the image of bashing a zombie’s skull in with things you find lying around. Once to graduate to firearms, they’re also useful for scavenging or recreation, respecitvely.
|Knife||Officially Licensed RAMBO First Blood MC-RB2 Survival Knife||+2 defense|
|Stick||Everyone knows Donatello has the longest range attack||+1 defense|
|Nail Board||A board with a nail so big it will destroy them all||+2 defense|
|Fire Ax||A scavenger’s best friend||+2 defense, +2 scavenging|
|Baseball Bat||Swing away||+1 defense, perk: Recreation|
|Shovel||Good for digging your way through a zombie’s skull||+1 defense, +1 scavenging|
|Golf Club||FOOOOOORE||+1 defense, perk: Recreation|
|Sledgehammer||Useful for construction or deconstruction of zombie skulls||+2 defense, +2 building|
|Pickaxe||Can I pick your brain for a minute?||+2 defense, +1 building|
|Chainsaw||Find some meat!||+2 defense, +1 building|
|Sword||Don’t hold it by the pointy end||+2 defense|
|Named Sword||Makes you feel like a Ninja||+3 defense, perk: Ninja|
|Nunchuks||Hope the nose you break is not your own||+1 defense|
|Mierfa’s Nunchuks||Mierfa made these herself after a harrowing incident||+3 defense|
|Whip||Reinact your favorite scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark||+1 defense|
|Andy’s Whip||More a toy than a useful weapon||+3 defense, perk: Recreation|
Things that go boom. Or in some cases “twack”. Most of these use ammo, which is of the one-size-fits-all variety in Rebuild, working in both your pea shooter and your rocket launcher. It’s easy to make more ammo in a workshop… perhaps too easy… so enjoy all that free ammo now before it gets nerfed in the next update and you’ve got to trade Gustav your firstborn just to make your guns work.
And how does ammo work? You use up one unit (obviously not one BULLET, duh) for every 3 days spent shooting at stuff. If you run out of ammo, all guns grant +0 defense. There’s a policy that lets you increase or decrease ammo usage.
|Pistol||Useless without bullets||+2 defense|
|Pea Shooter||Literally shoots peas||+3 defense, perk: Green Thumb|
|Shotgun||Aim in the general direction of the head||+3 defense|
|Named Shotgun||Sturdier than the average shotgun||+4 defense|
|Hunting Rifle||Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless||+3 defense|
|Van Dijk’s Rifle||I must master my rifle as I must master my life||+4 defense|
|Submachine Gun||Ratatatat||+3 defense|
|Assault Rifle||This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine||+4 defense|
|Flamethrower||Smores?? My favorite!||+4 defense|
|Minigun||Can cut a zombie in half at 100 yards, not that that would kill it||+5 defense|
|Rocket Launcher||Eliminate everything in your path, including your path||+5 defense|
|Crossbow||Uses ammo like guns||+2 defense|
|Boomerang||She might fly off, but she always comes back to me||+1 defense|
|Melanie’s Boomerang||Tipped with razors for taking off zed heads||+2 defense|
One of the Kickstarter reward tiers was getting to name an item, which is where things like the “Octonoo Binocs” and “Walter’s Go Bag” came from. These souped-up versions of regular items often give a perk as well as an extra skill bonus.
Yes, the “See Further” perk stacks with the Improved Scouting tech, letting your survivors scout a 3×3 grid instead of just one measly building at a time.
|Hammer||Bang bang went Maxwell’s silver hammer||+1 defense, +2 building|
|Wrench||It’s all about torque||+1 building|
|Saw||Man those were some bad movies||+1 building|
|Crowbar||Can open almost any object, or at least smash it||+1 defense, +2 scavenging|
|Named Crowbar||For prying open stuff… including rib cages||+1 defense, +3 scavenging|
|Flashlight||Find useful stuff in darkened buildings||+1 scavenging|
|Binoculars||For more efficient long distance scavenging||+1 scavenging|
|Moore’s Binocs||Spy on your neighbors up to 4 blocks away||+2 scavenging, perk: See Further|
|Octonoo Binocs||Official Binoculars of the Octonoo City Bird Watching Club||+2 scavenging, perk: See Further|
|Toolbox||All the tools you need to build your first bidhouse||+3 building|
|Backpack||You could live out of one of these for years||+3 scavenging|
|Pitchfork||Good fer pokin’||+1 scavenging, perk: Green Thumb|
|Chemistry Kit||A good set of glass beakers and a bunsen burner||+3 engineering|
|Doctor’s Bag||Lets you diagnose almost anything, just not cure it||+2 engineering|
|Walter’s Go Bag||Lets you diagnose almost anything, just not cure it||+5 engineering, perk: First Aid|
|The Doctor’s Scalpel||Lets you diagnose almost anything, just not cure it||+5 engineering, perk: First Aid|
|Mirror Earth||A tale of teamwork by Crawford and Yeo||+3 leadership, perk: Team Player|
|Terrible Comic||So badly written that it inspires you to do better||+3 engineering, perk: Easygoing|
|Calculator||Ancient but solar powered, these things last forever||+1 engineering|
|Science Book||Sleep with it under your pillow and learn by osmosis||+2 engineering|
|Named Science Book||A first edition! Before they fixed all the mistakes!||+4 engineering|
|Flare Gun||Works as a weapon in a pinch||+3 leadership, +1 defense|
|Radio||Communication is the key to good leadership||+3 leadership|
|Megaphone||Can be heard a mile away on a windless day||+2 leadership|
|Multi-tool||Reid Co’s bestselling five-in-one multi-tool||+1 to all|
|Guitar||Soothe the savage beasts and lift the sombre spirits||+2 leadership|
|Helmet||For more effective headbutt attacks||perk: Defended|
|Top Hat||A top-notch hat or the truly refined leader||+1 leadership|
|Cowboy Hat||This town ain’t big enough for two sheriffs||+1 leadership|
Children also count as equipment in the code. They grant -1 to all perks (to represent the time it takes to take care of them), and grant a happiness perk called Babysitter. Yes, babysitting is a source of great joy for survivors in Rebuild. When you compare it to other possible duties anyway.
You might remember the black cat from Rebuild 2 where it was a reward for cleaning our the gambler’s bank. Kickstarter backers got to name it this time around, so you might win: “Yoshi”, “Stevens”, “Gromit”, “Pepsi”, “Cooper”, “Caboose”, “Kamstra”, or “Linus”
|Cat||Nobody can resist this cat’s charms||+1 leadership, perk: Pet Owner|
|Black Cat||A very special cat||+1 to all, perk: Pet Owner|
|Pomeranian||Adorable, when it finally stops yapping||+2 leadership, perk: Pet Owner|
|Retriever||Wants to be your bestest friend||+1 defense, +1 scavenging, perk: Pet Owner|
|Bulldog||The jowls say it: this is one mean dog||+2 defense, perk: Pet Owner|
Oh, there are plenty of vehicles lying around. But good luck getting any of them to start after rusting in the rain for a decade.
I haven’t quite figured out vehicles yet… right now they grant the Has Vehicle perk which eliminates the danger of doing missions further than 1 city block away from the fort. But I have several vehicle-related events planned that should make them more interesting than that, and something you’ll definitely want to have.
|Bicycle||Keep fit and stay ahead of the mob||perk: Has Vehicle|
|Motorcycle||Drive right through those traffic jams||+1 defense, perk: Has Vehicle|
|Car||Surprisingly spacious trunk||+1 scavenging, perk: Has Vehicle|
|Armored Truck||Bulletproof and full of cash||+2 defense, +2 scavenging, perk: Has Vehicle|
Deluxe edition bonus equipment:
(The Fox rocks!)
One of the Kickstarter rewards (and now deluxe edition bonuses) is some special starting jobs for your main leader, which come with gussied-up versions of some items. They are:
|Handle with Care||Groovy||+5 defense, +2 building|
|KITT||Heavily armored, but doesn’t actually talk||+3 defense, +3 scavenging, perk: Has Vehicle|
|The Feynman Lectures||Arm yourself with physics||+4 engineering, perk: MacGyver|
|Note’s Guitar||Smooth sound but a sharp edge||+4 leadership, +2 defense, perk: Musician|
|Construction Hat||Doin’ it like a Doozer||+3 building, perk: Defended|