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Sarah's Decisions

  • REALTIME (probably?) - but not fast-paced, missions take minutes to do and zombies approach veeery sloooowly, can pause, change speed, or play turnbased
  • Survivors are visible on the map like player pieces, you initiate missions by dragging them onto a square and selecting mission from a radial menu that appears
  • Survivors will return to the fort after missions complete, maybe with a walk animation
  • No text for common mission results, instead icons over survivors heads and on side of screen that you can click for more info
  • Semi-tactical combat: regular zombies visible on the map like mobs. Zoom to them with "zombie attack!" then watch the animated results instead of pulling away for an interlude
  • Enemy faction raiders are sometimes visible on the map before they attack so you can intercept them
  • Defend buildings individually against zombie attacks over specific walls, place survivors on guard in specific squares, augment defenses, place traps and zombie attractors
  • More optional stats breakdowns of each attack and mission showing all the bonuses on both sides

Combat systems

ALL-IN-ONE combat system

Miguelinileugim (talk)

Here's the compilation of every idea about combat in an ordered way, this is intended to be final but be free to tell your opinion and I'll change it accordingly.

Zombie attacks will choose a random square of your fort near them, NPC factions will always attack the least defended square (unless it is too far from their fort).

The soldiers will be assigned to all the fort, but defenses will have to be built in specific squares.

Types of defenses:

  • Fortifications: Fences and electric fences, permanent, bonus to "fortification"
  • Traps: Traps and prefabricated traps, disappear after a zombie attack, bonus to "penalty"
  • Sentries: Upgraded buildings, permanent, give a bonus to all the fort automatically, doesn't require survivors to work (gameplay reasons)

If the square attacked has fortifications or traps, combat bonus will be applied, sentries bonus will always be applied.


Combat might be avoided by a last-minute diplomatic action or distraction. So, before every attack, a panel will appear saying this:

"Do you want to do anything before the attack my leader?"

  • No, let's wait
  • Yes, let's ask someone to help us
  • Yes, let's talk (enemy faction only) (choose a survivor)
    • Bribe (Attack*Lots_of_variables=Bribe_quantity)
    • Distract (may die, specially if his leadership skill is low)
    • Return to your fort
  • Yes, use (insert deadly technology or special item here)
  • Yes, let's send a survivor to distract the zombies (zombies only) (choose a survivor)
    • Happiness high enough --> 50% chances that survivor is killed, wave delayed a turn
    • Happiness too low --> Refuses
  • Yes, let's send a suicide bomber to kill them before they reach the fort (zombies only) (choose a survivor)
    • Happiness high enough and explosives --> Survivor dies, a lot of zombies killed
    • Too low happiness or lack of explosives technology --> Can't do it

Sarahnorthway (talk) Since you'll be able to see zombies and factions about to attack you on the map, you could send people out to intercept them and do most of these actions. I particularly like bribing enemy units or sending a survivor on a very dangerous mission to lead zombies off. I think you'll need some sort of research tech for some of them so they won't be options in the early game.

I find this an interesting idea, but I can't agree with the suicide bomber one : no one wants to be sent to their death like that, especially when there are more effective alternatives that also provide a chance of survival. For example, you could have the person place traps or bombs on the zombie's path. For the bombs, he could manually set them off while relatively close (cable switch). It's still risky (getting surprised by a zombie while in preparation, or getting hit by sharpnel when an explosion goes off), but at least it's not aimless suicide. Darkoneko (talk) 19:18, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

combat formulas

Combat results are calculated according to the following variables:

  • Defense (your power)
  • Bonus (extra defense thanks to sentries and such)
  • Fortification (combat efficiency due to defenses)
  • Penalty (enemies killed by traps and such)
  • Attack (enemy power)
  • Result (self-explaining)

(Defense + Bonus) * (100 + Fortification) / (Attack - Penalty) = Result

The combat system, for the sake of not complicating or unbalancing or super-sizing the game too much, would work with a generic animation (with some minor details, like a fence if the square defended has one etc.) that will be tied to the result.

Possible results:

  • Epic victory (Result > 3)
    • No losses, traps won't be used, happiness boost
    • Soldiers will stay where they are celebrating with joy
  • Victory (1.5 < Result < 3)
    • No losses
    • Soldiers will stroll back to the fort with indifference
  • Draw (0.75 < Result < 1.5)
    • Minor losses
    • Soldiers will limp back to the fort with indifference
  • Defeat (0.333 < Result < 1.25)
    • Some losses, defended square lost
    • Soldiers will crawl back to the fort with indifference
  • Epic defeat (Result < 0.333)
    • Major losses, many squares (not only the defended one) lost, happiness penalty
    • Soldiers will run back to the fort with fear

Attack will work just like defense with the following differences:

  • You'll have to choose the square to attack
  • No bonus from defenses will be applied
  • If you're attacking a faction, they'll try to bribe you if they're weaker (with food or something, you might reject it)
  • Results will be slightly different:
    • Epic victory (Result > 3)
      • No losses, extra loot and maybe even capture enemies
      • Soldiers will run forward with joy
    • Victory (1.5 < Result < 3)
      • No losses
      • Soldiers will stroll forward with indifference
    • Draw (0.75 < Result < 1.5)
      • Minor losses
      • Soldiers will limp back to the fort with indifference
    • Defeat (0.333 < Result < 1.25)
      • Some losses, defended square lost
      • Soldiers will crawl back to the fort with indifference
    • Epic defeat (Result < 0.333)
      • Major losses, many squares (not only the defended one) lost, happiness penalty
      • Soldiers will run back to the fort with fear

Turn-Based with Animations

(Grimm) A good alternative to combat that would combat lag, keep the Turn-Based crowd, and yet may still appeal to the real-time crowd would be to implement a top-down command system. This would work by having players assign each "troop" on the field a different attack/move order/reload/etc. simultaneously, the turn-based part, but not having it be carried out until hitting an "end turn" button. The troops and opponents would execute their given commands. This still allows for the strategy of real time because they do not know how their opponents will react. It keeps the causality of Turn based because they can do it at leisure and may take hours if they so desire.

Set Units. Where you place your survivors/units strategically, then watch them fight, fast forward, or skip. You might also add settings like "Attack Closest to Point" or "Scavenge" or "Press Forward" or "Do Action X when within Y". This would make it so that slow computers can just skip animations but you still control the battle. You can also have fortifications and such to build before the swarm arrives. There would be a few buttons like "retreat", "fast forward" and "pause", but mostly you'd just watch. Also could have an "auto place" option.


  • Allows minor tactical choices, influencing results, without too much tedious clicking.
  • Allows you to choose whether to see the fighting or not.


  • Would prevent you from doing anything but running away during the battle.

Sarahnorthway (talk) It sounds like you're saying go with turn-based, but when you hit End Day animate the survivors performing their missions and walking back to the fort? That might get very tedious to watch every day play out so you'd have to be able to skip it, fast forward, or disable in config menu. It would take extra animation art, but would make the game more visually appealing. At the very least walk animations of survivors returning to the center of the fort when their missions are complete might be worthwhile. The movement would catch your eye and indicate a survivor with nothing to do and maybe you'd like to take a look at how his mission went. If I do Tactical Combat I'd probably want to animate it like this.

Dude (talk) I'm very for keeping the turnbased elements. Maybe if survivors can't walk back in one turn due to distance, there could be an animation of lighting a camp fire and sitting down? Which could also maybe turn into uncontrolled fires, if in a forested area, or a park, or something like that. Maybe you could order them to build a fire, and keep themselves satisfied, or order them to not light any fires, if X skill is too weak, meaning they're more likely to cause fires. But if you don't have them light fires, then they could possibly get sick, which could be treated similarly to injuries... That'd be real cool.

Tactical Combat

Think Civilization - you see the units on the map and they advance and engage turn-by-turn. Combat would be more akin to missions - you could send survivors to defend a specific square against a specific enemy. You'd see the last judgement gang roll up and have a small amount of time to get ready for their attack. This would replace the Rebuild 1/2 "zombies attack!" screens but could be either turnbased or realtime.

Pros of Tactical Combat

  • More fun combat that you feel in control of
  • More obvious what defensive / offensive bonuses there are
  • Combat would resolve like missions without interrupting gameplay
  • You could make it feel more like the player can really be a part of the combat instead of just reading a report that says 10 enemies killed 1 casualty
  • More control on what goes where
  • Easier to see what/where needs defending
  • Alike to many games, so many players will grasp this quickly

Cons of Tactical Combat

  • Time scale doesn't make sense - why would it take more than 1 day to move anywhere in the city?
  • Old "Zombies attack!" screen interrupting gameplay can be exciting and break up the same old same old
  • Many people like rebuild and Rebuild 2 because of the combat system
  • Later in the game, when many attacks occur often, this'll be a hassle for sure
  • Can get very boring and tedious after a while
  • More complicated system is more work to program and debug

Woolfe (talk) On the taking more than 1 day to move anywhere in the city. Well it is full of Zombies isn't it? Unless you have cleared the area, you would still need at least a degree of care to ensure you don't accidentally get caught by a group of Zombies.

Halfway to Civ-style tactics

Sarahnorthway (talk) I can't have survivors advancing north one building per day because the scale is nonsense. Civilization takes place on continents, Rebuild takes place in a city. I'm not doing realtime, so what survivors will actually do is every day walk/drive out to where you've told them to kill zombies or whatever, they kill zombies for a few hours, then head back to the fort and sleep. The next day they head back and do it again. What you'll see is just their character standing on that building, maybe with a shooting animation, but not walking back and forth at night. When they finish their mission, you'll see them walk back to the fort and revert to default guard duty.

Building proper worthwhile barricades would take a while, you really wouldn't want to leave any way for Z to get in to your safe zones. So I am not sure if the scale is that bad? Maybe rather than Buildings you are just barricading openings etc. So you head to the end of the street and barricade that off, then barricade the building itself with reinforcing doors etc.--Woolfe (talk) 04:38, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Zombies will be visible on the map like mobs, and you can head out there and intercept them. They really do move slowly, maybe one city block per day, so the scale makes sense. However when the last judgement or some other faction attacks, you might at best see them appear 3 squares away from the fort for one day while they prepare for the attack. If you gather your survivors together you could go surprise them out there before they make it to the fort. _Maybe_ they'll have a walk animation played when the End Day results zoom to them of them walking from their fort to the staging ground, then another the next day of them advancing from the staging ground to your fort.

Woolfe (talk) Will all Zombies be in mobs, or will there be randoms around all the time. So that if you stayed in one spot long enough, they would theoretically gather into a new mob?

Sarahnorthway (talk) Regular zombies will be invisible (or hard to see) and everywhere. They'll cluster next to your walls and eventually become visible units - like ticking time bombs that will eventually attack the building beside them. Mobs are different: bigger and badasser, they'll march in visibly from offscreen and approach the fort, attacking when they get in range. In lategame on harder difficulty you might have 3-4 visible zombie units beside the fort but trust your defenses will take care of them. However, if you see a zombie mob coming you'll scramble to bring scavengers back home to guard against it.

I want to see zombies on the map and to see them moaning and bashing at a specific wall, then break it down and take over the building behind it while the soldier on guard falls back. I might flash "Zombie Attack" over the screen and zoom the camera to where it's happening (but let you disable this).

Mikeyg10744- You should put guerrilla combat for example during the American Revolution there was surprise attacks maybe you can do that or something just hoping though.

Automatic with events

Miguelinileugim (talk)

Automatic, maybe a more advanced combat animation but nothing else. However, before the battle starts you'll have some options to choose like formation, playing-safe to risk-it-all ration etc. And you might randomly have to take life-or-death decisions at the time.


  • Simple
  • Doesn't require too much effort each time
  • Won't get too repetitive
  • A lot of ground for originality
  • Easy to code


  • Might not be as complex as other options
  • Might lose it's coolness factor if the events run out and you have to make the same decisions over and over

Sarahnorthway (talk) I'd be very worried about this getting tedious if it happened every time, but could certainly have special events that involve imminent attacks. Stuff like:

  • Some Riffs happened to be nearby when zombies nearly broke through. You think you could have handled it, but they helped anyway. Now they're expecting payment - what do you do?
  • Zombies are attacking, but one of them seems different. He's using 2x4 as a weapon - that's high tech for zed. Should we try to capture him instead of killing him (increases attack danger)?
  • Bob's having some kind of breakdown. He's waving a gun and threatening to open the gates beside the McNoodles. The zed on the other side are all riled up, maybe two dozen of them ready to pile through the instant he raises that latch. What do you do?

Sarahnorthway (talk) Could also have a policy for playing-safe vs risk-it-all during attacks in general. You could define what was (generally) more important - losing a survivor, or losing a building.

Xiaolaoshu (talk) Event based works best because of simplicity but also it fits the conceit of Rebuild, where scale is a bit fuzzy off. A combat event can call up a chain of events with chance and decisions governing final outcome. For example, I send 5 soldiers out to a block to clear it (1) they get ambushed but no one hurt; continue (y/n) (2) continuing, they arrive at the square but they start losing; fight aggressively, defensively or retreat/ (3) fighting aggressively the battle is one but Dave is hurt. All these events happen in 1 day. Longer battles can be made to last more days.

UN-Rejected idea: Real Time

Sarahnorthway (talk) You all knew it'd happen: this is the part where I go back on what I decided before and drastically change the game design mid-development. I've got it running in realtime right now and it's... fun!

  • Things happen really slowly so you have plenty of time to plan your next mission
  • Time freezes when you're reading event results so you can take your time reading & with decisions
  • You can change the speed or pause anytime
  • Config setting switches back to turn-based (pause button becomes End Day)
  • I'm excited to work on it - both as a challenge & because it makes the game feel different from R2

Miguelinileugim (talk) Interesting... If you add a little pause button to let players think and a speedy mode for impatient players, then you count with my approval :)

Woolfe (talk) I hate Realtime at the moment. I especially hate turn based games that become realtime. Mostly because the game is never the same game. It might end up being good, but it no longer feels the same. I would be unlikely to buy/play this game if it was real time. If I wanted real time I would look for a real time game. Of which there are many. When I am on my phone, for example, sometimes I just put it down and do something else. I don't want to come back and find I am dead because some stupid goddamn realtime clock is ticking over. Seriously despise real time. Especially in a strategy type game, and a single player one at that. Hate it hate it hate it. Rant over --Woolfe (talk) 03:19, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Miguelinileugim (talk) Agreed with the fact that is a very risky move, especially since real-time is not very well suited for mobile but for PCs...

Realtime Interface

Sarahnorthway (talk) You drag people on and off of buildings to make them start scavenging/killing/building/etc. If there are multiple options you switch between them with a radial menu. Every mission has a progress bar which gradually fills up, and faster if you have more or better skilled survivors on that building. For scavenging, food is found at intervals during the mission progress, not all at once at the end. Same with killing zombies - if you dragged someone off a building when the mission is half complete, half the zombies on that square would be dead. Building progress then stays at halfway until you drag another survivor on to complete it. When the mission's complete and all the food has been scavenged / all the zombies are dead / the building is finished, the survivors on that building head back to the fort and stand idle (on guard duty) on the last building they were assigned to guard.

I think it could be option that we the player can turn on and off at anytime. Ex: during a high danger combat the player may do better then a statistical battle. but when defenses is high the player can turn it off and allow the statics battle to do the work. - saruking

Woolfe (talk) You can do the same with Turn based. You simply have more turns, and have a continue until interrupt type button. So if 1 turn is normally a day, and a job takes 2 days to do, then if you stop it at the end of a day, it is half done. If you want to get more nitty gritty. Each day is made up of X turns, So a 2 day job ended half a day in has only 25% completed. etc.

LordBlacktail (talk) I worry about progress bar idea. Not that progress bars haven't worked well in the past, it just sounds a bit to Farmvillian. Also, I always felt that part of the charm of Rebuild was that it moved at your pace, you never had to wait a set period of (real) time for something to be done and you never felt that you didn't have enough time to manage everything. Real time could work and definitely has potential, but no progress bars, please.

Woolfe (talk) I was thinking about this some more. The other major issue with a realtime interface. Especially with progress bars, is that it changes the way the game plays. Instead of you choosing to skip the turns quickly, now you have no choice but to "wait" for the timer to tick down. It means that now you are "waiting" when in a turn based game, you are actively clicking "next turn". More than that, when something does happen, it becomes more of a reaction issue. Oh I must deal with that quickly now, rather than in a turn based where you can sit and think. Real-time doesn't make sense in Strategy games(AND Realtime Strategy games are NOT generally Strategy games, most of them are actually tactical games). Strategy games are usually the sort of games that have periods of slowdown, where not much happens, coupled with times when there is SOOOO much happening that you can't manage it by yourself. (Can you tell I really don't want you to go Realtime)--Woolfe (talk) 00:10, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Realtime Challenges

Sarahnorthway (talk) People have expectations that realtime games be fast-paced and exciting (Starcraft), or at least lively and animated (Facebook games like Ravenwood Fair). Rebuild isn't really either of those things, and R3 will involve a fair bit of reading. How do I:

  1. show the passage of time (indicate the game is unpaused)
    1. day/night cycle? animated hud sun/moon dial?
  2. show minor state changes (eg scavenged +10 food or scouting complete) so they'll catch your eye without pausing the game to grab your attention
    1. animated units performing missions?
    2. animated units walking back from missions?
    3. floating "+10 food" above scavengers?
    4. notices on the side of the hud that disappear after some time?
  3. handle zombie attacks
    1. pull the camera immediately over to where it's happening?
    2. first warn the player with a side notice that they click to start the fight, but eventually grabs control if you wait too long?
    3. fullscreen or stay on the map?
  4. handle important events
    1. immediately pause, open the results menu and cover the screen?
    2. bounce in the side notice until the user clicks on it?

Sarahnorthway (talk) There are concurrency issues with putting any event off. Eg someone has starved to death, but by the time you decide to read the event you've got a buttload of food (confusing). Or you see that a zombie attack is happening but can't add defenders before you let it play out (frustrating). Or your head builder Bob wants to tell you about his new plans for an auto-turret, but by the time you get around to hearing him out, he's died of TB (paradoxical).

Sarahnorthway (talk) On the other hand, if I immediately grab focus during events and zombie attacks, players will be interrupted while dragging a survivor onto a mission or scrolling through survivors to find someone to equip a new shotgun. They won't remember what they were doing or will have trouble getting back to it. (annoying)

Woolfe (talk) IF you go Realtime(ugh) you MUST have interrupts so if player is dying/dead because of lack of food, the game is paused until the message is read or ignored. Obviously you would then need options so that you can define what should and shouldn't be interrupts. If I am running with a lack of food, and am expecting casualties. Don't bother telling me Joe Bloggs is hungry, tell me if a mission fails because he is no longer doing(dead presumably) but I don't currently need to know why. I'll turn it back on later. sort of thing. PS I hate Realtime. Massively disappointed you are even considering this.

Axethrower23 (talk) actually, I like the idea of the game going realtime. But it would be great if there were an option to either play the game in realtime or play it turn based like the previous games

  1. passage of time:
    1. adjust the brightness/darkness of the map according to the time
    2. the sun dial animation thing could work.
    3. there could be a timer like in the sims for gameboy or VBA. Or when its about to turn to night or day, there could be a countdown timer suddenly appearing somewhere at the edge of the screen
  2. minor change/scouting thing:
    1. if the resources are shown on the screen, you could add something like "+10" below the resource to indicate someone got the resource or make it float near the scavenger like you said
    2. the notice thing is a good idea. there could be a page or log where you can see what the survivors are doing or did do.
    3. scouted buildings could be brighter than unscouted buildings
    4. it would be great if the side notice can be opened or closed via a button. it could shine or turn to a different color when there's something new
    5. about the missions, it doesn't need to be animated. maybe adding a symbol and a timer on the building they were in would do. much like the previous games. if the mission was killing zombies, there could be an image of a pistol and and a timer on the building they were killing at.
    6. if you're gonna stick to the art I saw on the main page, the walking back animation could just simply be the symbols for your survivors "walking" or slowly moving towards the base/fort
  3. zombie attacks:
    1. there could be an alert when the fort sees a zombie attack coming. there could be a red arrow or warning sign on the edge of the screen that points to where the attack is coming from. clicking the arrow or warning sign could pull the camera to where the zombies are.
  4. important events:
    1. not sure about this one. the player could be irritated if he/she is suddenly interrupted. but some players could forget that there was an important event and would rather the game interrupt them.
    2. but if you're gonna go with the side notice, important events could be in a different font/size/color than the rest, and not disappear after a time

Dude (talk)

The easy fix would be to not do real time... Or to drastically change the world.

If you must must must must must change to real time (bby pls no), then you gotta cramp the world together (maybe make multiple buildings on a city block?), or make people travel at insane paces. If they move at a realistic pace, then they'll take forever (unless there are, say, 8 buildings on a block, in which case, taking over a whole city will be insane... And I personally would actually like that). If they are larger than they should be so you can recognize them, and so they look like they're moving at a realistic pace, they'll have to move in the streets, as to not collide with buildings and break the immersion, but if they do that, then taller buildings will block our view of them, making it annoying to hunt them down if they're traveling an especially long distance, then you'll have to either zoom out and wait for a second to see where they are and waste time, or waste time finding a button, and then finding them. Also, if there was real time, there would have to be animations for every possible action... There's more, but... But the more I think about it, the more this becomes a facebook game <:c

I'll admit, I'm losing a bit of faith here... I love rebuild and all, but there'll just be moments of you sitting there bored until some shit happens. It would totally ruin the tension, unless you muscle through enough boredom, and are attempting to kill several factions at once, which... Ehhhhhhhhhhh... It's still a damned facebook game. Please, give me something to silence that fear. Release some footage of it, release something...


  • Differentiate rebuild 3 from the previous games
  • More engaging interface
  • Higher tension atmosphere
  • SeymourG Real-Time
    • Much better flowing control system.
    • Allows you to see all of what's happening and how it's progressing.


  • More development time
  • More art/animation time
  • Should the game pause when you read events or other menus?
  • Full realtime is more difficult to play at same level of strategy
  • Most people like Rebuild because it's turn based
    • Making it realtime would not make it "better" (or worse), it would make it an entirely different game
    • Combat could be real time, the whole game being real time would just be awful.
    • I prefer turn based strategy too with auto battle. Manual battle would get tedious after a while
  • Lag would kill you and anyone with a bad computer or laptop wouldn't be able to play
  • SeymourG Real-Time
    • Since there are so many zombies in this game, it'd get pretty overwhelming pretty fast.
    • Controlling a lot of survivors would be hellish.
    • Might have long waiting times. If not, it messes with above con.
    • Lag would just about kill you.
  • SeymourG Psuedo Real-Time
    • Would take FOREVER to get everyone ready.
  • Mobile versions would not be as enjoyable, as I could no longer snatch a few turns whilst in a lift etc, suddenly I have to focus on it.Woolfe (talk)

Strategic Elements

Individual Building Defense

Sarahnorthway (talk) In Rebuild 2, zombies are less likely to take over police stations and the buildings directly adjacent to them, and more likely to take over the ones that have the most zombies on the buildings touching them. But nobody knows this, so let's make it obvious. I want to see the zombies on the map and know roughly how much danger every one of my buildings is in. Maybe the outer walls look thicker on buildings that are better defended. Certainly clicking on the building should bring up danger/defense values.

Positioned Defending Soliders

Sarahnorthway (talk) Drag survivors onto specific buildings in the fort to defend those buildings, not just the fort in general. If you see a pile-up of zombies on the east side of your fort, you better move soldiers into those fort buildings to defend the walls on that side. When the zombies break through, you know where to expect it. This would go well with Tactical Combat.


Sarahnorthway (talk) Like fortifying the mall or allmart, you should be able to add extra defenses to any building. Not sure we'll want to have different art for all of them, but maybe an indicator when you mouseover. Several levels of defenses could be possible, some requiring certain tech or items (turrets for example). But if you're expecting an attack at your northern hospital, you should be able to string up some barbed wire in a jiffy as well as place a couple extra guards there.

Traps and Attractors

Woolfe (talk) Around the outside of the fort your builders could place spike pits, tripwire explosives, moats, really big holes. These would be especially effective if you put them in the path of a zombie mob. And why not also things that attract zombies like noise makers - if position matters it'd be valuable to be able to draw them all into one place where you can concentrate fire.

I always thought I would set up a Zombie killing stock. So like the cattleyards of old, the Zombies are drawn through a narrow path, and then at some point you set up chainsaws or something that kills them as they walk through. I guess it depends on how dumb they are.


(Deadzflame) Maybe theres a way to reduce it later in the game...... like a sentry(If you dont know what a sentry is, its a gun that fires for you. basicly its a robot that just guards a spot. It cant move and its equipped with a machine gun). A sentry could guard positions and defend your forts so you didn't have to do this tactical combat if you didn't want to later in the game. Of course it would require electricity and maintenance so you would need a good amount of tech. You would also need a few to guard the areas. Maybe it could offer you to deploy sentries (later in the game when you get them) when defending and skip the fight, but you have to fight when you exploring new places and killing zombies to get buildings.If these fights could change and always keep you very aware of everything and challenging it might not get boring.

(Cloven) I Don't like the idea of 'sentries' in that sense, maybe you can build manned fortifications / bunkers / minefields, but not robotic auto turrets, post apocalyptic remember. :)

Sarahnorthway (talk) Zombies are dumb; a spike pit or other simple trap could have the same effect as a sentry gun and be more tech-appropriate. All the same they might appear as a very lategame tech.

Strategic zones

If you are going down the scenario route you could always use 'strategic / victory points' to close off certain attack routes or zombie spawn points as you are trying to secure the city and make it safe? Eg: destroying bridges, blocking tunnels etc. This would help control the number of units as the game progresses. Cloven.

Sarahnorthway (talk) Very interesting idea - bottlenecks like bridges, corridor roads, subways, yeah... Zombie spawners like graveyards are also a neat idea. Not sure how crazy I'm going to get with the Scenarios but I'll add these to the list of things to consider.

Wall Building

I like the combat as it is, sans real time. The best thing about this game is that I don't have to sit and watch a progress bar fill up nor have to click frantically to win. I think if combat where to change in any way it should be in the method of building and placing barricades. In Rebuild 2 we were given a park and a wooded area that were basically useless and only able to be turned into housing/farms. Instead, they can be used to harvest wood over a set period of time (maybe once every 5 days, with wooded areas having more initial wood then giving the same wood as parks afterwards)

The method of placing could be clicking on a place to build in, seeing a new option "Walls". Then, a grid with appropriate available sections (for example, the bar is protected differently from a farm or house) is presented, and the player could build by click-drag highlighting the cubes to build in, then clicking "Build", "Clear" or Cancel. The sides can be colored in red or green to signify the zombie threat. The strategy could be to wall against the places filled with zombies, but leave the spaces between the house or farm or whatever and the rest of the city clear, otherwise the chance of a death in attack is raised. BUT, if the player decides to wall all around the property, then the chance of death in attack is raised but the zombies will be slowed down or prevented from getting more city blocks in a successful attack. "Easy in, easy out" in other words.

For simplicities sake an option to "Clear" all walls in the build screen can be presented to reuse resources.

Sarahnorthway (talk) Another neat idea. I figure the main reasons not to put a million walls around everything would be lack of materials and lack of manpower. Otherwise you could just have gates to let humans through but not zombies.

([User:Woolfe|Woolfe]] (talk) A couple of comments on that. You could in theory wall up a place to make it hard to get into, but relatively easy to get out of. Partially solving the Chance of death in an attack concept. As to the Materials and Manpower. It would be Manpower, wouldn't it. Materials should be easy as to come by, as you basically have a city of the dead. Cars, furniture etc could all be used to build barricades. Now quality stuff should require tools. Arc welders and steel, or Bricks and mortar etc.

Xiaolaoshu (talk) I think there should be some kind of differentiation between claimed and fortified/walled in. Just walking around town and it is easy to see why it would be impossible to build the walls apparent in the previous Rebuild games with the manpower/materials available. I have to imagine that reclaiming a block is more like finding the most useful & defensible building and cannibalizing its neighbors for some material (this also helps explain why a block of suburbs houses so few people). Such areas are truly not walled in an undead could wander in them but the used buildings are fairly secure when people are inside at night. A truly walled in area should take time and materials and provide a defensive bonus and be harder to overrun be captured.

Can we define edges in the new game? If so, then walls should be defined along an edge. If that is impossible, can we have a some way of defining more efficient shaped for wall construction. For example, 1 block would require 4 walls of time/material, 2 adjacent blocks would require 6 walls, 2x2 needs 8 walls and 4x1 needs 10 walls. Walls might be salvageable to provide materials for new walls after expansion.

Example scenario, I have a core of buildings (4 apartments, 4 farms, 1 hospital, 1 school, 1 mall) in a convenient 3x4 block package. I wall it in (14 walls) and later expand around it. Some bad attacks might cost me peripheral buildings and personnel but I have a decent chance to recover with that core intact. A series of walls, like medieval towns, would be crazy hard to beat.

Discussion: Single danger value

Sarahnorthway (talk) It's useful - perhaps critical - to show one % to represent the overall danger your fort is in. In Rebuild 2 this boiled down to the number of zombies adjacent to the fort / bonuses from guards + police stations. It was used during a zombie attack to determine the number of injured survivors & lost buildings. As for WHICH buildings were lost, these were the ones with the most zombies beside them and fewest guards.

In R3 I want a different system where zombies group together, become visible next to the fort then attack a particular square. Whether anyone is injured or that square is lost depends on the danger value on that specific building, not of the entire fort. How should I calculate the overall fortwide danger if the only thing that matters in combat is the danger value of a single square?

For example your fort is surrounded by 1000 hidden zombies and all your soldiers are away. The zombies gather for an attack and become visible for a couple days... right beside your super-fortified military bunker with automated turrets and electrified fence. Bad choice zombies! If they attacked anywhere else they'd overrun the fort - the average danger to all buildings is 90%. But if a zombie attack triggers right now it will happen at this super-bunker, where the danger is only 10%. So what do I show in the blood bar? 90%? 10%? Something in between?

My gut says show 90% since that's the overall danger to the whole fort and a better indicator of how well you're playing. If you click on your super-bunker, it will say 10% danger. Maybe you'll also see an "attack imminent!" warning and a breakdown of the bonuses and penalties of the attack before it happens.

Miguelinileugim (talk) Forget about the danger! Just warn the player from big incoming zombie attacks and hordes. If you really really want to introduce the risk factor, OK, calculate the average zombie horde then and divide it by the defense of your fort regardless of defenses (but not building upgrades). And, of course, make a filter to show the average risk of every square.

Sarahnorthway (talk) I'm guessing you don't play on Harder/Nightmare! Danger is super important for letting the player know how well they're doing, and how many guards need to be left home. Unlike mobs (which are regular events you have no control over), you can control zombie numbers with killing missions (+ events, upgrades, techs etc). But zombies will either be invisible or hard to see, so at a glance your fastest way of knowing if your fort is surrounded and totally effed, or safe and sound, is that danger meter on the hud.

As for putting individual danger on the buildings' menus and a breakdown of bonuses during combat, that's for numbers nerds and people who really want to understand the combat system perfectly. I agree it's probably not necessary, but will either be unobtrusive or cool looking, and mostly optional. I won't get super-detailed (eg the terrain, unit type rock-paper-scissors and adjacency bonuses of Civilization 5), but it will be good to know how effective your new pit-trap or extra ammo allowance really is.

Miguelinileugim (talk) OK, got it, but you if you can make a hyper-nerdy mode for minmaxers with detailed statistics without too much effort, then add it :)

Prutton (talk) The attacks will happen on a single block, possibly getting nearby blocks in the process, right? Why don't you make the danger value equals the probability of being attacked by any adjacent zombie block in a given round? This can work with the right balance.

Discussion: Less text

I want to reduce the repetitive text results with little information eg "We scavenged at the church and found some food", and replace those with some kind of art/animation that is easy to read at a glance. You should only see a text result if something out of the ordinary happens, like somebody dies. Then we can have more text for unexpected random events and plot-related stuff.

Fred321 (talk) You should keep the repetitive texts, and add something short stating what are the effects. For example: in big red letters "SCAVENGED: 13 food+weapon" in small black letters on the side "We searched all over the place and found..."

(Woolfe) I like the text. Its one of the elements that adds character. I would rather see the text be more reactive to the character that performed the task. So if you have a survivor scavenging, and he has a "southern" background, maybe you get a slightly differently worded comment than a survivor without that background. So instead of "You won't believe what I found" "Y'all won't believe what I found" Obviously a little more fancy that that, but you get the drift.

Discussion: Attack vs Defense

PunkCub (talk)

While I really like the simple combat style, maybe attack and defense could be a bit more refined than (defensive buildings) + combat skills?

The thought came to my while seeing the different weapons in Rebuild 2, where you can in theory storm a zed-infested apartment building with everyone armed with rocket launchers and hunting rifles. My alternative suggestion would be that weapons could give different bonuses depending on the situation - making you maintain an attack squad or two armed with pistols, shotguns melee weapons and assign other people to guard duty ideally armed with rifles.

Sarahnorthway (talk) Good realism, although it might be a pain to have to reequip people constantly depending on whether they're out on a mission or defending the fort. I agree that having a single "fort defense" value during zombie attacks is maybe a little too simplistic for a proper pc game and I should give you the option to see a breakdown of bonuses. Same with any mission - you should be able to get a breakdown of danger and other factors based on what guns you're using, how much ammo you have, how tough each of your guys is, tech the whole fort has, etc. Statz!

PunkCub (talk) I guess the 'interesting realism' vs 'pain in the butt to micromanage' ratio would heavily depend on how often you have to switch survivors from defending to missions. I can of course only talk about my playstyle (and I must admit I haven't proceeded beyond normal), but in Rebuild 2, I tend to assign almost everyone to fort defense safe for a few farmers to keep my food balance positive, and then about a dozen fighters/scavengers plus ~four builders, and the initial leader who actually go out and do stuff. If in Rebuild 3 I'd have to take survivors from fort defense to missions regularly to keep on top of the zombies, then I agree it could get annoying very quick (hence why I used "attack squads"; I keep thinking of Liberal Crime Squad (a roguelike by the maker of Dwarf Fortress) where you basically maintain one or two groups specifically for going out on missions, and the rest of your people get assigned to various support roles where they likely stay permanently).

Idea: Units on the map

See Interface for more info.

Maybe you watch your survivor walk back from his mission with a bag icon over his head to indicate he found something - you can hover or click on it to see what. I'd like to have survivors and zombies and other units on the map no matter what, and to be able to click and drag a survivor from one building to another to initiate missions with a little radial menu. Maybe after End Day they might animate walking back to the main defensive building in the fort (eg your starting Police Station).

You could also make them come back differently dependant on the success of the mission:

  • Mission Success - Stroll Back
  • Mission Success but minor injuries - Limp back
  • Mission Success but major injuries - Crawl/stumble back
  • Mission aborted due to Zombie Horde or something - Run back like the devil is on your heels.

You could add slight modifications as well based on specific characterisations.

  • Multiple characters might help each other back
  • Mission type could affect the animation eg Scavenger missions, has them carrying loot.
  • Character type could affect the animation. A Cocky character might "strut" back, a fearful character "slinks".
  • Injuries taken. Someone loses an eye the guy limping back has his hand over his eye. Or just even holding an injured limb.
  • Equipment carried could affect it. Guy wanders back with shotgun on shoulder. Or Sledgehammer etc.

Obviously these would all require greater degrees of complexity and I have no idea the programming load. But theoretically you could build up a pretty varied animation base which would be way cool.--Woolfe (talk) 04:26, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Sarahnorthway (talk) Sadly we're probably going to steer away from character animations for readability + budget reasons. It would take a whole team of artists to do this right, and if Adam and I try but fail you wouldn't be able to tell wtf was going on at all.

Idea: Icons on the side

Maybe you see a list of event icons down the side of the screen that will bounce there for awhile, take you to the survivor in question if you click, and disappear after awhile. Many facebook games to this and it can get annoying if they stick around and pile up.

Idea: Tactical Equipment

Stacks of grenades and other one- or multi-use items could be equipped in your survivor's nonweapon slot, and would be used automatically during zombie killing missions or fort defense. See Items.

Rejected idea: Scavenging Minigame (not doing)

I would like it if you could search buildings yourself, like a sort of a minigame, so that your control what you get, and whoever else comes with you is the chance factor.

Sarahnorthway (talk) Dang this would be cool, but probably too much work to implement and possibly too much micromanagement to enjoy for a long game.

Rejected idea: Fewer survivors (not doing)

Sarahnorthway (talk) I've decided to keep the same number of survivors, and try to implement both squads and sorting. See Survivors for more info.

It's not pleasant to have to click through ten pages of results every day after you get to day 150 and 50+ survivors. Having fewer survivors in general should improve this. I'd like forts to max out at around 30 survivors and harder missions to still require 3-5 of them. There could just be fewer on the map.

Fewer survivors would only shorten the game and only annoy people who play on higher difficulties if the cap was 30. I say make no limit on the number of survivors since most people pick 5-10 'favorites' that they actually care about and everyone else would be expendable.


  • Perhaps the least number of survivors can be compensated with the discovery of objects with bonuses increased. According to me is annoying manage more than 30 survivors. Less, more organized and stronger would be a better choice.
  • How about the delegation of authority to cut down on survivor management? By that I mean allow survivors to be treated as squads, with your particular favorites becoming the leaders. Items and assignments are then assigned to squads instead of micromanaged. Yes, it'll cause some inefficiency as more talent is sent on some missions than is required, but that's the nature of the beast.
  • I like the idea of squads, building on that continue with the unlimited survivors cap, and just brake it up into page for individual survivors, and a page where you can place individual survivors into groups or squads that cap at 10 members. Helps with organization and gives good control to the player, you can even allow for squad specializing like 3 scavengers, 6 fighters, and 1 leader = Advanced scout squad with some kind of perks or something.


Possible fix that doesn't change much but fixes sorting though them: have all skills shown and have the ability to sort by skills.

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