NOTICE: This wiki is read-only. Rebuild 3's design phase is over and it's now released. Thank you for all your help!
Rebuild 3's setting won't stray far from the first two installations:
- Takes place 1 year after all hell broke loose
- Takes place in generic Canmerican towns with autogenerated & customizable city names
- Start the game by creating a regular-joe with basic skills & equipment
Stuff I'm planning to add:
- Some kind of "what caused the zombies" mystery to uncover (great ideas here!)
- Storyline for the main survivor (more like "find your sister")
- MAYBE each turn will be 1 week instead of 1 day and a game will take place over 1-4 years
Discussion: What causes the zombies?
It started in 2012. 21st of December. We all knew...thought the old man was talking crap, the end of the world, yeah right. The day came and went, and nothing happened. The usual. Newsreaders repeating last week's shooting, the weather woman spouting the normal crap. The week carried on as normal, until new year's eve. Then the dead returned to the land of the living. Five days later and we learnt that anyone who was killed by the dead returned as one. They were rising in numbers. Dangerously. The US army did everything it could to protect us and quarantine infected areas. Too bad ours was one of them. We locked our doors and watched the windows. People died that day. Friends and family. Then a leader rose from the ashes. Sarah, the town's own Lieutenant Governor, who, technically, was the governor after old Arnie died. We survived. We grew. I killed, but I saved too. One year later, I was still alive. I turned out to be a good leader, and became second-in-command. But we were overrun. A few of us took what supplies we had and ran. I still regret that day I turned my back on everyone. Sarah may still be alive, but I may as well have killed her. A few days of driving soon brought us through Boston into Ottawa, one of the first places to be quarantined. The place was more devoid of the zeds than I thought. We set up a small Zed-Free perimeter, and survived. A few days later, a mysterious stranger arrived. He helped set up Ottawa into it's former glory. It's own government. We even developed a way to treat someone who had been infected. The helicopter. That... church... . As I write this, the helicopter is lifting off. Our Leader believes that me, of all people, can help another city or town. By myself. I only hope to find some survivors. I know I can. This is to repay my debt to Sarah.
Sarahnorthway (talk) Cool, I like this idea that you're either from a city that has been saved, or from a city that was nearly saved then fell. Also that some kind of strife occurred in your first year that gets slowly revealed. Like you didn't agree with all of this 'Sarah's decisions, and you had a falling out or disobeyed her orders or as you say "turned your back" which was a mistake that ended in people getting killed. Maybe at first you claim Sarah sent you on this mission because she thinks you can do it, but over time it's revealed that Sarah sent you off because she didn't want you anywhere near her city, disrespecting her authority or trying to take control from her.
I think the game would be far more enjoyable if zombies had actually destroyed everything and your city were practically the last hope of humanity.
I mean, a setting like "The plague" of Albert Camus isn't as satisfying as a completely global apocalyptic scenario.
Though, at the start of the game you could make your survivors (and the player) think that they're just being quarantined and then discover that there's nowhere free of the infection.
"Welcome to the real world"
Spacesoon I *love* this idea. Same with Sarahnorthway's variants. One of the things that really appeals to me is being able to have and build some sense of permanence, some sense of accomplishment. I like the story-arc idea for this as well. Therefore, I can see story parts like "scout the zombie nest to figure out why they attack in waves", "figure out how to disrupt zombie waves", etc., as a way of helping preserve areas that have already been rebuilt, with *perhaps* a failure ending up in loss which means you need to redo a mission, but with fewer survivors to rescue, or something. Thus, to combine ideas from other places: perhaps you scout but then need to escape via ocean because your scouting stirred the zombie's nest too much to return whence you came--you *really* don't want them to follow you back home after all. Perhaps returning the way you came is an option, but then that causes a massive attack on an already "saved" place that must be repelled. etc.
Acknowledgements to: Talanic and Wizzid
- Why did everybody became zombies?
Two virus. First a retrovirus designed to make people "latent zombies" and then another to unleash that latency and make 99% of the population a zombie, with the exception of a 1% who is immune.
- How did the virus spread?
It's airborne, a masterpiece of biological engineering capable of producing tons of energy with very little organic matter. They were launched from a plane in form of spores around the world with lots of fuel to spread, like tiny aircraft.
- Who started all this?
Remember that crazy scientist who sent letter contaminated with anthrax to some important persons after the 9/11? This is pretty much the same to the 5th power, take an artistic license with this.
- Why doesn't the government react?
99% of the population is just too much, in a military base with 1000 people only 10 would survive the infection, and possibly no one the zombies.
- Why are the zombies bulletproof?
They aren't, it's just sheer numbers and extra strength due to genetical modifications.
- Why doesn't the zombies starve?
They aren't as stupid as you may think, they find (normal) food and they eat it, there's no mystery here.
- How can you kill a zombie?
How can you kill a normal person?
- How do zombies coordinate to attack in groups?
It's an instinctive pattern, like migration or similar.
- Are the zombies smart enough to create a post-human civilization?
No, they're going to starve eventually, and even if they were intelligent enough to do so, they can't reproduce (or maybe they can, it's up to you but that would make the plot too complex).
- Do zombies feel?
They do, but hunger, hate and fear (yes, fear) are their main and most powerful emotions. Note that "hunger" is not hunger of food, but hunger for biting humans, like the hunger of vampires, a zombie can't die of that sort of hunger but may become crazy.
- Are there immune people?
Immune to the infection yes, immune to a zombie bite either nobody or 1 person in a million that you'll have to find to develop a cure (faster).
- Can zombies return to normal?
Yes, but it would require a hyper-advanced retrovirus (that would possibly require the same equipment that was created to develop the virus).
- What about graveyards?
Zombies don't have anything to do with graveyards, this is an infection not a curse, curses are completely fictional, this is real, as real as my diamonds, but real anyway.
Well, I think I've covered everything, I'll fill the gaps if you find anything missing.
New Day setting
In a new day the zombie apocalypse just happen. Your a leader of one of the five factions in the game. You were religious leader, chief Engineer, highest ranking officer in the base, chief scientist, or gang leader. Each faction has bonus in the main type of citizens in their fort in the began. For example army faction would have mostly soldiers in the began. Plus each faction has a bonus in the gameplay for example religion faction would have bonus in getting more people in the fort, military faction would have higher attack percentage, Engineer faction would build 10% faster, Scientist faction would have 10% in research speed, and their(gang) faction would have higher chance of finding stuff in the city. Each faction would have a different viewpoint in the apocalypse. For example the scientist faction would have say in the began of the game that test subject 001 get away and it their fault the zombie apocalypse happen or religion faction in the began would say it the wrath of God is why the zombies are here.
Well, Zombies are real enough for the government to have taken the effort to create the Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency. Originally founded by President Grant in 1868. Underfunded and undermanned, the Vampire National Guard or Vanguard was fairly successful until the influx of immigrants caused the vampire population to reach an estimated 300,000 by the turn of the century.In 1897 President McKinley reorganized the group and split it into a scientific branch based in Washington D.C. and a military branch with bases across the U.S. (one might well say that the Vanguard was changed into the military branch while the scientific branch was newly created; these two elements are what formed the FVZA that we know today).With the discovery of the zombie vaccine (created in France in 1911), vaccination programs were instituted throughout the US with the old Vanguard charged with eradicating remaining zombie strongholds. As such, the Zombie menace was largely suppressed (some claimed it was eradicated) in just a few years. The focus of the FVZA then shifted to vampires. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court ruled in 1935 that vampires were entitled to the same rights as any other citizen of the United States (making the FVZA's job nearly impossible; detaining vampires is a rather dangerous affair). In response, President Roosevelt signed the Emergency Relief Act of 1936, which turned the FVZA into a black-ops agency. This coincided with the formation of the Zozobra Project, whose goal was to develop a vampire vaccine, which they successfully did in 1950. At this point the Vanguard was able to focus on eradicating the remaining population of vampires (whereas before they best they could hope for was to control that population). Unfortunately, between 1950 and 1960 over 500 men lost their lives in the attempt to eradicate vampires in America. President Kennedy then announced victory in the war on vampires in a 1963 Rose Garden ceremony. This was premature, as displayed by the village of Lazo in the Soviet Union; the outbreak of a mutated strain of the disease forced them to nuke the place. Following the trend established by Kennedy, however, President Ford pulled funding from the FVZA in 1975.Genetic research, however, has its eye on the vampire disease, leading to the establishment of Santa Rosa Institute in 2000. Further information regarding what goes on at this Institute is rather hard to come by but there are indications that they are making headway in developing technology to regrow lost limbs and the sort. The side effects of this technology are occasionally seen when test animals escape (often these are reported as wild animal mauling, though autopsies of the victims often reveal HVV infecting the wounds).
Awesome story, but for the sake of god, forget vampires, they barely make any sense at all, there are hardly any sort of "realistic" vampires, they're too fantastic even for the a twisted setting.
Have you ever read The Pocalypse? That's the only only place I know where vampires and zombies can coexist in the same plot.
Darklim (talk) Well it's not an actual setting, but rather some details about a realistic Virus. There may be some tweaks in my explanation (I am trying to explain pragmatically a scientific aberration, after all); people with relevant knowledge are welcome to edit. Reader beware! Things are about to get technical. Somehow.
So the first question to ask (as far as I'm concerned) is: what's a zombie? A zombie, in its 21st century's conception, is:
- The unconscious puppet of a Virus (implying that it does not feel anything, not even hunger);
- Not dependent on food;
- Technically dead: rotting on place and with coagulated blood in its veins;
- Incredibly resistant to pretty much anything else than a bullet in its brain or a beheading.
To explain how such a marvellous being can actually exist, I started with the most obvious problem: if they do not need food, then where does their energy comes from? Actually I'm still working on this. My best bet so far is that the Virus isn't an actual Virus, but rather a micro parasite made from Virus parts, à la Frankeinstein, and that the people who made the Virus (oh yeah, by the way: the Virus is manmade) included chloroplasts. The Virus is able to derive energy from the sun, much – and actually exactly – like a plant. Since the zombies do not regenerate anything, they do not need anything other than energy; no minerals, no meat, no vitamins, no anything. Just energy. Also, the Virus need to be omnipresent to actually use photosynthesis; not only is it spread everywhere inside the body, but it's also spread everywhere outisde. The skin of a zombie itself is covered by the Virus.
But if we admit that some mad scientist actually managed to build an animal/vegetal parasitic hybrid (which is pretty difficult to admit, but I can't get any closer to reality), then there are a lot of problems that find obvious solutions.
- The Virus is able to control the zombie by taking over the brain because one of its part is the lancet liver fluke;
- It's also extremely genetically adaptable, which made it's very realization possible, and also hardly curable, because it's part HIV.
So far, the Virus is able to exist, to take control of the brain, and to create energy from the rays of the sun (I was thinking of adding some stomachal bacteria components to it, to make zombies able to derive some energy from meat, as well as raw material to sustain the brain, which needs to exist for the zombie to stay « alive »). Also, the lancet liver fluke's basic instinct is to spread itself; and while the fluke itself may use some almost non-harmful behavior to do so, the Virus's modified version may estimate that biting others people is the easiest way to spread. And then some wild mutations occured (remember: part VIH, this thing is supposed to mutate almost every generation), and the Virus now thinks that eating people is also a good way to spread. It's really a shame that parasites do not have any critical thinking.
Now, we finally have mindless predators with no need for food. But how can we explain that they are also supernaturally resistant? Easy: they don't need anything else than a brain. If a zombie's limbd is severed, then he won't be able to use it; but that's the only effect. They are effetively puppets, they do not feel pain. Using a shotgun to blow a hole in a zombie or trying to burn it down with a flamethrower will be almost as ineffective as throwing little rocks at him. And at this point, I'd like to require a break from reality: flamethrowers are far too awesome for their usefulness to be denied, even in a diplomatic congress. So let's just pretend that a human's rotten body is higly flamable, to the point that the brain is utterly destroyed.
The final question is: how the heck do the Virus communicate with other parts of the body? Three ways.
- As long as there is still not-coagulated blood in the zombie's veins, neurohormones;
- Then, when there is no more blood, the Virus switch to nerves;
- And if the nerves are severed but not the limbs, then the Virus just communicate by connecting with its neighbours. This solution have, however, the disadvantage of « lag »: pheromone-assisted side-by-side communication is much slower than the nerves' communication. So a zombie with no functional nerves will be even slower than a normal one.
Also, those facts further justify that zombies are immune to pretty much anything than a direct attack to the brain: they don't need blood, nor functional organs other than the brain to stay alive. A marvel of biology, really.
So here it is: the great mind-shaking ground-breaking – yet realistic – explanation of the zombie Virus! Feel free to add/edit/correct, this theory is far from being in its final stage of development.
(note that I am only explaining how zombies work: this may fuel any other relevant settings, like those above. To be honest, I actually use this Virus in a work of mine, but feel free to use it as it will never a. be licensed and b. be as known as Rebuild).
- What is Zombiesm?
It's a virus that targets the brain, and shuts down most of your brain, leaving only your basic abilities and an instinct to eat. The Virus (which should have an awesome name) also causes a shutdown of the organs in the body, and begins a process of necrosis in the body as a side effect, which means the body, although active, rots.
- How does the virus spread?
It's a waterborne virus, and can be spreads through zombie fluid brushing against open wounds, being digested, or the most common form, scratches and bites.
- Do Zombies need food and oxygen to survive?
While the body does not NEED food to survive, its natural instinct is to eat, which causes them to bite. Still, food helps stop the degradation of the body, which can lead to slightly stronger zombies.
- Where's the Government?
The Government slowly fell apart as cities fell, entire regiments of the military went AWOL, riots started and food and electricity shortages occurred. There is rumored to be bunkers of top tier officials defended by the military, and there's reports of small portions of the military still desperately fighting for their survival.
- How can you kill a zombie?
The destruction of the brain completely kills it, as does burning. Still, spinal injuries, loss of limbs and similar injuries can incapacitate them.
- Can Zombies form societies?
Zombies have little social tendencies, and therefore cannot form any real society, but have been known to group together by chance and had no reason to leave, or possibly followed a stronger zombie by instinct.
- Do zombies have emotions?
Zombies have no ability for most emotions, though can feel hunger as an instinct, and can get frustrated and more aggressiveness in fights or alternately retreat in losing fights, though only the smarter ones can fell the latter two emotions, while the dumber ones can only feel hunger, and will blunder into any fight without fear.
- Is anyone immune to this?
The Virus infects everyone, no one is immune. However, people with stronger immune systems have been known to been less infected, by which I mean they became stronger, smarter zombies than others, but are by no means super zombies.
- Who are the Rotten (Faction)?
The Rotten are a group of humans who have been infected, but have not fully turned, do to a very strong immune system and will to stay human. While part of their brain is telling them to eat survivors, the reasoning parts have not fully shutdown, and they do what to stay human, and help people as much as they can. Despite their good intentions, they have been branded freaks by society, and are often attacked, causing them to become paranoid and secretive.
- What relevance do Graveyards have?
While it is extremely unlikely an infected person will be buried alive(dead?) and have the ability to climb out of there graves, Graveyards serve their purpose. Due to the chaos of a zombie apocalypse, a huge increase in deaths means Graveyards would be packed with dead flesh, attracting zombies like flies to feast. Also, Graveyards could have been used as "Waiting Areas" for massive groups of infected by the government due to their high gates to prevent infected from escaping and a lack of prisons, and as they turned, the Graveyards became packed with the undead.
- Is there a cure?
It is possible to find a cure, but the cure wouldn't be able to save every zombie, only the smarter zombies, while it would kill the weaker zombies. Also, The Virus is extremely interchangeable, like the common cold, meaning there are slightly different varieties of it from city to city, meaning there is no cure that would work worldwide, only one for your specific city's strain.
I might have left a bunch of things unanswered, plot holes there. If you see any, just point them out and I'll fix them.
Sarahnorthway (talk) This all sounds exactly right to me, except that I'd kind of like to have a full-on universal vaccine which you can eventually get after a lot of work. Making the disease mutate like the flu is a cool (if depressing) idea though, hmm...
DeadShooty You may want to just leave the actual microbe up in the air, or better yet change it to a protist. A virus is just a protein coat surrounding a few strands of genetic code and it essentially 'dies' after infecting a cell. Vaccines for viruses aren't actually cures, but 'insurance policies' to better prepare the body when it does get infected, I mean that's the whole reason why you get a flu vaccine just before flu season hits, doctors try to predict how the virus will mutate and make a vaccine of that mutated strain. The virus cannot control the host as it is not nearly complex enough. Cures are also difficult if not impossible since even the cold virus mutates annually.
A protist on the other hand is a biological wildcard. It's a single celled organism that is very complex, like animal cells but self sufficient. Protist might be able to work because they do more than just infect, the parasitic ones try NOT to kill the host so as to continue leeching nutrients off of it. One could say a mutated protist took it a step further and reanimated the body of its host so it can continue getting its food through digested flesh. Also the whole Protist domain is a biological junk drawer. Scientists who cannot tell what the cell is, or are baffled by its behavior simply label it a protist. That can fit in to why it is so difficult to cure, because it is so difficult to nail down what it is exactly.
Sarahnorthway (talk) I like the idea of comparing the disease to rabies, since it makes the host crazy violent then spreads through saliva from a bite. Also the 100% fatality rate without vaccine - rabies is a terrifying disease. Another symptom of rabies is hydrophobia. Though I think this has to do with being thirsty but unable to drink, I might use it to explain why zombies don't cross the rivers I'm adding to Rebuild 3. I know, it's awesome in movies when zombies walk underwater, but being able to use rivers as defensive barriers is cooler.
Spacesoon I like this idea too. I think contagious via bite, hydrophobia, violent, etc., are all great features, and more importantly, suggest ways in which the "virus" could work that we are all familiar with.
I'll be honest, after reading all the theories of zombification on this page, I really don't care what the explanation is. Zombies are no more realistic than vampires, werewolves, superpowers from radiation, etc., because the laws of physics and thermodynamics just don't make a lot of this stuff easily possible. If you want realistic, don't have zombies, have people who watch too much propaganda on TV and start believing whatever crazy nonsense is spouted by the talking heads and start being violent at their behest. Then you have real moral dilemmas too. But that's a different game. For zombies, the reason not to use magic in my opinion is that then you need to develop a theory of magic and magical solutions to zombie-ism and answer questions of why isn't everything magic like cars and flying carpets which is a plot rabbit hole that is too distracting from the actual game and game mechanics which are super cool. So zombies are caused by a "virus", and that is useful because it tells you how it can be contagious, how you might be able to fight it, how you might be able to avoid being infected, etc., which are all relevant to gameplay. How the virus works, why "dead" people live and bite, the details of their circulatory system, who knows, because who actually has the time and resources to research this when you're just trying to find enough food and kill enough zombies to live for another week. Once things are secure, well, then we can do the "post mortem" so to speak. About the only relevant thing would be the energy question, because maybe the source of energy that animates them could be relevant--do zombies eat each other to keep having enough energy to move on? Does that mean that if you leave them alone for long enough they go away? Or if not, can you deprive them of some other resource that keeps them going? Or you could just leave it unexplained--they are just able to keep going until destroyed.
I'm not a bloody religious man. Never saw myself as a sinner or a believer. Never really cared whether or not some divine power exists. I was just living my life. The name's -NAME-. Had a wife, family, dog, and a job. Used to live on a normal neighbourhood, but that seems like fiction considering the circumstances now. If you were to tell me the dead were walking a year ago, I would have called a mental institution to take you to the loony-bin.
Things change. Life has changed. Only little over a year has passed, and the idea of living in safety is almost fiction. Here's the newsflash. Good percentage of the population whiped out. North Korea had developed the Zed virus or some shit. They launched it on Japan, then Beijing, Moscow, London, Montreal, New York, and all of the world's major population hubs. People died, got up, and started feasting. Wasn't long before smaller rural areas were fucked over too. I don't care if it were science mumbojumbo or religious crap, the dead had risen. They fuckin' destroyed my town. My children and my wife left without me since I was caught in a traffic jam back from work. My house had been ransacked by the time I got there, family gone, and a goddamn corpse was on my lawn.
Tried staying home for a week in hopes it gets better. Resources ran out and I was forced to take my bike to the city. Past year I've been living in the city, and I really miss my family. I've found a group of survivors, barely alive when I rode my bike next to their fort. Past year now, we've set aside our differences and worked together to survive... But what's the point of surviving when my family is probably dead? -NAME-, I miss you and the kids. Please come back, where ever you are.
-NAME- signing out.
Discussion: Main Character Plot
Spacesoon I'm not sure if you were requesting ideas for this or not. But some thoughts I had:
- Find Sibling/Child/Family - they/you went off to college/went to basic training/are a flight attendant/took a road trip, and then the zombie apocalypse happened. Can you figure out if anybody you love is left alive?
- Sub plot: bonus achievement (or something) for every family member/friend found, and one for each rescued.
- "Nobody else will die." Akin to Tokajima's plot above, everybody you loved is already dead. Possibly because of your own failings or mistakes or addictions ("I left to go look for some heroin at my old dealer's house/go rescue my final fantasy/Warhammer miniatures collection, and when I got back, everybody was dead!"). Now you've vowed never to fail anyone again. Everytime someone dies, you blame yourself (lose points, happiness, health, sanity, or something). Every person you save makes you feel better, but it's never enough. Got to find everybody left alive and make things safe again.
- I think this would be hard to script because many players wouldn't care. Maybe it's better left to an interested player to roleplay.
- I'm just in it for the thrill. Ever seen a zombie's head explode? Well, I've turned it into an art form. I even carve my own bullets so that the spray of the brain paints pretty pictures on the wall. I also like fireworks. So fireworks + zombie brain splatter = heaven. Oooh yeah.
- Side quests: biggest explosion ever; most zombies killed in one blast; art of the sniper; helicopters are good for the fuel that's nearby; etc.
Discussion: Magic vs science
Apparently there's some unspoken relation between zombies and the dead, there's an implicit possibility that the infection might just be dark magic or a curse or something.
So, let's compare:
- Pro: Allows sorcery, enchanted cemeteries and such
- Con: Doesn't make sense at all, it isn't realistic and kills immersion
- Con: Fantasy may allow any absurd idea to make sense regardless of science, but it hasn't any base on science, so you'll hardly come with ideas
- Pro: Allows virus, vaccines, antibiotics, firearms...
- Pro: Perfectly realistic and immersive
- Pro: Tons of inspiration
- Con: Cemeteries won't have any usefulness nor will have anything to do with zombies
Maybe I'm biased, but personally I prefer science and realism than magic, and they both can't coexist without killing the immersion.
Max24833 Without a doubt, go for science. Magic just makes the game unrealistic, and the Scientist Faction would realistically have no idea how to stop a Wizard's Sorcery.
Darklim (talk) Cemeteries will still have a usefulness. If we decide that zombies are driven by instinct, which dictate that they shall seek the fresh air, but when they finally reach it, only move if they spot humans, then cemeteries ought to be crowded by the undead. And you don't need magic to use some occultism, what with the church of the Chosen Ones.
Max24833 Would Zombies not stay around cemeteries just to devour corpses not buried yet, and then just have no real reasoning to leave?
Max24833 What about a preference for human meat, or an inability to open cans, or packets or things like that.
Darklim (talk) Even if zombies did not prefer human meat (which is unlikely), they'd have no practical way to tell where they can get food (assuming that need food to survive at all). So if they're just driven by the will to get fresh air, then they're likely to just stay exactly where they stand when they come out of the ground in cemeteries. Except if they can smell BBQ or something, that is.
Miguelinileugim (talk) Seriously, they need to eat as they're still living beings, not undead but some sort of strange mutation, otherwise it wouldn't make any scientific sense, and they don't come from cemeteries as they're mutated humans, not alive un-dead humans.
Saarkin (talk) I don't like the idea of magic creating the zombies in this game. A true zombie is dead. It is reanimated flesh. I understand that it is only in newer movies like 28 days later that is it a virus of sorts, that affects the living driving them to attack the non-infected, keeping them alive to where they can starve. But in the original zombie movie Night of the Living Dead they were folks who died and came back to life some were in pretty bad shape. In the movie Night of the Comet the radiation from a passing comet mutated some people after they died to come back and to attack others, In the Voodoo religion zombies are people who are basically mind controlled people who have no will of their own but will kill anyone the voodoo priest commands. There are a lot of sources but to say they are not dead at all and it's magic would be just wrong. They don't eat because they are hungry and get nourishment from it they eat because they are driven to do so. If they were alive shooting them in the heart would stop them but they are not which is why you have to scramble the processing system in the brain to stop the electrical impulses to stop them from attacking.
Darklim (talk) As far as I'm concerned, zombies are a kind of undead, not mutants. They're supposed to be walking rotten corpses. Also, if you want to get scientifier, check my "setting" up there; I actually studied the subject to see whether or not the dead can rise. They can. The "Virus" in charge just have to be manmade (and also extremely complex). By the way, mutations do not occur like that. Either you're born with mutated genes or you don't mutate at all. Naturally, that is; a gen engineering genius could be able, if given a decade, sufficiently advanced machines, and enough guinea pigs, to rebuild ONE human body to make it bear ONE mutation. But a natural widespread mutation on already developed humans? Darwin forbid it. So basically, the mutation solution is actually less realistic than the Rise-from-your-grave pandemy.
But anyway, OK, I'm taking a license, zombies are dead people who become sort-of alive, then Rebuild 3 won't be about zombies, it will be about an infection that makes people behave like zombies. Any problem with that?
Darklim (talk) Did the research to settle it: well it does not settle anything. They talk about it here: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Gengineering , but apart from that... I think they used this term in GURPS, though. This should make it legit.
Xiaolaoshu (talk) Magic could be used for optional scenarios. I liked the hellgate in the original Rebuild. Science is really not more reasonable as an explanation. A corpses re-animated by a "virus" would stop functioning pretty quickly not to mention a host of other problems when you try to create any plausible scenario. I kind of prefer a combination of the two. A virus spreads destroying the higher mental functions and basically dooming its victim. These would be fast, strong and (relatively) smart. The actually walking corpse (slower, dumber, more indestructible) would be a second stage. Second stage zombies could come from graves but first stage can only come from a live host. Magic works really well to explain them awakened dead, science doesn't. But you don't need magic, I guess.
Discussion: Timescale, days vs weeks
Sarahnorthway (talk) A few people brought up the idea of making each turn a week of time instead of a day. Then survivors could get pregnant and have babies in a single game, relationships between survivors would and plotlines could feel more epic. The average game (100 turns) would be two years of time, and a long game would be 4-5 years. It would make more sense if it took a week to scavenge a whole city block, and 3-4 weeks to build buildings rather than days.
OR, it could be realtime, balanced towards a game length of 2-4 years. Then you could have people assigned to scavenge or build something, which would take a certain number of man-days which would tick by steadily filling up a progress bar.
(bulldog97) Some people may get annoyed with the time it takes to play a realtime game. In my opinion (not everyone's) one of the best aspects of rebuild 1 and 2 was that it wan't real time, that you decided everything then clicked next day then decided that day, it gave you a view of the game that real time just can't. Realtime also posses the problem that people will have to micromanage a lot waiting for projects to finnish and missions to end. so overall realtime may not be the best choice. these are just my two cents.
(Grimm) I think a great idea would be to have a combination of both real time AND turn based strategy. Implementing your second idea Ms.,(Or is it Mrs.?) Northway, while also having the ability to simply "pause" the game and assign tasks for a specific amount of time would be wonderful. Or you could make real time a feature of harder difficulties :D
(Woolfe) I despise realtime so much at the moment. One of the reasons I love Rebuild and games like it, is that it is Turn Based. I don't have to sit there waiting for things to happen. I just click next turn. And I don't need to stress about not being quick enough, Nothing happens UNTIL I click Next turn. Oh and Realtime with Pause is not an adequate substitute for Turn based. Please. Pretty please with sugar on top, don't make it Realtime.
(Kakinaga) Weeks sounds more realistic than days. Killing zombies in building need 2 weeks because there are lot of rooms, than 2 days.
There has been some controversy about this, here's my opinion of the matter with pros and cons:
- Pro: The fast-paced environment might appeal to some players
- Con: The main appeal of the game is bein turn-based, most players will stop playing your game
- Con: It might damage the strategical part of the game, players need time to think
- Con: Hard to code and time-consuming
- Pro: Excellent for strategy
- Pro: No stress, most players will play calmly and enjoy it
- Pro: No extra coding required
- Con: You won't be doing any actual improvement
And about the of the turns, here's my opinion too with pros and cons:
- Pro: Day and night are actually day and night, day is zombie-free, night isn't
- Con: Most aspects on the game won't make too much sense, such as research, building, scavenging etc.
- Con: Potentially the game may make the player think less and micromanage more, as a day doesn't mean too much progress in any direction and many turns may pass without any special event
- Con: The game would be slower, boring
- Pro: Makes most aspects of the game reasonably paced
- Pro: A zombie attack every 2-3 days is absurd, survivors wouldn't tolerate it, a zombie attack every 2-3 weeks seems more logical
- Pro: There will be less turns of game-playing, which is good as allows more complexity for the game and requires the player to think better each decision, improving gameplay
- Pro: Allows pregnancies, seasons and medium to long term causality
- Pro: Would definitely make the game more complex, and the player to think more thoroughly his decisions
- Pro: Allows very long-term goals, such as repopulating the humanity (or the city at least) and rebuilding the city (not just refitting buildings)
- Con: Too fast-paced, in a month too many things would happen at once, which would reduce the quantity of random events or overwhelm the player
- Con: Too long turns may probably annoy the players
- Con: Killing zombies in a block for an entire month sounds exaggerated, same as scavenging or even fortifying. Using an AP system may make the game too complicated and require too much coding
In conclusion, in my opinion the game should be turn-based with turns lasting a week.
Xiaolaoshu (talk) I got to agree with week long turns. The previous games were totally implausible- 2 people build a wall around a city block in a day, plants sporadically bloom every day, etc. A week is a good time frame for setting up missions and giving orders. I think combat and other emergencies can be considered "real-time". An event can say "It's Monday night, Zombie Attack" and whatever way you decide to let player control actions just take space in that time. The results are summed up at the end of week. If the engine allows it, different time frames could be set up when creating map and available scenarios. Days are good for small area, immediate survival games, like gathering 10 people and wandering around gathering material and looking for a place to settle. Weeks work well for most scenarios. Months could be for scenarios were daily survival is a given but long term goals- like eliminating all local competition, curing zombies, creating a city-state- are plausible. At each scale the missions availability, requirements and results would be altered. For instance, day-turns could not farm, week-turns would require say 4-6 turns to see result and season long turns would take a single turn. But again, if only a single scale is used, then 1 week is best.
Spacesoon I like the idea of weeks. I think it's a reasonable amount of time to accomplish most tasks, and makes the game feel more realistic. I also loved Rebuild because it was turn-based. I don't want to have to wait and pause. I think you can accomplish the same thing through scheduling. For example, some tasks might take less than a week to complete. Some longer. So create some way of scheduling people's work to let it work together, kind of like a shift calendar for a restaurant or retail store. Also, probably should schedule downtime, R&R, etc. Maybe this can affect individual AND community happiness (assuming there are both)--even if you're not overworked, if your friends are, you're not going to feel great about it.
Discussion: Mortality of the main character
Sarahnorthway (talk) Love the idea of a proper storyline like this for your one main character. This probably requires that they be unkillable though, which would mean you could send them on incredibly dangerous and stupid missions without fear (well, they could be hurt I guess). Would this impact gameplay?
(Wizzid) I think if the character is unkillable, yeah, it is going to effect gameplay. I think instead of having an immortal superman character, it would be better to have one that is a bit more Batman like. Badassed maybe yes, but still very mortal. Just have it where if the main character dies, the next person in command or whatever takes over.
We Are The META The next person in power would likely be able to take over if you were to die. It's just the village or town would have a funeral for you and so on and so on. You would lose resources running the funeral which would be like a loss factor people would care about. Also children should be a factor in this game, such as you or other people in the village would have children and they would have an increased intake of resources and a person would have to be assigned to them to keep watch over them and make sure that they are kept safe and sound.
(Alexanderthesoso) That was one issue I had with rebuild 2, that you were a godlike force directing the people. I think having a main character that you had more control over, a batman esque badass or specialist, and that issues orders to other people, would be awesome. Then your characters skills and stats would effect how well people followed your orders and could provide bonuses. Make them killable, but hard to kill, so that losing the leader and taking a more regular person to control would definitely put a hamper on things.
(Woolfe) Conversely one of the things I liked is that even though your character might die, the group survived. It made the whole greater than just you. I also liked how if you sent your main character off on a mission, other people would fill in the reports as to what happened. So coming from the other side, I actually agree with Alexanderthsoso a main character who is killable but hard to kill would be cool. I wouldn't necessarily restrict the regular person tho. It's cool that you are just another of the group. In the first game you have a slight advantage over other survivors due to the item you have. Something like that works and makes it cool.
Max24833 While I agree an un-killable Main Character would change gameplay, when they die it sucks. Like in Rebuild 2, my Mini-Max lost an eye. Then when I moved to the next city, they died because I made some bad decisions regarding hospitals over apartments. Would it not be simpler to stop the Main Character from going on missions with danger that was too high, or giving them a huge amount of time they can spend in hospital, or possibly banning them from missions completely, as they are a leader?
Essay: Emotions and gameplay
You know why zombie games are so cool? The answer, as you probably know, is because it's an opportunity for people to forget about their everyday lives and think what they would do in such a life-or-death situation.
Fear and security, despair and hope, joy and sadness... All those emotions are extremely strong in an apocalyptic setting as a zombie apocalypse, and thus if you want your players to really enjoy the game you should make them feel all those emotions.
Immersion is the key to zombie games, the rest is just filling.
In general, try to make the characters very moody, either sunnyday-happy or gravestone-sad, either lovecraft-scared or 2012-relieved, the more they feel, the more the player will feel, the better the game will be, just like visual novels.
More specifically, here are my recommendations:
- Visual ways to scare players are many and easy to do, however ESRB won't let you do so. Forget specially about startling players with scary images
- Auditory ways to scare players are way more powerful and won't affect too much the ESRB as they contribute to fear without having any explicit content. Sounds ideal (accidental pun)
- Written ways to scare players will probably work, psychological fear to the max, but try not to be too scary, just in case ESRBman is watching
- During the day the player should be calm, like "yay! I survived for another day", but still fearful of the night, temporal security reinforces fear and is actually enjoyable
- Night should be scary, short as fear is ultimately disgusting, but scary
- If you could make the player think that he's going to die and let him feel a strong despair (but not enough to quit playing) the immersion would increase greatly
- The player must hope to see the end to his nightmare (a.k.a playing). He must think that everything is gonna end sometime, so try not to frustrate players, at least not when they play in easy, once they've won at least once you can frustrate them as much as you want
- Of course, hard or nightmare mode would not only be the a harder version of the easy game, it must have different and deeper storyline, hope is worth nothing if the player has already survived once and has nothing more to see
- Every day alive means hope, try to make the player really feel each day as possibly one of his last ones, to celebrate like there's no tomorrow, literally
This is the most important part of everything I've written here so far, sadness>fear. Zombies are scary, but are they just scary? Can't players feel sorry for them?
Most people imagine a survivor of the zombie apocalypse as a badass with a pair of pistols fighting hordes of zombies with a smile in his face.
But what if he's crying? What if he feels pity for all the people he's killing at the moment? What if there's no fear and no despair, but sadness about all those innocents?
That's what any zombie game should focus, fear is old, boring and hasn't got substance anymore, any zombie game worth playing must feature sad survivors and human zombies, not fearful survivors and inhuman zombies.
In conclusion, fear and despair are good to immerse the player, but sadness is what makes the player feel and enjoy the game until its last consequences. Remember this when you're designing your game, the plot is the most important part of this game, be original and focus on the story.
Essay: Focus of the game
As I've said above, plot is very important for the game, but how much? How much should you focus on plot, how much on gameplay, how much on graphics etc?
Please give me your opinion in this issue, below is mine.
You're the game developer and formerly our god, but if my mortal knowledge is worth a dime then I think that games can be divided into:
- Plot (script)
- Gameplay (coding)
- Graphics (art)
- Music (soundtrack)
Here's how I think you should split your efforts:
- Plot (script)
- It's the only part of the game that requires zero IT skills, though this is possibly the most important part of the game it's probably the one where you have to put the less effort. Just let players do it through crowdsourced storywriting
- Already though of that? Excellent. However 10 people saying random pieces of the story is not very useful, ideally you should synthesise all those ideas in an orderly way, that way your work will be much easier
- Gameplay (coding)
- Though I like to see gameplay as a filling for the plot, it's actually what makes any plot actually meaningful, so gameplay it's obviously essential
- However, gameplay must always obey the rules of balancing and minimalism. Rebuild 1 and 2 were (relatively) simple, or at least no too complex, but they were extremely balanced and easy to understand
- That is, don't dream too much about giving each one of your survivors a complex personality or making complex factions and diplomacy and all that
- Instead, focus on keeping the game balanced and easy to understand
- Think of it as taking reasonable steps from game to game instead of huge leaps, everything works better in moderation
- Graphics (art)
- Well, that's the job of your artist, I hope you have it well-fed and happy instead of trapped in your basement with a computer
- Otherwise just ask him/her to do a good job
- Music (soundrack)
- I don't know who did that excellent work with Rebuild 2, keep that awesomeness and renew it!
- More is better! But better is far better!
So, a grid where every square is the size of a house or so. Seems fine.
Check this first: []
- Huge zoom: 1 square equals 1/4 of a house or so.
- Pro: May allow more detailed scavenging
- Pro: More detailed defenses and such
- Con: Some things like researching a cure and big projects won't be done easily
- Con: Skyscrapers? Big warehouses? Tiring micromanagement?
- Big zoom: 1 square equals 1 house, but I mean 1 house not a lot of apartments, a mall may easily use 4 squares.
- Pro: May allow more detailed scavenging
- Pro: Makes more sense for big buildings
- Pro: Is tiring to have to manage every square individually, once you have an entire building make it a single square and save time!
- Normal zoom: Default
- Pro: Simple
- Little zoom: 1 square equals a lot of houses, a mall or even a skyscraper (if it's big enough)
- Pro: May have some interesting gameplay effects
- Pro: This might allow for the same strategy with less squares
- Pro: Too many survivors for normal gameplay too few for depersonalization
- Tiny zoom: 1 square equals a lot of buildings, a couple of malls or a lot of farms.
- Pro: Will open the doors to grand strategy
- Con: Hearts of iron IV: Zombies everywhere by Sarah Northway, not associated with Paradox Interactive
Idea: Lore and Background
A bit of a proposition as I dont know if this was suggested already.
But I would like to see lore about the world. Example: when you find the city hall you will see a little story. something like this is where most people went when the zombies were tearing trough the city. survivors hoping too find protection were trapped as the last barricades were overrun.
Also little background stories about the little buildings it doesnt have to be detailed but something like this: When you take over a bar you will get a message about taking it over and that you went here before and the owner was a good guy. Or when you take over a hospital it will say what the hospital was specialized in and that, before the outbreak, this hospital was one of the best.
What about character background? I would like to see something like this: (enter name here) was a businessman coming from overseas from (country). He had a (man, wife, or was single) and had (number) kids. This man lost his family in the outbreak and as a way too escape his sadness, became a ruthless zombie killing machine. He is a dangerous man but he likes the company of others and is a kind man after all that has happened.
Something like this. It doesnt even have to be mandatory maybe add in a background or lore button so that people that are not interested in the stories don't have to see them. But for people (like me) who love lore and backgrounds in games this would be quite awesome.
Feel free to extend on this idea.
Idea: Easter eggs
Max24833 This shouldn't even be discussed. It should just be a fact that games need easter eggs. Like when you found the Littlest Hobo and he joined your fort. Easter eggs are great!
Idea: Crossing Civilization and Spore
First "Age": Zombies spreads out around the world. Hide in a house; build a perimeter; few people; defend yourself and try to survive.
Second "Age": Build a comunity. More houses to control; more people; more objects; you cannot fight back zombies, but you have a better defense.
Third "Age": The town is yours. A little town to control; you start to "produce" something (weapons, medicaments...); you start to fight back zombies and gain territory; you're not just defending, but you can set a conquering strategy.
Fourth "Age": The built of a nation...
Too complex for gameplay I think, I mean, every age would have wildly different gameplay, I don't think it's worth it.
That's the problem with Spore, is not a big game, is 5 games in one with little relation with each other, they practically don't add up to a huge game. So, better to create a game that is focus only on the "Second age".
Though, to be fair, the first age, if done in a similar way as Rebuild 2, it would be the ultimate micro-macro-managing experience! But better stick to the second one.
(Suggester) Hey, maybe you could choose? Let me explain. You, as a player, could CHOOSE if you wanted a large-scale or a small-scale game. The four "Ages" could be the scale of the game.
(Alternatively, this could be an scenario or play mode)
Evacuation can be done in form of missions with X number of survivors (depending on capacity) and in a single turn, but they will require a minimum firepower-to-survivor ratio to guarantee a 100% success rate (otherwise they won't leave):
- Land (unlimited capacity)
- Doesn't require anything
- Very high firepower-to-survivor ratio
- Underground (max 3 survivors for day)
- Requires a hard to find subway
- High firepower-to-survivor ratio
- River (max 3 survivors for day)
- Requires an easy to find river tile
- Requires an "escape boat" building which requires an "escape boat" technology
- Medium firepower-to-survivor ratio
- You will require some provisions for every survivor (like 10 food or more)
- Sea (max 3 survivors for day)
- Requires a hard to find sea tile
- Requires an "escape boat" building which requires an "escape boat" technology
- You will require a lot of provisions for every survivor (like 20 food or more)
- Low firepower-to-survivor ratio
- Air (max 1 survivor for day)
- Requires an helicopter, which requires building it, which requires "helicopter building" technology and a lot of helicopter scraps with a hard to find heliport
- No firepower required
Your character will be the last one to escape (you're a hero right). When every other survivor escapes, you'll leave with them automatically and win the game.
Though, this is hardly the only (or best) way to win.
Spacesoon I like various evacuation ideas, though I'd probably do them a bit differently. For example, who the heck can fly a helicopter? In Rebuild II, it was there for fun, so that was awesome. But your escape plans are a bit more realisic: my understanding is that even for trained pilots helicopters are very difficult and work very differently. So maybe the challenge with a helicopter escape is not fixing it (except for greasing parts done by a mechanic perhaps, rescuing fuel without accidentally blowing it up, etc.) but rather finding the pilot, who is stranded, but managed to radio you a message...
Seriously, it's probably not too hard to code and there might be some bonus, weather would affect the whole map at the same time, a general outline:
- Common in the spring and autumn
- Increases food production
- Common in winter
- Decreases food production
- Slows zombies and makes them vulnerable
- Heat wave
- Common in the summer
- Decreases food production
- Speeds up zombies and makes them stronger