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Redsand Hills; text-base zombie survival horror

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  • Redsand Hills; text-base zombie survival horror

    So I keep going back to this idea that I think would actually work well in the Skotos environment. My only concern is that it may not fit within the other usual themes.

    This would be an enjoyable game for any zombiephiles.

    This post is as much of a brainstorm as it is a way to get feedback on the idea.

    Title: Redsand Hills

    Time Frame:
    The game would reset every two to six months

    Backstory: Fairly straightforward. The city of Redsand Hills was recently placed under quarantine when it was stricken by a zombie outbreak. How the infection spread or started will actually change with every reseting of the game and it will be up to players to figure it out, if they care enough.

    Character Creation: First, your character's physical appearance. The options available to you would depend on your Legacy Points (more on that later), but most players would start with the same set of options.

    Your general background. Are you a resident of Redsand Hills? Were you just passing through? Do you just work here? These things will affect how much of the city you actually know (map-wise) and what sort of survival equipment you start with, as well as where you start. For example, being a resident, you might know the surroundings a little more but might start in the denser (and more dangerous) areas of the city. With enough LP (Legacy Points), you might be able to write up a custom background and have it staff-approved, with unique bonuses.

    Your more specific background. Were you a school teacher? Police officer? Bagger at the local supremarket? Homeless? All these will affect your starting skills which will in turn affect how well you'll survive. Your starting skills will always be better than anyone else's who doesn't start with them. For example, someone who used to work in a supermarket could help find rations a lot easier than, say, a police officer (who would be better with firearms, obviously). Construction workers would be especially useful for effective barricades.

    Legacy Points:
    The idea behind this is that surviving a game would award you bonuses during the next bout. After X amount of time (pre-determined by staff before a game starts) the military carpet-bombs the city and the game ends. Those that found a way to escape the city before then are awarded a certain number of points which increases depending on how long the character was actually active.

    Each player will have a record of their total LPs earned, though you can only ever spend the LPs of a previous game on a following game; you can't save them up for several games to get some crazy advantage that others don't. You would also get LPs for participating in certain in-game events or achieving certain goals, but the biggest bonus would come from surviving.

    There would be tons of rewards for your LPs such as starting with special skills, special items, special knowledge, and even special character classes.

    Survival: The cornerstone of this game will be that the players have to work together. A single person might be able to survive for an extended period of time, but eventually they'll run into roadblocks or challenges that they just can't overcome on their own. Anyone surviving out on their own would be damn amazing, though not entirely impossible.

    The biggest threat, obviously, would be the zombies themselves. Shuffling, moaning, staggering... they're all over the place and they're hungry, and they can kill you anytime they find you. Now, here's the catch: your character's been running like crazy, trying to stave them off and stay alive in the process. You're tired, you're terrified, you're coming off an adrenalyn high... Not everyone manages to stay conscious. When you log out, your chatter does not vanish but rather loses consciousness on the spot. This means that the zombies can get you when you log out (and accidentally being disconnected, well... that really sucks!) so you must, MUST find a safe place to go! This is why staying in groups is so important! This also prevents people from going AFK and then idling (and then returning to find their brains being munched on).

    Others will have to protect you while you sleep, or else carry your unconscious body from one area to the next. Of course, this'll suck for them, because carrying you will limit their possible actions. A little harsh? Yes!

    But of course, there's not just the zombies you have to watch out for! Fires have broken out everywhere, some areas are flooded, and some surviving humans have completely snapped making them more of a threat than any undead shuffler!

    What, oh what, is a surviving human to do? Find the exit points! There's rumours that the local TV station is using its traffic report helicopter to get people out of the city, if you can reach the top of the building. There's also rumours that there's a way out through the sewers! But what about the highway or just the streets? Well, those are mostly being blocked off by the military which, unfortunately, isn't being very discriminate in eradicating potential infectees.

    Speaking of infection, you ever been bitten by a zombie? Talk about awkward situations! Will the infection spread quickly, or will your body fight it off? Will you tell the others, or will you suddenly transform and destroy the group from the inside out? Will you sacrifice yourself nobly (hah!)?

    There'll also be the aspect of hunger in the game. It won't be so detailed that you have to eat every 24 hours and drink every 48, but hunger will have some majorly negative effects on your characters. Rations at least once a week will stave off the more prominent effects of hunger such as loss of strength (less change of fighting off a zombie or building strong barricades) or outright starvation (no food for a month = death).

    Roleplaying: Roleplaying will be encouraged by removing emphasis on skills. The skills will still be present and extremely useful, but there won't be significant acquiring of new skills. People will be able to learn rudimentary things but their primary skills will always be what they're best at.

    Finding Stuff: To avoid having objects lying around everywhere, or supplies running out, players will have to search areas to turn up anything useful. What the players find will depend on their location and their skills/background. For example, as mentioned before, someone that used to work in a supermarket would be better at finding food in an old grocery store, but a construction worker would be better at finding useful stuff in a hardware store. Homeless people would be good in the streets (of which there are plenty) and police officers in police precincts, etc.

    Combat: Fighting will be more or less automated depending on the characters' skills and items. I'm thinking mostly for when you fight zombies in hand-to-hand combat, where any item you have might be used as a weapon. Numbers would obviously be the only real advantage the zombies have, which would invite players to strategize by luring single zombies into areas and taking them out one-by-one. Losing to a zombie, of course, has extremely dire consequences. Firearms would be slightly simpler, with the player either hitting or missing, depending on whether or not they had time to aim.

    Player vs. player combat would be a lot trickier. My take on it would be to have it automated as well, but players would always have the option to RP it.

    Zombies: The zombies would work in numbers. Alone, hardly anything to fear unless you're physically unable to take one down (which may be the case, depending on your character's design). In groups, they will tear down barricades and lurch after you through the city. There would be different ways in which they could find you: sight, smell and hearing. Some will have all three facilities while others only one. This makes things like whispering and perfume useful.

    The zombies only have one goal: eat you! So, yeah, there's no reasoning with them.

    Killing them will be tricky. Decapitation? Fire? Electricity?

    Also, to avoid confusion, groups of zombies would always move as one, or else split into groups for every person in the vicinity. Zombie grouping would go something like: a lone zombie, a couple of zombies, three zombies, a few zombies, several, a group, a crowd, a mass, a rave party, etc.

    The zombies individually would be identifiable via description combinations. Example, a bloody lurching zombie, a moaning staggering zombie, a bloody shuffling zombie, a groaning hobbling zombie.

    Text-based Environment: The biggest problem I foresee is spam. To avoid this, there won't be items lying about everywhere, as mentioned earlier. When you enter a room, you'll get its description (which can actually change slightly depending on what happens in the room) and your impression (depending on your skills). I.e., you enter a nice/unotouched/trashed/bloodied bedroom. This would be a terrible place to set up a barricade.

    Each location on the map would be separated in a 3x3 grid with everything easily locatable. Example: You enter a trashed bedroom. Three zombies are standing in the northwest corner. Amanda is standing in the center.

    You could look at a location to get all the names of the people there: l center, You see Amanda.

    And, um... hmm, I do believe that's all I can think of for now.

    So welcome to Redsand Hills. This is not a good time for a vacation.
    StoryPlotter Odjit points to her kohl-lined button eyes.
    StoryPlotter Odjit points to you.
    StoryPlotter Odjit draws her finger over her throat slowly.

  • #2
    Some special character classes I can think of, all of which would have you working for the "other" side if you wanted:
    • Soldier (either you get stranded from your comrades or you have a very specific mission)
    • Scientist (special knowledge of what's going on or secretly working for the government)
    • Zombie! (either start as a special zombie or else retain control of your character when he/she gets eaten and zombified)
    StoryPlotter Odjit points to her kohl-lined button eyes.
    StoryPlotter Odjit points to you.
    StoryPlotter Odjit draws her finger over her throat slowly.

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    • #3
      Something else that just occured to me for the design portion of the game:

      For every item that could be used as a weapon, a different set of emotes would have to be create for each one when someone equips it and gets into a fight. The emotes that appeared would depend on the character's combat skills and how many zombies they're fighting.

      Basic level, untrained: wild use of items, unable to defend against more than one.

      Experienced: use the items in creative ways, able to fend off a couple zombies at a time.

      Advanced: deadly application of items, able to fend off four zombies.

      Expert training: every item is a lethal weapon, able to survive against large crowds for a limited amount of time.

      So, say, for a toaster:

      Basic: Amanda smacks a zombie desperately with her toaster.

      Experienced: Amanda smashes her toaster against the side of the zombie's head; Amanda quickly swings her toaster at a nearby zombie.

      Advanced: Amanda caves the zombie's skull in with her toaster; Amanda throws her toaster at a nearby zombie and reels it in with the cord, ready to fend off another.

      Expert: Amanda rams her toaster under the zombie's chin, effectively snapping its head back; Amanda swings her toaster by the cord, fending off nearby zombies.

      I think just this aspect of the game would be awesome to create.
      StoryPlotter Odjit points to her kohl-lined button eyes.
      StoryPlotter Odjit points to you.
      StoryPlotter Odjit draws her finger over her throat slowly.

      Comment


      • #4
        Designing the city

        Before the start of each game, there would be a preparation period where game staff would re-create the city, shuffling things around to keep things interesting. When people start a new game, although it's the same city in name, the layout would be different, to keep things interesting.

        Builders would have the opportunity to manually shift areas or insert special locations, such as power plants or pump stations. Actions in one area, like activating or de-activating power, would have effects on other areas.

        Each section of the map would be a 3x3 grid and the whole thing would be assembled as one large grid. This doesn't mean that there'd be exits on every corner; it just means it'd be easier for the players to understand where they are.

        A little mini-map with a red "x" that moved whenever you changed proximity would be nice.
        StoryPlotter Odjit points to her kohl-lined button eyes.
        StoryPlotter Odjit points to you.
        StoryPlotter Odjit draws her finger over her throat slowly.

        Comment


        • #5
          It'd be neat if, upon character-creation, you would also have a randomly-generated plot for your character. Sort of how there are memories in CM and rumour before you start playing.

          For example, if you're from out of town, maybe you're trying to find some stranded family members which would give you something to work towards. The system could generate some NPCs somewhere, or associate a house to the address that they have, and let the rest play itself out. It might be tough, logistically, to pull off an automated system like that.

          Otherwise, I suppose it'd be up to story staff to help with plots when needed (and come on, who doesn't want to possess a zombie and lurch around?).
          StoryPlotter Odjit points to her kohl-lined button eyes.
          StoryPlotter Odjit points to you.
          StoryPlotter Odjit draws her finger over her throat slowly.

          Comment


          • #6
            On characters

            Character Generation:

            Thinking more about character creation, I think it'd be neat to have a certain reward system for players that have stuck around for a while. The special character classes would be available to those that have survived the main game once or twice, as each play through would award them with a certain amount of Survivor Points (distinctly different from storypoints!).

            Earning points would not be the most self-evident thing.

            Instead of creating a custom character, about five characters would be generated randomly for the player. The player could choose certain elements, like gender and name, but the appearance, skills and backgrounds would be totally random.

            Well okay, not totally random: they would actually be generated with different difficulty levels. For example, a man with combat training and a background in the military would be a low-level difficulty character. Completing the game with him would earn you minimal Survival Points. If, on the other hand, you decide to play as the obese woman whose only skill set is in the shopping department, you would earn significantly more Survival Points if you manage to survive with her.

            I think players should be limited to only a single character for each play-through.

            This would encourage people to stick around for the replay as it would unlock new stuff. I think there should be enough unlockable stuff so that each time you play again, even if you only earned the minimal amount of points, you could still unlock stuff.

            "Spending" Survival Points:

            As a player of games, one thing I hate is having to spend a lot of time saving up points to earn things, whether it's leveling up in a game or trying to earn enough gold in an RPG, or whatever. As such, I don't think spending Survival Points would actually deduct from your total.

            Say, for example, you have 3 Survival Points. On the next playthrough, you would purchase for your character Fast Running (2 points) and Stylish Swagger (1 point). Next playthrough, you would still have these three Survival Points plus whatever you earned, and now could allocate them to something entirely new. This would then allow you to experience more of the game.
            StoryPlotter Odjit points to her kohl-lined button eyes.
            StoryPlotter Odjit points to you.
            StoryPlotter Odjit draws her finger over her throat slowly.

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            • #7
              Al I can say is

              hurry up with the makin coz i REALLLY wanna play this game now!!!
              Madalina Blue and Saruno

              Comment


              • #8
                Skotos is not currently accepting new game ideas, I believe, but it would be nice to atleast hear from ShannonA or an official as to when in the foreseeable future they might start accepting new game ideas.

                Edit: Ah, yes, I forgot to mention that I'm also a fan of this idea. I'd like to see some ground made towards turning it into a real game on Skotos. I would like to suggest that you start thinking of what happens to a player after he/she dies. It's bad for business if they simply can't play then.
                -Usuichii, Great Scientist.

                Smarmy the Titan bellows to you, "You look almost like an Ugly."

                Blackhand the Orc grumbles: I don't know what to call you. No ugly is that vile, and no proper creature of Uthgol has ever had such a lack of honor!

                Usuichii 1, Usuichii 2

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                • #9
                  They become a zombie, obviously.

                  You should look into other ways of getting this game made; Skotos is pretty much dead. Maybe code the MUD yourself or find an alternative engine?

                  My wandering days are over.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Epenyne View Post
                    They become a zombie, obviously.

                    You should look into other ways of getting this game made; Skotos is pretty much dead. Maybe code the MUD yourself or find an alternative engine?
                    /me chimes in.

                    I'm writing an engine! Making a release of the engine soon. I'm working to make it somewhat SkotOS-like, but with a few twists here and there, a lot more power, and a hell of a lot more flexibility. It's designed for rapid-prototyping, so my personal guess is you could write a Marrach clone in a month or two (just to use that as a comparison). If you have more than one dedicated coder, it'll go even faster.

                    </shameless-plug>

                    (but seriously, if you're interested, pm me. I'm looking for anyone who can chime in with ideas on what they would want to do with an engine, so I can make sure that's accomodated. It allows for pretty much anything I can think of)
                    ~Ameko

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                    • #11
                      And word on this? I'm still extremely interested.
                      -Usuichii, Great Scientist.

                      Smarmy the Titan bellows to you, "You look almost like an Ugly."

                      Blackhand the Orc grumbles: I don't know what to call you. No ugly is that vile, and no proper creature of Uthgol has ever had such a lack of honor!

                      Usuichii 1, Usuichii 2

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Great! Thanks for posting this information.

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