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Packbat

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  1. Okay, found a USGS map with options to show estimated historical (i.e. pre-human-intervention) fire frequencies. Playing around with the different data layers, and with the caveat that I'm not an expert on the subject or on using this particular tool, I think a good first approximation is "the Muldraugh area burned down every 5 years or less, the West Point area every 70 years or more". (The real-life railroad seems to go along a ridgeline or something; the bowl north of it, starting somewhere west of the trailer park pulloff between Muldraugh and West Point, is much less fire-prone.) What that implies about the current situation I have no idea. Provided the devs implemented some kind of sort-of-science-based lightning strike model plus fire ignition and spread models to avoid making feel like a random 'screw-you' system, I don't think it would be outside the realm of OFLGBKYBYGT to drive survivors (and, presumably, wildlife and zombies) towards West Point with fire.
  2. Normalizing by area, that would be about 13.7 flashes per square mile per year (5.3 per square kilometer per year). I think it's harder to figure what the effects should be - the only lightning strikes I can remember hearing of in real life involved trees being killed, not fires that actually spread.
  3. Packbat

    Literature mod

    I like the idea of this mod, and your methodology for producing book lists. I don't know if this is what you did, but I think I would also draw titles from the best seller lists for the months leading up to the beginning of the game period (which, in my headcanon, would be beginning of development, ~March 2011). I don't know what half-life I would assume for books in houses, but I would expect at least the last two months' best sellers to show up. Also, I think it might be good to look at some Greatest Author lists and consider adding collections of their work - I had almost all of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels at one point, and I would expect there to be some chance that you would be looting the house of (for example) a serious Sherlock Holmes fan, Ayn Rand fan, or Agatha Christie fan. On which subject, a minor correction to the classics list: your first Agatha Christie novel was published under the title And Then There Were None in the United States - the original U.K. publication title is now (and, indeed, was in 1939) considered shockingly inappropriate on this side of the pond thanks to the much more violent history of race relations in the U.S. relative to the U.K. (In fact, the poem in the novel was edited in various editions to describe "ten little Indians" - which is also problematic - or "ten little soldiers".) It might be worth the effort at some point to check the titles of the rest of the books on the list to see if any others have market-specific titles on this side of the pond. (In fact, there's one I know has: the first Harry Potter book was sold as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. According to Wikipedia, Scholastic Corporation thought children were allergic to philosophy and therefore the book wouldn't sell under the original name. ) Final question: how does rereading work? When I considered how I would revamping the book system, I thought each book should begin with a reasonable amount of boredom relief and happiness raising per page that would drop precipitously each time you finish reading it but regenerate slowly over time. I don't know what you've implemented here.
  4. A 50 x 50 area is loaded around the player initially. Then, as the player moves, 5 x 5 chunks are loaded from the edges. Thanks! Couple more technical questions: What units of measurement are these numbers (50 x 50 and 5 x 5)? I could believe anything from yards or meters to 5-foot squares of ground - I don't have a perfect sense of scale in Project Zomboid.What kind of format are unloaded squares stored in? How much data is stored? Do their contents ever get updated while they're unloaded?I'm pretty sure that I could get the essential functionality I want from a couple bytes per chunk - "contains n zombies", "obstructed or unobstructed by terrain" (which is used to mark dead ends and side turnings), "contains a vehicle" - but that's still a lot of bytes that may need frequent updating. For what it's worth, I don't need the full circle either, and I don't need it continuously - if the player isn't ctrl+mousing in a direction, I wouldn't give them information on anything outside the 50 x 50 square, and if they are ctrl+mousing, they'd only need information for chunks in the direction they are looking in. In the system you describe, moving diagonally, you might be loading or unloading as much as 19 chunks at a time; if, when stationary and looking out in whatever direction, you could temporarily load in a six-by-three-chunk stripe (18 chunks), that would be pretty much as much perception range as I really want: about 1000 to 1500 feet (300-450 meters). Cars I still don't know how to handle, but for rifles I'd be pretty satisfied with that. If I recall rightly, the camera snaps back to centered on the player very quickly after you release the mouse - if you unloaded half the area around the player to look off in one direction, that would be a lot of data to yank off the hard drive in very little time. Also, if the squares are unloaded for memory, it's harder for the zombies in them to blindside you.
  5. I did know that the screen would scroll a bit (that's why I said approximately the full screen width instead of approximately half the screen width ) but I wasn't thinking about the loading-from-HD issue. Is it a system where the map is divided into squares, like Minecraft chunks? How big are those?
  6. It is a source of occasional frustration for me that you can't see farther than approximately the width of the screen from where you stand. Based on the Google Maps Street View going along Dixie Highway in Muldraugh, during the day, a survivor on the highway looking south from Knox Bank should be able to see zombies milling about in front of the Sunstar Hotel, and if that survivor had a one-story watchtower next to the road, they might be able to spot a horde as far away as Pizza Whirled. Plus, if we want to use vehicles and rifles to their full effect, we need to know what going on more than a couple hundred feet away. I like Project Zomboid's third-person view setup. I don't want to change it. What I want is to brainstorm UI workarounds for offscreen-but-within-line-of-sight data. My current thought is something like the Moodle system: icons that appear on the edge of the screen with a background color to indicate distance (perhaps dark red for just off screen fading to white at the horizon). Like on-screen objects, they would fade in or out based on your ability to perceive them, but the total amount of information they would give you as a player would be pretty sharply limited: for example, you could have separate icons for one human or zombie, for a group humans and/or zombies, for a vehicle in motion, for a side street, for a side trail, for a dead end ... I think you'd need some playtesting to figure out what distinctions to include, but you'd never put in enough to (for example) tell which survivor on a multiplayer server is coming up the highway towards you.
  7. Being able to set up clotheslines would definitely be nice - air-dry towels, clothes, &c.
  8. @Jack Bower: ...I don't quite understand what you just said. Help?
  9. I'd take a different approach to modeling that, actually. Mortise and tenon joints require more skill, materials, and time from the carpenter, but I don't think the products are inherently lower quality. Heavier, probably; weaker, possibly; lower quality, not especially.
  10. Superficial wounds are not likely to become infected, and almost certainly will not if they are kept clean. There are a lot of very dangerous possible infections if they do become infected, though - tetanus i.e. lockjaw is one of the most dramatic. Is there any plan to have survivors develop a thicker skin over time? On a related note, are there plans to have survivors rub their hands raw when doing large amounts of unfamiliar manual labor (e.g. digging farms, building walls, beating zombies with crowbars) for the first time?
  11. Definitely seconding the suggestion for windows especially. Besides your Info suggestion, the Carpentry skill ought to make it easier to reclaim old fixtures - already at level 0 you ought to be able to get a door off the hinges with a screwdriver, but well before you get to Level 5 you should be able to reclaim lumber, trim, and so forth as planks for your future projects. My pathetically-cursory research suggests that removing windows and installing windows is pretty straightfoward - probably Level 1 for the former and Level 2 for the latter. I think the natural window-crafting recipe would use a few Plank items for trim and two Window Sash items for the panes; a Window Sash could theoretically be made from glass and planks, but I have no idea where you would get [edit:loose glass of the right size], so the usual source would be either scavenged from hardware stores, sheds, garages, warehouses, &c. or reclaimed from existing unbroken windows. (Obviously, a crowbar should also have some chance of opening a locked window without breaking the glass. How much chance I'm not sure.) (And I love the Locked Door Handle suggestion.) Another way to make high-level Carpentry valuable would be to add structural strength to the game. You would have to add buildable scaffolding to act as temporary support (can be climbed or walked through at low speed, can be either picked up or deconstructed without loss of materials), but if building anything larger than a shed required the use of Load-Bearing Walls that got stronger as you gained more Carpentry skill, you'd have a lot more to look forward to than more efficient Rainwater Collectors at high levels. (And if rainwater collection required more than five square feet of area to gather significant amounts - i.e. a roof with gutters - that would take on even more significance for long-term survival.)
  12. I think there's a definite place for a non-carpentry crafting skill, representing one's ability to make or repair mechanical items - firearms, generators, cars, etc. (I would probably have "Car Mechanic" or "Automotive Technician" or whatever you call it as a profession which gets a boost to that skill.) There's overlap with the Trapping skill as well - I don't know if it would be better to have this replace that, parallel to that, or to start work on some new skill-tree system which might have Trapping as a separate node. That said, thinking about various survival books, games, television shows, etc., there are a lot of possible applications besides traps that could be brought in, here: Lockmaking and lockpicking - the latter much earlier (level 1?) than the former;Simple mechanical power generation - foot pedals, stationary bicycles, water wheels, windmills;Basic engines or engine modifications - wood/coal gas adaption for Otto-cycle motors (e.g. standard generators, cars), low-pressure steam engines, modification of standard engines for improvised fuel sources like cooking oil to replace diesel;Transmission and application of power from the above to various applications, from tabletop appliances like sewing machines to industrial appliances like lathes and grain mills to electricity;Simple crafting tools - spinning wheels, looms, grinders, forges, mills, &c;Furnaces for making charcoal, firing clay, smelting ores, forging metals, melting metals, etc.;Basic boilers, stills, fractional stills, etc.;Hard personal armor - easy would be things like greaves and skull caps, intermediate would be chainmail from chicken wire, hard would be something like Gothic plate armor;Primitive or improvised ranged weaponry - crossbows, air-pressure guns, bombards, etc. - and basic gunsmithing for existing firearms;Simple transportation tools - rollers, wheelbarrows, carts, hand trucks, etc.;...the list goes on and on. A number of these suggest other skills, like blacksmithing - I remember being told that one of the best first-time-smith projects is making a knife blade out of an old metal file - and fiber arts - there are sheep raised in Kentucky if you can manage to keep them alive and healthy - but I think from a game-design perspective a skill specifically about making, remaking, and repairing devices would be grand, and specific things to build can be chosen based on what you have or want in the game.
  13. Nope - it doesn't make you run any faster, and your walking faster means more fatigue and more noise.
  14. I mean, that's what the Panic moodles are supposed to be - you losing your cool. And I absolutely agree that we should add traits that affect that - I made a thread earlier suggesting an Intrepid/Steady/Nervous/Jumpy trait set akin to Weak/Feeble/Stout/Strong. (And maybe I should have posted the OP of this thread in that one.) So, yeah, I think it can be added to the game pretty straightforwardly by adding to the existing structure. Honestly, I'd also love to have tripping in the game, but I don't think it'd work from a players-controlling-their-characters perspective.
  15. I just watched Last Level Press's "Passing Pineview Forest" video, and one of the things Mr. Black commented on was that the character seemed to be walking faster towards the end of the run, when he might reasonably be expected to be more scared. I realized, when I was commenting on the video, that that seems like a really Zomboidish thing: fear makes you breathe harder and makes your pulse race, but it also makes you step just a little (or, as the panic rises, maybe quite a bit) more lively when you're trying to walk or sneak about. Walking faster based on your Panic moodles would also have a lot of appropriate knock-on effects: you would get fatigued faster and recover from fatigue more slowly, you would be less stealthy sneaking or walking when you were scared, and you would probably be a little less likely to actually get caught by the zombies that are chasing you even without full-on running. Running I wouldn't have affected by fear (it's called 'sprinting' in the skill menu, after all), but walking I would make quicker.
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