((( I had submitted this topic on the general discussion forum because it wouldn't allow me to create it here for some reason. It seems more fitting in suggestions. A PZ Dev actually confirmed that smell might probably be added which is pretty awesome haha. Original post on general discussion:
What would a zombie apocalypse smell like? It probably wont be a very pleasant sensation to be honest, but I think a game like Project Zomboid could use a bit of realism like this!
I feel as though the incorporating of a smelling mechanic would be pretty interesting to experience within the game. When I was thinking it through, it would be included as a moodlet that the player has. When in close proximity to rotten food in containers or on the floor, this example of a moodlet would appear:
Stench: "smells terrible here"
It could have varying amounts of severity depending on the level of rot:
"smells a bit bad"
"smells terrible here"
"smells absolutely disgusting"
These are just ideas of of what they could display. Being around something that stinks could also prompt the already existing "queasy moodlet" when staying in that area for a while. Of course, a very useful way to find out if food could be going bad. Another small and maybe a far out suggestion for food items to have an option to be smelled. This could also help in a way with the new nutrition system. Though this could be a bit primitive, zomboid is all about realism and when surviving in apocalypse, we will use all of our thinking ability, power and sensing to stay alive.
Which leads me to another very important aspect that can add to the zomboid experince. Smelling zombies. You know that feeling when your raiding a house with your fire axe in hand, opening each door of this seemingly quiet empty house very carefully, and suddenly a zombie comes at you from a sharp corner without any sort or warning? Well what if you were alerted to its presence before hand with that beautiful thing between your nose? This could possibly take away from that absolute shock when raiding, but it will add much much more to the experience.
In addition, as another suggestion, each zombie will probably emit a varied "stench zone". Perhaps the decomposition of a zombie will stink more as a fresh zombie will not. I was just thinking about how the recent addition to 3d sound to the game could also work as 3d smell. (which in retrospect sounds silly)
Hordes, as you can imagine, will also smell terrible and probably emit a larger "stench zone", alerting you to their presence even if you can see them straight away. Imagine your on the first floor of a quaint home and you've cleared it pretty well, but you "smell something absolutely disgusting". this will give you an indication of something waiting upstairs, which in my opinion would make this game just a tad bit more immersive. In addition, this will give more insensitive to clean out home bases or general spaces that you need clean.
In conclusion, smell will help overall with the zomboid experience in my opinion. Not sure though.