So I was thinking about how you start out a game of Zomboid. Zomboid is meant to be hyper-realistic, but you begin the game with no family or friends who you want to look after. It's like you're literally plopped onto the world having never spoken to any other human before. So here's my suggestion for when the NPCs are back in: During character creation, you can also choose whether or not your character has any "Family." Family members will include things like wife, husband, father, mother, brother, sister, best friend, grandparents, etc. If you choose to have them (let's say you pick to have 3 family members), all 3 will be placed on the map at random (though maybe all within the same town you start in). They get unique dialogue if you happen to find them, and while talking to other NPCs you can also ask about them to try and find out where they are. This not only makes things more realistic and adds to roleplaying, it also adds a sort of optional sidequest - trying to track down and re-unite your family in the zombie apocalypse! Of course, if you're the lone survivor type, you can choose not to have any family at all. Having family will have disadvantages - if you don't manage to track them down, you'll get the "Absent Family" negative moodlet as you miss them and wonder where they are. Your family are like any other NPC, and can die while you're not there - so if you track them down only to find a corpse, you get Depressed, but at least you know what's happened to them and your Depression should eventually wear off. The Absent Family moodlet, however, is persistent, and affects you when you're not busy with other tasks (perhaps could make it a more believable alternative to Bored?). But if you do manage to find a family member, they'll start with a big boost to positive relations with you, making them a good option to join up with and unlikely to betray you! Also you'll get a positive moodlet from spending time with them. ...Although, of course, if they die, your character will get Depressed. That's another risk you have to weigh against the reward.