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Changing Zombies Sight/Hearing/Memory dynamicallyHello, I've made this mod: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2888099799 And I'm trying to add this feature: Given a specific time of the day, assign a specific hearing/sight to a zombie (eventually to ALL zombies if not possible on a one-by-one basis) I've been looking at the documentation APIs but beside the name of properties or functions, they don't really explain how to use them. What I've found is this: - https://projectzomboid.com/modding/zombie/SandboxOptions.ZombieLore.html#Hearing - https://projectzomboid.com/modding/zombie/SandboxOptions.ZombieLore.html#Sight Which could work in changing the hearing and sight of all zombies I guess, which is good enough eventually. My question would be then: - How to I get/set this value (code example) - Do I need to have the game/server reload the sandbox values or is it automatically happening? If the former, how do I do that (code example again)? If there are attributes that can be set on the individual zombie level that would even be better but it's a "plus" that I'm willing to compromise with if it's not possible Thank you!
zombie ai Raising Horde - An important balancing factor
GG Cannon posted a topic in PZ SuggestionsA setting in both Sandbox and MP Server settings which has proven a serious issue to me are the "Rally Group" settings. For a better start on the first few days of the game, with friends that started playing for the first time, the standard Survivor Rally Group of 20 zombies is too absurd a number for people not used to the game starting in Urban areas considering it is still the start of the zombie apocalypse. For that reason, I've been setting the Rally group sizes small between 3 and 9, but closer together, for a more organic zombie behavior. Yet this brings another problem that is that later in the game, those groups are too small and the game becomes somewhat easy after we are properly equipped, with a base and vehicles and after killing most of the zombies around the map (since I set spawn rates for 25% every in-game week). Growing Issue I'd like to suggest and request, as a balancing feature, for the Rally groups to also grow with the zombie population or even for the possibility of rally groups to continue growing after zombie population has already reached its peak at the "Population Peak day". This would require: Change the "Rally Group Size" into "Starting Rally Group Size" Defines the size of groups at Day 1 Creation of "Final Rally Group Size" Defines the size of Rally groups at Day X set below Creation of "Final Rally Group Size Day" Defines which day is Day X where rally groups will reach their final density. Creation of "Rally Group Size Starting Variability" A variable that slightly randomizes the size of the Rally groups. Example: With a Rally Group Size of 10 and Rally Group Variability of 3, the actual Rally Group Sizes would vary randomly between 7 to 13. Creation of "Rally Group Size Final Variability" The variability it is gonna have when it reaches the "Final Rally Group Size Day", so that you can also make this variability grow or shrink over time. Another thing to consider would be the same treatment for Rally Group Separation: Change the "Rally Group Separation" into "Starting Rally Group Separation" Defines the separation of different zombie groups on Day 1. Creation of "Final Rally Group Separation" These would allow for the space between the groups to be regulated over time, so that either different groups would get closer together or farther apart over time. Creation of "Final Rally Group Separation Day" Defines which day is Day X where the Group Separation takes its final value. Creation of "Starting Rally Group Separation Variability" This would allow for the space between different zombie groups to have some variation where some groups stay closer together while other groups are farther apart, making it a more organic behavior. Creation of "Final Rally Group Separation Variability" This would allow for the the variation of space between zombie groups to either increase, adding more randomness or decrease making them more standardized. Maybe even the same for Rally Group Radius: Change the "Rally Group Radius" into "Starting Rally Group Radius" Defines the spread of different zombie members of the same groups to each other on Day 1. Creation of "Final Rally Group Radius" This would allow for the members of zombie groups to either stick closer together or drift farther apart from other members of the same group as time passes. Creation of "Final Rally Group Radius Day" or using the same days as the "Final Rally Group Separation Day", so that Separation and Radius change at the same time naming it as a single "Final Rally Group Separation and Radius Day". Having this day be separate from the "Max Rally Group Size Day" is useful since it allows you to set so that the spacing between the groups and between members of the same group either continues to change long after the groups have reached their maximum density or that it reaches its final state long before the groups finish growing up. Creation of "Starting Rally Group Radius Variability" This would allow for the space between zombie members of the same groups to have some variation where some groups have members stay closer together with each other while other groups members are farther apart from each other, making it a even more organic behavior. Creation of "Final Rally Group Radius Variability" This would allow for the the variation of space between zombies members of the same group to either increase, adding more randomness or decrease making them more standardized. With these new variables, the zombie population could start more spread apart in smaller groups and with time they would form bigger groups and those groups would grow closer and closer together, becoming even bigger hordes. This means that on day 1, you could have groups as small as only 3 to 9 zombies somewhat close together but far apart enough from the members of their own groups that you can bait a few and trim them down with a good spacing between them, making fighting those groups absolutely possible if you are careful, but a few days later, they could be groups as big as 20 zombies, close to one another enough that they always move like a horde and, depending on your settings, 1 year in-game later and the groups could be as big as 1000 zombies moving as a mass of bodies with little space between those huge hordes, making any city area that you haven't been clearing constantly be a real hell. Suggested Balancing For survivor difficulty, I would suggest that the rally groups settings start at size 7 with a variability of 2 (between 5 to 9) zombies on day 1 and grows to 30 with a variability of 10 (from 20 to 40) zombies by peak day 28, this would allow for the standard survivor difficulty to have a true feeling that population of zombies is getting worse and worse, up until it becomes worse than it currently is, but the starting of a game will be much more manageable in the first few days as if a quiet before the storm. While in apocalipse it could start in the current 20 with a variability of 5 (from 15 to 25) on day 1 and grow to 75 with a variability of 25 (from 50 to 100) after 4 months in, so every month the groups would be around 15 zombies bigger, but every 2 to 3 days, give or take, the groups would grow an average of 1 zombie, making it a real apocalipse scenario. The Important Questions Is it somewhat realistic? Yes, it makes sense that in the beginning of the zombie apocalipse at day 1, population would be thinner than 1 month in or 1 year in, and those groups of zombies should grow with time, not just the total amount of zombies around the map. It also makes sense for there to be some variability between the groups, since not all groups of zombies would be the same size nor behave exactly alike with perfect spacing between them. Does it fit with the spirit of PZ? Yes, this is but an effective balancing method but perfectly aligned with the spirit of PZ in the sense that the situation with the zombies grows worse and worse with time. Would it make the game too easy? No. It wouldn't make it neither too easy nor too hard, but more balanced, starting easier (in standard survivor difficulty) and becoming harder and harder with time. For MP servers and Sandbox difficulty it would also give some control for the game's difficulty to grow as the ability and equipment of the survivors also grow. Would it require rewriting the entire game (like changing the camera view, for instance) No. Not rewriting, but just adding new variables and renaming a few existing variables regarding the zombies AI and adapting functions. I would believe that the amount of coding needed to add this to the game is so minimal that it could possibly be possible to fully code and add it in the very next unstable patch, since it only involves very few variables and adding those variables to sandbox and server settings. Would it add enough to the gameplay that it would be worth taking the time to add? Yes, not only would it make the standard Survivor difficulty more balanced, it would add the sense of growing problem as the time passes and give the world a sense of organic growth in the zombie behavior besides more variation to the groups behavior, making every group of zombies seem more unique from one another, with them organizing in bigger groups as their numbers also grow. For zombies: Does it fit at least somewhat into Romero/Brooks zombie lore (the basis for 'proper' zombies)? Yes, it is actually more aligned with the Romero Zombies, since "Although initially devoid of both thought and memory, later works of Romero have shown zombies capable of learning through a process of trial and error." [Romero Zombies - Zombiefandom] In this case, the concept of sticking together and forming groups would be a learned behavior over time and copying other zombies around, while those that stick together from the beginning are from faded memories from their previous life, sticking to the zombies of friends or family, since "There have been instances of the zombies seemingly recalling memories of their past lives and performing familiar tasks" [Also found in Romero Zombies - Zombiefandom].
light Zombies aren't blind
GG Cannon posted a topic in PZ SuggestionsAs anyone who has ever seen a flashlight from far away pointed at them in a rural area will tell you, when everything around you is pure darkness, those things can be very visible from VERY far away. It surprises me how, even in pure darkness areas, zombies seem to ignore flashlights and car headlights pointed directly at them or how they won't feel too attracted to a house with every single light inside turned on when electricity has long been cut off. My suggestion would be: If you point your flashlight or car headlights towards zombies in the dark or at night for too long, they will notice you even from farther away and come to you. The time needed for that "notice you due to the light" to happen should be a lot longer the farther from you they are (but the cone of light will also be bigger there, so a lot more may notice you) AND they need to be looking towards your direction in order to see that light (zombies that are looking back won't notice). This means that for example: -Stopping your car at night with the headlights on and going into a building could be a bad idea, since when you return, a group of zombies that was down the streets could have surrounded your car. -You could use your flashlight to slowly bait some zombies in your direction from far away to slowly trim down a horde. -A carpentry post with a flashlight used as light source needs to be placed taking its light into consideration in order not to constantly attract zombies towards your base. Lights on inside a house or fireplaces at night should attract zombies nearby that look towards it for a while (even lights in higher floors). Similarly with #1, it should take longer for the zombie to be attracted to the house depending on the distance and they need to be looking towards it. Curtains and sheets should mitigate but not fully nullify this. Boarding up the windows or barricading it with bookcases should fully nullify this. This means that for example: -Early in the game, zombies would gather around buildings that have lights on inside and those buildings would naturally have a higher amount of zombies in or around even later in the game. -If your house windows are higher than the fence line, it could attract several zombies from down the street towards your "safe" spot, turning it into a death trap. -You could purposefully light a few houses early in the game as a way to attract zombies towards them and away from your base. -For taller buildings (in case there even is the possibility of starting the game already on Louisville), the higher the floor, the farther away it should attract zombies from, but nullify the effect from zombies nearer (so if a light is on a very high floor, zombies that are up to a certain distance won't see it since they would have to be looking up and not forward). 3- Three words for you: Visible Light Spectrum. As an added to both suggestions above, it could be very interesting if, due to deterioration with zombification and decay, if the zombies eye cone cells degraded and they lost the ability to perceive a few colors of light, more specifically, red and violet, which are the lowest and the highest wavelengths of light. As such, changing your lamps for the flashlight, car headlights or inside lighting for either a red or a violet color would render both effects from #1 and #2 nullified. You could carry 2 flashlights with you, one with red or violet lightbulb to not attract zombies attention, even though the color makes it slightly harder to see and another with a common white lightbulb, that doesn't bother you to see, but can attract zombies attention. If we add both sides with a few craftable battery powered spotlights(with an effect that makes zombies notice it twice as fast) and other "light decoys" and trap mix it with fire or bomb traps and have interesting strategies to deal with hordes that can be used even way after electricity has been cut off. This would bring a whole new dimension of strategy and danger to the game. Light sources doesn't just help you see in the dark, but also makes others see you...
zombies behaviors Scream and Fight!
GG Cannon posted a topic in PZ SuggestionsThere are 2 types of zombies I believe could be extremely interesting to appear in the game, specially later in the game as more survivors started to be turned, specially those that originally could have some degree of natural resistance to slow down the progression of the infection. Both of which conform to zombie types within the Romero zombies. All the things I will mention in this post can be found in "Romero Zombies" in the Zombiepedia While earlier works could show zombies devoid of both thought and memory and most instances that are inspired in the Romero zombies follow only that, later works of Romero have shown zombies capable of learning through a process of trial and error AND recalling memories of their past lives and performing familiar tasks or even communicating, which is to say that their brain still has significant capabilities. 1- Louder The first of the two types is very simple and most recent zombie games have at least one iteration of it in their own capacity. It is a more recent zombie trope that still also perfectly fits in the spirit of PZ and the current scenario of the world and within all the descriptors and capabilities of the Romero zombies. The "SCREAMER!" While I'm using the word "type" a better term would be "variant" since you can have a "screamer" variant of almost any type of zombie currently present in the game. It should simply be a zombie that, once it notices you, before it starts shambling, crawling or running towards you, they would... well... scream. Loud. Very loud. Calling zombies from a certain distance away towards their location. They should be somewhat rare and with a few small details, such as: -If the zombie is a crawler or "can't move", they should scream non-stop until they "forgot why they were screaming for". -If the screamer is following towards an alarm or event such as the helicopter, they should not scream until they see a player or NPC. -The screamer shout should cause a considerable amount of panic on the player's character and NPCs. -The second the screamer loses sight of the player or NPC, they should scream once again. -If a second screamer hears the shout of another screamer from far away, they should also scream before moving towards the location of the first screamer. This should be a very rare zombie variant ever since the start of the game that, with time, could become slightly more common. There should also be random events of screamers shouting, similar to how you can hear a woman shouting, wolves or a gunshot suddenly. It would be terrifying to suddenly hear a screamer near your base and then hear more screamers in the distance during the night. 2- More Lethal The second variant should be even more rare at the start of the game but become more and more common as the game progresses, which is zombies capable of using melee weapons. The "Fighter". As I mentioned in the beginning, this is something that has been verified multiple times in Romero movies and can be seen since as early as Night of the Living Dead. I don't believe they should operate firearms at all, to stay closer to the common zombie we know of, but grabbing a pipe to hit you or using an axe with the extremely faint memories of their past lives as a firefighter or a wood cutter is definitely fitting and reasonable. One detail I would add is that every player character that dies and becomes a zombie should have at least 25% chance of being a Fighter zombie. If they had the "Resilient" trait, it should be 50%. Later in the game, those values should double for 50% the normal player character and 100% for a resilient character. For the NPC update, survivor NPCs that die should also have a higher probability of becoming a Fighter. Starting at 10% and growing to 20% at later stages. This would make their existence even more interesting and threatening, since in an MP server, for example, one player that died may immediately become a Fighter zombie wielding a Katana or a Machete that they had while living. Important Questions Does it fit with the spirit of PZ? Yes it does. As I mentioned, both variants are still perfectly within the current style of the game. Would it make the game too easy? No, quite the opposite. It would add a new degree of threat to the game, since if you have bad luck, even a single zombie that shouts at a bad moment could bring your end or a zombie with an axe or a bat within a small group could make just a few 3 or 4 zombies to already be a serious battle for survival. Would it require rewriting the entire game (like changing the camera view, for instance) No. It would only require to program the variant behavior, add it among the list of possible zombie variants, add the toggle configurations to sandbox mode and server creation and I believe that is it. Would it add enough to the gameplay that it would be worth taking the time to add? Yes, very much so. Even though it is only 2 variants of zombies, since they can be recombined with other variants, like both Screamer and Crawler, or a Sprinter and Fighter. Imagine if a crawler that happened to be a fighter with a knife cuts your leg or feet right it the middle of combat from somewhere you didn't see it coming. For zombies: Does it fit at least somewhat into Romero/Brooks zombie lore (the basis for 'proper' zombies)? As I mentioned before, yes, perfectly so. It is perfectly within the lore of the Romero zombies. The zombie from the lore itself, the zombie brain is still more than capable of wielding weapons, be it by "learning" the behavior out of trial and error or from faint remaining memories of their previous lives, while screaming would be even more simple, but the act of screaming reactively as they see someone should still be somewhat rare or uncommon at least.
sounds Open frame generators are LOUD!
GG Cannon posted a topic in PZ SuggestionsGenerators similar to the one currently present in the game can be significantly loud, ranging from 70 to almost 90 decibels, which would be close to a "someone shouting" or an average "car engine". This should be reflected in the game by having zombies be attracted towards the sound of a working generator from a range similar to somewhere between the shout sound radius and the car engine sound radius. It should also make it hard to sleep if your bed is too close to the working generator. Not even close to the sound radius of gunfire even from a pistol or a revolver, but still, if you make a base inside a city, you'd need to clear zombies from a certain distance around your base and zombies migrating that pass by your base would constantly come towards it, so you'd have to turn it off from time to time, specially if you are going somewhere far from your base or risk getting back to a base overtaken by zombies that were attracted to your generator, or make sure the generator is placed in a spot that can't be heard from outside your base. This means that if you can't feel safe enough to be constantly shouting "Hey! Hey you! Hey! HEEEY!" inside your base, you shouldn't feel safe enough to turn on a generator there. Here is a video that show just how loud an open frame generator can be.
Nocturnal Zombies ModZombies often stand around in groups doing nothing until they see or hear something. But not at Night Time! This mod will gives Zombies nocturnal instincts that kick in once it gets dark. From 9:00pm to 6:00am Zombies Primal hunting instincts will take effect and they will be moving around a lot more, scattering in random directions and be restlessly searching ... for you. http://undeniable.info/pz/NocturnalZombiesMod.php
Zombies in the rain
Sanctus posted a topic in PZ SuggestionsSound draws zombies, and since rain causes sound maybe they would be much more active during rain. Moving about almost constantly and being much more alert to stimuli (other than sound of course which would be slightly dulled). I think this would be a really cool addition and increase immersion, difficulty during rain storms, blah blah (insert excuse for putting it in game here).