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GrandPunkRailroad

Grillin' for some trouble

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I was thinking of how to increase the chance that zombies might be attracted towards a survivor's base from a distance without meta events. I personally love to start a game by fortifying one or two spots with walls and rope ladders. But I the process of building and stocking a stronghold, the surrounding area becomes depopulated, and the fort losses it's neccesity, as the mush heads never come a knockin'. I see this as a major cause of mid-game boredom, most survivors in the game probably want to see their defenses, once constructed, put to the test. Otherwise, why build?

I propose a mechanism that some small percentage chance of nearby single zombies might be attracted to smoke from campfires and propane grills. Say 3-5% of zombies in a given distance have a chance to smell, for example, cooking bird and wander thataway. Maybe even a cluster at a much rarer chance. I'm not sure in the game what distance the program is populating and modeling mobs and their behavior, and this might limit the effectiveness of this idea. Balance would be necessary, 'cause uneasy looking over your shoulder is what your going for, not surety of effect. And if every fort built was destroyed by zombies, people would complain about wasted effort, and just give up. Some random chance to be tested would be so great though.

An alternate mechanism could be used by calculating the density map of loot which somehow might be an attractor for zombies. Maybe more dense collections of stuff have greater likelihood of attraction.. Reasoning for this effect could be that lots of stuff has been going on near this fort, zombies might have picked up on that somehow, whether occasional noise, smells, etc..

I think this could be a non-meta event type of draw to bring zombies toward and area of active players, and this might cause fort builders to be more vigilant, and also create new scary moments of terror in the late game, which currently can be pretty slow, unless you go looking for trouble.

Boiled down: smoke might be a logical, non-meta event way, to bring wanderers and maybe even the occasional cluster of headbangers towards forts. So when they come a knockin' my axe can go a rockin'!

Edit 3/2/15 by author for clarity (spacing) and to remove Aspie-ish title "Smoke as a zombie draw mechanism to challenge fort builders" (buries head in shame)

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You know you're on to something here.

 

I think perhaps another Z drawing mechanism could be Z bodies. This would give reason to move bodies away from your fort too. It would add to the danger as well considering they're heavy and you can't equip a weapon while carrying them. The further you go, the more zombies you would eventually attract to your vicinity.

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I appreciate your idea of being threatened while carrying zombie corpses, but in general, a mechanism which causes zombies to be attracted to other corpses would just scatter zombies across the map, rather than focus a few of them in on your fort.

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T

 

You know you're on to something here.

 

I think perhaps another Z drawing mechanism could be Z bodies. This would give reason to move bodies away from your fort too. It would add to the danger as well considering they're heavy and you can't equip a weapon while carrying them. The further you go, the more zombies you would eventually attract to your vicinity.

You got me thinking, "Do zombies know that the 'dead' zombies are dead?" I'm certainly no Romero school expert, my only knowledge on the matter comes from the Dawn of the Dead remake, Diary of the Dead, and 3 season's worth of The Walking Dead. I can't imagine zombies having much processing power when it comes to cognitive function. They, by nature, devour the living...because they're the dead. So, if they encounter a skull-bashed zombie corpse, do they know it's non-operational? Would they draw to it like it were a functioning zombie? If they knew it were non-functional, would they not stop to feed on it?

 

Sorry if I'm getting too philosophical or overthinking the matter.

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Generally, from what I've seen, zombies don't eat anything but living or freshly dead humans.

Yes to this, zombies must not scavenge, as they have no hunger for flesh. They are a black virus of death, which seeks only to occupy the living. To cover the world with a shroud of scrabbling, clawing, uniformity. Life is the food of this malice. Survivors must die..

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Generally, from what I've seen, zombies don't eat anything but living or freshly dead humans.

Yes to this, zombies must not scavenge, as they have no hunger for flesh. They are a black virus of death, which seeks only to occupy the living. To cover the world with a shroud of scrabbling, clawing, uniformity. Life is the food of this malice. Survivors must die..

 

Hum, this is very dark. I like it.

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