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GodWaffle

How Vehicles Should Work In My Opinion

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Hey Guys,

So this was originally a post in one of my topics in the general PZ discussion board but I decided I'd post it here as it's basically a suggestion.  This is my personal view on how vehicles should work when they're implemented with the new 3D engine.  

I personally believe that vehicles should be a large part of the game when it comes to it, I think that vehicles should be a large focus of development once the current big things are out the door (NPCs mainly).  

I just wonder about controls, and I'm thinking maybe there could be different control types for vehicles that could be switched in the options? Here's two different control types I've got in mind:

Control Type 1:

Hold W to accelerate
Release W and car will slow and eventually stop
Hold S to reverse/brake
Release S and car will slow and eventually stop
Hold D to turn right (need to be moving obviously)
Hold A to turn left (need to be moving)

Hold down space for handbrake
Hold E to exit the vehicle (if it's not stopped then will take damage depending on speed, like falling damage)
Hold Q for horn (if applicable, if riding a horse then just yell like usual)

Control Type 2:

Hold W to accelerate
Release W and car will slow and eventually stop
Hold S to reverse/brake
Release S and car will slow and eventually stop

Hold down space for handbrake
Hold E to exit the vehicle (if it's not stopped then will take damage depending on speed, like falling damage)
Hold Q for horn (if applicable, if riding a horse then just yell like usual)

While holding CTRL or RMB, the car will turn towards the location of the mouse over time (depending on speed, if you suddenly move the mouse behind the vehicle while driving at a high speed then you should probably skid out and crash).

I'm not sure which of these two control types I would prefer, but I believe that it should be an option between mouse and keyboard as I know a lot of people who play the game really do prefer mouse controls.  I personally would have to try both to make up my mind.

There should be a 'Maintenance' skill that you can learn which will allow you to fix up vehicles with new parts or repair old parts, and possibly tie in with some of the other upcoming features (electricity generators and PZ's 'redstone' type system)

To go with the new skill, there would be a Mechanic profession which would give the traits:

Pit Stop: All maintenance actions are 2x faster
Conditioner: Vehicles are less likely to break down

All maintenance actions will require that the player has a Wrench in their inventory (will equip it like a hammer).  

Now, if I'm going to go a bit further with this, we could make vehicles even more of an integral part of the game by having vehicle customization.  (Bear with me)

Firstly, there would be a new GUI window named "Vehicle".  This would be empty if you are not next to a vehicle (similar to containers), however if you are within range of a vehicle then you would see the following:

Status Tab:
The 'Status' tab in the window would be similar to the player's health window with status indicators for different areas of the body, the vehicle status window would show a top-down outline view of the vehicle with status indicators for various parts.  Right clicking on one of these parts would give a dropdown list with:

"Add Part.." - hover over to see a list of available parts that can be added.
"Remove <PART NAME>" - would remove the part from the vehicle

The 'parts' that I refer to would require a welding tool to attach to the vehicle (similar to how carpentry requires a saw).  You would be able to find or make parts such as:

Bars (Attach to windows to stop zombies from getting in)
Plough (Would help to push zombies out of the way without damaging the front of the vehicle, useful only at low speed)
Reinforcement (Depending on maintenance skill, adds reinforced plating on the section of the vehicle which will protect it from bullet damage and will give slightly better results when ramming through zombies)
Tires (I don't know a lot about tires but I can see that this would be useful)

There would be a lot more, being able to replace parts from the base vehicle (salvage extra tires from dead vehicles, remove seats to make storage space, etc)

Fuel would be a valuable item in the world, could be siphoned from other cars or from petrol/gas stations, running out of fuel would mean abandoning that vehicle unless you can find fuel.  Fuel would appear in the status tab as well.

Storage Tab:
The 'Storage' tab in the window would be similar to your inventory window, the vehicle would have storage 'containers' depending on what sort of vehicle it is.  The boot or trunk of a car would be accessible from the outside but the rest of the storage would only be accessible if in the car.

Passengers:
The 'Passengers' tab would simply give a list of players and NPC's that are in the vehicle.  

So with regards to the vehicle's ability to ram zombies, I think that a couple factors would play into how the action would turn out:

Vehicle Speed
Number of Zombies

Slowly pushing a few zombies out of the way would basically be harmless to your vehicle if you just slowly accelerated into them and knocked them down.  The faster you're going though, the more damage your car would take, not to mention bits of flesh getting stuck in the vehicle.  However, even slowly accelerating will be the end of you if there are too many zombies, think of what happens when you currently run into a horde, you get a little bit into the group and slow right down and then die.

This would be very similar for vehicles except that they could get slightly further and get past more zombies, however if it is a large mob then (depending on the vehicle) the weight of all these zombies would be too much for the vehicle to push through, and by now they'd be behind you as well.  In this situation they would smash the windows and climb in and devour you, unless you have your windows fortified with bars, in which case you will be stuck to die of hunger.

For this particular situation I think there should be a right click option which (if the car has a sunroof) would allow you to exit via the sunroof and assume the 'baldspot on top of car with baseball bat' stance.  Either way, you're probably dead unless you have a friend drawing the zeds away from the car.

Vehicles would be able to carry as many people as there are seats (so if there is a say 20 seat bus then you could bring 19 passengers along with you), I think that when inside a moving vehicle all characters would be seated while the vehicle is moving (don't know how messy it could get if you were able to walk around inside a moving bus.  Perhaps if the vehicle is stopped then you can walk around inside of it.  (If it was possible to move around inside a vehicle as a passenger while it's moving, that'd be so awesome)

With passengers in a vehicle I think that maybe as a cosmetic thing, the roof of the vehicle would be invisible so that you could see the inside of the bus or car, however that view could be toggled on and off by a hotkey.

SO THEN, thanks for reading this massively long post and hopefully it can give the developers some ideas, I've tried to make it 'fit' the PZ theme and at the same time keep realistic (no super upgrades like chainsaw wings and crap), I believe that if this is done properly it would be one of the huge parts of the game (especially as the map gets bigger).  Vehicles would deteriorate over time so I think a skilled mechanic would be a very valuable group member to have.

As a developer I can say that this is something that would be very exciting to put into a game like this, a huge area of the game with so many different possibilities.

Let me know your thoughts on these ideas!

-Ben

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I'd like to see bicycles added. The bicycle is the perfect zombie apocalypse vehicle. You could attach Duffel bags to act as panniers. It would be quieter than a car and not need fuel, but be slower and able to carry less. Perhaps it would make you get hungry or thirsty faster, perhaps even tire faster. It too could require maintenance and perhaps use the same Mechanic profession. Perhaps make it so as it wears, it gets louder and gives a greater chance of attracting nearby zombies.

 

just an idea as cars seem to get all the attention and bicycle seem to never get mentioned.

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I'd like to see bicycles added. The bicycle is the perfect zombie apocalypse vehicle. You could attach Duffel bags to act as panniers. It would be quieter than a car and not need fuel, but be slower and able to carry less. Perhaps it would make you get hungry or thirsty faster, perhaps even tire faster. It too could require maintenance and perhaps use the same Mechanic profession. Perhaps make it so as it wears, it gets louder and gives a greater chance of attracting nearby zombies.

 

just an idea as cars seem to get all the attention and bicycle seem to never get mentioned.

Right up until you throw zombies into the apocalypse mix, a bicycle is a good idea.

 

Just try riding your bike through a crowd of people, or a group of people trying to push you from your ride - All it takes is for something to catch in the spokes of one (of your two) wheel, or slowing down too much in an effort to steer around the moving obstacles, or unbalanced panniers, or the bike or yourself being pulled/pushed too hard from one side, and you topple to the ground.

Not only are you no longer on your ride, but you're also not in a standing/combat stance and at the mercy of the first thing to clamber on top of you.

 

Pretty much a suicide solution, really.

I think cars come across as the more obvious solution because of the cage of protection around the driver, and the stability/reliability of a motor vehicle over uneven terrain and through hazard(s).

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Cars have alternaters (little generators used to recharge the battery while you drive), In an apoclopse situation, i would make a windmill out of those to power lights or recharge power tools. If vehicals are introduced, aside from parking cars in strategitic positions to create baracades, i would definitly take the alternators out of the ones i did not plan on using.

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