An idea for an extra "game mode" - "Dark Days Coming"

So I was playing some DDA and I thought about what this game would be like pre-apocalypse. So I thought of an extra “game mode” - what if it’s a small, randomly generated town and the apocalypse hasn’t gotten to it yet. There are plenty of citizens (perhaps the town you play in can have a choosable size, between 25-200) and your character has to work with the AI to repel the oncoming menace. It goes from simple zombies to full on chaos, with monsters everwhere and nowhere to hide. The town members spread from being killed in the initial wave to holing up for the apocalypse or leaving the town, and if the player survives (whatever they choose to do) they can take the map to a full game of Dark Days Ahead, perhaps from the perspective of another character.

This is just something I jotted down on paper in 5 minutes.

Maybe something to look into once NPCs stop causing spontaneous head asplode syndrome. (i.e. once they’re bug-free)

I think this would be a good idea for (admittedly probably quite a long way) in the future as it’d be really great to work through the zombie invasion instead of just turning up at the end of it.
However, I think npcs would need to be very good for it to be interesting. Also spawning/balancing would need to be changed a lot as at the moment killing one or two zombies is very easy but if there was just a huge swarm of zombies, everything would be pretty much over before you did anything meaningful.

This seems like it would be a great game mode. The NPC’s would have to be a little better though.

From a design point of view I’d absolutely LOVE to do this, but from a coding POV it’d be a nightmare, lots of custom NPC scripting and missions that would only ever be used for a short period at the start of the game, and with a high likelihood of being skipped most of the time. If we had a really robust NPC scripting/mission system it would become a possibility, but until that happens (or someone is very passionate about putting in the work to make it happen), it’ll remain a beautiful dream.

I didn’t really think about missions, I meant something along the line of just NPCs making the decision to run, band into groups or go lone wolf, nothing too complex.

I’ve been mulling this over for a while now, as it really does seem like a unique game play style (as most games are fixed firmly in a particular ‘time’). It’d be a really great way to establish skills/traits and whatever as well.
As Kevin said though, it’s practically a whole other game in terms of balance and structure. For instance, whilst everyone is panicking, you could go and take other peoples stuff, so the npcs would need to protect it which would probably mean a lot of possession coding and whatever.

When DDA moves closer to being a lot more stable/fully featured (sort of like DC:SS is now) then I imagine this could be the mode that really elevates the game to new heights, so lets not forget about it!