I haven’t read all the other suggestion threads, so I am probably duplicating somebody else’s for some of these but here goes:
New Building Ideas:
New buildings bring variety and more places to explore, but if there is not anything useful to be found in any of them, nobody will bother going to them (when was the last time you went in a restaurant?), so I tried to think about how the buildings would be used and how they would fit into strategies.
Stadium/Arena: 3x3 zone, variants include baseball stadium, football field, hockey rink, basketball court, and concert venue. Some could just be empty stadiums, with things like bats, hockey sticks, hockey helmet, football gear (shoulder pads, etc) laying around, not much value. Others could be converted to act similar to FEMA camps: lots of zombies, potentially decent supplies, etc. Gameplay and strategy effect would be minimal, just a place to grab supplies, or possibly a quest goal (travel to the stadium and set up the beacon in the middle)
City Hall: 3x3 zone. Contains a bunch of administrative functions for a town. Possible source of storyline and other lore. Good potential as a mid to end game quest target. Could be included in something like “claiming the city hall for a faction will expand their influence and bring the city under that factions control”. Another potential use is for road maps and subway/sewer maps.
Hydroelectric Dam: Special size, crosses river. Late game goal, or faction quest goal. Something like “Take control of the dam for faction x so that they can generate power from it again”.
Airport: Maybe 3x3 square, with a 1x3 section of road acting as the airstrip. Also has hangars which contain loot much like garages. Maybe find a small plane to try and fly?
Dock/Harbor: 1 square, 1x3 section of bridge acting as the dock. Same as airport but with boats!
Large military base: 3x3 or greater. High value loot here, but lots of tough bad guys. Maybe an underground area with rare military CBMs. A faction may want to clear out a military base to serve as an encampment (and for all the loot).
Factory: 3x3. Source of raw materials. Different factory types may have different loot: one for computer parts, one for metal, one for wood, possibly a clothing factory as well. Rarely a factory may have high value rare items, such as a minireactor.
Warehouse: 3x3. Same as above, but may have more finished materials. Random loot in general.
Office Building: 3x3. Source of computer components. May contain a safe or a research area with a rare item.
School/University: 3x3. Source of books, backpacks, etc. May contain a chemistry lab with chemicals for future crafting.
Apartment Building/Hotel: 1x3 or similar. Same loot as houses, but higher density.
Robotics Center: 3x3. Control active robots and make them friendly. Activate inactive robots and reprogram them to follow you. Potential quest goal.
Fast Food Joint: 1x1. Get some hamburgers that never spoil!
Natural Spring: 1x1. Source of completely uncontaminated water.
Solar Panel Farm: 1x1. Disassemble the panels to acquire some to install in your vehicle. Also possibly allow player to connect to the panels and charge CBMs/batteries.
Truck Stop: Basically a gas station surrounded by parking lots. Parking lots contain lots of semi truck trailers which may have valuable supplies, or may make a nice home. Sometimes a semi truck cab is present as well.
Mid/Long Term Goals:
Some of these imply that since the player has survived long enough to attempt them, they know enough of the lore to understand what they’re doing and why. Also, most assume that NPCs are way more fleshed out.
Claim city for faction: Mentioned previously, take over a city hall and claim the city for a faction.
Capture/Restore Hydroelectric Dam: Mentioned previously, take over dam and restore it to provide power.
Close Netherworld Portal: Every once in a while (after player reaches a certain point), a large netherworld portal will spawn, and while it remains active, the amount of nether activity in the world increases noticeably. The player must travel inside the portal and collapse the sub prime focus stabilizers, which causes the portal to close. Upon destroying the stabilizers, the player has a certain amount of time to escape, or they will be trapped in the netherworld until another portal opens. Not sure how this will play with the gate in/out mechanisms already planned.
Assassinate Enemy Leader: Take out the head of an opposing faction.
Diplomatic Mission: Convince enemy faction to ally with you/your faction.
Kill Zombie Lord: Kill an incredibly powerful zombie. Possibly require gathering an army to back you up.
Rescue Scientists/Soldiers: You receive a message over your two way radio from soldiers pinned down in an outpost nearby. The turrets have gone haywire and started shooting everyone. They are pinned down inside the barracks. They will follow you/join your faction/give you cards to access a stash/give you other supplies.
Some of these missions could be a part of a chain, ie: capture a city and expand your factions influence, in order to convince an enemy faction to ally with you, in order to restore the hydroelectric dam, in order to generate the power to shut down the netherworld portal, so that you cut off the nether enemies, which gives you the opportunity to finally take down a zombie lord with your new allied friends.
Add a chemistry skill that is used to create explosives, and whatever other good uses there might be for chemistry. Maybe something involving the hydrogen power supplies that some things use? Also roll drug recipes into chemistry.
Most cooking recipes seem a little useless to me right now, since I can get all the nutrition I need from just butchering one of the millions of squirrels around and cooking that. The other recipes should be easier to craft (I haven’t seen a zucchini yet) and provide more useful bonuses outside of nutrition, ie. cooked meat gives +1 strength for 1 hour. Another way to make food more interesting is to add something like a watered down addiction mechanic where your character suddenly has a craving for pizza, maybe with a slight morale drop. Eventually the craving will go away once you decide that pizza is a luxury, and there is a zombie apocalypse going down, but if you manage to make the pizza and eat it before your craving goes way, you get a huge morale boost and a small boost to all stats. I think a gameplay mechanic like this will encourage more people to try and craft the harder cooking recipes.
Once you reach high driving skill (8?), you can drive boats with ease, and even higher skill (12?), you can drive planes with ease. Also roll high mechanics skill into modifying these vehicles.
Add fishing skill.
A way to train computing skill besides books might be useful. I’m not sure exactly all the ways it can level now (I know hacking, electrohacking train it, does regular interaction without hacking, like downloading maps, reading notes level it?), but it seems like there are not that many good ways except for reading. I’m not sure how you would do this in a post apocalyptic world, but it would help.
A skill available to high level electronics (12+?) to craft a random CBM from parts, possibly involving burnt out bionics from shocker zombies/terminator units, and other parts that aren’t trivial to acquire. A bionics factory would be a good (but rare) source of these parts. Maybe have the results be something like: 50% power storage, 40% common, 10% rare CBM.
The game right now is set in New England, but I think it would be interesting if you could select what region of the country you want the game to bet set in. That region would determine the map features, wildlife spawns, weather patterns, and composition of cities. For example, if your world was set in the midwest, you might see less forest area and more open field, more farms on your map, prairie dogs instead of squirrels, hotter summers, more thunderstorms, and fewer large sized cities. A longer term idea would be to make the regions connected, so that with enough travel you eventually reach another region of the country.
More map features in general would need to be created to help make that idea work, such as a desert land type, mountain, lake, island, etc.
More buildings outside of towns, like gas stations/truck stops, lake houses, maybe even abandoned towns with crumbling buildings.
More broken down vehicles on the side of the road and in parking lots.
Add mount points for inactive turrets, and a manhack docking station. You can install a metal tank with a storage battery to create a manhack docking station. Drop manhacks on the square to load them. While you drive around, the manhacks constantly fly around your vehicle and attack enemies until you stop the vehicle or they get destroyed.
As mentioned earlier, include airplanes and boats into the game. Airplanes would likely involve some new keys for ascend/descend, and new gameplay mechanics to drive that, such as during takeoff with a low driving skill: “You think this is the right speed to ascend…” vs takeoff with a high driving skill: “You should ascend now.” Planes should be very difficult to fly well, and you have to land them on an airstrip or a road to avoid destroying your plane. Also consequences for crashing should be much more dire than a car.
Long Term Survival
A few things I have seen mentioned before, add farming, add a method of rainwater collection (but make sure to drain it between acid rains). Collection of acid rain could be used to create batteries possibly.
Make it slightly easier to build permanent structures, especially in a “settled” area.
In the long term, if for example the hydro dam is back up and running again, you could run a wire from it to your house and use the oven again, have indoor lighting, food refrigeration, and whatever else electricity is good for.
Make notes show up on minimap.
Improve maps in indoor areas, like science labs. Possibly make this a bionic. CBM: HUD - you get an accurate readout of your hp levels, stored information of your travels in a detailed map, better tracking for items (hmm… I need a rain coat… HUD, where did I last see a rain coat?), radiation levels (replace geiger counter in this regard), and more detailed skill information (chance of success for crafting, etc).
Add in more distraction techniques. I think these may work already, it seems like it sometimes, but throwing bones/meat to distract animals and zombies. Would it be possible for items to generate a scent? Add in a scent masking item, possibly from sporting goods stores.
Some enemies are intended to be boss style, such as the lord/terminator/spiked abomination. Spiked abominations and gaseous blobs are intended to stop some of the cheaper tactics, like running everything over in a car, or hiding behind a broken window and smashing everything as it comes through.
Zombie Lord/Overlord: An extremely powerful zombie that seems to direct the other zombies. Capable of some sort of ranged attack. Very low frequency spawn, possibly only spawn during event.
Zombie Horror: A terrifying zombie. Causes reduced morale when in its presence. Has a chance to fear you and cause you to back away (1-3) squares, or prevent movement towards it. Frequency similar to brutes.
Zombie Hybrid: An amalgamation of parts from various creatures. Always found in the presence of zombie necromancers or some other powerful zombie, maybe the masters and the lord/overlord as well. Very slow, and reasonably weak, but does serious damage. Frequency similar to spitters.
Flying Zombie: Some sort of zombie/bat mutant. Flies. Frequency similar to spitters.
Spiked Abomination: Large spike covered creature. Not sure if nether minion or otherwise. Deals minor damage from spikes when hit in melee, but has a very high chance to destroy a car that hits it. Frequency similar to brutes.
Gaseous Blob: Floating gas sac. Will explode when it dies, and attempts to float towards you and suicide. Do not want to hit these with a car, but easy enough for melee to avoid unless they are careless/hiding in a window. Frequency similar to smokers.
Terminator Unit: Very powerful robot. Drops mechanical/electronic pieces when it dies that can be used to make CBMs. Very low frequency spawn, possibly only during event.
Different wildlife depending on region: elk, moose, prairie dogs, various birds, various fish in the rivers, armadillos (armadillo armor anyone?), etc.
HUD: Mentioned above. Passively shows exact current HP, and detailed map in inside areas (labs, mines, etc). Activate to search memory banks for location of a previously seen item and detect current radiation levels. Medium rarity.
Personal Protective Device: Activate to push all enemies of your size (maybe your size +1, so large zombies, but not hulks) or smaller within a one square radius from you, away from you up to 4 squares and stun them (the stun takes place even if the push does not). This would have to be a rare CBM and have an expensive activation cost to stay balanced. If the push mechanic ends up being difficult to implement, possibly replace with straight up damage.
Personal Copilot: Not sure how useful this one would be if you weren’t going to fly, but it would allow an autopilot mode for your airplane. Set a destination on the map, then wait for it to arrive. It will also assist in the landing process, such as guiding you through the steps, or illuminating the lights on the airstrip if you’re landing at an airport at night (maybe the markers on the runway only show up to people who have the bionic?).