Cover & Stealth Mechanics

So, given the huge amount of time, effort, blood and tears that have gone into things like encumbrance, nutrition, and making a bazillion types of guns… what’s preventing the implementation of key concepts like Cover and Stealth in the game?

I’d expect these to be completely central to a game like CDDA, and its very strange that they’ve never been implemented.

I mean, stealth is kinda-sorta-barely there - its mostly just the fact that the survivor has been granted a better sight range than almost everything else in the game and can stay out of agro range. It certainly doesn’t have the depth I’d expect in this class of game, with sight acuity, detailed lighting levels, stealth skills, clothing camouflage bonuses, and so on. I mean, we don’t even have ghillie suits!

Cover is even more glaringly missing, given that the most dangerous things in the game are universally other things with guns - and there’s basically no way to deal with them other than sniping them from out of range, because you have no tools to creatively manage LOS or Cover mechanics that would allow you to employ other tactics.

I’m assuming these missing pieces have something to do with the basic ways in which LOS and projectile paths are handled that makes it near impossible to model these elements in a way that won’t choke the engine to death with every step you take, or is it just that no-one has ever been interested in tackling it?


Can’t say I have spent much time thinking about it, but now that I am…

…I think CDDA does stealth more realistic then most games :stuck_out_tongue:.

In any game I can remember playing where “stealth” was even a thing, it mostly boiled down to “crouch and move slow” or “just move slow”. So if you are “moving slow”, the enemy doesn’t really see you, until it does.

I find it more realistic that enemies can track us when we are near (sound, smell), but don’t have the presence of mind to pay attention when we are 350 feet away. Cover seems OK to me as well, I crouch down in houses all the time while looting, because zombies are milling around in the street.

I think more work could be done when the cover isn’t so binary, like in a forest. A ghillie suit (never knew that was a thing, if I saw someone wearing that in public before reading this post I would have been terrified!) and its ilk would definitely benefit you with close zombies when in a forest and not moving at all. And if you do move, I think it would have to be really slowly. At least, I would like to think I would notice someone wearing that if they were walking in a bushy tree line 10 meters away from me.

Maybe a go over when wandering monsters are implemented? You see a swarm of somethin-or-others coming by, and you crouch down for 15 min, hiding as they move on, hoping they don’t smell you or hear you breathing. That could be interesting.

But anyway, I honestly think its not all that bad.

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We do actually have cover in the game. You can crouch behind it and use it to stabilize a weapon, for example. It affects your visibility to enemies and their visibili to you. I’m not sure but I believe it may have a role in ranged combat defense as well. If not, it’s only because nobody has done it yet, which is generally the answer to “why hasn’t ____ been worked out yet”

Grab 2 cardboard boxes and you have your stealth system.


Well, the cardboard box trick might make sense when the enemy is a turret, but not against something with a brain or instincts. Also note that the reworked inventory system makes it even more cumbersome to use than it was earlier.

It’s supposed to be possible to drive vehicles up to turrets either by crouching or by using cameras, although I haven’t tried it myself. Again, it makes sense against AI controlled enemies.

You can also approach things in darkness (although the game has counters for that tactic, it still works against bandits, in particular if you’ve got IR vision support).

It makes sense that zombies won’t react to creatures at range, but intelligent opponents should take note.

There does seem to be an attack cover system of sorts: I’ve never managed to hit anything with a missile while they’re behind a vehicle part, tree, or lamp post that won’t obscure them: I’ve always hit the vehicle (etc.) instead. Firing through open windows doesn’t seem to provide any cover for the (non crouching) target, though.

I think that a stealth mechemic would make perception a far more important stat. Would help with the whole strength is best with dex being a distant second.

Don’t solidsnake me!

I feel like sneaking being a function of somebody else’s perception score is a very silly tabletop RPG mechanic. (I blame Wizards of the Coast.)
Hiding behind something shouldn’t require a dice roll, you’re either out of sight or not, and creeping up in the open on someone who’s looking even vaguely in your direction is just hard to find credible, without the aforementioned ghillie suit and underbrush to hide under. Even then they’re liable to see you move.


Since “looking in your direction” isn’t covered in our game, perception would be the closest proxy we have to determining if you’re actively looking around and listening for things sneaking up on you.

I do think that a stealth mechanic would make for something that could really set zombies and mutants apart mechanically wise. Zombies don’t have the level of forthought to try and sneak up on you so spotting them should be easy. Mutants meanwhile even if having only a animal level intelligence would still try and sneak up on you making them a threat even if you have a gun since you can’t shoot what you can’t see.

the game already has these, enemies are less aggro when crouching and being next to something means you have a higher chance not to get shot