Fear and Hunger...amongst other stuff!

So I was mulling over the idea of hunger and how the amount of random crap our toon eats is somehow synonymous with running around and building up an appetite.

Make fear as a game function came to mind. It can be a number from 0-100 and adhered to traits both positive and negative. Perhaps just on it’s own?

Aside from having a number of practical applications from “unphased(normal movement) to stricken(shaking/immobile)” and varying degrees in between. Hunger also can play a roll to compliment fear. Ones digestion for example. Some people bind when under duress. While others…well…for a lack of a better way to put it; $h!t like crazy as their bowels loosen, there by losing nutritional value.

Not a complete thought. But still. Thinking and molding this with whatever else you folks can come up with would be great in regard to Fear playing an active roll.

Ever play Call of Cthulhu video game? Uses fear that blurs visuals. Cripples the character from moving and even turns the guy into a gibbering idiot allowing enemies to hear and attack the character. WOW! 0_0

Dark Corners of the Earth, I think the CoC game was called, had a really shitty ‘fear’ system. It wasn’t even about fear, it was about psychosis, eventually leading to you losing your mind and killing yourself. Which, though it makes sense in that universe, is a terrible, terrible mechanic.

Fear as part of this game though, I like. Presumably like the Project Zomboid system. Your reaction to a certain number of undead or certain situations (say an explosions within X tiles of the player) leads to higher fear. Fear could impact morale and to-hit/concentration type stuff. It would also open up the opportunity for new traits, like, say, having a higher or lower reaction to fear-based situations. The difficulty, I think, would be in that most people gradually become hardened to the same fear stimuli if they’re repeatedly exposed to them.

Implementing bowel issues as a result of fear would be interesting, but I’m not sure it has a place in a game where being regular doesn’t really matter. Fear could affect Health, I suppose, but I think that would mostly just annoy everyone.

As a concept I don’t hate it, but again, I’d press for something like Project Zomboid, not CoC.

I would like to see an implementation like this, it’s a nice idea that adds something to keep in mind as you play. I would see fear reflected as stress and maybe anxiety , it would be pretty interesting to have a psychological way to approach the game. Maybe one example could be a development of insanity(or maybe dementia, something to keep track of) from not talking to anyone for a long period of time because lonliness in a extended period of time could be harsh in a world like this one , maybe this implementation could come with some more traits to counter some debuffs that Fear/stress could bring into the game. I mean I would love to reflect this kind of realism into the game itself and it could add afflictions and so on and so forth. A great game that treats with this kind of approach could be ‘Darkest Dungeon’. These are just mere thoughts about this topic.
All in all I think it’s a great idea! :smiley:

Fear could be an interesting mechanic, but it would be really easy to go overboard and make the game too difficult. Using fear as a mechanic to implement an automatic adrenaline mechanic could be really neat, so that a character presented with a really bad situation suddenly gets 10% faster for a few turns, to help them get out of it. Over time the fear wouldn’t be as much of a problem, and you’d stop getting any bonuses or penalties.

That said, it would still be really easy to make it overly difficult, so I’d say an optional implementation would be the way to go. You could even argue that the player has already survived a week, they’re probably so shell-shocked that they hardly feel fear anymore.

We already have a morale penalty that you gets bought off as you get used to it: killing the first zombie child makes you very sad, killing the 500th zombie child is no big deal.

My biggest concern with a fear system is that it would either be really annoying, like when both me and survivor are really afraid of the shocker brute, but my survivor can’t run away because he’s frozen in fear, or really gameable, where my survivor has the “timid” trait which buys me enough points at start to get Archery 3 and Fabrication 3, and my survivor expresses his fear by fearlessly killing zombies from 20 tiles away.

PTSD comes to mind. Go to any VA center and ask if fear ever goes away. In terms of the game, not likely unless you survive well over a year. Even then many people have severe mental problems that lead to suicide and self destructive behavior.

Not certain how it really makes sense having a desensitized mechanism that completely numbs the character though. I don’t expect anyone to get fully accustom to the bad situations they would encounter. I don’t even understand how killing zombie kids is inherently depressing. It is the same as killing an adult zombie. They were already killed.

…not…sure…if…serious…? 0_o

What you described is exactly the point mate. If you have no mechanism to prevent you from being the Terminator. The player just doesn’t think about the character at all. There is no WAY I would try to take down a shocker brute, unless I could snipe it. But in the game you can casually walk up to them and take damage like the pain meter doesn’t matter. Just pop a pill and ignore that smell of burnt flesh lol

While thinking about it. Burns should be a thing too. Less acid zombie action would balance the burn idea. Burn damage should also leave scars that may impede actions permanently unless fixed via a medical facility or imbibing Purifier. Which then you roll the dice on your mutations being lost, but regain your motor skills.

I don’t think the fear thing would be great. It’s a matter of adding unneeded things for small benefit or realism. Imagine the work that’s needed to do this, the code to actually be able to “sense” how many zombies are in proximity, etc. to make it work like project zomboid.

If the realism impedes too much on the fun and it becomes or has the potential to become annoying and/or tesious then it shouldn’t be done.

Losing nutrition over fear or being unable to eat sounds annoying to me. You could probably also chalk up the fear desensitization and rapid healing to the presence of the blob (the thing that makes everyone zombies) in your system.

I think it’s just fine having no fear mechanic, I.e. having the game tell you you’re scared rather than being in a situation where you’re like “Oh shit, this isn’t good at all. Fuck fuck fuck! GET OUTTA HERE!”

You also have the issue with pacing and how your character can become totally useless on the first day to some kind of godlike being within two weeks. In about 13 days my current kickboxer character went from useless high school student to a guy who voluntarily walks outside in daytime to train his unarmed by walking head first into hordes.

Also having your character develop anxiety, dementia, PTSD, etc. would also be annoying. If you think it’s a good idea then I advise you to try: Mood swings, schizophrenia, and bad temper all together and tell me how not annoying it is. Is it liveable? Yes. Is it hard to transition and get used to a lifestyle? Yes. Are medications for these conditions rare? Yes.

Tl;dr: Having a fear mechanic would add to the realism but severely limit the fun of the game.

No small benefit when you take into consideration you would have to stop playing the role of the Terminator. It really should make you think about your actions in game. Running through a mine field in a t-shirt for a can of soup comes to mind. So impeding bad decision making is a benefit to the game. I agree a game should be fun. But it really matters in regard to a logical A to B to C etc. kind of way.

Please describe how I become a godlike being that makes sense though. What you described is what my contention is to prevent. Nobody should go from lazy nerd to kung fu master in 2 weeks just because the fit hits the shan. Plus having no fear at all of the monsters that would have most of us crap our pants…just seems silly.

Not to nitpick everything you say. But come on…we have already in game all those disorders and even the medication for each. There isn’t really much use for them until someone adds a diverse system that makes use of them. As is, if you get too depressed your toon cannot craft. Just a few changes to what we have already.

Mood swings, schizophrenia, bad temper. These are optional things that not everyone finds fun, and very few people play all their toons with them.

You’re proposing to add a similar level of annoyance to all characters.

No thanks.

Let me explain this again, with more detail.

This game is NOT real-life simulator. I doubt any human except for a fictional supergenius can learn how to make explosives and weld together a super deathmobile by cramming books for a week.
This game is basically meant to have a self-insert fictional character. I made the character, it should play how I want it. If I want to run into a mine field, great, its my own discretion and life. How pray tell will the fear mechanic stop me? Prevent me from moving onto the tile? Why should the game tell ME how to play? If I want to make “bad” desicions, then the game should let me.

In response to the “logical A B C play” what if I’m running into a mine field to escape a horde? Say I have 10 perception and can see all the mines. Your fear mechanic comes in and it still prevents me from running through real quick and thinning out the mob chasing me. I get killed. Bad game design.

I’ve been playing this game for 4 years+. I’m a hardened veteran that knows the very ins and outs of this game. This game is logical, thing happen the way you expect with some very minor exceptions. By godlike I meant it as an overstatement. My character (which you can visit my progress via “what’s happening in YOUR randomly generated apocalypse 2”) is tailored to my way of play. I’ve min-maxed, steered my stats toward the martial art i’m using, mutated, power leveled my combat skills, and acquired a really good armor set. Can I get killed? Yes. Am I nigh-invincible? Hell no. Can I 1v1 a hulk and come out alive? Hell yes. Can I take on a horde charging straight on? No. Can I take on a horde being smart and luring them to a 1v1? Yes.

Careful play and using your head gets me far. If I see a zombie i can’t take I run, if I can kill it I fight. I’m not invincible, but I can handle myself.
Fear is a bad idea because it’ll hinder the way you play. My character shouldn’t fear a horde because I know I can kill it easily. Project zomboid is different. You’re not a superhuman nor can you become one. You cannot easily decimate a group of 15 zombies like you can in CDDA unless you use guns, but that’s different when you’re using CDDA. Project zomboid puts a limit on your capabilities. CDDA does not. Fear works for PZ, it won’t for CDDA.

P.S. I can learn how to shoot a rifle good in a couple weeks, if I practice every day and have the ammo for it. Bam. Average person now can kill zombies easily.

Now for the disorders. I was born on a military base, my father’s a veteran (fought in panama) and i’ve grew up near soldiers. Do you know what PTSD does? In short:
Night terrors and trouble sleeping. I will be pissed if my character wakes up in the middle of the night because of night terrors or has trouble sleeping. This’ll hinder my play and make the game less fun.
Delusions, AKA schizophrenia. Veterans have trouble with fireworks and thunder storms because it reminds them of gunfire. They also in extreme cases have hallucinations, which can add to the sleepless nights.
Mood swings, depression, etc. Veterans suffering from severe PTSD can blow up in fits of anger or get swooped into severe depression. That’s why so many veterans kill themselves. It’s tragic.
If my character gets too depressed to craft because he feels hopeless or is too scared, it might hinder my survival. Losing the ability to craft means I can’t boil water or feed myself.
Which would kill me.
Fear and stress also hinders digestion because of stress hormones, so i’ll get less nutrition from the food that i’ll eat. Heard of stress eating? I don’t want to consume more food to get the same amount if I were not stressed out. I don’t want to lose an appetite, and I certainly don’t want my health stat to tank due to the stress hormones flooding my body.

This fear system looks like it would be too hindering, and basically add negative traits like schizo, mood swings, and bad temper without the ChargGen point bonuses. If you like this play, play it. I’m pretty sure 90% of the player base would absolutely hate this forced mechanic. Don’t force mechanics on to the players because it will backlash. It’s happened many many times before.

Edit: Having to consume medications even though I don’t have the negative trait because i’m too scared it stupid and unneeded. Why should I be forced to take rare and addictive meds when I wasn’t compensated with trait points. Adding this to fear would make the traits obsolete and basically make them easy chargen cheat traits that add points for free.

tl;dr: fear is a bad, forced mechanic

I’m inclined to agree. While I supported the initial concept of a fear-based system, I think this conversation has gone off the rails. If you think that fear irl or in-game can/should lead to schizophrenia and PTSD, you don’t understand your pitch.

Have you guys just never been afraid? I’m all for a fear system that gives you the shakes and maybe nausea in certain REALLY extreme situations. Talking about adding mental illnesses ‘cause yer scared’ is ridiculous. It would be a terrible in-game mechanic, as Rot pointed out, forcing players into having ‘traits’ without them choosing to. Mutation does this, but that’s a risk-reward situation that the player takes on intentionally (mostly).

Perhaps human contact, socializing can provide a passive mood buff and stave off the negatives?
Having a companion would also make you less prone to any fear.

I personally find the shitty stuff starts AFTER the traumatic situation has passed and the adrenaline is gone.

Edit: On the topic of fear:
NPCs need more self preservation instinct, if their morale is broken, even while a companion of the player’s, they should really try to run away if the threat is very high.

Perhaps giving us a command in dialogue “hold the line!”

Never said everyone will be forced into anything. Providing the same options as we already have and attaching a logical measure of fear makes sense.

You could still run through that mine field but the toon would react by having a lower aim even though they don’t take a perception dip. It may be because their hands shake from fear of tripping a mine. Never said it would flatly impede. That is jumping to conclusions without understanding my stance.