How did you find out about this great game?

He is still dumping the most despicable internet cancer on his Twitter, so I’m pretty sure he’s still alive.

I first discovered this game by accident, i was looking for alternative for Unreal World, clicked the wrong link and it brought me to a post with different roguelike. I tried all 4 that where there, only fell in love with two of them.

Never regretted it since.

Google searching zombie survival with a city setting, brought me to cataclysm (the one by whales) been playing off and on ever since.

he scared me with that ‘was’ buisness.

I just full on was googling for rouguelikes after having played… something vaguely in the rouguelike category and looking for more games like it… forget what the game itself was. Much more forgettable than CDDA

I was fond of Caves of Qud and heard Cataclysm was a good alternate to it. Cataclysm turned out to be so impressive that I’ve been playing it ever since the day I discovered it.

I’ve been playing ASCII games and roguelikes since I was eight or nine. When I was a kid it was Omega and Rogue, then Nethack and Angband.

Then, a while ago, I was googling around, thinking that there HAD to be newer rogue-likes out there. Sure enough I found Cataclysm (and a few others). It turned me off at first, the tutorial and ASCII hurt my brain after so many years playing tiled games.

A few months later I found some youtube videos about Cataclysm and saw it had tiles. After that, I was in. It’s now one of my favorite games of all time.

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I’ve been staring at this game the same way that I’m staring at dwarf fortress: a pit with an infinite amount of depth and choking complexity.
I downloaded this game after seeing a couple of youtubers playing it and saying that it was free. I looked at it, and was unable to get past the title screen because I had never played this type of game (ascii/true roguelike) before. I made the decidedly correct decision that if I couldn’t get past the title screen of a game, then I didn’t have what it took to play it. I mostly forgot about this game and it sat on my hard drive unopened for about 2 years. After a while I watched a couple of Aavak’s videos of the game, and while I wasn’t very interested (because youtube doesn’t do this game justice usually) I decided to start up the game and try my hand at actually playing it. This time I did make it past the title screen, after which I died instantly at my lack of comfort with the tools and an improper mindset. Fuck. I decided to get Caves of Qud and I hoped that I could get more comfortable with this kind of genre through it. I couldn’t, so I refunded it.
Eventually, I stumbled upon the youtuber SsethTzeentach, specifically I stumbled upon his review of CDDA (which I highly recommend you watch). It got me interested enough to try playing it again, again with little success. This time however, I persisted because Sseth had claimed that it is far better after you have the controls down, after which it was amazing. From what I saw, it reminded me of Project Zomboid, which I have dumped a disgusting amount of hours into while still making little progress. I wrote down quite literally every single key bind (which can be seen here)

I didn’t use that piece of paper. Like ever.
I lost interest, but the seed of possibility had sprouted in my brain; there was always the urge to open up the game and explore its depth and complexity. About a month ago I finally decided to dive headfirst into this game, and here I am now: someone who’s poured an unholy amount of their life into this game after only about a month.

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I’ve always used the keybind screen when I forgot what a key was untill I had them memorized.

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I learned about this from an awesome YouTube named Aavak. Now that I think about it, I really have been with that guy for a long time. I’ve had this account for at least 2 years and I’ve watched him a bit before he did a play through with this. Craziness. I highly recommend him as someone to watch (unless you aren’t into gaming videos).

In terms of tips (TL:DR) it might be a good idea to set the monster speed lower (in world generation settings) and resistance higher. This still allows balance but makes the game feel a lot better(in my opinion)
In terms of actual in-game survival, shopping carts from grocery stores are astounding for early progress due to the extra storage.
Weapons with the ‘reach’ trait are amazing as they allow you to attack creatures from an extra tile away.
Remember to take pain killers before you fight, not during it. The time it takes to swallow one is dangerously long. I learned that the hard way…
Guns are loud. Don’t use them unless you have crap tons of ammo. At least early on anyway.
Remember that each time you move it very well may take of 100 movement points, and each grenade tick is exactly one. So be careful not to move an extra one or two tiles to cook the grenade and then blow yourself up. I learned that the hard way…
If an NPC has nice gear and you they won’t be a follower then try and lure them into a horde. Just don’t get killed yourself.
Try not to die.
Most likely you will die a lot so try not to feel to bad if you do.


I forgot to include some tips in my previous comment so here’s a couple:

  1. Try to avoid combat early game, unless you start out with some powerful equipment and skills (I do from my cool beginning setup)
  2. It’s important to keep in mind that if you’re in a fairly isolated place then there’s pretty much no need to constantly go to towns unless you need a specific tool or item. Well, after you find or make a funnel, that is.
  3. The cold might not be a killer, but it can certainly make recovery extremely painful. If you break a bone, it will reset healing if it get damaged by anything, and I mean anything . That means that whatever broken limb you had should be well protected from the heat or the cold, otherwise it will never heal. I found this out the hard way.
  4. One of your earliest goals should be a good source of water. The best of these are pools, rivers, and funnels (for rainwater). Pools and rivers are practically infinite water (maybe they are infinite? idk) while funnels make you rely on the weather until you can really stock up fluids, like with an aluminium drum. Don’t worry though, rain is very common during early and mid spring.
  5. Getting a good butchering tool such as a steak knife or butchering knife is pretty essential for long term survival. One of, if not the best butchering tool in the game is the hunting knife, and is priceless.
  6. Anything with the word “shocker” in their name can shoot at you, but can also be dissected for bionics. Make sure to mark their corpses in the map for later.
    6b. Anything with the words “shocker” and “brute” in it’s name should be kept track of as long as it’s inside of your reality bubble. I’ve lost too many good characters from rounding a corner and ending up face to face with a shocker brute.
  7. If you find a huge robot that has a name of the feathered or canine kind, break line of sight. Try to never regain line of sight. Also if you see one and it says something about red lasers, you should really break line of sight.
  8. If you’re having trouble killing something because of its armor or its regeneration, a fast car (ideally with spikes) can take care of it.
  9. Certain things like toolboxes, welding goggles, and welders are priceless in the early/midgame.
  10. Most importantly, prioritize and plan.

One of my friends would always talk about it and play it a fair amount when we hung out. He loved the ascii version of the game, so at the time it didnt appeal to me as much.

A few years later when I played games like TOME and unreal world I gave CDDA a try and really liked it. When I first started playing it I though the game was super hard - those shocker zombies sure were hard to kill with a brand new character attacking them with a coffee pot.

300+ hours later of playing the game you start to feel like the game is too easy, and purposely limit yourself to make it more interesting: start with a shower victim, dont invest a huge amount of points into dodge etc. In my opinion the fun of the game is trying out different strategies and builds and seeing what works, then learning along the way. It feels great to have a good run with a character, but once you have knowledge of how the game works you start to feel guilty and resort to purposely avoiding certain builds or strategies to keep the game interesting.

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Wanted a game with a lot of content I could play on a shitty laptop, graphics be damned. Came here after dwarf fortress I believe.

Angband!..the memories…I still have nightmares about Nexus Vortexes shiver thank you teleport other, for everything you do

Aaaahhh a fellow Dapperling :smiley: Same over here, first I found Aavak while searching for watchable DF videos and then stumbled over his CDDA LPs… Been hooked ever since and I just don’t wanna know how much time I’ve sunk into Cata ^^

As for tips for the TO: I learned that it’s best to allways equip and act as if you are kneedeep in hostiles … lost more than 1 character after getting to sure of myself or because i thought: “I’ve cleared this area of the city, it’s just a fast groceries run around the corner…” NEVER EVER assume that an area is save, 9 out of 10 times you are right… but it’s the 10th time that kills you… 1 brute or hulk you missed in your clearing is enough…


I found this in one of the threads with random images and got curious what it’s about.


I’m currently evaluating the game as an actual work request from my boss! He actually asked me to reverse-engineer it and I explained that it was Open Source.

I first learned about the game Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead from an article in Popular Mechanics magazine:


So muuuuch wasted potential to slack at work…

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Yeah, true! The Government loves to waste money!

That image is fantastic. I love the liberal use of ascii symbols to mark everything from the fire to the jabberwock.

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a simple solution for every undead problem…