Lore inconsistencies


I noticed that some things do not make quite sense (yet). Fortunately though, this is not a “Whine about the game” post since I love worldbuilding and can definitely help out with suggestions and JSON tasks.

The cities

They seem almost pristine, yet the current lore says there was quite a lot of chaos. I am aware of the No Hope mod, which makes it all far more difficult and realistic (in my opinion at least).
Most of the houses are pristine, too. Since there were “riots”, aka zombies wandering the streets, why wouldnt they have clawed at the doors trying to get in? A zombie smashed my closed window in at night because I slept near it, and they are sensible to sounds, too. Why did they not try to get into the buildings?

  • Suggestion: Let the cities reflect the chaotic nature and zombies did try to get to the living. The hordes wandered into different parts of the city, catching people by surprise due to their brainless and unpredictable behavior. This could also lead to burned down and otherwise damaged houses due to all the panic and chaos.


You can find lava in mines. I even spoke briefly with Kevin Granade on IRC about it and he said it is poorly supported in lore. It is supposed to be a feature of the Cataclysm.

  • Suggestion: You can find fumaroles with tears in reality on them on ground level, so this is a good starting point, especially because mines are… special. You could say some of the eldritch power escaping lead to those fumaroles. Or portals which have since vanished.

The blob

So the blob spread via the groundwater and every being on earth is infected. And they become zombies after death. But why did almost everyone die?

  • Suggestion: See my suggestion in The citites above.

Or did they suddenly turn into zombies? But why are the player and the NPCs not affected?

The plantlife also mutated inconsistently. See e.g poppy plants

  • Suggestion: Create more mutated plants and crops or say the government or some facility created mutated poppies and it escaped into the wild. Or something.

I find it funny that every poppy flower on the planet has mutated without failure.

  • Suggestion: Make mutated poppies rare by replacing say 75% of them with normal ones.

I agree with a lot of those points.

I’d probably add a few which are half-lore, half-game balance related, but I welcome any explanations if possible.

  1. The mutated creatures and plants, if you start on the day after Cataclysm or on the day it happened, things shouldn’t already be mutated. We shouldn’t be seeing wasps the size of dogs for example
  • (Potential) Solution: taking the realism argument here, mutations don’t just happen like that, even if we want to argue “the blob”. In one day that most likely wouldn’t happen.
  1. Picking on the “Starting a game on the day the cataclysm occurred”, maybe instead of “just zombies” and feral humans (no one goes feral in hours either), we should see dead bodies with a very low timer before they get up, and be zombies, that’d be fine.

  2. Also wasps wouldn’t be taking over the world like they seem to have done and build so many nests in such a little time. (which I’d suggest they need toning down in general anyway). It would take them a while to actually build a nest the proportions we see across the game. Same thing with the cockroaches and the spiders too.

  3. The lack of Road blocks and more Road Accidents on the streets.

  • (Potential) Solution/Suggestion: add “afflicted cops / afflicted SWATs / afflicted Riot Units” (not Feral, not Zombie) and “Afflicted Civilian” who are able to open doors and avoid visible traps (with a few dead corpses waiting for resurrection as a result of the pre-cataclysm clashes, and the alive ones to be eager to eat you). This would reflect the early days of them being “infected” by “the blob” (going crazy), they then would become Feral after a few days (say 14 days), then turn into Zombies of their categories. (30 day evolution perhaps?).
  1. Themed Body sites are still a lot common and occasionally make no sense.
  • Solution/Suggestion: they would have to be gone too (kinda weird to see a random pile of Scientists or students randomly spawn in the middle of a long road way, way outside of town with no means of transport nearby (ie school buses or scientific-related vans or military vehicles). Or at least have them spawn with a bit of “context” to them. (maybe a set piece of text written in lore that explains what they were doing there, like a notebook or something);
  1. Towns have a huge (sometimes disproportionate) amount of parks and skateparks, with a high population density, which in some cases makes you wonder how a town with 6 houses, a grocery store and a bank somehow got the funding to have 4 parks and a skate park, with around 200 people just casually hanging out over there, especially with so many zombie children too. (lore wise, knowing what was going on, it feels weird to see so many people in towns that certainly don’t have enough housing for them, but I attribute that to the RNG being funny).
  • Potential solution: tone down the spawning of parks and the likes in towns below a certain size or make them much less common than they are (there are occasions in some larger towns where you have a + cross-section with 4 or more parks and other similar “high-density” POIs side by side or across the street from eachothers, which is kind of weird (Unless it’s a thing in New England?).

The lore isn’t inconsistened with how so many people died nor about how the zombies work:

  1. Only about a quarter of the population went feral (became a form of living zombie) and starting killing the rest.

  2. About halve of people suffered what was called blob psychosis. This means they started to act more irrationally, agressive and take more risky behavior. This is what leadt too the responce from the military, police and people just trying to defend themselfs being so extreme and exessive at times that there ability to preserve law and order became severely happered.

  3. These two factors allone already caused a good percentage of the population to die or be zombiefied. But than the portal storm happened and completely and utterly finished civilazation and most of humanity off.

considering the fact this game is a community contributed project its bound to happen their will be inconsistencies or contradictions with the various patchwork of materials all contributed.
Also another issue you might be having is the lack of suspension of disbelief.
And in the end, if it really bothers you, one benefit to it being open sourced is you could mod the game yourself to fill in the gaps like with the poppies.
For instance the “no hope” mod makes all the cities have broken windows and working cars far less common, if you like dislike clean cities, however you can also find a unique type of city biome called a necropolis which is more of the destroyed bombed out ruins you may be looking for.
Another reason why people died so suddenly is because everyone was either evacuated to the FEMA camps or Evac shelters after the rioting broke out, and the ones that stayed either were already infected or you can find the occasional boarded up house where people holed up.
And its good to keep in mind that no virus or infection is 100% lethal, no matter what it is. Either due to a genetic immunity (such as how people from Europe have a resistance to HIV as opposed to Africa, because of how the black death wiped out most that had a specific trait which HIV uses to hijack cells ) or the body simply either “Fighting off” the infection or adapting a symbiotic/parasitic relationship.

considering it can take only one day for zombies to pupate, its not unrealistic that more minor changes could happen in a charecter. Everybody is infected, from the animals to the humans.

Its part of the reason cuts heal within seconds and bones mend within weeks instead of months.

Most people were already funneled into shelters on busses or other things as soon as the rioting broke out, since it appears from the newspapers incidents of ferals “spread out” instead of happening simultaneously. If it were that chaotic there would have been nobody in the evac shelters or FEMA camps since organization would be impossible.

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The most actionable suggestion here is make the effects of rioting and fighting more apparent. Some parts of that would be relatively simple, just requiring some altered map definitions, and others might require involved procedural generation.
Either way it’s definitely something we want more of in the game.


I wonder, what happens to zombies after say 50 years? They are ultimately made of organic matter and will eventually rot away and/or run out of nutrition, so how do they manage not to die?

I discussed this briefly in the IRC and it was suggested that they may hibernate or pupate until there is action nearby? This does still not solve the nutrition issue, but perhaps it is the black goo mentioned in all zeds that basically inhibits rotting and is actually incredibly rich in energy? Maybe by consuming the brain or other parts of the body that are not needed anymore it gains some initial nutrition. I could imagine it might feed on slime, especially since the blob saturated the groundwater, there could be random slime springs or very small slime pits scattered around.

Zombies continue to evolve over time. By the time 50 years have past the zombies would have probably started plateauing. But by this point they would already have turned in some right scary creatures or combined together into treuly gaigantic abominations.

Zombie’s eat very little but energy isn’t a problem as the black goo in them provides both the energy and oxygen that they need. Nutrition is a slightly different story, it is safe to say that their metabolism has been messed up by dying, resurecting and than mutating with the black goo doeing the equivelent of ducktaping everything together. So zombies almost certainly have some nutritional difficencies that are detrimental but far from fatal. This has lead too most zombies having weak bones and having tissue continually dying off (fresh flesh is already partial rotten) and being replaced by new tissue.

This is possible becease the zombies have a regeneration factor that allows them too heal any wound or damage up and including fatal wounds unless the body is so damaged as to make visual identification impossible, hacked to bits, or too much or important organs are cut out, burned or eaten. This is also why most zombies won’t die over the years. The only couses of death I could see taking a zombie out would be:

  1. Fungus and triffids. They have the capability too take out zombies and will just turn them into nutriants for themselfs too grow.

  2. Predators, I could see both natural and mutated predators taking out and eating zombies. Given how stupid and mindlessly agressive they are even an intelligent animal could easely outsmart them. All they would have too do is simpy lure them off a cliff or gloat them through dangerous/damaging terain like a thorny bush. Packhunters or very strong hunters like bears or grizzlies might do well too. Being able too simply overpower weaker less evolved zombies with numbers or their own strength without thier prey running away or even coming to them. This also goes for mutants with large powerful but slow mutants that can’t catch normal prey relaying om zombies instead since they come too them. I could even see something like ant’s or a swarm of giant bees/wasp’s eating small hordes since they have the raw numbers too fight them and win.

  3. Parasites and diseases. There might by some diseases that could even take out a zombie. My prime contender for this would be rabies. A rabies infaction that doesn’t go away after a zombie revives but just keeps getting worse and worse until even the regeneration factor and the black goo can’t keep up anymore and the entire neurvesysteem is completely fried. It would be very infections during the time it is still alive though. Another is that one of the mutant critters parasatices a zombie. Think a zombie that rervived had eggs of a gaint fly laid in it. Now it has a whole bunch of giant magots that are slowly devouring it’s flesh and as they grow sow does their appitite. At some point they start consuming more than the zombie can regrow untill they devour enough of the zombie too put it down for good.

  4. Fire, fire is a part of nature and many building would go up in flames over the years. Zombies don’t run away from fires but are drawn too it by the sound it makes. So any forest fire or fire in a building might take out a number of zombies by burning them.

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You’re missing something obvious, they eat.

What, you might ask, and the answer is everything.
Sure humans can’t eat grass for example, not until they have sone fairly extensive modifications to their digestive systems. The same goes for a number of other things such as rotting meat, wood, and petroleum products.

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That is something far from obvious, I dont think we ever saw an eating zombie, though we can meet a gasoline zombie - “A huge bloated zombie that appears to have fed upon gasoline; fumes and flames escape from its mouth and fuel leaks from its waddling form”.
And that is the only zombie I can remember that “ate” anything, and we never saw him doing it.
Care to elaborate? Or we just assume they eat something, but strictly out of reality bubble when no one sees? And, by resourses staying not touched by the zeds, we can assume they eat…grass? Soil? Anything that player will not ever notice missing?

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Do they eat inorder to gain biomass and certain elements that are nessecery for biochemistry or do they get most of thier energy from food to?

I would suspect that the blob provides them with energy. Simply becease with them being warm-blooded, always active and being in a constant state of regeneration and internal change would led to some insane caloric needs.

Gaining that amount of calories would either require that zombies cannibalize eachother rather quickly if they eat meat. If they eat plants or wood I would expect a town or city too be devoid of any plants and them to have scewed though any scrap of wood inside of building like a swarm of gaint termites.

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Imagine amout of energy and mass needed to mutate from ordinary zombie into Juggernaut. If we can explain energy by “blob magic”, it is far from obvious where zeds take biomass to become THAT big and strong.
Also, in winter zeds need even more energy to stay warm to move.
So yeah, if we talk about any kind of realism in this game - law of conservation of energy is a thing to remember about.

It should be noted zombies are far from always active. It’s just a lot of code to make them lie around and only wake up when triggered… Code we want some day, but until then it’s easy to assume they’re inactive much of the time you’re not around.

However it’s also safe to assume they can get material from their n-dimensional connection to the blob. We’d like to establish them being a bit more biological, over time, but it doesn’t break the lore for it to not be depicted.

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One way too make them more biological would be that the blob infection inside them has a process similar too photosynthesis but with the energy coming from some other dimention instead of sunlight. This would explain why they don’t need to breath since this would give them oxygen and prevent CO2 poisoning while also giving them the calories necessary to run thier metabolism.

The mass could come from consuming biomass. Cannibalism wouldn’t just fit thematicaly but also be a good way for the blob to repurpuse pulped corpses/deal with corpses it can’t revive. Why let it go to waste via rotting if you could instead reincorperate it into another zombie to help it evolve quicker? Could also be a interesting mechanic: If you don’t clean up your corpses than zombies in the area will do it for you and heal quicker and evolve quicker.


considering it can require just a single day for zombies to pupate, its not ridiculous that more minor changes could occur in a charecter. Everyone is contaminated, from the creatures to the people.

The blob infection in zombies is programmed to mutate zombies along a certain set of paths. But in living creatures it will usually stay stable unless it gets triggered or activated by something. The only exeption to this are insects who will be mutated into larger forms with only some relatively minor other mutations when compared to zombie. Insects will be largelly mentally unchanged if maybe a bit more aggressive and their preportions and appearence will remain unchanged. Most changes to insects are internally where the blob changed them to be able to function and survive at such a large size. This did still come at the cost of much of thier speed (humans are compared to most animals very slow animals and even we can outrun most of the insects).

Most of the other mutations we see are either from the blob being in a ¨activated¨ state similar to zombies in some living creatures. This can include the player character and is achieved though picking genetically unstable at the start or can be aquired as a mutation on its own. Or the blob inside a living creature being triggered by something to produce a mutation. This can be done either through radiation, artifects (effectivly dementional voodoo magic) or through the consumtion of ¨activated¨ blob matter. This last way is way some mutants as the skittering plague and bloated corvid are created by eating to zombie flesh which containes activated blob matter. This is also how what mutagens are as they are litterly created from zombie flesh and will mutate you if eaten or injected into you.

The new sample systeem seems wierd in what a sample is actually supposed to be. You get wierd samples from thing you wouldn´t expect it from (cockroach give spider sample when it really should be insect). There are also many creatures, mainly unmutated, that should be given samples like wolves giving lupine, bears giving usine and rats giving rat samples but they simply don´t. This is wierd given that there wouldn´t be any or many mutants outside of labs before the cataclysm. So the question becomes where did the first samples comefrom? And what is a sample exactly as we get them from vastly different creatures with vastly different anatymies.

This comment turned into kind of meta to this original thread, but for what it’s worth.

I love the beginning of this thread. Not so much the desire for all the observed effects to be fully explained by our current understanding of physics, including energetics. Is this really about in-game consistency, or is it just our own desire to understand? In a world where almost all people have become zombies, and zombies evolve over time, it is rational to ask how that’s happening, but it is irrational to expect perfect answers. In a world where portals have been opened to other dimensions, where portal storms continue to occur weekly, is it rational to expect Newtonian physics to be consistently obeyed? How do you know we, meaning the whole planet, aren’t inside a portal right now? How do you know that we haven’t entered into the realm of relativistic physics? Your physical reality, and their physical reality, and what you can observe about their physical reality, might be 3 entirely different things. In a world where blob exists … OK, I hate blob, it is cdda’s version of midichlorians, and needs to be thoroughly and conclusively disproved.

I think one interesting aspect of a finished product (lol) would be the evolution of lore as the character proceeds. A story line, if you will, but so long as cdda remains unfinished, so will that storyline. As lore evolves, don’t just change lore, introduce those changes into the character’s experience.

We define the world in order to set necessary constraints regarding the stories that can come out of it. The problem with overly complete world-building is that it unnecessarily restricts the stories that can come out of it. I come from a background at the confluence of physical, chemical and biological science. The joy in that world comes from discovery. The conflict in that world comes from, and has always come from, dogged refusal to accept as reality discoveries that conflict with old beliefs about the way the world works, and the politicization of those conflicting beliefs. (e.g. “More of us believe this than that, therefore we are correct.”) Setting science in stone doesn’t work in real life because it limits the realm of allowable discoveries. COVID is the perfect example of that. It doesn’t really work in cdda either, for the same reason.

Of course, in reality we have reality to constrain us, but does it really? We might believe that relativistic physics is nonsense, and so long as we never enter into that realm, then that belief works just fine. We might believe the world is flat, and so long as we never approach the other side of the equator (depending on the flat Earth model), then that belief works just fine.

My point is, that the world’s lore, used to explain how what is being added is rational, needs to be locally consistent, though only to a point since it is the inconsistencies that raise the questions that advance understanding. In a world like cdda those inconsistencies need to be intentional so that understanding can advance. The world’s lore certainly doesn’t have to be universally consistent. I hate “blob”, but it is a very good wrong explanation for what is happening. We can believe blob exists. We can use it to explain what we simply don’t understand, and yet feel a need to understand. World builders and devs can insist that blob is why we see what they want us to see. Other world builders can recognized that blob is to cdda what phlogiston is to flame: a wrong hypothesis which the character simply doesn’t have the information at the local scale of the character, or the desire unless forced, to disprove. Phlogiston was not bad science. It was great science. Blob is the same. A useful hypothesis that, when disproved, in part or in full, can lead the character closer to what that character recognizes as “the truth”.

This was done because samples in general were very rare before that.
You should probably report that on github though.

im guessing the reason you find groups of scientist/student corpses is that they were trying to escape towns, but i cant explain the drug deals especially cause they are just as common if not more common than the scientist/students

the scientist after hearing that either the “government has fallen” or an evacuate lab text decided to evacuate and ran out of the lab only to be killed by a decayed puoncer or a few wandering hordes, since they were defenseless they was no casualties by the said decayed pouncer/ wandering horde, meanwhile i think that some of the loot should be changed to include some type of energy weapons for the scientist who brought weapons, and also some more normal zombie corpses for the zombies they managed to kill before they were overwhelmed

the students from a local college(that should be new mapgen btw) grouped with their friends to make a break for it from the college after a bunch of the staff and students were eaten and then tried to eat them. they got pretty far down the road when a wandering horde/military scout or something found them… if it was a wandering horde, the students tried to defend themselves with the few pocketknives they had brought with them.
if it was military scout/caravan, the military told them to evacuate to a nearby FEMA camp and one of the students spoke up about the stories they heard about the camps, the military decided to escort them, meanwhile on their way to the camp a few of the students decided to try and ditch they’re escorts the military gunned them down because of blob psychosis? in that case there should be some casings from a few military grade guns

the weird drug deal:
a random group of drug dealers decided to band together (?) and sell drugs at the same spot
in the middle of nowhere far from any town, perhaps trying to offer to any said students/lab staff walking by, a wandering horde/military/police came through
the wandering horde came through and the drug dealers decided to shoot them before they got too close (i think there should be guns on a few of the corpses)
the military came through and decided to escort them to a nearby FEMA camp and when the military realized that these were drug dealers they decided to turn them over two the police, when the drug dealers caught wind of what was happening they decided to shoot the military (idiots) and try to escape… there should be a few military corpses and guns on the drugs dealers and casings
when the police came through with the police bots and eye bots, the drug dealers tried to escape into the woods to get away from the police, the police gunned them down and moved on… there should be a few casings