Needful things (simple additions to improve the game)


We have a lot of ideas for what people want, but let’s focus on what we NEED.
Also there are a lot of ideas for mechanics changes, but not so much for missing stuff.
Please propose simple additions (items, monsters, buildings, etc) that would have a big impact on the game, and a short explanation why.
If there’s somewhere else that has json posted already, please link it, we’ll probably snap it up pretty quickly.
The idea is to build a todo list people can pick from without having to trawl through the whole forum to find things. Feel free to repost things from elsewhere, but keep it short and to the point, and if you feel the need to discuss suggestions, take it elsewhere.

Needful things part 2

The ability to move things without picking them up. “G” ought to work on things besides furniture.


Train tracks and stations is a good idea. Having an alternate route to travel along between cities, like sewers but above ground.
Why are they needed? To make everything feel more complete I guess, I’m honestly not sure. But it’s an idea.


I don’t know about simple, but map gen and json support for arbitrary sized buildings, such as 2x3, 5x1, etc., and support for these buildings to spawn in towns.

Ability to toggle certain features on and off for world gen. Possibly include an “enabled: true” field for every json entry to allow removing things without actually removing them from the data files. This would allow worlds without swamps, or worlds without cordless drills.

A way for the game to know certain areas are linked together, especially in the case of expansive areas like labs. An example would be if you needed to visit a lab security office to activate a computer opening up the locked door to the finale. The game could know if it picks that certain finale type, it knows it needs to create a security office too. This could be used to add more structure to larger areas and add an extra puzzle or exploration requirement rather than charging straight for the finales.

Better item spawning system. A proposal was made in the lab subforum about defining item groups and a method for choosing items to spawn that sounded really useful, but no action was taken on it. Implementing that would fix a lot of the “dead scientists with 10 pairs of boxers” issues. Even outside of that, the general method for selecting and spawningan iitem should be examined as well.


Pretty sure you can already do this with items for current modding capabilities (or it’s just over the edge if it isn’t in already so should be in soon).


Erm… not sure if it counts as “simple”, but I’m sure that it very fit to “missing” category.

I’m feeling lack of quest-like features. No, not like “go defeat master zombie and save the world”, but some in-game things that would give some motivation for char to search for X or do Y stuff. Like deactivating nuclear plant which about to melt (or missile silo that about to laucnh ICBM-s), or pour some fungicide to stop fungal expansion (even if imaginable one, before dynamic map changes would actually become real).

I know that it is a sanbox game, but, to my mind sanbox with some random quest stuff will be more interesting and less likely to become boring over time.


The inclusion of medical-grade bionics would add a lot of evidence of the world existing pre-Cataclysm. Stuff like artificial hearts, pancreases, replacement limbs and the like.

I think we should focus a little more on world building and atmosphere, rather than adding as much content as possible.


More just little tweaks than anything:

Show how much storage is being used in a shopping cart/trunk/etc.
Make auto map markers for both up and down stairs in labs etc, maybe differnt colour for each and third colour for both in the same tile?
Try and cut back on the number of keypresses needed to do some basic stuff, asking if I want to read a book when I try and read a book seems fairly obvious, then maybe have a toggle option to auto ignore noises and anything but a close enemy when crafting etc. Butchering with child zombies nearby on the other side of a fence they will never break through takes a silly amount of keypresses.
Stop non hostiles (dogs mainly) from being able to interrupt crafting etc, again, just an annoying amount of keypresses.
If its not in already, be able to have both an electric motor and petrol motor in the same vehicle and swap between with a keypress.


[quote=“Chiko, post:1, topic:5409”]We are able to replace items by using the same id in mods but trying to do the same with recipes will result in an error message.

It would be useful if we could replace/disable recipes to allow some mods to be partial or total conversions, for instance. Or just for small changes to vanilla recipes, like adding glass shards as another option for field point arrows or renaming Glass Shivs to just Shivs and adding other options like scrap metal and wood in the recipes.[/quote]
Not really what everyone needs but this would greatly benefit mods.


I will make a couple of suggestions of things I would like to see in the game, most of which ought to be easy enough to add. (Note: I have no coding ability whatsoever, just a older gamer that really enjoys this product).

  1. Movie Theater: I am a big fan of new buildings (cannot have too many types). A larger building with many zombies inside, perhaps some electronic equipment and popcorn/sodas at the concessionary. Be a big shock upon entering.

  2. Sports Complex: I think it has been suggested before but I stadium or hockey arena would be cool addition; have some sporting equipment, maybe even a new type of zombie…the sporting zombie, decked out in football gear or hockey outfit!

  3. Airport: A rare building spawn that would have to be out in the open like the public works. Broken down aircraft could be there with a small terminal; could find new items like luggage cart and luggage (new container type).

  4. Shopping Mall: Classic Zombie Movie shoutout! Large building with multiple stores inside. You would have fast food, electronics stores, multiple clothing stores, much more. It would be a rare spawn, stock it full of monsters but would be a great place to take down.

  5. Game Store: Kind of meta given your playing a game but it would be a great place to find batteries and game consoles; already aware that we have the electronics store but perhaps a new set of items for it - make it a hobby/gaming shop where you can also find model stuff (superglue/razors) and RPG sourcebooks (new book type, enjoyment only - have different types).

  6. Warehouse: Located near water; Large structure primarily filled with bulk items of some sort. Could have various sorts of goods in them. Would have to calibrate the loot tables so that they are not too overpowered (found warehouse with enough food to last a lifetime). Could have semi trucks outside in parking lot/loading dock.

New Monster Types:

Religious Cultists: There are some out there that regard the Cataclysm as their ‘second coming’. Carry weapons and possibly religious books/artifacts. Can rare spawn in churchs or dark shrines.

Out of Control Soldiers: Have a small group of them with military gear and weapons, high end. They have gone rogue and acting as bandits <another idea right there).


Vehicle Type: The Fuel Tanker Truck…rare vehicle spawn but can recover large amount of fuel from it. Of course dangerous to fire anything around it! Not sure how you would implement…perhaps standard large truck like vehicle with an EXTREMELY large gas tank on board?


Also, another atmospheric type addition: NPCs in the form of friendly monsters that spawn in the same areas with zombies, whose only real gameplay purpose is to get ripped to shreds by zombies in front of you. Ideally they would scream for help and try in vain to do small amounts of damage to the zombies surrounding them. They could be used for tactical purposes to help you sneak around a group.


Enemies who are rather just normal humans with guns and other equipment. Basically survivor bandits, but more simple then NPC’s because NPC’s are just bugged. Travel in groups and attack everything else on sight. More dangerous then typical enemies, as they have guns armour, and clothes, and travel in packs.


Another mod related improvement, move some of the factors controlling player-related things like hunger/thirst for the player to json files.

Really the more things that can be moved to json, the better. Things like the type and prevalence of weather, wildlife abundance, things like that. It would all support modding (being able to make ash rain down instead of rain/acid rain, and disabling sunny as a weather type are things I’d like to do as part of a mod I have in mind), and increase replayability.


The inventory screen could be improved to add a little mini side window underneath or beside the “worn items” to show basic stats about the highlighted item to prevent having to examine it just to get a rundown on it. It may have to be scaled so that when the screen is below X size, it just shows a line like “Highlighted Item - Weight: 20 Volume: 5”, and above that size include the whole mini panel.


Item spawn % seems to only affect items spawned on the map, not those dropped by zeds or gotten from furniture disassembly or cars. I propose that, with lower spawn %, windows would spawn broken, there would be less cars around, some furniture would spawn rusty or decayed or already cannibalized for parts, butchering shockers/scientists would give burnt-out bionics more often, instead of useful ones.

Inspired by the fact that experienced players tend to accumulate stuff much faster than they use it up.


More of an atmospheric thing but have bionic operations take time and always damage the body depending on what and how intrusive the implant is.

For example, using the CBM: Fusion Blaster Arm will tell you “Operation will take 5 hours and have a success rate of 62%” If it’s successful your torso will be damaged by 20% or so (it’s the whole arm, shoulder and everything? Not damage the left arm since that is now bionic) and give you the “Recovering from bionic operation” condition which will last 1 or 2 days or duration-dependant on the implant in question. As long as you have this condition trying to install another bionic will be X% more likely to fail.

This will make the player want to be in top health before making a lifechanging operation rather than quickly installing a finger mounted laser because there’s a zombie brute down the street.

Really like this, was going to suggest that too.


Sewing machines.


Why the hell can’t I get a sewing machine?

Game effect would be to just make tailoring faster or maybe make it easier at the small possibility of injuring your hand at low levels of skill, or maybe do more with less stuff due to machined precision or /something/.

Tarps. For protecting areas or camps from rain. It’d be nice to have a fire with a tarp over it to keep it from getting rained on.

I like the idea of survivor bandits who will loot entire areas and kill everything in their path and move on, but it seems like that has the potential to be really imbalanced, since they’d probably be heavily armed and the PC can’t really have NPC support at this time.

The most important thing, I think, missing from this game is the New England coastline. Mind you, that’s not a ‘simple’ thing, but I really do think that having a game set in New England without the New England coastline is a problem. WOuld certainly give love to all those aquatic mutations and be able to add a whole host of new factors in the long run. Nor’easters, hurricanes, sea monsters, tiny islands, tiny fishing villages and beach cottages and lighthouses…

That last one. /Lighthouses/.

Really, adding things that are characteristic of New England would add character to the game that’s missing right now.


I’d like to see more fluff-type additions, stuff that doesn’t actually affect gameplay but is memorable to the player. Stores should have names (drawn from lore, or real-life locations, maybe- holing up in a bar is suddenly appealing when it’s called The Winchester.

other ideas:
-Fridges should have random notes similar to the flyers that are (were) sprinkled around, haven’t seen any of those since .9 though.
-Houses should have numbers, or maybe even those silly plaques that say “The Smith’s”. Something to give them more personality than “generic house with or without basement” Names could be pulled from the donor list or whatever we use to make random PC names.
-City names should be easily visible to the player, or at least mentioned on the maps you find.
-Overmaps generated after day 0 or day 10 or something should spawn from tweaked lists, food should be rotten, some houses demolished or set on fire, stores should be looted or at least a little beat up. Right now it’s more like “The yogurt’s always fresher in the next town over!”

For the additional fluff information, this could probably be achieved via simple messages printed to the player, stuff like “You spot a sign saying you’re entering Lowville, population 2000”

Labs are the only thing I’ve encountered so far that have anything approaching a story that unfolds through exploration.

Cataclysm and logic

Great idea, and I really think a ‘to-do’ list of smaller things that people can help on would be useful. As Clockwork mentioned - further decay over time would be a great addition. Even if this is just currently for new places that you find (and therefore a little bit jarring) it’d be a huge improvement. I’d say 10 days for a little decay and a month for major decay. I know this is slightly unrealistic, but seeing as there are monsters and whatever, it’s probably accelerated a bit.

-Pre-damaged stuff - which is either weaker or unworkable (but possibly with some salvageable parts) versions for corpse spawns and zombies. This was mentioned in ( and seemed to be met with approval. Obviously, it wouldn’t need to be ALL items, but it’d make sure that we don’t get the loot piñata situation that we get now. It can be explained by damage from monsters, and even a few days of exposure to the elements would damage a lot of equipment.

-More modularisation - a sci-fi pack and a ‘super/crazy mod’ would be great. Although I’m very for modularization, I think we should try to limit to thematic groupings rather than just item sets (so ‘sci-fi’ instead of ‘sci-fi guns’ and ‘sci-fi armour’) otherwise we’ll end up with way too many.

-More mundane buildings. More variations of all buildings we have currently, without being too ‘special’ or unique, just to give it a more lived in feel rather than just loads of set buildings.

-General balancing - I know it’s an obvious one, but I think there’s a lot of work non-coders can do by testing stuff out for balancing. Even if you report back your assessment if you can’t face the JSONs yourself, it’d really help to get some good testing done.