Once upon a time, there was a post:
Something like this is pretty much my alley, so I decided to give it a shot. Please do mind that this is just a suggestion (I wouldn’t want to tell anyone how the game is supposed to look - these are simply my thoughts on what could be implemented), hence I would like to hear your opinions and (constructive) reviews of this idea.
The refugee centres get upgraded to settlements - reflecting the rare cases when groups of survivors have somehow overcome the odds and successfully make a living in the apocalyptic world. These could be thought of as either mini-factions or as building blocks that constitute the factions. How to upgrade them ?
1.1 Control zone
Each settlement projects a zone of influence, which spawns patrols (while lowering the spawn rate of monsters) and allows “facilities” to be operated. The reasoning behind this is that the settlement would be able to send out scouts / workers to any destination within the zone and have them return in a reasonable timeframe. Ok, what would be the effective range of a settlement ?
[spoiler]Actually, range is somewhat impractical, so let us consider the time it would take for a squad to travel to their destination and return to the settlement – I’ll call it the “settlement reaction time” or SRT. Now, the actual question is how long a SRT would be feasible for survival. With the environment being as hostile as it is, I would expect a relatively cautious approach to be undertaken by settlements (unless we’re talking raiders, but all in due time). Hence, a SRT of the order of 8-12 hours seems plausible (enough to dispatch further forces to deal with any adversities or to evacuate the town in the face of overwhelming odds).
In the event of an attack on a “facility” (heavily fortified, of course), its garrison should be able to hold out for this long until reinforcements came. If the attackers would be able to conquer the place, it is unlikely that a sufficiently large force could be assembled fast enough to deal with the threat. The same logic works for missing squads / other events. That said, while it would be lovely to have such an action / reaction system actually implemented, it would take a tremendous amount of work – best leave it as the background, explaining the existence of control zones …for now.
Summary of the spoiler: The range would be what could be travelled back and forth in the span of 8-12 hours.
We have the time, so what would be the actual range ? It would depend on the speed, at which the settlement squads could travel.
In the most basic case (ragtag band of survivors without any infrastructure worth mentioning), this would be the walking speed of an average survivor. Evolving settlements would employ vehicles – bikes at first, then more advanced stuff, up to simple solar-powered trucks. There is no point in keeping track of what kinds of vehicles and how many of them are in the possession of the settlement – this can be simulated by another stat – “maximum squad speed” or MSS.
This speed would be tied to the population of a settlement (amount of available goods), the “facilities” under its control and, possibly, the results of quests undertaken by the player.
Great, we know the speed, so we can draw a nice circle around the settlement, right ? We could, but there is the question of terrain. Taking such factors into account will significantly affect the shape of our zone, but it’s reasonable that a river will be a hindrance for expansion, as much as a good road network would be a boon. How to solve this technically ?
I believe most of you can come up with better solutions for the problem than mine. Nevertheless, I should at least propose something, shouldn’t I ?
[spoiler]Taking the product of MSS (maximum squad speed for the settlement) and SRT (either set or slightly randomised) we get an amount of movement points and, therefore, a raw range. Now, we move outwards from the settlement in every direction – we get a 3 x 3 square (we work on map tiles (the ones on the mini map, where one house = 1 tile – if I’m using the wrong term, please correct me) – using actual tiles would mean a lot of needlessly precise calculations) around the settlement (or larger if the settlement occupies more tiles). Identifying what tiles we have encountered on each path, we deduct an appropriate number of movement points from the pool for this path. Now, we increase the distance by one tile → 5 x 5 square and calculate the movement point costs to get to each of its tiles from each of the tiles of the previous square. Among the results for each square or range = 2 tiles, we select the minimal costs and use that for the next square…
I’m not a programmer, so the algorithm is shabby – I am well aware of that. Eventually, we deplete our movement points pool for each path and end up with some kind of a blob-shaped control zone.
Having the shape of the control zone defined, we can move on to its other key parameter, namely its impact on the world. This would of course be the ability to capture and operate “facilities” (yes / no check), the spawn rates (and strength / equipment) of patrols/workers/caravans and monsters (progressive with distance from the settlement – calculations in the last spoiler could be used as a base for that) and possible special sites for the player to interact with (temporary camp for a squad – quests/trade/background; remains of a squad – quest (bring info about the missing to the settlement – return nametags for reputation/rewards)) / gear; lost citizen – quest).
Similar to the factors affecting speed, spawn rates / types of encountered NPCs could also be dependent on the “facilities” controlled by the settlement, its overall tech level, stockpile of goods and effects of quests undertaken by the player.
[spoiler]1.1.1 Control zone – further remarks
Logically, forces don’t have to be dispatched from the settlement itself, but may be based outside it. In the wilderness ? Yes, within permanent fortifications – outposts and waystations.
Outposts first – when a settlement is sufficiently powerful, it may “sprout” outposts, either on its own or through bestowing a series of quests upon the player (“secure territory for outpost construction”, “acquire materials for the outpost”, “escort workers”, “defend the construction site”). Once in place, outposts would serve as bases for the forces of the settlement, essentially acting as additional “origin points” for control zone calculations, spreading it in their general direction (however, they should spread the zone only a bit – maybe half the range of what a settlement in the same place could do ?).
Waystations – instead of acting as bases, these would be small troop stations and trading posts, securing the territory. In game terms, they would amplify the effects on the spawn rates in all adjacent tiles and possibly house a NPC or two.
2. Facilities - places of interest
Now that the framework has been dealt with, we can focus on the controllable facilities. First of all, my assumption as to their purpose is that they would be points of interest (trading/quests/sightseeing/etc.) that would be operated by settlements rather than by players, and provide them various benefits, of which the player could partake indirectly (settlement controls a factory, making its products either available to the player (for more advanced stuff) or cheap to buy (for generally available goods).
Before I get into details of the various facilities, I would like to make one final remark:
While the idea of control zones is IMHO logical and fun to have (though it may be will likely be a monster in terms of coding), it may be scrapped in its entirety and replaced by facilities having a flag set for whichever settlement controls them.
Regardless of the mechanism, at the start, a settlement should control only a farm or two and control of facilities would be achieved through a series of player-taken quests or as an (rare) event. This could also be an interesting endgame challenge - the “capture facilities” aspect will be a nice excuse to have the player crawl through severe dungeons, brimming with powerful monsters (Ice labs ? How about an underground magma lake for a change ? Kill the mosnters and get the artefact before you burn up !).
Now, for the fun stuff ! Will try giving a short background about each type of facility, its size on the map and what would its “grid” contain (no idea of what the algorithm for generating multi-tile structures is, so I’m unable to go into very much detail). The coordinates for stuff in each facility (if given) will be in the X-Y format.
2.1.1 Abandoned farm (4 x 3 tiles); Variations: Normal / Barren / Fertile / Afflicted
“These sprawling facilities used to feed the hungry mouths of New England citizens. Their original workers are long gone – dead, mutated or driven insane, the abandoned livestock was left to share a similar fate, but a portion of its crops managed to survive. Bringing the place back to its original production capability is an impossible task for a single person – more people will be needed. Nevertheless, in the right hands, the farm could thrive once again…”
“These sprawling facilities used to feed the hungry mouths of New England citizens. Their original workers are long gone – dead, mutated or driven insane, the abandoned livestock was left to share a similar fate, but a handful of feeble crops managed to survive. Bringing the place back to its original production capability is an impossible task for a single person, if not impossible altogether. Nevertheless, with a lot of effort, some food may be produced here…”
“These sprawling facilities used to feed the hungry mouths of New England citizens. Their original workers are long gone – dead, mutated or driven insane, the abandoned livestock was left to share a similar fate, but most of its ample crops managed to survive. Bringing the place back to its original production capability is an impossible task for a single person, nevertheless, in the right hands, this farm will thrive once again…”
“These sprawling facilities used to feed the hungry mouths of New England citizens. Their original workers are long gone – dead, mutated or driven insane, the abandoned livestock was left to share a similar fate. Distorted shapes shuffle amongst the strange crops sticking out from the soil. The air is filled with an acrid stench and the windows of the farmhouse give off a sickly bluish light. This place surely couldn’t serve any purpose other than a nest for monsters …or could it ?”[/spoiler]
[spoiler](Normal, barren, fertile):
Fields: 1-1, 2-1, 3-1, 3-3, 4-1, 4-2, 4-3
Chicken coop: 1-2
Ruins / rubble: 1-1, 3-2
Mutated fields: 1-2, 3-1, 4-1, 4-2, 4-3
Slime pond: 2-1, 3-3
Evil farmhouse: 2-2
2.1.2 Special “farms” (3 x 2 tiles); Variations: Hydroponic farm / Maple orchard / Mapleid grove
[spoiler]“A ruined house and some sheds by the river attracts little attention. The owners of this little wonder knew the importance of keeping a low profile. Unfortunately neither that nor a well-equipped hydroponic farm could have saved them from rotting peacefully in the driveway. The pipelines are clogged, the plants are dead, but the machinery is intact and some seeds persist. If only you could find the workforce to get this place up and running…”
River: 1-1, 2-1, 3-1
Greenhouses: 2-2, 3-2
Pipes: Between Y1 and Y2[/spoiler]
[spoiler]“The sweet aroma of maple syrup and the buzzing of insects among the neat rows of maple trees are a relict of the past, just as the smouldering ruins of the once proud household are a reminder that this past will never return. Some of the equipment for producing maple syrup is still intact and some could be restored. Regardless how powerful, one lover of maple syrup will not suffice for this task…”
Ruined house: 1-1
Road: 2-1, 2-2
Maple trees: 3-1, 1-2, 3-2[/spoiler]
[spoiler]“Even though the sweet aroma of maple syrup fills the air, not a single insect can be seen. Hundreds of twisted maple trees make up the ranks and files of this motionless army. All is silent, save for the occasional clack of branches and what seems like a faint …heartbeat ?”
Farmhouse with trap door: 1-1
Road: 2-1, 3-1
Twisted maple trees: 1-2, 2-2, 3-2[/spoiler]
2.2.1 Normal (abandoned) / Sunken (5 x 3 tiles)
“Once an eyesore and source of constant noise, this quarry has finally found peace, its gargantuan stonecutting machines sleeping silently among the sandstone rubble. Perhaps these behemoths could provide humanity with the much needed building material ? Even so, rousing them from their slumber is something one should not attempt …alone.”
“Once an eyesore and source of constant noise, this quarry has finally found peace, its gargantuan stonecutting machines sleeping silently among granite shards. Being the toughest mineral one could hope for in New England, granite slabs would be an almost priceless resource for any town. Even so, rousing these behemoths from their slumber is something one should not attempt …alone.”
“Once an eyesore and source of constant noise, this quarry has finally found peace, its gargantuan stonecutting machines sleeping silently in the limestone dust. The foundation of the cement industry, limestone could be used for construction, however, acid rains might make short work of it. On the other hand, neutralising the acid could save many farms. Even so, rousing them from their slumber is something one should not attempt …alone.”
“It seems, that once again someone has dug to deep for their own good. Once the pumping station failed, water was free to accumulate in the open pit. Now, a lake sits where once a quarry stood. The water seems pure, however. Perhaps the rocks it soaks through act as a natural filter ? Maybe some group can find a use for this place ?”
Sandstone, granite, limestone:
Excavation wall: 1-1, 2-1, 3-1, 4-1, 5-1, 5-2, 4-3, 5-3
Barracks: 1-2, 2-2
Machine park: 3-2
Equipment storages: 4-2
Road: 1-3, 2-3
Slab storage: 3-3
Lake shore: 1-1, 2-1, 3-1, 4-1, 5-1, 1-2, 5-2, 1-3, 3-3, 4-3, 5-3
Flooded barracks: 2-2
Flooded machinery: 3-2, 2-3
Flooded shack: 4-2[/spoiler]
2.2.2 Goop / Sludge
[spoiler]“The bottom of this quarry is occupied by a sizeable pond of goo, bubbling obscenely when exposed to sunlight. A burned patch of ground on the shore is lined with rubbery residue that slowly ‘heals’ when damaged. This could be useful, however, dabbling with such things alone doesn’t sound very reasonable.”
Excavation wall: 1-1, 2-1, 3-1, 4-1, 5-1, 1-2, 5-2, 1-3, 5-3, 5-4, 3-5, 4-5, 5-5
Goop pond: 2-2, 3-2, 4-2, 3-3, 4-3, 4-4
Gooey shore: 2-3, 2-4, 3-4
Ruined barracks: 1-4
Road: 1-5, 2-5[/spoiler]
[spoiler]“The first thing about this quarry is an impromptu channel linking it with the nearby river, as if it were deliberately flooded. The second is that the water of this lake is scalding hot and gives off a faint blue light. Even though the surface ripples ever so slightly, a deposit of dark sludge swirls violently, releasing a large glob of froth from time to time. This residue has accumulated in the middle of the lake, forming an island of sorts, upon which unearthly plants sway back and forth in unison, as if trying to grasp something just out of their reach. A lot of energy is being produced here, but how to exploit it ? Might take more heads than one to figure it out…”
Excavation wall: 1-1, 2-1, 3-1, 4-1, 4-2, 4-4, 3-5, 4-5
River: 5-1, 5-2, 5-3, 5-4, 5-5
Boiling lake: 2-2, 3-2, 4-2, 2-3, 4-3, 2-4, 3-4, 4-4
Frothing island: 2-3
Lake shore: 1-5, 2-5[/spoiler][/spoiler]
[b]Reached the character limit for one post - further additions are several posts below.
Currently completed sections: Outlines of facilities (apart from special facilities).
Working on looables / salvageables / enemies for the facilities I’'ve got.[/b]