Suggestion: Body (corpse) search

Hello all!

Probably a lot of people are annoyed or confused by the modern system of death and search zombies.
More precisely, there is no search - all the things that are on the zombie just scatter and fall down next to the body.
The reanimation of zombies creates a rather funny situation when a zombie soldier loses all his armor, but standing up again has the same armor and appearance as before.
Moreover - such a problem leads to interesting situations, such as mass ramming of a crowd of zombies, and the subsequent “cursory” search of the place through the “V”, with the display of everything that fell out.

I have a suggestion on how this could be fixed, but I don’t know how hard it is to implement.
I think all of the above written (and unwritten) problems could be solved by adding a “Corpse Search” mechanic that could work similarly to “butchering”.

How does butchering work?
After death, we can interact with the corpse in order to dismember it. We see a modal window that offers us a choice of several options for carving - the possibility of doing this depends on the tools we have and a suitable environment (a flat surface, or special racks), and depending on the survival skills we get different items, depending on the corpse we have carved.
The body, in this case, is the carrier of meat, bones, and organs.

In the same way, you can also redo the search of the corpse. Now about the flow itself.
The player kills the zombie and sees only the corpse. To see the things that fell out of the zombie, the player must go to the corpse and search it. When searching a corpse (the mechanics of activating something or cutting up a corpse), the player will see a window with a choice of how detailed the search will be - a pocket search, a top coat search, and a detailed search. You can think about this in more detail, it’s not that important right now.
Each of these types of searches has its own spaw_item_group which will be tied to the type of corpse (zombie, in our case).
Pockets search will show only those things that can be in pockets - some small amount of things, gum, cigarettes, cell phones, and stuff like that.
A search of the top layer of clothing will remove the zombie’s outer clothing like jackets, pants, backpacks, and other things.
And a detailed search completely undresses the corpse, taking off all his clothes.
After the detailed search can we change the type of the corpse? So, if the zombie soldier was not mutated into something scarier (such as a kevlar hulk), after the search he can become a normal zombie (or a special naked zombie, which can not be searched again).
Essentially, generating items after a zombie’s death works about the same way - we have item_groups that are tied to a creature and they give us a random set of items when it dies.
I propose to move this issuing of items from the moment of death to the moment of the interaction of the player with the corpse.
Well, and separate how detailed this search can be.

What might that affect?
Well, first of all, it will change the priorities of the game itself.
You will probably not waste precious time searching the corpses of ordinary people but will concentrate your forces on searching the “right” zombies. Searching will take time, so now the items dropped out of zombies can not be picked up immediately after their death, it will take time (even the ability to unclip the machine gun from a lying corpse also takes time).
Moreover - search can bring frustration to morale, and also for the search can create a skill, or bind the search speed to any of the existing skills. Perhaps it will increase the chance of finding things, but it can just reduce the time required to search. Maybe add more options for certain kinds of corpses - find hidden pockets, search backpacks, removing weapons (if any) - a lot of options, and most importantly, that zombies will stop throwing all items on the floor when dying.
There will no longer be a situation where there are hundreds of abandoned items in the city, and somewhere wandering zombie soldiers who no longer have on their past outfits.

The end
What do you think about it? What problems might there be in implementation? As I understand editing JSON files here is not enough, and quite a lot should be changed, probably in the code of the game.
Or maybe I’m wrong. It would be great if one of the developers saw this thread and said how good it is, and a realizable idea.


How about: [e]xamine takes 10-30s and shows you a list of items carried, and then there would be a “recover items” butchery option with checkboxes for every item, with time taken depending on where the item is stored.

I’m afraid that search of specific pockets would just add needless micro to the game.

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I think the concept is very interesting and more immersive. if nothing else the more simplified version as proposed by @ThinkSome , or maybe some comprimise would be very welcome in my opinion.

Please explain in more detail, I don’t seem to get the point.

But it also got me thinking about the fact that we already have containers of items.
It was more about the three levels of search in my post. Like with butchering - skinning, cutting out organs, butchering for meat, and stuff like that.
One click on the “Search superficially” or “Search pockets” will take 30-40 seconds of game time and will generate some basic stuff from pockets.
The player will not need to search every thing (if I understand correctly - now to take something out of the pockets - you have to pick up the container, and take it out, which adds micromanagement and does not spend in-game time almost anything)

searching dead people would be way too incredibly tedious in addition to to be waying too time consuming in game. think about it mathematically. while it takes only 3o seconds to search a body, how many corpses did you search through during your last game? now multiply that by the 30 seconds for each one. you’d quickly find that 20% of the time you were awake you just spent searching through pockets.

taking half a minute to search through pockets is still too slow anyways. it takes only a few seconds to dig in your pockets unless your fingers are broken or otherwise encumbered.

On the other hand, such a time-consuming search of bodies may encourage the player to look for things not on the corpses but in the surrounding world.
But, of course, this can be an annoying problem for players who want to search all the corpses they see.
But in my first post I wrote that this could change gameplay priorities - players won’t do tedious things, and so they will only search potentially important corpses

And the next logical suggestion in that case would be implementing same search penalties to pretty much all previously unsearched (or those which were searched long time ago and went out of map memory) containers in the world.

After months of lurking, I finally took the time to create an account here, just so I could post this message. I think this corpse search feature, as you’ve described it is (at least the seed of) a potentially great idea. I think the most critical issue that the design/vision of CDDA has to constantly wrestle with is the tension between “realism” and “fun”. And while I certainly love the current balance, I think one of the greatest offenders of the realism<->fun continuum is the fact that you can instantly locate and identify every single tiny (pocketed or otherwise obscured) item and clothing article, on every single corpse within your scope of awareness, regardless of distance, size of corpse, size of item, concealment of object, current character distraction/activity, etc. etc. While I’m sure the best solution will be tricky to find, and will likely require revision and iteration, I think you’ve made an excellent suggestion/post, and I hope the right people read it and take the suggestions seriously. And maybe if we can solve this problem for corpses, then the next step might be to do something similar for vehicles. Am I the only one that finds it just a little TOO silly that every single playable CDDA character can instantly attain a fully detailed mechanical/electronic analysis of every single component of an enormously complex multi-passenger vehicle, simply by spending 0.0 seconds reaching out of a bush to tickle one taillight, on a moonless night? Surely a happier medium exists between the current state and “slowing down the gameplay” with dreaded burdensome realism.


Personally, I’d just make the Zombies drops being nested within their clothes. A Zombie soldier, if you [V] from afar, you’d just see the clothes they wear, and all other items would be within their pockets. No need to add a “search body” function that will both waste time and increase the amount of key presses people have to go through.

With that, if you approach a body and use “/” you will just see, say, “Army Jacket (x items)”, “army pants (x items)”, “army boots” “army helmet”, “Molle Pack (x items)”, with the option to “[e]xamine” the item and see what is in each pocket.

Imo, even the nested containers still need a lot of work to make the system a bit more friendlier, especially when it comes to stuff like wallets and multi-pocket items, where you can only “Insert” things, but when you do that, you have no idea which pocket things go to, as well as you’re not given information on “L left / Total L” whenever you are inserting items into a container.