I have a suggestion for an addition to the game, which I would implement myself, if my computers skill was above a 2. It involves erosion, fire, explosions, and snow.
As the Cataclysm raged on around the world, the average house repairman was a little too busy trying not to die horrifically to take calls. Likewise, utility workers quickly deserted their posts to find their families in the face of the growing disaster. In order to continue to secure dwindling reserves of power, water, and natural gas, people did some DIY, some better than others, to siphon those vital resources from the grid. Most of them would die anyways, but their handiwork–or inadvertent booby traps–remain today.
In the early days of the apocalypse, civilization is a sparking, malfunctioning, nightmarish perversion of what we know. Burst water pipes run into the streets to be electrified by severed power lines carrying thousands of volts. Those same power lines lead to massive explosions as unmaintained gas lines rupture and ignite. Flaming debris is catapulted for hundreds of yards, igniting anything flammable on which it lands. No one is alive to extinguish it.
Soon, whole regions of a city are completely ablaze.
The initial zombie populations of these parts of town are mostly killed off as they hurl themselves into the ongoing conflagration, but massive amounts of Blob-infected flesh together is dangerous, even when it’s cooked. In exchange for buildings being almost lootless, these creatures yield rare samples and other higher-level mutant goodies.
As time goes on and what’s left of the grid finally breaks down, the danger shifts to the architecture. Like it or not, our buildings were made with frequent repair in mind, and no one’s left to do that anymore. Over a period of months or years, most walls built pre-Cataclysm (with the exception of the walls used in nuclear bunkers and such, for obvious reasons) can shift to an unstable variant if the player doesn’t take the time to maintain them, which can be triggered to collapse via gunfire, explosions, or even particularly loud sounds. A mininuke blast might take out a house, but if it’s been a long time since the Cataclysm, the shockwave may well bring down the whole block.
Even snow can be deadly under the right circumstances. Most New Englanders know that a particularly violent snowstorm can be a cause for alarm, as it can trap people in their homes or even bring their homes down on top of them. As pre-Cataclysm buildings go unmaintained, they become less structurally sound and more liable to such a collapse, meaning that as the time goes on, heavy snowstorms have a low, but ever-increasing chance to pile up on roofs and strain them to the point of collapse. The player would only have a few seconds’ notice, a low, loud creaking noise that sometimes, but not always, is loud enough to jolt them from sleep.
Alright, that’s it. Danke for listening. Zompenguin out.