What are your thoughts on how the game has developed over the years?

I overall like pretty much every change, personally. Many of them certainly took a lot of time to get used to but I like the additions.
I still vividly remember how happy I was when building furniture and such was changed to not be it’s own skill, I easily found that one to be the biggest pain to increase.
I feel kinda iffy about the proficiency system that was added, I don’t necessarily mind it too much but I’m not especially interested in it. It certainly adds more to the game but it can be quite the pain to increase it to actually have a decent chance on making what you want. There’s quite a lot of time investment involved beyond the original skills.
Speaking of skills, I quite like how they’ve evolved over time. Trapping being merged/changed into devices is quite nice given that skill had very limited use overall.
Swimming still seems to be pretty meh. I’m interested to see how the athletics skill develops into more of it’s own thing beyond just, ya know, swimming.
There’s a heck of a lot more stuff I could add to this but that’d take ages, if I recall correctly I was around before Cooper came out. I believe that was one of the stable editions that had a particularly long amount of time to come out, or at least it sure as heck felt like it.


I’ve been real happy with it. Pretty much the only thing I didn’t like was no revive being taken outta the default mod list, and even then I understand why it got caught up with the rest.

I’ve been playing since before Magazines for guns were a thing, and a Spare Magazine was a weapon mod. So seeing magazines, the inventory overhaul, the nutrition overhaul, the in-progress crafting overhauls with Proficiencies, and the first budding steps of the medical overhaul with blood, its been incredible. The games come far, I’m sure I’ve missed a dozen other things on that list that have been just as impactful, but niche.

The only things coming up that might have me a bit worried are the Exodii and the associated Cybernetics availability changes. Not because they’ve done anything wrong, quite the contrary with the Exodii which have been great, but more so that they really are changing the balance and availability of some of the real cool aspects of the game. While losing the ability to stockpile scavenged CBM’s in month one is not the biggest problem, I am curious to see how it all pans out in the end.

I do want to give a huge chunk of credit and mindspace to the community creators around the game over the years as well. Current projects like Magicalysm are pretty awesome, but there’s some that have fallen to the wayside, either because the game moved past needing them, or they died quietly as many projects do. In particular, I want to highlight Hybrid Inventory as being ahead of its time, giving us a glimpse into a CDDA of the future, years before it came to be. This branch was so good that I quite literally barely played any CDDA until Inventory Overhaul came around. I had been spoiled, and it was too difficult to go back :stuck_out_tongue:


I briefly played CDDA during the “Cooper” phase (thanks to Aavak), but at the time I was a bit frustrated at (what I thought at the time was) the ridiculous amount of keys and menus to try and ingrain into my memory. So it kinda fizzled out because for most of it, it didn’t feel very intuitive to me. I should add I have never before played a “real” Rogue-like.

“Danny” came out, I kept watching videos - mainly Vormithrax’s - and I learned a lot from just generally watching his content, which helped me when I finally got around to giving the game a serious try, which I have been playing since early Danny, always experimental too, so that I could fiddle around with “new features” instead of waiting for a full release and then feeling like I was caught off-guard by the new stuff.

Generally, the game as a whole has improved a lot and almost all of it for the better. Feels kinda weird seeing a lot of stuff being retconned, some other things being outright removed or taken away from the players control, but in a way I can understand why - and yes, I do unironically miss the random Chicken Walkers and the unexpected minefields graciously planted in the middle of the road, which would lead to interesting (and funny) situations where a Zombie Block Party would happen if a squirrel ever so much rubbed its tail against a mine. I can also appreciate the move towards “more realistic” / “current times”, and I do hope that if that is the definitive path, that a lot more things get trimmed out to make it feel that way even more - I do enjoy the fact that the new Factions will be in charge of the Bionics aspect of things, and I was wondering if there would be a similar thing for the mutations too :thinking:

I think the only thing I can say that’s on the “negative” side, however, is the major difference I noticed in terms of performance: a huge dip overall, probably due to the insane amount of stuff that is added at the same time to the game.

I remember I was very much able to play 0.C, 0.D and early 0.E at amazing rates due to the Z-Levels not being mandatory. Even after Z-levels became an integral part of the game, I was still somewhat able to play at a reasonable pace, but “something” happened along the way from 0.E to 0.F that caused some serious slowdown in certain areas of the game, which I hope does get addressed. I’d probably suggest that the Z-Levels that are simulated should just be 1 above and 1 below to “reduce” the load on the processing, but I am not a developer, I am not a coder: I’m just a player. And as much as I understand, there seem to be some reworks being done to help with performance boosts, but I can understand those taking a bit of a backseat for the moment due to other more concerning issues (the variable lighting being inconsistent or the “2 AM sunrises”), which is highly appreciated nonetheless. (And yes, before anyone says the very common and mandatory and already expected “Lol just get a new computer, how hard is that?”, please understand not everyone can afford “current” technology as well as others :wink: )

All in all, this is a game that is very much impossible to let go off after one gets used it. And I really hope it stays that way for a long time to go. And of course, a big “Thank You” to all the contributors, devs, content creators and everyone around Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead.


Haven’t really been playing that long. Started just before the release of 0.E, played for about 7 months, then took a break for about 8 months before returning to update my mods for the new version.

Anyway, to me, each version is pretty much a very different game, with a lot of shared content and stuff. The experience of each is quite different, each with their own challenges. But I do love the ability to customize much of each version to play pretty much how I want, through the use of mods, including a bunch of my own.

Current impression: so far, after playing 0.F (stable and experimental) for a couple of months, I like 0.E better overall, but I do like some of the additions in 0.F.

In my experience, the biggest contribution to performance issues in the current version is the vast quantity of useless $1, $5, $10, and $20 bills. I made a blacklist mod to get rid of them, and that was a huge help. I also added deconstruction recipes for all wallets that didn’t already have them to my recipes mod, and that tends to make a difference to, as vast numbers of them tend to accumulate as well. I haven’t posted the updated version of Recipes yet, though, as I’m adding a bunch of new content.


In my experience, the biggest contribution to performance issues in the current version is the vast quantity of useless $1, $5, $10, and $20 bills. I made a blacklist mod to get rid of them, and that was a huge help. I also added deconstruction recipes for all wallets that didn’t already have them to my recipes mod, and that tends to make a difference to, as vast numbers of them tend to accumulate as well. I haven’t posted the updated version of Recipes yet, though, as I’m adding a bunch of new content.

Ohhh yeah, the bills, the glass shards, etc. Especially when you drop like, 20 or 30 bills on the ground, you lose 1 turn per item which, in my head, it’s hilarious seeing a random person just picking up and dropping items, 1 at a time.
I’m going to look up your mods thread again - got it bookmarked when I saw it not long ago - and get those for my inevitably new character.
I think that a good way to solve that problem would be to treat “bills” and “coins” (same applies to Merch, HUB01 Coins, and … well most items, really) the same way stuff like Ammo and Aspirin are treated - so “1 block of X” instead of “X items” if that makes sense. Not sure whether that would be easily implemented :thinking:

I’ve got a separate thread for each mod. Abrahms Martial Arts, Abrahms Recipes, Abrahms No Paper Cash, Abrahms Fork It (a fork of Aftershock, some bits from other mods, and some of my own bits), and Mutation Changes Mod (which I’m not the original creator of, just the latest in a line of maintainers).

Aye, that is rather silly. Not sure if it could be easily fixed, but if so, probably either the “count” or “stack_size” property. Not too sure what the difference is, or if they can be applied to every item type.


Ah, a fellow Aavak fan, very dapper. He was also the one to introduce me to the game. Iirc the playthrough the introduced me to it used the Retrodays sprites and I haven’t managed to move away from using that one since.

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I personally still use RetroDays. I tried using “the popular one” that has to be downloaded from elsewhere, but RetroDays is still the one I like the most. It has a charm of its own due to its simplicity.
(not to mention that, for whatever reason, it’s much lighter in terms of performance, having an old PC I notice the huge difference it makes between “that tileset” and RetroDays quite easily.)

I like many of the new editions to the game (z-levels, medical system, nested inventory, detailed chemistry). I also think the focus on realism is a very great development direction as it brings a multitude of benifits to both the game itself and to the development of the game itself. It makes the game intuitive to the player (anything you can do in real life you can do ingame), it gives the game a highly unique feel and flavour you just don’t get with similar games, it limits powercreep with people wanting to implement bigger and cooler stuff and enemies that could throw off game balance and it has proven to be a great way to achieve game balance by looking at reality.

I do have mixed feelings about the new lore however. I like what they have done with the gaint bugs and mutants. Hopefully they are going to give zombies a similar makeover (zombies and a variaty of other critters all give tainted meat). I also think that the Exonii are a good solution both to rectify the contradiction between the realism focus and CBM’s and other too advanced technology and too really set mutagens and CBM’s apart not just in lore but also in the methode needed to aquire them.

What I really dislike is just how grimdark they decided to make the lore. I get that the cataclysm setting is intentionally meant to be much darker in tone and themes and convey a almost contradictory message compared to most apocalypse games, “Humanity is awesome and no apocalypse, no matter how commicaly destructive won’t be overcome by us” and “All the apocalypse did was destroy society so now the world is a rules free wonderland where you can do whatever you want”. I think that cataclysm does a good job of subverting the last just by having all of the mechanics nessecery to reflect everything that you would need to do to stay alive, safe and healthy in a apocalypse and a failure to do so will have consiquenses and by infusing realism into every other systeem from foraging to crafting and combat.

I do think however that the way they want to contradict the first message isn’t all that creative nor is it optimal from a gameplay and story prespective. A story of earth is already doomed to be unlivable in a few decades becease most of the major ecosystems will collapse completely to the point of leaving earth without oxygen and everything will have turned into desert before that is simply the exact opposite too the message they are trying to contradicte. It also eliminates two interesting questions that make most post apocalypse games settings interesting: How does/has the world itself changed after the apocalypse and how does human society adopt long-term to the changes around it? Answering these questions with a effective “no, humanity and biosphere is dead in a few decades tops” seems like a HUGE missed oppertunity to me. It would be far more interesting from a story and gameplay prospective to actually slowly see the world and ecosystem around you change from normal with reviving corpses and the rare mutant and nether creature to a bizzare mix of native earth life and wierd/alien/eldrich things that may of may not be native but mutated or be from a different dimention. It would also be much more interesting to see how humanity continues stuggles to adopt in a very fast changing world. A world where humans have to content with the many challanges (and oppertunities) that arise form the collapse of modern civilazation. A world where humans (and the player) have to deal with unfimiliar things of all sorts that represent both a possible danger and something potentially usefull. A world where although humans are still one of the top species they might not always be the apex predator or the absolute top of the food chain anymore, where other species genuantly compete with human civilazation (or what ever form it would take after the cataclysm) too dominate the surrounding enviroment


I agree with everything in the last 2 paragraphs. My thoughts exactly on the long term story arc, involving the world building.

Overall a lot has been added and integrated in ways that range from good to bad
I’ve seen some old favorites fizzle out and some hated new parts stick with it
I’ve been playing since cooper and honestly? Not sure I like the drive for “realism” I was drawn in with tales of cyborg velociraptor karate masters fighting ct’hulu-esque creatures zombies and robots while I embraced the steps away from silly to more edgy (like skeletons going from y’know skeletons to bone armor monstrosities) I think it’s losing dome of the sheer insanity that drew people in
Sure when I first started it was annoying seeing a chicken walker the second you step out the door and not even having time to run inside but with all the big overarching backstories to things that more or less comes down to “space magic deal with it” the world just feels a little too empty like humanity didn’t even hardly exist in any meaningful way despite being the games backdrop
And some of the nerfs over realism are just pitiful a penlight is easy as pie to make but the exact same ghing mounted in your nose is impossible? A knife on a stick is so op you need a wood axe to take a trees heart or find a weirdly rare broom for a handle, and even then for balance it doesn’t have reach like a naginata
Wrapping a kevlar helmet in banded metal armor (because different armor takes different strikes differently) with a rain hood is impossible because it’s already a kevlar helmet
And while I Haven’t gotten to test the newest version last I saw the nutrition rework had some serious growing pains
Honestly I’m probably being too harsh but I don’t see why removing it is the superior option to the old blacklist mods as a newbie acid was an annoying inevitable death sentence now it would be interesting to have the challenge options rather than total retcons

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Best way I can put it:
I was scouring the net for rougelikes to play. I remember I was playing unReal World and Zombie something or other at the time, and I came across this super mega early roguelike being made by this dude called whales. I installed alinux vm specifically to build and run that thing.
I haven’t stopped coming back for that fix that only Cataclysm can provide.
I can’t think of a change that has been detrimental after the usual iterations required, and I think the constant influx of new blood kinda helps keep the bloat under a semblance of control, and makes the required purges of said bloat easier.

I feel like I can give an added perspective on this as someone who is very new to the game.
I discovered this game about a week ago. Since then I have played it for over 50 hours, maybe 100 - could be.
I have also looked over it’s history and the way development has progressed.
Bearing in mind my preferences as a gamer, and my experience as a software developer (since 1970’s) I am very impressed and encouraged by how the game has developed over the years.
I have been involved in a lot of alphas and betas, and these days, early access periods of games that I have high hopes for, yet have no direct control over the development or direction. With very few exceptions they all start out with a great road-map and good ideas, tick my boxes, etc - and then either progressively morph into unrecognisable popular porridge, or just die. A couple of notable exceptions being Kenshi and of course PZ.
Looking over CDDA, the design documents, how contributions have been merged, included, abandoned, changed. The kind of problems that are seen as needing attention and the kind of problems that are turned into features, This software project and this game are unique in ways that very much tick my boxes.
The great thing is - I am saying this from the perspective of looking back on how it has gone, rather than how I hope it will be. So unless someone invents a time-machine, this is one time I am not going to be disappointed with how it will have going to be gone.
I do hope the good stuff continues, but as to how it has developed over the years. An incredible project - to have the privileged of looking over it’s history is almost as good as actually playing it.
Long live this game and it’s community.


Someone named opt1mus on the IRC (freenode back when it was not leenode) always nagged me to look into cdda and one day I just did and I am honestly glad I did. Thanks, opt1mus, I hope you see this. I got into it almost a year ago (when 0.E was stable) and it was a wild ride. I mostly liked the world back in 0.E lore-wise. After 0.F stable released I did some minor contributions, mostly grammar fixes and stuff but it progressed into slightly bigger things, so I know some behind-the-scenes info and can claim I am shaping the Cataclysm, too.

Overall, it has become too much “eldritch/alien invasion” and less zombie apocalypse for my taste. Now we got the Exodii and it becomes an even more bizarre mix. This is my personal preference and I do recognize all the work that has gone into developing the lore and there are alternative mods, mostly Dark Days of the Dead afaik, which aim to restore that behavior.
There are many, many more contributors now compared to a few years ago, many different minds which work on that lore which created this surreal, cataclysmic landscape of alien horror. Honestly, I think that is a work of art, but beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.

My personal preference is the Cataclysm which focuses more on the classic zombie apocalypse setting. I want the classic zombie virus or similar, something something radiation, some more ruined cities, a desolate and contaminated (think discarded barrels of hazardous nuclear or biological waste) landscape getting worse each year and all that stuff. Basically fallout, resident evil and similar games mashed together.
The thumbnail of Aavaks let’s play (never watched it) just seems fit to describe what I expext:

Just not as desolate though. Although maybe this is how some of the badly hit cities can look in the future.


Preferably I like the eldritch touch to everything. Really push’s that impending doom to everything and the insignificance you represent, despite efforts and achievements.

An by making earth into this hotbed of dimensional crossings, there’s no limit to what could appear.

I think the thing I would like to see more of is destruction, not initially at the start of the game, but as the days go by. Environments becoming more warped, major entities spreading and clashing against each other (The Clash of Titans!). And the ever increasing pressure to survive.

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I like the eldritch esthetic of the game mainly becease it is something largely unique to catalysm as a game and rarely seen in post-apocalyptic genre. Especially the when blended with realism. This creates a atmosphere of a world that is our own but now besides the forces we know ourselves suddenly also includes a large amount of unknown/anamulous forces that make the world both a known but also a unknown place. Making the player go from ¨O, another zombie apocalypse¨ to ¨What the hell is going on and what is that?¨


Sometimes it strikes me how similar Cataclysm is to a real life outdoor (hiking, camping etc). I use very similar kit, wear similar clothes, eat similar food. The same skills are used. I have developed a habit of doing a scout before every camping trip. Like in Cataclysm. IRL I always carry a bottle of water in my hand to save space in my backpack and have more water. The idea comes from Cataclysm. The list of such things is very long…

I remember the times when running was not possible. Now this project is a beast. The level of depth is sometimes hard to explain to people. Unique project. I do not consider it ‘a game’ anymore

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True, I do consider everything except the lore (but as already mentioned that is my personal opinion) a major improvement. Weariness. Z-Levels. 3D FoV. Better NPCs and AI in general. More vehicle stuff. Now power grids.

I wish there would be some more performance improvements, but you can not have everything. If there was a way to donate a couple of bucks so someone can work on optimizing the game, I would do so in a heartbeat.


Well, there is a bounty system where you can offer a reward to whoever implements something you’d like to see. Performance improvements are not something that’s easy to quantify and thus determine when the bounty criteria have been met, though.

I’d say that perhaps the main way to make some performance improvements in the game itself would likely have to start with the game becoming multi-threaded(?), and that by itself is probably a ridiculously huge thing (in terms of upgrades, difficulty and time consumption) to accomplish.

I honestly don’t know how feasible doing this would be, but one thing that I would be confident saying is that it would not be an easy task. By this I mean it’d probably require to rework most (if not all) of the “base” of the game and put a huge strain on everyone who dedicates their free time towards adding, maintaining and updating the current content as is.

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