Thursday, 5 June 2014

Project Night Z Dev Diary #00 - Concept


Here is a concept of a side project I'll be working on. I'll be pursuing this strictly on my free time and I would appreciate any comments, impressions or suggestions you may have. A topic about it can be found in here: .

Project Night Z

Project Night Z is an AI team management game.

It's zombie apocalypse. A few survivors have banded together to fight the zombies. At day they build defenses and at night they fight hordes of zombies. The zombie horde keeps increasing every day they stay put and at some point they must abandon their base and start anew. All the while trying to reach a mythical safe haven far in the horizon.


You have a level of control akin to Dungeon Keeper. You give tasks for the survivors to do, like building a barricade, setting up a machine gun point, fixing the truck etc. and the AI team members will carry them out.

Survivors must gather supplies and building materials from the surrounding area. If you run out of supplies you must send a team to collect some farther away.

The AI team members have skills which determine their efficiency with given tasks. The more they use a skill, the better they become with it. They have an inventory and you decide who carries which weapon or item.

At day only a trickle of zombies wander around but at night there will be hordes of them. The more noise you make during your stay, the more zombies are attracted to your position. At some point you must abandon the camp site or be overrun. You can carry only so much and must decide what to take to your new camp site, as the game progresses you may find a vehicle and be able to carry more.

There are two screens in the game: camp site screen and map screen. When you move the camp you go into a map screen, where you move your caravan and you must decide a new camp site. Traveling on the map will consume supplies and eventually you must camp and restock. Where you decide to camp on the map will define your camp site area, like if you camp near a gas station your camp site will have a gas station next to it.

You start on one side of the map and your goal will be to travel to a specific place or places to win the game.

Other design thoughts (not fleshed out yet)

-Modable (including AI)
-Randomized events requiring users input
-Somewhat random overall map. So you won't have the same experience on every play-through
-Random(ish) starting group of survivors. You may gain or lose some along the way
-Character personality diagram. Defines how well survivors get along. Decisions concerning one character may trickle down to others as well
-Character back story. Tells who they were before the apocalypse. Defines starting skills.
-Likely to be made with Unity. Mainly because I'm more interested of making a game rather than an engine.

My next steps

-Write down more in-depth design document of the game.
-Make an AI demo. I'm thinking of using behavior trees and something to facilitate the moving of masses of characters at once (crowd fields or flow fields or whatever it's called).


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