I’ve been playing my way around my steam library lately, and have been giving thought to what I like / don’t like out of each given experience. Some thoughts occurred to me regarding Generation Zero, and I wanted to put them out here as feedback for the community / dev team as a whole. I’d like to take a moment to say that I really appreciate the interest the devs have put into soliciting feedback from the community.
The most recent comparisons I’m going to draw are between this game and 7 Days to Die. For those who aren’t familiar, 7d2d is a survival zombie experience with a focus on crafting / scavenging. It’s got the full suite of survival features - hunger / thirst / temperature, a few potential wounds (mostly bleeding and broken legs, but they’re there), a tech tree that has to be progressed through by either skill points or finding recipes and loot in the world, etc…
I’m not here to ask for more survival features being added to GenZ. Please, please oh please, do not add in hunger/thirst/temperature - this isn’t that kind of game, and I don’t think it would add much in the way of value.
The biggest difference outside of the survival aspects is the horde attacks. In 7d2d, on every (by default 7)th night, a horde of zombies spawns to attack the player. Every player gets their own spawn, and they’re not normal zombies - by default they’re always sprinting, and they immediately cancel any stealth effects the player has on them. They know where you are, and they have one mission - to mob and maul you down.
This creates an interesting dynamic for the game. During most days and nights, the zombie threat is actually very manageable - by default they walk, and can be kited and killed in a variety of manners. This, to me, is somewhat representative of how most robots behave in the game. Our current wandering packs of enemies are just that - relatively isolated packs. Things can happen that cause bigger packs - or bigger zombie swarms - but these are relatively controllable. If things go south, escape is also an option in most instances, or at least leading the enemy to a more preferable location for the fight (think tunnels for any apoc hunters, for example). During horde night, however, this changes dramatically - the enemies become more aggressive, and standard tactics to evade and re-engage simply don’t work. This forces the player to spend the time between these horde nights preparing for their chosen tactic of defense - be it stockpiling weapons and ammunition, building a giant fort, digging a bunch of spike pits, etc…
I think some method of achieving the same ‘hunter killer’ squad of robots would be extremely appropriate, here. From a lore perspective, it’s never really made sense to me how FNIX handles the player’s presence - I’ve killed thousands of this AI’s minions, but for some reason the response is to deploy more minions and… just sort of passively hope they murder me. It wouldn’t even be particularly difficult to track my movement - just look for where there’s recently been a string of robot murders, and I was probably there (assuming they didn’t fall victim to the dreaded river / ocean). Why, then, isn’t there an active effort to hunt the player?
The reason for my suggestion, here, is for the added experience / immersion / challenge for the player(s). The world should be responsive to the player’s action - we’re supposed to be fighting a guerrilla war against FNIX, so responses to our actions makes sense. There’s a lot of reasons that could go into the how and why, for this, but above all I think this is the most important - it’d provide a world that feels more alive and responsive, rather than feeling like a robot safari.
Feedback / questions / comments welcome.