As in the latest video-stream from the dev-team (or was it another one maybe?), they said that traversing with vehicles will remove the factor of experiencing the atmosphere and the surroundings. That is fully understandable. I want to point out for the above statement, that using a fast-traversal system removes the factor as well, in a different sort of way. Creating a believable traverse-system, on foot (which is already implemented of course), or using bicycles, and maybe motor-driven vehicles is a good way, gives more immersion and detail in the world. Though there are problems to overcome for the small dev-team.
Problems that may arise if traversing with a motordriven vehicle, and developing it
- You miss the atmosphere of the map and surroundings for sure.
- Players doing kamikaze attacks against robots.
- The pace of game is getting changed, hence the calm and scary atmosphere will disappear when walking in the woods or along the road. Instead there will be a vehicle chaos-wreckfest.
- It will take much time for the small development team to create a believable car-simulation in the world.
Though, being able to drive a motor-driven vehicle gives the world more details. If, and when, the team are able to create good vehicle-physics, the feature needs to be adapted to the experience GZ wants to give to the players.
- The main purpose of a vehicle is to replace the fast-travel-system in the map.
- The vehicles should be very fragile. I.e driving offroad with standard cars will easily slow them down, or even getting stuck in the mud in farmlands or woods. Mainly they should be used on roads. Punctures may easily happen if driving through obstacles, and they may happen when shot by robots. This will in turn slow the vehicle down, making it hard to steer, and after a while the tire will come loose, making the vehicle almost unusable.
- The vehicles are also overall fragile when being shot at from robots. Hence, the robots mainly shoot at engine compartments and tires, making the engine fail or you getting slow-downed by punctures. Also you are a sitting duck in the drivers seat, and may be easily killed. The motor-driven vehicles is very easy detected by their sounds, and alerts nearby robots (like the bigger boomboxes). Hence it is safer and better to traverse and sneak in the woods alongside the roads. It is only wise to use motor-driven vehicles if the player is sure the area is cleansed of robots (though that is never a guaranty).
- Motor-driven vehicles are not easy to get going. Firstly, you need to be able to start up the vehicle, either with a key, which may be found, or shortcut the start-wires, which may require a certain skill earned and maybe combined with some required tools, such as a screwdriver combine with a hammer or another tool which is able to break some protecting plastics apart. The latter will take some time and repeated tries to get a success.
All this above requires much development time, and should not be implemented if it not will work good in the environment and atmosphere in the game.
These human-powered vehicles should be the first to be fully implemented. You may find broken (wheel bent or off) or working bicycles. Cycling on farmlands and bad ground is as slow as walking, or impossible to drive (but you can lead the bicycle with your arms and hands), but on roads they work fine. They are another good replacement of fast-travel. Punctures may be simulated as well…
The devteam needs to hire more 3D-artists and world-creators to make the buildings and environments more varied, instead of copy-pasting every buildings here and there. I know, many houses looks similar in sweden, especially in planned house-areas, but still they I get a feeling of the copy-pasting. The utopia would be that every building in the map is its own handcrafted thing, but I am not sure how long time it would take to create one building, and this may be impossible in short amount of time. Also to point out, I do not think it is a correct play to search through every house by the players (I guess many do that just because they can and are driven by loot-greed). I am not sure how to tackle the problem. I got myself trapped by that behavior when reaching the first village. I will try not to search through every house next time, which is really boring.
The landscape is great though!
About the story, I have not come so far as of yet, but I have feeling it should be more intrusive, by talking to NPC:s (i.e. over radio). I am not sure how it will develop further in game.
And, at last, this game should have been released as early-access, or tested out more to get rid of graphical environment bugs (as floating stones) and stability issues. Though, in the 8 hours I’ve played, the game as been stable. I got stuck two times though but I managed to come loose lucky me.