6 April 2014, 5:17 pm
My first pass at a research tree in Google Docs
In Rebuild 3, engineers won’t be the silly white-lab-coated scientists of earlier games. They’re gonna have to get out there and get dirty.
“Tech” isn’t even the right word for what they get up to in those labs. Most of the things you’ll research in Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville are pretty mundane… Irrigation, for example, is a matter of digging ditches to bring water to your farms, because city water and sprinklers no longer work reliably.
They’ll be designing medical training programs, rigging up generators to power electric fences, organizing more efficient night watch routines… and of course pulling zombies apart to see what makes them tick. Come to think of it, that may still require white lab coats and safety goggles.
In Rebuild 2, research was in three linear paths: getting more food, defending against zombies or recruiting and keeping survivors happy (also towers in the mobile version). The Rebuild 3 tree is 3x the size and more meandering. You’ll be hard pressed to research everything in a single game, so choose your path wisely.
I decided to tie more lategame abilities into the research tree so you could unlock things gradually as you play, for example the ability to craft traps, medkits and fireworks. Policies, building upgrades and workshop missions all need to be unlocked via research now before they’ll appear in the game.
Other research projects improve your fort defense or reduce your casualties in one way or another. You’ll definitely want a few of those as the zombie hordes start to build up outside your walls.
Research tree as it appears in alpha version 0.53 (temp art)
Getting your first lab will be harder now because you can’t build them initially (you need to research that of course!), but you’ll usually start near one you can reclaim. Events in the game also give you a chance to build labs, and even to get research for free.
One of the problems in Rebuild 1 and 2 was that you’d run out of thing for scientists (now called engineers) to do. With this much larger research tree, plus a new mission to craft items in workshops, they’ll have plenty to occupy their time inside the fort. Hopefully enough that nobody will send them out to shoot zombies or scavenge or any of that dangerous stuff.
God forbid they get their white lab coats all dirty!
24 February 2014, 6:21 pm
This month Stephen and I are hard at work on the random events and stories of Rebuild 3. We just passed short-novel length (say Chamber of Secrets) and are plowing on towards Goblet of Fire. Of course, you’ll never see all the events during a single game. Some of them relate to a specific faction, and even the biggest game map only has 4 of the 12 factions. Plus Gustav the trader of course – he’s everywhere.
We’re also doing a fun little project on the side: a short promotional companion comic with EvilKris, the artist for Rebuild 2. It’s a day-in-the-life story of a trade deal gone wrong, using characters from Rebuild 3 and Kris’s grungy horror art style (best known from his Insanity series – he’s working on a third one!).
The comic will be posted online, and I may give out printed copies if I show the game at PAX Prime this year. I’m happy to be working with Kris again; his corrupt environments and gruesome corpses delight me… in a stomach-turning kind of way.
Panels from EvilKris’s in-progress comic:
Zombies… walkers… we call them gankers.
Dara from 1337cREw with her bike.
Forget cars; everyone will ride bikes in the zombpocalpyse
Muscle from the Pharmacist faction. The one in the front scares me the most. You’ve got to be pretty nuts to use a meat cleaver as a weapon.
You probably don’t want to know what that head is for.
The next alpha build will be out at the end of February, then I’m planning to focus on tech, resources, and zombie attacks during March. At that point the base game should be close to feature-complete and hopefully ready for Beta around the end of April. It looks like I’ll have to push release back to Summer 2014, but every person who pre-orders
will be able to play the beta in May.
Writing this game has been more stressful than I’d expected, so I’m super grateful to all the fans, Kickstarter backers, and to the alpha testers on the forums for your help and support. You guys are the greatest! I’m making this game for you. :)
I’ll leave you with an alpha teaser from Espen of No Studio, featuring the Rebuild 3 music: