Little things to expand the world and its narrative...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jack Talk Thai, Jan 16, 2018.

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  1. Jack Talk Thai

    Jack Talk Thai Starting Off

    Open world games are a big thing, and many players enjoy the exploration of them, seeking out secrets. SoD is a perfect setting for this kind of thing--adding little, almost-unnoticeable things to the game world that would get players speculating and talking.

    I mentioned in another thread how scientists, for example, would appear at a certain government-run area at certain times in GTA V, apparently taking notes (and if I recall correctly guarded by armed soldiers or black-suited men). It was cool, it drew you into the world, wondering who these guys were and if there was some secret to uncover. I'd love it if a plane flew overhead in SoD VERY rarely (maybe one out of a thousand players does whatever 'triggers' it to spawn), just for the randomness of it (and, again, to get us speculating and wondering). It would be awesome for some player to stumble on a way to enter the sewers, finding an entire network of weapons, items and undead (unique waterlogged guys with squishy sound effects). Maybe an ultra-rare note that pertains specifically to the cause of the outbreak and opens up a very-rarely seen mission that nets players gas masks or a new type of weapon. I was excited to find that the movie theatre in SoD was apparently locked (on my first playthrough) and hoped there was some secret to entering it and maybe a cool fight or easter egg inside. Guild Wars had a floating castle that no player could reach, but there was much speculation and a few in-game hints around it. A huge, cool-looking area that players tried to guess the secret behind. There's plenty of room for these sorts of fun little bits in the sequel, from what I'm reading and hearing.

    EDIT: As I read over this I realize that what I'm long-windedly trying to say is that I love mysteries in open world games, from the insects in jars in Skyrim to the many rumors of GTA San Andreas back in the day. I hope SoD 2 has plenty of them.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
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  2. Bob Crees

    Bob Crees Banned

    I hope SoD2 has those little notes that we found in the Story game - They were fun to read:)
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  3. Byerly724

    Byerly724 Here To Help

    I’m still looking for some of the stuff those notes hint at... (yes I know they aren’t actually there)
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  4. Furie

    Furie Here To Help

    While games like GTA (and far too few others) can do stuff like that, it's only really possible because they're simulating a live universe with governments and systems that mirror our own, no matter how darkly. They put these little Easter eggs in and they blend into the simulated life going on until someone notices them and ascribes a meaning. In an apocalyptic world, that's a lot more difficult to do because there simply aren't that many people left, and anything you do will stand out like a sore thumb. Subtle storytelling that's open for interpretation is pushed aside in favour of more overt storytelling like notes and audio files (as in any game where most people are dead) that fill in the background details.

    Personally I think it should be possible to throw some small details like this into a game. Perhaps there's a chair and binoculars set up on a hill overlooking an urban area with enclaves, and perhaps someone from one of the enclaves leaves once a week and travels there, sitting down and watching, recording things in a notebook (that can only be found on his body if he dies). Perhaps the zombie migration and spawn algorithms allow for them to follow their old lifetime routines unless they see a player, leading to workers of different types and uniforms showing up at their old workplaces during those work hours. Those little things can be done but it's not much and still leaves the world feeling kinda empty.

    Making it feel more alive is a harder matter, especially in a zombie apocalypse. For me, I'd say the key is in spawn points. Say fifty to a hundred different places in the world that are set aside for different things to happen. Every day three are chosen at random and something spawns there. It might be a new burned out car (complete with parts to scavenge for your workshop) surrounded by bodies (with rucks) that show a new group of survivors arriving and not doing very well. It might be someone who's ended it all and has one of several notes or diaries detailing life outside the current map. It might even be a new survivor fighting off a horde when you show up. With enough different events that could occur, enough variation to those events, and enough spawn points that you may not find them every single day, the world should feel subtly different and crucially more alive when you're exploring it.

    Add in the existing notes and bring more of the journal entries into the world (animated, radio calls, etc), and we're closer to the sort of world you're looking for, but even then it's still going to feel empty by comparison to a simulated living world.
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  5. xGbHx

    xGbHx Here To Help

    Random encounter would make the world a little more alive and some mysteries would be cool. Some leading to survivors/items and others leading to dead bodies and a sad ending
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  6. MrStrange

    MrStrange Got Your Back

    Could make it where whenever supplies are recovered, a note in some form is found amongst them upon recovery. Well, the person(s) unpacking can either put it where you can read it, or the radio operator could just read it to you and then react to it.

    Besides that, anytime you aim at a newspaper or something (or just proximity), the headline or something appears out of the way on the screen, or is added to the journal. Was going to say the character reads it too, but I thought there were more voice actors, so they probably wouldn't want to shell out that much money on extra dialogue.

    Just a thought. o_O
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  7. Jack Talk Thai

    Jack Talk Thai Starting Off

    I've always thought the game needed radio stations, complete with the jazzy little radio station logos (either in-game or in the printed material like guides and such, just to add to the 'reality' of the game), but each station should be nothing but static. Pure static. One station, under certain atmospheric conditions , randomly picks up survivors trying to transmit (you may get the rarer survivors with rarer skills). One station is some stoned, somewhat-freaked out-but-mellowed-out-and-trying-to-cope 'disc jockey', some kid who broke into the station as the world went to hell, maybe he plays apocalypse-themed music (could you guys get the licenses for The Doors' 'The End' or maybe R.E.M's 'The End of the World (As We Know It', or similar stuff)? One other station is simply a continuous loop of the sad, defeated, somber final message from the President. Every other station is just static, white noise.
  8. Jack Talk Thai

    Jack Talk Thai Starting Off

    My two favorite notes are the one where the guy apologizes to the random kid he murdered for the last can of tuna--it moved me as I read it, seriously (I was quite baked), and the funny one with the guy who thinks the ritual he and his friend performed was the casue of the outbreak.

    The writing is just great in this game.
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  9. Furie

    Furie Here To Help

    That one's my headcanon.
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  10. Jonathan rocha

    Jonathan rocha Starting Off

    Reminds me of going through vaults in fallout listening to 50's songs.
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