Fellow survivors,   I figured it might be a good time for a general status update and to give you an idea about the short and midterm roadmap for the Vandeanson’s Apocalypse mod.   What is VA today? It developed from a dynamic site of interest spawner into more of a dynamic survival mission framework. My main goal was, and still is, to add elements of unpredictability and danger to a mission and to add incentives, that influence your decision making process. It should always be possible to run into something interesting, wherever you go on your map. It should incentivize gameplay of discovery, there should always be the possibility of discovering something, or facing a thread wherever you go.   Where do I want to go with VA? About two years ago, I would focus on spawning in Sites of Interest, such as Bandit Camps, Crash-Sites and such things, where you could find loot and maybe face some enemy AI. While I am more or less happy with the current state of the sites (tuning, bug fixing and optimization is always a thing of course), I did realize that I could enhance the gameplay experience in a different, less performance intensive way.   What makes a game interesting? Challenges, threats, a sense of achievement, the thrill of discovering/finding something rare maybe – it really depends on your taste of course. How can this be done, using existing assets only (to minimize performance impacts and addon size)? One way in my view, is to make existing assets interesting or rare or to add threat.   Few examples: Radio: The radio item, in times of discord, is probably rather uninteresting.   How can we change that? Create the need for having a radio, a benefit. For example, by adding an NPC that will hand out tasks/errands to survivors randomly via radio broadcast (he is sitting in a bunker somewhere, save from the apocalypse!), subject to them carrying a Radio and being able to receive the message. Pair this with an adjustable loot economy, make radios spawn somewhat rarely and already there is a new aspect to the gameplay: to get hold of a radio as soon as possible, to unlock access to such tasks and the resulting rewards. Now to top that, make the radio break after some time or use batteries, and you end up with something the survivors must take care of and maintain.   Bleeding/Infection: these existing features have the effect, that survivors may be a bit more cautious when approaching potentially risky situations and will ensure to keep a safe stock of bandages, blood conserves and anti-virus medicine, to avoid being caught unprepared. Encounters become much more dangerous and bad decisions have long term consequences – if something doesn’t kill you instantly and you get out of a Z crowd or firefight alive – you might still face injuries that you need to take care of quickly.   Uniforms: Uniforms are pretty much cosmetic and may help with camouflage of course. But let’s add a temperature system and combine it with survival elements of being cold, freezing and overheating. Categorize Uniforms (and vests, headgear, face wear, …) into light, medium and warm types and suddenly you will need to look for appropriate gear depending on the temperatures, if you do not want to suffer from negative side effects of being exposed to the weather. You might also want to hide away some gear for future weather changes somewhere, to access later.   Item rarity: generally, I believe that the loot economy must be decently balanced. Finding high end military loot in a suburban family home might not make that much sense. Finding a scoped and silenced m4 at every corner might also not really cause much excitement after few hours of gameplay. Loot should spawn, where it makes sense, which will make loot scavenging also more fun. Let’s say you need medical supplies, you will seek out medical facilities, if you need food, maybe a super market or a small town and to get the big bad nasty boomsticks you might want to head out to military facilities or search remote places for hidden survivor camps.   Skill/reputation/trader system: Finally, you want something to invest in, that helps you further improve and grants you access to improvements – self-explanatory as this is a core element of many games.   Some of these features are already present in VA, others are planned features and somewhere on a growing to do list. But I hope this gives a general picture of where I want to go with this mod, in the end, using VA should provide you with quite a hardcore MP survival scenario.   Outlook: Short term priorities: 1.       Finalize revision of the loot economy including civilian/military/medical loot and spawn site categories + customization options. I am currently sorting vanilla and DLC weapons/gear/items into respective categories. Common mods are next.   2.       Dig into iniDB2 and understand if it is the right tool to reach the next very important milestone for VA: Persistent database saving. This will enable me to start looking into setting up a standing dedicated server and will make VA features persistent. It will also allow me to implement early base building elements (setting up a tent, loot crate, storing vehicles,….). And of course, it will allow me to save player states, such as bleeding, infection, hunger/thirst and such.   Midterm/longterm priorities: 1.       Again, maintaining a dedicated server, if VA is stable and persistent “enough”.   2.       Add temperature feature including tiered (light, medium, warm and special (like wetsuit)) gear (uniforms, vests, headgear, face wear) and side effects of adverse body temperature levels (cold, freezing, overheating).   3.       Review and optimize AI spawner or replace with EOS (or other options)   4.       AI spawner: add option to disable AI Skill setting   5.       Add option to spawn AI as military unit   6.       Add zone types (contaminated zones, militarized zones) that affect dangers and potential loot   7.       Add task generator feature (NPC handing out tasks that match the survival scenario)   8.       Extensive hunger/thirst/vitality system including: hunting, cooking, farming, fishing, trapping,… as a standalone feature within the mod but with an option to include ravage hunger and thirst.   9.       Extended health system (sickness)   10.   Optional inclusion of ravage loot pools   11.   Base building feature   12.   Supply drops (very likely GF Heli Supplydrops)   13.   Cargo plane crash event (where loot containers are spread out over a wider area around the crash – should cause some good PVP mayhem)   14.   Heli air patrols   15.   Inclusion of ALIAS anomalies & dynamic anomalies spawner   16.   STALKER like artifacts (?)   Cheers VD
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