Redesigning The Dead Miles

I didn’t get a lot of feedback for The Dead Miles, but what I did get says it all.  The game isn’t fun.  It was too statistical and not many people really enjoy interpreting data.

So, after taking a break to look at the game from a fresher perspective, I’ve decided to redesign it.  Since the game is all about travel, I think the Travel stage requires the most attention.  I have decided to add a few things to travel:

-The travel map will be randomly generated at the start of each game.

-Map locations will be hidden if you can’t see them, and in shadow until they have been explored.

-It will be more difficult to travel through forest, beach and crops.

-Safe havens will be randomly added at the start of each game.

-You score points when you discover a safe haven.  You end the game when you discover all of them.

-Groups of zombies will be wandering the map.  Collide with a group, and you will fight in the environment that you’re in.  The proximity of zombies on the map increases your Fear when doing other actions in the game.

-The player’s line of sight will be limited to 3-5 miles, and will be blocked by forests, cities and crops.  Unlike the combat screen, players will have 360 degree vision.  If you can see a zombie group, they can see you, and will move towards you.  Darkness will reduce how far the player can see.

-Factors like lack of sleep, calorie consumption/starvation, carrying too much gear, and sprinting fatigue will be reflected in travel speed.

-The control system will be simple.  Left click to walk to a destination. Right click to sprint to a destination.

-There will be one menu button which leads back to the Planning screen.  From there you can access the other game functions like inventory, searching, eating, napping, sleeping and rampage.

I was happy with the combat portion of the game.  It looked okay, and was appropriately tense.  I intend to change two things in combat:

-Two zombie death animations look horrible and need to be re-done.

-When a zombie dies on a fence, it shoots away at a fast speed.

Other than that, I have to look at the inventory system which, all of a sudden, doesn’t work.

That’s it.  As always, your thoughts are appreciated.


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