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Open World Zombie Escape, ze_holmes_incident

Discussion in Work in Progress (WIP) started by ZombieFurbie, Feb 19, 2012

  1. Feb 19, 2012
    Posts
    I'm working on a map entitled "ze_holmes_incident" but am considering renaming it to "ze_holmes_escape" when it's finished.

    The evolution and continuance of Zombie Escape relies entirely on the innovation of the maps. Zombie Escape basically went from "Escape from the zombies" to "escape from the zombies and hold at these set points". All a ZE map is nowadays is a series of holdpoints you unlock after a period of time, and after you finish the last holdpoint, the humans win. I'm not sure how much of this has been tried before, but I want to innovate and put my own spin on the game. I've come up with an idea for an Open World Zombie Map.

    ze_holmes_incident.

    This is a project that's probably going to last me all year before the first playable runthrough is out because of the scope of it. And i've started crafting the hubworld first.

    An MS Paint Draft of the game was something like this:
    [IMG]
    *There is a concept for an 'Intro' level in this picture. There likely will never be an intro level depending on how big the map ends up being. Maybe in a future version. The 'Endgame' level also probably won't be there for launch.

    You have a HUB world that connects to various levels. The humans decide which levels they want to take on first, with the final level and perhaps the "City" being locked at the start. As the humans nuke each "level", that level is completely locked off in subsequent rounds because it's still contaminated with nuclear fuel. So the objective is to nuke each area then make your final escape in the last level.

    I know I don't have a lot to show off just yet, but this is a real thing:
    [IMG]
    [IMG]
    [IMG]
    [IMG]
    [IMG]

    So the "Open World" aspect is just one of the innovations. Inspired by the storytelling methods of Dark Souls, I actually want this map to have its own story that exists, but isn't really told to you directly. Through its environment it should be clear what happened to this city and what can be done about it. To illustrate this, let me briefly cover each of the map's planned areas.

    Each "level" has it's own little trope.
    >HUB Area: A secluded sector of the City of Holmes, which has been infected by an unknown substance turning its residents into zombies. You will find grass, trees, and bodies of water here. This is where your journey begins each round.

    >Cave: Probably the most logical choice of a first level, the hub area has a body of water that leads to a sewer, which leads to an underwater cave. This is a water-based level, a rarity in zombie maps, where you'll have to defend areas underwater and use explosives to permanently seal off the leaking chemicals from the Holmes Powerplant into the city's water supply.

    >Tomb: The graveyard at the outskirts of holmes that lies at the top of the highest mountain in the HUB World is home to the tomb of one of Holmes' greatest scientists. However, the ground in the tomb has begun to crumble, and dangerous toxins have started to flood the cave. Here, your team will battle being chased by the zombies as well as a dangerous gas that threatens your life, as well as crumbling footholds. It quickly becomes apparant that there is more to this tomb than meets the eye. Your objective here is to find the source of the dangerous gas and seal it off to protect Holmes' environment.

    >Station: A train station that links the city of holmes to its famous nuclear powerplant, Holmes Powerplant. An explosion occured here for some reason at the start of the Incident, which caused a depletion of dangerous chemical fluids into the city's watersupply. This is the most likely link to the sudden rise of zombies. Your objective here is to use the train station as a means to infiltrate the powerplant and seal off the leaking chemicals and toxin. The highlight of this level is a race between two trains: A human train, and a zombie train. You must destroy the train or all zombies on top of the train while stopping them from boarding yours, before your train crashes into the city's debris.

    >City: The city of holmes itself. Here is the "city" environment and this may or may not be available at the immediate start of the game. Here, you will use various office buildings and skyscrapers to navigate the city for your search of the Holmes Laboratories. I'm not 100% on the details of this level yet.

    >Endgame: The endgame probably won't be in the map at all in time for its initial release, kind of like how paranoid_ultimate added the final level. But the endgame involves your final escape from holmes after sealing off all possible areas, into a snow-trope environment, here is where you will discover the ruins of Whitewolf Castle, where you will initiate your final stand against zombies as the final nuke and final escape chopper is deployed.

    The final "innovation" that I already have functioning in the map is the Karma system. As your group progresses through the map, your karma changes. At the start, you have 0 karma, and can attain positive or negative karma:
    >+1 Karma: Completing a level
    >+1 Karma: Completing an optional defend point
    >-1 Karma: Losing a level

    So if the humans keep winning, you will amass positive karma, and negative karma if the zombies keep winning.
    The effects of this soon become apparant:
    >Dark World: Attained at -6 karma. Screen turns Red as humans are given the advantage and Infinite Ammo.
    >Neutral World: Inbetween amounts of Karma. The default world.
    >White World: Attained at 6 karma. Screen turns Blue as zombies are given the advantage and humans have more places to defend.

    If the humans keep winning, it gets harder for the humans. If the zombies keep winning, it gets harder for the zombies. There may be other effects of the Karma on the levels themselves, like some rooms being only accessible in certain world statuses that may contain secret weapons like a rocket launcher or something, but that's the basic gist of it.

    That is my plan for this in-production map, an open world zombie escape that changes fundamentally based on how good the humans are, which places you choose to defend, and in which order you nuke the map.

    [Update]
    >Dark World: [IMG] (W.I.P)
    >White World: [IMG] (W.I.P)

    >Status:
    -HUB World: Current objective [10%/Construction]
    -Cave: Next objective
    -Tomb: Concept
    -Station: Concept
    -City: Concept
    • Like Like x 2
    • Mapping King Mapping King x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Jul 28, 2011
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      Sounds like you are pushing the limits of hammer. I like it :smile:
    • Feb 18, 2011
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      I gotta say, this is one of the most interesting ZE maps to catch my eyes ever. Can't wait for more bro.
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Feb 3, 2012
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        The concept alone seems pretty damn interesting. I've played enough Dark Souls and Demon's Souls to get the gist of the style of "open world," and as a Zombie Escape/Survival...

        Me Gusta.

        By integrating the story as being learned from multiple playthroughs, that only reminds me of "Dear Esther." An cool concept, but I've rarely ever seen it executed well.

        Either way, I can honestly say I'd be thrilled for a map like this, and would be glad to help any way I could. :B
      • Dec 6, 2011
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        @Pinkie Pie @GRUDGE (and all other mappers) better help the fuck out of this guy. If this map hits home, it'll be twice as big as Minas..... And possibly a Plaguefest only map? :wink: Wow what a way to draw a crowd. I wish I could help but I barely know hammer, I'd only fuck it up. I COULD however design areas with drawings then present them to the people who'll make them to help speed up the map creation. I do have some great ideas on areas, so let me know if you'd like to give me some more info on the layout of the map. I would really like to help you on this, I couldn't give 3.5632 shits about my current MIP.

        If your stuck on any parts of the map you'd like some thoughts on, and/or ideas for, let me know!
      • Feb 19, 2012
        Posts
        Thanks for the support guys!

        I would love some assistance on this map as it's going to be a long and rough endeavor. As for the 'layout' of each level, i'd like at least the hub world to be as non-linear as possible. The levels themselves will probably end up playing out like traditional ZE maps. For more info on how the HUB's level design is attempting to be non-linear, see the parkour note below:


        [Update #2]

        This hub world does contain some Parkour Elements, where, at least until you get things memorized, for your first couple of playthroughs of each level, you'll have to figure out how to get or climb to the next area.

        PARKOUR EXAMPLE:

        As an example of using Parkour to illustrate non-linear means of progression, i'll use this example. For this segment of the Hub World that connects to the Cave, you will have to find a way to climb out of this ruined building that you literally blew your way into. Your tools are a cardboard box and the firescape ladder.
        *Note: No lighting at this stage of development. Lighting will be added in the final stages.
        [IMG]
        [IMG]
        [IMG]

        And now you can escape to the next area. From here, you can jump onto the roof of the next building and jump onto the rocks in the far distance to reach the mountain you see on the far side. The rocks will be a bit tricky to navigate the first couple of runs.

        However, do note there will likely be zombies camping on that roof, you will have to shoot them off as you make your way to the rocks on the other side. Teamwork is a must for this section. If that's a problem, the boxes that lead the zombies to the top of that roof do not exist in Dark World (the 'Easy' mode when humans keep losing). As a matter of fact, it becomes too difficult of a challenge, than i'll make it so it only occurs on White World, meaning the Cave would have to be one of the final levels the team ends up doing in order for this objective to occur (the zombies being on that roof).

        That sounds excellent. If we can pull a team together to make a map like this, with different people working on different areas, that'd be awesome. We'd probably have to form a group somewhere though.
      • May 15, 2011
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        I'm not a very good mapper. The most I can help with is the optimization and if you did rally a team that would be cool. I'd pitch in the best I can.

        As for the open exploration, this sounds amazing. Dear Esther was a good example. I thought it was a little to linear though. One of my favorite games, Shadow of The Colossus, is a good game to look at for ideas like this. It gives the player the ability to roam free while still keeping to a story. I think that is where Dear Esther fell through. It didn't feel like I had a choice in what I did at all.

        Nice idea. I think this could go a long way and if you're going to be pulling together a team, count me in. ^^
      • Dec 6, 2011
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        Whenever you can, add me on Steam or something so you can give me the idea of what you're aiming at. I'd like to start brainstorming as quick as possible.
      • Nov 16, 2011
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        Looks like you need some new glock skins!
        Anyway sounds like an awesome map! The sooner you finish it the better, but make sure its a new over played map in this so called zombie escape server. We need a new map. and nao. Good luck and nice screen shots and walls of text. i liek em. Oh and you might want to take out the teamwork part in this map. most players dont know the meaning of that word
      • Nov 2, 2011
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        This idea is great. Gonna follow it's progress.
      • Oct 20, 2011
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        Can't wait to see this, getting tired of the same old shit on ZE
      • Jun 23, 2011
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        This looks amazing good luck and I can't wait for this map
      • Feb 18, 2011
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        @Kyle Can we give him a mapper tag? Or should we wait until the release?
      • Apr 9, 2007
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        @Josh typically does this.

        Thanks.
      • Feb 18, 2011
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        Quoted you because at the time you were online. But I guess @Josh can do work once and a while too.
      • Feb 19, 2012
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        [IMG]
        [IMG]

        Thanks for the support guys! I figured I should talk a bit about how level selection works.

        So in my drafts right now, how it works is each round starts you in the Hub, a large ZM-Esque expanse where different players will obviously go and camp in different areas. This will only last about two minutes maximum, as the different squads of CTs attempt to go to different areas, each "route" leading to a different level.

        [IMG]

        Here we see the entrance to the cave level, which is opened by pressing a button and defending that plateau for about 30 seconds. Each entrance to each of the four levels will be unlocked like this (except the "City" level won't be available at the very start, it's the "final" level for now, until the castle area gets added at a later time). Whichever of the three (tomb/cave/station) areas is unlocked first will be the next "level", and all CTs will be teleported to the start of that level after about 15 seconds, and zombies will be teleported into a cave at the start of that level.

        The levels themselves will play out like traditional ZE maps hopefully, but i'll go over that when plans are a bit more solid. This is a real thing and it's happening.

        P.S: I think that this is a good choice of music for the hub area. I also think that as you complete the various levels, the hub world should start to change a bit, like maybe it becoming night-time with snow trickling down as you approach the final levels or something. So you're not spawning in the same exact green area each time, with something like this song playing in the hub when the final level (city/castle) is unlocked..
        If you have some ideas, please feel free to post in this topic. This is a map made for PlagueFest afterall.
        ETA on the map is about a year, maybe I can finish something playable up by the time Summer ends..
      • Jul 28, 2011
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        I will give you 24 hours. Godspeed.
      • Dec 6, 2011
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        I personally tested this with zombiefurbie, and although it needs a shit-ton of work, it is shaping out nicely. We could use @GRUDGE and @Pinkie Pie 's help on this if possible. Anybody who wishes to look at his map in game and give some suggestions, feel free to PM zombiefurbie. Anybody willing to input a few expert mapping tips should do so to map this map a one of a kind :thumbsup:

        also @ZombieFurbie , remember that you shouldn't pick out music until the end :wink: Although, it is nice to get an idea for the theme at the beginning of the map.
      • May 15, 2011
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        If you have Team Viewer we could set up a meeting, so you can show us the map in Hammer or if you have a server for testing that will work too.
      • Feb 20, 2011
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        Keep up the good work! I tried mapping for a little while but found it such hard work that I gave up, mapping conflicted with my motto. "If something is hard to do, it's not worth doing" So I applaud you for carrying on, any efforts that result in more ZE maps I fully support.

        If you ever need a tester and such for play-runs through it, don't hesitate to ask.