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Author Topic: Food, or the lack therof... Introducing Human Starvation  (Read 3545 times)
Enigmal


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« on: April 23, 2012, 07:54:39 AM »

Greetings

I am fairly new to the forum and I am looking to start up a pretty small HvZ game at a campsite where all the families are regulars and the kids regularly play wide-games.

One of the aspects which interests me about most zombie films/books/etc (and something we all have to consider in our personal 'zombie plan') is the constant need for food. Naturally this does appear in HvZ in some form or another in the manner that players do physically have to feed themselves, but i would quite like to add an in-game element of survival via sustenance. As such i propose the rule below for your scrutiny.

Food:
Both humans and zombies require sustenance to survive. The humans in particular must maintain a constant food supply to outlast the zombie outbreak, and zombies must feed on humans to remain animated.
In the human base there will be a box containing the human food supply. The food will be represented by small objects (such as bean-bags) which either represent ‘meat’ or ‘vegetables’. Every hour a moderator will remove either one meat or two vegetables from the store to represent the humans eating. If there is not enough food to do this (either no meat or only one vegetable) any remaining food is removed and the human players get one ‘starvation’ point. If the humans have ten starvation points at any time then they starve and the zombies win.
Alternatively: Meat may feed 10 humans per hour and vegetables feed 5 humans per hour (always round number of humans up to nearest 5). This way food consumption is proportional to the number of remaining mouths to feed.
Initially, the store will be empty and the human’s first mission will be to search for scattered supplies, providing zombies with an opportunity to get a few early feeds. After that there will be some missions where the reward is food, and a general standing order to find food whenever possible.
If the humans acquire any starvation points and then find food later, then they can choose to ‘feast’ and exchange double the normal hourly amount of food (2 meat or 4 vegetables, or 1 meat and 2 vegetables) to remove a starvation point.
Each zombie must feed on one human each day or they starve. However, a zombie can avoid starving by instead eating a meat. If any zombies starve and then the zombie team acquires some meat later, then two meat may be used to revive one zombie. Zombies may store meat in their base for this purpose.
Zombies have absolutely no interest in vegetables. They must not touch them or interact with them in any way. They may, however, use any vegetable supplies they find as a convenient lure to ambush humans.


The amount of food in the game would have to be controlled so that searching for food isn't a constant grueling challenge, but isn't too easy either. It should be just enough that it is constantly at the back of every human player's mind, and gives them something to do between missions. The fact that zombies will also be on the look out for meat should keep the humans on their toes, and provide a reason to want to get to the food supplies first.

I don't know if this has been done before, if there is a minimum/maximum game size that it would be applicable for or exactly how certain things would be managed but i really like the concept.

Your comments will be appreciated
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 04:30:53 AM by Enigmal » Logged
Enigmal


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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2012, 05:53:28 AM »

No comments at all then?

Is this idea too out-there? or two difficult to manage?
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Chevalier Mal Fet
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2012, 10:14:13 AM »

Sorry, missed this topic on its first time around. Just seeing it for the first time.

I think it's neither too out there nor difficult to manage. Logistically, it seems pretty simple - the only hurdles are designating a mod to be constantly hiding the Food (chosen to capitalize it to designate it as a game item n_n), and a way to constantly notify all players of their starvation status, which can be done via the website, twitter, or I suppose just bellowing really loudly.

I like that it creates interesting scenarios - you can create some really high risk/high reward situations and let humans form their own missions to accomplish them - like, say, hiding a massive stash of vegetables in the zombie base, or making a trail of meat from the zombies' base to the humans' start point for a mission, or something, ensuring zombies will be in the area as they arrive and start the mission.

Overall, I like the concept. There don't seem to be any obvious pitfalls to me. I'd experiment with it in a game and see how it works.
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Enigmal


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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 11:28:45 AM »

That's the kind of thing i had in mind;

Vegetable patches growing right next to the main zombie base/respawn area.

A crashed supermarket delivery van with a nice mix of food and a scavenger hunt for both sides to find it first. Most fun if the zombies find it first, clear out the meat and then set up an ambush for the humans trying to get the remaining vedge.

A Meat Locker for the zombies to find just before the final mission to boost their numbers for the final push. Humans will be given a recon mission to find out what the zombies are up to so that they have a chance to stop them.

I'm also thinking of having zombies able to construct a mobile respawn point as a mission by basically filling something like a shopping trolley full of meat. they need at least *** meat to use the point, remove 1 meat for every respawn. Humans have a mission where they can construct a one-use-only bomb which can be used to blow up (among other possible options) this spawn point. Maybe they can even steal the meat, but that sounds like a one-way trip to me  Grin

For missions you might have to limit players so that they can only carry one food item at once, so that one player can't clear out a whole stash on their own by loading up a bag, and players carrying food can't tag/stun other players. Naturally this would have to be monitored for cheating but so does everything else.

A big pull of this for me is that i don't have to think up so many mission rewards, as I've been struggling to think of enough good yet balanced rewards for a large amount of missions. The food also becomes a need, instead of a want. Humans simply can't win without it so they will be forced to go on missions. If humans are doing too well i could reduce the amount of food found in each stash and increase the reliance on scouting for small randomly placed food drops. That way humans get more spread out as they patrol. If zombies are doing too well, i do the reverse. Increase the ratio of vedge to meat and put more food in once place, so that a small group of humans can get a decent stock without having to spend as much time scouting through zombie territory.

The game I'm planning for is quite small so a status on a noticeboard in the zombie & human HQ would possibly be enough to keep players up to date, but mass texting and website updates would be required for med to large games as a minimum.

I'd really like to see this taken into a campus level game to see if it works. Initially there would probably be no end of balancing issues and i'm very curious what they would be, and how experienced mods would overcome them.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 11:31:01 AM by Enigmal » Logged
JPRoth1980


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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 01:17:29 PM »

It's certainly...  Interesting, but I have a few comments and/or concerns.

I dislike the concept of removing players altogether, and starvation does just that.  Instead of using it as a "you need X amount to be able to play," I'd set it up as a reward system.  Food can be traded in for buffs of some sort, reduced spawn timers/immediate respawn for zombies or special mission unlocks for humans.  The latter is a bit counterintuitive, but it can be handwaved away by saying that since the humans had a steady supply of food, they didn't need to forage and could instead do X.

There's also the fairly major problem of human starvation.  A tagged Human is a zombie.  A starved Human is out of the game and not coming back.  The airborne virus + vaccine idea at least takes the Human casualties and turns them into zombies, but I'm not sure how you'd accomplish that with this system.

It is also massive open to spoiling on the part of the players.  If a player can only carry one Food at a time, then Vegetables will be ignored over Meat.  If they can carry more than one, stockpiling will be in effect and both Humans and Zeds will pick up all they can find.  The "elite" players are unlikely to share with the herds, since there is little benefit to doing so, unless they have enough Food to get them and their friends through the rest of the game without any issue.  Unless you swamp the field with Food in the first few days, I would expect a mass starve-off followed by quite a bit of player resentment.
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veryrandomname
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2012, 04:53:26 PM »

Interesting concept. One positive aspect of this would be that it prevents players from hiding out all day and encourages more action.

I have no particular opinion about actual application that hasn't been mentioned already, but I see no harm in giving this a try - as long as careful consideration is given to game balance.
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Berea College
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2012, 10:06:01 PM »

What if Starved Humans didn't die, but simply lost their ability to wield "Heavy weapons" until they fed again? Also I haven't found Zombie starves to be as good in theory as gameplay without them has demonstrated: Zombies (players) hate starving (being removed from the game for no good reason), as echoed above. Maybe Starved Zombies would have to wear a certain band or something and they had to make two handed tags as a punishment rather than being removed from game? I dunno, players really hate being impeded in the act of play itself.

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Enigmal


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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2012, 08:37:47 AM »

The human food supply is a single supply for the whole team, looked after by the mods. If the humans starve then the entire team looses.

This is intended to avoid the issues of elites hoarding for themselves, as the search for food then becomes a team exercise. This also avoids the issue of individual humans dieing in a way which doesn't lead to them becoming zombies.

I also dislike the idea of zombies starving and being removed from the game, but it is considered a core rule of the basic HvZ game. If anything i have made it much more lenient as it is the same as the standard HvZ zombie starvation rule, but with the ability to avoid starving by eating a meat, and even come back from starvation if your team finds meat later.

I'm a little worried that the way that the zombie rules work means that zombies will still be in competition with each other for meat and they may loose the team ethos because of it. Can anyone suggest a simple adjustment which might stop zombies arguing with each other over who gets to use the meat to avoid starvation? Maybe one meat can feed several zombies? much like how one tag can feed two other zombies in many games I've seen. The other option is completely ignore the starvation rule and zombies use meat purely as a buff. E.g. the re-spawn point mentioned above, trading in X-amount to reduce stun time for the whole team for a day, purchasing zombie classes, etc.

In answer to the point that players who can only carry one item of food will always choose meat over vedge, that is a deliberate part of the way it is written. Meat is more valuable but if you're carrying meat then you become an instant target for zombies. There is also the fact that meat is inherently rarer due to zombies sometimes getting to it first.

It would be interesting to see how differently players would react if vedge was actually more beneficial to humans than meat, so then the decision becomes;

"Do I carry the vedge, which is better for my team, and risk the meat being stolen by zombies while I'm gone, or do i take the meat, which is less valuable, but then I'm sure that the vedge will still be here when i get back?"
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 08:43:01 AM by Enigmal » Logged
JPRoth1980


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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2012, 10:28:08 AM »

The human food supply is a single supply for the whole team, looked after by the mods. If the humans starve then the entire team looses.

There is no way of managing this.  An "intelligent" human group/team can simply create their own food supply, hidden somewhere, and only hand it in as needed to keep themselves alive.  All it takes is a little secluded spot on campus or a receptacle somewhere and the situation is worked out much like Zombies using food as a bait.

Player on Team X is about to starve and goes to a mod with Food.  Suddenly he is no longer starving.  In the meantime, players not on Team X have starved.

And frankly, if this would be a DBAD violation, then I would wager than creating stockpiles of Food to use as bait would likewise be a violation.  At the core, it is the same thing:  the manipulation of in-game resources to gain an advantage.

This is intended to avoid the issues of elites hoarding for themselves, as the search for food then becomes a team exercise. This also avoids the issue of individual humans dieing in a way which doesn't lead to them becoming zombies.

Problem is, the only teams that exist in HvZ are those decided upon by the players.  If a mod told me that having outrun a mini-horde to bring in food meant that I got to starve, but this other guy lived, my interest in the game would drop immediately.

I also dislike the idea of zombies starving and being removed from the game, but it is considered a core rule of the basic HvZ game. If anything i have made it much more lenient as it is the same as the standard HvZ zombie starvation rule, but with the ability to avoid starving by eating a meat, and even come back from starvation if your team finds meat later.

Starvation timers have been largely removed for a very good reason.

In answer to the point that players who can only carry one item of food will always choose meat over vedge, that is a deliberate part of the way it is written. Meat is more valuable but if you're carrying meat then you become an instant target for zombies. There is also the fact that meat is inherently rarer due to zombies sometimes getting to it first.

If a player can only carry 1 Food, and Meat feeds 1 person, but it requires 2 Vegetables to do the same, there is never a reason to carry Vegetables.  They are, in effect, trash drops.  If carrying a Food means that the player cannot use his or her blaster, then Vegetables are a complete waste.  There is one quick way around this system, but that would require throwing the Vegetables towards the supply depot rather than carrying them, allowing for both movement and defense.

Additionally, let's be honest here:  being Human makes you an instant target for zombies.  And if carrying it renders you defenseless, then players will not carry it.  Food is only useful if you are alive to consume it.
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Enigmal


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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2012, 05:18:27 AM »

There is no way of managing this.  An "intelligent" human group/team can simply create their own food supply, hidden somewhere, and only hand it in as needed to keep themselves alive.  All it takes is a little secluded spot on campus or a receptacle somewhere and the situation is worked out much like Zombies using food as a bait.

Player on Team X is about to starve and goes to a mod with Food.  Suddenly he is no longer starving.  In the meantime, players not on Team X have starved.

And frankly, if this would be a DBAD violation, then I would wager than creating stockpiles of Food to use as bait would likewise be a violation.  At the core, it is the same thing:  the manipulation of in-game resources to gain an advantage.

Problem is, the only teams that exist in HvZ are those decided upon by the players.  If a mod told me that having outrun a mini-horde to bring in food meant that I got to starve, but this other guy lived, my interest in the game would drop immediately.

Starvation timers have been largely removed for a very good reason.

Allow me to re-iterate, when I used the word 'team' regarding humans, I used it do describe ALL the humans in the game as being a SINGLE large team, as opposed to the small groups of humans that naturally form during games. There would be ONE food supply that it is everyone's responsibility to maintain. This probably comes from the fact that the game i am planning for is smaller and it will be easier to think of the humans as a single co-cohesive group. In campus level games i guess the term team must refer to human 'bands' or 'groups'. I apologize for the confusion.

What term is usually used to describe the humans as a whole? for the rest of this post I shall use the term 'race' to define the human side as a whole.

If a player can only carry 1 Food, and Meat feeds 1 person, but it requires 2 Vegetables to do the same, there is never a reason to carry Vegetables.  They are, in effect, trash drops.  If carrying a Food means that the player cannot use his or her blaster, then Vegetables are a complete waste.  There is one quick way around this system, but that would require throwing the Vegetables towards the supply depot rather than carrying them, allowing for both movement and defense.

Regarding this specific point, 1 meat feeding 1 human for 1 hour, and vedge only half, would lead to the quest for food being a constant grueling challenge and there would be no time to do anything else at all. In my original post I mentioned meat feeding 10 players and vedge feeding 5. Again, the game in my head is smaller so for larger games you might want to scale that up so that meat feeds say, 50 humans and vedge feeds 25. That way, if the current size of the human race is 200 players, they would only need to find 4 meat or 8 vedge an hour (or some combination) between them to stay alive. If they do a mission where the reward is 10 meat, then they are set for 2 1/2 hrs. I'll also remind people that in my original ruleset, no food is consumed at night, so players only have to worry about daylight hours.

I will also point out that humans walking around on their own is generally considered a bad idea in HvZ. A lone human carrying food may be defenseless, but with 10 other guys protecting him he should be fine. if it comes to it he can always drop the food during a firefight and pick it up after. if it is vedge he can even do this without worrying about it being pinched by a zombie. The idea is that human groups must decide how many of them carry food and how many guard them. Unlocking 'shopping trolleys' which humans can load up with food could even be mission rewards to help with this.

I think that maybe some of the confusion is that I haven't made it clear what happens if there isn't enough food to feed everyone, so i will use an example.
Let's say that we go with the meat feeds 50, vedge feeds 25 scenario.
At 1200 on day 2 there is 2 meat and 3 vedge (enough to feed 175 players) in the human food supply and 100 remaining humans.
The mod in charge of the food says 'there is enough food to feed all 100 players this hour, the human race does not get a starvation point'. then he removes 1 meat and 2 vedge to represent the 100 humans eating.
Later, at 1300 on day 2 there are still 100 humans still alive and the humans have not found any more food. There is only 1 meat and 1 vedge in the human food supply, i.e. enough to feed only 75 humans.
The mods don't say 'there only enough to feed 75 of the remaining 100 humans, so 75 are fed and the other 25 get a starvation point'
This creates all kinds of issues such as; which players starve? who gets to decide that? why? And all of the player resentment you are worried about.
Instead, the mods say 'there is not enough food to feed all 100 players this hour. Therefore, the human race gets a starvation point'. he will then remove what food there is in the supply, representing the humans attempting to ration out what is left, but it is not enough to sustain them. They (as a race) get a starvation point and the food supply is reduced to zero. if the human race already had 9 starvation points, and this was the 10th, the humans have failed to out-last the zombie hoard and starve. The zombies win. The game ends.

In the above example, the humans haven't exactly done very well, but it is also the mod's responsibility to make sure that there is enough food in the game that staying alive shouldn't be all that hard so long as they actually go on missions and keep a look out for food. Every hour the current food and starvation status is announced to all human players so that, if the situation above happens, the humans have a whole hour to get off their backsides and find some more food. They only needed to find 1 more vedge between 100 players!


If the human food supply is for everyone, then there would be no reason to keep food for yourselves. giving food to the mods benefits EVERY human, while keeping hold of it until later in the game only increases the chance that the entire human race could starve.

I did consider the notion of several small food supplies and splitting the humans into smaller groups who each had to manage their own supply, and it did mean that the zombies couldn't just camp outside the site of the only supply to catch humans bringing in food. However i could only see this being harder to manage and with several disadvantages. The groups of humans would act like individual teams in competition with each other. What happens when one group of humans starves, do they get removed or become zombies? When human numbers reduce then teams would have to merge, as the teams would by then probably resent each other, how is this managed? As you said, human teams/groups are, and should be loose groups who naturally form over the game and who is in what group shouldn't be controlled by the mods.

I do take the point of zombie starve timers. If experience has shown that removing them makes a better game in most circumstances then I will probably keep it out of my game as well.

Maybe this would still be too hard for a human team to accomplish. maybe 1 meat should feed 100 and vedge feed 50, only actually trying this out a few times will find the right balance. As I have said, finding food should be considered more of a side-quest for humans. it should be easy enough that they have time for plenty of other missions with different rewards but the penalty for ignoring the food situation is very steep.

Post Merge: June 15, 2012, 06:15:19 AM
I have just re-read my original entry entry and my description of the 'food' rule and I have realized that it is actually quite ambiguously written.

When I mentioned the humans using up 1 meat or 2 vedge per hour, it does sound like I could mean '1 meat or 2 vedge per human'. This is actually meant to read as the cost of feeding the entire human race for 1 hour, not individual players. Then I mentioned food feeding a set number of players, so that initially the food requirement for the human race would be quite large, but then would scale down as the humans took casualties.

Again, individuals do not get starvation points. The human race gets starvation points representing their overall success at finding food.

I shall en-devour to re-write the rule so that this is much more clear.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 06:20:29 AM by Enigmal » Logged
JPRoth1980


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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2012, 07:22:10 AM »

After reading your response, I have to say, I dislike this idea immensely and do not believe it will add anything but frustration to your game.

While I know the game is at best an abstraction, a human can survive being underfed (or even going without food) for more than 10 hours.  It would be incredibly frustrating to go to class/work and starve in that time.  Even more ironic, humans already have to deal with food--Zeds can always tag them as they are heading to/from meals, making food (not Food) already a pretty difficult resource to manage.

The concept of starving to death during dinner is somewhat humorous, however.

Additionally, it creates a simple "I Win" button for the Zeds--guard evey piece of Food during the daytime and call it a game.  Sure, the Humans will likely get some of them, but let's face it, from your outline, the following situations are punished equally:

-176 Humans gather enough Food to feed 175.
-176 Humans gather enough Food to feed 0.

In actuality, if you know that you cannot gather enough Food to feed the entire population, it is better to not bring any in, gain the starvation point, and try again the next hour.  Otherwise resources are wasted.  Additionally, there appears to be no method of buying off starvation points, meaning that if you didn't have enough Food on Day 1, three days of gluttony won't help with the gnawing pains in your stomach.

Therefore, from the standpoint of a pure Zed victory, all that needs to happen is, somewhere around say Day 3, the Zeds get out in number and group around every Food they find, meat, veg, whatever.  Anything that can be moved is.  By the time the sun sets, all the Humans have starved and it's good game, guys.

The real reason I dislike this mechanic, though, is because you are using mission rewards to get around it.  The very fact that you think going on a mission (which, mind you, not everyone is going to be able to do) is worth two hours of not having to deal with your new rule shows just how much of a Scrappy Mechanic it is.

"Hey, Humans, if you guys jump through X hoops and lose Y% of your population, I'll give you a one-seventh of a day's reprieve from my new rules!"  Doesn't that just sound like fun?  Wink
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Enigmal


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« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2012, 09:48:03 AM »

I get your point. It is true that the more you make each food item worth (e.g. 1 meat = 100 players fed) the more frustrating it is when you have 1 extra player, or even 10 extra players if food is worth so much.

I see that your main concern is that, as the rules are currently written, having enough food will be much too difficult for the human side. The numbers I came up with, such as food is consumed once per hr, 10 starvation points = dead, were plucked from thin air without much context, having never hosted a game before.

The rule could easily changed to, food is consumed once per 2hrs, or even 6hrs, instead of hourly, or change it to three set 'mealtimes' e.g. 0800 'breakfast', 1300 'lunch', 1800, 'dinner'
As discussed, you can adjust the amount of people that each food item feeds.
The food supply could easily be carried over to the next hour instead of being reset to zero if there is not enough. The original rule is intentionally a bit harsh as I hadn't considered that it would be all that hard for the humans to get food.
Mods could have a little discretion if the human population is, say, one human too many.
You could increase the number of hours of starvation before death. (As you say, 10hrs is a little abstract)
In my original ruleset (in my first post) there is the ability to pay a cost to 'feast' to buy off starvation points. Exactly what that cost should be I don't know, but I toyed with the idea of it being the normal cost of a regular 'meal' again. (i.e. you pay for an extra meal to banish earlier hunger). The difficulty here is getting a consensus from all the humans that feasting is a good idea. You would need at least a majority vote. Much easier late in the game with only a few players but very hard with 100 players each with their own opinion. I think smart human would see that leaving it until the population is reduced is a sneaky way to get cheaper 'feasts'

Again, the mods will control how much food is in the game and how easy it is to find. It would be their responsibility to make sure that, especially when the human/zombie ratio became very small, the humans would still be able to get hold of food and to make it harder for the zombies to stop them.

It is true that zombies could simply attempt to starve the humans out, which in a way is exactly what they do already. This is the part of the game that I am most worried about, when there could conceivably be enough zombies around to have an eye on every part of the game boundaries and guard all of the food as it arrives. Hopefully that would mean that the zombies were spread too thin and the humans could overcome any one guard duty. They wouldn't have the numbers in any one place to 'hoard'. The humans also wouldn't need as much food to keep going as there would only be a few left, so then some zombies are distracted guarding food while the humans carry out other missions.

I also get the point about doing a shift at work and starving while you're there. Again, my original idea came from basing it around people on vacation, where they would be able to play all day and even all night if they wanted. For a larger or campus game where people have other obligations, increasing the time between 'meals' would make a lot of sense. I also don't expect my game to last longer than 3 days, so 10 daylight hrs becomes quite a large percentage of the total available play time. If you're getting around 15hrs of sunlight per day, 10 hrs is still nearly a quarter of the total daylight game time. In a game expected to last a week or longer 10 hrs would not be enough.

I can only re-iterate that I don't want this to be an all-consuming and increasingly impossible task for human players. I want it to be something that gets humans out and about looking for food, but is balanced so that it is pretty easy to do. The idea is that the humans would have to be pretty neglectful to actually starve. I'm more than happy to adjust or remove any part of it that makes it too difficult and I'm appreciating the feedback that will help me to figure out what to change before the game starts so that I'm not having to adjust rules on the fly.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 10:01:36 AM by Enigmal » Logged
JPRoth1980


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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2012, 11:35:05 AM »

I get your point. It is true that the more you make each food item worth (e.g. 1 meat = 100 players fed) the more frustrating it is when you have 1 extra player, or even 10 extra players if food is worth so much.

It gets even worse if those players are not pulling their own weight, or are largely inactive.  If you are having a fully-immersive 3-day-long game, things are a little different, but under the concept of the "typical" week long game with everyone having classes and/or work and/or a social life, keeping track of active humans is a hassle, and there is nothing stopping someone from just taking their bandana off and dropping off the grid, so to speak.

In a group of, say, 500 people, it wouldn't be surprising to have 20 or so dropouts, and potentially much higher.  Some people are just trying it out, and won't enjoy the game.  Some were pressured in it by friends.  Emergencies will crop up that make people unable to continue.  While we would hope these players would contact a mod, more likely they will merely disappear.  Note:  this happens quite a bit more often with Gs than Humans.

I see that your main concern is that, as the rules are currently written, having enough food will be much too difficult for the human side. The numbers I came up with, such as food is consumed once per hr, 10 starvation points = dead, were plucked from thin air without much context, having never hosted a game before.

If Food is too easy to acquire, it is a pointless errand that provides no real drama or interaction.  If it is too rare, or too heavily-guarded, it becomes a source of contention.  If you're going to have it all over the place, what's the point in having it at all?  Wink

In my original ruleset (in my first post) there is the ability to pay a cost to 'feast' to buy off starvation points. Exactly what that cost should be I don't know, but I toyed with the idea of it being the normal cost of a regular 'meal' again. (i.e. you pay for an extra meal to banish earlier hunger). The difficulty here is getting a consensus from all the humans that feasting is a good idea. You would need at least a majority vote. Much easier late in the game with only a few players but very hard with 100 players each with their own opinion. I think smart human would see that leaving it until the population is reduced is a sneaky way to get cheaper 'feasts'

Absolutely.  The vast majority of Humans are worthless and produce worthless Zombies.  And if starving is an all-or-nothing thing, then the only time players would worry about feasting is when they have a steady supply of Food, Stave-1 Starvation Points, and a small enough group to coordinate and cooperate.

It is true that zombies could simply attempt to starve the humans out, which in a way is exactly what they do already. This is the part of the game that I am most worried about, when there could conceivably be enough zombies around to have an eye on every part of the game boundaries and guard all of the food as it arrives. Hopefully that would mean that the zombies were spread too thin and the humans could overcome any one guard duty. They wouldn't have the numbers in any one place to 'hoard'. The humans also wouldn't need as much food to keep going as there would only be a few left, so then some zombies are distracted guarding food while the humans carry out other missions.

There problem here is that, with enough Zeds, you can simply guard the vegetables (assuming they cannot be carried by Zombies) and move the meat to one central location.  With a substantial portion of their Food source completely inaccessible, guarding the vegetables becomes a lot easier or even downright simple.


I can only re-iterate that I don't want this to be an all-consuming and increasingly impossible task for human players. I want it to be something that gets humans out and about looking for food, but is balanced so that it is pretty easy to do. The idea is that the humans would have to be pretty neglectful to actually starve. I'm more than happy to adjust or remove any part of it that makes it too difficult and I'm appreciating the feedback that will help me to figure out what to change before the game starts so that I'm not having to adjust rules on the fly.

The easiest way to encourage Humans to get out and play is to give them rewards for doing so.  The Food idea is good on paper, but I'd prefer to see there be benefits to gathering it rather than penalties for not doing so.  Carrots rather than sticks.
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Enigmal


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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2012, 11:21:26 AM »

It gets even worse if those players are not pulling their own weight, or are largely inactive.  If you are having a fully-immersive 3-day-long game, things are a little different, but under the concept of the "typical" week long game with everyone having classes and/or work and/or a social life, keeping track of active humans is a hassle, and there is nothing stopping someone from just taking their bandana off and dropping off the grid, so to speak.

In a group of, say, 500 people, it wouldn't be surprising to have 20 or so dropouts, and potentially much higher.  Some people are just trying it out, and won't enjoy the game.  Some were pressured in it by friends.  Emergencies will crop up that make people unable to continue.  While we would hope these players would contact a mod, more likely they will merely disappear.  Note:  this happens quite a bit more often with Gs than Humans.

This was something I was wondering about. I don't think I'd have that problem with a game small enough for me to know everyone and keep track, but for larger games, how do mods keep track of drop-outs? Particularly with regard to a zombie victory, as this occurs when every human is tagged, how can that happen if there are 20 no-shows messing up the numbers? Naturally it shouldn't matter as much with a human victory.

The easiest way to encourage Humans to get out and play is to give them rewards for doing so.  The Food idea is good on paper, but I'd prefer to see there be benefits to gathering it rather than penalties for not doing so.  Carrots rather than sticks.

I agree that human players who have already played a few games seem to get up in arms about any rule change which they feel makes it harder for them. In fact, a great many posts on this site seem to refer to such instances of human complaining. I guess introducing something like this which is much more 'stick' than 'carrot' would leave a particularly bitter taste with some HvZ communities.

I think that this rule would probably only be received well for a game with all/mostly new players, who have never played without it and don't know any different. That's where I intend to use it. I would still need to make sure that the majority of the missions were 'carrot' style and keep food collecting in the background. I want to give humans many reasons to be busy but i don't want them disgruntled.
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PhantomHAMMERZ

Humans Against Malicious Man Eating Raging Zombies

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« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2012, 10:38:03 PM »

Screw this humans have a hard enough time going to the dining hall as it is. Zombies will gain a huge insurmountable advaintage if this is the case no matter how limited missions should happen but the benefits should be things like a easier final mission or 1 maybe two slightly better humans or 1 cured zombie something small like that if humans have to do missions just to survive it would majorly tilt the scales toward the zombies
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