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Pacing the game flow

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Jarec
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Joined: 12/27/2013

Hello all!

This is actually my first "real" post at the forums. I had in mind to make a bigger post about all problems with my project, but since I've just scrapped a whole lot of stuff, this'll do for now.

So basically my game is set in the old wild west, but with zombies (yeeehaaaw... :( how mighty original).
I draw heavy inspiration from Left 4 Dead and Doom the board game, but have it on a hex mat (I LOVE hexes).
I got a fat decks of loot, different skills and evil enemy stuff.

Now the real problem for me is that because I do have a free form hex mat and dynamically summoned enemies and encounters, I can't seem to "force" the players to do the mission at hand. Usually they just wonder where ever there is killing to do.
I've also made it worse for myself by wanting this concept of "there's always zombies in play, they're usually a minor threat, so please ignore them". But since players need loot to operate better, they go for the main source of it, and since there's always more zombies the circle is never ending.

I feel that setting just a time limit is too binary and limiting, and so now I'm trying to form up a system that's summoning creatures in intervals.

So the real question is that is there a "golden rule" of how much there should be time for barraging the players with enemy threats, and how long should they have to recuperate, in turns and in the whole game in general? How many waves of enemies should I have the players to deal with before the mission is over?

I also would like help for mission design. Since all my brain power goes to the internal working of the game, almost all of my play tests have been boring and monotonous battle testing, with one dumb mission I scratched together.
I need more engaging missions!

Pure Stats
Pure Stats's picture
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Joined: 01/07/2014
Zombie Strength

I hope this helps a little bit.

If "there's always zombies in play, they're usually a minor threat" this is good if there is only one or two of them. increasing the number of enemies can be a good thing. Is there a way to add an overwhelming amount of Zomibies to "push or force" your players toward the main source or goal. Then with that goal they can more easily defeat the zombies. This could also help with your engaging missions.

donut2099
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Joined: 01/09/2014
I'm pretty much the king of

I'm pretty much the king of procrastinating . Your players may feel that they are having fun killing Zombies and why go to the trouble to complete the mission when I can stand here and collect Zombie scalps and shotgun shells? What they need is a motivation to get up and go to work in the morning, likely something really bad that's going to happen if they don't. Time / turn limit before the evil trail boss takes over the orphanage and turns all the kids into Zombie cowhands for his cattle-drive of evil. I don't know. Make sure that there is zombie killing along the way if that's what players want to do anyway. Just my thoughts.

baberahamlincoln
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Joined: 08/28/2012
Zombies!

A few ideas -

What if the little zombies didn't pay out any / much / significant loot, or if there was a limit on the amount of loot they pay out?
What if for each zombie that was killed, two replaced it, creating an incentive to only kill those zombies that you really needed to?
What if there was a chance that each zombie killed could come back if there were other zombies near it, or something like that?

So, I guess all of these ideas are tied to changing the cost / benefit of killing low threat zombies - either reducing the benefit (crappy loot), or increasing the cost (needing to spend bullets / increasing the threat level).

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