Experiments with the zombie virus!

We have been experimenting with a faster effect of the zombie attacks – direct turning during combat or shortly after. The results need some tuning but they certainly add an interesting twist to any battle versus the undead. Here’s a capture of a test scenario where a boxing match between some FBI agents and a bunch of zombies ended up with a few KOs on the agent side and one of them turning over to the red team.

As more communities fall victim to the zombie horde, you might even encounter some undead wearing body armor. The goofs in the above scenario are (were) simple drunkards who managed to shoot themselves trying to see if kevlar can really withstand a bullet. They have no extra magical powers, but the mere fact that they can’t be killed with a single headshot makes them extremely dangerous.

Main campaign (responsive map changes)

Your deeds along the way will determine the fate of the survivor groups camped out around Urban. Some will become your friends and later allies, opening up their base and storages for your party, others will decide to go a different route and make it on their own when the horde comes. The local firefighters are a good example – if you fail to get them on your side they’ll go into “Alamo” mode, fortifying their station roof for a last stand. How well that works for them remains to be seen when you’ll get there yourself.

RPG upgrades: dialogue checks (faction, attributes)

We have been re-writing, optimizing, native proofreading and enhancing our RPG constantly. One of the new implements that was on the to-do list and we badly wanted to have was checks in dialogue – with relevant consequences.

Faction affinities of your recruitables will allow you to discover hidden dialogue options with relevant information about ongoing scenarios because. A friendly face tends to loosen up the tension so the NPCs encountered might be more willing to divulge their secrets to someone with a common background. If that doesn’t work, you can always try bribing them with a few gold molars you’ve delicately pulled off the zombies you’ve just killed, but that might make things worse i(f you’re dealing with a certain cult that worships the undead for sure it will).

Combine the above with the new skills checks for intelligence and/or strength that will allow you to use either the sharpest mind or the biggest fists in your group to persuade the locals. Do a good job at that and you might get access to new quests and alternative solutions to solving conflicts. Killing everyone is no longer necessary and that comes with the added bonus of sparring the ammo for the fights that matter. Just be ready to feed the new batch of refugees you’ve saved and sent home (they tend to forget easily you’re their hero if you keep them on an empty stomach for too long; then it’s game over).

Multi-layered encounter setups

We have added a new layer of experiences for those traveling around Urban. These dynamic encounters might seem trivial, but instead of being one-off events, your actions will actually leave a mark. True, these will not be stuff that will make or break your campaign, but they will reveal and underline the consequences of your choices: kill a few smugglers, you’ll later encounter their hungry family looking for help. Let these wander off and die, next time you’ll find them turned into a pack of zombies.

Attributes and Perks (continued)

In the previous post we have revealed a few of the details regarding the progression system. We mentioned letting our brave sheriff, Billy Bo, take a few punches in the head if you want to grow his Endurance. Since people requested more details about the progression system, lets take a new scenario, improving Strength. If you want to beef up Billy, there’s a classic solution everyone used in JA2, aka making sure he’s the de facto mule of the group. Yes, he will be in pain and probably moan about it a lot, but just tell him pain is your friend. Eventually he’ll grow the muscles to carry all that weight around and you can start training him to wield a real man’s weapon – the giant sledgehammer, without worrying he’ll faint when he tries to lift it. You can already guess where this system is going with the rest of the skills. Want to level up his Dexterity? Use that screwdriver to assemble a lot of contraptions or just shank a lot of undeads.

When an attribute reaches a certain threshold considered internally as “expert” level (we mentioned 75 in the previous post, but that number is of course subject to balancing), the game will start assessing your playstyle in more detail. That is when you’ll want to specialize. You want to have a rooftop sniper in the team? Whenever it is possible, send him or her to fight from an elevated position (at least 2 meters off ground level) and the experience will add up to a nice bonus. Of course, you can snipe from rooftops when you suck at aiming too, but it will only improve your base attribute because calling yourself a specialist implies you first acquired some actual expertise.

New armor permutations

Since some of our buddies in Urban were not exactly standard fit when it came to clothing and armor, we had to go through all the armor pieces and make them tailored to extreme sizes too. Even those built like a bear, like our pal Novak, can now sport a nice set of protective gear. Shown here in both army and makeshift pieces of armor.

Until next time, merry holidays and a Happy New Year!

From the bottom of our heart, thank you all for coming all for this incredibly exciting ride. Just know that we read all your posts, discuss your feedback, understand your worries and work as hard as we can to deliver the most awesome Urban Strife we can make (and as soon as that is possible). Let’s hope 2024 will be the year when everyone’s best wishes become true!