• Register

Survival City is a strategy-simulation roguelike game for PC set in a zombie apocalypse. Players must lead their survivors to safety while managing their survival needs. Each character is unique with their own personality, traits and highly varied appearance. Will your group escape the city, or will they join the countless others who did not...

Post news Report RSS Developer's Log #4: Scarcity

A discussion on the effect of lowering initial stats to increase item scarcity.

Posted by on

Scarcity


Let's talk about scarcity. For almost the entire development of Survival City, the starting stats have remained virtually untouched. Health, Sanity and Capacity started at 5, while Melee, Firearms and Search were at 1. Several weeks before the release of the demo, something occurred to me while trying to find the right game balance. The starting "weeks" of each playthrough were all about amassing a stockpile of resources which would be slowly drained as the group's demands increased. This approach especially didn't work for the demo as the player was never truly in any danger of running out of anything in the first month.

One solution I considered was to rebalance the drop rates for T1 locations, but this would also require adjusting all succeeding tiers to coincide with that. The answer I choose turned out to work much better; I decided to lower the starting survivor Capacity to 3. While T1 locations would still drop the same amount of items, the player had to decide which of these items to bring back and which to leave behind. The amount of resources that could be obtained early on was given a soft cap that created a real opportunity for decision making.

Another unintended result of having lower Capacity was it encouraged multiple survivors to pair up on searches. Before in the early game, it was more Health efficient to send out solo survivors who would come back with loads of stuff. Now in order to bring back all available loot, players would need to upgrade Capacity earlier, or have multiple survivors go. Ideally, I imagine that survivors will take on specialized roles (Searchers, Fighters, etc) and encouraging them to group up allows that to take place sooner.

So those are some thoughts on scarcity and how survivor Capacity got lowered after years of always starting at 5.

Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.

Follow Report Profile
Icon
Survival City
Platforms
Windows
Developer
Phirez Studios
Engine
Unity
Contact
Send Message
Release date
Game watch
Follow
News
Browse
News
New
Post news
Report
Report
Views
21 (1 today)
Share
Related Games
Survival City
Survival City Roguelike
Related Engines
Unity
Unity Commercial
Related Groups
Phirez Studios
Phirez Studios Developer