Getting Nitpicky

Talk about Sarah's upcoming game in the Rebuild series.

Getting Nitpicky

Postby Darth Revan » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:45 pm

So if you'll indulge my more nitpicky side for a moment, it seems a bit illogical to me that if I build what seems to be an entire apartment building, only 2 survivors can be housed in it. For that matter, if we were to go by real world logic, I could stuff about 30 survivors in a warehouse couldn't I? It's not a major problem at all, easily something I can ignore, but maybe inserting a bit of hints as to just how banged up the city is can fix it. Maybe there's hazardous materials in one building and only one apartment's safe for habitation, maybe the building is half collapsed and only one room looks serviceable... maybe the warehouse is stuffed to the risers with corpses and you're afraid to let anyone live there, so that's why you can't do anything with the square. And maybe when you build an apartment, it's just a little banged up rectangle of metal that can be made somewhat serviceable for human habitation in text (Of course making the art reflect all of these changes would be way too much work for something so small).
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Re: Getting Nitpicky

Postby Ophryon » Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:17 am

This bugged me a bit in Rebuild 2 as well. It requires some suspension-of-disbelief that you could have a Suburb next to a Motel, Trailer Park and Apartment and say they each can only hold the same number of two people. The abstract art helps me go with flow on this one but I wouldn't mind seeing it tweaked a little.

I agree with Darth Revan that this can be largely addressed in the written description, even if it's as simple as instead of "room for 2" or "home for 2" writing something like "2 salvaged homes".

For the Suburb, the text is fine since the art only shows two houses; however, could we please change the name Suburb to Residences or Houses? To me, suburb more accurately describes the entire map. It always seemed strange that the only artwork to correctly match the 2-house description was named after something larger than all the other buildings.

And as long as I'm spitballing...would you consider removing Apartment from the build list and replacing it with Houses (aka Suburb)? It seems strange to demolish a one-story office and replace it with a two-story building. But it would make sense that you could turn any structure into two smaller Houses.

Sorry if this has gone off the rails for an alpha suggestion. Maybe this thread will be a good place for all of us to vent these little nagging things we're dying to mention. :)
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Re: Getting Nitpicky

Postby Chah » Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:40 am

It also bugged me in Rebuild 2 when the capacity of buildings were leveled, and apartment buildings couldn't house many people anymore.

I liked how in Rebuild 1, you could capture an apartment, create a population explosion by recruiting the heck out of surrounding squares, then try to make up for the food imbalance with temporary stopgap measures such as scavenging, while waiting for the development of more permanent food sources like farms to catch up. That made for some dynamic gameplay.

Rebuild 2 balanced things in a different way. What's good about the Rebuild series is that it forces you to expand in order to survive, not just hole up, but expanding also causes different problems as your city gets bigger. That really creates an interesting process of development. Before, the game forced you to expand for food, but in Rebuild 2 the people could feed themselves better. By working on farms or scavenging for scraps repeatedly, your guys could usually feed themselves and one other person. Recruiting lots of people was not a big risk anymore. It felt like the housing capacity was lowered in compensation, to force you to expand for living space instead of food.

Overall, I didn't like the Rebuild 2 style as much. It felt like a way to ensure the game progresses at the same even pace every game, with less potential for dynamic play such as a population explosion followed by desperate scavenging missions of big stores.
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Re: Getting Nitpicky

Postby Ophryon » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:34 am

Oh, that's very interesting. I never played Rebuild 1 so I had no idea that the Apartment at one time did have higher capacity.
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Re: Getting Nitpicky

Postby spacemonkey » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:02 am

Yeah this is something that has bugged me a bit as well. Part of it would come down to the description as it does depend on how many salvageable/reclaimable units would be available but you would think it might be easier to fix up a bunch of small apartments over one average size house. As I mentioned in my original feedback post, it would be nice if apartments could offer a higher capacity (3 or maybe 4) and maybe a slight defense bonus; alternatively, maybe apartments capacity could increase as certain technology is researched (running water would allow for better sanitation making for greater use out of an apartment over a house). Another nitpicky thing that has bugged me about apartments is that the survivors choose build these labor and resource intensive structures over simpler houses/hovels or a tent village. :|
Last edited by spacemonkey on Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Getting Nitpicky

Postby davea » Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:32 pm

spacemonkey wrote:alternatively, maybe apartments capacity could increase as certain technology is researched (running water would allow for better sanitation making for greater use out of an apartment over a house).

That is a great idea! I am not sure if this is in the planned tech tree. But I could easily see that in an apocalypse, nobody would want to haul water up to / waste down from a higher apartment floor. So a tech like "running water" could have the specific effect of raising the available space of an apartment from 2 to 3 (or 4 or whatever).
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Re: Getting Nitpicky

Postby Ophryon » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:23 pm

It would be fun if all the living spaces could be upgraded with different tech requirements and capacities to give them unique flavor. Here is some brainstorming for a housing system overhaul:

    Bio-Hazard Cleanup (requires Fort Policies) +1 Home to Trailer Park and Houses. Makes Motel safe to inhabit, providing 3 Homes.

    Structural Repairs (requires Car Battery Power for tools) +1 Home to Houses and Motel. This plus the above makes Apartment safe to inhabit, providing 4 Homes.

    Sanitation (requires Water Filtration building) +1 Home to Motel and Apartment. Health/Happiness to all abodes.

    Running Water (requires Sanitation and Power plant) +1 Home to Apartment.
This makes the final max capacities:

    Trailer Park: 3
    Houses: 4
    Motel: 5
    Apartment: 6
So the Motel and Apartments are more valuable in the long run but it takes time and resources to get there.

If additional gameplay balance is needed, then amounts of materials needed for each could be tweaked. The only problem I see is the explosion of capacity in larger cities when multiple properties upgrade at once. But it would make smaller cities a viable option if you're going for a victory condition other than pure expansion.

(I see there are Power Plants and Water Filtration among the new buildings, so maybe Sarah already has something planned.)
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Re: Getting Nitpicky

Postby Darth Revan » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:28 am

As it is, when you get to the late game, capacity can explode anyway. I beat the game with 20 more spaces left for survivors (And by beat the game I mean completely cleared the map of ALL zombies and reclaimed every square), and that's before I converted my parks and rubble to apartments because my food was already overflowing. And really it makes sense for that to happen, when you get to the point where zombies are a nuisance rather than a threat. So the capacity explosion doesn't seem like a major drawback to me.
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Re: Getting Nitpicky

Postby Will It Work » Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:50 am

I always figured housing units should just cost more to build or reclaim.

Obviously, Game Logic and damage abstraction mean that an entire apartment block isn't as useful as it could be, but honestly, they should be rare, unbuildable, and valuable. Like those power and water plants. I don't think people will be making I-beams in Rebuild-world, and most of the scrap metal would be going towards the wall.

That said, I like the idea of techs having effect on the housing conditions, and probably the building wheel will get more complete. Submenus, maybe? I could see a single shanty house taking the place of ‘suburbs’ and fitting two people.

Darth Revan: how big was your city? I had a huge city, captured 150-ish blocks, still had a little bit to go, and game crashed on day 267.
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Re: Getting Nitpicky

Postby Llapgochmaster » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:56 am

I agree that building apartments seems like an awful stretch for a band of Mad Maxers. I'd hope that in the final release we'd have something like a Shanty Camp (1 colonist?) as the default build-housing-from-ruins option. Tech advances could stretch the value of those initial buildings (maybe sanitation gives +20% to capacity across the board? Adding +1 to each would be a huge leap) but later on you'd probably want to tear down the shanty towns and put up superior crude housing (requires power, tools, sanitation, and maybe a fort policy). If the art budget (for shanty town, crude house, burnt-out apartment, etc.) permits, it would be pretty cool to kick back and enjoy the contrast between your MacGuyvered rebuilt civilization and the more sophisticated but dead remains of the past beyond your perimeter.

Re: apartments it seems hard to argue that they should be rare as they're pretty ubiquitous in the urban landscape. But perhaps just increase the proportion of ruined buildings to buildings in usuable condition? An apartment building in great shape could be as enticing as a super-bonus-resource square is/was in Civilization and house, say, 10 colonists to start with. You might be willing to bee-line across the map for such a prize, abandoning sub-par territory behind you as you go. I'm in favour of anything of this nature that can heterogenize the game board and make colony planning more exciting and strategic.
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