Author Topic: This game is simply unwinnable  (Read 282897 times)

Silver

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This game is simply unwinnable
« on: June 28, 2013, 02:06:33 AM »
And those of you who did win - how many total wins have you achieved? One? Two? Yeah, out of how many attempts? Twenty? Makes sense.


This game isn't about skill and logic, it is simply about sheer luck or bad luck.

Apart from the first clue, finding the rest is simply a matter of luck, and not tactics. And even if you manage to search through 2 houses per day, scouring 14 houses (with multiple stores or factories thrown in) will still not guarantee that you have found all clues before the chopper arrives. And often, the chopper will arrive on the sixth day or even on the fifth day, meaning you'd have to find all clues by only searching 10 houses.


And if this is not enough, it gets even better. Remember that little girl who approaches your group? Yeah, it's game over already at that point. Regardless what you choose to do, her family is going to hunt you down. Kill her? They will massacre your group. Turn her away? They will still massacre your group. And speech skills are absolutely useless because if you manage to convince them that you havent seen her, they will come back 10 hours later no matter where you are on the map  - with better weapons - and take out half your group. And if you don't manage to kill them all, well, they will hunt down the rest of your survivors too.

And fleeing isnt an option either because your survivors will try to break into random buildings and get slaughtered by zombies, not to mention you left all your stuff behind.

Even if you are good at this game by making sure your group is never hungry or infected, always has enough close combat and even ranged weapons and ammo among their inventory, has enough tools and medicine and a secured house, and on top of that, also likes each other, they will all still never make it out alive.

1/5 for this frustrating game. Boy am I glad I paid only 2 bucks for this during a gog.com sale. I pity all those who paid full price and simply wasted 20 or 30 hours of their life trying to win in a game that doesn't let you, no matter how skilled you are. It's all about random events.

Logan and David - for your next patch, I want you guys to include difficulty options in the game. Right now I feel like I am playing on the hardest difficulty, and the only strategy to win the game would be to modify close comat weapons to make the most out of them, and then focus on the strategy of breaching a house, searching 1 time, if no clue turns up, leaving and breaching the next and repeating the process etc, but that will severely deplete food and medicine, not to mention that constantly fighting against zombies will kill the breachers after 5 or 6 houses too.

There should be an Intermediate difficulty where random events start to go in your favor, where more food and ammo turn up, and an Easy difficulty where there are less zombies in the town and you also start with more skilled survivors.

Currently the game has too many factors that can lead your group to failure, from relationship over lack of food, ammo, noise level attracting zombies, random events where you all get owned, to the clock ticking constantly against you. It's not fun when you keep losing over and over, no matter how many of these challenges you successfully master - there's always that one thing that still guarantees that you will lose again.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2013, 02:33:36 AM by Silver »

David

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Re: This game is simply unwinnable
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2013, 07:43:51 AM »
Hello Silver. It's unlikely we'll be putting in difficulty levels, but most of our patches include some kind of 'easing' of the difficulty in some way.

There are a few things you can do to give you an edge, like rolling some high-skilled custom survivors with similar backgrounds. Road Kill is also easier - you're not racing against the clock.


Silver

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Re: This game is simply unwinnable
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2013, 08:18:25 AM »
I heard that roadkill has a time limit too - it's when you get the message that the town was overrun by zombies?

David

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Re: This game is simply unwinnable
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2013, 08:42:54 AM »
No time limit on Road Kill - it ends when you all die or when you choose to drive away. Some players use it as a kind of endless mode as well.

That message you're referring to was a bit ambiguous (it was just a death screen indicating that everyone was dead, not that a time limit was reached) so we changed it a while ago.

CanadianWolvie

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Re: This game is simply unwinnable
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2013, 10:10:04 AM »
I too found the game very frustrating Silver.

Silver

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Re: This game is simply unwinnable
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2013, 11:12:52 AM »
Well that's cool then, David.

In that case, don't you think it would be a good idea to switch the positions of the Rescue and the Roadkill game modes in the select game mode screen?

If Roadkill really is the same game without the time limit, then I think it should be the place new players should start to get a feel of the game and its mechanics and *then* try their hand on the more challenging chopper game mode?

At least for me as a new player, first thing I did was click on the chopper as I figured it should be where one starts at before trying the roadkill mode.

David

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Re: This game is simply unwinnable
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2013, 11:57:56 AM »
Perhaps, yes. We could do a better job of signalling the relative difficulties of the modes. The positioning and order is simply historical (we only had one mode - Road Kill was added later, like another chapter).

nogwart

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Re: This game is simply unwinnable
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2013, 12:53:56 AM »
I'm another who recently purchased Zafehouse Diaries from GOG, and just wanted to add my voice of agreement to this thread that the difficulty does seem a bit high. 

First, let me be clear that I LOVE the game concept/idea/gameplay and very much hope that the devs continue listening to feedback from players, and subsequently making updates based on said feedback.  The fact that the devs respond at all is greatly appreciated and highly respected!

That said, I've only played a handful of games so far, and have lost every one quite miserably (no more than 2 houses secured, 5 houses breached).  I believe I now understand the basic gameplay mechanics well enough to keep trying, and I will.  But, the randomness (bad luck) of zombie attacks/kills seems unreasonably high.  If that could be made an adjustable setting (zombie attack frequency), I believe the game could be a great deal more fun (winnable).

I've heard others suggest a removal of the time limit and I whole-heartedly agree that this type of option would make the game much more enjoyable.  But, based on the last few comments, I might just try switching to RoadKill to see if that helps me.

One "strategy" I haven't tried yet, is to save the game after every turn (hour), and if the subsequent hour turns out badly, reload and try again.  If events are randomized per turn, this will most probably get me much further towards success, but it is a tactic I don't really like having to use.




mishmaster5000

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Re: This game is simply unwinnable
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2013, 06:10:29 AM »
Honestly, I think the issue with this game is as apparent on these forums as it is in the game; nothing is simple. (Seriously, guys. What the hell is going on with it taking 5 minutes to post something? Captchas, and two different quiz questions?)

In a good simulation, the player always feels as though they have some control over the world -- the game world can be hostile, or it can be benevolent, but ultimately, there's something you can do to prevent being turned on by it. In this game, it feels more like I'm playing some sort of diabolical game of chess, where every turn, something goes wrong, and it's not my fault.

For example; I have five survivors to start with. I commission two of them, both from similar backgrounds, to scavenge for supplies; they end up hating each other for no reason.

I commission two people to start barricading -- almost immediately, zombies begin coming. This is with the 'quiet' setting on the barricades. So, now I'm stuck. I send the police officer out to deal with two zombies - he dies.

Fair enough. Now, one person is modifying a screwdriver. He's taking a very long time to do so, and the barricades are still unfinished, and now there's noone on top, keeping watch. (Although, you'd assume these people would have the common sense to lock the doors, and close the windows, but apparently not.)

By now, the two people scavenging for supplies despise each other, and get into a fight, wounding one another. I decide to investigate a local bar, to try to curb being destroyed -- as soon as I breach and kill the zombies inside, it's surrounded by a horde of 7 zombies. I rush three survivors with baseball bats in to take care of business, and everyone dies.

The issue with this game is that, in its' current state, I have no control over the game. It plays itself, and I'm just reading what happens -- rather than my choices meaning anything, most of them hold solely drawbacks, without any sort of viable benefit to choosing any of them. There's no use in going anywhere, since entering any structure has a 50/50 chance of killing my survivors. There's no use in staying cooped up, and fortifying the hold, since my survivors begin to hate each other, and zombies instantly surround any barricaded structure, no matter how stealthy you are.

The game is a great concept, but as of yet, there's no fun to be found. Sorry, guys.

Silver

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Re: This game is simply unwinnable
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2013, 05:47:23 AM »
WOHOO I FINALLY MADE IT! :) :) :)

The game was pretty nice and easy this time, I managed to save 4 out of 5 survivors from the school when the rescue chopper arrived, but only because several hours earlier the mob had visited us and demanded us to release one to them - thankfully a survivor everyone else didn't like that much.

Nevertheless, I managed to keep all my survivors liking or at least bring friendly with each other till the end, by making use of rumors only when a dotted line became red (rumors are limited, keep that in mind).

I also had the luck that I started the game on a Friday morning and the rescue chopper arrived on a Friday evening, giving me MORE than 7 days' worth of time.

However, I did spend almost 24 hours hunkered down at the school (rescue location), so the chopper arriving 1 day earlier would have also allowed me to win the game.


The tactic I employed was simple: break into a house with EVERYONE, have (according to priority) 1st person search, 2nd person clean corpses (to scavenge ammo), 3rd person prepare a meal if there is a possibility - or have this person help clean up corpses with 2nd person if there are more than five, 4th person modify CLOSE COMBAT weapons or barricade quietly (unless I wanted this location to be a SECURED location, in which case I let them barricade loudly) and the 5th person either watch for zombies, or help barricade if I wanted the location secured. Watching for zombies isnt that useful, because even when your group is unprepared they still manage to kill any zombies that break in. The greatest danger of survivors dying is when you are breaching locations, so watching for zombies isnt really a priority, especially if that person is also good at barricading or there are a lot of corpses to clean.

Some other useful tips:

- Barricading loudly will attract zombies, but if you barricade effectively, they will only end up clawing at barricades instead of breaching in. And those that manage to, will give your cleaners a steady influx of ammo.

- You need to search 3 houses per day otherwise you will not win the game. So once you have a healthy supply of 4 star close combat weapons going (thanks to modifications), grab a flashlight, some ranged weapons and if you have carrying capacity left, fill the space with bandages and painkillers and breach the next house.

- Take a mop or frying pan with you to speed up cleaning and/or preparing meals in the new location, if you still have space left.

- Search ONCE. If there is a clue in that building, the game will make sure you will find it during the 1st search. If you didnt find a clue, and don't really need anything, STOP SEARCHING, DONT WASTE TIME AND MOVE TO THE NEXT HOUSE.

- You shouldn't barricade every house you break in to - rather, have your other guys clean up corpses to scavenge ammo or investigate other houses to give them something to do.

- If your group is heavily armed and you want to breach a house you have not visited yet, don't waste an hour to investigate it first. Houses usually have 10 or less zombies, while the big locations have anywhere from 15 to 40.

- If your group is heavily armed and you still feel insecure about breaching a building you have not visited yet, then ASSAULT it. Assaulting a building for the first time also gives you the same information in your diary as investigating it would do - except your survivors now bash all zombies loitering outside.

- To speed up barricading (and avoid inventory confusion), right click on every item in a location that you do not need. It will be broken down into barricades and scrap.

- Don't waste time trying to upgrade all weapons

- Generally speaking, you should find 1 clue per day to ensure that you will get picked up, with the radio, its frequency and the location being the three most important clues. If you havent found the two time clues (military time and whether it will be at day or at night) dont worry - you can just wait it out at the rescue location. If you have found the clue that mentions the street, but not the building, save your game and try each building on that street - if you know you aren't at the location when the chopper "will be gone within the hour", exit to menu and load your last save as otherwise your game ends and you lose your entire save with no way of retrieving it.

- Avoid assaulting the big buildings unless you absolutely have to. They simply are not worth it.

Hope these tips help make your next game easier and hopefully get you rescued.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2013, 08:53:48 AM by Silver »

jdubs860

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Re: This game is simply unwinnable
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2013, 04:31:33 AM »
I thought it was pretty tough too until I figured out the easiest way to win now I win every time.

some other tips:

- the ONLY clue you need is the location of the pick up. Once you find where it is, breach the place. set up barriers and traps make it your base. Now all you have to do is keep quiet and not run out of food!

- Trading with the shopping cart lady is always a good idea

- Doesn't matter what you do with the girl the family will always come. She usually has a clue or radio with her so never tell her to leave. Fight the family the first time they show up. I have never had them actually kill anyone on me doing that.

- Make a couple of custom jobs with useful skills. Adding more to the pot means you are less likely to get stuck with 3 useless musicians

noone

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Re: This game is simply unwinnable
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2013, 04:59:39 PM »
I like the idea of the game and I even like the mechanics and graphics... I just really really hate the difficulty. I've played my share of rogue-likes and I don't mind their difficulty, but for some reason I really mind the difficulty on this game so much that I've been looking for cheats, trainers or anything to make it less frustrating. Maybe it's because unlike rogue-likes there's a lot more details with the text of the game... i'm not sure, but I really wish that this game had the option of being easier. When I think about it all the roguelikes I've played recently have a difficulty level as well. (To give better perspective, after an 8-12 hour work day, the last thing I want is the impression of an unwinnable game)

The only other thing I don't really like is that I don't know how people can rest up even though they've been idle for a whole day or more without injuries but they're still "tired" or "flagging"

Logan

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Re: This game is simply unwinnable
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2013, 06:17:09 PM »
Hey noone,

If survivors don't engage in any activities at all (including moving) then they shouldn't get tired for some time.

That said, resting is more a reflection of the natural need to sleep, regardless of activity, so even if someone spends their days doing nothing, they can't stay awake forever and will need to rest eventually.

noone

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Re: This game is simply unwinnable
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2013, 01:51:48 AM »
Hey noone,

If survivors don't engage in any activities at all (including moving) then they shouldn't get tired for some time.

That said, resting is more a reflection of the natural need to sleep, regardless of activity, so even if someone spends their days doing nothing, they can't stay awake forever and will need to rest eventually.

My issue is that when someone is tired, I know of no sure way to get them rested. They just stay tired or flagging even thought they've been idle for over 24 hours. I'm not sure this makes a lot of sense especially when I have people assigned for watch and the building is secure and quiet.

Re: This game is simply unwinnable
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2013, 06:23:53 AM »
They only sleep automatically when they get exhausted, I think, so even my tired survivors go on raids if they have to. Never went for the hotel, but you could always go with that option if you like your characters well rested all the time.

Though if you complain about difficulty generally, I would recommend the police station because of the huge weapon/ammo supply ;)
Secure/Fortify a house at the beginnings and then aim for the station by saving up 9mm ammo, quarrels if you have a crossbow and modificated close-combat weapons. Once secured, get all of your stuff from the previous base over there and fortify. If there are too many zombies outside, you will have to kill them by assaulting from a different location or by sniping/patrolling.

« Last Edit: July 13, 2013, 06:27:40 AM by The Coughing Man »

 

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