The state of Decay 2 is all about zombies and resources. A new interview reveals the placement of the zombies and the resources throughout the game.
“Containers where loot can be procedurally populated are placed by hand, but no loot drop itself on any location is ‘hand placed.’” Brian Giaime, State of Decay 2 systems designer told Gamasutra. “Every time we generate a map, a variety of items and resources and loot and vehicles are distributed according to this process."
“Say for example that across the whole map, we want to drop, say 25 normal melee weapons. These aren’t guaranteed to show up in certain sites, but are instead distributed procedurally across all sites, into containers whitelisted to make sense dropping items of certain implied physical sizes which make sense for them.”
As told by the gameplay engineer Jason Hail the zombies that will hurdle the player’s way to the resources are placed by a special system used by Undead Labs.
“We have several systems that contribute to the on-going, ambient zombie population in the world of State of Decay 2,” Hail said. “The largest one of these is the Ambient Population Manager. Not surprisingly for an open world zombie game, this was one of our earliest prototypes when we started working in Unreal Engine 4. It has evolved continuously over the entire development process, keeping flexibility and rapid experimentation as our highest priorities.”
“Full-fledged zombies don’t exist everywhere in the world at all times, since that would be a waste of resources,” Hail said. “Instead, we only spawn zombies as you move into a new unpopulated area, or kill existing zombies in your current location. As you leave the area, we reduce most zombies to a 'probability cloud.’”