Part I: What are the Zombies?
The zombies would look like normal people, except that they would have dark green skin and glowing white eyes (eyes so bright, that you can see them in the dead of night), as so:
Obviously, they would come in every shape, size and gender built into the game.
In terms of coding, I am currently unsure if these zombies could be spawned into the game as a modified prisoner, modified visitor, or a new entity altogether.
Part II: Spawning
One way that zombies will spawn on your map is from the outer boundaries of the map. As the game exists now, we cannot construct anything on the boundaries of our map. I propose that in this mod, it changes to 5 spaces to act as a buffer zone for the zombies. This would prevent players from just building an outer wall up to the edges of the map to keep out zombies. We still get to have the space that we usually would be able to build on, it’s just that here, the boundaries extend outwards. (Also, just to help players, the non-building buffer zone would be shaded red, to indicate where they can’t build when building anything). People can still walk into theses buffer zones, but they cannot build anything, so a prisoner still has to walk through the buffer zone and get to the edge of the map and guards can still chase after him/her through it. Below is a representation (Please right click the image and select View Image if it doesn't display properly):
See? Same space to work with, just extending to no build zone outwards. Additionally, when you expand, you still retain the buffer zone.
A second way that zombies spawn is when someone turns into a zombie, which can happen in two ways: anybody killed by a zombie will turn into one after a specified period of time (I have not decided how long until a zombie-killed corpse turns), and any prisoner which is infected with the zombie virus will immediately turn over a period of time. The mechanics of infection and turning will be explained next.
Part III: Infection - how it happens and what it does
When a prisoner is attacked by a zombie, but survives, there’s a chance that the prisoner became infected with a zombie virus. Each punch by a zombie has a chance of infection (I have not decided what the infection chance should be). If prisoners become infected, it will only be a matter of time until they turn.
I’m currently unsure whether or not infection status and progress should be visible to the player, or if they should only be visible sometimes/most of the time, because, in context, some prisoners reveal themselves that they’re infected and some don’t.
In reality, most, if not all people, would refuse to reveal if they were infected with a zombie virus, so right now my best idea is that infection should be made into something like when you find that a prisoner has contraband or has overdosed on drugs. Searching a prisoner may reveal their infection status and give a little icon (in-universe context: searching a body to find a bite), and if they find it, then an icon will be shown and their infection and infection progress revealed. The chance of discovering infection is the same as the chance of finding contraband. Alternatively, prisoners may sometimes reveal their infection the moment they get infected (context: prisoners have obvious bites/scratches or willingly reveal their infection), so you’ll immediately know sometimes, but other times, you have to search prisoners. The icon would look like something as shown:
When a prisoner is infected, mousing over them will show their infection progress if they are known to be infected:
As time goes by, their infection status will increase, regardless if it is revealed you or not, and as it increases, that prisoner will become slower at walking, extremely erratic and volatile, less willing/unwilling to work and will get a drug and/or alcohol need. The moment that infection reaches maximum, they will turn into a zombie on the spot.
Some prisoners may come to the prison already infected. Unless you have a reception to check them the moment they get in, then they might suddenly turn without you noticing, and things might get bad.
There is no way to cure a prisoner’s zombie infection. You can only minimize the impact it has on your prison. Later I will explain the quarantine system. Also, staff will never become infected, and what would be the point if you can just fire and replace staff on the spot if you even think that they’re infected? (In-universe context: staff wear anti-zombie bodywear, but they don’t use it on prisoners.) But staff corpses will still turn if killed by zombies.
Part IV: Turning
Now when a person is killed by a zombie, it will take a short period of time until they turn. When I say killed by a zombie, I mean they their cause of death had to be from a zombie attacking them. After they die, they will have a 100% chance to turn. I am currently debating on how long turning should be, like if it should be 30 minutes or an hour, and if certain circumstances should accelerate how fast it takes for a corpse to turn.
The only way to cancel a corpse’s turning is by bringing it to a morgue slab a hearse (In-universe context: they stab the brain after they bring it to morgue slab or hearse). I want to make it so that zombie-killed corpses need to be taken care of as soon as possible, but allow for zombies to break out in random parts of the prison if you fail to get it there in time.
Unless directly killed by a zombie attacking it, infected prisoners will not turn if killed.
Zombies which turned from prisoners would also gain certain characteristics from the human that they turned from, such as their strength and speed.
I was also thinking that if a human has high suppression or high temperature (angry), then the zombie that they turn into would become permanently aggravated and target the nearest human no matter how far away they are (see next part) until they are killed. This would be a means of keeping players from trying to quarantine infected prisoners in their cell instead of following proper procedures. However, while writing this I thought up a simpler alternative: you will be heavily fined and notified if a prisoner turns instead of going through the correct procedures, i.e. Quarantine system (in-universe context: Allowing a living human to turn into a zombie is a human-rights violation). And too many non-corpse turnings will lead to a Failure Condition.
Part V: Zombie AI, Behavior, and Characteristics
When zombies spawn on the edges of the map, they are in a default passive state. They will randomly shuffle along around the area. Passive zombies will be attracted to nearby gun shots and the growls of an aggravated zombie. Zombies will enter an aggravated state if they get near a human or are attacked by a gun. Aggravated zombies will chase after a human target that they get close to (or a human that shot them) and will take the quickest path to their target and will damage any doors that stand in their way and any object that slows them down. Nothing will tear them from their target except a nearby human with a quicker path. However, if the human target is out of the zombie’s range of detection for an in-game hour and no other human gets close, it’ll lose interest, become passive again, and probably walk away. I am not sure how far to make this range of detection
When zombies are passive, they would have the speed of a prisoner in handcuffs. When aggravated, they have the speed of a normal human. However, as alluded to in the previous part if the prisoner they turned from had a “Quick” or “Extremely Quick” reputation, then the zombie will also have the same quickness.
A certain mechanic that I feel would be necessary is the horde mechanic. When multiple (3 or more) nearby zombies acquire a common target, they will form a horde. Hordes have a sort of hive mind or collective intelligence and will move to and attack and target the same human together. The maximum number of zombies in a horde is 6 zombies. After that, no other zombie will enter that horde, even if a lone zombie and that horde are right next to each other and share the same target.
One features of zombies that I am interested in is a zombie having the ability to tunnel under fences and walls. I am still debating if that should be a feature (I like it since someone can just build a wall all around the prison and have just a single door in and out, but there is the chance that it might make zombies too hard if they can dig under walls), under what conditions they should dig and how fast they should dig. For now, I would want zombies to dig only if they are part of a horde. If they only dig when in hordes, then it can work World War Z style (referencing the scene in the film with the zombies piling up against the wall). A zombie will detect a prisoner in a cell on the other side of the wall and will walk towards it, aggravated. The shortest path would be to tunnel, but due to game mechanics, he can’t dig a tunnel unless he’s in a horde, so he just stands at the wall in an aggravated state. As he stands there, his aggravated moans attract nearby passive zombies, which too become attracted to the prisoner once they get in range. Now having the same target, the zombies form a horde and dig under the wall to get the prisoner, who now becomes dinner. Now with the zombies having a tunnel to get into the prison, every zombie that was drawn to the moans of the first one will start coming to that hole and get aggravated by the smell of the other humans, then they’ll take the tunnel inside the prison and all hell breaks loose.
Alternatively, my initial idea was that a zombie can slowly dismantle walls and fences (like workmen) in their way. The more zombies in the horde, the faster the destruction. It would make sense given most concepts abut zombies and barriers. Same concept as digging, basically, but not sure if it’s a better idea or even possible.
Part VI: Combat
Zombies fight with their punches. (I know, zombies in media usually eat people instead of punch them, but I think punching them will be appropriate for this game.) Their strength would be 30% stronger than a normal human’s. (But if it originated from a strong human, then that zombie will also have a strong trait.) I am considering having zombies also have a deadly trait, but that might be very hard to deal with. The zombies wouldn’t have that much health, allowing them to be disposed of easily in small amounts (unless the zombie turned from a tough human, thereby inheriting the strong trait).
Zombies can be tazed. Tazing a zombie will temporarily stun it like a human (of course, again, unless the zombie has a tough characteristic from its human, then it might need a couple of hits). Therefore, regular guards CAN fight zombies and don’t need guns. I know it may not make sense to stun a zombie with common zombie tropes, but there should be a way for ordinary guards to fight zombies easily, too. A stunned zombie will stay stunned for a short time, a bit longer than how long it takes to kill it with a baton.
Obviously armed guards and snipers will be more proficient at killing zombies with their guns, but their gunshots may attract zombies to them, so they should be used in moderation.
Part VII: Humans and Zombies
All humans besides security staff will absolutely fear zombies and avoid them at all costs, kind of like fire, but a tad more extreme. If a nearby zombie starts coming to them, they’ll run to safety and if they have a task to do that requires you to be near or travel too close to zombies, it’ll be labelled “Too Dangerous.” The outside and unsecured areas of the prison will be treated as Access Only zones, and it would be recommended to have recommended to separate areas near the outside as Access Only.
Prisoners may be more inclined to fight back against zombies if they’re fearless, if there are nearby common gang members being attacked, or if there is no way to get to safety without getting hurt. But they won’t keep try to fight for their gang members if they’re nearing unconsciousness. If prisoners want/need to fight zombies, they will try to grab themselves the closest weapons they can find, be it an item that spawns in the room they are in, or a weapon from the closest room that spawns a weapon, weapons dropped by dead/unconscious guards or even active guards if they are THAT desperate (i.e. so a prisoner might try to break into an armory or beat a guard for his weapon to defend themselves from zombies). If prisoners plan to escape, they will try to tunnel to where there is low threat of being attacked by zombies outside. They will try their best to avoid zombies once they resurface and get to the edge of the map.
Also, I forgot to mention that the number of aggravated zombies on the map, be it inside or outside of the prison, will increase the safety need of the prisoners (and, by the current update, staff as well).
Guards will only try to kill zombies that are near them, so if the guards in an area with zombies died, you would have to manually direct more guards to that area if you want to kill the remaining zombies in that room. Guards will try to the best of their ability to not use guns to kill zombies, unless there are not enough guards to deal with the zombies in an area, so they will ensure that tazers or dogs will be used to kill zombies. Snipers will also never take warning shots on zombies, but they will not shoot them if the ratio of guards to zombie in their range is enough that the chance of people being killed by zombies is low. However, armed guards and snipers will use their guns normally if freefire mode is on. When building outside of the prison, it would be in your best interests to have guards patrol the area around your intended building site.
It will not be pointed out when there’s a zombie in your prison. It will only be pointed out when people start dying, similar to when a fight breaks out but you don’t find out until someone dies, unless it’s a guard getting hurt.
Prisoners will also tend to avoid any contact with infected prisoners, when the status of an infected prisoner is known.
Part VIII: The Quarantine System
I really like my ideas for the Quarantine System so far. It’s sort of like death row. In order to be able to use the system, you need to purchase its upgrade from the “Bureaucracy” tab, which is unlocked after Health and requires a psychologist to research. Unlocking it unlocks quarantine cells and ‘death-acceptance’ classes with the psychologist. I’m currently considering having prisoners automatically assigned to any available quarantine cell the moment that it is discovered that the prisoner is infected, and only infected prisoners can be assigned there. The cell itself will be required to be indoors, 3x3 dimensions, 1 bed, 1 toilet and 1 quarantine door. Not sure if quarantine doors should have special features.
When a prisoner is assigned to a quarantine cell, they will have a percentage of how much they can accept their death compared to how far they are infected. This would be shown in the To-Do List like how they show Death Row Status, and it would be located right under the Death Row Status bullet:
The classes would be a 1-on-1 program with a psychologist which increases how much they can accept their death (kind of like Death Row Appeal, but in reverse where the percentage goes up to 100%). Making them fully accepting of their death allows you to execute them like a death row prisoner with an electric chair. If you fail to get them to accept their death and kill them before they turn, you will be immediately fined and notified. If you kill them before they accept their death, you also get fined and a guilty wrongful execution strike (in the game as it is now, 3 wrongful executions of guilty death row prisoners triggers Failure warning). If your prison is built right, then the turned prisoner might not break out of their quarantine cell and start mayhem throughout the prison.
Prisoner in the Quarantine System also do not participate in the regime, again like death row prisoners, but need to be delivered food.
Part IX: Zombie Outbreaks
Oh, man. This is my favorite part of the mod. A zombie outbreak is the zombie equivalent to a prisoner riot. When 10 zombies and at least 2 hordes exist inside of the secure areas of the prison, then a Zombie Outbreak is made official. When this happens, every zombie on the map instantly become aggravated and target the nearest human. You’ll also be shown where you’re losing control to the zombies similar to then reddening of room in a riot. Riot Police can be used against zombies, so you can call them in in case your security staff can’t stop them.
When a Zombie Outbreak happens for too long (12 hours, you’ll be notified at 6 hours and have stop it in the following 6 hours), you will lose control of your prison to the government and the National Guard rolls in, but instead of any human that doesn’t immediately surrender, they will kill every zombie and known infected human on site.
I’m questioning whether or not corpses would turn faster if killed by a zombie during an Outbreak.
Part X: Miscellaneous
There are two Failure Conditions mentioned in this mod:
- Too many Zombie Turnings: 5 people turning into zombies triggers notice, 3 more leads to failure.
- Uncontrolled Zombie Outbreak: A Zombie Outbreak lasting 6 hours triggers notice, 6 more hours leads to failure and military running through prison, killing all zombies on site and known infected humans.
Infected prisoners will not arrive at your prison until you have 70 prisoners
All vehicles that come to the prison will be equipped with 2 anti-zombie mercenaries that protect people near the car as it is being loaded/unloaded, but do not attract zombies themselves, as to keep deliveries from becoming a risk. They can deal with zombies fine using only batons, but can’t handle angry prisoners too well.
Understand the point of the zombies is that we now have to deal with security both inside and outside of the prison.
In terms of fighting zombies, their main danger is intended to be how fast they multiply, which is why they’re relatively easy to take down on an individual level, otherwise, they’d be too hard to fight.
If you have your own ideas for Grants/Contracts, please discuss them in the comments. Maybe there can be a grant for implementing the Quarantine procedures.
Part XI: Tutorial Scenario
After all of these ideas, I also came up with a scenario (like a campaign mission) that comes with the mod and teaches players how to use the various mechanics of this mod. (P.S. It’s surprising how so few people have come up with a scenario)
*Scene: The CNDC Newsroom*
Anchorwoman: “It’s been 30 years since the grave Zombie Wars and the world today is still trying to deal with the changes it brought to society. Zombie Virus blood tests at intercity transits, chain-link fences surrounding our suburbs, and militarized hospitals. But some of the most difficult changes go into our prison system, which must now deal with two fronts of security: the zombie-infested countryside and the criminal-infested facility. Since the war, prison architects have had to make drastic changes to their dated methodologies of solely securing prisoners from inside. Local and State government have heavily stressed the use of new security methods due to zombies breaking out in pre-war prisons, which led to bloody outcomes with almost no survivors. We will now bring you to the scene of Manryke Prison where we have reporter John Bergen and prison security chief Bill Wigs bringing you how modern prisons manage the threat of the undead.”
*Scene: Manryke Prison, behind front gate*
Reporter: “Thanks, Wendy. Now I’m here with security chief Bill Wigs just behind the front gate, where we currently do not have any zombies looming around this prison. Sir, can you explain to our viewers why this is?”
The Chief: “Yes I can, actually. See as far as the government can explain, zombies do not seem to have interest in this place because we have too few prisoners on site for them to attract attention. According to what the Federal Zombie Department has researched, prisons don’t seem to attract zombies until at least 45 prisoners are at the prison. That’s when they start coming around the area, attracted to the smell of human flesh congregated into a single space in the middle of nowhere. But despite this, we will still try to expand our capacity, just as standard procedure calls us to.”
*Focus on a delivery truck entering the prison*
Reporter: “However, deliveries to the facility arrive on an hourly basis. Isn’t there a risk to that once the zombies appear?”
*Anti-Zombie mercenaries come out of truck as it is being emptied*
The Chief: “Well, our deliverymen also have these zombie-fighting mercenaries to help protect them and the delivery when they get here, so there’s no worry about that. Deliveries never get interrupted, even if the driver has to unload the truck himself. Although, even if these boys can fight zombies, they aren’t worth a damn against an angry prisoner with a shiv.”
Reporter: “I see, so until the prison has 45 prisoners, can we discuss how the staff here is willing to work in what will eventually become a zombie hotspot?”
The Chief: “Of course.”
*Exit scene, enter gameplay view*
Message from the Chief: “We need to make room for at least 40 new prisoners. Increase capacity to 50 and bring in 40 new prisoners. We also need to prepare for the living corpses that’ll start popping around the prison after we hit 45 prisoners. I would HIGHLY recommend you build the cell blocks as designated.”
- Expand Capacity:
- Increase prisoner capacity to 50
- Introduce 40 new prisoners on site
- Expand canteen capacity
- OPTIONAL: Build Cell Blocks in designated zone
- Increase Security:
- Hire 10 new guards
- Assign guards to patrol behind border wall (5)
- Deploy guards around prison
Reporter: “Ah, I see the undead menace have arrived, just as you predicted they would. Although despite their usual aggravated state, they seem to be pretty passive. Any explanation as to why, Mr. Wigs?”
The Chief: “It’s pretty common. Until a person gets near them, they won’t be a threat to anyone. But should the need arise, all of our guards are prepared to handle zombies as silently as possible. We are aware that the use of guns is emergency only, as to prevent the zombie situation from getting worse. But it’s rare for a significant number of zombies to get aggravated and try to get inside. That only happens when staff or prisoners get too close to a zombie, inside the walls or out. Luckily, our prison is designed to that no humans are too close to the walls of the prison except those capable of getting rid of them.”
*A prisoner delivery comes into the map, camera follows it as it approaches the deliveries*
Reporter: “And you don’t need to worry about prisoners who enter the prison infected with the Zombie Virus?”
*5 Prisoners evacuate the bus and are taken from the deliveries to reception, prisoners are then searched*
The Chief: “Well, there is always a chance that someone can come into the prison infected, but we ensure a body check at the reception to ensure that anybody infected will be found. Hold on.”
Security Team on the walkie-talkie: “Sir, a tip has notified us that at least 3 prisoners in the prison had not been properly searched and may be infected with the zombie virus.”
The Chief: “Dammit…”
*Exit scene, enter gameplay*
Message from the Chief: “We need to improve our security and find these infected prisoners before all hell breaks loose. Deploy guards around the prison and find these slips. Try to not make your staff get too close to the outer walls.”
- Further Increase Security:
- Hire at least 2 armed guards
- Hire at least 5 dog handlers
- Hire 1 sniper (there will already be a sniper tower in the yard)
- Find the infected prisoners (Best way to find them is with shakedown)
*Scene: Behind front gate again*
Reporter: “I see you were able to find some inmates infected with the deadly Zombie Virus. What is your policy for dealing with these inmates?
The Chief: “Federal policy states that we have to quarantine these prisoners, have them regularly meet with a psychologist to accept that they’re going to die, and then execute them. Some folks say that we should let them turn if they want to, but UN says that letting a living human turn is a Human Rights Violation.”
Reporter: “Also, what would you have to do in order to expand outwards, with the zombies outside?”
The Chief: “Well we have to just build while protecting our workmen, while also making sure that staff don’t go anywhere near there. In fact, we can demonstrate right now. We plan to expand our outer wall further west to make space for a new block of quarantine cells.”
*Exit scene, back to gameplay*
Message from the Chief: “Set up some quarantine cells, set up a “Death Acceptance” Program and an execution room. You should first set up a few patrols around the area where the wall will be built, then build it, and then remove the patrol routes.”
- Expand Secure Zone:
- Build on designated zone
- Set inner wall zone as Staff Only and Access Only
- Federal Quarantine Protocol:
- Build 3 Quarantine Cells
- Build an Execution Room
- Set up a “Death Acceptance” Program
The Chief: “Yes, as you can see, our prisons have been well adapted and prepared for any sort of zombie threat. No massacres like those that happened decades ago can ever happen again, especially not in my prison.”
Reporter: “Thank you for your assistance, Mr. Wigs. Now, we go back to-“
*Horror-y dramatic music, camera focuses on horde of zombies in North East quadrant digging under the wall*
The Chief: “Oh no!”
*Camera focuses on a group of zombies bursting out from the storage*
The Chief: “They’ve broken inside!”
*Camera zooms out of prison as view shows zombies breaking out from rooms and digging under the wall*
*Cue other action-y dramatic music, exit scene and return to gameplay*
Message from the Chief: “We need to stop this outbreak before we get completely overrun! Take everyone you got and reclaim the prison. Call the Riot Police and Paramedics if you need extra help.”
- Stop the Zombie Outbreak (RECOMMENDED: Turn on Freefire Mode)
*Scene: Back at the CNDC Newsroom*
Anchorwoman: “And in an astounding turn of events, during an examination of our new prison anti-zombie security measures, a repeat of history was narrowly avoided as Manryke Prison was suddenly overrun with zombies but was taken back under control by the heroic prison architect. Coming up next we will bring you a follow-up to the incident with the architect himself as he describes how he courageously tackled this situation.”
Part XII: Final Notes
If you have been reading this all the way to the end, I appreciate it a lot. Obviously, I spent a lot of time writing this. Now if you see any fallacies in anything that I proposed such as , found that I have missed or forgotten to explain or add something, have a suggestion with something that I am unsure with, don’t understand something that I’ve mentioned, have an idea of your own that can contribute, or even have any comments with how I wrote this post (could I have written it better?), please leave a comment below. Please put some thought to your comment, since I know some of the first things you might say, and I have put a lot of thought into every part of this mod.
Also, if the scenario IS decided upon, then I will personally construct the Manryke Prison mentioned in it.
But who knows, maybe it'll could be easier, and maybe more interesting, to just make a mod where the prison is a zombie containment facility and the prisoners ARE the zombies and I wasted so much time for nothing writing this.