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Zombie AI

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Templar

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If A2z manages to make zombies not zigzagging when approaching you, and following you in a straight line and not a pre chosen path according to your walking pattern, and makes zombies not laggy or glitchy, they already have made the best open world zombie game!

What are your guys thoughts on the zombie AI?
 

Num47

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What? No. We can't stop here. This is bat country.
I'd like them to be curious about noises and sights within their range, once they are after food they don't stop following and if they loose sight of it they will wander in that direction because that's where the food went.

If they know food is inside somewhere, they'll hang around and try to get in, unless they see the food leaving or more accessible food gets their attention.

They are stupid or have no self awareness, they will walk through fire to eat food, walk off a roof and fall just to eat food they see is on another roof.
They are relentless if they have sights on food, they are not so easily distracted unless more accessible food gets their attention.

They are slow/shamblers that are "easily" dispatched one on one but dangerous and next to immposible to fight in large numbers.

How I'd like them end up, but we'll have to wait and see.
 

Dr. J

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My relocations on forum posts may not be true, here's what I think I can remember about zombies in STN:
They're faster and more numerous at night.
They're attracted to loud noises (e.g. gunshots) at any time of day
 

Dr. J

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ld-airgrafix

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Wow running zombies at night... I will probably be hiding during the entire night lol...
I wasnt aware they would be running? I thought more of a faster walking? Can someone confirm this?
I dont mind if they run, but pls make them not so erratic like 7d2d.
 

ld-airgrafix

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If A2z manages to make zombies not zigzagging when approaching you, and following you in a straight line and not a pre chosen path according to your walking pattern, and makes zombies not laggy or glitchy, they already have made the best open world zombie game!

What are your guys thoughts on the zombie AI?
I agree, but dont expect anything amazing on launch, or even a year later, they are indie developers after all, they are learning as they go.
 

Dr. J

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I'm just basing my comments on what was posted a while ago in the forums, what 'OUR', yes our team of dev.s want to bring to the game.
We are a community here, all helping the Dev. team bring this project to life.
We know we'll be getting zombies in the alpha, as well as some animals. If the zombies will be completely 'finished', well that's up to the Dev. team.
As @ld-airgrafix rightly says, we shouldn't expect a completely finished game on launch.
The Dev.s have been working hard here to try and bring us all something that is playable.
It might not be completely 'polished' at the Alpha release.
NO BIG DEAL!
We have a great community here to help identify any game issues, and together we will help to refine the game :)
 

Montauk

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Going to throw some thread links in here that discuss zombie AI in one form or another.

https://community.survivethenights.net/threads/coming-in-alpha1-0-update-2.6409/
https://community.survivethenights.net/threads/how-are-the-zombies-gonna-be-done.3885/
https://community.survivethenights.net/threads/some-ideas-for-zombie-ai-and-idle-animations.1893/
https://community.survivethenights.net/threads/zombie-intelligence.356/

Too many to link really, those are a few of the more popular discussions though. NPC pathfinding has been around in games forever now in a wide range of genres, yet it amazes me that it can still be done horribly. Hopefully a2z can get pathfinding right, even if it's a bit janky at first I'm sure they can smooth it out.
 

Num47

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What? No. We can't stop here. This is bat country.
Not sure about "running" but being more active during the night could mean they move relatively more than during the day... my best guess would be a jog/shamble...

It could be how their "mechanics" work biologically... just my theory that the heat during the day slows the rate of "metabolism", it is slower because the dead body is fighting decay more during the day, hence why they move slower than at night and the light from the sun distorts their vision, not that they have "night vision" but it's easier for them to make out moving objects without sun glare etc kinda like every zed has cateracts...

It's just a mad man's theory thou :D
 

Dr. J

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Not sure about "running" but being more active during the night could mean they move relatively more than during the day... my best guess would be a jog/shamble...

It could be how their "mechanics" work biologically... just my theory that the heat during the day slows the rate of "metabolism", it is slower because the dead body is fighting decay more during the day, hence why they move slower than at night and the light from the sun distorts their vision, not that they have "night vision" but it's easier for them to make out moving objects without sun glare etc kinda like every zed has cateracts...

It's just a mad man's theory thou :D
Sorry, but you are a mad man ... mad for this game, and a fantastic contributor to the forums :)
I rather like the idea that zombies are more slow during the day because they can't see as well as at night.
We've all experienced the transition from being inside to going out in to the bright sunlight, with the momentary adjustment required to our eyes ...
Well, zombies are all dead (stupid comment, I know). So perhaps some of their remaining muscles (like the ones that control the iris in the eye) don't or can't react properly to the lighting change?
Could this be why they prefer the dark or shadows?
At least we're agreed there is a speed difference between those seen in the daytime, and those at night.
If zombies just shambled a little faster at night time, then I'd be fine with that. But my impression is they might move a lot faster than a shamble ... we'll all just have to wait and see on that one. If they can run during the night, I'll have to find a way of getting my gaming machine running in the bathroom - I might just get a little too scared!
 
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Num47

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What? No. We can't stop here. This is bat country.
Sorry, but you are a mad man ... mad for this game, and a fantastic contributor to the forums :)
I rather the idea that zombies are more slow during the day because they can't see as well as at night.
We've all experienced the transition from being inside to going out in to the bright sunlight, with the momentary adjustment required to our eyes ...
Well, zombies are all dead (stupid comment, I know). So perhaps some of their remaining muscles (like the ones that control the iris in the eye) don't or can't react properly to the lighting change?
Could this be why they prefer the dark or shadows?
At least we're agreed there is a speed difference between those seen in the daytime, and those at night.
If zombies just shambled a little faster at night time, then I'd be fine with that. But my impression is they might move a lot faster than a shamble ... we'll all just have to wait and see on that one. If they can run during the night, I'll have to find a way of getting my gaming machine running in the bathroom - I might just get a little too scared!
I've seen other titles with running zeds at night, mainly thinking of 7D2D and it's okay but can be too overwhelming from my experience and dying more than you would expect or like (especialy a game where gathering things is a thing) and although that is what we want or what we'd like it's about finding the right balance and it could be achieved without the need of 20 zeds running at you, but I guess a2z are not having "fully desructible buildings" like 7 days has due to it being a voxel based building game and having zeds pouring through any hole they make, so that is probably a bad comparison.

Along with the other mechincs a2z would like in play it will/could also alter things... maybe facing down 5 zeds might not be good for your mentality because of the stress/fear... I dunno about that thou.

Their could always be an option to have them run or walk too I guess... But yea, wait and see and tweak as we go along is probably the thing.
:)
 

Dr. J

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I've seen other titles with running zeds at night, mainly thinking of 7D2D and it's okay but can be too overwhelming from my experience and dying more than you would expect or like (especialy a game where gathering things is a thing) and although that is what we want or what we'd like it's about finding the right balance and it could be achieved without the need of 20 zeds running at you, but I guess a2z are not having "fully desructible buildings" like 7 days has due to it being a voxel based building game and having zeds pouring through any hole they make, so that is probably a bad comparison.

Along with the other mechincs a2z would like in play it will/could also alter things... maybe facing down 5 zeds might not be good for your mentality because of the stress/fear... I dunno about that thou.

Their could always be an option to have them run or walk too I guess... But yea, wait and see and tweak as we go along is probably the thing.
:)
Now there's an interesting idea.
Would the number of zombies you were facing at once, or even the total number you had seen or faced effect your mental health?
 

Num47

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What? No. We can't stop here. This is bat country.
Now there's an interesting idea.
Would the number of zombies you were facing at once, or even the total number you had seen or faced effect your mental health?
It should do... makes sense (too me anyway). No matter how desensitized you may be that flight or fight feeling will always happen when facing a threat greater than you... now it just depends if the player decides to fight when they are panicking ("In flight mode") what effects that has if it does... loose more stamina because your heart rate is ten time the dozen?... more prone to jam a gun through a mistake reloading?... certainly make you think twice before runnnig in going Conan :D
 

RickGrimes

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I'd like them to be curious about noises and sights within their range, once they are after food they don't stop following and if they loose sight of it they will wander in that direction because that's where the food went.

If they know food is inside somewhere, they'll hang around and try to get in, unless they see the food leaving or more accessible food gets their attention.

They are stupid or have no self awareness, they will walk through fire to eat food, walk off a roof and fall just to eat food they see is on another roof.
They are relentless if they have sights on food, they are not so easily distracted unless more accessible food gets their attention.

They are slow/shamblers that are "easily" dispatched one on one but dangerous and next to immposible to fight in large numbers.

How I'd like them end up, but we'll have to wait and see.
Well the walkers could very well be like this if they take after the walkers in the video game : The walking Dead : Survival Instinct.
The game was short and the story wasn't very driven to be great.
The best part about the game though, was the walkers, how they were curious about noises and couldn't bust down doors easy. If it was just one walker they were easy to kill but if they were in numbers it was a hassle to survive.

That would make the game very different from other open world zombie games.
It would also make everyone happy haha.
 

Dr. J

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Well the walkers could very well be like this if they take after the walkers in the video game : The walking Dead : Survival Instinct.
The game was short and the story wasn't very driven to be great.
The best part about the game though, was the walkers, how they were curious about noises and couldn't bust down doors easy. If it was just one walker they were easy to kill but if they were in numbers it was a hassle to survive.

That would make the game very different from other open world zombie games.
It would also make everyone happy haha.
I think we're going to get zombies being able to access buildings through windows [yes, I know, the change log should be ignored just now, but it's something that is posted there].
STN will be a complete shift in the 'zombie survival game' genre. That's what makes it such a fantastic project for us all to play a part in :)
 

RickGrimes

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STN will be a complete shift in the 'zombie survival game' genre. That's what makes it such a fantastic project for us all to play a part in :)
I agree I mean, I have been watching it for some time and now that I finally get to play a part in it, I think that everyone will enjoy this game and come to love it more than games like Left 4 Dead, Deadrising, etc.
 
Thread starter #18

Templar

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What really makes me afraid of zombies, and continuously fascinated, is their past identity that is still in them. The George A. Romero zombie really remains my favorite zombie out there. Now we were promised in STN, as I quote from their website

What kind of zombies are in the game?

Classic zombies. They will be slow and dumb but more powerful in numbers. They are a real threat and will kill an unprepared player quickly.

Source: http://www.survivethenights.net/faq

In the trailer however we were shown running zombies. Now I can live with a server option to toggle running and walking zombies.
I'd thought I just point that out. The zombie I idealistically envision in STN is characterized by way more than just their movement speed.

The ideal zombie I envision is the one from Land of the Dead, minus or plus their usage of certain items to attack the humans. Now people who've seen this movie know what I'm talking about. To me it is an all-time favorite.

The zombie in Land of the Dead is the typical George A. Romero zombie, but with an emphasis on their character. They're more than just a human mutant which flings at it's preys. It's a classic zombie, exactly as is talked about in the quote above!

What are the arguments for and against zombies eating their human prey, and attacking with bites? And what are the arguments for and against certain type of gore as we can see in the Land of the Dead movie (which features the classic zombie)?

Here's a good video to show what I envision in Survive The Nights for the zombies and their scary vibe, portraying scenes from the movie Land of the Dead:


The zombies are bulky, slow but have a speedup in their gait once they are motivated to reach a human prey that is nearby. Being together in a pack motivates them too because of a certain unconscious sense of collectivism, causing them to have another slight speedup in their gait. They're dumb, but not stupid. They're dumb, but very dangerous. They can form both a scary individual unit, and a horrifying collective type of unit when together in a mob. A bullet to anywhere besides the head doesn't make them fall, atleast for the most of them (The zombified Cholo in the parking garage when confronting Kaufman is a good example of a fresh zombie falling after being shot). They possess a very big strength, they can easily rip limbs and heads off their victims once they get a hold of them. They have this creepy collectivist appearance of willing to reach their goals of eating humans whatever the costs.

This is the classic zombie I envision!
 
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Num47

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What? No. We can't stop here. This is bat country.
What really makes me afraid of zombies, and continuously fascinated, is their past identity that is still in them. The George A. Romero zombie really remains my favorite zombie out there. Now we were promised in STN, as I quote from their website

What kind of zombies are in the game?

Classic zombies. They will be slow and dumb but more powerful in numbers. They are a real threat and will kill an unprepared player quickly.

Source: http://www.survivethenights.net/faq

In the trailer however we were shown running zombies. Now I can live with a server option to toggle running and walking zombies.
I'd thought I just point that out. The zombie I idealistically envision in STN is characterized by way more than just their movement speed.
I'd say that these are the first iteration of zeek in STN and hopefully in time they will be tailored/tweaked into what the devs/we vision a perfect zombie is.

I do agree that running does not seem right, but until we can have slow zeds en masse, then something that has a jog like walk is needed to keep the tension and urgency we need that large numbers of zed create.

Hopefully they gain more skills/knowledge in the field of creating the hordes we want/need.

I've suggested tricks like rendering distant zeds/or back of the mob zeds in 2D but with virtually no knowledge of coding I don't know what would work well.
:(
 
Thread starter #20

Templar

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I'd say that these are the first iteration of zeek in STN and hopefully in time they will be tailored/tweaked into what the devs/we vision a perfect zombie is.

I do agree that running does not seem right, but until we can have slow zeds en masse, then something that has a jog like walk is needed to keep the tension and urgency we need that large numbers of zed create.

Hopefully they gain more skills/knowledge in the field of creating the hordes we want/need.

I've suggested tricks like rendering distant zeds/or back of the mob zeds in 2D but with virtually no knowledge of coding I don't know what would work well.
:(
I've updated my previous post with more details.

Yeah that sounds great if possible, rendering distant zombies or the back of mobs in 2D. Anything that can achieve such a thing, any technology will be innovative and a direct +1 compared to competitor games. (Which I hope the STN devs want ofcourse, to be exceptional compared to other zombie survival games) With today's technology, we should be able to tackle these limitations that previously existed. I have always felt so far with STN that exceptionalism to the genre is something the A2z developers have always had in their vision, and I hope I am right on that.

I love the scenery from Land of the Dead classic zombies too. The idea that all of the rural and urban areas are ruled by the zombies, and you can spot them anywhere you check. There is this one scene from Land of the Dead where the protagonists stop with their car, and the lead peaks into the forests, seeing zombies in the distance throughout the mist walking. Actual hordes would be amazing to see. This whole vibe is just amazing for Survive The Nights to catch on.

We don't just want warm and nice looking nature, we want actual post-apocalyptic scenery with mist in the atmosphere, and zombies marching around. A true horror vibe to the whole thing! A zombie horror nirvana!

What I'm talking about is this particular part of the movie Land of the Dead, you can put the player at 57:00

http://123movies.film/film/land-dead-2005.56452/watching.html

The particular atmosphere, the vibe in that scene, that zombie horror nirvana is what I think suits Survive the Nights really well!

It is comparable to what the A2z devs had in minds at 0:50 of the the latest gameplay trailer:


I think they should really build on that. Make Black Island a misty island with a lot of gray spooky weather once midday arrives!
 
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