The Great Black Swamp

I started work on the Great Black Swamp today.

As mentioned last week, I'm developing an area of the map called the Great Black Swamp. It's a region that spans the state border from the southern tip of Lake Michigan to the western shore of Lake Erie. It presents a man-made barrier to ground travel, in the form of a toxic wasteland.

IMAGE( Bring your galoshes.

Basically, it's one part superfund site, one part toxic warzone, and one part boggy swamp. A strip of farmland, towns, actual swamp, and one major city all rendered uninhabitable by chemicals and worse. The player won't really be able to survive it very long, so it's not as much a destination as a limit to travel. I have some back-story and other info developed for it as well, though I won't spoil it here for those that want to discover it in-game.

In tandem with this, I'm considering adding toxic water to the game, especially as something found in the swamp. It's something I've long wanted to do, but never got around to. I've always liked that scene in The Postman where he tests water with litmus paper, and wanted to have that kind of problem/solution to play with. Biologically-contaminated water already does this, in a way, but not all water can be purified with boiling.

The water itself is easy enough to add, and only took a few minutes. The tricky part is integrating it with the recipe system in a way that doesn't allow cheating. I have some ideas about how to handle this, and if it's not too much effort, I'll probably be doing that tomorrow.

As a bonus, this would also open up some opportunities for human meat recipes, in case I wanted to mask their true nature to unskilled players. E.g. looting unidentified meat from a container might mean the player accidentally eats or tries to sell human meat, causing trouble. This may or may not be desirable, though, so it warrants some thought.

Still plenty yet to do, but I figured I'd share a snippet of artwork to tide y'all over.

Have a good night!


Kaaven's picture

I must say I am quite excited about the upcoming update right now. The new survival elements - hazardous terrain and the possibility for toxic water (and food?) - sound to me so interesting, I am now awaiting them as much as the new story developments :D

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Scavenger's picture

It's nice the swamp work is coming along. I hope that there will be more than one hex graphic if a considerable area is to be converted into those. It'd be good to avoid repetition.

Toxic water seems like interesting idea, though I'd make it rare, at least in areas far away from said swamp, DMC and other big facilities that could release some pollutants.

Well, I hope a bit of nibbling on human meat or selling a portion of it if it's 'masked' won't bring trouble instantly - it's when characters start to live primarily off it and sell such in bulk you get a problem that needs some balancing.

dcfedor's picture

I think the new update will be a nice change of pace. More content to explore than in previous builds. Kind of a sprinkling here and there.

Re: tile repetition, there will probably just be one tile for now. I agree that more variety would be better, but there are probably other tile types that will get attention before I add variations to existing ones. E.g. Zom Zom's could use a special tile graphic, and a few other places.

As for the human meat, I've currently got it setup such that once or twice won't hurt, but eating it regularly will cause some problems. And trying to sell it at the junk market is not advised :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

XxTechnoguyxX's picture

Question. What's wrong with eating human meat (aside from potential disease)? In a post apocalyptic world like NEO Scavenger where food is scarce, cannibalism doesn't really sound like such a bad idea. It's meat, and meat is good. :)

Scavenger's picture

I believe the problem with the regular consumption of meat is stemming from some of the fluff, which in turn was connected to the issue with balance. Introduction of human bodies and meat that can be acquired from them made survival very easy at certain point of the game. Cannibals were able, through eradication of bandits and the like to acquite steady supply of food, eliminating survival factor still existing at that stage of the gameplay for non-cannibals.

In addition, swift acquisition and sale of human meat made one acquire wealth very easily.

XxTechnoguyxX's picture

That makes sense. The problem could probably be fixed with the risk of contracting some kind of horrible disease from consuming human meat. However, NEO Scavenger does incorporate lots of supernatural elements in it's lore, so maybe eating human meat is bad juju and will turn you into Nosferatu or something. :)

...I hope that made sense.

luciuskiller's picture

you get wendigo look it up

And oldie and I would say goodie but not particularly

dcfedor's picture

@XxTechnoguyxX, yes. Yes that is most definitely the direction I'll be taking human meat :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Malacodor's picture

Finally the wastelands the game description is talking about! I think in addition to the big swamp on the south there should also be small spots all over the map. Right now, Michigan looks a bit too idyllic for a postapocalyptic survival game in my eyes.

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool