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.
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!