Case #

04.29.11

Researcher

Subject

News, Research

The Human Element

If the world was going to end tomorrow and you needed to get out of dodge, who would you take with you and why? My fourth grade teacher had us play this game a few times. She’d write a list of possible candidates on the board, and to really make us think, tell us that our life boats could only hold five people. We’d break into teams to discuss our options. Should we bring the doctor or the farmer? Would we rather have someone who could cook and sew, or someone who could build a house?

I didn’t think about it at the time, but at its core, this was a logic puzzle that distilled each person’s value down to one thing: the skills that they possess. When you’re thinking about building your “dream team” for surviving the zombie apocalypse in Class3, or if you’re debating what skills you think you’d need to survive, it’s easy to base your choices on similar logic.

You can try to picture a “dream team” of fellow survivors with the training and experience necessary to cover all your needs for weapons, food, water, clothing and shelter. That sounds good, but people are more than just a collection of skills.

When you really dig into it, you’ll see that this approach is missing one very crucial thing — the human element.

We all know the situation: Society has broken down.Everything you want or need spells danger to one degree or another. Stores are filled with things you want to eat, but also with things that want to eat you. The people you used to rely on for goods and services are gone. They’re either zombies themselves or they’re like you — scattered and trying to figure out what to do. If you want their help, you’ll have to find them as you travel, hope they find you, or risk your neck to save them. Once you’ve met up, who knows what will happen? Maybe they’ll want join you. Maybe they’ll prefer to travel alone. Or maybe they’ll be desperate and try to rob you. You just never know. In other words, you have a lot of challenges to overcome.

Let’s say that you manage to gather up a small group of fellow survivors, and you guys go off and fortify a supermarket. The store is filled with food, you’ve built a secure barrier around your base, and you’ve scrapped together enough ammo to defend yourself. In your community, your “star members” are a doctor, a mechanic, an engineer with a surprising talent for making bombs and traps, a farmer that’s really awesome with a rifle, and a guy that can get power up and running just about anywhere. You’re doing pretty good.

Then things take a turn for the worse.

Your doctor’s making everyone miserable, not doing a lick of work, drinking all day, and constantly reminding everyone of the one time he stitched up the engineer. Your hot-tempered mechanic is getting sick of his attitude and calls him out for it. There’s a scuffle and the next thing you know, you’ve got a physician with a broken arm. In the meantime, your engineer, who’s always seemed like a bit of a coward, is growing increasingly withdrawn. It’s not clear that he’s going to keep it together with all the added stress at the base. Then your farmer has a complete mental meltdown and the guy you’ve got running your generator wants him gone. Unfortunately, you know that he’s one hell of a shot, and you honestly have no idea how he’d react to being ousted. Or if you can even afford to lose the guy who’s in charge of watching your perimeter since everyone else at the base is an average shot at best.

It’s right about then that you wish you had someone skilled at negotiation to help defuse the situation. Or that you’d realized sooner that some of these people had some serious baggage. Maybe instead of a surgeon who also happens to be an arrogant asshole with a drinking problem, you would have been better off with that RN who never loses her cool.

In a  real survival situation, it’s not just the obvious skills like medicine and construction that will matter. Things like leadership, negotiation, patience, deception, and empathy all have their place as well. And for each person you meet, their psychology and history may be as important to consider as their skill set. That’s where the difficult choices come in. Some truly skilled people may be more trouble than they’re worth, but at the same time, a great personality won’t patch up a bullet wound or set a broken bone.

Ultimately, there’s no single clear-cut formula for what to do. It’s all about how you would choose to survive.

We’re thinking about all of these issues while working on NPCs for Class3, so we’d love to hear your opinions about this stuff. What skills and personality traits are important to you? What would you sacrifice for them? What weaknesses could you live with? What’s over the line? What trade-offs would you be willing to make? Post a comment and let us know what you think! I’d also like to extend a huge thanks to the crew over at MMOZed, who posted the topic that inspired this article.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Emily

  1. Researcher: Gage
    Date Recorded: April 29, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Holy S&!% Great Idea Undead Labs! I love this i think you should do this but maybe someone whos good with guns could have a lot of patience to (Example: Hunter) He can search for food as well as have a accurate shot and be patient for making the perfect shot. Also you can have a Criminal who may back stab you or something.. Just some ideas that can get you thinking, Good luck and im sure you will do great work! (P.S. When you showed you Friday at the office video the game looks like its coming along Fantastically Maybe a trailer or actually minor gameplay ;) Thanks again -Gage

    • Researcher: Jordan

      Agreed.
      A little teaser would be wonderful even if it’s just a single screen shot <3

  2. Researcher: Scruby
    Date Recorded: April 29, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Taming and breeding animals would be so awesome, and then using them to help you farm is even better. What if you could have a guard dog that follows you around and watches over certain areas, while you got oxes plowing fields for you so you can grow crops, and don’t forget the horses to just help transport you to more difficult terrain that a car probably couldn’t get to. and what if you could breed certain animals like cow, for meat and maybe you could milk them too for water. being able to fish and cook and make fires would be very helpful and cutting down trees to get wood for building shelter. It would be great if there were tons of varieties of outfits you could wear to make the game have more variety in it like some military gear for those hardcore players and maybe some civilized wear too for the other audiences.

    • Researcher: strict9
      Date Recorded: April 29, 2011 at 7:00 pm

      good ideas but I think it would be a little difficult to milk a cow for water.

    • Researcher: Daniel
      Date Recorded: April 29, 2011 at 7:19 pm

      I don’t think it’s realistic to think that you could have a fully functional farming field with oxen. That would attract a lot of zombies.

    • Researcher: Scruby
      Date Recorded: April 29, 2011 at 8:12 pm

      Ya your probably right so lets say you can only have these options for a certain class such as a “hunter” forget the cows but what if you had your trusty guard dog beside you wherever you go and he could just give you signs of danger or hope in any situation, but he would have to be fed too just like yourself so you might depend on people who could get food while you have their back knowing where the enemy is.

    • Researcher: Ryan
      Date Recorded: April 30, 2011 at 9:15 am

      What you could do and I would like to see is have your guard dog (great idea btw) that walks around with you and he can do many things. Protect you (give you a heads up on danger by growling, cause barking could draw even more zombies than there are) Help you (he can sniff out survivors or someone trapped under something by whimpering) . As well as sniff out food, ammo and weapons (for this you get not sound to alert you. You have to pay attention to your dog. Maybe he is digging at something or you whistle for him to return to you so you can move forward and he won’t come) But you have to pick an choose as well cause maybe he is just smelling another animal scent or a dead body that has yet to turn into a zombie….just some ideas to play with

    • Researcher: Kai
      Date Recorded: May 3, 2011 at 12:12 pm

      it’s a great idea and all…the whole guard dog idea reminds me of ImaLegend, where Will Smith did have a trusty companion at his side, that not only aided him in combat, but kept him sane at the same time. Keep in mind though, how realistic is it that you happened to come across a dog that can do all of these things? I mean alerting you to incoming zombies is one thing, but the barking would bring in more attention, and dogs have to be specially trained to sniff out bombs, food, etc…. If this were to be an actual idea in this game there would have to be a class to which the dog would be locked to such as a K9 Police Officer, or a certain type of branch in the military which would already have this bond to the dog.

    • Researcher: Ryan
      Date Recorded: May 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm

      I can see your point on sniffing out ammo or weapons, but I don’t think you need to be military or police to own a dog like that. I agree it should be classed to 1 or 2 classes, say a hunter and farmer. Cause he helps the hunter in the field and the farmer is alerted as he is out in the filed usually alone or with 1 other person maturing the crops

    • Researcher: Ryan
      Date Recorded: May 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm

      I can see your point on sniffing out ammo or weapons, but I don’t think you need to be military or police to own a dog like that. I agree it should be classed to 1 or 2 classes, say a hunter and farmer. Cause he helps the hunter in the field and the farmer is alerted as he is out in the filed usually alone or with 1 other person maturing the crops

    • Researcher: ryan
      Date Recorded: May 4, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      Well I agree, barking would draw more zeds, thats why i said the dog should grawl

    • Researcher: Zac
      Date Recorded: May 6, 2011 at 9:13 am

      Everything you people post makes this sound more and more like a boring and typical game. Please don’t request that the people programming this hopefully excellent game create metagam style classes and pets. The dog idea doesn’t sound that fun to me, just sounds like a really boring NPC tied to a stereotypical “class” that doesn’t apply to the real world. The hunter class is also kinda ridiculous. Who has the profession of hunter? This isn’t WoW. I live in Oklahoma and I don’t know a single person who hunts as a job. I also don’t know anyone who has a dog trained to be helpful in the Zedpoc. Quit making it a cheap MMO and think of realistic game options.

    • Researcher: Travis
      Date Recorded: May 6, 2011 at 10:07 am

      Yeah, the dog idea is cool. maybe even sling a ammo pack onto its back or something. Use it as a alarm. Maybe it attacks while you have to reload, but are surrounded.

    • Researcher: Ryan
      Date Recorded: May 6, 2011 at 3:37 pm

      @ Zac. Yeah man i get what your saying, a lot of people brought up classes. I kinda agree with you on that but people do hunt every year, it may not be a profession, but if the zedpoc happened if you were a hunter then you would be more experienced than the avg. joe with tracking, shooting, and accuracy. So I think that is where the classes started coming up IMO

  3. Researcher: leovany
    Date Recorded: April 29, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    hmm never like to make like to be in that tipe of S hole but ill like to be with up to 4 people becaues the drama cant got to high with out the other two to step in and ill like to have someone that knows how to build and fix stuff someone else that can cook… have to eat someone that knows how to fix you up when you get hurt (dont need a doc its not like your going into surgery) and that one guy that is good with guns and knows how to clean and fix them

    (and anyone has a better team i like to hear how you have yours)
    PS love this topic!

    • Researcher: Budwyzer
      Date Recorded: April 29, 2011 at 7:55 pm

      good team I guess, though i’m not sure about the guy you need to eat so he can fix you… In fact i dunno about the whole thing.

      Who do we need in our group? people like us! The one’s who get excited over zombies and would most likely run around like Shaun with a cricket bat just because we’ve always wanted to.
      Where to hole up at? A mountain dew factory, because that stuff is liquid-life. Poor it on a zombie bite and see what happens, HELL poor it on a zombie and see what happens!

    • Researcher: Phil
      Date Recorded: April 29, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      Ideally I would find 2-3 people with military backgrounds regardless of age (a 65 year old former Green Beret or military officer is better than your average joe). Then I would pick a doctor/nurse and someone with construction/engineering experience.

      How would it work if we add someone to our team then realize they are a liability. Do we ‘dismiss’ them? And then what happens if they don’t leave. Can I shoot them?

    • Researcher: Phinney
      Date Recorded: April 30, 2011 at 4:25 am

      @Phil, if you change your mind about allowing someone to join you, you will be able to do something about it… and that won’t always go smoothly.

    • Researcher: Ryan
      Date Recorded: April 30, 2011 at 9:33 am

      personally (and I know this goes against the realism Undead labs is creating, but for this one option I think this would work best to protect the game and the users that really want to play a real survival game) I think the way it should work (cause you know you always get players that jump on and join groups to just mess them up and ruin the experience) is that if you do create to much disruption that the leader can kick the player or players out of the group and they are just dropped in the open map somewhere to start over. That would be a penalty for the person or persons causing problems cause they would have to start over and would protect the users that really want to play the survival game that you hunt, team up and help each other etc….

    • Researcher: Farmboy
      Date Recorded: April 30, 2011 at 9:32 pm

      Dream Team

      Woody Harrelson( When he was in Zombieland),R. Lee Ermey(The way he is now), Andrew Lincoln( The main guy from Walking Dead), and Adrien Brody(The main character in the 2010 Predators). Thats my Dream Team!!!

    • Researcher: Dezz

      @ phil, a 65 year old green beret would quite probably outlive all of us come the zedpoc however your regular military officer has a much much higher chance of being a liability, dont dismiss your average joes. im an average “joe” with two combat tours in iraq and afghanistan, i can repair / maintain most of civilian and military weaponry, keep your vehicle moving, pop someones head at 300 meters with ease, track and hunt, and perform first aid, and trust me im far from being a paper pushing slouch of an officer

  4. Researcher: Jack Nordstrom
    Date Recorded: April 29, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    When it comes to skills, I think that a strong leadership goes a long way. I think in this scenario, a farmer/water treatment trumps an engineer, a nurse trumps a doctor, and a hunter/farmer trumps a mechanic. Any combat field experienced person is helpful but beware, former military officers may have a hard time listening to an average Joe. Avoid religious people at all costs, if you decide to take a priest/religious person with you, let it be clear that religion is now void and will not be discussed. He or she must understand that their right to practice is not void but they may not preach nor discuss it. If you can take five but have six, he or she are first to be left behind, unless they bring a valuable skill.
    Sacrifices must be made in dire situations, remember that society has collapsed and that some things may not apply. Also, religion is now taboo and will only cause turmoil in a group; avoid this discussion at all costs. If you can’t bash some heads than you may not join. Weak/cowardly individuals will cost you dearly, their fear will paralyze them and cost you not only their life but anything they may have with them, avoid. Merging groups is risky business, as the other group may have a leader and will cause problems with your own. Recruit individuals with unique useful skills, non-skilled may be helpful and be used for security or miscellaneous tasks but remember cant bash a head in can’t join. Avoid travelling families; couples are ok but not recommended. Emotional attachments can put you in bad situations. If a family member is infected, emotional bonds may deter the family from revealing this, thus creating a silent threat among the group. Large groups can be dangerous but also very helpful.
    Large groups can over take your own, and loot all your items but they could also serve as traders. You could trade your surplus items for something you need from them. They are also a great source of information, security and a possible merger but remember, this is survival and you may over populate your supplies. Children, the elderly and disabled are not prime recruits. Children may help at times to access small and cramped spaces but they are slow and easily frightened. The elderly are slow but can be very knowledgeable and help you in your survival. They are all double edged swords so evaluate their skills and how they can benefit or hurt you.

    • Researcher: Gabrielo
      Date Recorded: April 30, 2011 at 4:14 am

      This is exactly the same “rules” i use myself when thinking about what to do in an apocalypse when it comes to the “group”

    • Researcher: Corptikc
      Date Recorded: April 30, 2011 at 6:53 am

      Dont forget were talking about the Human element here. The begining of your post list quite a few reasons why someone who is religous should be avoided and the first to be left behind, but lets not forget their usefullness in some very “human” situations.
      A middle aged man whos made his living preaching about religion could absolutly raise spirits within his group, BUT (and heres a key point here) he doesnt have to talk about god to do it. I’d like to think that a preacher would be understanding of other people right to accept or deny his chosen god, and not try to “recruit” them to his church.
      The way i see it, he may not be able to crack skulls all day long, but what if his words motivate the rest of the group. Buffing (for lack of a better term) them so they can take more zombie heads off of more zombie shoulders.

      Another question.
      After doing a little recon on a nearby gas station you see a family of 4 enter and assume they are looting all the goodies you wanted. Do you still avoid them at all costs?
      I think not. Now, after following them in you find out that the father is prior enlisted (lets say Navy Corpsman for example). He’s done his time and knows his way around a battle field, his rifle, and his 2 .45′s in his shoulder harness. On the other hand his wife and two teenage kids are completly dependent on him and have nothing but more mouths to feed to contribute to your group. Is one man with a lot of good skills and a level head on his shoulders worth the weight his family will bring? I’d like to see your thoughts on this situation (that goes for everyone of course.)

      P.S. If you didn’t know, a Navy corpsman is to the Marine Corps as a Combat Medic is to the Army.

    • Researcher: C410V1370
      Date Recorded: April 30, 2011 at 8:24 am

      What about a npc that has no skills, its crippled/weak/sick/naive (screams loudly for help attracting more zeds)…..?

      Would you reject this npc just like that? Bc it is less useful and slows you down it becomes less worthy?

      Your dog/horse/cow would be more valuable to you?

      What if that npc was your grandmother?

    • Researcher: C410V1370
      Date Recorded: April 30, 2011 at 9:04 am

      If a npc gets infected would you stay by its side and give it a proper burial or just throw it outside with the zeds?

      I want to b able to make that decision if the npc is a really despicable person…

    • Researcher: Jack Nordstrom
      Date Recorded: April 30, 2011 at 2:43 pm

      These rules apply to a traveling situation and not to an established colony.

      @Corptikc
      Religion is a difficult subject to address. Yes, some priests may not try to “recruit” or preach but consider the times. They may see this situation as a sort of apocalypse thus making them more likely to preach at the very least. In dire situations people are likely to look to religion for answers, priests are number one on that list. Motivation is left to the group leader, if he or she can’t do that than they should not lead. I would not deny them to follow their faith nor for people to join him but consider that disagreeing views on religion bring conflict to your group. I understand that having a religious figure with you could help to give a sort of “god is with us” motivation but at what cost will this motivation come? They consume supplies, may choose not to fight, may try to influence recruitment of less desirable people etc. Religious figures are best in established colonies same goes with children etc. They could help within the colony maintenance, food farming etc. Traveling comes down to how fast you get around and efficiency.
      In regards to a family, I see it this way. They may be great sources of information and trading. When I mention avoid, I mean it in a recruitment sense. Beware, families may seem defenseless but you could be lured into ambush for your supplies. If a family has a valuable member as you mentioned, a merger may be considered but evaluate who is with them. Is the one person valuable enough that the rest are worth the hassle? What if something happens to the one valuable person? You are now stuck with two to three people who may be of no help to you. What if a family member is injured or killed? How will he react? It is not easy losing a family member and in this situation, I think it’s far worse. I think it comes down to the greater good of the situation. One valuable out of four does not compensate the possible burden later on. Trade information and supplies and move on.

      @C410V1370
      Any npc attracting such attention is not worth risking it. As far as you know it could be a lure for an ambush. Nothing is guaranteed in survival and in these situations you must use your brain and leave your “heart” out of it. Remember, you are fleeing the zeds and anything that slows you down is not worth taking people or supplies. If I can see the person clearly, I would evaluate the risk. I don’t think one life saved is worth risking your group and the supplies they carry. Let’s say you rescue them but they are injured. Now what do you do? Use your medical supplies on a person who will probably be no help? Or get them to a save place provide them with some nourishment and move on? They could have been with a group but were left behind, or they could have valuable information. These are all “what if” situations and as a leader you should consider all these.
      As far as animals go, I don’t think that it is worth the risk. Animals are unpredictable and may draw unneeded attention. Dogs are loyal and obedient at times but anything other than that maybe too loud or slow to take along. Animals that provide food or help grow food, such as cows and oxen, should be gathered only when you have an established and secure colony. Infected people are given the choice but if they refuse they will be left behind in a safe location. Ultimately they must be gotten rid of. They are a great risk to the group and any possibility of survival.

    • Researcher: C410V1370
      Date Recorded: April 30, 2011 at 8:44 pm

      I think the game becomes more interesting if you take your grumpy grandmother with you and take care of her…

      When you risk the lives of everyone to rescue your dog its when the game becomes fun.

      If you get the –perfect– team of organized survivors then the game becomes boring… everything goes according to the plan, its like some sort of utopic team with a mechanic, a doctor, a hunter, a ninja….

    • Researcher: Corptikc
      Date Recorded: May 1, 2011 at 3:18 am

      Well I can see the sense if you were trying to move through a large area very quickly. I was talking more about when you’ve got an established base, not neccesarily a colony, but a safe enough place for you and a small band of followers to go back to every night. Not that ANY place could be considered truley safe when we’ve got zombie appocolypse right outside our doors, but i think you get what I had in mind.

    • Researcher: Emily
      Date Recorded: May 2, 2011 at 10:42 am

      Great thoughts, guys! I’m not sure if even a dream team would be completely safe from catastrophe, though. Just think to any number of zombie movies — if the military can be overwhelmed by the horde, I’d imagine that just about anyone can be caught off-guard or have a bad day. :)

    • Researcher: Dezz

      a navy corps man or a devil doc as we call them and a combat medic are both well and good, but just because thats what they were doesnt mean they are skilled, for all you know they were still in training when all this happened. as a service member i couldnt leave a brother in arms to fend for his family by his self, thats just me though. always remember people can be taught the skills they need to survive, infact thats how everyone learns. if you come across said family just because they arent useful yet doesnt mean they wont be. you could hand the wife a gun and show her how to use it and she might do ok or just waste bullets, that cant be said, but my grandfather taught me to shoot when i was very young, i was 6 when i fired my first live round. take that into account for the children, children naturally learn faster than adults. i started shooting under a very watchful eye at 6 and by 12 i was responsible for cleaning and maintaining my own guns, reloading my own shells and carrying my own supplys when we hiked into the mountains, by the age of 14 i was shooting in a one inch shot pattern at 375 yards. these are all things that the developers of this game are trying to get across to people, the human aspect. you may have seen me and my grandmother running into a store to find food, but your going to simply dismiss us as useless because im young and shes old, but the truth of that matter is my grandmother could cook clean sew shoot and patch up just about any wound you could get aside from something requiring surgery, and i at 14 could take the rifle out of your hands and put you to shame in sheer weapon skill and survival practices, but remember we are useless because she is old and i am young. dont instantly throw away people on percieved notions, my grandmother played softball till she was 64, hand her a baseball bat and see what happens to a zed, youd be shocked lol

  5. Researcher: Tip
    Date Recorded: April 29, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    When it came to pick my team i would first want people who could take care of themselves. As said in your article (which was good) i would need to know if my team could handle the stress, b/c if they couldn’t they would be just dead wait (no matter what skill they had). And if i had to choose a skill to have it would be how to treat simple wounds and other illness. since everything else i need, i can find with few problems in class 3 situation.

  6. Researcher: Preplin
    Date Recorded: April 29, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    My idea to survive is to try and pick up some military types. I would get a bunch of veterans, mercs, and soldiers who got left behind. What i would then do with my rag-tag army is sell protection to smaller communities for goods. That way we wouldn’t have to worry about food gathering, meds, and fixing equiptment. Like I’ve said in other posts, please add some ACU’s/BDU’s and plenty of M4′s and i guarantee that you’ll hear about us.

    • Researcher: Preplin
      Date Recorded: May 1, 2011 at 12:08 am

      Also, just throwing this out there, you guys should open up a forum or somthing along the lines.

  7. Researcher: Empyre

    Imo skills aren’t all that important now that society has collapsed all the knowledge for these skills r at your disposal unless the zombies deiced to burn all the books any thing can be learned so to me good people with healthy fresh minds r jus as valuable or maybe even more so than the heart surgeon or defense attorney

  8. Researcher: Shell Shock

    Now this is one hell of a topic with a myriad of things to consider. Let me first say that I agree with Mr. Nordstrom regarding his views regarding preference for RNs over doctors and farmers over mechanics, but for a slightly different reason. Two reasons to be exact. Number one (primarily counted against the doctor) is their former lifestyle. A doctor is stereotypically a very well paid professional that is used to working in a clean and relatively safe environment. That higher standard of living is what drives many people to become doctors. Having all that pulled out from under you will rattle anyone. I’d much rather have an EMT, military field surgeon, or an RN over the common doctor.

    Reason to is the need for specialized tools, which will add to the collective weight of supplies. Example: A skilled and renowned machinist would most likely have a shop full of power tools to do precision cutting and fitting of parts. Can he/she replicate such high quality work with hand-tools (which he/she probably hasn’t needed to do in years?) I would favor a farmer or plant expert who could grow/identify edible plants and are used to working with their hands to grow/study them. Of course being a novice to zombie fiction I could be way off base.

    What is my dream team?
    1: Myself – “Field Intelligence/Navigation”
    2: Veteran EMT/Field Surgeon (Or RN)
    3: Avid hunter/Outdoorsman
    4: Multi-lingual mediator w/ field exp.
    5: Farmer/Plant expert
    (Optional)6: RESPONSIBLE Joker/knucklehead. (TO help keep moral/spirits high)

    Of course as before mentioned, the people with you must be level headed. The very best of any of the above mentioned specialists would be utterly useless if they have a mental breakdown when the apocalypse starts.

    Lastly (and on a slightly funnier note) a cast-iron stomach would certainly be a plus for any group member. Farming and cattle ranching not withstanding, finding “fresh” food after the zeds rise may be a challenge. The last thing any group needs is someone having a “gastro-intestinal distress” status ailment while moving through a zombie infested area because the cans of pork & beans we ate beforehand were a couple of days past the exp. date…

    • Researcher: Phinney
      Date Recorded: April 30, 2011 at 4:50 am

      Seems like you’re right. In many cases, finding someone who works hands-on and with less specialized equipment would be the more practical way to go, at least in the short term. In the long run you might have some hope (or need) of putting a machinist or surgeon’s skills to use.

      Having someone who can keep everyone entertained and keep people’s spirits up is a good call too, I think. Everything’s easier when people are happy.

      And “Gastrointestinal Fortitude” is a great example of an easily overlooked, but extremely important skill… Can you imagine how sad would you be to find out that your resident firearms and survival expert had such a delicate stomach that he’s moaning in pain for an hour after every meal? (Though on the plus side, moaning may be the one sound that doesn’t attract zombies.)

    • Researcher: Shell Shock

      I just thought of one more, an Amateur “Ham” radio operator.

      From what I’ve read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio
      Such an individual can facilitate communication across great distances. I’d be more that willing to fill this role myself in a pinch, but I’m not yet well versed in radio usage and practices.

    • Researcher: Brant
      Date Recorded: May 3, 2011 at 10:23 am

      I think Phinney is talking about me – I moan for an hour after every lunch!

  9. Researcher: Jack

    These may seem really cold hearted, but one thing I’ve always had a hard time with when putting together my Zombie Servival Dream Team is the other people that would come attatched to the people I would want.

    For example, I have a friend who is very athletic and would be a valuable asset to any scavanger team. Along with his father who is highly skilled in various Martial Arts and would be invaluable in a confrentaion with any unfriendly group of servivors,
    but his mother is riddled with various medical conditions and is only kept a functional member of society with a daily upkeep of half a dozen pills.

    There is no way to bring the two without the third, and her constantly deteriorating condition would slow us all to an eventual crawl and would give a prolonged dose of emotional stress on both of them.

    In many cases, as far as usefull individuals I know, this complication is present.

    I know people who are skilled in pyrotechnics, mechanical engineering, herboligy, fabrication, weapons handling, robotics, architecture, electronics, etc. but many of them have family or close relitives that have conditions that could cripple the group or who have negetive social skills.

    Getting together a team of usefull and cooperative individuals wouldn’t be a big issue for me if I could pick and chose each individual. The issue is the extrapersonal bagage that I can’t chose that comes in the form of close nit family members.

    • Researcher: Phinney
      Date Recorded: April 30, 2011 at 4:37 am

      That’s a great point, Jack. A lot of the talented people you encounter care deeply about people who — if you’re being purely pragmatic — don’t seem to bring as much to the table. One interesting question is how often these attachments are a liability (as in the case you spelled out) versus how often they are a blessing in disguise, providing an emotional support system and constant motivation for your actual dream team.

    • Researcher: jake
      Date Recorded: May 7, 2011 at 1:17 am

      i see your point but someone in that condition you stated will most likely be done for before you even meet with your friends .

  10. Researcher: Blake
    Date Recorded: April 30, 2011 at 3:37 am

    I think the most horrific thing about the Zombie apocalypse, is that there is no preparation,no set date, just the chaos that ensues when nearly everything you know is irrelevant, when everyone you love whereabouts are unknown, and life you have built crumbles before you.

    I guess the best trait is a good judge of character and quick thinking, and I suppose the best way to implement that in game is to highlight key things around the world. I think you guys are on the right track here survivors that can help you but have emotional baggage that negatively affect you and your team. But like someone else stated earlier this game would definitely be awesome with animals. It would be great to have man’s best friend tagging along to get your back while scavenging, it would be pretty cool if you could customize your pet too or if it fucked you over and alerted a horde of undead.

    • Researcher: Kilvara
      Date Recorded: April 30, 2011 at 5:44 am

      I think we can all plan but when it comes too it , we have to play the hand where dealt.This means taking the good with the bad, and making it work.

      I hear people talking about mechanics, but when I think of mechanics I think mostly of automotive mechanics.There are other mechanic type people.This includes people like Millwrights,Machinists, Electricians and Plumbers .The first is what I’m currently pursing as a carreer.This give me a wide variety of skills and knowledge about various systems including pumps, motors, pnuematic and hydraulic, welding and a bunch of other things.

      I think that you can’t just put all “mechanic” types into one group , some have different knowledge then others.Most except machinist which usually works in a shop can work and function anywhere.

      The best saying to live by is.
      .Plan for the worst ,hope for the best.

    • Researcher: DAVEoftheDEAD
      Date Recorded: May 3, 2011 at 5:03 pm

      This brought a tear to my eye… You all get it you really do…

    • Researcher: Ryan

      A dream team is something very hard to create. If I had a choice of 5 of anything, of course I’d want them all to be sane. I, however, probably have less to worry about, because socially speaking I’ve had to defuse tension between fighting friends many a times, and I always do it well. Because of this, assuming somebody isn’t outrageously arrogant, I wouldn’t complain myself. For careers, I think the best combination would be something like this:

      1. Me (Political & Philosophical Experience; this seems bad, but the leadership and critical thinking skills associated with it would help to lead, and of course… I need to be on the team.)
      2. Doctor.
      3. Engineer.
      4. Vehicle Mechanic.
      5. Farmer.

      Considering who’s best with shooting and fighting, it’s not very important. There is zombies everywhere, we’re all going to get good eventually. Despite this, in the early stages, it would be great to have a cop or bounty hunter with you – somebody skilled with guns and martial arts.

      The rest of us would need to focus on surviving and creating a sustainable environment.

      Personality, although important, can be handled by somebody with a more superior personality.