If Undead Labs’ State of Decay isn’t on your radar by now, then you obviously haven’t been keeping up with it. It’s a game about scavenging, surviving, and bludgeoning the occasional zombie. For an arcade game this one’s more ambitious than most. The team behind it recently detailed the game’s robust character customization system, with stats that are based on what you do in the game. If you’re particularly adept with a gun, that stat will increase more quickly than the others. Learn all about it after the break.
Every survivor has four basic skills: Cardio, Wits, Fighting, and Shooting. Cardio determines your maximum stamina, Wits improves search (scavenge) speed, Fighting determines maximum Vitality, and Shooting reduces the recoil when you fire a gun. A skill with 1 star means you haven’t done much to improve it, while 7 stars means in that specific area, you are king. There’s a fifth skill, Leadership, and that affects the amount of trust you get whenever you gain trust. That isn’t one of the basic skills, it’s something you learn along the way.
On top of that are the Traits, and these are more specific to your character. They reflect your character’s background and hobbies and include Chatterbox, Selfish Asshole, Coward, Born Leader, Braggart, Autocrat, and Daydreamer, among others. Your character’s personality can have a big impact on how well you’re able to manage your community of survivors. Some Traits can have a positive or a negative effect on your ability to survive, like Bum Knee, which drains your stamina while you’re crouched.
As if all that isn’t enough, there are also Personal Skills, and here’s a sampling of those taken from the game’s website:
Bruiser — Comes from Natural Athlete, Brute, or Strong as an Ox. Provides a whole unique set of combat and exploration abilities. Survivors with this skill are few and far between, but they have the potential to learn unique melee combat techniques, to carry heavier burdens without tiring, and to use larger firearms without sacrificing mobility.
Construction — Comes from Architect, Mechanic, Electrician, or Engineer, among other jobs and hobbies. This skill doesn’t have much effect when out exploring, but having someone with any stars in Construction is essential for building a more advanced Workshop in your home.
Leadership — Comes from Presence or Born Leader. As mentioned above, each star of Leadership increases the Trust you gain from your actions. In addition, higher Leadership unlocks special effects from your emotes, allowing you to do things like boost the combat effectiveness of the survivors around you by cheering them on.
Counseling — Comes from People Person, Funeral Director, Stylist, or other jobs and hobbies. This skill has no impact on your combat or exploration abilities, but provides a chance to prevent community conflicts and to raise the spirits of frightened or depressed community members.
Sexting — Comes from Sleaze or Flirt. Without phone or internet service, this finely honed skill may be doomed to be something of a lost art.
Sports Trivia — Just as in real life, this is one of the most common skills. Sure, it might not be useful, but did you know that Randy Moss’ vertical leap was once said to be 51″? I did. (True story.)
More details can be found on the dev’s blog. State of Decay releases on XBLA and PC later this year.