Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Post-Apocalyptic Settlement Generation

Crazy idea I had the other day in class: hack the Traveller world development system for settlements in a post-apocalyptic game. (This isn't entirely an original idea; there was an idea going around a while back for Wanderer, a fantasy version of Traveller.) It doesn't track exactly, but with a couple of adjustments I think it'd work pretty well.

The categories include:
Environment -- How livable the wasteland is around the settlement
Mutation -- How amusingly messed up the flora, fauna, and residents are
Population -- How many people live here
Territory -- How large a territory outside the settlement they patrol and control
Government -- The kind of government they have
Law -- How likely they are to shoot you on sight for various offenses
Tech Level -- How cool their toys are
Fuel Station -- How good their local gas station and repair shop is

They'd affect each other in much the same way Traveller world stats do. Currently I'd think Mutation is worse the less livable the Environment is, Population is higher in better Environments, Territory and Government both key off of population, Law is based on Government, and Tech Level is affected by a bunch of different factors. I'm also considering a "Religion" stat, because of the importance of bizarre degenerate belief systems in post-apocalyptic stories, but it would also damage the six numbers plus TL and Fuel code Traveller resemblance.


  1. Traveller definitely lends itself to being hacked for quite a bit lol I love grabbing things out of it.

  2. Actually, religion could improve tech level, depending on the faith. The classic example of this is Miller's "A Canticle for Leibowitz". But if you're assuming wacky "First Reformed Church of Elvis" type religions, yeah, ok, I could see that. ;)

  3. Nifty idea - I would like to see these charts if you develop them (if not, then I am going to have to do it). :)

  4. Viriatha: It's got all these great subsystems. I'm definitely going to steal, say, the trade tables for games in the future.

    trollsmyth: Tech level is generated slightly differently from the other features, so I probably will have some religions improve it and others damage it. I think there's room for pro-knowledge and wacky religions in the hypothetical setting that this would support.

    Mike D.: I can't make any promises on how good my follow up will be. I'd like to work this into something usable, but I have a lot of other stuff going on, gaming-wise, and a tendency to get distracted by the latest and greatest. What'll probably end up happening is, in a couple months (or years) I'll pick it up again, fiddle with it, and then go off and do something else again for a while.

  5. Man, I'd give you ten Internets if you were able to make this happen. It'd be perfect for my Rifts mod I'm working on. :)

    (And I'm not familiar with Traveler at all, or else I'd give a shot myself.)

  6. Not sure if this would help, but I built a settlement generator for Deadlands: Hell on Earth.