Cataclysm

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Cataclysm
Alpha Project
Developer Whales
Theme Post-Apocalypse, Zombie, Sci-fi
Influences Fallout, Left 4 Dead, Half-Life, Deus Ex, DoomRL, Crawl, Dune, Mad Max, Dawn of the Dead, I Am Legend, Tremors, The Day of the Triffids, RIFTS
Released 19 September 2010
Updated often; see github commit history
Licensing Source available but unlicensed
P. Language C++
Platforms Windows and Linux
Interface ASCII, Keyboard
Game Length Open ended
Official site of Cataclysm


Cataclysm is a zombie apocalypse roguelike. Source is available via the git repository at http://github.com/Whales/Cataclysm. There is a (mostly-abandoned) devblog at http://cataclysmrl.blogspot.com. Source is updated on a near-daily basis, so be sure to update your copy regularly.

Recently, a developer of BayStation12, "head", has made a Cataclysm wiki at http://whoopshop.com/catawiki/index.php/Main_Page

Cataclysm is still in alpha, and should be expected to be riddled with bugs. Please do not exploit these bugs and run shellcode on squidnet.

Contents

Windows vs. Linux

While the developer, Whales, works only only on the Linux source itself, a fellow programmer and manager of the Catalyst Wiki, "head", has made a port to the Windows platform. While there were some stability problems, the port is now almost as stable as the original Linux version itself.

Download

Windows binaries can be found at GitHub[1], while the Linux binaries are at Whoopshop.com[2].

SSH

Cataclysm is available through SSH thanks to Eronarn. First, download the SSH key at http://eronarn.info/multirobin_key. Then, connect to cataclysm@eronarn.info. Windows users can use PuTTY and PuTTYgen (available on the PuTTY download page). (Complete Windows Putty Instructions)

Gameplay

The basic goal is survival in harsh post-cataclysm world. This alpha release doesn't present any long-term goals to the player, aside from goals they might set for themselves (and there's plenty to do). The first important goal is to find a way to store some items on your person. The player starts out wearing jeans and a t-shirt, limiting the volume they can carry severely. Many clothing pieces will provide pockets to store useful things in. Jeans have a few, but trenchcoats have significantly more. Consider looking for a messenger bag, a purse or a backpack. Alternatively, you can study tailoring and sew one yourself.

The next goal is to get armed well. Try to get your hands on a broom, a mop or some other long stick. Find something capable of cutting to sharpen it to a wooden spear, which is a fairly good weapon to start puncturing monsters with. Guns are a great means of dispatching shambling zombies; unfortunately the noise made attracts many more braindeads and you are going to have more trouble than you started with. Either waste those and use the first opportunity to flee, or use a silencer, found occasionally in gun stores. If you have mechanics skill, it is possible to craft a silencer from common items.

Later, load up on comestibles, tools and knowledge. Visit libraries, hardware stores, grocery stores and more. Loot every place that might contain useful means of survival. Manage your resources carefully. During your travels you should aim to be continually better prepared for all kinds of problems. These will come for sure. Zombies, triffids, fungaloids, giant ants, diseases ...

Butcher every corpse you find. Practice makes perfect. Learn how to cook and soon lone green Z's will look like meals on two legs. Unless your character is a vegetarian, that is.

Features

  • Detailed character creation, with a plethora of traits to choose from.
  • Bionics; Similar to the magic system in many games.
  • Mutations, both positive and negative.
  • Unbounded, fully randomized three-dimensional world map that is persistent between characters.
  • Item crafting!
    • New recipes may be acquired by honing your knowledge through practice or learning from books
  • Realistic fire, smoke, and other dynamic map effects.
  • NPCs:
    • Menu-based dialog.
    • Item trading. Barter skill.
    • Ability to recruit, hire, or enslave NPCs to form a party.
  • Randomized Factions with their own economies and longterm goals. May help you if your standing is good enough.
  • A day/night cycle with the need to sleep. Use caffeine to stay awake longer if you must but be aware this is not healthy.
  • Over 300 item types, including a multitude of real-world guns, drugs, and tools.
    • Many drugs are addictive, and will require continuous use to avoid withdrawal effects.
  • Ability to board doors and windows, construct traps and fortify your home base to prevent a rude awakening by a zombie.

Undocumented Debug Keys

  • ~ toggles debug mode; during debug mode, extra debug messages will be displayed.
  • z reveals the world map (and will also tell you how many radio towers it contains)
  • M displays your addictions and their severity, and will also let you know when the next monster spawn will occur.
  • Z allows you to "wish" for an item. It's ugly and not very user friendly right now; hitting spacebar wishes for the selected item, and "/<name><ENTER>" will search for, and select, item <name> (e.g. "/5.56<ENTER>" will select 5.56 NATO). Be warned this is a debug tool and as such is not perfected. Using it may lead to crash long term.
  • G will spawn a random NPC nearby. They'll want to talk to you, but there's a good chance that their intentions are not benign.
  • ' displays the scent map.
  • * causes the player to teleport a short distance. This perfectly mimics the in-game "teleporter" item.
    • This is mainly useful if you somehow get stuck inside walls or the like. Let me know via email or the talk page here if that happens.
    • Just like the teleporter, using * will cause you to become slightly disconnected from reality. This can cause illness, teleportitis, hostile summons and more. Use sparingly.
  • % displays your morale modifiers.
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