Lot of good ideas, I feel like a board game would be cool but that would be harder to program. I think a we're alive tcg would be cool, each card would be either mauler, tower, or zombie class. With neutral cards like straggler, or colony cards. And a deck would be one faction. If anyone else would help I'd consider a td game, but if I'm alone, I'll continue the top down work... Maybe I can get a beta out soon.
Ahh...I had an idea for a "We're Alive" game as well, played in the style like a Call of Duty, Halo, or even like Left4Dead, but a little more basic...(this would obviously be more of an expensive version of the game, like maybe it could be optioned by a game company)
First off: The game would begin with a cutscene, Michael getting the phone call at school from Angel, and him driving, witnessing the first zombie attack, and getting to the base. Basically til the point where they are in the vault. Then, the game would progress into Mission 1: Escape from the Base.
Then the game could progress in the same fashion (mission by mission), but I think it would be cool if there was a "tag-team" like option. Let me elaborate: No one goes on missions alone in the story, therefore, you'll always have at least one NPC on your team...what I'd like to have is the option to switch between the characters at will during Player One gameplay. Let's say you're low on health, or get stuck away from the other character...We've all seen the horrors of an AI-driven NPC, and I think this would solve it: Tag out and select the other character that's with you, and control them (then the character you first selected would become the NPC).
Each character would also have a special skill, or ability. For instance, Riley's bow won't miss unless you're not aiming at a zombie, but the damage is conditional on where the zombie gets hit. Or Saul will toss you a health item when you need one, Pegs throws a flowerpot (distraction item?), etc. (I know that this part sounds similar to other games like the ones I mentioned above, but work with me here)
Interwoven into the missions, there would be audio segments from the show, maybe outlining the beginning of each "chapter."
Basically, my idea would be like a video game version of the show, but with a couple of side quests, (like maybe a Skittles mini-game, or a Mr. Whiskers side mission to escape the...you know what.) Also, in the "Tower" there would be secret rooms to get into to get upgraded weapons, and maybe a first-person "Rat" side quest (that way the identity of the person is still secret).
I don't know what you guys may think about this, but I thought it would be pretty damn awesome if we got a big-platform "We're Alive" game.
The first thing I thought of when I read the thread title was a Half Life 2 Mod.
A lot of what you describe is already built into the code of HL2. The base game has a squad following function that allows up to four NPC's to follow you, it also lets you tell them where to go as well. Some mods built to be the foundation for further modding have expanded the squad function to 12-16 NPC's. In both cases, they will offer you ammo and health when you are low.
As far as the NPC AI in HL2 is concerned, it's not that bad, especially when you get into the dev console and start fiddling with the skill switches. When you start cranking up the numbers a bit, it gets real interesting.
Also, there is a vibrant community of modders who have already done a lot of the work. There are numerous player skins, weapons and vehicle models available for download. Many of the custom maps may also be usable as well.
Oh, and one other thing, SMOD added a shovel as a melee weapon. There you go Michael. Swish. Bong. Win.
"I've got tons of great ideas. Trouble is, most of 'em suck." George Carlin
"I've got the guns, the radio and the water for the Zombie Apocalypse, but you gotta have a yo-yo." Chris Boden