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Scavenge. Build. Fight. Survive. Introducing ROAM, an online co-op action game set in a procedurally generated world.
Scavenge. Build. Fight. Survive. Introducing ROAM, an online co-op action game set in a procedurally generated world.
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3,526 backers pledged $102,518 to help bring this project to life.

Player Skills

Posted by ROAM (Creator)

This update we are going to cover the skill system and briefly describe what you can expect in ROAM.


Characters in ROAM will not be created with a clean slate. Players will be able to choose the occupation, profession or societal role that their characters had before the time of the apocalypse! A character's starting occupation determines what types of blueprints they may begin play with. It also determines which base skills receive bonus levels.

In this way, any one character's starting point in ROAM may vastly differ from another character's. Starting characters in traditional RPG's are usually a bland general role and work towards a more specific niche role. In ROAM, characters have the capacity to start off completely varied and then become more and more similar through skill and blueprint progression.

Every game will generate different experiences for each character.Factors such as character death and randomly generated map properties exacerbate the issue of any two characters ever becoming exactly the same. It should be noted that all skills will be lost upon a character's death.


In ROAM there are 6 main skills. Melee, Manufacturing, Construction, Scavenging, Stealth, and Leadership.

Skills are increased through actions that correspond to that skill. For example, melee is increased by killing enemies with a melee weapon. The higher your melee skill is the more powerful you become in melee.

You can expect the skill bar to look something like the image above. Every milestone grants the player increased power in the skill it represents.

Leadership is the only skill that has a visually different skill bar. The Leadership bar is influenced by the player’s choices in the world.

NPCs in the world will interact with you differently depending on the reputation your character has gained. For example, a prisoner (found in a prison!) may only join a player who is aligned “outlaw” and will refuse a player if they are aligned “hero”

Here are the major skills and the ways you can expect to increase them:


How to Level:

  • Kill things with a melee weapon.

What it Does:

  • +Melee Damage
  • +Swing Speed
  • -Fatigue Drain from Melee Swings


How to Level:

  • Using resources to create or upgrade non-structural items.

What it Does:

  • -Commodity Consumption from Crafting
  • +Quality to Stat Rolls (flashlight uses less electricity, etc)
  • +Resources gained from de-construction.(never the full amount returned)


How to Level:

  • Using resources to create or upgrade structures.
  • Repairing structures.

What it Does:

  • -Resource Consumption from Building.
  • +Structure durability and quality.
  • +Resources gained from de-construction (never the full amount returned).


How to Level:

  • Unlocking or opening containers for the first time (cupboards, crates, doors)

What it Does:

  • -Time it takes to pick locks.
  • +Increased Carrying Capacity
  • +Bonus to Commodities Looted


How to Level:

  • Crouch within X units of any enemy.
  • Killing enemies while they are unaware.

What it Does:

  • -Noise created while sneaking.
  • +Harder to see while sneaking.
  • +Bonus to speed while crouching or crawling.


How to Level:

  • Recruit a new NPC to join you.
  • Complete any tasks requested by a NPC.
  • Sending NPCs on missions.
  • Each gain through trust.
  • Each time you kill an enemy near a NPC.
  • Kill a non hostile NPC (Outlaw)
  • Save a non hostile NPC (Hero)

What it Does:

  • +Bonus resources gained from NPC tasks.
  • -Time it takes NPCs to complete tasks.

(These skills are subject to change through the course of development and are displayed here to give a general idea of our design process)

We don't have any skills relating to guns because of the skill based aiming system. Nothing is more annoying, in our opinion, when FPS (or any skill based aiming) games have RPG elements in the aiming system. Most customization to guns will come from modifying and adding attachments.

There aren't any plans to include skills that require an activation or cooldown.

We plan to have a video update out this Friday (2/8/13). Keep asking questions and spreading the word! You guys rock!


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    1. rancor1223 on

      Thats what I wanted to hear! Raising my pledge now!

    2. Ray Reloj on

      Oops, zombies don't have any beef with fire- nvm then. - and it'll prob take away a ton of time better spent on the core game. -but in spite of this, a chainsaw would still be damn cool when you're surrounded and your stamina for swinging melee is low. *hack' bzzzz' slash! :D

    3. Ray Reloj on

      Awesome awesome! - might I ask too if you guys have plans for like special category weapons; maybe something like, idk, flamethrower/torch, riot shield, Molotovs, chainsaws, and maybe drive a lawnmower- mad modded for mulching zombies 'course, *just some ideas popped up during the day. -If it's not feasible I understand. - o happy days ahead!

    4. Justin Davies on

      Great update but I want MORE VIDEOS NOW!!!!!!!! lol am i the only one? this game looks great keep up the good work.

    5. ROAM Creator on

      It's hard to say exactly how large the maps will be at the moment, but you can expect them to be big. Especially since vehicles are in the game and we dont want people to be driving across the world in 5 minutes.

    6. Kyle John Wheeler-Adams on

      I have faith in this game.

      It will get approved EASY on Steam Greenlight because this game looks soo good. When it is, roll out the beta then through Steam and this is ALL I will be playing, it looks amazing.

      The more I hear about this, the more eager I get to play it.

      How big is the map and can we take a vehicle and just drive around etc... I plan on playing with a friend or 2 anyway and building a nice base. Be good to create your own game, or is this game server based? Also what about the map size?

    7. rancor1223 on

      How big map can we expect?
      I am curious because of the ability to use cars and the end game. I suppose, that one of the goals could be to recreate a small city (Walkind Dead S03 is great example) for example. But after a while, you would just clean the close area from resources. So you use car to travel further. But how far? How many different locations can we expect? I mean like, Small willage, city, coast, prison, harbour, airport,...?

      Keep up! So far it looks incredible!

    8. Sigwig on

      I love it! There will already be enough fiddling around in menus with the whole crafting, building and inventory management. Give me a skill system that only requires I just play the friggin' game! Seems to fit with the overall fast paced theme of the game. Great job! :D

    9. ROAM Creator on

      Will there be "skill level up" finds?
      - No, you will level your skills through actions. Doing something more makes you better at it

      Ranged weapons/skills?- (in reference to 'aim/steadiness/accuracy)
      - With the aiming system we have set up, it would become extremely frustrating to be aiming at something and miss over and over. The controls play almost like an FPS. Through attachments you can still modify your ranged weapon's clip size, add specialized attachments (flashlight/laser pointer/silencer), and modify the spread (sawed-off shotgun vs. regular shotgun). Through adding/creating these attachments you are getting skill points in "Manufacturing"

      Sandbox only? Story?
      - Currently it is sandbox only. The $70k stretch goal will open up more end game options for players if they choose to do pursue goals/scripted world events.

    10. Victor A Burgos on

      Okay. Now I have a question I am having a hard time finding an answer for: Trading/Setting Up is that going to be accomplished? Especially when we are talking about PvPvE servers...

    11. Victor A Burgos on

      Just saying...a Bazooka...extremely rare:P Sniper...Shotguns...Pistols...all different types...different ammo too...

    12. Victor A Burgos on

      And better have some damn Ranged Weapons!

    13. Victor A Burgos on

      Awesome stuff better than WarZ LOL!!!! Not hard:P But you have to compete against DayZ better, be open!

    14. Missing avatar


      You mentioned the skills being reset when you die. This made me curious about what the "end game" would be. Is this just a sandbox game about building your base up as much as possible and leveling your character up by aimlessly exploring the world? And/or was there a planned storyline?

      Are there going to be more than one type of gameplay modes, i.e:
      survival mode where you build your base up against waves of zombies (gaining new tech/blueprints from drops and/or via some purchasing system) and try to survive as long as possible

      an arcade/quickplay mode where you get one life and some kind of "advanced starting kit" and you have a goal or objective that you work towards and once you get there/achieve it you get a reward/points and are directed to your next objective but if you die game over

      a more persistant game mode where you are just out exploring the world and leveling your character but you don't have to worry about losing any progress (If you die you just respawn at some, player or game, designated base camp and only lose what physical items you were carrying).

    15. BruceP - Chameleon Prime

      I was also going to ask about Ranged weapons/skill. :)

    16. Kitaek Lim on

      no ranged weapons specialization?

    17. Jalister on

      I love it when a game looks better and better with each passing update.

    18. Ray Reloj on

      Awesome update! -just a question though: Ranged weapons/skills?- (in reference to 'aim/steadiness/accuracy)-- well, unless it was discussed previously, then if you please, refresh me? -- *anticipation piqued!* --thanks!

    19. Veav on

      When you say "starting point" can that be a literal starting point? White-collar urban types start in uptown city, blue-collar urban types start in the ghetto, middle-class suburban in the 'burbs and lower-class in the infill, and rural out in the sticks? I would rather have an isolated, out-of-character tutorial, than have every new character start in the same alley with the same set of tasks (even if the garbage can and the dead dog change positions).

    20. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    21. David "DaveAzoicer" Linder on

      Awesome update guys! Keep it up!

    22. Sigd on

      Awesome update, sounding good. Intrigued by the mention of Fatigue...