Note: there may be other topics on this, but I just had this idea while thinking up ideas for my comic, so yeah.
Tl;dr: you can use flares to signal airdrop planes to drop an airdrop rather than them just dropping one with no incentive. And some other random bs.
can be converted to flare gun ammo
can be used to signal low flying aircraft (such as rescue helicopters in certain gamemodes, or other things)
can be used as a torch of sorts.
can be used to signal an airdrop plane flying overhead to drop it’s airdrop somewhere on the map. Flare guns and their ammo would be VERY rare in this regard.
can be shot at zombies or players to set them on fire
can be used as a large distraction for zombies (such as someone going to one side of town and firing a flare, attracting most of the zombies and making it safer to loot one side temporarily)
very large area light source when fired.
have different variants, which get rarer and rarer (civilian, medical, fortification, scientific, military, advanced, ect.)
no longer have lights on the bottom just have smoke for a short while, but it can’t be seen nearly as far (make it denser smoke, but shorter and affected by wind)
drop nearby-ish (within a mile or two) of the first flare, or the closest that the plane can drop it to the flares location without deviating from its course.
affected by wind
if it hits into something from the wind, it can be damaged dropping some of its items. (this literally could allow you to find say, A medical airdrop from fallen pill bottles leading to it. )
lower altitude. Reasoning for this later
ability to be shot down. Depending on how it crashes depends on how much loot will be left over. If it crashes into a building, it will set the housing in fire, and be completely destroyed. If it crashes jk a field, it will be mostly intact. Certain areas would probably be set as crash sites, to make it less program intensive for it to have a plane wreck.
if you shoot down an airdrop plane, you will basically become public enemy #1 to the npcs
crashed airdrop planes will have a horde of zombies that will converge on the crash.
perhaps occasional events where a bandit Npc will shoot down the plane and you will find bandits at the crash site?
airdrop types depend on how long after the apocalypse the map is based (ex. A few days after, there won’t be any, few weeks, civilian gear such as ponchos and such, a few months, medical, a few years,
military, and so on. )
other types of planes will fly over the area (such as passenger planes, though these would probably be if the map was based in a quarantined area. )
yet another way to signal air vehicles
require power, and are most likely already attached to a building.
And that’s about all I can come up with RN. Suggest other random ideas if you want, I’ll quote them.
Airdrops should land relatively far out of the player’s way. Otherwise, it’s too easy for people to shoot a flare off in their base, or an otherwise obscure area nobody else can easily reach, and get free loot easily. If the smoke and lights are more difficult to see from farther away, then it’s just making it easier for people to get all of the loot uncontested.
Smoke is dense, and pillar-like. Affected by wind, and carried far out so players can easily see airdrops (regardless of whether or not they were called in by a flare).
Carepackages have lights, so that they’re easier to see at night. Alternatively, an easier-to-see smoke color is used at night (typically this is orange). It wouldn’t make sense for carepackages to drop at night otherwise.
Carepackages don’t drop near the player. At least, not near enough where the walking required is insubstantial. There’s a few ways we could do this.
The airdrop occurs somewhere randomly in, say, 500–1000 kilometer radius of you. Since you called in the airdrop, you’re going to be the most prepared for it and one of the closest people to it. Once you see which direction the plane is coming from, you already know the two directions you should be moving in.
Flares generally don’t summon planes out of nowhere. Instead, planes periodically pass through the map, albeit rarely, and using a flare gun will cause them to drop a carepackage somewhere farther up ahead. They can still drop packages normally, but using a flare gun will help guarantee that it’s near you.
Really, I like both of them. The second idea is more interactive though, and allows for some more interesting things like:
Planes leave a white non-emergency smoke trail behind after dropping a carepackage, so that you know they’ve already dropped one behind them.
There could be a way to distinguish type of carepackage being carried by the plane, so that players don’t feel obligated to shoot a flare at every plane. Instead, they can choose when they want to take that gamble for potentially much-needed loot.
Maybe you could craft a makeshift flare that wouldnt be strong enough to attract the atention of the plane but strong enough to attract zombies , the actual flare would work a lot better on atracting the zombies , so much so that it could be your downside . Lets say you shoot a flare in the sky , you see the airdrop dropping but now you have zombies to deal with or run away from . I also think there should be zombies at the drop site so that a naked cant just get a lot of gear by just getting lucky
One possible way to find out what kind of cargo loaded on the plane would be for a radio message the plane could send, so players would need to build an improvised radio set.
Remembering that this message would only be received when the plane was close enough.
Or maybe they look different based in their load?
Like a care package would have the red cross or something and a military one would have the symbol of the coalition or something like that (sorry if i stole anyrhing fron you again Aj , i dont mean to )