Since we've started work on a proper build order, I figure it's time to tackle the more difficult half of the problem: humans. Most towns run on some sort of ad-hoc system where 2 or 3 people who think they know the system tell people "Build x now!".

This is clearly a suboptimal strategy since it relies on a certain number of people ignoring that advice and scavenging and at least a certain number of people forgoing scavenging (arguably the "fun" part of the day's activities) and spending AP on construction projects.

How can you organize your fellow citizens to do the right tasks at the right time? Keep in mind that a certain percentage of people will do whatever they want.

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    I usually have this problem and its turned me off to the game. The biggest issue is usually getting people to go for a Workshop first. Many times it never gets built.
    – tzenes
    Commented Dec 2, 2010 at 17:48
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    A drastic solution would be to take the planks and iron from the bank until you have enough to build the workshop, I guess. Commented Dec 2, 2010 at 18:08
  • Many people do that, but then no one knows who has what! Commented Dec 2, 2010 at 18:22
  • I think its going to come down to people getting experience with the game, the % of new people should go down over time. My efforts to help organize my current town have felt mostly wasted.
    – bwarner
    Commented Dec 2, 2010 at 18:40
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    @bwarner - True, except there's also an influx of newcomers now that it's launched.
    – user56
    Commented Dec 2, 2010 at 19:25

2 Answers 2


Be Active!

One of the best things you can do is to make everything as simple as possible for the rest of the town. One of the easiest ways to do this is to make sure the stickied threads stay on-topic. One of the easiest ways to do this is to start off by making a bunch of other threads for specific purposes. Here are some examples to get you started:

  • An Expeditions thread, to be updated daily. Here, your town can organize its expeditions each day.

  • A Daily Summary thread, where you or others can post a brief summary of the previous day each morning, for those who might have not had a real chance to get involved the day before, and want to know what took place (i.e. what was built, found, important descisions, etc).

  • A Town Ranking thread with a link to the Leaderboards. Here your townsfolk can compare your own strategies with those of other towns.

  • Discussion Threads for Construction, Town Upgrades, and Workshop threads. By separating the discussion, you can leave the Stickied threads for simple instructions based on what is decided in the discussion threads. Less active players may find that much more useful than sorting through pages of discussion on the main thread to find out what they are supposed to be doing.

  • A Water Discussion thread. This one is very useful.

  • A Resources: Current Priorites thread, to discuss what items townsfolk should be choosing over others when scavenging.

  • A Gate Duty thread, for townsfolk to decide who will close the gates each night. To be used daily.

  • A General Chat thread. This allows your townsfolk to get to know one another, and also keeps this chatting out of more important threads, like the Bank, for instance.

  • A Complaint thread. Yes, this one is important as well! Each banished citizen is a waste of a minimum of 12 ap every day. Banishments should be avoided if they can. This thread can be used for citizens to work out their differences, or explain actions that may have caused other residents some annoyance.

Remember, the earlier you set this up, the better, as doing so will avoid a greater confusion of inane threads towards the beginning of the game. Try to get some of the more influential townsfolk to use the threads you create, and encourage them to create their own general threads like these, and (mostly) everyone else will follow suit eventually.

Another important thing to remember is to clearly state in each of these threads, that they should be used as stickied threads, daily. It makes much more sense to have one gate duty thread used every day than to flood the boards with 2 or 3 new ones every day.

This will obviously not work for every town out there, but I have been in towns where others have done similar things, and I've tried to do something of the sort in my current town, and the results are good enough to warrant giving it a try, I think. The trick is to make everyone else think you know exactly what you are doing, and they will tend to fall into step behind you.

Also, make use of external applications!

This Map is particularly useful, because it lets you list exactly which items have been left at each place on the map, as well as listing the number of zombies, and townsfolk at each space, among other things.

Fair warning. The tricky part here is that links to these services go against the linking policy. Your post, if reported, will be removed if you link to those pages. Please read the "RULES & MODERATION IN TOWN FORUMS" thread in the world forums Help section for more information.


What our town has tried is giving everyone a job. Have people claim, construction, scavenging, or rescue. Construction waits to see the build order for the day and builds or creates the items needed to start building in the work shop. Scavengers go out for most of the day in groups or solo, and rescuers, hold back in case people get stuck, hopefully most of the time they can throw their AP in construction after everyone is in the gates though.

Having everyone put their job in their status makes it easy to see what people are doing what in the citizen page. If people don't put up their status or don't reply with a job, you can pretty much assume they'll be doing whatever they feel like.

It's still a bit like herding cats though.

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    For this organization to work, however, you do need to have one person take charge of construction and one person take charge of scavenging. In our city, the leaders come from the beta's best city so it has been trivial for them to take control. Your prestige, control, success and mileage may vary however!
    – badp
    Commented Dec 6, 2010 at 18:21

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