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Night Of The Dead Tutorial – Guide to Maze Design

These different key aspects to your maze design are by no means in order of priority, but are kept as general as they can be, for each individual to adapt to their own maze design situation.

We hope these tips will be useful for you to design your Tower Defense Mazes. Should you have any clarification please do not hesitate to contact us on the forum.

We also have a dedicated sub-forum for building setups and strategies.

Examples given
For examples of each tip you can watch this short video:

10 tips I wish I knew when I started playing

by SolutOdka, for NightOfTheDead.Org

# Be able to reload most of your traps:

  • Reloading the traps of your maze is critical as horde night waves span from minight to past 2 in the morning.
  • You can reload some traps by overhead reloading (by simply havgin access to the trap’roof, such as for Pendulums or Compressors; or by having a floor or bridge upgraded to tier 3 -metal- on top of the trap, then you can reload through the floor or bridge)
  • You can also reload traps through walls and fences (as long as the wall or fence is upgraded to tier 3-metal-)
  • You can also simply have a terrace/balcony style overhang over your trap and reload it from the balcony.

Note: Whenever you can reload a trap through any mean, it implies you can also repair it if needed.

# Figure out Zombies Spanwing Directions

  • There are multiple Gates in the game world, at various locations of the map.
  • Every Horde Nights, from midnight to 2am, Zombie Hordes are spawning from these Gates, and they then move toward the player.
  • Understanding their path from the gates to your base, and knowing which direction they will come from will greatly help masterplanning of your base ! Note:

Note: These gates are also the place where zombies spawns at approximately 9am, 1pm, 5pm, 9pm; for Zombies Hounds looking for the player during day time.

# Masterplan your future Maze, don’t hesitate to build, you can relocate structures

  • It is important to try to plan ahead your future Maze growth (extending it on the Zombie entrance side ? Extending it on its back ? Adding more damage traps, or more slowing traps ? Are you adding another separate maze ? …)
  • You will be able to utilize a Clawhammer tool to demolish structures, get refunded part of the materials, and rebuild differently. (The amount refunded depends on the game difficulty and your Builder Skill research level. At normal difficulty, without any skill points spend you get 50% refund, and can go up to 100% refund at maximum skillpoint).
  • Anything which can be player built, can be demolished (including all traps, all structures, …)

# Some traps can make Zombies fall off the Maze

  • Some Traps such as the Pendulum, the Trap Door, the Cutter Trap (and to some extent the Compressor trap) can make zombies fall off their paths.
  • If your traps are positioned on foundation or on a floor, and have non obstructed sides, some of the zombies will therefore fall off their path, and will then walk back to the entrance of the maze, no matter how far it is.

# Keep traps with lower number of counts towards the end of mazes

  • Different traps have different counts, maximum being 100 counts (Cutter trap, Shredder trap); minimum being 10 counts (Trap Door, Guillotine trap).
  • As all zombies will obviously start the entrance of the maze, but only some will reach the end of the maze; it is highly recommend to position at the start of the maze some high counts traps, while positioning the low counts traps more twards the end of the maze.

# Consider traps combos, and densify some high damage output areas

  • Various traps have a different spatial requirement (ranging from very minimal, such as the Guillotine which can fit in between 2 other traps; to up to 3 platforms big, such as the Pendulum)
  • Some traps can be super imposed, such as putting a spiked floor trap under a compressor trap or under a Pendulum trap. Such combinations are critical to the maze efficiency.
  • Some sections of your maze should be designed to extend time and distance of travel, other areas should be to densify a high damage output in a narrow space.

# Anticipate the future challenges

  • Nights after nights the difficulty is increasing with the increase of zombies on one hand, but at the same time, new types of zombies will start appearing at specific nights. Some initial examples below:
  • Starting Night 2 some zombies will start jumping. (you need either fences/handrails or walls to protect yourself from these jumpers)
  • Starting Night 5~6 some special elite zombies will explode and propagate fire to wooden strctures (not wooden traps), so any structure in wood -tier 1- will burn; and will require urgent repairing with a tree branch or the fire will propagate even more. Recomendation is to upgrade to tier 2 -stone- critical areas !
  • Then multiple types of diferent elites with different strengths and skills will start appearing in the subsequent nights.
  • Elites zombies initially only spawn for the final wave of 2am. But starting Wave 20, even the initial waves will include some elite zombies !

# The radius of attraction

  • Zombies are initially attracted to the player at 50 blocks (foundation size) away, at that point the zombies will calculate their paths every few seconds to reach to the player.
  • The Meat Bait Trap will attract zombies entering with in its radius of attraction, such zombies will then completely ignore the player ! The meat bait trap radius is 8~10 blocks (10 blocks in a straight horizontal line, but it appears to be as low as 8 blocks in diagonal)

# Learn door and zombie mechanics

  • Closed doors are considered by zombies as a full wall, and they will not open the doors. (This has a very important impact in relation to the player position, before or after crossing the door, or before or after closing the door! Zombies might change their pathing when this event occurs!)
  • The game is in alpha development and things are not yet cast in stone, but until recently, if a zombie was going through an open door, the zombie would close it. It recently changed and zombies don’t close doors anymore. At the time of your reading, check out the current stage of development on doors and zombies mechanics.
  • Utilizing these doors mechanics to your advantage as part of your mazes design development is essential.

# Plan for multiple mazes

  • Horde nights are composed of initial “smaller” waves, culminating with the “big” final wave at 2am. If the initial waves did such damages to your maze, the final wave might overcome your defenses. Considering to have a section dedicated to the initial waves, and dedicating your main maze for the final wave can be a safe solution.
  • Ultimately, there will be more and more zombies, nights after nights. And each calculated zombie path to their target can only accommodate a maximum number of zombies (this number is not known, but could be somewhere between 50 to 100); therefore one day will come, if you have only 1 maze the shear number of zombies will overflow from their single path… if you have an alternative path (maybe longer), the excess will “spill” into that longer alternative path.
  • Also, even if you can reload your traps from above/overhead, there is continuously some damages done to the floor or the foundations underneath, and you are likely not in a situation to repair all these during the night; therefore when waves will become bigger and bigger, even if you have upgraded the structures up to tier 3 -metal-, there is a risk that some structures will collapse. Having several mazes both reduces the risk of having too many zombies in 1 single maze and therefore reduces risks of collapse; but also provides mitigation should the collapse event occur.

If you know the enemy, and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

I hope you find this guide helpful, you can watch the video with examples reflecting these basic principles for tower defense maze design in Night of The Dead: .