News, Q&A Review 76

Q&A: Shooting And More!

Happy Friday, Zed Heads!

It’s been another awesomely productive week here at the Lab! While the team has been steadily cruising along on development (and putting up sweet, zombie-themed holiday decorations), I’ve been getting up to speed on design and hitting fansites to get to know you guys.

As I was catching up on forum posts, I noticed that many of you have questions for us. We’re still early in development (which means we can’t talk in great detail about certain topics), but I did find a number of things that can be clarified.

Check out what we covered.

Fatbird3 from MMOZed asks: Will the game be an open persistent world? Or will it be instance-based? Or even session-based?

It will be an open persistent world. Why? Let’s break it down:

  • Open: We want players to be able to hop in and out of the game when they choose. We also want to provide an open-ended experience that will let people play as they’d like, explore where they’d like, and survive how they’d like.
  • Persistent: You may sleep, but zombies don’t. They’ll still be shambling around out there, looking for flesh and brains, even when you’re away. In order to create a true horror experience, time will pass in our game. You can step away, but when you come back, things may have evolved and changed according to the nature of a persistent world.
  • World: This may seem like a no-brainer, but we’re building an actual world. We want it to live, breathe, change and evolve over time, responding to the choices you make while immersed in it.

Building an open persistent world just makes the most sense for what we’re trying to accomplish.

Swampfetus from MMOZed asks: Will there be vehicles? If so, will we be able to customize them?

Definitely. After all, who DOESN’T want to be able to jump into a truck and mow down a horde of zombies?

As far as customization goes, it’s something we’ve talked about and like. There are a lot of fun possibilities. The reality, though, is that this isn’t the kind of thing we can promise. We like it, but it’s not as core the game as other things (like dismemberment!), so if push comes to shove schedule-wise, car customization might not make the cut.

AlquedaBunny from MMOZed asks: Is the game an FPS where you aim and shoot, having a chance to hit based on the roll of a dice?

As Foge indicated in his last post, we want to let players determine their own fate with skillful play as opposed to figuring out how to stack the right numerical bonuses. You’ll be able to aim. We recommend aiming for the head.

Kevin Ryman from MMOZed asks: Will there be a gun skill? Meaning the first time you pick up a rifle you wouldn’t be able to shoot the broad side of a barn, but after a few hundred times you could hit a fly off a post from a mile with no scope?

Yes and no. There will be ways to improve your skill with weapons, but having stats doesn’t mean that you should have to suck until you grind your numbers up to a certain level. That’s not fun, so we’re not going to do it.

Fundamentally, combat is based on a player’s skill, but that still leaves plenty of room for some RPG-style advancement. As examples, things like character stamina (remember: Rule #1: Cardio), reload speed, and even how much running affects your accuracy are all on the table.

But when we talk about accuracy, we mean that in the shooter sense, not the turn-based RPG sense. It’s how much spread variance there is for your shots, not random hit chance. So a barn would have to be pretty far away for you to have trouble hitting its broad side.

BrainFriis from MMOZed asks: What level of realism are you aiming for (besides the fact that there are zombies in the game and not in this boring old real world)?

Well, fun is always our top priority. For example, most people can’t hot-wire a car in real life (in fact, as we were discussing at lunch yesterday, modern cars aren’t even susceptible to old-school hot-wiring). For the sake of fun, though, we’ll probably let you hop into just about any car and be able to start it up.

Still, part of the appeal of this premise of our game is that it takes place in a real-world setting (aside from the zombies, of course), so we want the overall look and feel of the game to be realistic.

Dantron from MMOZed asks: Dantron is more concerned with the nature of the beings barbed-wired to the poles. Are they zombies or humans? If they are humans, then Dantron wonders what they did to deserve such treatment? Were these humans bad and getting their just desserts? (Mmmm…desserts…) Or were these poor unfortunate humans strung up by the bad humans? If so, why?

Dantron is right to wonder about these things. If they were zombies, it’s hardly rational to string them up like this. If they were people (even really bad people), this would be an evil way to treat them. Either way, it seems to confirm that in a crisis situation, humans may act in ways that are neither rational nor good. Too bad that more of us aren’t robots, huh?

Nukaclaw asks in a blog comment: There’s been this single question nagging me the every time I read your posts. How will we leave the game? When will it be safe to save and quit? Will we come back to discover our base overrun with bandits or that we’ve been transformed into one of the living dead?

In a persistent world, action continues even when you’re away from the game. Regardless, we know that we need to be realistic about the kind of play patterns people have. Sometimes you get an urgent phone call. Sometimes you take a vacation. Heck, sometimes the power goes out. In general, the game will not kill and zombify you immediately just because you needed to take a break…even when you have to step away on short notice.

Chase asks in a blog comment: Do you guys have any more concept art? I would love to see some more!

Doug told us this morning that he’s tired of drawing zombies. In fact, in a teary-eyed confession, he admitted that he never liked zombies or art. There will be no more concept art.

Oh, except maybe this:

That wraps up what we’ve got for now! Stay tuned for future updates, which I’ll post periodically as more information becomes available. Also remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the most up-to-date news.

Have a fantastic weekend, and don’t forget to watch the season finale of Walking Dead this Sunday. Most of us will be catching it at our favorite local pub, so here’s to it being awesome!


  1. Researcher: BridgeX

    WOW! It’s great to see some initiative community wise with answer questions. Hoping to see more Q&A’s in the future.

  2. Researcher: Grendel/Alquedabunny

    O_O _<

    <3 the robot post

    I love how you guys pay attention to the individual and we're just not another comment/message/ ticket with an idea or a complaint

  3. Researcher: Andrea

    Hmm, your zombie-themed Christmas tree seems to be missing something… Ah, garland! No tree is complete without a few strands of garland. Maybe a spinal cord extending down from the brain, or some juicy red intestines draped over it. Eh, I suppose you’d get some pretty odd looks from the clerk at the craft store if you asked for either of those… >.>

  4. Researcher: Emily

    @BridgeX: Glad you like it! We’re still early in development, but I’ll try to do these periodically when there are batches of questions to answer.

    @Alquedabunny: Yeah, Dantron’s post cracked us up, so we had to answer. And of course you guys aren’t just tickets. I told you we listen. Eesh :p

    @Andrea: That’s actually a great idea. The creator of that tree made a sweet set of intestines for Halloween that I bet he could repurpose. For the curious, he took some of those plastic Hawaiian leis, put them on a flat surface, and rolled them repeatedly in liquid latex. It made some really amazing guts.

    DISCLAIMER: If you mess with latex stuff on your own, make sure you have lots of ventilation. It’s really stinky (smells like ammonia) and will gas you out if there’s not enough air. I learned this the hard way years back, so learn from my mistake. :)

    • Researcher: thevictorofzedhandtohand

      we need a melle system that works like deadisland,fightnight,and mma. using the right analog stick. and we need hand to hand combat. muay thai,boxing,kung fu,judo, wrestling,and good old street fighting like sicor leg takedown on spinting zombies to smash their heads into the floor or a yujiro style axe kick to a zeds dome i can help mocap if thats the problem im a nerd my self when it comes to martial arts and fighting in genaral

  5. Researcher: Alex

    Hey great post!

    I’ve been checking the game out, it seems awesome! This last post gives a lot of new info, but I have one question to ask as well.

    Will there be a medium for creation in the game?

    I believe a great zombie survival game based in an apocalyptic world (a world already equipped with physics) should allow the player to use his/her sick and twisted ingenuity to kill zombies. How about boarding up a window or being able to freehand modify a car into a makeshift tank? (i.e. Dawn of the Dead) Or a house into a makeshift fortress? By allowing the player to build and create could end up giving the game ultimate replayability, along with unlimited possibilities.

    It could be relatively simple as well, by allowing methods such as adhesion (nailing two objects together), hinges, pulleys, etc. The more methods of creation included, the more limitless the possibilities. Imagine all those zombie “Kill of the Week” moments (Zombieland style), if only the player was allowed to create Rube Goldberg style content in-game. I don’t think an apocalyptic zombie game would be complete without allowing the player to use not only his gun, but his ingenuity to survive… :’( In other words, according to the Lab Etiquette, I believe you are violating rule #43 of zombie MMO creation if there is no medium for the player to dynamically shape his surroundings.

    Please add a medium for player creation!(sorry for shouting, I get excited.) ..please. XD

  6. Researcher: L3TzN0T

    I hope it’s not rude to ask a question in this openly, I was wondering on the extent of abilities like jumping and grasping onto ledges, climbing trees, or even digging if possible?

  7. Researcher: unTaelok

    Thanks for taking the time and effort to answer a few of our questions. Nice concept art, too!

  8. Researcher: Manic Maverick

    Awesome that you went around and answered questions. :D

    I really love the living, breathing, persistent world idea. It’ll add so much to the gameplay and influence your emotions and the like.

    Also, Doug is a genius.

  9. Researcher: BrainFriis

    Thank you so much for answering my question, this will help me immensely as a guideline to come up with new ideas for the game.
    Much awesomeness is you!

  10. Researcher: alec

    Could you expand on how dropping in and out of the game will work? Mostly, what I’m wondering is how you’re going to balance a persistent, evolving world, with drop-in drop-out play. Specifically, if, say, my friends and I clear a gas station to use as our HQ, and then quit for the night, when we come back, is it going to have been raided of all supplies, filled with zombies, and partially exploded? Or, for instance, are there going to be certain areas (like the safe rooms in L4D) where zombies cannot spawn (or enter), so that players can know they’ll be at least fairly safe when the reconnect? If it’s too early to answer, no worries. I know the game is in good hands.

    • Researcher: Kyle
      Date Recorded: July 31, 2011 at 7:24 pm

      If you die, will you come back to life in a random spawn or be gone for good?

    • Researcher: Brant
      Date Recorded: August 3, 2011 at 3:24 pm

      A very good question that will be addressed in a future post

    • Researcher: durhamarama

      in class4 if we meet more players online could we kill them and take their guns,ammo,food,ect?

    • Researcher: DaBILLShaveSIZE

      Oooooh, I have a really good idea that would solve all of this. In order to fortify and claim a building, there should be a survival kit in the game. These kits should be somewhat challenging to obtain so that all the buildings aren’t quickly taken. When you log off, your kit would remain in the building telling the rest of the server that this building belongs to you and there are locks on the resources. This kit should contain something cool like Zomb-away which repels zombies away, and the kits should be timed for how long they remain active. And It should also be a feature that for larger buildings, multiple kits and multiple people are required so that space is fairly distributed.

    • Researcher: DaBILLShaveSIZE

      And these kits can also be used to repel zombies when you go AFK, except you aren’t allowed to move or perform any other actions while it is active. Problem solved. And with spawning, I think it would be fair if you respawned by the nearest group of survivors with armor penalties, and after you die so much, your armor depletes to rags and you need to invest in new armor

    • Researcher: SILVERX2006

      i think it sounds great, would be a game different from the rest. just was curious on how the progress is going??

    • Researcher: Brant

      We are working very hard and the game is coming along great!

    • Researcher: SILVERX2006

      I was wondering if you going to have Boss zombies within certian areas & respawn & get rewards beating them??? I thought be cool if you had items to collect to make weapons or upgrade them. Be really awesome if you could mod cars with weapons and armor plate them, like on Dawn of the Dead (2004).

    • Researcher: SILVERX2006

      Also i thought if a player got bit, you would have so much time to get medical supplies to prevent you from turning. And if you dont make it in time you would turn into a zombie for so long and go on a killing spree..lol. It would change it from your typical death situations and give it lil bit of fun.

    • Researcher: SILVERX2006

      so, are we looking into another year possibley we could be seeing this game?? as i see “Left4Dead2″ is dead in the water on doing antying else for it, & is cancelling out on making “Left4Dead3″….as far as i know. And this is one of the most interesting & different games from the rest i heard of so far. A game for alot of us have been waiting to see.

    • Researcher: Mason

      When is the approximate date of release for Class 3?