Case #

02.11.11

Researcher

Subject

News, Q&A

Q&A: Class4 And Design

Happy Friday, survivors! To give your weekend an extra injection of awesome, I bring you our second Q&A session. In this set, we’ll talk a little more about Class4, and field a few more design-related questions.

Let’s get started!


Many readers have asked: “How big will Class4 be?”

Short response: Class4 will be much bigger than Class3. As far as it’s actual scope goes, we’re planning to wait until we’re further into Class3 production before we decide just how big the Class4 world will be.

When you’re early in development on a new project, it can be hard to gauge exactly how long it takes your team to create fun, polished content. By waiting until we’re further along on Class3, we’ll be able to do a much more realistic job of planning out the Class4 world.

So we’ll have to see, but it’s a safe bet that a persistent online world shared by thousands of players would need to be pretty large.


AlquedaBunny from MMOZed asks: “Is there going to be a time difference between Class3 and Class4?”

It’s too early for us to talk story specifics, but we CAN say that the events of Class3 precede Class4, and that the two games take place in the same world. Think of Class4 as the inevitable result of a Class3 outbreak that has not been contained.

Without revealing too many details, I’ll say that we’re not talking about jumping generations into the future. One of the big thrills of zombie apocalypse stories is that they take place in our world, where everything is recognizable and familiar. We don’t want to skip so far ahead in time that the world starts to feel like sci-fi instead of the grounded survival horror that’s at the heart of the premise.


MNM1245 asks in an article comment: “I’m kind of confused about the “Class3″ and “Class4″ thing. Does Class4 just add online support? Will we have to purchase Class4 to get the online portion even if we already bought Class3?”

Class4 will do a lot more than just add online support to Class3. It’s best to think of it as a sequel.

Class3 is our smaller scale, open-world XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade) game that will allow 1-2 people to play together online though Xbox Live or together on the same screen. This game will come out first.

Class4 is our large scale, full online world game that will allow thousands of players to run around simultaneously in a much larger server-hosted world. It will have more weapons, vehicles and zombie types. In addition to vastly greater scope, Class4 will revise and expand any number of game systems like weather, vehicle customization, player-to-player trade, and technology research. It will have types of content specifically designed for having a vast number of players online at the same time. This game will come out after Class3.


Many readers ask: “Will Class4 also be on Xbox 360?”

Yes, Class4 will almost certainly be on Xbox 360. As Jeff mentions in his Rude Q&A:

This isn’t a religious issue for us; we simply want to focus our time, energy, and resources on doing one thing and doing it exceedingly well. Cross-platform development, particularly when you’re pushing technical boundaries as hard we intend to, is complicated and time consuming, and we’d rather focus on gameplay and polish. Focusing on a single platform — particularly one that has a thriving online community — allows us to stay focused on making a great game, rather than wading through the technical and business challenges of supporting multiple platforms.

It’s actually very difficult and time consuming to develop for multiple platforms at once. Different consoles (and PCs) have a number of technical, social, and community differences, so creating a game that works for every one is a huge challenge.

As with anything else, choosing to spread yourself too thin puts quality at risk and can often result in a game that’s less awesome than it could be. We don’t want to do that! Instead, we want to focus on making our game as fun and as polished as can be, which is why we’re choosing to target one platform.


drjakle asks in an article comment: “Have you guys thought about adding keyboard and mouse support to the game?”

We’re building Class3 and Class4 as console-only action games that are meant to be played with a controller. Everything about their design will reflect that purpose, so for that reason, we won’t be supporting keyboard and mouse. The games will both look and feel like they have been made for console.


Monkey Timelord asks in an article comment: “Will there be crafting? Maybe taking a truck and a load of players to building sites and scrap yards to look for raw materials that you then take back to your safe zone and break down and make stronger doors and fences and armour for vehicles and body armour?”

Hell yeah! We’ll keep the mechanics for things like this pretty simple in Class3, but you’ll be able to drive a truck to a construction site, load it up with materials, and then go back home to reinforce your base’s perimeter. At least, you’ll have that option. And we highly recommend doing so.


Daniel asks in an article comment: “Will there be trading among other players or AI characters? Or will there be currency?”

There will be some kind of commerce, but it won’t involve the kind of money you’d find at a bank. We wouldn’t care if someone threw a backpack full of hundred-dollar bills at us after the zombie apocalypse, and we don’t expect your characters to either.


Verterdegete from MMOZed asks: “Will there be any fluff material accompanying these games? As in novels, comic books, short stories, or timeline videos?”

We won’t rule out the possibility of ever developing extras like this in the future — if you look around the Lab at all of our zombie stuff, you’ll see that we’re huge nerds that like to collect cool things. However, our primary focus right now is on making the game, so that will take priority over any promotional projects we may want to tackle.

For now, at least. When we’ve made an awesome game for you, THEN we’ll think about comics and toys.


Stephane LAbbe asks in an article comment: “Will there be a day and night cycle in the game? Will this impact gameplay?”

Phinney asked that I not answer this question so that we could devote a future design article to it, but then sent me a few potentially NSFW links showing the coolness of day and night cycles.

Ugh. Sometimes he’s not as funny as he thinks he is.


And there you have it! I hope that you guys enjoyed these two Q&A sessions. As always, we encourage you to share your questions and thoughts directly with the devs here at undeadlabs.com, or with fellow survivors at fan forums like MMOZed.com. While we may not be able to respond to everything immediately, you never know. Your question could be answered in an upcoming article!

Have a great, zombie-filled weekend. If you’re looking for a funny flick to relax with, I recommend Fido. Or, if you prefer tropical islands and watching zombies fight sharks, Zombi 2 (or Zombie), may be right up your alley.

Emily

  1. Researcher: the fan

    i have been reading your articles since you have started this project, and i just wanted to say that im really siked that youre going to produce it!!!

  2. Researcher: Yacob Cook

    Quick Question: Will the weather and/or seasons affect what type of zombies there would be, when would these zombies apear due to the change of season, and how would the zombies develop due to all of this? (I ask so many questions for some strange reason)

    • Researcher: Emily

      No worries! Questions are more than welcome. :)

      I can’t go into detail about weather stuff right now, as Phinney is planning on covering that topic in a future design article.

      I don’t have a specific timeframe, but it’s on the list of Things to Cover. Stay tuned :)

  3. Researcher: Max Hughes

    OMFG I am so excited for this game!!! Will the two parts (class 3/4) be coming out one before the other, if so, how much of a gap

    • Researcher: Emily

      Glad to see you’re excited! Yes, Class3 will come out before Class4, but we don’t have any timelines to share just yet. As Jeff mentions in his Rude Q&A:

      “…we have an ambitious schedule and a disciplined development process, and we’re serious about getting Class3 into your hands quickly. That said, we can’t commit to date at this point.”

      We’ll be sure to let you know when we have more info about release dates.

  4. Researcher: reidlos dog

    ZOMBIES AT NIGHT, LADIES BY DAY!!

  5. Researcher: noah

    ok question will i be able to look down my scope if i have a sniper rifle, this is the detorming point if ill buy this game or not, and also will we be able to put a scope on say an ar15 or an m249 saw if we find one, i want to know will there be weapon customization

    • Researcher: Yacob Cook

      It has been said before that the game will have some first person gameplay so, yeah although most of the game you will be playing third person

  6. Researcher: Savage Saint

    This game sounds just like the game I’ve been waiting for. But the biggest question i have is: Will this game offer a single player experience? For example a plot that allows you to free roam this world by yourself or, possibly with split screen. I think that having a single player element would really help this game since some people, including myself, enjoy free roam games like this by our selves at times. Please respond if you have any info on this.

    • Researcher: Savage Saint

      Oh and sorry if this question has already been answered already. Im a n00b here :3

    • Researcher: reidlos dog

      It’s actually really up to you friend. In Class 4, you can choose to be a lone wolf. In Class 3, you can only play as with 1-2 players. The choice is yours.

    • Researcher: Savage Saint

      Yeah i figured you could be a lone wolf but what i mean is like is this game just based on the MMO part of games to where there is other real players in the world at all times (ex. DC Universe) or is there like a different gamemode that serves as like a story to the game where you can do everything you could do online with friends but by your self in a single player mode with just fellow npc survivors

    • Researcher: Savage Saint

      In addition to my previous post. Like an offline gamemode is what im trying to say

    • Researcher: Dave

      It is unknown at the time, but my guess would be no with a slightly possible maybe?

    • Researcher: Savage Saint

      Ah thanks Dave. I personally think it would be a nice addition to this game

    • Researcher: Stephane LAbbe

      Well they are very quiet about the plot but they do mention that they don’t give detail about the plot too soon, so yeah, it’s a sure bet that at least in class-3 you will have a real plot. Class 4 being more of a sandbox, you certainly have a main story, but a story-based campain, i would be surprised. Maybe you mean something loke Age Of Conan did, you had to do a certain story and level up alone before reaching the whole big world, that was a nice way to not overcrowd area and not make server crash…

      i hope they understand that they will need the strongest server EVER because this game is going to be an instant hit with million of user.

    • Researcher: Emily

      Good question, Savage Saint!

      Class3 will be an open world game, so you’ll be able to play that single player in your own world.

      Class4 is an online world game, so you when you play that you’ll be online, in a shared, persistent world.

    • Researcher: Savage Saint

      Thanks for the clarification Emily! But i wish it could have a single player part. I would find it highly entertaining. Still the game should be amazing and im still really looking forward to this game. Can’t wait!

      P.S. I think its really cool how you actually reply back to post Emily :3 it shows that UDL actually pays attention to their community.

      -Best of wishes to you and the crew

  7. Researcher: drew

    OK, since class3 is an arcade game…
    will class4 be and actual xbox game?
    that would be somewthing moe desirable i think.

    • Researcher: Maxwell

      This is something I would love to know as well… so far the wording used to describe Class3 and Class4 havent been explicit as to whether Class4 is also going to be XBLA or Xbox 360 Retail Game. In some instances it sounds like they are making it for XBLA in other instances it sounds like they are making it for Xbox 360 full retail. Am hoping Class4 does end up being a full retail game as I imagine there would far less constraints in development and greater scope to work with. Still looking forward to Class3 though!!

    • Researcher: Savage Saint

      I’m pretty sure it will be a retail game. I had read some where else when i very first heard about this game i heard that they wanted to release a smaller scale game before they release like a disc game. I would imagine by the epic largness that UDL is describing in Class 4′s map, would be enough for a retail game.

    • Researcher: Stephane LAbbe

      I guess that the class-3 will be the biggest arcade download we can get :O) I’m glad i still have planty of disc space left (thanks microsoft not letting me copy my legit mp3…. ok an non legit…. to my console)

    • Researcher: Jenkins

      Xbox live limits the size of all XBLA games to no more then 2GB, so it will probably be right at 2 gigs

    • Researcher: Maxwell

      Thats whats a little worrying (2Gb), I wonder if MS are planning on raising the limit again or allowing exceptions…. having a look at other sandbox or open world games on Xbox 360 it seems the average install size is 6Gb+ (GTA IV, RDR, Crackdown, Fallout 3)… now I know visuals on XBLA are improving (Blacklight 700Mb+, Dead Rising Case West 1.14Gb, Breach 1.22Gb) but those aren’t Open World Games. And finally I know visuals aren’t everything, but I imagine a lot of us are hoping for an immersive, believable, possibly eerie environment, besides the artwork shown seems to indicate just that.

  8. Researcher: Dover

    Well, I am honestly trying to hold back many of my questions because of the early stage of development, but there is one this article begs me to ask.

    First, a few assumptions I’m making. Class 3 looks to be smaller scale (in both gameplay terms and story) and Class 4 is designed to be larger in both regards. I’m also assuming the current code names are denoting the severity of the out breaks. By calling Class 4 a sequel and be putting, what I’m assuming is, a narrative progression between the games it suggests that players of the successive games will be experiencing the outbreak as it goes from bad to worse.

    Does this mean there is a possibility of player progression or retention between games?

    Obviously it couldn’t be one to one because it would break the game for people who only play Class 4, but I’m interested in the idea of a gamer playing through Class 3 and then bringing something of that experience into Class 4. Not just a title or a silly vanity item, but something that makes them feel like they are surviving from game to game, really dig into that aspect of the genre.

    I think that getting players invested in the IP and rewarding that investment would be wonderful for retention. Just a thought.

    Keep up the wonderful updates!

    • Researcher: reidlos dog

      “Does this mean there is a possibility of player progression or retention between games?”

      They have hinted at something like this, but nothing has been confirmed. You have to remember, they just announced production last week.

    • Researcher: joey

      You should call the games blood and guts and blood and guts online yah lol no you should call the games survive and survive online or mabey you could call them yah i ran out of i deas umm anyway i would if you could really appreciate it if i could get a basis on where your at on the game and also this has been really bugging me i really really really really really want to know how the re-spawn system works because i saw that someone said it was permanent and its scares me if that’s what is going to happen but othere then that um i really heard nothing else that bothers me with the game at all yah and also i would really (i know i say really alot) like you to convice everyone over there at undead labs to as soon as they can let us the fans see a sneak peek of the graphics and some gameplay asap and if you cant well then thats fine i know you guys are working really hard beacuse you all really love what you are doing and why wouldnt you makeing a Zombie online game best idea ever i love zombies and i love online games so thank you very much for this and i hope this all goes out very smothly

  9. Researcher: Nightman

    The dayman beat me once more, him and his damn friendship…

    AAAAHH AAAAH DAYMAN!

  10. Researcher: Spaz

    I am incredibly excited about this! I’ve been dreaming of a game like this for 5 years or so.

    Once of my favorite things mentioned here is the building and reinforcement aspect.

    Oh right, a question: What will communication be like? All voice chat? Will there be a text chat box? Both maybe.

    And Finally, (Sorry this is a long comment) I would love to see some sort of proximity chat, whether it be voice or text. I think it would add to the realism. Oh btw, I love you guys! Thank you for making this game!

    • Researcher: reidlos dog

      “What will communication be like? All voice chat? Will there be a text chat box? Both maybe.”

      As they state in this article I believe, there will be no keyboard used. There is a really crappy keyboard on the on screen menu for the Xbox 360, and if they do use this, well… let’s just say things won’t be going too well.

      At MMOzed.com we have actually been talking about proximity chat and how interestingly it would effect the game. But with the 360′s private chat capabilities, I personally don’t see it as a very effective means within the game to communicate.

    • Researcher: InsaniumGames

      So what about RP? While they are yet to answer my question, I highly doubt that there will be zero rp factor

    • Researcher: Spaz

      @reidlos dog: Yes, I read the no keyboard/mouse thing but that was more of a controller vs keyboard/mouse discussion right? I leave my keyboard plugged into the usb slot on every game I play to type out my name or password, whatever it may be.

      I know the game will be more geared toward voice chat, but idt an optional chatbox would be an issue. Of course, I’m not a game designer so idk haha.

    • Researcher: reidlos dog

      As of this day, I have yet to ever see a chat box in any Xbox 360 game. You are able to have a party of 8 people in your chat, 4 private chats, and 1 video chat open all at the same time. Having a text chat is something for a PC MMO, not a console MMO. My opinion.

    • Researcher: Spaz

      Final Fantasy XI and Phantasy Star Universe have text chat and they are both MMOs for the 360…The reason text makes sense to me is because not everyone owns a mic. Even if you you don’t own a keyboard, the controller-in-game chat function is still better than nothing. Also it would be a nice backup for if your mic fails somehow because lets face it, you’re usually screwed if you can’t communicate in an MMO haha.

      I’m sorry, are you part of the dev/design team? I was hoping to get feedback from one of them….