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: ChrisR2131

    I love you guys! I’ve been waiting for someone to develop a game like this! I can’t wait to play this. :DD

  2. Researcher: kallum666

    nice collection

  3. Researcher: Reinpret

    Ok, I’m actually not sure If i can contain my excitement for this. I read about the question about Getting a truck from a safe zone, going and with fellow survivors and quickly loading up a truck full of supplies and salvage to bring back and upgrade your compound or whatever it’s called… Let me say this ———-

    after i read that, I got up and walked around the room in excitement..my goodness thank you guys for makign this game, ive been talking literally aobut this EXACT game for years.. your finally doing it !!@ i’m going crazy over here.

    • Researcher: Reinpret

      I just had an interesting and somewhat embarrassing chat with a friend. I posted it over on our website. It’s not a plug really, I just think you guys might enjoy the read. It’s nerd enthusiasm to the next level.

      http://tinyurl.com/4fy7zzp

      Tell me what you guys think? haha

    • Researcher: Reinpret

      Forgot to mention, I wanted to post that link not to plug anything, I just want you guys to see the kind of excitement you’ve created in people. Late 20′s people should not speak like we did in this chat lol…

      However, I think we all know that this nerdy enthusiasm is not unique to us, many of the followers here I can imagine have very funny chat logs as well.

    • Researcher: reidlos dog

      YOU ARE NOT ALONE BROTHER!!! YOU ARE HOME TO MANY MANY DORKS HERE!!

    • Researcher: G.C.

      For me its hard to geek out about the game yet. The friend I typically would have had conversations like that with is off in Afghanistan.

      So, as I sit at work on the graveyard shift, I geek out on here. Gotta love being a police dispatcher (in a small town at a college PD), mostly boring, mostly dealing with drunks and occasionally getting some crazy stuff but mostly boring.

  4. Researcher: michaelov

    Hey guys, this game is the answer to my dreams. For so long I have waited for such a comprehensive survival game and this one looks set to achieve just such a desire. I have a quick question though: Where is this game going to be released? Are you planning for a worldwide release or is it going to be a country specific release?

    • Researcher: Emily

      Glad you’re excited! As far as release info goes, as Jeff mentions in his Rude Q&A:

      “It’s always nice to say “when it’s ready,” but that phrase has been getting thrown around a lot these days — often for purposes other than expressing a true commitment to quality — and basically means “no comment.” I’ll instead say that 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.”

    • Researcher: michaelov

      No what i meant to ask was not regarding a release date. I actually meant as in to the countries that the game will be available to purchase in. As I am in australia we miss out on some pretty awesome games and i wouldnt want to miss a chance such as this…

  5. Researcher: michael

    Will the xbox console be able to handle “Class 4″ ? with lots of players and zombies will things get a bit choppy

    • Researcher: reidlos dog

      Have you played RDR on the 360? Or Halo Forge World?

      Also, this game will be server side supported (class 4), so all the 360 needs to do is basically load the game up. Just to let you know, the 360 does have a 10 MB eRAM with a triple core processor and 512 mb RAM. Only thing really effect the 360 is the RAM, and the CD drive seems to take care of that low RAM.

      The true question is, will we be able to handle the game when it comes out?

    • Researcher: michael

      Thanx!!!! i really didnt know what would be running most of the game

    • Researcher: michael

      LOL i dont know if any of us can wait

    • Researcher: Budwyzer

      Things will get choppy and lag will be terrible thanks to that 512mb of RAM. Playing DCUO right now on PS3 and it the same amount of ram, because of this when there are multiple people on screen at the same time loading their character info can take forever. Microsoft should offer upgrades for the console if theyre going to go through with this.

    • Researcher: reidlos dog

      I’ve had a good 18 people near me going crazy in RDR against a village, and no lag for the 360. With that said, RDR doesn’t even use a server side based game.

      DCU sounds like it might need more fine tuning? Really, playing with 18 people on forge world with the entire map using exploding objects and stuff doesn’t even lag out the game.

      And a game like MAG doesn’t lag that much either. MAG implements the same type of game engine as Halo, meaning that the resolution and graphics processing of the game, is lowered for far away objects.

      Some guys (maybe DCU) still use a full out graphics processing engine, where everything is in HD, even the tree a half mile away from you.

      My take on that. Game engines really do make or break a game.

    • Researcher: Budwyzer

      It uses the Quake engine. I noticed that it even blurs out objects that are close up, which is realistic AND saves on processing.
      And 18 is nothing. We have PVP events all the time that include nearly 50 all at once, in one area. And with having to load: info, models, and color palettes, half of the time the game freezes. Though yea it does need fine tuning, a bunch of us agree that it must have memory leaks with the way it behaves.
      Hopefully these guys find a better engine, the Halo one sounds like a great idea. Big Team Slayer matches experience very little lag, and physics is included in the game, so yeah it could work great I guess.

    • Researcher: Budwyzer

      Wait.. maybe it was the Unreal engine, I dont recall exactly. LOL coulda been DOOM for all my memory is right now.

  6. Researcher: drjakle

    thnx for answering my question im very excited about this game. lol it feels like i am keyboard turning when i use a controller to aim. ill just have to get use to it.

  7. Researcher: Dennis

    Hi! will your character have to sleep and eat?

    • Researcher: Darin Roberts

      they did mention having to eat and drink but nothing about sleeping just yet.

    • Researcher: amishdemon

      Perhaps sleeping would be like saving a quitting it wouldn’t be the first game to do that.

    • Researcher: Bronski

      I imagine “sleeping” will be when you log out. With the game being (eventually) an MMO then there really is no way to simulate sleeping.

  8. Researcher: Awesomedude360

    I have a question. Is there anything you CAN’T do in this game. Lol, this is all just so perfect. Oh and are you guys thinking of a name yet?

  9. Researcher: Neil

    Will this game make it into 2011, or move into the New Year? It may be too early to tell, but I guess it’s better to ask rather than keep it to myself. :)

    Neil

    • Researcher: reidlos dog

      Class 3 will not be coming out this year. So I doubt Class 4 will even come out next year.

    • Researcher: Budwyzer

      Oh heck no, they havent even started making the game yet it looks like. Notice that all the pics up are concept art. This game wont be out for like 3 years probably. Maybe sooner for Class 3

    • Researcher: Jeff

      Hey Budwyzer, I can assure you we are fully into development. Oh so fully. ;)

    • Researcher: Chris

      (borat voice)^^^^ I like!!

    • Researcher: Reinpret

      thats a smirky comment there Jeff. hehe, I assume your philosophy on game development probably has you a little further along that many of us expect you to be.

      well atleast thats what were hoping for heh. But based on everything you’ve said and thats been posted from the team over there, Having read about how you approach game development, where everyone knows what they are working on daily and why they are making what they are making. it gives me alot of confidence.

    • Researcher: Michael

      I think you should get some more ppl in on developing the game try to get it out by early 2012

    • Researcher: Michael

      CLASS 3 NOT CLASS 4

    • Researcher: reidlos dog

      @ Micheal

      Mr. Strain has already stated that he would really like to keep the game in house, because once you start getting larger teams, the goal for the overall game tends to be lost. In their words: ‘the reason why most game studios don’t do successful with a game is because everyone is making a different game.’

      By having a smaller team, you get a much more fine tuned video game. I would not be surprised if Class 4 demanded having a bigger team, but by having such a concentrated team for class 3, the mechanics can almost be guaranteed to be awesome.

    • Researcher: michael

      they dont have to have a huge team just u know like 2-3 extra ppl to help

    • Researcher: Stephane LAbbe

      I’m wondering what are the odd that we get a screenshot before summer…

      don’t get me wrong, the concept art are just amazing and i hope you keep them so that we can have it in a hard cover book with our collector’s edition metal case of class-4 that will contain a “survival kit” and also a huge thanks list to all of us alpha followers….

    • Researcher: G.C.

      I’m really looking forward to seeing character models. At least to get a better feel for look the game is going to have. All the concept art is definitely great. I already like what they are doing with that.

    • Researcher: Budwyzer

      Well cover me in strawberries and call me Shirley! I am oh so very happy to hear that!
      I don’t recall ever reading anything that suggested you guys had actually started into development, simply thought that everything right now was theory. I just peed myself a little.
      I love you =D

  10. Researcher: reidlos dog

    OH, and for everyone that is excited (which means everyone that saw the words MMO zombies and Jeff Strain), please post this info on Facebook or your social website!!!

    I can almost guarantee that Microsoft is highly interested in how many hits this site gets, and the more fame (and money) we give to Undead Labs, that much more we are able to repay them everything they are giving to us!!