Q&A: Environments And More

Happy Friday, everyone! Last week, we posted an article from Phinney that explored the world of Class3. This week, we’ll answer the questions that you guys have asked on our website and on fan forums.

Read on to see what we’ve covered!

Matthew from our website asks: “Of course there should be a limit to what can be carried, but what about a truck or SUV? Is there the possibility of using a vehicle to go into town, scavenge, then return to a rural bunker of superness?”

As an individual, you’ll find that there’s a realistic limit to what you can carry, especially if you want to be able to fight freely. One of the big advantages of using a vehicle will be increased storage capacity, but you’ll also want to keep their disadvantages in mind: sound, visibility, fuel and maintenance.

With that said, we’re not making a completely free-form physics simulation. You’re not going to be able to stack the back of a truck with huge, precariously balanced piles of supplies wedged together in an epic display of Tetris mastery. We’ll leave that for your trips to Ikea.

FreakyBowMan from our website asks: “When you start out in the game, will you have basic things to help you survive like a weapon (a pistol or rifle), a vehicle, and enough food and water to get started?”

As is the case with most games, we won’t tune the starting experience until we’re much further in development. We need to know as much as possible about the whole game before we can be certain how to make the best start for it.

Currently, we expect that you’ll start the game essentially empty-handed, but that’s exactly the kind of detail that may change over the course of development.

Many people ask: “Will weather, seasonal changes, and snowy terrain affect gameplay? For example, travel speed, activity level for zeds, and being able to gather water.”

We’re not planning on having weather or seasons in Class3, but are looking forward to introducing them as factors in Class4. We think seasonal changes are an important part of bringing an online world to life and really fit the zombie survival genre.

Being able to set up rain water collectors to enhance your drinking water supply is a cool idea regardless.

Dee Cazo from MMOZed asks: “If you can hit a church bell to make noise and cause a distraction, are you able to shoot the bell to cause this? Would the bell cause more attention than the gun shot?”

It depends on the gun you’re using, how many shots you fire, and on how long the bell keeps ringing. Unless you want to invite all of the zombies in the area to dinner, I wouldn’t recommending going full-auto with a machine gun on a church bell, but that’s up to you.

Lucien from our website asks:Will there be wildlife in the game? If so, will we be able to kill animals and cook them for food?”

We think so. We’ve had discussions about wildlife and have some general ideas about the role that animals will play, but we haven’t worked on these features enough to talk about them in detail publicly. It remains to be seen exactly how extensive the systems will be, but when we mentioned “hunting” in the article, we were talking about hunting animals for food.

Keith Tallon from our website asks: You’ve collectively mentioned a ‘super-horde’ a couple of times — is that scenario something you envision recurring randomly throughout the game?”

As with other undefined terms we’ve thrown around (like “screamer”, which is a zombie prone to making a lot of noise), a super-horde is pretty much what it sounds like and, as you’d imagine, there won’t be super-hordes everywhere all the time. We’ll go into detail about zombie types and zombie hordes in a later design article.

UnleashTheMuse from MMOZed asks:Will there be water and/or piers or boats in the world?”

Yes, there will be water in the game. We want to keep the number of vehicle types down, so it is entirely possible there won’t be boats you can pilot in Class3. We’ll see.

You will be able to swim, but you may want to be careful about that. You never know what’s lurking under the surface.

Sgt. Jonah Hex from our website asks:You mentioned swimming, how will you handle zombies vs. water?”

I’ll just say this: You have to worry about drowning. Zombies don’t.

CaptElmo2165 from our website asks: “How are you planning to excuse the time gap between the start of the meltdown and where our character begins? After all, true survivors would already have acquired weapons, food, water and a safe spot within the first few days. Will we be at a disadvantage?”

Well, I’m not saying the answer to that has anything to do with the isolated mountain resort area that you see in the concepts Doug labeled “starter area” — because that would be giving away something super secret — but I will say that this question is something we’ve considered.

Retro Zombie from MMOZed asks:Will there be insane non player characters?”

We do want to use characters in the game to depict the range of psychological reactions you’d see in a zombie apocalypse. It seems very likely that total societal collapse would push some people over the edge. Heck, there are plenty of less than rational people out there right now. Imagine how nuts they’d be in an end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenario.

Breakd0wn from MMOZed asks: “Will the noise you make from walking attract zombies? For example, if you go into a store that’s been looted and step on a piece of glass.”

The noise that you make will attract zombies. We won’t be modeling the sound from individual shards of glass, but moving slowly is quieter than moving fast, and what you have with you and what you’re walking on may also be a factor. Noise management will be one of many tactical decisions players will need to make from moment to moment.

MarleyTheMongolianMongoose from MMOZed asks:Will the environment be completely open with no instances or loading screens?”

It’s an open world game, so you can expect it to play like one. You won’t hit loading screens when traveling from one part of the map to another.

Huevel from MMOZed asks:How destructable will the environment be?”

Class3 will feature some environmental destruction, physics-based gameplay and player-controlled building, but we don’t want to misrepresent the kind of game we’re making. It will not be as free-form as Minecraft, and the destruction will not be as extensive as a game like Red Faction.

These are the kind of big choices you have to make early in development to set your priorities. First and foremost, our goal is to try to capture the feel of the zombie survival genre. There’s a reason most zombie stories don’t focus on tearing down whole buildings, reshaping terrain, and constructing elaborate mountain-top fortresses — it shifts the conflict from being personal to being strategic. Even though you will have a lot of freedom to make meaningful strategic choices in Class3, we never want the game to stray from that direct, desperate, and personal feeling.

Blowing up the occasional propane tank, gas pump, or SUV would be fun, though, right?

John from MMOZed asks: “How will the players handle waste, from trash to the toilet? Can rotting trash attract zombies? Can players get cholera from sub-standard sanitation?”

The game is about survival and that includes all of the challenges above and beyond being eaten by zombies. Things like cholera and dysentery will be among the hazards you face… though you won’t spend a lot of time in the game managing a communal inventory of feces. ;)

Dantron from MMOZed asks:Dantron inquires if zombies are repelled by cotton candy and if so will Dantron be able to acquire some cotton candy mix from the fairgrounds?”

We would certainly never discourage Dantron from searching the fairgrounds for cotton candy and then instituting a series of empirical data gathering protocols vis-à-vis the walking dead and spun sugar, but we will offer the following a priori analysis:

  1. People eat cotton candy.
  2. People are what they eat.
  3. Zombies are not repelled by people.


That wraps it up! As always, we’d like to thank you guys for sharing your feedback and ideas about Phinney’s post. If you have additional thoughts about the Class3 world, or anything else we’ve covered in this Q&A, post a comment and let us know!

Keep an eye on the site for future updates from the team, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the most up-to-date news alerts.

Have an awesome weekend, everyone!


  1. Researcher: Anonyman!
    Date Recorded: June 10, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Would you happen to have any idea of how large the whole mapping of the game will be? I’m not exactly sure how one would measure that, but i would like some kind of general idea.

    • Researcher: Chris
      Date Recorded: June 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm


    • Researcher: Wild Phil
      Date Recorded: June 10, 2011 at 6:57 pm

      Class 3 is 16 square kilometers according to last week’s page. That’s approximately 40% of the size of Oblivion’s map to put it in perspective.

      That’s a huge map for an XBLA game and by far the biggest game you’ll find on XBLA period.

      So if Class 3′s map is that large Class 4′s will be huge. Easily the largest map found on any Xbox 360 game.

    • Researcher: Jason
      Date Recorded: June 10, 2011 at 7:18 pm

      In Phinney’s post (that is linked in this article) he explains that the world 16 square kilometers.

    • Researcher: Joe2894
      Date Recorded: June 10, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      Oblivion was also 16 square miles. So this game will be huge.

    • Researcher: Joe2894
      Date Recorded: June 10, 2011 at 9:18 pm

      Its the same size as oblivion so freakin huge.

    • Researcher: Wild Phil
      Date Recorded: June 11, 2011 at 11:30 am

      No. Oblivion was 16 sq. miles or 41 sq. kilometers. So Class 3 is roughly 40% of that…which is HUGE for an XBLA game.

    • Researcher: Sye
      Date Recorded: June 15, 2011 at 9:32 am

      Careful now Wild Phil.

      Fuel, which is out for PS3 and X360, is a driving game with a 14400 km² map.

      If class4 tops that, I’ll buy an X360 and get Xbox Live just so I can play.

      Hell, who am I kidding? I’m probably going to do that anyway…

    • Researcher: Stephane LAbbe
      Date Recorded: June 18, 2011 at 11:48 pm

      maybe we can hope class 5 to be as big as dark and light was and ultimatly a weather system as complex as they have even though DNL failed big time

    • Researcher: Jack
      Date Recorded: June 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm

      @Stephane I don’t think there is going to be a Class 5. They might add on more territory to the MMO map later, but they haven’t mentioned anything about releasing a third version of the game

    • Researcher: kmomo

      will the story line of class 3 be decided by the player, like in mass effect, and will different decisions like weather or not you save a school bus full of kids come back to bite you in the but (both figuratively and literally)

    • Researcher: stéphane l"abbé

      @Jack for the records, i know that there is no class-5, but i’m just hoping that someone achieve what they failed at npcube. class-4 have a chance to achieve a really high level of game quality not only for the zombie genre.

  2. Researcher: John
    Date Recorded: June 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Thanks for the Q&A, Emily. Makes me want to play 3 & 4 more and more.

    Oh, one more, and you may have answered this…will our progress in Class3 be transferable to Class4?


    • Researcher: Emily
      Date Recorded: June 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm

      You’re welcome, John! We’re still discussing progress transfer, so we’ll provide details on that in a future article. :)

  3. Researcher: CaptElmo2165
    Date Recorded: June 10, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    YAY! Well impressed that I got a mention there. Thanks Emily! Cheers for the update it’s what I look forward to on Friday (or saturday morning during hangover!) nowadays :D

  4. Researcher: Wild Phil
    Date Recorded: June 10, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Q&A’s are my favorite. Now tell us what quarter of 2012 Class 3 will arrive. Pretty please :)

  5. Researcher: Brian
    Date Recorded: June 10, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Another great post!
    I am curious about one of the key notes about this game. The strategies we make for: A) Gathering supplies, and B) Having a place to defend.
    I understand those points and how to approach them if I were playing, but my question is: how long do you feel we should be able to defend our location? How large of a location will we be able to manage? Will there be elements of growing attention from zombies the longer we stay in one place? Things of that sort I am eager to learn more about! Keep up the great work!

    • Researcher: Danny
      Date Recorded: June 11, 2011 at 7:11 pm

      I think this is a really interesting point. Also if you are at a specific defensible location, will it eventually become harder to defend?

      PS I am really eager to play this game. I have been following this for the longest time. I can’t wait to see what it looks it! Keep it coming!

  6. Researcher: tucker
    Date Recorded: June 10, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    i have a question will there be a music player like could we hook up last.fm?

  7. Researcher: Bryan Friedman
    Date Recorded: June 11, 2011 at 12:33 am

    On the topic of the start of the game, could there be several scenarios? Each setting you up for a different sort of play style? Maybe starting in a city, or a suburban town? Could you be a survivor from a military outpost? The start of the game is probably one of my favorite parts.

    • Researcher: Danny
      Date Recorded: June 11, 2011 at 7:12 pm

      As awesome of an idea as that is, I feel like that would be way to hard to pull off. But if it is, I am all for it!

    • Researcher: Brandon
      Date Recorded: June 12, 2011 at 6:56 am

      Maybe depending on what you are you will have a different starting area but your still in roughly the same place such as the same town but say if your a doctor you start out in a hospital or if you were a policeman you would start out in a police station and they all start out with different items like the doc will start out with maybe medicine and the policeman starts out with a pistol.

  8. Researcher: Pepe
    Date Recorded: June 11, 2011 at 8:03 am

    We will be able to hunt and cook wild life!!!! That’s pretty amazing and freaking realistic!! About the guns and the sound they make, I would really like to use a Crossbow with a sniper scope =)
    Will we be able to desguise ourselves as zombies, so they can’t see or smell us? (Like The Walking Dead series)

  9. Researcher: Jordan Cain
    Date Recorded: June 11, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Instead of having to use a vehicle, could we use something like pulling around a cart with our supplies in it? And if players can be injured so it’s difficult to walk could we put them in it and pull them back to base?

    • Researcher: Josh_Rhombusbox
      Date Recorded: June 11, 2011 at 11:07 am

      ya it would be real nice to have ability to use a ATV, or tractor to pull some flat bed trailer or wagon with stuff in it. I like the questions though mentioned in the article about needing to take note of things first.

      Like the noise factor, fuel and maintenance for your vehicles. Thats awesome. If we need to have mechanic type skills, or rely on a person we saved to repair. I hope it actually Shows the person or character with an animation of repairing. Or that repairing a vehicles doesn’t take 3 seconds. But rather might takes 30-60 seconds. Making it feel like your really repairing it.

    • Researcher: Jordan Cain
      Date Recorded: June 22, 2011 at 1:03 pm

      well that’s what I mean like say I stuffed a shopping cart full of stuff then greased the wheels it’d be considerably quieter than a vehicle and still have some extra storage

  10. Researcher: Suburban Freak
    Date Recorded: June 11, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Love the Harold Camping reference.
    Another great article

    • Researcher: patrick
      Date Recorded: June 12, 2011 at 6:17 am

      sorry typo will there be cellphones or radios to communicate with people far away