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.
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:
- People eat cotton candy.
- People are what they eat.
- 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!
Have an awesome weekend, everyone!