News Review 321

Ragdolls, Land Mines, and Tentacles, or Just Another Day at the Lab

In January we posted a spy-cam video of the Lab that included some footage of the in-development version of Class3. You responded with a massive amount of comments and questions, so today we’re going to tackle some of them in a new Q&A.

Read on for fresh new details about Class3!

Question from ‘Sorryaboutmyverbaldiarreah’: Will there be load screens when entering different regions (ex: a house) and will we be able to enter all buildings?

Class3 is a true open-world game, so conveying a sense of freedom and the joy of exploration is a core pillar of the game. We don’t want you debating whether the load time is a price worth paying for entering a building, so we’ve invested in the technology to allow the world to be seamless with no loading screens.

Whether all buildings could be entered was a significant debate early in the project. It takes a substantial amount of time to model the interiors of every building, of course, but more importantly, we don’t want to create a game that forces you to enter hundreds of mostly empty buildings to find the cool stuff. Ultimately we were able to solve both of these issues, so yes, you will be able to enter every building in the game, unless there is some visible reason why you shouldn’t be able to (e.g. it is collapsed, or burned out).

‘Seth, building a base’ queues us up to talk about something fun: I like how it looks except the zombies are a little too fast and that one fat-guy zombie broke right through the barricades which kind of disappointed me because I was hoping to camp out in a building for a couple of days, but then I thought, ”Maybe his construction skill is too low, or maybe he didn’t have very good supplies to build a barricade strong enough”.

The snippet of siege play you saw in the spy-cam video showed a dilapidated farmhouse under a massive, sustained siege from multiple hordes, including a particularly large zombie who was quite effective at smashing down the barricades. In general, barricades will last longer than you’d assume from the footage. While barricades are at best a temporary measure, they can be an effective means of slowing down a horde attack if you inadvertently give away your presence.

Listen, download, and enjoy!

A comment from the mysterious ‘M.’ states: Lots of cool things in the “Spy Cam” footage. The music theme was also really good… ominous, while not being overwhelming.

That music is a piece composed for the game by our audio director Kevin Patzelt. You can check out more of Kevin’s music on his band’s Facebook page.

We’ve received a ton of comments about the music, so as a special treat for our fans we’ve decided to release the track you heard playing in the video footage. Listen, download, and enjoy!

Kevin does great work, but he can’t personally do it all, so we recently selected the composer for Class3. We’ll be announcing who it is in the next few weeks, and I’m pretty sure you’re going to be excited when we do. No joke.

‘qwerty’ asks: Is Class3 still going to be split screen? I’m just wondering because most open-world-like games I know of don’t support it.

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to include split-screen play in Class3. CryENGINE 3 does not natively support split-screen, and we’re already pushing the engine to its limits to create the open, seamless world of Class3. Rewriting major components of the engine to support split-screen would be a massive undertaking and cause substantial delay to the release of the game.

‘Pepe’ states: By the way, Zed Team, I would love to see some great (and freaking hard) achievements for this game. Like blowing up 50 zedheads with a grenade, or make 5 headshots with a single sniper rifle bullet…

Those are great ideas, Pepe. I’d also love to see achievements like launching a zombie over 30 yards by hitting it with a vehicle, or tossing it over 30 feet in the air with a land mine, or using a chain of land mines to blow up a zombie, or, killing X zombies with an exploding vehicle.

Just, you know, for example. ;)

‘Joseph’ expresses his wishes: Hopefully there will be some sort of climbing in this, like jumping over gates, jumping to grab a ledge so on and so forth.

Climbing, jumping, grabbing, throwing, hanging, ducking, diving, and peeking — these are the sorts of things that make the world feel like a real place, rather than a stage set. This kind of organic interaction with the world has been one of our highest priorities from the start of development, and I can absolutely confirm that that you can do all these things.

‘Josh’ asks if we know what he means: This is just a hope, but I really hope cars are not totally disposable at every turn. Making it a real decision to leave the compound with a truck, for practical purposes of bring back larger pieces of salvage, or choosing to go on foot, for fear of losing your only vehicle. You know what I mean?

Vehicles are precious assets in Class3. Not only can they get you to remote areas quickly for rescue missions or resource runs, they also afford substantial protection as you drive through zed-infested areas. On the other hand, if you trash your truck, you’re not guaranteed to find a serviceable replacement around the next corner. In fact, you might be in real trouble; stranded out in the middle of nowhere, or in the midst of the town’s heavily infested industrial district, short on supplies and nowhere near a safe house.

Class3 tracks and remembers all the vehicles in the game, including where they are, who currently ‘owns’ them, and their damage state. If you destroy a vehicle—accidentally, by crashing it or trying to plow through one too many hordes, or intentionally, by making good use of its explosive potential—it will stay destroyed. If you park it out in the boonies somewhere, it’ll stay there. If you “borrow” it from another survivor group without permission, they probably won’t be too happy with you.

If you’re careless, you may eventually find yourself without a ride. However, sometimes you’ll discover new vehicles in places you’ve already explored, perhaps abandoned by other survivors who have now moved on. We want cars to be precious and meaningful, but we also won’t make your life a permanent hell if you have a little fun.

‘jakeawesome’ asks: Just out of curiosity, what physics engine are you using for the game, everything just looks so fluid, is it Euphoria?

We are using CryENGINE 3 for Class3. The physics you see in the spy-cam footage are driven by the in-engine physics package. One of the big benefits to using CryENGINE is that the physics implementation is tightly coupled to the engine and associated tools, which allows us to integrate physics-based interactions directly into the core game mechanics.

Rest assured, Class3 is, and always has been, an open-world zombie apocalypse simulation.

‘regie jonosan’ laments: I’ve been following this game for aaaages, seems like the designers are straying from the original premise of an open world rpg zombie apocalypse ‘simulation’ into more of a normal game…

One of the reasons developers are hesitant to release early peeks at raw gameplay is because it’s impossible to convey the breadth of the play mechanics in small snippets. While our spy-cam footage showed some of our core combat and world-interaction mechanics, it did not show some of the more unique elements of Class3 like base building, survivor-community management, manning watch towers, interacting with other survivor communities, researching new technologies, vehicle mechanics, or complex zombie infestation and horde behaviors. Rest assured, Class3 is, and always has been, an open-world zombie apocalypse simulation.

‘ManicDxM’ asks: Will people be like ragdolls if they are hit or fall off a building? That would be cool if they are.

People will ragdoll, yes. And more importantly, so will zombies. We’re making good use of ragdoll physics to let you use your environment as a weapon. Glass windows, trash dumpsters, picket fences, the hood of your trusty pickup—all surfaces with great possibilities for taking out zeds with efficiency and panache.

You could say that the entire game is a perma-death, see-how-long-you-can-live-for experience, but on a large scale.

‘Griff’ asks the Big One: This is a zombie survival game at its core, so is there going to be some sort of perma-death, see-how-long-you-can-live-for survival mode? I just think an “ending” to this game isn’t required, but I know you guys want an epic story.

I’m handing this one over to our creative director James Phinney…

[JP] You could say that the entire game is a perma-death, see-how-long-you-can-live-for experience, but on a large scale. It includes not just the quick, pulse-pounding drama of extended sieges, but also the intense, life-or-death struggle to carve out and defend small pockets of safety in a world overrun by the undead. Will there be throwaway, repeatable survival modes? No. There are other games that do that quite well, and other games that do the zombie-corridor-shooter thing well. I love those kinds of games too, but we’re creating a simulated world.

‘Hartman’ expresses concern about fat zombies: I know obesity is becoming a common sight but those big zombies were a tad too big. it reminds me of Left 4 Dead and any other zombie game I can think of to be honest. Every time I see them its like why did they even put them into the game?

For anyone worried about the imminent arrival of Tentacle Zombie™ and Winged Zombie™: don’t be. This is a game about surviving the zombie apocalypse; not a horror game about mutants or demons or fungus creatures. Our goal is to ensure that Class3 zombies retain their humanity, because that’s a big part of what makes the genre powerful. They are us.

That said, we also want to inject some strategic variability into the game. Some zombies are faster, some slower, some stronger, some louder, some have keener senses, and the like. We will exaggerate the range of human variability (because, hey, that’s part of what makes games fun), but Class3 zeds will always be recognizably human. So sorry, no Tornado Spawning Zombies this time around.

‘Spencer’ wants to kick back with a cool beverage and have some fun with the apocalypse: Remember in Dawn of The Dead when there was a great horde outside the mall? and when the guy with the sniper rifle was holed up on the roof of his shop and taking headshots at zombies? I hope we get to do that.

Oh hell yes.

Here’s our art director Doug modeling the shirt he happened to be wearing today. If you recognize that, you’ll understand our intentions here.

Everyone asks: When the hell does the apocalypse begin?

We’re getting there, folks. We’ll tell you as soon as we can. I can tell you that we’re right on schedule, and that you’ll be learning much (much) more about Class3 this spring.

Stay tuned, fellow survivors!

  1. Researcher: Dantron

    Dantron does not have a question or insightful comment to make today, therefore, Dantron simply states that Dantron will sleep peacefully tonight after having read this article.

    Dantron thanks everyone over at UL for making such an awesome game.

    p.s. Dantron likes pie – but you already knew that… :)

    • Researcher: Alquedabunny


    • Researcher: Cris the survivor

      I just wated to post this as one of the first post so every can see it look behind that guy on the right there’s some of the weapons we can use and the magnum really interest me xD

    • Researcher: Mayorcete

      I like where Class 3 is going. I’ve been waiting ages for a real surviving zombie rpg. Left 4 dead is all about running, with no sense of actual defense, and you cannot make your character. And Dead Island has a hud that reminds me to Call of Duty. So this seems to be actually the game I was looking for.

      Now, my concern is that you stated that this will be directly for consoles, XBox to be precise, and not a port from PC.

      But what I want this for is PC, I want this game for PC so bad! So, please tell me you will have a PC version, at least a port from XBox. It shouldn’t be very difficult to port a game from a Microsoft device to another… In fact, games are usually developed in XBox and then ported to the rest of options.

    • Researcher: seth (real one)

      wow i can’t believe one of my questions has finally been answered! i used to be Seth (building a base)
      so will we be able to build more things to protect us than just barricades? like maybe a fence or something?

    • Researcher: Robert

      Sadly it most likely will never be on PC but at least I have an xbox!

  2. Researcher: RobertLaBeard

    In stead of a car will it be possible to use a horse for travailing? I only ask because in one of your concept arts theirs a horse getting eaten by the undead.

    • Researcher: Hemingway

      It would make sense, horses would be in the apocalypse.

    • Researcher: RobertLaBeard

      There should be Bicycle’s and other vehicle like it for travailing, that way you can get to a place quiet, quick and fast.

    • Researcher: Hemingway

      Your speed on a bike changes when you get tired or have obstacles in the way.

    • Researcher: Berenost

      exactly, but as is stated by the ever omniscient Max Brooks, they are a very REAL style of travel. easily pushed or carried for obstacles or when tired, they afford greater than average speed when needed, while being nimble enough to go through most congested areas.

    • Researcher: Hemingway

      All very true.

    • Researcher: Gameboy39
      Date Recorded: March 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm

      Horsemeat is delicious, though… and I doubt that Zeds can tell the difference between one brain and another.
      Futhermore, horses, for all their virtues, can’t build barricades or operate heavy weaponry!

      But who knows.

  3. Researcher: isleepindrawers

    I have been waiting for an article for the longest time! Glad to here everything is on schedule!

  4. Researcher: Steven

    How about clothing customization ? I hope it’s BIG! I really hope we can wear whatever? I wanted wear like Police, Fire fighter, EMT, Military. And same with cars like drive cop cars and custom them with that be possible ? Will they be based off cars of today like Crown vic (newer model 2004 & up) and dodge charger’s ?

    • Researcher: Matt

      Maybe if you could swap out clothes when you found them. I too would like to be able to customize my dude, looks and clothes.

    • Researcher: Steven

      I’m with you on that! I will be very upset if we can’t.

    • Researcher: J

      Me too.
      However, I wonder how important I would think fashion is on the real Z Day? Perhaps many spare changes of clothes – don’t want to be sitting in blood all the time.

    • Researcher: Eamon Fox

      i hope we can put scopes and flashlights on guns. or even mod them.

    • Researcher: George Klayer
      Date Recorded: March 2, 2012 at 5:36 am

      Most of these thing you would have to find to use which what the game is about finding stuff and surviving.

    • Researcher: ChinoXL
      Date Recorded: March 5, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      should be tons of clothes laying around in the world i doubt people would take their whole wardrobe with them…but going into military bases should be interesting

    • Researcher: JeradWTF

      I agree that your guna be struggling to survive alot in a zombie apocalypse, but theres always people that get lucky and will find collections of everything they need.

    • Researcher: Kyle
      Date Recorded: June 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      Speaking of crafting, guns and ammo are very valuable, so could we possibly craft our own ammo? Make our own blackpowder? It would be useful to be able to save some of the brass casings for later…

  5. Researcher: Oleo23

    Since Class 3 wont have split screen will that be a possibility for Class 4 because that was one thing i was looking forward to it will still be great without it but the ability to sit down with friends on the couch and fortify the old mall bank or McDonald’s was a big thing i was excited about

    • Researcher: RobertLaBeard

      I don’t think that will ever happen. But we can always hope

    • Researcher: Berenost

      it would be cool, but the engines wont allow it natively. then again, with all the rumors, Class4 might just be on the next gen console.

    • Researcher: Korss

      There was talk about co op I believe, but no talk about split screen.

    • Researcher: ImReadyForZed

      If I emember correctly Class three is a two player co op and Class 4 Is hundreds of players. (cant we make co op 4 players? who only has one friend?)

    • Researcher: Oleo23

      Exactly but i can also live with system link me and a few friends have done that before because we live out where there are no fiber optics and that also means no Xbox live but still fun to play around with call of duty zombies or dead island like that just takes a bit more work

    • Researcher: william

      This all really depends if CRYEngine 4 Supports Split Screen, at the moment they are using CRYEngine 3 which does not.

  6. Researcher: Josh

    you answered my question, and you totally got what I meant.. I’m a different breed, and it’s sometimes difficult to get my questions across right, but you totally got what I was getting at. Thank you again for answering my question with care.

    I’m a huge long time follower, have told so many people about this game, I just can’t wait! Great work, and Also i’m happy you used the word simulation to describe the game in the question after mine. That word simple sets it apart from any other game thats ever been done in the crowded zombie genre.

  7. Researcher: ChinoXL

    you know what would be kind of unique if we actually had family or something of the sort…something worthwhile to protect since our lives are invinsible and there seems to be no perma death there has to be some sort of value or somethign worth protecting to have that true survival feeling.

    • Researcher: SoraXII

      I disagree. As soon as you have a “family” the game will be less enjoyable to me. It would mean I would be playing a random character, and not my self.

    • Researcher: Rob

      There is perma-death I don’t know how many times that has been said

    • Researcher: I3IGGIEsmalls
      Date Recorded: March 4, 2012 at 1:31 pm

      i get what your saying! itd be a new thing

    • Researcher: Robert
      Date Recorded: May 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      As the guy a couple comments above me stated, it wouldn’t feel like I was playing me and be more of a random character. I would be fine if there was an option to have a family, but I don’t think that’s such a good idea to force someone to have a wife and daughter they constantly protect and what not. And there is perma death, FYI.

  8. Researcher: SirDiamondNips

    Alright I know the question of split screen was asked in this Q&A, but I remember from way back, about a year ago almost, You guys meantioned coop as in two players? Is this a myth or can have something to dream about untill the game releases?

    • Researcher: Jordan

      they were talking online coop. they are going to make this game coop in Class3 for testers then hopefully massively multiplayer

    • Researcher: SirDiamondNips

      Thanks bro, but I alreay know the full shpeel. I was just verifying whether it still existed in Class 3. I’ve followed this game since idk april? May? last year around that time I believe.

    • Researcher: Oleo23

      I have been fallowing it for about that long also and was looking forward to coop in class 3 but it might not come out in class 3 now but i’m still hoping for it to be in class 4 since that is the real game but again CryGen 3 doesn’t support it and they have already done a lot after they finish class 3 we might see it in class 4

    • Researcher: SirDiamondNips

      …. “Cryengine3″ doesn’t support “splitscreen” I use Cryengine3″ myself multiplayer coop wasn’t in the Q&A so there isn’t an answer for this yet. Class 4 is going to be a massive multiplyer zombie/survival sim. So there’s a 100% chance of multiplayer…

  9. Researcher: Jordan

    for this game, I think the whole save only at safehouses style that gta had, creates more of a sense of caution I think when going out, knowing that if you die you’ll lose a lot of ground.

  10. Researcher: Arafell

    I was wondering how you’d handle diminishing resources and the introduction of new players if the game is going to be static. For example, the server’s been up for 3 months. During that three months, Player A has trashed and looted the whole town. Player B joins the game, and finds no vehicles/ammo/weapons/food because Player A has hoarded it and isn’t sharing. Will supplies replenish themselves, or will it be up to the players to grow crops/remake vehicles?

    • Researcher: Josh

      my guess to this, is sort of the answer I got from them up above. I think the answer to your question might be in the fact that there will be people survivor groups that are AI. So it was said before that they might leave vehicles behind in places that didn’t have them before, giving the sense that other groups are out there leaving things, losing things, and salvaging things all while your going about your own surviival.

      Thats my guess anyway.

    • Researcher: Mephster

      A true open world game with no loading screens. I love you guys!

    • Researcher: Steven

      How can you change your profile pic?

    • Researcher: AliceInChains

      If Class4 is on the next gen console, it will probably be the ONLY reason I buy another Microsoft console.

    • Researcher: Mr McDillard

      What is wrong with Microsoft consoles? They only have the best online gaming network, which is secure (ahem sony), a solid, inexpensive platform, and tons of great exclusive content (Class3/Class4 included). Unless you are comparing consoles to PC’s, I don’t know what the complaint could be?

    • Researcher: JPeaster

      This is the game I have been waiting for since i played my first RPG – CAN’T WAIT

    • Researcher: allan

      i have follwed this game forever now and have been telling pewople bout it for mne its more then a game it has become a movement maybe even a whole new age in gaming now i hope it come out soon im anxious for it to come out !!!

    • Researcher: James Lawrence
      Date Recorded: March 6, 2012 at 1:07 am

      The concept of trying to survive against hordes of zombies seems like it could be very exciting. However, is there any plans for a Player vs Player aspect, too? For example, could I band together with a number of other “survivors” and try and raid the camp of another group of players. Potentially “killing” them in the process?

    • Researcher: elf
      Date Recorded: April 12, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      i was wondering if you plan to make this game like SKYRIM and have the ability to play in first person and third person perspectives? i believe the first person perspective will add suspence to a game when you are raiding a super market at night with your friends with a flashlight attatchment on your gun.

    • Researcher: m9mil
      Date Recorded: June 7, 2012 at 4:14 am

      I think this would be a great idea!!, say if you and your friends have ran out of supplies at your camp and you spot another group you could either ask them nicely for some supplies or come in guns blaring demanding, but that could attract some unwanted attention…