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: jack
    Date Recorded: March 18, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Where did you get that awesome shirt?

  2. Researcher: Azariah
    Date Recorded: March 20, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Will there be two story buildings? Because it would be intense if a horde was heading right upstairs to you and you bust out the window and make a run from the dead just like 28 Weeks Later opening?

  3. Researcher: Mahemium

    I just have a question, so if there’s ever another response to questions such as this, It’d be great to hear from ya.
    Anyway, naturally the focus is on the zombie apocalypse and how to survive in such a world. However a recurring theme in any Zombie film, book or game you can think of, is that there is always a survivor who cracked under the nature of the zombie hordes and turns on his allies, whether it be by shooting at them, stealing their resources, boarding themselves up in the fort to leave the others to die etc. So my question is, will there be the option to play the as the human who snapped?

    • Researcher: Alex
      Date Recorded: March 25, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      I’ve been researching this game, and you definitely can. The thing is, you can play however you want. So if you even decide to take in survivors, you can turn on them and kill them whenever you want. Be careful though, they might do the same to you.

  4. Researcher: zombieaddict
    Date Recorded: March 22, 2012 at 3:44 am

    will their be any people that will try to kill you to if you see them

  5. Researcher: Mace
    Date Recorded: March 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Hey i was wonderin if say your original base got taken over or recourses around the base run out can we make another one somewhere else and another question will npc be randomized like fallout/elder scrolls example you might see one scavenging or mabye somone who is injured and he needs a med pack etc etc etc. it would be cool if you answered in ur next article

  6. Researcher: anders
    Date Recorded: March 25, 2012 at 5:18 am

    thank you for posting these q/a sessions, its great that you have such amazing community communication and feedback!

    now, I’ve got a question for you. Will survivors be able to spray paint or mark the game environment? It would be really cool if survivors could perhaps mark signs with notes, for instance painting over a billboard on the highway warning other survivors that the city is overrun, or if survivors could signal where player forts, trading areas, or towns are to further promote the social interactiveness between survivors. warning signs would also be cool, like saying any unwelcome survivors will be shot for coming into another group’s fort

    • Researcher: Praxis
      Date Recorded: April 14, 2012 at 8:18 pm

      I’m going to drive my car right into your fort and destroy whatever supplies I can destroy, lmao.

  7. Researcher: Alex
    Date Recorded: March 25, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    I have a few questions about class 3. How will co-op via Xbox Live be handled? Will it be drop in/drop out as in one person has a game that his/her friends can visit? Or will it be more like you can start a game with a friend and you stick it out with them till the end? Also I was wondering about clothing. Will there be different scavenged outfits? Could we make our own combinations of shirts, gloves, jackets, pants, etc? Good job on the game so far, totally pumped to learn more info soon.

  8. Researcher: Sunken
    Date Recorded: March 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Will we be able kill other survivors or leave them behind?

    • Researcher: Praxis
      Date Recorded: April 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm

      I believe I read something before about attacking other groups of survivors to steal their supplies and cars or whatever to be total assholes. Though, when the game comes out and you encounter an asshole stealing your cars and blowing them up, that’ll be me. Lol. <3

    • Researcher: yummy brain
      Date Recorded: April 15, 2012 at 6:05 pm

      PvP is definetely something i want to see in this game. Constantly being cautious of other survivors that probably want my stuff would bring another dimension to the game. Of course, if you can kill somebody, u have to be able to steal his stuff. Killing just for fun would ruin a zombie survival game. Keep on the good work!

  9. Researcher: Jeff D.
    Date Recorded: March 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I’ve read quite a bit on ‘Class3′ and while I am quite excited, I was wondering if any sort of references were going to be made to other zombie stories from today’s media. Such as small references in-game to things like any of George Romero’s movies, The Walking Dead, Dead Rising, etc.

  10. Researcher: ShoelaceManiac
    Date Recorded: April 2, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Originally, I thought this game would have the Max Brooks type zombie, or something along those lines… I was hoping for less of certain classes of zombies, and just having to worry about HOARDES of zombies. I was hoping for zombies that acted along the lines of Dead Rising zombies, but more numerous, and a lot harder to fight (because a bite means imminent death) and a lot harder to run from (because persistent). I wanted to walk over a hill only to see a parking lot full of undead instead of all this Left 4 Dead stuff… I think it would be a lot more fun that way, but that’s just me.

    • Researcher: ShoelaceManiac
      Date Recorded: April 2, 2012 at 10:56 am

      I’m just saying this because I think the whole Zombie classes thing is getting a little over-used. the fat zombie, the large extremely buff zombie… But not all my comments are negative. I loved what I saw in the video, and I loved the questions answered in this post. But if you were making a “zombie simulation” game like said in previous posts, don’t you think you’d make it more… Romero, and less… Resident Evil?

    • Researcher: ShoelaceManiac
      Date Recorded: April 2, 2012 at 10:58 am

      I mean, what makes the Prospect of a zombie apocalypse is you are facing a nameless faceless hoard. It’s not about the attributes of your enemy in a zombie hoard. It’s the sheer number. Okay, okay… ending my rant now… sorry.

    • Researcher: stefen
      Date Recorded: April 17, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      i dont think there is a large class system, you saw one fat zombie, chances are that the fat zombie in only 1 out of 25 or something. and besides, this is not official gameplay.

    • Researcher: Hoax

      pebble on the pile with all these great concepts. For future mmo works, if bitten could you yourself be turned to an undead? join/control a horde and watch it grow as you devour helpless surviors? if players choose to rebirth back to a living their now zombie corpse falls to computer ai increasing your horde? i mean it aint the end of the world until you see it through the glassy eyes of the undead.

    • Researcher: Jeremy
      Date Recorded: May 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      I’m sorry to have to point this out but, if by any chance a zombie apocalypse ever happens, dead people will not be capable of fast speeds, the only reason a single zombie would be able to overpower a person is because of the lack of pain that they would feel, so they would not care about damaging any muscles in the process, and Romero created the zombie, slow, but in large numbers. resident evil had the idea down on zombies, until they messed up the series with part 4 & 5, and the movies. my point being, zombies are slow, they attack in numbers, and they only die by a shot, or trauma, to the head. there should never even be “classes” in a zombie game, there is only one type, slow, otherwise it is no longer a zombie game. This would be the best game made in a very long time, if they drop the class zombie (fat strong zombie, fast acrobatic zombie, screaming zombie, etc.) idea. please read this and think about it.

    • Researcher: Ronster619
      Date Recorded: May 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      I know it’s too early to tell, but in class 4 sense its basically going to be a MMO then how can we communicate with other players? Will there be any voice or text chat? Also for a idea for communication can be that if players find working radios/Walkie-Talkies, they should be able to make broadcast messages with voice chat sent to every radio for people who have found working ones. Hope you read this and gives ideas.

    • Researcher: Ben
      Date Recorded: June 8, 2012 at 1:13 am

      Hi guys, I’ve been watching this game for quite some time and really can’t wait!! It’s going to be top of the gaming charts when it comes out I know.
      I’m sure all you guys know about DayZ mod for Arma 2
      I’ve been trying that recently and have enjoyed what I’ve played (which is about 1 hour because of server fails)
      Just thought you might wanna check it out.
      All the loyal fans can’t wait for this and wanna hear more news :P
      Thanks all.