After terrifying the lovely developers with a passive aggressive joke that they had stolen my game idea, I tried desperately to befriend them again with my obvious love and passion of all things Project Zomboid. During the interview their own enthusiasm for the game came out and they imparted some invaluable knowledge onto me about the alpha funding process and also what it’s like dealing with the pressure of high expectations.
Although reasonably difficult to describe, Project Zomboid is an isometric Zombie Survival RPG with a strong focus on the Survival side of a Zombie apocalypse. Hordes of flesh-hungry Romero style Zombies flood the screen if the player makes the slightest mistake like moving to close to a pack or badly barricading the safe house. After they notice you the player has two options, run like hell or face off against them with scavenged equipment found around the game world.
While currently not implemented in the Alpha NPCs will play a big role in the game, either acting as hostiles or friendly survivors the player will in some way have to interact with them with their characters mood affecting the outcome. The psychological issues that would arise from living in a post-apocalyptic world where the dead are trying to eat you are going to have a huge effect on your character NPCs. Survivors will hurl themselves from windows in an attempt to take the easy way out while others will become depressed and unable to function, this is the kind of level of depth I have been looking for in Zombie media for my entire life.
Project Zomboids alpha-funding started well before the true Kickstarter revolution with a humble blog post containing a few screenshots and a design plan for the game. Instantly the funding picked up speed and soon twitter and indie game sites were ablaze with support for the game. The team believe that today, with the way Kickstarter requires a video with gameplay, stretch goals and preferably for the game to basically already be made that their blog post would have been ripped apart. I personally don’t agree, it is a fantastic idea and one that myself and others have been dreaming of for years.
Charlie’s Final thoughts:
The alpha funding campaign has been a real success story, allowing a dream to be realised but also placing a huge amount of pressure on the caring developers at Indie Stone. Their desire to bring out a top quality game that is seriously fun (which it really is) while also trying to remain as realistic a Zombie Apocalypse Simulator as it can is a strenuous task and one to be admired.
I would like to take the time to thank everyone who contributed to this game. I’m far too lazy to ever get it made so without you guys I would still be roleplaying in Left4Dead… Don’t judge me! I make a great Coach.
I can’t wait to write a full preview when a few more core features get added. Good luck to the team and thanks for the great interview!
Nathan’s Final thoughts:
With Charlie playing the major fan boy role when we spoke to these developers, I mostly let him loose to bombard them with his compliments and questions. From what we heard and what we played of the game however, it looks like a very interesting and exciting development. The idea of a truly realistic zombie survival game which takes away from the “shooting everything in sight” zombie tradition in place of what might be considered a more “realistic” form of survival is just fantastic, and I am pleased to see that somebody had this revelation about what zombie games had become. The game was not the easiest one I have ever tried to control in its current form, but the idea is fantastic and I am confident that the developers will tidy up the gameplay side of things before the final release. It is something that I very much look forward to having a go at in its finished form, and credit must be given to the hard work of the developers behind it!