Of course! We love talking about our games!
First off, how have you been since the release of Detour? How has feedback been?
As a team, we’ve all been doing well. We’re more than eager to keep on going. As for DETOUR, it’s played out mostly how we expected — highly hit and miss, depending on the audience. Some people find it great and loads of fun, some people don’t.
The Dead Linger was actually inspired long, long before DETOUR. I began writing the idea and design for it when I was 15 or so, about 6 years ago. The game is mostly inspired by Max Brooks “The Zombie Survival Guide”, and all zombie survival games I’ve played since have failed to live up to true zombie survival in so many ways. Only now has the timing and technology caught up to where we want to be to make it a reality. We also found that we should spend more time working on the game ideas we’ve really want to play, instead of short-changing ourselves by trying to fit a market, the way we did with DETOUR.
The Dead Linger is, simply put, the long awaited first person zombie survival horror that so many players are looking for, but have yet to see created to the full potential that the zombie survival genre offers. The very essence of the game is “What if you were in a realistic, terrifying zombie apocalypse?” The overly saturated zombie genre has been a rotting corpse in the game industry for far too long. We’re bringing the true essence of zombie survival back in at full swing, re-envisioning it the way it should be. The Dead Linger is a true game of apocalyptic survival in a horrifying, desolate, zombie-infested world.
We’ve built the game from the ground up for multiplayer support, not limited to any specific number. We want you to grab your friends and survive. We’re assuming anywhere from about 1 to 8 people would be the ideal gameplay experience, but it will support many more, including optional player vs. player amongst the zombie hordes.
Yes! We’re planning on doing a fairly fluid skill leveling system — i.e. you do a specific task, you will become better at it. Along with that, we have some ideas for what we’re calling “survivor attributes”. These are planned to let players unlock and choose 3 or so, to further differentiate and respect their playstyle from others. Someone could, for example, have an attribute that makes them a better marksmen, or better with melee weapons, or run more silently.
Yes, the world will be infinite. We may allow the player/host to enforce some limits to keep players within a ‘reasonable’ range, particularly for player vs. player servers, or whatever they might imagine. And that’s the beauty of TDL. We plan to leave most things fully customizable so players can set up servers and play whatever game-within-the-game they can come up with.
The setting is a psuedo-America, so to speak. Nothing will be real world scenes, and everything will be randomly and procedural generated, from the streets to the very room layout of a house. The early builds are planned to feature some basic suburban environments (i.e. neighborhood), some hills, forestry and park space mixed amongst that. After that, the range is quite broad. Rural farmland, densely packed cities (yes, with tall, fully explorable buildings), and a few more that we’re keeping under wraps until we’ve moved a bit further along. Something we’re trying to keep away from is the constant ‘brown’ color you find in modern games. We’re going for a vibrant, colorful, real world. That means houses that are seemingly untouched, as well as a blood-stained sidewalk, or a looted store. We want everyone to experience the world — post zombies outbreak. (Not post brown-tinted nuclear war)
There will definitely be weather. Weather will not only add a certain mood and atmosphere, coming and going, it will also add distinct gameplay advantages and disadvantages. Fog rolling in, for example, can be both a blessing and a curse. You can’t see very far, but neither can the undead. Another example would be rain and thunderstorms, muffling sound and, if you’re lucky, perhaps even allow a gunshot to go unnoticed. We’ll be attempting to add all the various weather types we can think of, as they play such a crucial role in true, real world survival.
We have plans for cars, boats, possibly aircraft, and possibly trains. We have every one of these designed out fairly well in how they would operate and work, but whether or not we implement will be up in the air (hah!) until we have a bit more finished.
If someone submits an item (once the submission system goes live on thedeadlinger.com), we will check to ensure it fits all of our item rules, and if it’s awesome, we’ll put it in and give it some gameplay purpose. The list of submittable content will be rather broad, from props to items to vehicles to ‘journals’. Anyone interested in that should definitely keep an eye on the Sandswept.net forums, particularly around the Survivor Creations board.
I couldn’t say right now, but we love seeing the fan-fiction ‘diaries’ and the like. Very cool stuff!
First person, all the way. We have no plans to ever break out of first person; not when you’re dying, not when you’re driving, not when you’re grappled. You are the survivor.
That said, we’re open to adding a third person option if the demand is high enough. A lot of gamers seem to really like 3rd person view in horror games, but for me personally, it breaks the atmosphere a lot. Along those same lines, characters will generally remain silent protagonists.
We’re trying to have something recognizable as a playable game around the beginning of next year, and hopefully then we can show it off and let everyone else get their hands on it too. Unfortunately, this will come down to “when it’s ready” and not a moment sooner. Luckily, players will get to play all the way through alpha, beta, and final release! We await this moment in giddy anticipation, and I’m sure many others do as well.
We’re going to focus on the PC platforms for the time being. If the demand is high enough, we will absolutely look at bringing it to other systems.
That’s a tough one, and I had to think about it for awhile. I’d say my favorite has been Left 4 Dead 2, but it’s never given me the scary, survival experience I’ve wanted. Whil it’s certainly a fun action shooter, I’ve been rather disappointed in the zombie genre as a whole. All of the current zombie games simply motivate me further to get The Dead Linger out there for everyone to play.
Oh boy. Well, I play pretty much everything I can get my hands on, but I suppose the latest one has been Skyrim. That’s a fun adventure, for sure.
The zombie genre has died. We’re bringing it back from the dead.