The time has finally come for the announcement of our first major project here at Imperium Studios Game Development. It has been the focus of our attention for the past few months and we are extremely excited to share it with you. For the most part we have kept the public in the dark about the details of the project, and are just now sharing the title for the first time.
When we first came together and decided that we wanted to start an Independent Game Studio we discussed many different game ideas that we wanted to create. At the time we were still not sure on what kind of game we would be capable of developing with our small team. We felt we had to shelve most of our ideas until we were more capable. Unfortunately this lead us into a pattern of starting one project after another until we realized we needed to take a step back and do things right.
In our previous projects we didn't bother much with writing out a design document and we found ourselves unable to keep on track and focusing on too much at one time. From these failed attempts at finishing a project we did learn much about what we are capable of as a team and how to better develop our engine and games. We decided that we would strip out the pieces of our Imperium Engine as it was in the Dinosaurs with Jetpacks project and focus on creating a solid base for all future projects.
While our programming time was spent entirely on the Imperium Engine we took the time to start writing out a Design Document and put together the details for Rise of the Infected. This time around we created and now maintain a list of tasks to be completed by certain deadlines. We now had a system to keep ourselves focused and on track. From our mistakes, failures, and struggles we have created a solid foundation for the future.
Rise of the Infected is based on a novel that is being written by Imperium Studios Co-Founder Tristan Haynes. While the novel will focus on a group of survivors dealing with the spreading infection in Washington State the game will take place in a city deep inside the already quarantined Oregon State. The government and military have already declared Oregon a Red Zone and those still alive are cut off from the rest of the world.
Our goal is to create a very realistic story and environment for the player to be drawn into. We believe the reason why most people are so interested in everything and anything related to zombies is how easily and willingly they will immerse themselves in a Zombie Apocalypse. When they watch a zombie movie they think about how they would be handling the situation, where they would choose to barricade themselves, or their plan to survive the situation.
Sure there are a lot of zombie inspired games out there where the player can slaughter massive hordes of zombies. There are even a few who focus more on the aspect of survival that pure slaughter and action. Don't get us wrong, we love to slaughter zombies as much as everyone else, but we want a game that has all of the pieces of the puzzle and not just a few.
Rise of the Infected is the zombie apocalypse game that we want to play, and that we believe many others do too. We have looked at many games of different genres and themes looking for inspiration on how we can create that experience that every zombie fan lives inside their imagination.
When you first start a new game in Rise of the Infected you will be presented with a choice of game mode. We know that everyone has different tastes and style of playing, so we want to cater to as many players as possible. The game will be much the same whichever mode you choose, but will vary in the length of gameplay and the goals.
This is what we might consider a kind of sand box mode for the game. Although you will have goals and objectives to complete, the only one that truly matters is to survive. There will be end-game objectives for those who want to follow a story line of sorts, but you are encouraged to experiment and play as if you were in the shoes of the survivors under your control.
This mode is for players who are looking for a quicker and more objective oriented experience. It will still have all of the same features as Survival Mode but it will start out much quicker and keep you moving towards a single goal, Escape the City and the Infection. Although this mode has a very clear objective you are free to complete the objective in your own time and however you can.
A hidden mode that will only be unlocked once certain goals or achievements have been completed within either of the first two modes. The details for this mode will be announced in full at a later time.
Once you have chosen which mode best suits the experience you are looking for you will be taken through an interactive introduction to the game. What we have in mind for the final product is similar to a choose your own adventure style comic book. The choices you are given throughout the intro will determine your starting group of survivors, resources, and shelter.
Then you will be taken to the primary game screen, a view of the city focused on the shelter you have chosen. From this screen you will have access to all of our "Sand Box" features and controls. While you may not start out with much, as you progress through the game the rest will become available.
You can manage the survivors in your group by assigning them tasks or duties, monitor their interactions and relationships with the others, teach them new skills, and more. At first your group will be small and fairly easy to manage, but part of the game is to find or rescue other survivors in the city. You have full control of who you bring into your group, and while some will improve your situation others might make it more difficult.
You will also be responsible for managing the resources that your survivors have access to. This includes items like food, water, tools, weapons, etc. Food and Water will be extremely important to the survival of your group, if you start to run low you might have to ration them until more is found. In the beginning of a game most resources will be acquired by completing missions outside of your shelter, but later on more options become available.
Another important aspect of surviving a zombie apocalypse is your shelter. At first your shelter might simply be boarded up with wooden planks and your survivors will remain hidden inside. This will do for a little while, but eventually it will get cramped as more join your group. If nearby buildings are cleared of any infected you will be able to expand outward from your initial shelter. Once multiple buildings are secured and the necessary resources and tools acquired you can combine them with fences or walls to form a compound.
With a compound you will have access to the open skies while remaining safe from the infected that surround you. Instead of searching buildings for canned food and bottled water you can plant gardens, dig wells, and even construct your own buildings. Of course this Sand Box mode will only be part of the whole game.
We have briefly mentioned above the idea of Missions. At any time you can send a team of survivors out into the city for various tasks. Such as foraging for resources, searching for other survivors, to complete story objectives, or simply to clear out the infected threat. We know that every zombie game needs its action and zombie slaughtering and Missions are where you will find it.
For right now we are going to keep the details of missions to ourselves as we still have a lot of work to do on them. However in missions you will select a team from your list of survivors, and have direct control over one of them. The rest of the team will be controlled by the AI and specific commands available to you. While most simulation games of this type will give you turn-based combat, our missions will be played in real-time. You will be able to run through slaughtering zombies as you please, or take a more cautious approach to complete each mission objective.