|What about the DAYZ!!|
If your like me, after many years (too many!) of gaming, you get stuck in a rut and go through a stage where all games look and feel the same. Nothing excites you or get's you finger riddling your mice in excitement. It's not the games at fault (well, some maybe) but just this rut that appears..... It could be the greatest game ever made and still you feel deflated and "same old, same old".
That's when little gems like 'Survive The Nights' help out. Its sneaky sneaky projects like this that suddenly pop out of nowhere and make a fuss. They rock the foundations of the gaming community and make heads turn. It has me excited and feeling like a teenager again, living back at home eagerly waiting in anticipation for it's release to do all night gaming sessions, it had me at "Survive" and I've nick named it my "Sweet Suzy" because it’s going to be sweet, so sweet I named it Suzy.........
I was fortunate enough to sit down (in the virtual online world) with Joe, the Lead Designer for 'Survive The Nights' from a2z(Interactive). Carry on reading for a summary of what the game is about and an Interview that will reveal exactly how fascinating this team is and why their project should have YOUR support.
Survive The Nights is a unique FPS survival, focusing on teamwork, fortification, creativity and strategy. Secure a structure or roam free, the choice is yours. With drivable vehicles, mental health effects and a crafting system that has indoor farming for those of us who just like to stay inside!
The game has been Greenlit on Steam and now live on Kickstarter as a "Staff Pick!"
1. Hi, Please can you introduce yourself andgive a brief description of what you do on the Project.
My name's Joe, everyone on the team calls me JB.
I'm the lead designer on Survive the Nights and co-founder of a2z(Interactive). I'm 31, married, born and raised in Brooklyn New York. I love gaming and anything game related. Recently my hobbies have included eating and getting fat. As most people developing a game will tell you there isn't time for anything but developing a game, it has become an obsession!
2. Can you provide a brief overview of the game and why you chose a survival zombie genre when already the industry is flooded by “Zombie” games.
Personally we don't feel it is flooded. Zombies aren't a "new fad", hell I played ‘Zombies ate My neighbors’ for hours and that was nearly 25 years ago! The short answer is we've all always wanted to make games and we've all always wanted to play this one.
3. I’m fascinated how the Team (a2z Interactive) formed. From meeting on Xbox Live to creating a Minecraft server which then spawned the idea of creating ‘Survive The Night’ (STN). What knowledge did you have to gain and experiences to go through to even consider creating a game?
The team has had little to no formal training when it comes to game development. Our knowledge comes from almost two years now of trying! We read/watch/listen to anything we can get our hands on. The two lead developers Jayty and I have been life long gamers, as you mentioned we met gaming. We've dedicated every free second we have had over the last two years to Survive the Nights.
4. Why did you choose Unity as the build engine? With the flexibility in the Unity Engine will you find time and resource to possible port this to Next Gen Consoles (PS4, X1...Wii U!?!?).
We fell in love with unity but more importantly the community behind it. We strongly suggest anyone thinking about game development have a look at not just Unity but it's forums and all the amazing people that are involved with it. We haven't discussed much when it comes to console ports however that shouldn't mean we don't plan on them. Right now we're focused on creating the best game we can and for the time being that only includes Windows/Mac builds (Linux we're not forgetting you we promise!).
5. How many players can the engine handle concurrently?
There are a wide scope of factors to take into account and nothing game wise is truly set in stone! We'll have more info on the matter soon.
6. How do you plan on the servers being persistent and dedicated? Are any servers to be hosted by a2z or player only?
Servers will be hosted by a provider we trust very much. Players will be able to rent them just like Minecraft servers etc. We'll also have a number of servers hosted by a2z! :)
7. Will you approach server providers (i.e. Multiplayer.co.uk) to get some form of service/support?
8. With the Calorie and sleeping features are you at all concerned the game could turn from fun to a ‘Chore’. Will players be wanting to just get on with the ‘Fun’ stuff but consistently held back because they must go eat something or sleep to keep player energy at peak?
Yes this is something we totally want to avoid. We plan on keeping starvation and dehydration realistic also. Players will not have to eat every 10 minutes rather every few hours (gamedays) before really feeling the effects! Once again all of these systems are in alpha and we plan on really listening to our alpha backers.
9. Can you provide a further insight in the calorie features i.e. eating.
We will be releasing more video in the coming months showcasing all of these features.
10. Does the dynamic weather affect game play in sense of aim and speed of movement? I.e. if it’s cold, will aiming down site affect this and if so can winter clothing mitigate this effect?
Yes colder months will have you seeking more firewood, wetter weather will sap your energy, damp cloths your body temperature. Luckily the dryers work! :p
11. Can you describe how the ‘Mental Health’ engine will work in the game? Do we take it that PvP is a No, No due to ‘Mental Breakdown’.
You shouldn't take PvP as a NO!
PvP will still be a part of the game as it should be. Mental health will play a large role in it though. A player that abuses others will have to suffer the consequences of their actions. The bandit will become disorientated after a few KoS's their vision might blur voices might be heard visions of the players they have killed. These symptoms can be fought off perhaps with home grown medicines or found prescription anti psychotics. Once again all of these systems are in their infant stages and players will have a say in the final product for sure. Players will also be able to control server backends allowing them to completely disable PvP.
12. How will the levelling work? Is it casual player friendly?
Levelling much like crafting will be simple yet extensive. We'd like to keep things old-school here doing things a lot makes you better/faster/steadier and so on.
13. Will there be player events? I.e. triggers that start a mass zombie overrun where as players must group to survive.
That's a great idea but not something we have planned as of right now.
14. What are the minimal system requirements?
We don't have any specifics locked in at this time. Survive the Nights will be very scalable, it's currently being developed/recorded on out of the box gear.
15. Do we have a launch date or open beta date?
Nothing we'd feel comfortable sharing. The game is in its early stages, very one on the team is a gamer and we wouldn't release anything we weren't happy playing no matter what stage it's in.
16. Which games have inspired you to create STN and have you taken ideas from
As insane as it sounds the whole thing started with GTAIV. Jayty and myself were messing around in a free roam and started saying how epic it would be if you could "hold down" homes, store weapons and supplies in cars. That idea is really what sparked the first talks about getting into game development. We're heavily influenced by all the old zombie flicks, George A. Romeros stuff in particular.
I'm a massive fan of point and click adventure games and I've turned Jayty onto a few, you might see some of that influence trickle into Survive the Nights. As unbelievable as it sounds no one on the team has ever played any of the current survival games with the exception of the two hours i've put into the forest (love it) and an hour or two on 7d2d (which I also enjoyed very much). Jayty and I are one day going to get Day-z but currently can't seem to take a break from development as my lack of timely response to your interview can confirm (sorry!).
17. Who is your Gaming hero?
He's short, stubby and Italian much like myself.
18. Lastly, have you any STN goodies we can giveaway! (Cheeky Grin).
Yeah we'll hook you up when we get some! :p