Die Hard Fans Followup Q&A, 10/10/13

Discussion in 'State of Decay News' started by Undead Sanya, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. Undead Sanya

    Undead Sanya Administrator

    Here we go! Breaking it into two posts. Please read them both.

    The answers are me and Geoffrey working in a shared Google document, and someday, the tellall book about Undead will feature the margin notes.

    GAMEPLAY
    Will players be able to skip the beginning stage and jump into a more difficult start?

    Once you unlock a level, you can start subsequent playthroughs at that level. So if you unlock up to Four, you can start new Breakdown games at levels One, Two, Three, or Four.


    Once a Hero is unlocked, I can choose to start with that Hero in a new game (and even if I don’t choose, he never needs to be unlocked again, and he’ll always be someone I might just run into randomly in one level or another)(see, I read the design articles). What else if anything can I bring from one playthrough of Breakdown to another?

    Just the Heroes … and the weapons they come equipped with, of course.


    How long does it take to get the RV and move on to a new level?

    You can move on as soon as you’ve repaired and loaded up the RV. Repairing is what takes the most time — the deeper you get into the game, the more problems the RV has, and the more time it takes to get it ready to go. The specific amount of time changes on a case-by-case basis, but we’re trying to keep the worst-case scenario under an hour.

    The other tricky bit is finding it — the RV is not in the same place every time. However, if you go for a while without tracking it down (again, under an hour), we pop up a mission to let you know where to go.

    This is an interesting balance question. On one side, we don’t want this process to be onerous. On the other, we don’t want the game to breeze by so fast that you never face a serious challenge from the world before moving on.


    How many survivors can get into the RV?

    Six, including the character you control. The idea here is to focus the game on a cadre of core survivors, and challenge you to make the hard decisions about who comes along, and who doesn’t.

    There was also the danger that players would feel obligated to “sandbag” their character rosters — recruiting heavily and grinding at lower difficulty levels to bring large numbers of characters into the higher difficulty levels as an insurance policy. This would be tedious and un-fun.

    So with a tight limit, you can focus on moment-to-moment survival, and not on padding your bench for future disasters.


    What exactly transfers to the next level? For example, if I research things in my library in one level, do I still know those things in the next?

    Yes. And thank you for asking — your question reminded us to do it!


    Can you elaborate on the limitations to the stuff you can take to the "new town" each cycle? Resources, items, gear?

    Your Resources are capped — you can bring over enough Materials to settle in a decent home, but a very small amount of each of the other Resources. The idea is for you to arrive hungry, with a grocery list and a reason to start exploring. We also didn’t want to make players feel like they needed to “sandbag” their resources in advance of leaving — that’s far less fun than exploring the newly-refreshed, more difficult map.

    All the Items in your magical Community Chest of Holding will come with you on the RV. At one point, we were concerned that this would lead to item bloat, but there really wasn’t a fun and fair way to limit the inventory, so we didn’t.

    Instead, we’re relying on the rising difficulty level to kill you off periodically and refresh your inventory for us :)


    What can I bring with me from the original game’s campaign?

    The storyline of the original game is so deeply ingrained that we had to treat Breakdown as an entirely separate experience.

    But really, that’s what Breakdown is all about, on a thematic level — letting go and starting over.


    How many levels are there in the game?

    Breakdown is an endless mode — that number will continue to go up until we run out of room for digits in the UI. And even then, the game doesn’t end. There is no “final” level.


    Does each level get harder and harder, forever?

    There are some natural limits on how dense we can actually make these zombie hordes, so it eventually caps out. But we’ve made the game so hard at this point that we can’t even survive.

    Now we’re looking to you guys to show us how hard this game actually is. We think we’ve made it ridiculous. But we reserve the right to dive back in and make it even harder at a later point if you get in there and start steamrolling zombies like they’re made out of butter.

    (Note to self for future updates — BUTTER ZOMBIES.)


    Will difficulty also increase in terms of medicine and such becoming less effective?

    No. But thanks for the idea!


    Who will operate the radio for us?

    Lily is still your radio operator. In Breakdown, she will also drive the RV out of town. (She doesn’t count against you in terms of the number of people you can bring along. So really, the limit is six-plus-Lily.)
     
  2. Undead Sanya

    Undead Sanya Administrator

    ZOMBIES
    Will there be new zombie types in Breakdown?

    Nope. But the ones you know will become nastier as time goes on, showing up more frequently, and attacking more savagely.


    Can you go into more detail about the zombie difficulty? Will zeds become damage sponges? Multiple headshots to kill?

    We’re avoiding making the zombies into damage sponges. They may become slightly more resilient over time, but the effect will be subtle, and you will always be able to crit them and headshot them. The bulk of our difficulty work is focused on making the zombies more aggressive and damaging, and making you more vulnerable, not making you feel less effective. It has to stay fun, after all.


    DETAILS
    How much is this going to be?

    At this exact moment, we don’t know. It’s up to our publisher to decide and announce the price. We’ll let you know when that happens, and update this post accordingly.


    Will there be achievements associated with difficulty levels too?

    Yes. The Achievements are all tied to the Hero Challenges. Since the Hero Challenges all have prerequisite difficulty levels, that means the Achievements do, too.

    But none of them require you to play at the highest difficulty levels. That’s for crazy ninja players only. Getting to level six is enough to be able to earn all the Achievements.


    When does Breakdown come to Steam?

    It depends on how quickly we can get the keyboard and mouse interface up, and how fast we can implement your feedback. After we see how that goes, we can give you a guess. We expect our Steam players to get Breakdown pretty quickly after we move to full release status — Zip built out the PC bits of the DLC already.
     
  3. liamypoo

    liamypoo Famous

    Excellent news. Clears up a lot of questions I had. Can't wait for it.
     
  4. Julia_Faye

    Julia_Faye Famous

    6? Aww man I hate small populations. :( Also, I guess you still can't tell us how the game will begin? You say we will be able to bring materials over so I assume we have a choice of what base we will start in?
     
  5. Righteous Ham

    Righteous Ham Here To Help

    Very informative post Sanya, thank you.
     
  6. liamypoo

    liamypoo Famous

    Seems I would need to be cutting the fat of my group some more....I hate killing innocents.
     
  7. jon274

    jon274 Starting Off

    I still intend to do this for the purpose of optimizing my elite 7 rather then padding my roster :) Thanks for taking the time to put this post together, Sanya. It's nice to get small updates like this and clarifies a couple things we weren't sure about.
     
  8. Undead Geoffrey

    Undead Geoffrey Lead Designer, State of Decay Franchise Staff Member

    "I hate killing innocents."
    With the RV, you don't have to! You can abandon them to their own devices and remain pleasantly ignorant of their fate. It's like living in ancient Sparta!

    "I assume we have a choice of what base we will start in?"
    When you arrive in the RV, if you can afford a base, you can settle there. The RV itself will serve as a temporary home until you do.

    "I guess you still can't tell us how the game will begin?"
    We have to save SOMETHING for the Twitch stream next week.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  9. Righteous Ham

    Righteous Ham Here To Help

    Didn't they abandon them as babies? Or am I simply confusing history for that awful move where the phantom of the opera screams a lot?
     
  10. Thanks for the updates Sanya. Looks really interesting.


    They're not dead. You just left them in a more habitable valley and will follow after you've secured a new home... or something. Well, just make sure to name a middle school after them or something.
     
  11. I do not understand how you implement is costing both keyboard + mouse control ...

    People even already created a mod that includes even the icons on the screen, making the game have a complete interface with keyboard and mouse. So much will it cost to you?

    Also, have several guides on Steam forums to include a good keyboard and mouse support.
     
  12. Roids

    Roids Starting Off

    The very first time: You start alone. Random character. You find and choose a group to join, and then play as normal plus any new goals or mechanics.
     
  13. It realy sounds nice, can't wait for it! Would be nice if u could choose like 20 items and 300 ammo from your storage or something like that.. Would be even harder ;) But thanks for the info and cheers!
     
  14. Zugai

    Zugai Starting Off

    I didn't get to suggest it during the stream, but like others back then pointed out a "per capita" limit of guns/weapons and a few extras should be enough.
    Remember the blog where you guys posted your weapons of choice? thats how it should be.
    You got 7 actually playable characters so that's a max of 14 weapons, add the ammo, a few slots for meds, snacks and molotovs or w/e.
    At least that's a way to make the game bit harder if it seems "too easy" after release^^
     
  15. Undead Sanya

    Undead Sanya Administrator

    I know what you're saying, but if you check out the sticky posts on all of the various forums, you'll see that what is in the game right now isn't actually an interface for State of Decay. Those are the engine defaults. We didn't set them or test them or anything. That's why some keys seem to do more than one thing and why there are no keys for other things. We sneaked in a setting to make the radio work, but that is literally the only thing we've done that you can see. Behind the scenes, of course, we've been working for weeks. Anyway, there is not yet an interface for the PC version.
     
  16. Vers

    Vers Here To Help

    Thanks for the updates!

    It sounds like we'll be able to progress fairly quickly through these levels then if it takes an hour to find the RV and roughly an hour to repair it. Are there any benefits to spending more time on each level?

    I know later on it will be tougher with the limited vehicles, though. Here's to hoping we spend more than a few hours on each level :)
     
  17. Dante

    Dante Starting Off

    I'm lookin forward to this mode, as I am usually pretty good at the main story mode (and use a lot of stealth to get by unnoticed) so I'm lookin forward to seein just how crazy high I can go up in level ;-P. I just wish that the 'new towns' we went to were actually different towns rather than a refreshing randomization of the original map. This doesn't put me off Breakdown though. 'Hopefully' u guys will be able to implement a new town or 2 to swap between in the future :)
     
  18. A Space Ostrich

    A Space Ostrich Starting Off

    I'm hoping at some point in the future a tweak can be made to the RV so that when you leave you set the 7 survivors you want to take with you, then control the others at your home site in a continuous assault wave of hordes and ferals, as all the people you left behind have to fight them off for as long as they can. It'd be awesome. Unlikely to be implemented though, it's both too big to be included as a tweak, and not big enough to warrant a full update all by itself.
     
  19. Undead Sanya

    Undead Sanya Administrator

    You can spend as much time as you want on each level. Since the cool Heroes unlock according to your accomplishments, like a certain number of dead zombies, you may prefer to try and rack up the kills while the game is still relatively easy.

    Or you can scamper through the levels until it feels good to you, and then just settle in to see how long you can last.

    Or you can try to see how MANY levels you can live through. Remember, in the original game, we stacked things so you could at least finish the story no matter how bad off your community was. In Breakdown, there are no safeguards.
     
  20. just a couple quick questions, will the RV be used as an additional mobile home base or outpost where you can station 7 people there and have the "permanent" home base to house 16-24 people after settling in breakdown level?

    it was mentioned in the forums a few times regarding posting your people at outposts, manning it basically to keep the traps up and possibly attack zombies that wonder in the zone, is there possibilities that this is included in this dlc?

    Thank you for your time
     

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