It’s been some weeks since our last blog post and we want to give you guys an update about our progress.
Our initial idea was to have a working prototype of the complete first chapter of the game in September and this is looking good, although it took a lot more work then anticipated.
Playtesting: We rented a house in no mans land for the next weekend and plan to playtest a lot, to get the core mechanics working perfectly. Up until that point we did a lot of online playtesting together and also with some friends and other designers. So far the feedback was always positive, while giving us good ideas on what to work and improve with each session. After our playtesting weekend we will continue and also ramp up playtesting with other players. If you are interested, feel free to contact us.
The characters: The different characters and their skills and abilities are something we worked a lot on and also changed a lot. The balancing between the character archetypes, being ranged – and closed combat character requires a lot of work. Ranged characters deal more damage, but produce noise which attracts all undead with every shot. This can be a disadvantage, but can also be used as an tactical element, for example by luring zombies in a certain direction. I think right now we have an okayish balancing of the first starting four characters – but there needs to be a lot of finetuning done for them and also a lot of work for the remaining characters.
Scenarios: The progress on the scenarios makes us very happy. So far we finished designing 15 scenarios and we are glad that we have no struggle at all with implementing new ideas and also visuals with everyone, so that they do not feel repetitive. Of course the balancing for each scenario requires a lot of work and sometimes can be frustrating. When we change something about the enemies, the characters of the map – it also has a big influence on the overall experience. So we have a big focus on always looking at the bigger picture.
Base building: The base building is the gameplay element we struggled the most until now. It is hard to playtest with others, since it will evolve by playing 10+ scenarios and since one scenario takes 1-2.5 hours playtesting (with explaining the rules for new testers) – we are not able to play 10+ scenarios with others. Nevertheless we are very optimistic we are on a good path and found a system with works good. But our own long playtesting sessions still need to prove that.
Timetable: Since this is our first game we design, we still do not want to give out a specific date for a launch. We do this in our freetime and our dayjob, families or other things may make us face challenges with we may prioritize in this phase of the design process. Nevertheless: The rough timing we estimated looks realistic until now, which will enable us to launch kickstarter in 2021.
Art: Regarding our art we are very happy we found Niketa, which does an amazing work. Currently she is working on enemy character designs (which we plan on use for the enemy standees) and player character designs (which we plan on using as a briefing for the minis). Also she started working on objects for our scenarios, which enable us to design immersive maps. We are happy to show you some new art:
The battle system: Our battle system is probably the mechanics which is the most advanced. Combat against zombies feels good and also when other living characters join the fight to make it a groupVSgroupVSzombies situation it is just fun – while also beeing challenging. One thing we heard a lot from playtesters, was that tactics are very important and we like that. To give you an idea of how the system works, we recorded a little video explaining the basics.