Apocalyptic is set in a wasteland where players build armies and forts during the day, and defend against zombie hordes at night.
In the top-down 3-D game, players search for supplies in what’s left of the persistent, massive randomly-generated world during the day—collecting food and ammo and salvaging remnants of the old world. These will be needed, as surviving will be no easy task.
“We want players to find relief when the day breaks, and a touch of fear when the sun goes down,” said Jack Fraser, lead developer of Apocalyptic, via e-mail.
The main inspiration for this was Minecraft, but “nights in Apocalyptic opposed to nights in Minecraft are far more deadly—we want to make it nigh impossible to survive without adequate preparation.”
Players will need to build and establish their own forts, and recruit NPCs to fill different jobs—soldiers, repairmen, recruiters. There will also be NPC camps scattered throughout the game, and the player’s relations with them will play a big part in the game.
Fraser said there will be no scripted events in the game, but the randomly-generated setting will ensure something different is always happening, forcing the player to adapt.
The situations can vary: “The feeling of walking into an NPC camp for a general trade run, only to find it under attack by zombies (oh yes, NPCs will be targets too) and walking sheepishly away, to finding a once proud military base burnt out with zombie soldiers marching about—it’s something that I’ve always felt works well in a dynamic game,” he said.
NPCs will play a part in other ways—and darkness can be used not only by the zombies, but also by the player and the NPC forts. Later versions of the game will allow players to launch night raids on NPC camps.
Players can also get on the bad side of the NPCs, and they could send their own militias to attack the player’s base. “However, we plan to make it the NPC camps do not aim to completely destroy you, as they know fully well that there is only a limited amount of manpower left in the world,” he said.
“Zombies on the other hand are everywhere, all the time and a constant threat,” he said. “Besides the odd wanderer simply finding your base, if a group finds its way together they could band together, and invade your base with a small army of mutated beings.”
The player will also need to construct different types of buildings. Different systems are also in place to make players build large bases, as the game moves forward.
Fraser said inspiration for building a functioning base came from a multiplayer game of Minecraft with him and a friend, “where we always built a small base that had several buildings from kitchens, storage areas, mines and other useful structures.”
To do this, he’s putting different systems in place to encourage players to build large bases where things aren’t crammed together in one spot.
“One of these big motivators is living quarters,” he said. “Each NPC will require space to live and sleep, and each quarters cannot be too close to one another. To be able to hire more NPCs, the player will need to build a larger base- a classic game mechanic that always (well, nearly always) works.”
“The bigger the base, the more defenses and manpower needed, and so on and so forth,” he said.
“The player is not, in fact, a one man army,” he said. “A small group of zombies could easily overwhelm a player, but having a few NPCs taking shots and dividing up the zombies means that victory could be achieved.”
[box_light]Images courtesy of Jack Fraser[/box_light]