New zombie game from SOE – H1Z1

Sony Online Entertainment, the same devs that brought us Planetside 2, have released small tidbits of detail about an upcoming MMO in the works, titled H1Z1. H1Z1 is set to be similar to games I am already pretty addicted to, DayZ and Rust – set in a post-apocalyptic world hit by virus that causes the dead to come back to life. For those who watch my Twitch stream, I obviously play a ton of DayZ and just reading the small amount of details released so far about H1Z1 have me really excited!

The zombies will figure out what happened to you eventually, but for now what do you do next?

The zombies will figure out what happened to you eventually, but for now what do you do next?

What’s made H1Z1 even more interesting is how the devs are interacting with their community very early on. Instead of just throwing up a website, forums and all the usual, John Smedley, current President of SOE, started out by posting on a brand new Reddit community. This was quickly followed by an interview between Jimmy Whisenhunt (dev for H1Z1) and Lirik, one of really popular Twitch streamers of DayZ. Some of the relevant information from this interview is below.

  • When Dying, loot stays at death location.
  • They are still figuring out the tech so they dont know how big they can get it.
  • They will slowly make the map bigger throughout updates.
  • take place in “Anywhere, America” Midwest/East Coast US
  • fresh spawns are essentially just civilians
  • Combat: a lot like hard recoil – via CS:GO
  • reticle/sights will stay where the recoil put them. you have to compensate after every shot.
  • FOV slider confirmed
  • trying to make sure that aiming is difficult in both first person and third person mode.
  • wildlife and hunting confirmed
    • Wolves and Deer exist
    • they actually have a problem right now where the wolves kept killing all the deer and are trying to find a balance there, so there will be like a circle of life.
    • Wildlife and Zombies can interact in the same way, zombies vs wolves naturally
  • it will still be alpha when we get into it.
  • The alpha will be more of a way to find what will be fun, what to add and stuff, and beta will be where the bug hunt happens.
  • server player amounts not determined yet
  • types of servers still being determined, as in PvE focused Servers or vice versa
  • still playing with loot. doing it like the DayZ mod where it’ll respawn in randomish intervals.
  • the goal is massive amount of massively sized servers, but will start with a few massive servers
  • big issue is how to get around things like stream hunting because there will probably be less servers than most
  • going for modern guns, going for realistic gun spawns based on location. some places(the south) could totally have a lot of guns in the houses, where the opposite could be true in other places
  • right now there is both med packs and healing based on eating
  • working on the bodily harm/injuries system
  • crafting bandages can be found and crafted, saline bags were just added
  • rust level crafting is “the goal”
  • they are working on getting a bow and arrow in there.
  • ATM cars are just kind of there in full condition, but they could easily add the “this car is missing ______ component(s)” system
  • Character customization is very basic ATM, will expand later, should be easy to expand.
  • Anti-Cheat is transferring over from Planetside 2, and is very successful over there.
  • Dynamic weather is being added. rain is just getting to the point of actually making the ground wet, character shining a bit, bushes wet, etc.
  • containers and inventory system can be complicated: how to present it in the UI, how many default spots on spawn, how many to have on different clothes/gear
  • debating how hard it should be to switch guns, ie: carry 3 guns at all times, or multiple clicks and in inventory management just to swap from one gun to another.
  • debating on equipment weight being accounted for, can be tricky, must feel right.
  • again, fun is a main concern here
  • proximity chat confirmed
  • has whole Planetside 2 back-end, so they can add components from that very easily
  • still debating how playing with friends will work, sending an invite that needs to be confirmed so you can see where our friends are.
  • arson is gonna be a thing. needs to be figured out still though.
  • Performance is the #2 priority behind fun. Taking it VERY seriously
  • not sure if suicide will be an option
  • too early to tell if Mac version will be a thing. might make it if there is demand.
  • unsure if planting crops is going to be in it.
  • feedback will be a huge factor, this sub will be pivotal.
  • it is surprising how short the development cycle has been so far.
  • micro-transactions will never directly effect PvP combat. probably not even things like bandages will be buy-able.
  • craftables/ingredients/anything gatherable will probably not be buy-able.
  • biggest thing ATM is just getting the game to a stable, playable state
  • micros could be things like boosts in things happening, like in PS2
  • definitely working on getting around the combat logging problem
  • trees destructible, best tree destruction, ie getting them to fall when chopped down
  • live stream of current build next week, possibly monday, the 14th.
  • early access via steam roughly 4-6 weeks from now for $20
  • small, 20-ish man dev-team
  • day night cycle. it is accelerated.
  • not sure how climate will be handled when game becomes as big as it could be
  • placing items uses physics(PhysX?)
  • ragdoll bodies confirmed.
  • possible feature: pissing and shitting
  • air vehicles are possible(the engine) but not sure if it will be there in the end
  • PS4 version is pretty much confirmed.

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So far, H1Z1 is looking great and the interaction with the community is just awesome – which has me very excited to pick this up when it hits Early Release. What do you gamers out there think?

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A new year, a new webpage, a new focus

I’ve been a gamer since back in the days of the Atari (yep, I’m old). My real addiction to gaming came out during the original Nintendo era, playing games like Excitebike, NBA Jam and Tecmo Bowl. During the SNES years, it was Bond 007 that really got me into multiplayer gaming, where I realized I was fairly decent at first-person shooters. No, I’m not at competitive league play level, but I certainly enjoy playing and do fairly well for the most part. This developed even more when I was in high school and games like Warcraft on the PC came out; I remember many long nights spent on dial-up playing with or against friends.

Today, I am 35 years old and still I spend more than 40 hours a week on average in front of my PC, playing video games. So with 2014, I have decided that I will seek to not just enjoy gaming, but to share that love with others and maybe at some point make a little money off it. So buckle up kids, sit back and enjoy the ride!

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