Pledge level updates, team bios & dev dairy - characters
To start things off we wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone for all the support so far. We can't wait to get this funded and start getting to more of our stretch goals! Also we hope everyone is having a great weekend. We are going to continue our dev diary as promised with information about characters but first a bit of other news.
Alpha Level Updates
First off, we have updated the two physical reward tiers to include Alpha access. We don't know what we were thinking when we put those levels in but of course we would think if you are wanting to get the physical game as soon as possible you probably are also going to want to start trying out the digital game as soon as possible. Due to Kickstarter rules we cannot change the level descriptions once individuals back them. However, we have updated the pledge level graphics at the bottom of the main page.
Additionally, due to popular demand we have added a new pledge level for those interested in only one copy of the game and one alpha access code in addition to what you would get at the Hoarder level. The $60 Prepper level is still a great value if you have a friend who might enjoy the game.
We have added the team bios up under the About Us section including some pics of each of us and a short blurb about ourselves and our role in the project. Take a look!
Dev Diary - Characters
One of our first requests for information was on character customization. So let’s delve into the character system a bit. When you start a new game of Zpocalypse: Survival one of the first things you will do is create your starting character for the game. You will begin by choosing your gender. From there you will be able to customize the character using various body types, heads and hair styles. We are also working on a system where you can customize the color for skin, hair and eyes in addition to adding things like facial hair, tattoos, and more.
After this you will select a role. Roles are the top-end descriptor of each character, giving a broad sense of what that character's, ahem, role will be in the game. Roles will define to a large degree what the character's strengths and skills are, though players will still be able to customize their character to make it their own.
Each role can be viewed as a bucket in which a handful of more traditional 'character classes' are held. Over time, as players develop each character, they more clearly define what the character's "class" actually is, in an RPG sense. This definition is done organically through skill and perk choices rather than actually choosing a “class” for the character. When first creating a character, players will be able to choose whichever role they prefer. Characters will fall into one of 3 roles: bruiser, fighter and smartie.
Fighter - This role defines characters whose main mission in life is to kill zombies, mutants and whatever else is out there, quickly and repeatedly. End of story. Whether it's with a gun, knife, crossbow or can opener, this role knows how to make fast work of anything that moves.
Bruiser - This role encompasses characters who are big, beefy and hard to bring down in combat. Think Arnold Schwarzenegger or Vin Diesel. What bruisers lack in battle finesse, situational awareness and social skills, they make up for in sheer firepower and the ability to stand their ground longer than anyone else.
Smarty - This role defines characters who are the brains behind the operation. Without these survivors, the group wouldn't have a plan as to how to survive, wouldn't have the know how to build up their base and certainly wouldn't have any first aid, food or clean water. These folks run the show and all they ask is you do exactly what they say.
All characters share a common set of statistics. Each role has a unique set of starting values for these statistics and as characters level up within a role the role will determine which of these statistics will be increased. The characters stats are:
Firearm Skill represents the character's ability to damage enemies with ranged weaponry. It covers all weapons that can attack at distance, including knife-throwing and grenades.
Melee Skill represents the character's ability to damage enemies with melee weaponry. This includes weapons such as clubs and swords, as well as karate chops and pistols at close (arms length) range.
Smarts represents the character's ability to find hidden stuff (scavenge), crafting and building base defenses. With an event system there may also be situations where the smarts stat is used to overcome or influence an event (for example, detecting an ambush or spotting a trap).
Toughness represents the character's ability to shrug off attacks, resist poisons and radiation and to endure starvation. One doesn't need to be big and beefy to be tough, though the bruiser role tends to have a higher toughness than the other classes.
Vigor represents the character's endurance, resistance to fatigue and ability to take actions in combat.
Health is the amount of damage a character can take before being killed and removed from the game.
Humanity is a measure of the character's ability to relate with other apocalyptic survivors, and perhaps his ability to lead other survivors in battle as well.
Morale is a measure of how happy or sad a character is. It will affect whether or not you can incorporate a survivor into your squad. This would also cover things like your character panicking or running away from a fight.
Once you have selected a role you will go through the process of choosing a background which will provide you with additional benefits and potentially some penalties. We are developing options for having a background where you would start with multiple survivors, but there would be heavier links between the two characters which could potentially cause difficulties for you later in the game. For example you might start with a sibling but if something were to happen to that sibling, especially right in front of you, it would affect how the character reacts to the world.
That is all we have for today. As always we would love to hear your thoughts and your suggestions for future dev diaries as well as any input you have on the current topic. For now we will leave you with some of our character concepts!