Geoff Keen the CEO & design director has been kind enough to do what I call a Q&A10, 10 questions straight to the point so we get to know where the ideas behind the project & what are their plans for it.
Atlas: When did Sandswept have the idea to create TDL & how did it come to mind?
GK: I had the idea to create The Dead Linger way back when I was about 15 years old. I was inspired after reading Max Brooks' The Zombie Survival guide, and I've been designing The Dead Linger ever since. I looked around at all the awful zombie games, and over the past 6 years, the trend has not improved. Only up until about a year ago we finally found the right timing and the right team to really start creating the game.
Atlas: How big is the TDL team, & who is the mastermind behind the it?
Atlas: What will TDL do to differentiate itself from the rest of the games in the undead genre,like you say zombie games have died how will you bring them back from the dead ?
GK: The Dead Linger is absolutely going to blow them out of the water. Current zombie games are focused on killing zombies, extreme gore, run and game gameplay, and wacky weapons. Zombies aren't supposed to be silly. They are supposed to be scary. They will be scary once again. We are giving players an open world, full of the undead, and full of possibilities. You can survive and thrive however you choose in this dangerous, undead, and planet-sized world. We are bringing classic, head-shot only zombies back to what should have always been a pure horror survival genre, and has since lots its roots. We are bringing the zombie game everyone dreams about, and we are doing it right.
Atlas: What kind of map mechanics are we talking about, sandbox, endless world or sectioned maps & how big will they be?
GK: The world size is planet-sized. We're planning to lock it to somewhere around 63,000 km squared, with wrapping once you reach the edge (so you can return to your original location by moving in a straight line for a VERY long time.) Most people won't use a world this large, and that's fine. The point is that the option to explore is ALWAYS open. You will have never 'explored everything'.
Atlas: When you say true multiplayer, what do you mean is it more like an mmo with hundred's of people or client hosted where we keep the players to a minimum?
GK: Game servers will be hosted by the community. Player limits will be fairly high (64 to 256 right now is our goal), but our recommended for Alpha is 16 players max in a given world. We will allow servers to set however many players they want in their game, though, as long as their server can handle it. To be clear, The Dead Linger is not an MMO, and it is not subscription based or anything like that, nor does it require internet connectivity to play.
Atlas: What enemies will you feature & what kind. If were talking only zombies then which ones, the 28 days later marathon running z's or the more common Romero zombies that will be slow but come in numbers?
GK: We have three main zombies planned - slow, medium, and fast. The fast zombies are still slower than the player's sprinting speed, and they are fewer and far between. There will be a few other hostile enemies, such as hostile NPC survivors, and the occasional zombie animal. We have a few fun zombie animals in mind.
Atlas: Will you feature pvp in the game and how will you prevent it from becoming a free for all shoot out.
GK: There will certainly be PvP modes in the game, but a lot of players will want to play coop, or more organized team-based PvP. We will provide options for the more anarchistic "free for all PvP", a more organized "Team PvP" (i.e. red team vs. blue team) as well as the more cooperative "Survival" mode, which is the way the game was intended to be played. We expect a lot of emergent behavior in TDL as well. After all; it's a sandbox! Players will certainly come up with their own sub-games within the game. We may add the more popular emergent gametypes over time as official gametypes.
Atlas: When can we look forward to an alpha release date & do we get anything for pre-ordering?
GK: Alpha release is around October, probably later than sooner. If you pre-order, you will receive a DOVRAC gas mask. This is an exclusive gas mask that looks unique to any other mask you will find in the game. We are being very careful that premium items will never create an unfair advantage over other players. TDL is not and never will be Pay-To-Win.
Atlas: What games would you say inspired you the most to create TDL?
GK: I personally can't name a single zombie game that has pushed me to create The Dead Linger, unless you count "This game is so bad, I really need to make that zombie game I want to make." They're all completely wrong when it comes to the kind of sandbox survival zombie game that I want to see, and any of the current zombie games in development were not in development or announced when I began crafting The Dead Linger, so they've had little to no bearing on our development.
Atlas: What is your plan for the zombie apocalypse when it really comes/do you have one?
GK: My zombie apocalypse plan is far too complex to illustrate here. Let's just say it involves many bags of ramen noodles and a slinky.
Thank you Geoff for taking the time to answer our questions.