And yep, you got it right, Walter Sullivan -- I'd forgotten that RPS did that article. Co-Optimus did one on the game, too. Mechanically the game is pretty much the same as that one was, except streamlined in the controls in particular and with a bunch of other new content put in there. There were also a number of concepts that I'd been trying to merge together that weren't doing well together, and in 2008 I didn't yet know how to resolve those conflicts. I figured it out finally, last year, and just haven't been able to spare any time to get back to it. Now I can!
Volatar, in terms of DayZ that's really the opposite of the direction I'm headed.
There's nothing emergent or procedural about this game, although it does have some very excellent pathfinding. The "zombies" in the lore of this game aren't traditional zombies, but are actually somewhat different. They're called "Grays," and have a mythology all of their own. For instance, they can't be killed by most conventional weapons, which is part of why you have to use other stuff in the environment to kill them. Grenades still do work, though, since fire is one of the thing Grays are weak to.
Overall this is a game that would get an E10 rating, same as AVWW. There are some dark themes in the writing, but not in the fashion that most zombie games do it. There are so many zombie games out there that I always wanted this to have its own unique flavor. It's originally based on a novel I was writing, so all the ideas on the mythology and how the Grays work come from there.
For instance, when someone dies they become a New Gray and temporarily have extra strength, speed, or similar. And people don't turn into Grays by being eaten -- the Grays have no interest in your brains whatsoever. They just want to smash your face in in general. And the big problem is that everyone who dies -- in any way -- turns into a Gray. So you don't have to have a breach of your walls by Grays in order to have a zombie running around in your town, for instance -- someone just has to commit suicide and then they're on top of you as a New Gray. Yikes.
There are various other kinds of Grays that you'll run into that have various behaviors and traits. And then there's also quite a number of other monsters of various sorts. Some are nightmare monsters or spirits of various sorts, while others are animals or plants that have turned evil in a similar way to what happened with the Grays. All of this sounds grim and serious, but remember that this is a pixelart game. Visually, it's kind of a cross between Zelda 1, Lode Runner: The Legend Returns, and maybe something like FF6 in terms of color balance.
And now I've gone and said a whole lot about it.
Anyway, yes, this will have a linear story with cutscenes and hidden levels and other secrets and so on. Every part of this game is hand-designed, in the exact opposite manner of AVWW. AVWW is our procedural game, whereas this is our hand-designed one. It also has a level editor which lets you create your own entire adventures complete with levels, cutscenes, and so forth. It's the exact tools we're using to create the main two adventures of the game.
Oh, and it's going to be local co-op only, since I'm apparently revealing details after all. Up to two players on the same keyboard, or with two gamepads. For anyone who scoffs at two people on one keyboard, they should remember their history -- I, for one, grew up playing games that way. Anyway, gamepads are prevalent enough anyhow, and are fully supported. Online co-op would really push this project out of scope for now, and I don't think it would control all that well, anyhow. Our next game after this one, the new TPTSNBN, should have online co-op.
EDIT: Yep, will be available for OSX, like all our other games.