Picture this: you’re moving through an abandoned convenience store in the middle of the day, and light is pouring in through the front windows. The shelves have been ransacked and only a few items remain. You stop to investigate a roll of bandages on the shelf and, feeling these will come in handy later, you grab them and turn to leave.
A Walker grabs you and leans in for a taste of flesh! You struggle against his weight but can’t quite fight him off. His rancid breath is thick in the air between you as his mouth opens for a bite. Mustering all of your strength you push just hard enough to get a few inches of separation and then… You jam the blade of your knife through his temple and he slumps to the ground at your feet amid an explosion of blood and brain! After taking a final look around, you see that no others Walkers realize you’re there. You slip out of the store and continue toward your destination.
This is the world of The Walking Dead, a world where you can never feel safe because any moment may be your last. This is life, dealing with the constant threat of the Walker invasion.
When Activision approached us to help them make The Walking Dead game based off the AMC’s TV series, the whole team went crazy. We are all fans of the show and couldn’t wait to get our hands on it. Immediately the team knew that an FPS game based on The Walking Dead was something we wanted to help bring the fans.
What we love about the show is how people must learn to survive in this new world while still trying to keep a sense of normalcy. Some people are prepared to keep holding onto the values that society has taught them while others are prepared to do whatever it takes to survive. There are even characters that are changing for what is perceived to be the better and we are excited to try and bring that into our game and let players experience it firsthand.
Fans of the TV show will immediately connect with our The Walking Dead video game. You will get the opportunity to put yourself into the shoes of Daryl Dixon himself and be shown how he first experienced this new world changing around him. The journey will show how he and his brother survived those early weeks and ended up with Dale’s group in the show. The Dixons are survivors and Daryl is one of the best. Through FPS gameplay and resource management the players will assist Daryl in making the right decisions to help guarantee he and his brother survive.
When referencing the show, one of the things that stood out to us was how the Walkers reacted to sound; they were suspicious of gunfire. Seeming to know that only humans were able to wield weapons, the Walkers instinctively moved toward the sounds people made. They are also attracted to other sounds, so someone moving through that world needs to be aware of the amount and type of noise they make at all times.
We’re crafting our Walkers to react the same way. In the game, you’ll need to carefully sneak into and out of some dangerous situations and you may meet a few Walkers along the way. If you show up with guns blazing, you’ll quickly find yourself dealing with a much larger crowd and you could easily become overwhelmed.
Walkers also have the ability to tell the living from the dead by their sense of smell. Humans give off a scent that the Walkers can detect, and the longer we stand still (like when we are looking at a shelf for supplies) the larger the radius of that scent becomes. Stand still for too long and a Walker shambling down the street looking for a meal might just discover you standing inside a store.
Our goal in creating our Walkers is to make them as living (or, actually, as undead) as they are portrayed in the series. They see you, smell you, and hear you, and they won’t stop until they find you.
We hope you enjoyed this first peek at The Walking Dead Video Game; we’ll return with more insights on this new take on the series before it shambles onto PlayStation 3 systems in 2013.