Hello all - earlier this week we opened this thread to allow you to ask us anything:
And we answered!
Find the answers below.
When you invested into The War Z (at the time it was being created ) where you expecting to get roughly 1 million diff players on the game?
No we did not. Our rough estimate was around 500K players in the first 6-8 months after launch of open beta. We’ve reached 1.3M by mid-July – ie roughly 7.5 months since we’ve launched open beta. But what is more interesting is that around 800k users are coming from our own website and around 500k users are coming from Steam. We think this is a very healthy mix for an independent developer/publisher.
What can you tell us about the other games you are developing?
Nothing yet. There’s one game that is in production and two games that are in various stages of preproduction – ie designers and concept artists are working on them. We’re not ready to do any public announcements yet. One thing we want to avoid is making promises of something that won’t be delivered at time of open beta. We’ve done this once; it’s not something we want to repeat.
What gave you guys the motivation to make the game in the first place?
We wanted to make zombie fighting game for a while. In fact we’ve started preproduction and have created early demo for a zombie survival/fighting game for Playstation 3 back in late 2010-early 2011. And our plan was to create game that allow you to “clear” parts of the world from zombies by surviving waves of zombie hordes with several of your friends in a coop game. Once you’ve “liberated’ zone, new parts of the world becomes accessible.
This design was scrapped and changed to open world exploration, unrestrictive pve/pvp sandbox game later in 2012 and yes it partially happened because we saw success of DayZ mod and we’ve clearly saw market opportunity there, with players clearly looking for that type of game experience, yet no one offered it in a standalone product. Okay no one except us still does offer that, but this will hopefully will change soon.
Could you explain how long it takes to develop and add something to the game.
This depends on what we’re developing. Let’s take for example a simple zombie AI feature – zombies reacting to a flare. Sounds like a super easy thing. And yes, you can get a working prototype that is more that good enough for an indie single player game in like 2 days. But then you start testing and tweaking and boom - suddenly weeks have passed and yes, it’s working better now, but it’s still not quite right. You can spend anything between another week to 2-3 weeks making sure it’s working correctly in the multiplyer environment and it’s coded in such a way that it's not exploitable. After that you need to spend time testing it in a real network environment. So you get some testers in front of the game throwing flares at zombies and see what’s happening. Then you need to start fixing the new bugs.
So boom – a simple feature that you got working in 2 days took 5 weeks or even more until it was ready to go into the public build. Then you release it and players find hundreds of game breaking bugs – just because you’re blessed with having hundreds of thousands players who will find creative ways to do something with this feature that you didn't intend. Another 2 weeks later and your “zombie attracting flare” is done. You’ve just spent hundreds of man hours on a simple feature.
Things like making a new map on other hand can take between 6 months for a smaller maps (original Colorado realistically took 9 months) up to 16-30 months for larger maps.
What do you think about DayZ? Do you guys like it?
We have people in our team who have played it and loved it, we have people who never tried it, and we have people who tried it but didn’t liked it. I personally tried it few times, but it’s clearly not my piece of pie. I’m sure that DayZ SA will be success, yet I know that based on what I’ve seen it still will be very similar to original mod, meaning that I personally will be playing something else . Yet I know that other guys on the team will try it out.
At One Point You Had Said Something About Flying Some People Who Had Bought The Game Out To Your Studios. Did This Ever Happen?
It’s still something we’re trying to figure out logistically. We’re working on creating a “community ambassador” program that will define how we select players we want to bring and our goal is to start doing this at least a couple times a year.
What's coming next after Colorado v2, and what's coming WITH colorado v2? new features? In the new format of Colorado, will the towns still have the same layout? Just in different positions on the map? Hi all, will you add more interest places/hotspots (cities, villages, hidden tents...) to the new colorado map or you will only increase the map size, if you will add somethings what can you tell us about that?
Most of the larger settlements in Colorado V2 are the same layout, others have been changed, we’re adding more smaller single home farms and wood cabins, to make more places for players to use as “home bases” as well as preparing Colorado V2 for upcoming features that we’re not ready to reveal yet.
When will New map engine be ready? Any kind of timeline?
Can we get a release date for Colorado V2?
The "new map engine" as you’ve called it is ready now. The map itself requires work from design and art. We hope to release an “alpha” version of the map on a public test server to let you guys test how it runs, and at the same time continue to tweak towns, farm placement, etc.
What is the estimated completion date of the California map, and will there be testing on it before it is fully released?
We really hope to get it done at least at beta stage this year. Unfortunately this is the best information I can give you right now. This is huge task for us; the map is much larger than anticipated – we’re talking about terrain that is roughly 7 times larger than Colorado V1 and around 4 times larger than Colorado V2. In addition, this map requires lots of new assets, making sure that our servers will handle much larger number of zombies gracefully, making sure that it all works well, etc, etc. And of course – walking across the California map would be a bitch, so….
When the California map is released in the future are we going to have the option to change map locations using 1 server or do we need to purchase 2 servers for different states.
There’s just one problem with that. Technically we can allow you to do that right now, but question is – what will happen with locker boxes – once you’ve shut down map and restart server with a new map they’ll be lost. And this is something that needs to be communicated to players beforehand.
This is one of the reasons we’ve created “server channels”, btw – we’d like to make it very clear that if you connect to privately hosted servers, you’re at the mercy of the server owner and he can restart server anytime and change maps, etc.
Strongholds: Will they still have the feature of growing food/farming
Yes they will. This is a large part of the Strongholds design.
Have you considered allowing the re-building of Colorado instead of the building of strongholds?
Yes this is something we really want to do, yet we found that current design may cause massive exploits, so this is something we’re working on right now. So first we’ll release stronghold servers as promised, and after that we’ll be working on allowing players to build in a game world map. This is something that we think is crucial for the future success of the game.
will current GI be accessible on both maps?
Hey Sergey do you love this community?
I do, even though at times the community is harsh to us – but I think we’ve deserved that and it's important to be able to separate trolls from people who have something constructive to say. For me personally it’s made this probably the hardest project to work on. It was a much easier and smoother ride producing War Inc. but at the same time I think I've learned more over the last year than in the five previous years combined, and I can say “thank you” for that to WarZ/Infestation community.
At the end – regardless of what anyone says, our average player has spent more hours playing our game than the average player spent in critically acclaimed super hit Skyrim. And this is worth more to me than media love.
Do you think you will stop working on Infestation within 4 years?
We hope so, but this is ultimately for players to decide. If enough players will be playing game, then yes we’ll be working on the game.
Any new weapons that you are going to release to the public anytime soon? If so how rare, etc.
There’re some plans, but we don’t want to talk about them just yet.
Will you guys be changing pvp like for example bullet speed
Hmmm, yes we’re planning on making changes to PVP, but it’s not like bullet speed is going to do anything with it. What’s wrong with it again?
How much the monthly fee to be a premium player will cost??
It’s not defined yet, but I doubt it’ll be any more that it costs in other games.
When can we expect to see new zombie/ player animations?
While we’re doing some changes to zombie animations to accommodate changes we’re making to zombie AI system, we do not have plans for changing players animations just yet.
Are there any plans to implement a full character-creation (including hairstyles, faces, body measurements) for the future to increase the variety of the players? And if not please explain why.
To do this we’ll have to redo our whole character system. This means effectively changing the whole database structure, how characters are rendered, etc, etc. So while it’s technically possible, I don’t think we’ll do this anytime soon. At least not until the game gains way more popularity than it has right now.
have you considered hardware banning or ip bans and if not how come i would to to get an answer to see why
It’s super easy to circumvent hardware id bans, and most of the communal residential internet providers are using shared IP pools – so basically if you live in a city, there’s a chance that over a certain period of time dozens, hundreds, or even thousands people are using same IP as you’re using. So IP bans may result in denying access to the game to legitimate players.
Last Ama, you stated there wouldn't be any zombies in stronghold servers, so I'd like to ask you if the possibility to enable and disable zombie spawns in strongholds is in the realm of possibilities
This is, in fact, in realm of possibilities. We’ll be spending additional resources on Research and Development to figure out how to make it work without raising prices for server hosting.
Are you planning to add more types of zombies?
Yes we are. Unfortunately this is as much as we can reveal right now.
There was that question in previous ama why can't marketplace have prices in both GC and IGD (in game dollars) but it wasn't answered.
There are a number of discussions that we’re having right now regarding how we want the Marketplace to look in the future, so this is why we didn’t answer this question.
Could you change Fairfight for a better anticheat even if you said you didn't want to add any software ?
We think that Fairfight is actually doing decent job. It’s not perfect, but performing so far better than any other anti-cheat engines we’ve tried. Together with our own anti-cheat and punkbuster they’re doing okay. Yet – it’s unfortunately an ongoing uphill battle and there’s no silver bullet engine that will solve this once and for all.
To get rid of cheaters completely, we’ll have to remove any direct aiming controls from the game – and this will clearly won’t work for a shooter game.
Considering its been 5 years since the world apocalypse, Why does the helicopter in boulder is still on smoke?
I’m sure some zombie lights it every single day.
Would you ever consider an alternate use for experience points when a character has all the skills maxed out, or would they simply accumulate?
Yes we have some ideas, but once again – it’s not something we can talk about in detail right now.
Is the "Safe Trading UI" going to be implemented as discussed.
Yes, we're working on implementing it right now.
When are you going to add more pve aspects? (PVE servers etc)
We are currently looking into it, but we don’t have a firm date. We are still exploring ways to add PvE without giving advantage to PvE players, in terms of loot for example.
What happened to the crawling zombies we saw in alpha video?
Like some of other things that we had in pre alpha/alpha it was cut from the game.
Can you make an interface editor so we can get rid of chat window and move around bars. At least turn off chat window function.
We're not currently planning on doing this. A UI editor is a somewhat viable option, but it’s not something that is high on the list of priorities. Maybe a couple years down the road…
How many legend accounts are Active??
Lets define ACTIVE. We call accounts active if the player logged in, joined a game, and has played in the last 30 days. Over 30% of all Legend accounts are active right now.
Will you guys add zombies in the forest? Like, groups of zombies running city through city, like in TWD
Yes, we will be adding more zombies in different areas. We have no plans right now to add zombies that go from city to city, but we are exploring ways to create more intelligent hordes of zombies.
I wonder if there is any chance of having Brazilian servers
We don’t have a deadline on that right now, but it is something that we are looking into.
Hello, I would have wanted to know if you go to add the wildlife (wolves, bear) and also a wildlife zombie?
This is not decided or even discussed in a greater detail to be honest.
Can you lower the price for a new character ($ 15,000 or less) it would have more variety of players in the game?
We firmly believe that characters are purely cosmetic part of the game, so we’re expecting players to buy those using GC. With price being slightly less than $4 per character, we don’t think this is something that is out of the reach for our players.
Why did you decide to restrict picking up lock boxes to the person who placed it?
To prevent potential abuse, for example, some clan member decides to scoop up all loot boxes that clan has access to and then leave the clan.
Will there ever be a benefit to becoming a Lawman Rank or higher?
We are looking into adding more benefits for progressing on the reputation ladder.
Could we maybe get GC for killing the opposite of our reputation system?
We do not plan on doing this on game wide basis as this will create a gate for exploits. Yet, we’re discussing bounty board mechanics.
Do you have any plan to add any 1 hit kill melee weapon for zeds?
Not right now. But we might in the future, especially after improvements to zombie AI.
When will I be able to buy a drink from the bar in the safe zones after a long day of zombie/player killing it would be nice to grab a beer
Unfortunately, when the zombies rose, the beer didn't last long. (We're not currently working on adding this.)
Have you ever considered doing a patch every week
We considering patching only when we have something ready to be released, not just patching for the sake of patching.
Will laser sights ever be able to turn on/off?
When will new animations of the game be. What are the initial plans you have on for new animations?
Initial plan is to improve the quality of existing ones, and then start adding new ones. We don’t have a final list yet. We are actually working right now on adding more animations and improving old animations. Though it is a slow process.
Plants/overgrowth seems impenetrable, like the ones overhanging PD: this is really annoying. Can this be 'fixed'?
We’ll check on that, to make sure that collisions are right. We found the police department building where collisions were wrong for overgrowth and have fixed that. We’re going over other buildings to make sure we’re good with collisions. Thanks for noticing that!
Can you guys add higher capacity magazines for 22 caliber weapons
We didn’t planned for that.
Will arrows ever be retrievable?
It is something that we are looking into adding to the game, but no firm deadline on when it will be in.
Will your guys add a FOV slider to the game?
We will look into adding it.
I was wondering if you would ever consider making a headlamp as a head piece
We don’t have such plans.
Can u think about adding thing like "Clan name change"
We will look into it, but no promises.
will we ever have to find maps? instead of spawning with one?
No, this is a design decision we want to stick with. We do not think that there’s real value in finding map, especially when there’re numerous resources on the web that will provide you with a map image right away. By not providing a map, we’re not providing any gameplay value for players, yet we’re taking away some of the usability of the game.
will there ever be new kinds of barricades ?
Yes, we have bunch of new ones produced already, but they’ll be introduced to the game along with Strongholds.
Glitching is not allowed in the game, but what about using Barricades and boosting to get up on roofs?
Using barricades to reach rooftops is not bannable. We consider it a creative use of game assets.
Will you guys ever fix the problem where you can't see the blue outline of items when wearing night vision goggles?
We will look into this ASAP.
Will you guys ever revisit the old character models and enhance them
We do not plan on doing this at the moment, yet we’ve been talking that this maybe a good thing to do when we have more resources available.
Will you be ''fixing/changing'' the healing? It seems to be a bit too over powered in PvP, an animation where he is actually bandaging himself and taking the pills would be amazing!
Yes, we are working on that!
When an account is banned for cheating, why not track the lockers they used and then ban accounts that take gear out of that locker too?
Because this doesn’t provide us definitive proof that person who have opened it is a cheater.
Will we ever get an option to turn shadow effects off?
No. You will get some optimizations that will increase framerate, but shadows are here to stay.
Why dont grenades kill zombies?
They do kill them.
Are you planning to add a reputation counter to the main menu, also toxicity percentage would be ideal on the main menu?
There is already a reputation status on the survivor’s screen called Alignment. We will probably change the name to REPUTATION instead.
When are sound files for footsteps going to be put on all surfaces and corrected for current surfaces?
We are working on that, but there are some technical issues that are preventing us from completely fixing this issue.
Will you ever add animation between switching weapons?
We may do this in a future, but we don’t have those plans for coming 6-9 months.
is the wiki up to date?
If you’re talking about Wiki hosted and maintained by Curse.com – you should ask those guys.
Are you guys going to offer the legendary upgrade for survivors and poineers in the future?
No we do not have such plans.
Why was the decision made to have zombies drop 1-4 dollars?
We just wanted to make zombie always (okay most of the time) drop something even if it’s a small amount of Game Dollars. The rate for dropping significant amounts of GD or ammo hasn’t been changed, so we just add more drops, not nerfed it.
Will you ever do update videos where you show off the changes to the game like 'War Thunder' or 'The Dead Linger'
We'd LOVE to do that, yet this requires some additional resources and planning, so lets just say – we’re slowly coming toward that.
Any possibility of getting player ranks on the TAB menu to show as different colors?
Yes, this is one of the ideas for future UI changes.
Will it ever be possible to explore other, less expensive (more private) server hosting options?
We can’t say “never ever”, but as of right now we think that our server rental prices are comfortably balanced.
There's this ''timeout joining game'' problem occurring on a couple of my friends' computers & this error is really wide among the players
We do not see this to be a widespread issue, so most likely it has to do with some connectivity issues between your internet provider and servers. It may also have to do with network settings.
Will you work on special wounds? ( Breaking legs, bleeding... etc )
Yes, that is something that was already discussed internally many times. Once we are happy with the design, we will present it to you guys.
Are you going to put some kind of tab to see in-game your stats (xp ,bandit kills,civilian kils, etc.)
We will look into this, but we also don’t want to make our UI too busy.
One thing I didn't see answered, which I think is very important, is the sounds while sneaking/prone. There should be almost no sound to other players when prone, and very very VERY quiet when crouched.
When in prone, your player makes very little noise and you can only hear sound of his cloth\backpack moving.