'H1Z1' Early Access Release Date Nears: 'Development Moving Quickly,' Says Game Designer

  @theabigailelise on July 24 2014 12:55 PM
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'H1Z1' is getting closer to its launch date. Courtesy/SOE

Sony Online Entertainment (NYSE:SNE) will launch the zombie survival game “H1Z1” later this year, and we spoke to game designer Adam Clegg and graphics programmer Ryan Favale about the title’s development process.

“Development is moving along quickly and we are edging closer and closer to our Early Access milestone. Just recently we were able to actually launch the game through the Steam client,” Clegg told IBTimes, though he confirmed there’s “no release date to share yet.”

“We’re having a blast making this game and our daily playtests are becoming even more enjoyable as we approach Early Access. This project has been great to work on, and it’s really awesome to look around and see all the passion the entire team has toward it,” Favale added.

Last month during the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Clegg told us that the development team was working extremely hard to produce a game that was mostly free of bugs and glitches.

“We’re going to make sure our alpha is super-polished. We could go Early Access on Steam tomorrow, but we wouldn’t be proud of it, and it wouldn’t be something we’d want to showcase to the players,” Clegg said on June 11. “There’s things we still need. When we are ready to launch the game, it’s going to be a nice, polished version. We want to make sure it’s a solid product, even though it’s alpha. Especially for a survival game. We don’t want things you have to hurdle over in order to play the game.”

“H1Z1” is the name of a virus that has spread throughout the U.S., a virus that originally wasn’t taken seriously and infects people quickly – causing a zombie apocalypse scenario that devastates the entire country. Clegg assured us “H1Z1” will have an engaging backstory, one that explains the origin of the disease and how it quickly travels from state to state.

“I think fans will definitely appreciate how much time we’ve put into polishing our Early Access build. We are going to be delivering a fantastic game for Early Access, and that is just the beginning. There is still so much to do, and I can’t wait to go on that journey with our players,” he said.

Favale believes fans will appreciate the sheer size of the open world title, where they are free to explore.

“I think players are going to really enjoy their freedom in ‘H1Z1.’ The game has a strong ‘go anywhere, do anything’ feel to it, and exploration is highly rewarded but equally dangerous. There is a lot of variety to the game as well,” he explained.

“For example, fighting can be slow and calculating, or fast-paced and frightening. Players can run in arrows – or guns if they can find one – blazing or set up traps to lure enemies to their doom. Players can create a close-knit posse or choose to be a lone woodsman and use creative measures to keep others out. There’s a ton of features already in the game that I think players will really enjoy, and Early Access is just the tip of the iceberg.”

“H1Z1” will feature a day-to-night cycle and dynamic weather patterns. Both features will contribute to the game’s intensity. For example, if a sunny day suddenly becomes cold and snowy, a user could freeze to death if he's wearing light clothing. If you're playing at night, lighting a fire could attract zombies or other players.

“Weather is going to be one of the more marquee features in the game because it actually affects gameplay,” Clegg explained. “Snow and rain won’t just be aesthetic features; players will have to react differently depending on the weather. For example, a player in a T-shirt and jeans in the middle of a snowstorm has a greater chance of freezing to death. If it starts raining and he or she is without shelter, rain could put out his or her campfire and now the player is left without heat, a light source and protection from wildlife.”

Looks like surviving in "H1Z1" won't be easy, but we're still looking forward to playing it. Let us know what you think about "H1Z1" and comment below.

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