Sony Online Entertainment’s (NYSE: SNE) upcoming survival horror “H1Z1” will launch sometime this fall, and we spoke to game designer Adam Clegg and graphics programmer Ryan Favale about some of the open world title’s features, which include a dynamic weather system that changes randomly – just like in the real world.
“'H1Z1' will have dynamic weather, meaning it could be sunny one day and rainy, cloudy, or even snowy the next day. So, it’s possible that players will go inside their makeshift shack to craft during a sunny day and come out only to be greeted by a snow storm,” game designer Adam Clegg told IBTimes.
“We’ve programmed the server to randomly select the weather daily. Essentially, once we load up the different weather patterns on the server, ‘H1Z1’ Mother Nature has control.”
“We also have plans to move more detailed control over to the server. I am currently finishing up some controls over temperature and precipitation, which will allow the client to build the environment based on those types of values,” Favale added.
“H1Z1” is the name of a virus that has spread throughout the U.S., a disease that originally wasn’t taken seriously and infected people quickly – causing a zombie apocalypse scenario that devastates the entire country. In the title, players must collect objects, hunt animals, find food and water and avoid zombies.
Sony Online Entertainment wants to make the game as realistic as possible – what would you have to do to survive a real invasion of the undead? How would your environment and elements like weather, wildlife and other people influence your own choices and chances of survival? Clegg and Favale believe the game’s weather patterns will be a major influential feature in “H1Z1.”
“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 snow storm 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.”
This means the weather will play an active and integral part in a player’s chances of survival.
“This is one of the coolest parts about the dynamic weather,” Favale added. “Additionally, weather can change how well a player can see in-game as well as mask or enhance sounds. Sight-tracking enemies and players may become difficult during a foggy morning and hearing zombies might be muffled by a down-pour of rain. This could be advantageous to some, as it allows players to sneak up on others or stay hidden from predators.”
Though Clegg and Favale said the game’s development is moving along quickly, neither could discuss a specific release date.
“Development is moving along quickly and we are edging closer and closer to our Early Access milestone,” Clegg promised.