The zombies though aren't really the main obstacle, they were just a means to an end; the end of the world, and let the team develop an "interesting combat mechanic".
Humans will remain the primary focus like having to deal with scavengers after resources like yourself. Lead designer Brian Mitsoda also talks about what it’s like pining hopes to Kickstarter.
Mitsoda is a veteran games developer, formerly of Black Isle, Troika and Obsidian. "Really, the hardest part for us has been that there’s been a bit of Kickstarter fatigue in the press lately. For a lot of press, they’re like, “Oh, yeah, Kickstarter. That was really big… back in April"," he said. Zombie fatigue is another factor for the project.
"The other thing that’s kind of worked against us is that we have zombies in our game."
"And I don’t know if you’re aware, but there are a lot of games that use zombies," he joked. "And so we’ve kind of tried to deal with this problem of, “Oh, look, another zombie game!” And one of the things we’ve tried to get across to people and the press is that the zombies really are not the major focus of the game."
"It’s really just an excuse to have an interesting combat mechanic and explain why the whole world has fallen apart: “Well, the zombies have kind of pushed it in that direction, but let’s focus on the humans.”
Getting crowd sourced and 'going indie' you'd better be "prepared to wear a lot of hats," continued Mitsoda.
"You’re going to be the project lead, you’re going to be the lead designer, you’re going to be the writer, you’re going to be the scripter on this level, you’re going be the producer, you’re going to be the press person, you’re going to be the community manager… you’re going to be doing a lot of that."
DoubleBear has four full-time staffers working on Dead State, including Mitsoda. "Right now, it’s just me, my lead artist Oscar, lead programmer Nick, and then our lead animator. Those are the only people working full-time."
Others work in a part-time capacity: "We have a lot of contributors and other team members that are working on it pretty much every day, part-time. And we’re hoping to get most of those guys up to full-time after we’ve got the Kickstarter done."
In Dead State we get to bunker down in a shelter with other characters who act as our allies. "We definitely didn’t want to do something where you just continually play, because we have a lot of story/narrative progression. And a very open narrative, not like a heavy-handed, linear narrative. A lot of stuff opens up as you play. We do have multiple endings. There are a lot of different ways that you can end the game, and some of those are failure states."
"We do have ways that you can end the game prematurely just because you played so poorly. Which I find refreshing, because you don’t see that anymore. But we’re not going to punish the player too much. I really don’t want to get people into the, “Oh, hey, you messed up once: You’re dead!” kind of situation."
The studio is taking a more The Walking Dead approach than Left 4 Dead. Check out the full interview between Brian Mitsoda and PC Gamer. The Dead State Kickstarter campaign has 15 days to go.