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ZRPG: Soldak's Date With The Dead

Zombies...but don't run away!

Details are scarce at the moment but Soldak have released the first details about their next game, which will see the developer return to the world of Depths of Peril and Din's Curse. As the headline suggests, the game will involve zombies. Lots of the rotters bringing about the collapse of civilisation, as they so often do. When the undead manage to infect even the most imaginative of indie developers, the epidemic has surely reached crisis point but I'd be surprised if Soldak didn't come up with an intriguing treatment. Details below.

There are no screenshots at the moment. The game is so early in development that it hasn't even arrived on Early Access yet. Also, heed this warning:

Don't take anything we say as a guarantee though. It is still very early, so anything could change.

The zombies are definitely staying though. Sounds like they're chewing at the heart of the whole thing.

In the DoP/DC world, the zombie infection has mutated and is out of control. Now anything bitten or even scratched by a zombie might be infected. With the easy spread of the zombie infection, the undead are overrunning most of the world. Civilization has been destroyed. There are still pockets of resistance here and there; many of these are not human though.

Your job is to ensure you and your followers survive the zombie apocalypse. While zombies are the most immediate threat, it's not the only one. Critical supplies like food are extremely limited and must be provided or people will starve. Your followers can be infected. Having someone turn inside of your stronghold is bad. Other groups are struggling to survive also. When they run low on supplies, will they trade or attack? Other groups, monsters, and zombies can all attack your stronghold. And finally you have to make sure your followers don't cause problems or kill each other.

Most fantasy worlds seem to contain zombies, usually hanging around crypts. I suppose they're necromancers' minions rather than victims of an infection, so it makes sense that Baldur's Gate isn't haunted by hordes of half-composed halflings. The zombie apocalypse tends to occur in recognisable versions of our own world rather than the lands of loot and legend. A survival RPG set in an afflicted realm could be quite the thing and Soldak haven't let me down yet.

This is a game of survival. When a follower dies, they are dead. The world supply chain is gone. Food is a critical resource that must be obtained. Vendors are rare and have limited supplies. There isn't a town blacksmith that can repair all of your weapons or a town vendor to buy an infinite amount of food from. Survival isn't easy.

Previous releases from the studio have been some of the few RPGs that simulate a persistent world rather than flicking switches to make a huge change when certain choices are made. I'm definitely on board with this, even if it doesn't have a name yet.

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