Zombie HQ Interview With Rebellion
The origins and the future of the smash-hit zombie title.
At the end of last month, we published our review of Zombie HQ. Since then, the game has reached the staggering milestone of one million downloads. We spoke to developer Rebellion about the creation of the game, future updates, and plans to port the title to Android devices.
Could you give us a bit of background on the development of Zombie HQ? How many people worked on the title and for how long?
Compared to a game like Sniper EliteV2 it was a smaller team and a shorter time-frame, but we do have our own technology Asura to use for the title and, of course, our highly experienced team members too. In effect, Zombie HQ was a mini AAA console title, with the knowledge that the first release would not be the last, and that we would be adding to the content on an on-going basis and responding to player feedback at the same time. The biggest new issue I think was working out how to encourage players to give us some money when they feel it's worth doing that.
Were you at all nervous about bringing another zombie game to the App Store? Is there a saturation point for the genre do you think?
Not really, zombies have been around for years and outbreaks flare up from time to time. We thought that 'being a survivor' was a powerful scenario for story-telling and for gameplay. Zombies work well and allow guilt-free destruction because they are already dead.
Can you give us any insight into any gameplay elements that you experimented with, but didn't make it into the final game?
The control scheme was iterated many times, but basically the game we ended up with was more or less the game we had planned.
How did the team go about balancing giving out enough content to satisfy players of the free game, and ensuring money came in to support the game?
There are a lot of new areas we have to learn about in this part of the game. What we're good at hopefully is knowing that this is an area where we needed expert input. So we worked with a number of partners, like our publisher Fuse Powered, who have more experience in this business area and listened to their advice. I still don't think we have everything right by a long way but that's the most exciting thing about this business model, we can keep making changes and tweaks and try to get most players happy.
Will there be updates for Zombie HQ in the future? What can we expect to see if so?
Yes, we're planning tons and tons of updates. We want to release updates to every aspect of the game, new levels, enemies,and HQ equipment. The fun thing is coming up with new bits for the game and seeing what the fans think.
Are there any plans to bring Zombie HQ to Android devices. What prompted the decision to focus on the iOS market first?
Yes we'll be releasing the game on Android when we have time. The Asura engine works on Android, and Judge Dredd vs Zombies is on iOS and Android both, but it's just a matter of development bandwidth.
Can you share any details of the next project the team are working on?
We're not done with Zombie HQ yet, but we do have several other titles in production. Currently we're not releasing their details yet as some of them might not make it to release. We've not forgotten Sniper EliteV2 of course, and support for that is still going strong.