Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Former Zynga Developers Raise World Zombination, A Horde-Based RTS, From The Dead

Zombies aren't dead yet.

Proletariat Inc. fully believes in this premise – metaphorically, that is – and is proving it with its first major game, a faction-based RTS called World Zombination, coming to iOS, Android, PC and Mac in early 2014.

"Zombie games have become their own genre and setting," Proletariat CEO Seth Sivak tells Joystiq. "They are universal, on par with 'fantasy' or 'sci-fi,' and they give our audience a wide range of tropes that they understand and enjoy. As designers, this is a great starting point for us. I do not think zombies are going anywhere, especially if you look at how they are handled in the film/TV industry."

World Zombination has players embody the zombie hordes or groups of survivors, and has an online guild system that allows people to team up and attack cities, or fight each other. Armies can level up their machinery, while zombie factions can mutate at opportune moments and humans can ambush zombies based on the predictable nature of the undead. 

When Zynga closed its Boston studio, Sivak and four former developers there ditched the mainstream game to start Proletariat Inc. The founders have experience in non-ville games, too, having worked on titles such as Rock Band, Lord of the Rings Online and Resistance: Fall of Man.

"We came to Zynga through an acquisition," Sivak says. "As a remote studio, we avoided many of the culture problems that plagued Zynga. The team ended up learning both good lessons and poisonous practices. For good lessons, we were able to grow our understanding of content releases and running a game as a service .... We also learned that you cannot make a game from metrics alone; it has to have a soul. Data can help make a good game better but you cannot optimize a bad game to be a hit. The game needs to have passion and real design involved, both of which are impossible to measure."

                                                    PRESS RELEASE:

Proletariat Inc. Announces First Major Game Release: World Zombination
Cambridge, MA---August 13, 2013---Proletariat Inc., the new game studio formed by industry veterans from Harmonix, Insomniac, Turbine, 38 Studios, and Zynga Boston have officially announced World Zombination: a faction-based combat strategy game coming to Tablet, Mobile and PC in 2014.
In World Zombination, players choose between The Infected and The Survivors and fight with (and against!) their friends to control cities around the world. 
Proletariat Design Director Jesse Kurlancheek says, "The most fun and memorable moments in games come when you're playing with your friends, whether it's team death-match in an FPS, raiding in MMOs, or just sitting around playing cards. We're hoping to provide those experiences, distilled down, with World Zombination."
The game features a constantly changing world map that allows guilds and players to team up and work together to control the world in real-time and on a massive scale.
Proletariat's CEO, Seth Sivak , adds, "We are focused on bringing cutting-edge multiplayer games to tablets. This is the sort of game we love to play. With World Zombination, we've come up with fun and unique gameplay that real-time strategy gamers will find refreshing."
With compelling and asymmetrical moment-to-moment gameplay, the choice of faction gives a totally different experience and is a new take on real-time strategy combat.
"We are creating a world that is both beautiful and utterly devastated," says CTO Dan Ogles. "Quality keeps going up on tablets and we're pushing ourselves from both a technical and a design perspective to take advantage of what these devices can do."
In World Zombination, The Infected players control a horde of hundreds of zombies while The Survivors control a band of heroes trying to hold off the onslaught.

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