Undead Labs has a deal with Microsoft Studios for two XBLA exclusive zombie titles. In ode to Max Brooke’s top-seller Zombie Survival Guide, these two titles are being code named Class3 and Class4. Class3, the first title scheduled for release, will be an open world, story driven game that can be played in single player or co-op. Class4, though part of the same world as Class3, is more of the massive-multiplayer online (MMO) nature.
Gamasutra recently interviewed Jeff Strain, Undead’s founder and Executive Producer, about the direction and goals of thes games. He says that Class3 is definitely the “most ambitious XBLA title to date” and will utilize a “cutting edge, high caliber 3D engine”, but that they will have to do a lot of tweaking to achieve the open-world environment they’re looking for. They want these worlds to be very much like MMO worlds that you’re used to, with every part feeling unique and different, as well as each decision having a dynamic effect instead of being all pre-scripted.
As this is an open-world game with multiplayer being first in mind, Live play is a given. One of the things that sets Class3 apart is that they are bringing that same online feel to split-screen. They want the experience to feel the same whether you are online in a party or on the couch with a friend. Sticking together in split-screen is now a thing of the past. Now just like an open-world online game, you can go where you want, when you want. You and your split-screener are free to roam the world doing as you please, even if it means you end up on “different sides of a very large world”.
Undead Labs’ main focus is to make these games are fun and accessible. The technical side of things does matter, but those can be fixed as time goes on. Jeff states that one of the failures in open-world, MMO style games is that they are not fun. This is why they feel that the fun factor needs to be the same whether playing single player, split-screen or online.