Infestation: Survivor Stories Classic

Infestation: Survivor Stories Classic

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rawbzy Jun 25, 2014 @ 1:22pm
Presenting, Infestation: New Beginnings
Fellow Survivors,

Over the last few months we've been teasing a new free game experience that we are working on which will be available to all I:SS players. The wait is over and we are ready to share more details!

We are happy to announce that we've started development of a new spin-off game called Infestation: New Beginnings that will be available for FREE to all I:SS players this Fall. The new game will coexist alongside I:SS and will provide a different type of survival experience for our players. More information about the schedule of Alpha and Beta sessions is included at the end of this post.

We started thinking about this game back in November 2013, about the same time that OP Productions, LLC decided to shift away from Hammerpoint Interactive. We assembled a new in-house development team and joined forces with another development team to continue work on the Infestation brand. While some members of the Hammerpoint development team have joined us, most of the team is new and eager to address many of the unrealized opportunities present in the original Infestation: Survivor Stories. It became very clear that most of the changes the team wants to make are impossible without a game-wide wipe and reset. This is something that OP Productions hasn't been ready to do – after all, many loyal, active players are still enjoying the game.

Infestation: New Beginnings was born with a very clear goal: to create a truly free gaming experience for our players that will not require them to spend money in any way to advance or stay competitive and dominate! It must offer a fun, user-friendly experience for both new players and seasoned fans of the brand. Though this is no small task for an independent development team of our size to achieve, we owe it to our players to take on this challenge and we hope you will support us in this journey.

The team has been laser-focused on rebuilding the world of Infestation to create a product that revolves around the game world by providing tools and systems to players that actually change the world and make it more suitable for players to live in.

Here’s a look at some of the changes and additions we’ve been exploring for Infestation: New Beginnings:

New “Wild West” Themed Map
We’re introducing a completely new environment. We thought that it’d be cool to create a game with a Wild West vibe, so we designed the map to resemble the Southwestern US. Its initial size is 64 sq. km (square 8x8 km), comparable in size to the original Colorado map back in the I:SS Alpha. It has more open landscape for players to discover, and the area of the map that can be explored will be even bigger than the original Colorado map.

New Character Creation and Customization
All players will be able to create one customizable male or female character for free. There will be a variety of customization options for the face, clothing, hair style and color that can be unlocked by players. We will also be making unique, non-degrading cosmetic items available to allow for more customization. All character customizations will be permanent and will not disappear when your character will die.

Instant Revive
In New Beginnings, as soon as you die, you’ll be able to instantly jump back into the game. We wanted to remove the “instant-revive-for-GC” option that was present in Infestation: Survivor Stories as we felt it wasn’t fair to all players.

Global Inventory Changes
The only in-game locations where players can access their Global Inventory are VAULT buildings in safe zones. The size of the global inventory will be restricted. It’ll be big enough to satisfy heavy collecting habits for many players and there’ll also be a limited way to buy more GI slots for extreme collectors. Even so, it will still be limited in comparison to I:SS.

No Marketplace
The Marketplace of I:SS will be replaced with two new systems:
Package store: The package store will be accessible from the main menu and will function like a DLC shop, where players can purchase packs of discounted items. However, the number of packs available for you to buy will be time-limited to ensure that pay-to-win play is not possible. Packs will include sets of cosmetic items, skins for guns, and a cool new concept item called a “Gift Bomb.” Using this item triggers an explosion that rewards everyone in the immediate area EXCEPT the triggerman with some cool items. This is like going to a bar and saying, “next round is on me, everyone!”
Players Exchange: This system aims to feel like a stock exchange that allows players to buy and sell any item for GD only. The availability of items and their prices will be affected by what the players buy and sell, and will be balanced by the dev team to keep the I:NB economy in check. We will monitor the exchange to avoid clear speculations and black market situations, as well as controlling attempts at dupes and exploits. Players exchange will only be accessible from inside safe zones. This new method comes directly from some of the lessons we learned about managing the economy in I:SS.
Goodbye Premium Accounts
Premium accounts will be retired and replaced with purchasable “Boosts” of varying durations.

Server Channels
These will be streamlined and will also include “novice” channels to make it easier for new players to learn the game.

Stronghold Servers
Stronghold servers are not planned for this game.

Private Server Rentals
We are still debating about how this should be done, but one thing is clear: server owners will have way more options to control their servers. However, for the Alpha and Closed Beta periods we’ll only be allowing players to set their rentals to be publicly available. This will be changed in the Open Beta, but we’ll first want to test game mechanics and server infrastructure as much as possible. At the end of the Alpha and Closed Beta, accounts that rented servers will be reimbursed their rental costs.

New Loot and Crafting Systems
I:NB takes place around 10 years after the zombie outbreak, so as a result there won’t be many of the original I:SS items left in the world such as food, meds, guns or ammo. For New Beginnings, we’ve emphasized finding “materials” and “components” and crafting usable items from them. For example, very rarely will players find factory-made bandages but players will find components that can be used to craft bandages. Rare “original” items will have better overall properties compared to crafted ones, but will be harder to acquire and thus may have a higher resale value on the Players Exchange.

Availability of Projectile Weapons
Factory-made guns will now be extremely rare. Most of the time you’ll have rely on melee weapons or home-brew guns that you craft from the loot found in the environment.

Melee Weapons
Our ultimate goal is to have variations of cool, craftable, and crazy melee weapons available, similar to what one might see in a series like Dead Rising. We will most likely have a limited supply available for the Alpha, but we will add more as we go.

Ammo, Magazines Changes
We have redesigned how you load ammo in the game. Magazines are separate items and by attaching a magazine to the gun, players define how many bullets the gun can hold. Players will have to find or craft ammo and load it into the gun, and will also be able to unload bullets from guns and stack them in your backpack.

We’re exploring a new way of allowing players to gain “survival” skills rather than “hardened” skills. This system will be community-driven so at launch it will not be implemented. We will be soliciting ideas and feedback from our players.

Repairs using GD are gone. Instead you’ll need to find Parts and Tools to repair broken guns, cars, armor, etc.

Building in the game
We are adding the ability to build your own base on the main map. This is the biggest new feature we’re adding to the game. You’ll be able to build private bases on a claimed land lot and we are also working on communal building systems for land lots as well. This will not be part of our initial launch since the building system is still in an active development phase. We’ve started with our Barricades system and our intention is to expand it into a full-featured building UI experience.

We have a large number of other changes to the game mechanics, and covered lots of them here, and we will be continuing to provide you with updates and developments as we work.

So the big question then is: when will you have access to this game?
Infestation: New Beginnings will launch in several phases: the Alpha sneak peak, Alpha access, Closed Beta access, and the Open Beta.

The Alpha sneak peek will be available to the following categories of players:
Legendary and Pioneer accounts
Anyone who spent at least $10 USD (or equivalent) on GC since March 31, 2014
Anyone who has played at least 200 hours since March 31, 2014
The goal of this phase is to challenge the game’s overall stability, servers, and systems. We believe players trying the game at this phase have been the most invested players in I:SS and can therefore provide the most valuable feedback that will affect development going forward.
Alpha access will be available to ALL I:SS players who have played more than 40 hours. This will be the first massive test of the game.
Closed Beta will be available to all players who have an active I:SS account.
Open Beta will be available for anyone to play.
We’re really excited about sharing all of this new stuff with you and we’ll do our best to support both I:SS players and new players who try out I:NB.

- OP Productions team

**As with all games in development, things may change, be removed or be redesigned prior to the game’s release.
Date Posted: Jun 25, 2014 @ 1:22pm
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