8-bit Interviews is a special series where we interview creators and co-creators about their games and game development. Zombie iPocalypse is a portable, geo-location aware zombie adventure. The game brings new meaning to augmented reality and forces gamers to stay on their feet, literally.
8-bit: Zombie iPocalypse is a unique app, but it’s more than that. What exactly is Zombie iPocalypse?
Jason Heaslet: Zombie iPocalypse is a geo-location aware zombie pandemic based game. The concept is based around a global game which includes being a human and becoming a zombie, as well as being a zombie and infecting or dying and becoming human again.
How do players interact with one another?
JH: Mostly through playing the game. It’s mainly about moving through real space and killing each other. As a human you can take out zombie hordes, which could be all of your friends. Or as a zombie you can infect all of your human friends, and watch them transition through the Zombie iPocalypse.
Is becoming infected an immediate transition?
JH: Becoming infected is immediate when you are infected by either another infected or an actual zombie. However, the only way to go straight from human to zombie is either to take five infections or be infected by one of the Patient Zeros, which happen to be one of the developers. There is an added bonus to that: if you, for instance, become infected by a Patient Zero, you unlock a skin. So if you are infected by ZombieGirlzRule, you will immediately become a zombie and your screen will turn pink.
Zombie iPocalypse seems really intense. Is it constantly going? How do you keep the gamers on their feet?
JH: The game is really wrapped around this concept of apprehension and fear. We designed this for gamers that are a bit more mature that like that horror aspect. However, we still wanted to capture an augmented reality component so everyone could enjoy that horror aspect that everyone loves about zombies. So through that, there is a lot of audio prompting, background noise of zombies herding or feeding, and things of that nature. It really helps the gamer understand to pay attention while they are enjoying the game, because if you play with your friends, they are going to get you.
What happens when you die in the game?
JH: If you die in the Zombie iPocalypse, you actually have to move twenty meters to respawn and end up as a human again. There is a full life cycle: you start off human, you become infected — there’s a five day infection stage – and every time you are infected it reduces by a day. So, you can be infected multiple times and become a zombie very rapidly. Once you become a zombie, you can infect other people, but eventually somebody is going to shoot you and kill you. Then you become dead and you must move up to twenty meters in order to respawn.
There was one aspect that we had a lot of fun with while beta-testing. We would actually sit down, we’d be playing, running through a particular scenario, when somebody would scream “I’m dead!” and get up and run. Then the person who actually made the kill would walk out behind them for twenty meters and kill them again, then the dead person would have to go another twenty meters.
Thank you Zombie iPocalypse for giving 8-bit insight into your unique game, we had a great time talking to you.
A special thanks to photographer Jennifer “trinity4888″ Smith.