Everything in this is how I currently see the game. Things may change between now and release. Sometimes features dont work out the way they are planned and it is better to remove them if there is no way to get them working.
The overall aim of Dead Pixels II: Straight To Video.
Dead Pixels II is the logical followup to Dead Pixels. It takes all the big features people wanted, improves upon the flaws of the original Dead Pixels and use an actual budget to make sure the whole thing is polished. If I was to compare it to a film Dead Pixels II is like Evil Dead 2, not a remake, but not a sequel and superior to the original in every way (In my opinion that is.).
Dead Pixels II will be more detailed in many of the games systems, but the aim is to keep it simple and easy to play without a lot of previous knowledge. I want it to have some depth, but still be the kind of game you can get friends to play without explaining everything to them before hand. Players should be able to learn as they play.
Look and feel.
Dead Pixels was a combination of a grindhouse/exploitation film effect, movies of the 70’s – 80’s and 8 bit games. It seemed to me that the next step would be to jump 10 years. So Dead Pixels 2 will be VHS + CRT effects mixed with 80’s-90’s movies and 16 bit games.
A big part of 80′s films (especially horror) for me is the use of color and lighting. To bring this into the game, Dead Pixels II’s lighting system is a big step up on Dead Pixel’s. This allows much more control over atmosphere and allows cool effects like zombies on fire lighting the area up, or neon store signs.
Of course the VHS + CRT effects can be disabled for those that dont like it, and the old film effect may make a return as an unlockable extra along with other effects. So dont worry if it’s not for you.
Dead Pixels II is still a little in limbo when it comes down to the sound direction. There are a few different options being explored including 80’s synth, chiptunes, something more similar to Dead Pixels 1’s soundtrack or a mashup up of all of the above.
I think no matter what, all platforms will have a custom soundtrack feature to take advantage of. So no matter what players should be able to put music they like on while playing.
Unlike Dead Pixels, Dead Pixels II is not set in a single single city. At the end of The Solution mode for Dead Pixels, New Hexington was destroyed, and the undead epidemic had spread throughout America and possibly the world. Dead Pixels II is set a few years after this. Each new game will be set in a different randomly generated city as your character travels across America.
Dead Pixels had 3 different street types, this will be boosted to 10+ in dead Pixels 2. Another change will be branching paths, allowing players to choose between streets. An example would be giving the player the option of going through the sewers where there will be less undead, but less loot, or through a street with a large amount of zombies but a better chance of good loot. It gives players a little more control over the game.
Most of the undead from Dead Pixels will be making a return in one form or another. I think it’s great to have consistency between the games. There will also be a new series of horrors for players to combat, some of which are going to make you wish you were fighting the spitters.
Dead Pixels II will also explore combining zombies with environments in interesting ways. Stuff like are zombies afraid of fire, are they attracted to light when in the dark, does the rain make zombies more twitchy, or does it distract them? These are all thing I want to explore, and there will be some interesting combinations.
When it comes to Bosses in Dead Pixels II I want them to be much bigger events. They will not be the kind of thing you can miss. I’ll also explore how they combine with other zombies and environments to make each encounter with them different.
Raiding buildings and traders
In Dead Pixels you could always rely on traders, and buildings being a safe place to take a break. In Dead Pixels II only the trader settlements will be safe (Most of the time that is).
Rather than going into a menu when in a building, players can now wander round the building and collect items. In co-op this is first first come first served, so it is important to work together and not hoard items you dont need. Zombies will sometimes spawn within stores, and it is possible that some zombies may follow you into a store if you are not careful. So it is now possible that running into a building while being chased could lead to your death.
Traders are now replaced with small settlements, each with a few different specialist traders. So if you are looking to buy grenades it might be a while before you find someone selling them. You will always find someone willing to buy anything, and someone selling health items, but beyond that each settlement could have anything in it.
Weapons are getting a bit of a change up for Dead Pixels II. They now fall into one of 3 types. Those types are:
- Primary weapons. These are mostly projectile based weapons
- Secondary weapons. These are mostly close combat weapons
- Throwable weapons. This is where things like grenades and throwing axes go.
Weapons will now have levels as well as a manufacturer, this will allow a larger variety of gun types.
Upgrading weapons will now be possible in some settlements. So if you grow attached to a gun, or you feel like your gun needs more power, you can pay to have a random upgrade. This will be a risky action though, and you may break the gun.
New Game + and longer games
With Dead Pixels once you reached the end of the city the game was over for that character. In Dead Pixels II not only will you be able to go through bigger cities, but you will also be able to take your character to another city once you are done. This also means you can reuse your single player character in coop games and vice-versa.
Leveling up and skills
Dead Pixels used money for upgrading the players stats, but I felt like for Dead Pixels II a level system using experience would work better with the current plans. Each level players will be given points that can be used to upgrade the main stats. Some stat levels will give players skills and others will give the choice of 2 skills. This allows players to heavily customize their own character during a game.
The AI director of Dead Pixels tried to assess how well the player was doing and adjust the game to suit. The Dead Pixels II director will improve upon this, and also look at how players are playing. It will also then try to use enemies and situations which are a challenge for how the player is playing the game as well as suiting their play style.
The second most asked for feature in Dead Pixels was a way to customise the characters appearance. I’m happy to say Dead Pixels II features a custom character system. Not only does it allow you to choose male or female, but you can choose body parts then select colors for each part, allowing players to make a unique looking character to play through with.
Online and offline coop
The number one most asked for feature of Dead Pixels was online coop. Unfortunately adding this to Dead Pixels proved to be too much work for it to be a realistic task.
I am happy to announce that Dead Pixels II will have both online and offline coop as well as bumping the number of players to 4. It’s kind of exciting to do online, and a lot of the other changes to Dead Pixels II were to allow online and up to 4 players.
And of course those of you that still want to play by yourself will be able to do that too.
PC and Mac are the only confirmed platforms just now. Everything else is up in the air for now. As soon as anything is confirmed, and announcement will be made. It is fair to say I want Dead Pixels to be available on as many platforms as possible, and I would like it to be on at least one major console.
The plan is to give all the tools that were used in the making of Dead Pixels II away for free, so that PC users can add to the game post release. Hopefully this will be open enough for people to make some creative stuff for other users.
While there are no plans for official translations for Dead Pixels II, I’m going to try my best to make it as easy as possible for fans to translate the game, and for translations to be added down the line. I know there are a lot of fans that dont speak english, and I would like them to be able to enjoy Dead Pixels II just as much.
There is no set in stone price yet for dead Pixels II, but the current aim is about $10.
When it’s done.
2014 looks very good right now, and I hope your guys are willing to wait.
At some point beta and alpha tests will be announced for PC and Mac. When and what form they take is still to be announced. Expect posts on twitter and on the Dead Pixels Facebook page when it happens.