OVERKILL’s The Walking Dead uses bugs to tell its story
What story? Here are all the bugs that you need.
The Walking Dead is a transmedia franchise on multiple supports: comics, TV series and video games. It is loved by numerous fans for two main reasons: 1) Zombies 2) Story. Indeed, this post-apocalyptic world is ripe for dozens of survival tales as civilization has collapsed and many are tempted to follow the path of barbarism, while others struggle to find peace. At its best, The Walking Dead shines on the darkness within our hearts while cherishing the rays of light that pierce through.
OVERKILL’s The Walking Dead follows in the footsteps of OVERKILL’s PAYDAY 2. Just like the robbers sometimes tried to complete missions without alerting the cops, in The Walking Dead our survivors also try not to alert the Walkers, Zombies famously attracted to sound. But let’s face it, OVERKILL‘s games are about shooting and mowing down hordes of enemies with rifles, shotguns, and DLCs. The focus of their take on The Walking Dead is “killing the Zombies” rather than “living in the Zombie apocalypse”, meaning that there is no space to breathe life into a story.
Game designer Levek Trindom explained that during focus group test sessions, fans of the other The Walking Dead media expressed their disappointment, pushing OVERKILL into a corner.
Many testers had the same question: “Why can’t we talk to the Zombies?”
The team quickly tried to put something together, like an intermission hub with a camp to grow and defend, but it did not feel like they were achieving results. Until one day, when he was in the middle of a QA meeting focused on ironing out the last bugs of the game. The QA team had a lot of fun telling the tale one of the players vanishing from the starting area, never to be seen again. Suddenly, Levek Trindom had his most brilliant idea.
What if we shifted the discussion away from the story issues into something else entirely? Here we are, laughing about the bugs. What we need are more bugs to improve the player experience!
The last thing you know, the OVERKILL team was busy adding new bugs and glitches into the game. Clipping errors, buttons not working in menus, random loading times and so on. They worked overtime to add all these new features right on time for the release, and they can now rest proudly as it was an undeniable success; the discussion has shifted from the lack of story to the abundance of bugs. Well done! All it took was the disappearance of one person.
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