Sunday 29 September 2019

DF2 Roadmap: Open World & New Content

Recent Updates
As most of you are aware I made a return to Dead Frontier 2 development back in July and since then I feel like the game has come a long way. A lot of old players have returned and thousands of new ones are signing up each day. For those of you who missed it:
  • Outpost Attacks were added
  • 12 new weapons were added
  • A lot of new cosmetic options were added to the shop
  • You can now continue to fill your EXP bar and get rewards at the level cap
  • Auto-Map was added, making buildings far easier to navigate
  • PvP Ranking & Reward system was added
  • EXP gain was increased and levels were adjusted to drastically reduce the amount of grind
  • Ammo loots were doubled making guns a lot more viable for most situations
  • Marketplaces and Account Stashes were linked together
  • We now have weekend events
  • We've translated the game into 8 languages so far and more are on the way
  • A ton of Bug Fixes, Optimisation, Balance and QoL improvements have been made

Whilst I feel like the game has already come a long way in these past couple of months, I think there is still a ton more than needs to be done. At this stage I think the game's biggest weakness is that the world still feels very small/cramped, that there isn't much variety and that there simply isn't enough content of all kinds (building types, weapons, clothing, monsters, bosses etc).

So my plan for the next round of updates is to address these main issues with the following:

Open World
Open World has been suggested a lot, and in the past I resisted the idea mainly because I was honestly a little afraid of the amount of work involved, having been massively burnt-out from the original development. However I'm now feeling better than ever and ready to take on a big challenge such as this. I've already done some preliminary testing and I'm confident that I can make this happen.

To clarify, Open World will mean that you'll be able to walk around the entire outdoor game world without loading points or fade outs. In addition, the game world will be many times larger than what we have currently and have many more buildings. I'll also attempt to expand on the variety of the outdoor scenery, including things like forests, parks and other rural locations.

Buildings themselves will stay the same for now. They will still be broken up into individual rooms that load separately. I may change this in the future, but for now I'm just focusing on the outdoor areas.

I think this will make the game feel a lot more realistic and will add a nice sense of exploration that DF2 currently lacks.

I haven't fully decided how this update will affect cars yet. The most likely situation is that they'll just be used to fast travel between large outposts. I would like to eventually make them properly drivable but I don't want to get too far ahead of myself just yet :)

This was always something I wanted to add to DF2, but I always struggled with why players would actually need to do it. Why do you need a personal outpost when you can instantly drive to DPD when you need something? However with the Open World update travelling will actually be something that takes considerable time/resources, which means that Personal Outposts will be far more useful. Therefore I'll aim to get barricading into the game very shortly after completing the Open World update.

Level 30-50 Content
I've already set the ball rolling on getting new zombies and bosses created for the next 20 levels of content. Here are just some of the early concept sketches:

In addition to new enemies, I'll be looking to add another 30+ weapons to the game including assault rifles and chainsaws. New clothing and armour will also be added to the lineup, along with roughly double the number of building types to explore.

World Bosses
Something else I really want to add in the next few months are large scale World Boss battles. In a similar way to the Outpost Attacks, these will require the entire DF2 population to come together to defeat a gargantuan beast that will appear at set times during the day.

Wandering Bosses
I'm currently planning to add two new special boss types. One which will be almost impossible to kill, and will follow you through multiple rooms/locations. You'll almost always need need to run & hide in order to survive the encounter. I'm also planning to add a creature that will actually run and hide from you. You'll need to catch it and kill it to earn a special reward :-)

What's the ETA for all this?
I'm afraid I can't give you any precise times for these. 30-50 content and new bosses require new enemy designs, but those will probably take 2-3 months just to get all the artwork finished so I wouldn't expect that to drop until early next year. While the artists are working I'll be focused on the Open World/Barricading and I hope to at least have a single player version of it to test out within the next 3-4 weeks. Beyond that though it's really hard to say.

Whilst I'm working on all of this in the background I will still try to make small updates/improvements to the game each week so that you guys at least know I'm still alive :)

Here we go
I hope you find all of the above as exciting as I do! I really can't wait to see how the game will evolve over the next year or so and I hope you guys will come along with for me for the ride.

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