It’s likely that you’re already aware of a Binary Space game. Released in 2009 and 2010 respectively, their games Zombie Outbreak Simulator and Class 3 Outbreak were both played over a million times each online. Based within Google Maps, both used the popular mapping service to simulate zombie outbreaks to the players liking. Both were also very much viral hits and led to mobile versions which, combined, have been downloaded over two million times.
It’s no surprise then that Binary Space’s latest game also involves zombies – although Google Maps is nowhere to be seen this time around. Playing like a point-and-click adventure from another time – think of anything from Sierra Online, basically (if you’re not sure, ask your Dad) – Land of Hope and Gorey follows a protagonist named Hope as she tries to return home during a zombie outbreak. Trying to solve it as she goes, the adventure is carried out with her new best friend, a freshly formed zombie named Dave. Needless to say, I was keen to learn more about it, so I caught up with the game’s lead developer, Saxon Druce, at PGF 2017 to have a chat.
Describe your game, Land of Hope and Gorey.
It’s an adventure game with zombies.
Can you take us through the development of the concept?
Binary Space has been around for about eight years now, and we started out building zombie games based on Google Maps. We had some decent success with that, so earlier this year I decided to start making a new game. I wanted to keep with the theme of zombies, but also do something a bit different than before by having more of a story, and so decided on making an adventure game.
I’m only a programmer, so I started to build a team of people who could make this game. I’ve been able to put together an awesome team including a concept/2D artist, a writer/designer, another programmer, a 3D artist, a music composer/sound designer, and someone on marketing. What we are showing here is the very first alpha build that we’ve put together.
Can you tell us about the storyline?
The gist of it is that a zombie outbreak has occurred in England and the main character, Hope, was on holiday in the west of England when the outbreak started. She must try and get back home to London, and figure out what caused the outbreak and how to solve it.
The gameplay is point-and-click – have you played quite a lot of point-and-click games from back in the day?
It’s somewhat inspired by the old ’90s games like Monkey Island and Space Quest 4 that I played a lot of growing up and enjoyed as a kid.
Any particular reason why you chose England as the location?
Our writer/designer lives in England and when he started thinking of ideas for the game, that’s what he came up with. But you may notice that there are some zombie kangaroos in the concept art and we’re actually planning on having a zoo level with Australian animals in it just to bring a bit of Australian flavour to it as well.
Can you tell us a bit about the software used to create it as well as the workflow?
It’s built with Unity, and the workflow so far has been that the writer/designer Jonathan comes up with a brief for what the level (and the overall design) will be like. Our concept artist, Chris, does some sketches of what that will look like and renders those into the final 2D background art that you see. He also makes concepts of the characters and passes them off to Carly, who does the character 3D modelling. Then we have Blake who does the programming (putting everything together) and Brian creates the sound and music. We also have Cassandra, who does marketing. Although I did programming on Binary Space’s previous games, for this game I’m mostly working as a producer.
When will the game will be released?
We’re aiming for a release of next year, but it’s extremely early days. We’ve only really just started, and this is the first build we’ve put together – just at midnight last night, actually! So, that’s what we’re aiming for, but we’ll see how we’ll go.
What platforms will it be released on?
We’re aiming for PC and Mac as the primary platforms, and we’ll see what else.
Can you tell us a bit about your previous games?
Zombie Outbreak Simulator is a game with a top-down simulation of a zombie outbreak occurring on Google Maps and we released it on the web back in 2009. Class 3 Outbreak, a similar type of game, was released in 2010. We released Zombie Outbreak Simulator on mobile – iOS in 2011 and Android in 2014. The mobile versions have been downloaded two million times as of a couple of months ago – and based on that it’s managed to earn a little bit of money which I’m able to spin into this next game.
So obviously you have a love for zombies?
Actually, when I started Binary Space I began with another guy, and it was actually him who pitched zombies to me – and I said yeah, that sounds cool. Let’s do that. So, that’s kind of been the theme of the company since then based on his idea.
I know you’re still early days with the game in alpha, but do you have any plans yet for the future of Binary Space?
Basically, keep making awesome games as long as we can! And, keep taking the profits from one game, and hiring awesome people to build new games.
To follow Binary Space and Land of Hope and Gorey, check out these socials:
Saxon Druce’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/SaxonDruce
Land of Hope and Gorey’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LandOfHopeAndGorey/
Land of Hope and Gorey’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/HopeAndGorey
As well as Binary Space’s website: http://www.binaryspacegames.com/