“Final Days” was developed by +7 Software and was showcased at the 2015 Perth Games Festival. This top-down multiplayer ‘zombie’ shooter is still in the alpha stages of development, but it was incredibly immersive and exciting even though shooters aren’t really my kind of thing. Co-op, on the other hand, is definitely my kind of thing and this one definitely delivers. The demo at the festival was for four players, but I can’t wait to try this one out with more. Fortunately, I was able to ask the developers at +7 Software a few questions.
How would you describe Final Days to someone who has never played it before?
Final Days is a fast-paced and intense multiplayer shooter set in a post-apocalyptic world. You play as one of the last remaining human survivors in a world where biological warfare has left most of the population horribly mutated and thirsty for blood. Final Days is designed to be quick, simple, and fun so that you can just pick it up and have a game with your friends at a moment’s notice.
In a world dominated by FPSs, why did you decide on a top-down ‘zombie’ shooter?
As a child of the ’80s, I grew up on the old-school arcade and console games. I really enjoy the simplicity and style of these games, so I wanted to make something that was reminiscent of this. I have also always loved horror, and, in particular, I love stuff about the zombie apocalypse (e.g. George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” movies).
Did any games in particular inspire you to create Final Days?
There were definitely many games that I’ve drawn inspiration from for the creation of Final Days. Some notable titles are Smash TV, Gauntlet, Alien Breed, and Grand Theft Auto.
What’s in the pipeline for Final Days for 2016?
I plan to release Final Days in 2016, so I will be busily working towards that goal. I’ll be putting Final Days on Steam Greenlight early in the year so that I can hopefully get greenlit and release on Steam. But I also will be looking at releasing on other distribution platforms such as The Humble Store and itch.io.
Development wise, I’ll be continuing work on fleshing out different gameplay modes, maps, enemies, weapons, and other aspects of the game. I’ll also be looking into allowing players to create and share their own maps. And, hopefully, I can throw in a few other surprises! Other than that, I’ll, of course, be doing a lot more playtesting and making changes based on player feedback to make Final Days as awesome as I can!
What has been the most challenging part of making the game, so far?
The online multiplayer aspect of the game was definitely the most challenging part by far! It took quite some time to develop this and get it working well. But I am very happy with the result and proud of what I’ve managed to achieve.
At PGF the game was set up for four players, but I read online play will allow for up to 12. Can you tell us a bit about what it’s like playing with 12 people on the same map?
12 players seems to be the limit on a typical ADSL connection before the gameplay experience starts to degrade. But in theory, even more players are possible on a better connection (I just haven’t been able to test it yet).
But to answer your question – It’s a LOT of fun with this many players! The game becomes more intense as the number of enemies scale up accordingly to match the number of players.
You’re still in a relatively early stage of production, but do you have an estimated release date for this project? Which platforms will it come to?
I plan to release an alpha demo version of Final Days within the next month or so (hopefully before Christmas if all goes well). So people will at least be able to download this and try it out online with their friends very soon.
Final Days will initially be available on Windows PC, but I also plan to make it available for MacOS and Linux. If things go well, I may also consider releasing on some console platforms (e.g. Playstation and Xbox) later down the track.
In regards to the release date of the finished game, it’s very hard to say at this stage. I’m continually refining things based on player testing and feedback, so this influences things quite a lot. It will definitely be out sometime in 2016 though, and hopefully it will be within the next 6 months.
If people would like to be notified via e-mail when Final Days is released though, they can subscribe via the website (http://finaldays.plus7software.com).
Can you tell us a bit more about +7 Software? (Who are the people behind this awesome project?)
I started +7 Software in late 2014 to pursue my lifelong passion of making my own video games. I’ve always loved video games for as long as I can remember, but I wasn’t satisfied with just playing them – I also wanted to make my own. So when I was about 8 years old, I picked up the programming manual for my family’s Commodore 64 and started learning to code. Eventually, I ended up in a career as a professional software developer. But after doing that for over 12 years, I decided to try something different and make a go of my own business.
It’s pretty much only me running +7 Software and working on Final Days. But my buddy Nick at The Groove Foundry (http://thegroovefoundry.com) has been composing the music for Final Days. And my sister, Meagan, has helped me a lot with business / accounting / tax related stuff. And, of course, I can’t forget about my great group of playtesters who have been giving me plenty of valuable feedback on Final Days!
What are the benefits of being a games studio located in Perth and what are the biggest challenges?
The main benefit for me is the great support network I have here in Perth. Apart from family and friends, there is also an awesome community of people here involved in the game dev scene.
I think the biggest challenges here in Perth would have to be the isolation, as well as the almost non-existent government and industry support. In saying that, these are challenges I think we can overcome though and there is a lot of potential for games dev here in Perth.
What was it like showing your game to the public for the first time at PGF?
It was a little nerve-racking and hectic, but it went very well I think. There was a steady stream of people playing Final Days for the entire day, and some people even came back more than once to play again. It felt pretty good to see that!
Can we expect to see your game at local playtesting events such as Playup Perth next year?
I hope so. But given Final Days is mainly geared towards online multiplayer, I’ve found it to be challenging to properly demonstrate it at an event. But a few people have suggested that I bring Final Days to Playup, so I’ll have to think about what I can do to better accommodate that.
How can our readers follow and support your project?
The +7 Software website (http://plus7software.com/) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/plus7software) are the best places to find out more about Final Days and keep up to date with what’s happening. If you’re interested in Final Days or +7 Software, I’d love to hear from you (even if it’s just a like on Twitter)! 🙂