Dead Island: Riptide – Producer Interview
Dead Island was one of last year’s pleasant gaming surprises. In so much as a game about caving in zombie skulls with an oar and stealing money from people’s luggage set to cries of WHO DO YOU VOODOO BITCH can be described as pleasant.
Perhaps more apt, it was bloody – aha! get it? – good fun. But how will Dead Island: Riptide improve things now it has lost the element of surprise?
We steal a quick chat with Sebastian Reichert, Creative Producer at Deep Silver, to find out.
Dead Island sold incredibly well and was well received by a lot of players too. What was the key to its success?
The game is a very good overall experience, but what made the title really fly, was the seamless multiplayer – beforehand, you had to make the conscious decision to play online. With Dead Island it just “happened”, and it was done in such a way that co-op mode did not feel like you were playing a different game. You just continued your experience, but expanded it by the actions of the other players.
What is the main thing you wanted to improve on following the original Dead Island?
As mentioned previously, the co-op experience is the core of the game. So in addition to all the fixes, tweaks and expansions, there will be some nice improvements in the multiplayer section of the game.
Was there any aspect of Dead Island that surprised you with how players responded to it?
We felt pretty well understood by our fans, but of course we listened to their feedback. Based on that it seemed like the firearms aspect had been pushed too much into the background. While the focus in Dead Island will remain on close combat – because that’s an important part of the experience – this time around when the player uses guns, these really give the feeling that they can “pack a punch” against enemies.
What gameplay implications will the new weather system have?
First of all, the weather conditions will give us another subtle tool to play with the atmosphere and mood the player has to deal with. Regarding effects on the gameplay it will be very interesting to see how the players will fight their enemies when there is a heavy storm going on and the sight is restricted by the weather.
Were there any other ideas you didn’t try in Dead Island that you’ll now try out in Riptide?
We are very happy to give the players the new defence scenarios in Riptide. Defending a house like in a classic zombie movie brings a whole new experience to the table. And the possibilities in multiplayer are a hell load of fun!
The Ryder White DLC wasn’t as well received as the main game. What lessons did you take away from producing that DLC and seeing how players responded to it?
It showed us clearly that the Ryder White DLC digressed too much from the concept of Dead Island. In this DLC we did exactly the opposite to the main game: single player, story driven, linear levels. We learned that removing the open world multiplayer experience from the game experience is like taking out the zombies.
Riptide will allow you to import character stats from the previous game. Will those who maxed out there character in Dead Island be able to ‘improve’ their stats or gain new abilities in Riptide?
Hell, yeah! If you are maxed in Dead Island, you are not maxed in Riptide. So the fun continues!
The one thing everyone loved about Dead Island is WHO DO YOU VOODOO BITCH. Is there any equivalent song in Riptide?
We’ll see… 😉