Long and behold my first official modDB interview. “Killing Floor” is a zombie-horror multiplayer modification for Unreal 2004 that is looking to become a huge hit. Not much attention has been given to this modification yet it still promises to rise and shine against the rest.
Killing Floor has been roughly 10 months in development in some form or another with a release of some sorts promised anxiously soon. The original leader of the modification left long ago and now the modification is headed by Alex who has done about 99% of the work himself since taking over.
Killing Floor looks to create a whole new experience in the multiplayer department as you can choose either the infected or uninfected. While this modification is shaping up to be really nice, all we can do is wait and hope it is.
Now onto the interview!
!Bryan! (modDB): Alex, welcome to our featured modDB Interview for your modification, Killing Floor, for Unreal Tournament 2004. How are things for yourself and the modification at this time?
Alex (Killing Floor): At this point the mod is going strong. The full development cycle of Killing Floor is difficult to accurately trace because it was not originally my initiative. However all things accounted for, the actual time that production has been going on has been close to a year now (Started sometimes last may). Work with the UT2k4 engine began August 2004. I would have never expected things to come this far, but it looks like they have. And the mod has taken on something of a life of its own
!Bryan! (modDB): Your modification in the recent months has undergone several host changes, and it seems too many that it has disappeared from the community. Could you explain this situation?
Alex (Killing Floor): I think we disappeared from the community is a real sense back in August when I decided to adopt the UT2k4 engine. Unreal mods are not getting anywhere near the exposure of lets say, Half Life 2 ones...many of which are getting features in PC gamer etc with only a handful of sketches as proofs of concept...But I was never overly concerned with community or being "popular" during the crunch time in the development cycle. Now that things are starting to take shape and wind up where I wanted them to be I think my interest is shifting back into RE-Acclimatizing the community with the mod before it's released. I'd like some feedback on all this work after all.
!Bryan! (modDB): While following your modification for awhile now, I have noticed your development team has always remained very basic. Is this because you find it difficult to recruit or you prefer to do most of the work yourself?
Alex (Killing Floor): Both.
I've had a lot of people in the past who have promised the world and delivered nothing. Conversely, I’ve had guys who keep their distance and only deliver things here and again but who STICK with the mod over huge periods of time! So in light of this, I really do run the mod like an open forum. If you have something to contribute, great, but there is no "team" per se. I think I would qualify as the only permanent member, as I'm willing to see it through if and when everyone else quits or gets bored. Inevitably people will fall by the wayside; it's the person with the creative vision who has to ensure that it keeps going.
!Bryan! (modDB): There appears to be at least a dozen zombie modifications in development. How do you plan on making sure yours is original, refreshing, and creative?
Alex (Killing Floor): I can't promise that it will be. But right off the bat, I’d say we have among the most detailed environments available in any zombie mod, and a truly massive amount of new content (This is a total conversion and next to ZERO original UT2k4 assets are being recycled). So from a game play standpoint, you run, you gun, and you and your team shoot zombies. It's been done. Artistically, you probably haven't seen much like this. And I’m counting on that to haul ass for the technically banal game play.
!Bryan! (modDB): Updates from your team have been hard to come by. Is this because you rarely have updates or the community has yet to gain knowledge of your modification or they fail to acknowledge it?
Alex (Killing Floor): I am often shy about posting updates until I feel that the art they display has been finalized to a point where I wont look back a month or even a week later after having made a major skin change and go God that looked horrible, how could I release that! . So I try to take my time and wait until I’m riding some serious hubris over what I’ve concocted. Exposure-wise I typically go Planet Unreal and moddb.com. However, I’m ready to tackle the Amped crowd now that it has expanded and truly become a large center for gaming news beyond what was offered by the old FPSCentral (I had difficulties with their staff as well , which complicated things)
!Bryan! (modDB): I have seen some real early screenshots of your internal betas. How long would you see until we see something playable for the public?
Alex (Killing Floor): Hell, it's playable right now. I play it almost every day. The problem is, HOW solid is this? I don't want to release something unfinished or spotty where someone will go to all the effort of downloading it, expecting the world, and the first thing they notice is that it's still using a UT2k4 menu or that the bots get stuck on map objects or something lame that should have been given better
Attention. I would say that if I can get some assistance from a devoted music composer I should be able to have the mod done completely by summer.
I tend to lie about these things though, and it wouldn't be the first time But you can take my word when I say that we aren't going anywhere but up from here.
!Bryan! (modDB): On the subject of internal beta screenshots, most had a tattooed player. Is this the main character or just a class for the Uninfected?
Alex (Killing Floor): The player characters are a group of battle hardened Commandos. They have all the gear, and yep, fancy arm art. Players will randomly be given a class of commando each time they (re)spawn with a different weapon load out. For example if you happen to spawn as a Heavy commando you will carry a Shotgun, Fire Axe, and a couple grenades. Where another class might find itself with a Bullpup rifle and a Bat. I’m doing my best to keep it all balanced and fun, so no matter what you spawn as, you can kick ass and support your team.
But if an ally dies, you can still pick up his weaponry and add it to your own. There's no carry limit really, so for players who survive for along time, the line between classes will really blur as they amass their armory
!Bryan! (modDB): Uninfected vs. Infected. Explain this a bit more.
Alex (Killing Floor): Well previously the game type had been a deathmatch spin-off, you know, along the lines of Counterstrike? Only with Zombies duking it out with Humans...So essentially both sides were playable. However this created a true nightmare of balance issues, and I just found it wasn't fun. So I scrapped that on the spur of the moment and implemented the current game type which I believe to be ALOT more fun.
The infected are spawned continuously in "waves" and your objective is to drive them back. These are AI controlled enemies however, and the PC and his allies will be the only human players.
!Bryan! (modDB): What truly sets this modification apart from other zombie modifications? (Cause and Effect (Half Life 2), Resident Evil Clones)
Alex (Killing Floor): Well as I mentioned before, the art is a large part of that. When you see a screen of Killing Floor you can separate it pretty quickly from any other mod out there just because it's so damned ... different looking. That's what I’m going for! I see too many mods with cookie cutter environments, weaponry that's clean and sterile, and characters who look wooden or plastic. So we have thrown most of the rules out the window in creating a truly gritty, unique visual experience.
Aside from that, I think the amount of Gore and just the fast paced tense nature of the gameplay should be very entertaining for players, as well as the approach to player survival. If you THINK you can survive with that fire axe when you're out of ammunition, then go for it. But otherwise you had better scour the city looking for ammo caches. There’s room for some survival fun there.
!Bryan! (modDB): What is the primary goal of Killing Floor? To be a Zombie Clone(resident evil, 28 days later), be a Horror First Person Shooter(Doom 3) or something else?
Alex (Killing Floor): It's a tribute to a huge range of Horror games. Resident Evil, 28 days, Dawn of the Dead, and my buddy ChickenRibCombo's own "Out of Hell mod" for UT2k4 ... I wanted to take all of the things that make for insanely atmospheric environments, and amp it up where I could do provide a faster action-centric style of game play.
Everything is a clone, in the end. Killing Floor's no better. But you probably won't realize that you're playing a clone if you're having a blast! And that's what I am aiming to give the players.
!Bryan! (modDB): We know that the uninfected have weapons by the screenshots. What about vehicles?
Alex (Killing Floor): I had considered putting drivable vehicles into the mod back during the early stages of development, but this would create too many game play issues and would really kill the Ground-combat tense feel of the mod
At present the only thing remotely close to a vehicle that can be used is a Mounted 50 Cal Gun which can be found in some maps to hold down choke points
!Bryan! (modDB): A lot of us have seen Zombie Movies and know to kill one you have to destroy its brain. Is this the same case? If so, why have melee weapons due to the fact it would be a lot harder to kill them.
Alex (Killing Floor): There's no hit specific damage here. The melee weapons are powerful, and rightly so. If you decide to take on an Infected monster with a bullpup you may have to spray it with 15 rounds before it goes down, whereas two or three axe slices and it's kaput. Of course with the latter you're going to have to risk getting close to him
!Bryan! (modDB): Where is exactly Killing Floor located in terms of area’s of interest. Example, New York City, and so fourth. Also have the infected just taken over one place or have they taken over a mass majority of the world?
Alex (Killing Floor): In the story, the action is centered around the United Kingdom. You will probably feel that the London map is not a perfect representation of the real world city, but it is faithful enough that you should be able to distinguish it from a North American city. Again, I’m aiming to make something fun and cool, not show off my skills in cloning photographs.
!Bryan! (modDB): Seeing the Infected have practically taken over the United Kingdom, could we see things such as the Uninfected using airdrops, planes or even the military taking part?
Alex (Killing Floor): I thought it would be really, really cool to have a map in an airplane ... and (HINT) in future releases I may consider doing one such map! But at the moment, there will be four Maps included in release, and unfortunately none of them feature airdrops or planes.
!Bryan! (modDB): Two words, George Romero. Your say?
Alex (Killing Floor): I don’t know too much other than that he masterminded Dawn of the Dead.
I’m not much of a buff when it comes that, because I end up playing more games than watching movies I think a lot of people set out to make mods based on his movies though and hold him in some great esteem, which is cool.
!Bryan! (modDB): Exactly what can we, the public, expect to see in your first release?
Alex (Killing Floor):- Gore-ific Weapons to break skulls with
- 4 maps featuring unique static mesh libraries and textures per map
- 4 different classes of Infected who will randomly spawn to devour you
- Full Support for Offline play and BOTS
- Full support for environmental physics using the GOOD KARMA mod
- 1 Hell of a ride
!Bryan! (modDB): While your Multiplayer end looks amazing, it’s really hard to come by something that focus’s on Single Player. Do you have plans or do you feel the UT2K4 engine isn’t what you want for Single Player?
Alex (Killing Floor): Well I think single player is a totally different bag. It takes a totally different approach centered more around plot and this sort of thing. KF was always about brainless action, and I think that's what it's going to end up being about. If you want single player you should really try out Out of Hell (www.outofhell.net) because it looks set to deliver a truly amazing SP zombie experience in the same visual vein as Killing Floor. In fact, I adapted Killing Floor's mood and aesthetic to more closely match OOH about half way through development. I’m a big fan.
!Bryan! (modDB): Your modification and most of the team have been together in some form for over a year now. What are some things you feel you would go back and change and what are some things you think really will make this modification a hit?
Alex (Killing Floor): If I could go back and get a proper team of guys who share a common goal from the start, I’d do this. I've been through some ridiculously rough times when it was just me doing the mod with no coding experience or what have you. In fact it got entirely put off for about a month...But I always came back, and I enjoyed some more success when I got out there in the community and saw that there were a lot of helpful people.
I hope the modification is fun. If it’s a hit? I don't know or care. I just want to make something that genuinely is "cool" and makes friends say "holy shit, what game is this" or something like that. Just a neat, replayable experience that you will have trouble getting bored of.
!Bryan! (modDB): Judging by the quality we have already seen, your modification appears to be a hit, who do you feel has contributed the most to this future success and who do you personally feel is the most dedicated on the team at this moment or the past?
Alex (Killing Floor): Chicken Ribs combo, for being a real support all through development.
All sorts of other guys too, I mean too many to name have been contributors. But in the end it's pretty much my mod so I don’t see to many other people who can take the title of most "devoted" member. I'm not tooting my horn, that's just how the mod has come into being.
!Bryan! (modDB): Well, I like to thank you for your time Alex. We here at modDB wish the best for your modification. Would you like to finish this interview off with anything else for the Killing Floor fans?
Alex (Killing Floor): Go Insane.