There are quite a few zombie mods for so many different game engines. Most of these mods have a similar, if not even the same plot. However, Epidemic breaks all the rules and will stand out from the rest. Read on to find out why...
modDB.com: Hello Cyanide, what can you tell us about yourself and your position on the Epidemic team?
Cyanide: Me, well I am the team leader in a sense. I run the show (or try) and have been ever since this whole thing started. I also do weapon modeling,2d art, and plot writing. I always wanted to make some sort of zombie game based off of my inspiration - George Romero. I started around May, learning my skills. However, the idea has been there since I saw the original version of Dawn of the Dead, back in 2003.
modDB.com: Well, that sounds like you have been putting a good amount of thought into this mod. Such things are always welcome. Now, we all know the typical cliché, "Everyone creates zombie mods". In a way that is true, as there are quite a number of zombie based mods out there. What do you think of this, and do you have a response to such a statement?
Cyanide: I think that it is true, a lot of people want to do zombie mods. If you think about it, a lot of the games coming out have been influenced by something already existing, in which case making almost all mods "cliché". The thing that separates each mod is that certain thing in the game play that is different from the others, thus either making or breaking it's uniqueness.
modDB.com: I agree. That is very true. Good that you came to speak of the game play. How would you rate Epidemic's game play so differently from that of the "other" zombie mods out there?
Cyanide: Hmm...well the ideas are limited thus far, and can't say too much otherwise I'd ruin the fun. But I will say that there will be the once used weight and limb damage system. But a new "fear" system which, if correctly made, would enhance the game play 10 fold in my opinion. Also, I hope that we can implement a few multiplayer mini-games. For example, the mini-game "Food Delivery" has one person go unarmed into the zombie masses, trying to deliver food to the starving man in a building opposite from where he is. Your teammates are on the rooftop or balconies, trying to snipe zombies out of your way. However, sharp shooting is needed because you CAN hit your friendly guy in the street.
modDB.com: That sounds very promising thus far but can you give us some more insight on the weight and limb damage system, as well as how the "fear" system would affect the player?
Cyanide: Well, the weight and limb damage systems are self-explanatory. The more stuff you carry, the more sluggish you're going to be. The limb damage system is going to affect both player and NPC alike, each limb being able to receive damage. If a limb reaches red (critical damage, on a scale from white being the best and red being the worst). However, using low caliber guns will not affect the zombies limbs because they are unfeeling monsters; however, the impact will stall them for a second or two. The only part of the body that is fatal for a zombie is a head, thus being the only point of destruction. However, immolation and being blown to hell also work just as well :-)
modDB.com: Is there a reason why you specifically chose the DOOM 3 engine and were there any other gaming engines on your mind for this mod?
Cyanide: Well, originally Epidemic was planned for the Half-Life engine, but seeing as though it's so outdated I wanted something better. The dynamic lighting in Doom 3 is suitable for any horror such as Epidemic, and the bump mapping will enable us to create some pretty grotesque looking bad guys. However, we can only do so much until the SDK is released. When it is, we'll be one step ahead the other guys ;-)
modDB.com: Hehe, yeah that is the dream of most mod makers, being ahead of the competition. Now, what can you tell us about the arsenal you chose for this mod?
Cyanide: Well, seeing as though you're taking on the persona of one of three normal citizens, the arsenal is probably going to be limited to small arms, melee weapons, hunting rifles, shotguns, and home-made weapons such as the super-soaker flamethrower.
modDB.com: And how do you plan on balancing the realism factor with the rather unrealistic addition of the undead?
Cyanide: Well see, I've been studying just how zombies "are" zombies. Way back in the day, I stumbled across a website while looking for images of any undead creatures. This website had almost the entire history of zombism (real word?).Technically, zombies aren't undead. The word is a run-off of the term "Zombi" (singular noun) that the native tribes used to describe the effect of Voodoo. A voodoo priest would send the potential victim into a sort of coma-like trance, putting them to do the will of the priest or of a designated person(s). Now, these people weren't necessarily dead, but they were in fact walking, mindless beings similar to the fictional zombies you see on screen. Also, only a person with a guilty conscience or bad karma was a potential Zombi. Anyway, after seeing that little tidbit I was really transfixed on zombies. I played most of the Resident Evil Games, and I have most of the zombie movies on video or dvd.These include Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Return of the Living Dead 1 2 and 3,Zombie, and a rather peculiar assortment of other zombie paraphernalia. The thing that I adore about zombie films is not the carnage or the fact of the zombies actually being undead, but the situation. It fascinates me to watch movies that have a small group of people pitted against an outnumbering foe. Now, this theme isn't necessarily restricted to zombie movies. Take Stephen King's "The Stand" which is also coincidentally about a super flu killing 99% of the worlds population. Also, some of your good ole' war movies have similar scenarios. You see, putting people into situations as dire as those, you witness the emerging of animalistic instincts. Anyway, with all that said I plan on balancing the unrealism with the realism from what knowledge I have of zombies and the knowledge I have of real-life physics. Excuse me for going on that tangent. :-)
modDB.com: It's always nice to hear that mod makers do such extensive research for their mods. Now this might be somewhat off-topic but have you ever thought about the idea of the government working on a bio-weapon, which raises it's fallen soldiers and citizens to continue the fight for the government's cause, during wartime?
Cyanide: That's basically what "Return of the Dead" is about, the government creates some sort of gas I believe it was. The testing facilities have the corpses of people which are eventually restored and always manage to kill the scientists and escape into the city. Now, I can't remember which one but the chemical is eventually destroyed by a boy. His girlfriend was killed and reanimated, escaped, and recaptured. Now, after this happens the boy tries to save her from being experimented on and in the process opens a few of the "bottled zombies" which have been in canisters at the facility. An air-strike or something similar is ordered, and everyone is evacuating. Ironically, it was his father, one of the main government officials who was in charge of the facility. Well, he bails out and the boyfriend and girlfriend stay, awaiting immolation. I know it's cheesy, but it was entertaining nonetheless. I know it's kind of hard to move away from the typical idea that the zombies were created by some sort of virus or magic but as mentioned before, everyone can add their own twist.
modDB.com: Now, to wrap this up is there anything you would like to tell becoming mod makers?
Cyanide: Yeah, don't. lol jk. Actually, I've written a tutorial that is available on modDB that goes over the basics of managing a mod and staying with it. So, if they want advice it's right there.
modDB.com: Well, thank you for your time to do this interview for modDB and good luck on your path with Epidemic. I am looking forward to playing it!