Zombie v Zombie
Neiborg and van der Graaf explore the hard work and skill that go into producing a total conversion mod game. They cite the successful mod Counter-Strike, which used the Valve game engine from the Half Life design and its platform to springboard into an innovator multiplayer game. Counter-Strike’s success led Valve to acquire the games intellectual property designs and bring on the developers in order to commercially market the game as a full retail title.
Another such instance is going on with the successful mod DayZ, which took the platform design from ARMA (Armed Assault), a military shooter game, to re-engineer it as a zombie shooter game. DayZ‘s popularity and innovative design has led Bohemian Interactive Studios to acquire it and have mod developer, Dean Hall, turn it into a retail game, coming out hopefully by the end of the year.
However with the success of the mod and the popularity of zombie themed products, another developer, Hammerpoint Interactive, is coming out with its own MMO zombie game titled War Z, which some have criticized for allegedly borrowing ideas from DayZ because of its similarity. Dean Hall’s reaction is one of frustration,
“Maybe they [Hammerpoint] will make a better game – I don’t know. Maybe what they’re doing is not cool to me, but the way I look at it is what are my options? What could I do? I could stand up here and be very critical of anyone who does a clone copy of the game. What would that actually achieve other than making me look like a dick? It’s not going to result in a better game.”
In Hall’s opinion, his only option to fight the big developer is to just end up producing a game of better quality. To go from a mod to a retail game must be hard enough without another developer stealing your thunder before you can get out of the starting gate.
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