Dead Still: Games That Weren’t Prt II


Proposal Year: 2005

Platform: X360 & PS3

Developer: Genuine Games

Publisher: N/A

Dead Still Proposal Cover

Carrying on with an insight into “games that weren’t”, today we’re looking into DEAD STILL. Being a big Zombie fan, I always wanted to do a game based on them. When I was asked to present a pitch for a new IP, it seemed a perfect match; FPS + ZOMBIES = WIN.

The company I wrote the proposal for no-longer exists, so I  thought I’d share some points about the game.

Also, please remember, this was written early 2005, so some of it may seem a little “standard” based on today’s FPS’.

In the game you play as one of 4 “half-deads”; infected soldiers who can sustain ridiculous amounts of damage, rebuild dead tissue, are immune to infection and most of all, they can “sense” when “they” are close, making them the most effective squad against “The Marauders”; Zombies.

The game took place in near future Los Angeles, with famous landmarks changed into strongholds, wastelands and hunting zones.

LAX Fortress

One of the HALF-DEAD characters:

Half Dead Character

 

Game Points

  • “Half-Deads”; Half Human / Half Zombie main characters
  • 4 Player Co-op
  • 16 Player Multiplayer Online
  • Vert-Boost Unit “VBU’s”; Kinectic Jumpacs
  • Huge hoards of creatures
  • No Cutscenes EVER; player always has control
  • Evolving Enemies & NPC’s = Emergent Gameplay
  • ANPC’s – Advanced Non-Player Characters (advanced ai/body motion)

The VBU’s

VBU’s present the player with a controlled resource that is incredibly useful, but needs to be used with care and strategy. Not having the VBU available at key times will cause for big problems for the player.

A unique item of the characters is the VBU (Vert-Boost Unit). This is a compact device that allows the player to increase velocity of movement, increasing jump height/distance and kinetic force; it’s essentially a kinetic jetpack.

The VBU uses kinetic propulsion instead of fuel/electrical forms of movement which emit too much heat. The VBU pivots to allow for dynamic aerial movement, BUT, has only been created for short time use only. Due to its size, the unit can only store a specific amount of continuous kinetic energy (approx. 4 secs). Once depleted, the unit works off the player’s body movement to re-charge, much like the Kinetic watches already available on the market today.

We’ll create metrics to fit the VBU’s abilities, making for some suspenseful leaps over crowds of the infected.

VBU’s will give a whole new dynamic to the FPS genre. Below are just a few ideas of how it could be used:

  • To access normally out of reach places
  • Break drops/falls off incredibly high structures
  • Evade encroaching enemies
  • Use it’s Kinetic blast to knock enemies away
  • Boost into & move large heavy objects to shift them into positions for barricades/weapons etc.
  • Jump out of moving vehicles about to go off a cliff/hit a wall/explode and so on.

I wrote about 4 mission briefs for the pitch, and here’s the one from the opening mission;

Eau De NEPALM

We start the game with a BIG BANG opening, while not throwing players into too much danger. The game opens with the player(s) being briefed in a helicopter en-route to a drop-off point (players have camera control, reload weapons etc.). While being briefed by the pilot, the player(s) can use door points to snipe and shoot at the creatures below (as the game credits are rolling). Occasionally, the helicopter will also release air-to-ground missiles and napalm to scatter the area below.

Think Platoon/Black Hawk Down as a war visual, it’s complete mayhem out there. Players will use this time to shoot and get use to the weapons/aiming, secondary affects etc. all in a non-threatening situation, it’s also a very important CHARACTER DEVELOPING exercise; each character will react dependent on their AI-schematics.

Players will also select major game options here in-game (rumble, x/y-axis on/off, gamma etc.) via the game’s “guide”; the voice in the “headset”.

Once the Heli completes its path, it releases one last load of Napalm & Missiles to clear a landing point; into the first real mission.

Overview

  • Player weapon training mission – non-threatening but action packed
  • Sets up character types
  • Game option selection & credits
  • Visuals
  • Huge plumes of black smoke from the burning environment below
  • Fire combusting and spreading over flammable materials
  • Scattered swarms of creatures scurrying through the streets, some hunting people, fighting over remains, being torn apart from the blasts in over the top chaos.
  • Normal people waving/creating visuals in the hope of being spotted and lifted to safety (some you’ll encounter later)

One of the other missions we had specced out, was called “GONE FISHING”. It was a mission that involved player(s) returning to a base with some “live” zombies via a big foot monster truck and a multi-shot HARPOON GUN.

See the image below to get an idea of what that would’ve been like (ignore the handheld crossbow haha):

Gone Fishing

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About Haydn Dalton

Creative Lead 30 Years Developing Games

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