Hi, everyone! We’re working on how to market and present Exploit: Zero Day. Since you’re some of the folks who are in at the ground floor, you’re the perfect people to ask about what attracted you to the game.
Why should people be interested in Exploit: Zero Day?
What are you looking forward to seeing in the game the most?
We want to make sure that we show people the best parts of Zero Day. Without players, there’s no game!
Well… I don’t really know much about EZD, given that I’m not even in the closed alpha/beta yet, but from what I’ve seen on the forums so far, it seems to me that normal players can actually change and form the game’s storyline.
That can be an awesome selling point.
@hamuka, that’s something we’re excited about too! We’re building a lot of the story stuff right now. As you can guess, there are tradeoffs in the amount of influence we give players given that we’re only two people. We’re trying to strike the right balance, there.
What does changing and forming the storyline mean to you? An option we’re considering is that there will be decision points in the ongoing story where players will be able to pick a side or an approach with their actions to direct the plot toward one of two or more options. Does that feel like enough control to make it worthwhile?
@gregory, putting decision points in the game would be actually a pretty good and efficient way to let players modify the plot. If my calculations are right, if you place three of these points, with the first one having two options and the other two having 3-3, that gives us a total of 6 different possible outcomes.
That already would be pretty unique in the gaming world (sure, The Stanley Parable has 19 endings, but that’s a whole different story ), and that scenario implies you’ll just use 3 of these points should this system be implemented, which I’m pretty sure is an underestimate.
Also, you’re making a puzzle game, any kind of control over the story would make this game unique in its genre
I agree about decision points, but I think this game should go beyond simple static story branching. Simple decisions are quite passé, so why not make them a bit more dynamic? System solution speed, cluster solution order, even the lack of speed could make a difference. The order in which you solve a cluster could decide whether one man dies and another lives. It could make the difference between you making someone strangle a puppy and getting a few million dollars in return, or you going broke with the ownership of a canine sanctuary.
Past the basic story campaign there’s even space for players to create their own (possibly) canon continuations of the original game story. Create their own corporations, their own rebel hacking groups, extending their own influence to global politics. Give players the ability to create their own splinter groups and lucrative multimillion institutions in a glorified game of global Cops and Robbers. That would be fun.
I think a large part of Exploit’s appeal comes from its story. I don’t think I would give it more than just a passing thought if there was no Lochan resistance, no sk3tch, no two bags full of thermite in a bank’s vault. Makes you think that perhaps there could be more to “hacking” than you think.
Our current plans have two kinds of story control.
First, in the “single-player” or “PVE” part of the game, you’ll get to make small-scale choices. When a mysterious person tries to intimidate you into hacking a cluster for them, do you agree? Do you pass the information from hacking that system on to someone different? These sorts of choices will be recorded and will generally just affect your individual experience. You might get different jobs or have characters treat you differently depending on the choices you make. Every player will get to go through the same branching story and make those choices regardless of when they start playing.
Second, there will be an ongoing real-time storyline involving Samsara Digital and ZeroDay that will play out in part on these forums. The game characters will discuss issues with the players and eventually you’ll get to influence the game permanently. The decisions and discussions made about these issues will affect how future EZD plot progresses and may feed in to new PVE content.
The above is all subject to change as we see what works. How ambitious we can get depends a whole lot on how popular the game is. If we can’t afford to keep working on the game, then it’ll be simpler and the ongoing storyline will conclude. If the game is really financially successful, we’ll be able to add more complexity to the ongoing story and keep going for a while.
Things like player-created groups and player-versus-player stuff sound awesome, but we would only have the resources to support that if the game is quite successful.