Development Log #1 March 19th 2023
Welcome to We Exist! This first development update will communicate our goals with this project, what we’ve accomplished thus far in early development, and what you can expect out of our zombie survival game. Yes, we used the forbidden two words–but it’s something we believe we can make compelling, refreshing, or at the very least familiar but not played out.
We’re so excited to show you what we have developed thus far, and what we hope to accomplish on our wishlist for We Exist’s further development.
We Exist at its core takes great inspiration from the survival looter-shooter genre. We grew up playing these games eager to build bases, fight over resources, and navigate a hostile open world. This project was made to refine and improve on what we took away from those foundational properties and create a complete co-op and competitive experience.
THE WORLD OF WE EXIST
We Exist is set years after a deadly virus ravages the world. The remnants of humanity exist in nomadic holding patterns across the world–searching for refuge and paradise that no longer exist– or held up in impressive fortresses and hideouts that eventually become their tombs.
Wherever nature has overtaken human civilization, the dead roam. Their bites are infected with the Nieuhof Virus, an aggressive viral disease that takes hold of its victims almost as if it’s alive. It has gestated in the zombies they possess, transforming their hosts with strange mutations that are almost otherworldly.
You and other players are survivors living in Bella County, Oregon. Many survivors call it the Origin Zone, where the virus had its first outbreak from containment. The Origin Zone is flush with wildlife, and the West Coast’s rich ecosystem has only flourished after civilization’s end–despite the rotting corpses roaming through it. Factions dwell in large outposts and fortresses throughout the southern Oregon wilderness, clinging to old dogma or surrendering to brutal savagery. Their stockpiles may lend you many years of life, or at least a few more goods to trade with friendly merchants and fellow survivors.
There are few laws that bind men now, save three; Steal To Live, Fight To Steal, and Fight To Kill. Do as your fellow survivor would and take as much as you can fit on your person. But brotherhood makes for lighter work, and it’s hard to turn down a couple extra hands to build your ideal shelter.
It seems like humanity has reached its twilight, but perhaps we have never felt more alive. We fight for what remains of the world that once was. We build to protect ourselves and our own. It is why we remain, and why We Exist.
“‘Not enough guns?’ Do you understand how stupid you sound? We got more guns in this country than we do people. Hell, turn over a rock and you’ll find a 9 millimeter. Come on, son. Let’s show these zeds why we don’t have universal health care.”- Unknown Survivor
We Exist hopes to provide players with responsive and satisfying combat. Testing the current instance of weapons in the game is underway, including weighted semi-realistic ballistics and a weapon attachment system. Ammo is scarce in our world and you will want to make the most out of every bullet, but there will be additional opportunities to barter and craft ammo to truly build up your stockpile.
Melee combat is on our sights as well, and we hope to introduce directional combat to allow precise control with every swing in future updates as well as a modification system to allow for creative zed and player killing combinations.
“Duck and cover was never gonna help against a bomb. But it’s useful advice pretty much everywhere else.”
Players will be able to carve out a section of the Origin Zone to begin building the shelter of their dreams. Materials for building your base, such as wood, can be harvested throughout the Oregon wilderness. Be wary, as other players can destroy walls and access your property unless you secure your facilities. We plan on making bases a challenging, but rewarding experience by requiring additional items from looting (like nails) to truly build your ultimate stronghold!
“I told you, it’s not grave robbing if he was alive before we got here!”
Most if not all of your time will be spent scavenging ruins or raiding enemy bases for supplies and ammunition. Depending on your luck, you might strike out with equipment that sticks with you for a long time…or someone else picks it off your corpse. We currently have a grid inventory system that adds sections based on what clothes/gear you are wearing, so you will be able quickly expand your carrying capacity with each piece you add.
“Before this, I handled sales at Lowman & Sons. I had to choose my job or picking berries off a farm for a living, I’d just rather be dead.” Cameron Lowe, berry farmer, Origin Zone.
Hub zones are scattered throughout the map that allow players to trade materials for supplies and exotic assets that might be hard to acquire throughout the Origin Zone. There are even hubs that are hard to access and difficult to find, but have obtained rare and expensive items that aren’t available in the hub world.
WORLD EVENTS* (WISHLIST)
“We had believed the virus terminated the specimen’s brain signals while leaving the body in an animated frenzy. Continued observation verifies this and so much more…”- Excerpt of TRA Profile on Specimen Zero
Occasionally, survivors will come into contact with zombies that have mutated powerful abilities. These creatures cannot be killed alone, and it may take the combined power of players to successfully eliminate these threats. Success leads to greater rewards, as trophies won from these anomalies can be traded for powerful weapons and items.
“Anyone listening? Stay clear of the Long Guard–unless you want to choose between death or taxes.” Anonymous Radio Message
Roaming across the Origin Zone are hostile factions of survivors that players will have to engage with. They strike out from fortified strongholds that have lasted since the fall of civilization; clearing them out will allow you to access stockpiles of loot. Each faction presents unique challenges from paramilitary organizations to chemical-addled fumigators.
TRAVELING AI* (WISHLIST)
“Hey, gang! Happy to report I’m still alive and kicking! I’m back from another run into the city and open for business. First come, first serve as always…and have I got a surprise for you.” Zed, Exotic Trader, Origin Zone
In addition to trading zones and enemy factions, players will also encounter nomadic traders. They may offer insight into the most dangerous parts of the Origin Zone, and grant you access to hidden vaults if you are quick enough to get them first.
That’s all we have to discuss this time, but follow our page for future updates and announcements for We Exist.
We’d like to give our thanks to all of the Unreal Engine Asset Creators that we have purchased assets from to help visualize parts of our project. As a small team, it makes it much easier to develop our vision to the scale we aspire to.
*Wishlist features are planned features that we would love to include on release, but are subject to further application.
Source: Indie DB