Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead, has revealed a handful of details about the next game based on his zombie comic during a panel at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.
During a discussion entitled Creator Activism, Kirkman said his collaboration with Swedish developer Overkill Software, at least tentatively titled Overkill’s The Walking Dead, will draw heavily from the studio’s other popular series, Payday. “I can say that it will be Payday-esque because they are currently doing Payday,” Kirkman said, according to reports from Polygon (whose Brian Crecente hosted the panel). “But I’m told it will be in a bigger world than Payday currently encompasses.”
We’ve known since the game was first announced that it would be a co-operative first person shooter, as is Payday, and we also learned that Kirkman actively sought out Overkill to work together on a project because he was such a big fan of Payday 2. It’s not too surprising, then, that The Walking Dead will be built on a similar design template to the co-op crime game, and it’s also fairly easy to imagine how that might work. Like Payday, gameplay could be divided into discrete missions—to acquire survival supplies, say—at different locations, with different tasks to complete once you’re out in the field. And instead of attracting cops that you have to fight off and escape, you’d have to contend with approaching waves of zombies.
Then again, it’s possible Kirkman is oversimplifying somewhat, and there’s no telling how much bigger the maps of Overkill’s The Walking Dead will be than Payday 2‘s relatively small, self-contained spaces. Having a larger chunk of land to pay attention to and explore could have a strong impact on the feel of the game.
Kirkman seemed to also confirm that the game will not feature any established characters from the universe while addressing a broader question about the quality of licensed games based on his work. “The key, I think, which is very important, is that we’re not doing, ‘Hey, it’s Daryl Dixon running around shooting zombies, because you like Daryl Dixon.’ Or ‘It’s Rick Grimes doing this because you like Rick Grimes,'” he said. “We’re telling our own stories and doing our own things almost as if they are original games.”
You can also expect to hear some more announcements about the game through official channels “very soon,” Kirkman promised.
Overkill’s The Walking Dead is expected to hit Xbox One, PS4, and PC sometime in 2016.