Academy Gaming


Academy Gaming


Thanks for a Great Playtest!

We hope everyone enjoyed last week’s demo, and we’d like to share what we learned from this pre-alpha playtest.

For 48 hours last week, Georgia was bustling with survivors scrounging up resources from the post-apocalyptic waste and fighting off ravenous Walkers. It was great to see players get their first looks inside the game, and the feedback from the community has been incredibly useful and overwhelmingly positive.

Thanks to On Chain Gaming for hosting a livestream so players that missed the demo can still experience it!

What We Learned

We saw tons of players hop into the demo, and our server tech definitely performed well for its first major stress test. Despite some server resets and reactive bug fixes, players really seemed to enjoy the early game build that was showcased during the demo.

They found the experience “fun”. A fun game is really, really hard to make and that means we have a super solid base that we can build our experience off of. This is the most validating part of the demo for me, and my favorite takeaway.

-Zach Peterson, Development Director

Players definitely loved when heads flew off walkers, and luckily we already have more carnage in the works. We saw players mostly engaging in the designed activities and loops the way the team intended, which is encouraging and means we’ve been working in the right direction.

With so many players, what we thought was a big map turned out to feel pretty small. The current demo was nine zones — 1/9 of a County. Now that we have a baseline for comparison, future playtests will have larger play areas.

People played far beyond the “designed content” for the demo. Suggesting they were having fun merely exploring and socializing.

-Brandon Godfrey, Lead Game Designer

We were able to confirm some specific problem areas that need work before the next playtest. Many players were confused about some of the specifics on building, resource collection and zone transitions. In future playtests, we’ll find ways to make these systems clearer.

We also learned not to underestimate how quickly players will exploit systems. Players figured out how to “jail” other survivors very, very quickly. All we learned during this playtest will help make the game better, and we can’t wait for everyone to see the next build.

Thank you Fecoxa for showcasing the demo for Portuguese-speaking fans!

We’re already excited for the next The Walking Dead: Empires playtest, which is tentatively planned for this winter. We expect to have so much more for players to experience by then. For example, we hope to scale up the live realm to the size of a full county — that’s 81 zones. That will be nine times the size of this demo, and 10% of the full size planned game map at launch.

Players should also see far more depth to combat in the next playtest. In this demo, all Walkers were using the most basic Walker AI. In the future, Walkers will behave more unpredictably, making you form more complex strategies for how to survive. We’ll be gradually introducing different types of Walkers as these playtests progress, so you’ll have to carefully weigh the threat level of each encounter.

As we said above, we’ll also make systems within the game more clear. The insights of so many players with little or no knowledge of the game were extremely valuable and we definitely have some clarity to provide as players initially explore the game world.

Many thanks to MazerHQ and all content creators. We appreciate you helping get the word out there!

We can’t reiterate enough how happy we were to see so many players hop in and enjoy the game. The team has worked hard to bring the world of AMC’s The Walking Dead to life, and we are thrilled by the feedback from our first major playtest.

This early build is only a small taste of what the final game will be. We hope to see everyone back for our next demo build, and we can’t wait to show you where The Walking Dead: Empires goes from here!

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