Apokalypsos™ is a 3D FPS and vehicular combat MMORPG set in a post-apocalyptic North America, spanning across southern Canada to northern Mexico.
Players will be able to choose between remaining as a neutral “Refugee” or can join one of the biggest three factions:
Apokalypsos™ follows an initial storyline of missions and introductions, then branches and evolves into an open-ended world, full of options and consequences.
Vehicle and first-person combat modes are fluid and interspersed, providing a unique battle experience – either mode can be utilized at any time (terrain permitting).
Players are wrapped in a realistic survival adventure, with a deep storyline that challenges and rewards both passive and aggressive wasteland survival methodology.
Advancement and progression are time and equipment-modified, but the base system is classless and uncapped. Tactics and alliances can carry the day over brute force and “uber” gear.
Apokalypsos™ is ground-breaking in that it is not ground-breaking. CPU-crushing particle counts or cut-scenes are of secondary priority to reviving complex, engaging narrative and mission arcs, putting the “RP” back into MMORPG. The development mantra is simple, from the game environment to NPCs, skills to equipment – if it isn’t realistic, it isn’t in the game.
This “return to innovation” hearkens to the RPGs of dice and paper, where a logical action yields logical results, where anything from combat to scavenging are influenced by the immersive world. As a grass-roots indie project, Apokalypsos™ is able to devote a disproportionate amount of resources to character development, extensive (novel length) factional histories, and create a game with no “lowest common denominator” to break profitable on retail shelves.
In short, Apokalypsos™ is a game for gamers, by gamers – who, thankfully, just happen to have decades of experience in publishing, programming, 3D design, acoustics, physics, mapping, and musical scores…
Apokalypsos™ is not a mainstream game, and as such is not required to push live due to budget or delivery limitations. Our developers are making the MMORPG that embodies their definition of a perfect synthesis of numerous combat scenarios, post-collapse survival and exploration, logical AI reactions, and plot lines – basing each on “real” projections from current-day vehicles, armor, weaponry, technology, and world events.
Namely, the player experience begins in a near-future continent (North America) that has suffered decades of colossal man-made and climate-based disasters, political upheaval, starvation, war, and disease. The world outlook is grim, and the NPC and other player characters from each faction will reflect this reality in their struggle for mere survival. Terrain scope is massive – millions of square miles – but terrain and location for key mission, battle, and staging areas will be readily evident.
Thematically, Apokalypsos™ is a game for adults – but not merely because narcotics and brothels may be found – and used. The target audience for the concept, lore, mission arcs, and end-game PVE and PVP is geared towards a mature, intelligent, and experienced player. There are no “iWin buttons” and with a class-free layout, few restrictions on builds and character development. While solo gameplay is supported fully, allied group movements are strongly rewarded and encouraged.
Apokalypsos™ is a unique vision, but certainly parallels can be made in some areas to popular games such as the Fallout series, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and the late Auto Assault.
Fallout cemented the legitimacy and popularity of the post-apocalyptic genre, and similarly delivers and polished story line with characters that matter emotionally to players.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R is inspirational as a realistic, surprisingly popular indie title – proving a quality story can make a first-person shooter (FPS) both fun-twitch and intellectually entertaining. With multiple endings and a realistic treatment given to weaponry and damage, S.T.A.L.K.E.R explored the boundaries of immersive, detailed, and common sense gaming.
While it was discontinued due to a funds and marketing impasse, Auto Assault was the first post-apocalyptic MMO to seek an RPG experience – and yet it also capitalized on arcade-speed missions that combined driving and combat into a single package. The core, veteran Auto Assault subscriber base was quite similar to the intended player of Apokalypsos™ and was renowned for its tightly-knit community.
Apokalypsos™ began initially as a frustrated “W-T-F” reaction to the current and beta release MMO scene, which trends towards fantasy, graphics, inconsequential action, and mindless cash or experience grinding. When Auto Assault shuttered in September of 2007, the core Apokalypsos™ development and management team had already been puttering about for months. After a number of dubious ideas were considered, it was decided the best way to make an MMORPG work to our taste was to build our own. With over a dozen highly-motivated and skilled personnel involved on a daily basis, Apokalypsos™ was soon realizing original concept art, musical scores, 3D models – the works!
Apokalypsos™ has flourished as a voluntary contribution model, with a handful of full-time contributors permanently on board. Further volunteer work has been established via the Lethal Concept parent firm. Because of the “for gamers, by gamers” motif, all feedback and contributions are entertained, and we invite any disciplined, motivated talent to join the team and build (and destroy) a better world. Perks for contributors include:
- Full credits upon successful launch.
- Real-world game development experience working with a proven development team.
- Participation in MMORPG design and implementation at a granular level.
- A great resume to pursue quality employment in the gaming industry.
- Ability to create a broad and deep game designer and developer portfolio.
Apokalypsos™ is the perfect venue to release untapped potential for those who may not have yet broken into the gaming industry full time. Pressure is minimal, collaboration is optimal, and a constructive team will be walking alongside future staff throughout the entire process.
Apokalypsos™ currently employs the Torque 3D Engine platform.
T3D was a logical choice as an inexpensive yet robust and proven world-building and MMO production software, providing advanced graphic options, stability and scalability.
While Apokalypsos™ is not scheduled for release for several years, hence the system requirements will change upon release.
Apokalypsos™ is intended for a release in the fairly distant future, and it is presumed hardware requirements will be normal minimum requirements for games of a similar concept.
“Weak PC” performance optimization and enhancement is a primary consideration in every aspect of the Apokalypsos™ design scope.
At this time, there is no concrete release date for Apokalypsos™ but “several years” is considered to be likely.
Test builds and “whatever comes before alpha” previews and usability sessions will be conducted as soon as possible – dozens of gamers have expressed clear interest in being among the first to participate in this unique vision. Beyond the norm, Apokalypsos™ constantly solicits community and peer reviews and suggestions, opening the development process beyond the typical company secrecy. Testers and contributors who are fully briefed on the project sign an N.D.A. prior to wholesale participation.
Yes – with strings attached. Testing various OS versions and computing platforms is critical, as is keeping a finger on the pulse of player recommendations. Our QA leads are selected from among the pool of early-stage testing groups, forum contributors, friends, family, and anyone else who enjoys punishing hours!
Apokalypsos™ will be designed for both casual and hardcore players. Referencing our core motif of “realism” there will be far more than simply slugfest combat in the mix.
Numerous passive, PvE, maintenance, manufacturing, and other non-violent activities will have a direct impact on the player, their faction, and thus the outcome of all endeavors – remember, the entire world map is open for exploration from the first step out of the starter camp… the trick is to survive the journey – and starvation can be every bit as deadly as ice spiders.
As for combat itself, “uber” gear and higher levels will play second fiddle to dexterity, tactical skill, interaction with teams, problem-solving, and other common sense factors. Yes, great gear will exist… but in Apokalypsos™ one cap-level character with the best gear in the game can be taken out by a couple of “noobs” playing cleverly.
Of specific note on casual gamers, Apokalypsos™ will be “short-timer friendly” in providing rich, engaging mini-games and a wide variety of actions and missions that can be initiated or halted within seconds.
Players will be guided throughout Apokalypsos™ by the storyline and mission arcs, and in terms of controls and “engine understanding” a tutorial will be present by default in the starter zone(s) with a full command set and other tips a button away for all players.
Immediate player education will include controls and story basics. A second phase will introduce game mechanics and common systems and actions, from trading and communicating to inventory control and manufacturing. A final mission-arc tutorial will present players with problems to solve, where multiple solution methods will be possible.
A primary goal of Apokalypsos™ is to create a world where “time spent grinding” does not create an impassible gulf between “higher” and “lower” level players. The level system itself will be unusual in that hitpoints and other basic attributes are not adjusted by “experience” – though they may be by items and gear. The traditional concept of leveling is thus replaced with earned skill points from missions and exploration.
As a result, a new player, once familiarized with the basics of game mechanics and controls, can provide support and competition for far “older” characters. There are no restrictions on, as an example, driving a “high level vehicle” or weapon… however, due to the limited skill point pools earned early in the game experience, the quality of use in these various items, objects, and vehicles will vary, as will the number of different skills that can be trained to competency.
In short, while continued play will reward veterans in a variety of ways, Apokalypsos™ encourages groups for experience, PvP, PvE, exploration, and so forth among all players of all levels.
Yes. A new player is by default a neutral party and begins in a relatively safe starter zone. While certain NPC “mobs” may roll aggression, the starter zones are lightly populated with helpful guards in certain areas – these zones are intended as a gradual transition towards the harsher realities of the wider world. Less experienced players can thrive and gain experience and skill points, gear and currency in and around the starter zone for as long as they desire – and for PvP purposes, they remain “neutral” parties until – and if – they choose to swear allegiance to one of the three primary active PC factions.
Apokalypsos™ is a social game, and “squads” and communications ease reflect that. As with many MMOs, there are likely to be boss NPCs that all but require a cohesive, talented group of players to overcome, and other, passive actions such as mining or resource scavenging will also encourage grouping.
Lone wolves can survive the wasteland, but to do so will require exceptional player skill, stealth, gear, and a strong stomach. Missions will reward grouped and solo players with individually calculated experience points based on a variety of factors, with modifier bonuses for grouped players.
Experience will be gained through combat, missions, tournaments, and passive activities such as manufacturing or resource collection. Accumulated experience develops the player’s avatar and accrues “skill points” at increasingly more difficult or extended intervals. While skills are not restricted based on “time spent” by the player, the number of points able to be committed to these skills is largely dependent on the players’ dedication towards the mission arcs and other experience-gaining activities. Some missions may also involve the accrual of a skill point in one particular skill, “adding” it to the total but not the pool of distribution.
Again, there is no “cap” or restriction on skills. The strongest attack, defense, heal, or stealth skills can be utilized by a player in their first hours of gaming… however, because of a far more limited pool of points to distribute, doing so would leave them incapable of other, vital actions.
Highly experienced players will be able to achieve diversified “builds” and reach 75% or higher proficiency in a wide variety of skills. However, the Apokalypsos™ system is such that years of consistent gaming would be required for a single character to become a master in all or even most skills… there are hundreds to be learned!
With level of little or no importance, experience equating to skill pool bases will be visibly demonstrated on or around the player avatar, and/or made an optional title or titles prefacing or extending their character name. An extremely seasoned player character named “Thor” could, for example, be titled the rather lengthy “Commandant of the Rebels, Red Letters Tier 7, Thor the Limb-Shearer, Icon of the Damned and leader of clan Demonshrine.”
Apokalypsos™ is a multiplayer game, and as such, will emphasize player interaction and grouping. However, there will be no crippling inability to enjoy and attain the highest levels of game ranks entirely solo. Certain missions or events may be next to impossible for the solo player, but while a group may be needed “for efficiency” a solo artist can, in theory, survive and succeed equally.
Apokalypsos™ will have combat controls that are broadly familiar to both novice and veteran gamers. However, automatic targeting, “auto-tracking” and other such features will either be limited or nonexistent. Character diversity will allow for both “twitch” and “prepared” combat styles, but simply firing a gun randomly is unlikely to score a hit – aiming matters. Driving vehicles will also be based as closely as possible on real-world physics, accounting for among others, traction, weight distribution, plastic collisions, and momentum. Many weapons on vehicles will be fixed-mount, while others may allow a blending of FPS and vehicle modes by allowing a “friendly” to man a turret in FPS mode, while the driver commands the fixed armaments. It is a firm belief among Apokalypsos™ developers that combat should require far more than an expensive keyboard or an “iWin” macro command to slaughter an enemy… tactics, thought, and player skill, and reactions will all play into the equation for victory.
Players will actively participate in their chances of survival in any given combat situation through consumable selection, skill choices, and the usual trinity of armor, weapons, and gear. As noted previously, however, a primary focus will be on accuracy, stealth, tactical formations, and deception. There will be few to no automated attacks, and no “magic spells” to cast. Earned skills will contribute to combat environments, with many of them passive or long-acting, reducing a common MMO reliance on macros and “consumable” pills-n-potions upgrades. With more time to focus on the – difficult – reality of real-time combat, Apokalypsos will be a world of never-ending action and peril in combat areas.
Each NPC will be driven by data variables to assign aggression, triggers, and so forth – player-influenced variables such as stealth, proximity, wind direction (scent) and so forth will often be considered.
Lose the equation, and the player draws aggression. Escaping an aggressive NPC will require speed on foot or by vehicle. Provoked NPCs in the world of Apokalypsos are not keen on letting you escape once you’ve attacked or been attacked, and their AI and “boundaries” at times can be far greater than is expected by most players of other games.
FPS is generally considered an acronym for “First Person Shooter” – meaning the style of the entire game. In Apokalypsos, however, FPS is not the only perspective available to players, so “FPS mode” will typically mean “non-vehicle” mode – namely, on foot. In FPS mode, players can perform a number of actions unavailable to vehicle-based combat, such as running, jumping, climbing, with further differences in the form of stealth, sneaking, offense choices, and the mechanics of firing a weapon. FPS combat in the Apokalypsos™ world will demand higher skill in tactics, aiming, and use of cover.
FPS mode combat is very similar to the well known FPS games like Team Fortress or S.T.A.L.K.E.R. – quick “twitch” reflexes and player-skill aiming are critical. However, there will be offsetting factors to ensure competitive ability and gaming styles outside of mere speed, such as “skill trained” weapons familiarity, ammunition selection, choice of sniping or charging styles, etc.
While FPS often utilizes a “close first person” perspective, a third-person “zoom out” perspective will be an option in Apokalypsos™ as well. However, due to the realistic aiming mechanisms, the traditional FPS view will be more effective in ranged combat.
Vehicle ownership and combat fielding will be among the highest signs of status and power for Apokalypsos™ players. Acquiring even a shabby, rusted hulk – that runs – will be a significant undertaking and achievement. The ability to modify, craft, and otherwise upgrade vehicles is both a status symbol and a combat edge. Vehicle-based combat is essential to players who wish to undertake higher-end missions to earn skills and experience in the “stronger” PvE and PvP zones. It should be noted that FPS and VB (vehicle-based) combat can be toggled “on the fly” during protracted engagements on the battlefield.
A vast array of vehicle types can be acquired by any player at any time. However, extremely powerful vehicles will require players to scavenge or steal a number of components, locate or acquire materials for mounted weapons, and either craft or outsource assembly of the finished product. Thus the only true restrictions keeping a player from vehicle ownership are time. Rarity of components, location of certain items in highly-dangerous areas, and the need for high-level manufacturing skill will take dedication and cooperation. Certain vehicles – heavy armor or tanks, by way of example – may also presume training or earning skill points in order to maximize player operation and efficiency of the vehicle in combat.
Storage capacity, in data terms, is not limited in Apokalypsos™ - however, garages and secure storage in game terms are expensive and require maintenance and may be shared among members of a clan or allied group. Only one vehicle can be piloted by a player at a time, but proximity to other garaged vehicles will allow players to “swap out” rides without undue delay.
Apokalypsos™ strives for realistic vehicle handling, utilizing physics engines and equations to approach the realism of a typical racing game. That said, realistic controls and requirements – consider those of an advanced military vehicle – may be reduced or eliminated permanently or handled “automatically” in order to maximize playability and enjoyment. Damage will be “realistic, reduced” in that while a vehicle may be damaged by collisions or gunfire, it is unlikely a single bump, collision, or shot to the radiator will disable the vehicle entirely. Armor, mass, and other factors will be factored into “dice rolls” in combat, though again, for reasons of “fun” it is improbable that a “one shot kill” is common.
Just about anything you’d be likely to do in the real world! Consider...
- Travel: Vehicles are the safest and preferred method of transportation in the wasteland. Even a lightly-armored vehicle will provide speed and security far beyond that of even a heavily-armored foot soldier.
- Transport: Depending on the vehicle under consideration, storage, cargo, and transport are likely to be increased by several multiples over what a player in FPS mode is capable of dragging along.
- Fight: Attaching a wide variety of ramming, flame, and projectile weapons to the vehicle, possibly including manned (by friends or mercenary NPCs) secondary turrets – and you are ready to kick some tail!
- Customize: A player vehicle is the ultimate statement of pride and status. A wide variety of paint jobs, graphics, accessorizing materials, and weapons allow players to represent their character in entirely unique ways.
Vehicles have a number of different “hardpoints” that vary on the vehicle size and type. Special weapons can be fitted to these couplings, providing the firepower that makes vehicular skirmishes and dogfights fast-paced and exciting.
Fixed weapons have a target radius, while remote or friendly-controlled weapons will be aimed and fired by players or hired NPC mercenaries. Each weapon will have a number of values that contribute to its tactical value, including damage type, rate of fire, penetration, expansion, heat, ammunition use, and more.
Vehicles will typically be “skinned” in various levels and classes of armor and damage mitigation, each peeling away as incoming damage is received until the chassis is rendered immobile. External armor and shielding is a first line of defense, after which weapons systems are vulnerable, with the drivetrain being the last to go before vehicle is considered incapacitated and a player must abandon into FPS mode. Due to the variety of countermeasures, real-time repairs, and other tactical responses to “sit still and mash buttons” gameplay, Apokalypsos™ will have extended battles and encourage tactical, creative fighting styles that go beyond macros and repetitive (boring) iWin combinations.
Vehicles, like most weapons and gear, will suffer from general wear and tear that will require maintenance and repairs. This is both logical and keeps ownership of large numbers of vehicles moderated by reality – gear is to be chosen wisely rather than hoarded as though each player had a stadium worth of free climate-controlled storage. Maintenance costs will be assigned by item value and size, appropriately charging “more” for extremely rare or high-tech gear in the harsh wastelands.
When a vehicle gets completely immobilized by damage, players will be forced to abandon the vehicle into FPS mode. However, there are many ways to repair the vehicle and resume piloted action – if the player has advanced mechanical skills trained, they may even be able to fix it on the spot… provided opponents are not “distracting” with incoming fire. Multiple mechanics can work on an incapacitated vehicle simultaneously, and for extreme repairs or when it’s too “hot” to repair the vehicle in the field, waiting for the storm to pass and then towing and to a nearby garage is useful. Note that abandoned vehicles are prone to further exposure damage if left outside for an extended period!
Yes, Apokalypsos™ will have PvP as a central feature for the pledged factions, and fighting will be common across the vast expanse of the wastes. Places of higher-conflict interest may include...
- Battle Zones: where the fringes of NPC and faction control ram together.
- Resource Centers: such as mining towns, agricultural centers, etc.
- Duel Arrangements: with optional spectators and betting.
- Highways: and major transportation routes.
The bottom line on PvP? If you can get into the zone and survive or avoid the NPCs, you are likely to be predator or prey for other players – only non-affiliated neutral faction players are exempt!
Anyone who has sworn allegiance and undergone the tortuous mission arc and initiation rites of one of the three non-neutral factions will automatically be able to fight in PvP battles of any kind.
In addition, it is a consideration that “actions and choices” even of neutral parties may cause temporary flagging, opening them to PvP attacks either for a predetermined duration or until they change their destiny with a mission arc or various other actions.
Yes, in short. This is a post-industrial world wracked by disease, warfare, and a struggle to survive. “Care bear” actions may be well-received within your faction and clan, but as a rule, it is not easy to survive without at least a response to aggression from others. The factional wars are a major portion of the story line, and several missions – while they will not permanently flag a neutral player as “PvP” fodder, may require actions that directly or indirectly involve PvP.
Geographically also, aside from certain sectors near the refugee camps under SOS control, PvP is possible anywhere, and choosing not to join a faction will eventually limit the growth of the player character. Resource control, loot benefits, factional bonuses, and fame can all be modified passively, but more than likely will be influenced even more by a combination of passive and PvP-active play. That said, PvE content will be extensive, and for both neutral and “sworn” factional enemies, there will be enjoyable, long-term alternatives to constant player versus player warfare..
Neutrals might enter PvP zones at their own risk – while they will be flagged as neutral, firing at other players and certain open missions may put them into a short-term PvP setting… dangerous for the uninitiated!
As in the real world, a neutral flag only applies inasmuch as it is obeyed by others and adhered to by the neutral parties themselves. If you fire a weapon in the vicinity of a touchy player-aggressor, expect them to take it as a sign you’re ready to bring on the hurt. Keep in mind, being open to fire from all three enemy factions is a great way to die, and fast.
Yes. While by virtue of their non-affiliation neutral parties will not be able to engage in PvP instantly, consensual duels and other methods of limited PvP will be possible.
Apokalypsos™ will provide that option through its main server. There is no need for a specially designated PvP-only server given the structure of the maps and flagging. Any player can become an assassin simply by joining on of the three primary factions. There will be no shortage for PvP opportunities around the wasteland, quite the opposite.
PvE will equal the opportunities for exciting gameplay presented by PvP, and the majority of missions will likely run along a vast PvE system.
NPCs will be primarily composed of surviving humans. Considering the time and decay involved, a given small group of survivors may be very different from nearby hominids in terms of technology, intelligence, social structures, aggression, resources, and more. However, there will be many beasts in the wilds as well, especially dangerous to the FPS (on foot) player.
And of course, there are sure to be… very… dangerous surprises that have sprung to life via mutation, science, and unknown manners as life seeks interesting new ways to survive a hostile environment…
Gobs! Details on the minigames and activities will be revealed throughout our production.
In order to avoid a role-playing conundrum and satisfy the "realism" twist of our world, "death", in its traditional form, will not occur in Apokalypsos™. Instead, heavily damaged and injured players will go into "Critical Condition", or CC for short. This will put the player into an almost dead state, in which the player gets "rescued" by a random event to the nearest town or camp.
Rescued players will require immediate medical attention to recuperate and lick their wounds. In addition to time factor, there is a low chance that CCed players might lose a limb, an eye, or contract chronic/temporary diseases. These effects will be countered through drugs and/or professional medical care (like an expensive visit to the Limb Doctor).
Players can acquire several rewards through missions, exploration, crafting & combat...
1) Experience leading to ranks, medals, and earned Skill Points.
2) Mission-specific rewards which may include gear, goods, skill points, etc...
3) Scavenged materials and salvaged goods, and resource extraction experience.
4) Stripped loot obtained from vanquished NPC characters and wildlife.
4) “Reputation” rating modifiers, positive and negative, from general play habits.
Loot dropped from killed NPCs will be logical and appropriate. Gunning down a flock of chickens might be great fun, but don’t except to find a glowing pile of grenade launchers and armor plating when the feathers clear. Maybe a few nourishment nuggets… if you’re lucky! Similar logic applies to all NPCs and locations – if you want guns and ammo, hunt for NPCs that shoot at you! For resources, an abandoned gas station might contain petroleum-based products, etc.
Apokalypsos™ will have a robust player-based economy, and not just in terms of currency. Professional resource and scavenger players will combine with mechanics, engineers, and manufacturing-focused players to supply various needs. Of course, players will have a good chance of finding serviceable weapons, gear, and vehicles in the wasteland, but odds are, manufactured or otherwise repaired goods will be superior and in greater supply than anything found in the wastelands... all based, of course, on your raw material input. That rusty old minigun could well become a polished doom engine once a master fabricator has pushed it through a manufacturing process! Of course, you’ll have to pay...
Several “share” options will be available to grouped squads and hunting parties:
- Random: Items scavenged are divided by a dice roll, per item.
- Ordered: Loot is evaluated and handed out from leader on down.
- Leader: Loot is given to the party leader for distribution – or not.
- Twitcher: First one to click the corpse wins big money, big prizes!
Given the options above, players will need to choose and monitor their squad mates carefully to avoid being manipulated or used. Though of course, character assassination can take on a whole new meaning for those who feel grieved...
The quantity and quality of loot is enhanced within groups. It’s typically also easier-faster to zerg through dangerous areas with companions watching your back. So simply put, greed will be a primary incentive for cooperation!
Certain missions will be never-ending or offer a repeat performance, with set or random loot roll rewards on offer. High-end items will only be rewarded a single time, but others for currency, salvage, small reserves of resources, and so forth will provide a method by which players who so desire can grind out some experience and basic rewards...
Reputation matters in the wasteland. Players will be prone to either avoid or cooperate with you depending on your “rep” and thus building a positive – or negative – reputation choices will benefit or haunt the player throughout their career in Apokalypsos™. Reputation will have an influence on PvP flagging, mission rewards, mission offerings, certain NPC aggression, and more. Which doesn’t mean you have to be “good” – there will be a nearly equal incentive to go either way, so while some doors open, others close… decisions have an impact at every stage!
Most items will decay over time and usage. However, everything can be restored and repaired as in reality. The more you use it, the more it decays and the better care you take of it, the longer it lasts. Once an item gets broken, you can either repair it or reverse engineer it into basic material. Logically, higher quality items will take longer than other to decay.
Many factors contribute to decay, and countering each will prolong the lifetime of each item. There is no general time limit for all items, but rest assured it won't be a daily trip to the mechanic. Decay will be well balanced to avoid annoying frequent repair trips.
Manufacturing – known at times as crafting or fabrication – will revolve around the assembling of salvage materials and repair of broken game items.
To become a master of the craft, players will be required to train and initially learn certain specialized skills and procedures along their journey and experience, advancing in ranks or levels over time.
For example, before one could assemble a field radio, a general "Electronics" assembly skill may be required, and to upgrade the skill is to improve the outcome of the end product.
Acquiring advanced manufacturing skills will require certain prerequisites and skills levels. For example, assembling a vehicle may require a wide range of specialties involving Electronics, Welding, Tires, Chassis, etc.
Common manufacturing abilities are easily achieved by all player characters. Higher grades in multiple areas of expertise, however – while possible – will be an elite reserve for the truly dedicated… characters who can, given the materials, time, and assistance from other Manufacturers or hired NPC assistants, produce the most remarkable gear the wasteland has to offer.
Crafters will be able advertise and sell their wares directly to players or via alternate methods such as NPC vendors, clan outfitters, and more. Each major settlement will have NPC vendors that accept goods on a consignment basis (the vendor keeps a negotiable percentage of proceeds) with the range of advertising range and modes (auctions, direct sale) determined by the split or up-front fees.
In addition, player characters can commission specific items and goods, with fulfillment requests available as “manufacturing missions” for other players to earn currency or “pay” with their own experience points by way of fair exchange.
For example, if a player were to request a flak jacket, a “mission terminal” would allow NPC-A to create a mission/quest for a crafter, NPC-B to make one… if the price is right. Manufacturers who fail to provide the item may get a negative “vendor reputation” that can only be voted on by players who have received custom goods in this manner.
Material supplies can arrive from a combination of factional, clan, and other allegiances, from commissioned fabrication requests, repeatable missions, scavenging (as the manufacturer), paying for materials at vendors and bartering them from other players, etc.
In Apokalypsos™, learning a manufacturing skill is not enough to start an assembly line. To crank out higher-end goods in quantities or more quickly, players will need to consider the following from-scratch requirements for going from blueprint to unveiling:
- Schematics: The initial blueprint and instruction set for a given item – these can be discovered, purchased, learned, or taken from others.
- Components: An item's building blocks, composed from basic salvaged materials.
- Skills: The required technical skills to manufacture an item.
- Station: Manufacturing stations for each item's specific fabrication requirements.
Once all the requirements are lined up and met, players can manufacture any item that exists within the game. The “manufacturing process” continues in real-time even if the player behind the manufacturing direction is offline, reducing the in-game delays for casual players.
Manufacturing will award the creator with experience points, the value as determined by the complexity and originality of goods produced. Experience will decline by half-steps if an “original creation” is replicated in the future.
There will be many ways to get blueprint “schematics” in the Apokalypsos™ world. Learning a Schematic directly from other specialized manufacturers is possible, as is encountering or salvaging them from the wastelands. Inspecting and “reverse engineering” functional or near-functional items may also create Schematics. While laymen Manufacturers will be able to teach basic design principles and examples, more advanced items will be closely guarded, requiring players to discover, purchase, complete missions, or delicately reverse and inspect existing and complete designs.
Each time players manufacture a unique item, they have an increasing possibility of memorizing the design Schematic. Once learned, the Schematic will allow for “limited edition runs” of the design from memory alone (though large and varied quantities of salvaged materials may be required to create such gear).
Manufacturers will be able to upgrade Schematics, memorized or not. Enhancements will require additional and often extremely precious materials, along with, at times, “extra” Schematic requirements. This means that an M4A1 carbine Schematic can be upgraded to a SOPMOD M4 Accurized edition of lighter weight and a slightly increased rate of fire or reloading speed. Upgrades and enhancements will be item-specific.
Functional and operational looted items will be a rarity – the Apokalypsos™ world is a harsh environment. Broken items may be repaired and/or enhanced, and certain functional items may be worth reverse engineering to obtain a chance for a Schematic result. Once a Schematic is acquired, Manufacturers can create multiple or enhanced editions, depending – of course – on the skill of the chosen fabrication specialist.
Repairing a broken item will require a replacement parts, usually in the form of salvaged raw materials – iron ore, a barrel, etc. Additionally, the requisite level of skill in the item class or type will be required of a given Manufacturer. The more times an item is repaired – especially by novice craftsmen – the more likely it will be to fail more quickly, possibly beyond “repair” into “broken” status.
Reverse engineering is the art of disassembling and appreciating the construct principles of a given article or item. The first step is condensed into “breaking” the functional or semi-functional item, reducing it to core components. Reverse engineering (RE) an item can result in a Schematic – or simply a broken item that cannot be rebuilt by the failed Manufacturer. Several attempts may be required to successfully produce a Schematic from a given item, with the ratio hinging on the skill levels of the Manufacturer and the complexity of the functional device. Because even failure to produce a Schematic may still impart knowledge for future endeavors, a “partial Schematic” is likely to be awarded the Manufacturer even in cases of near-total failure.
Apokalypsos™ utilizes an open pool of skills independent of class or profession, allowing for richly varied and customizable character growth. Manufacturing and salvaging are only as synonymous as a player wants them to be, though each requires skill points (SP) expended for rank enhancements. Should a player choose to concentrate their character’s efforts solely on one or the other, they may do so – cooperation with experts in various fields will produce community interdependence to a fair degree. Training both skills is recommended for “hard core” Manufacturers, but a clan mate or other friend can make up for the difference – if they’re available!
Manufacturing skills have a specific branching skill set within the general pool of available training. Any character – even a meathead “tank” – can choose to invest in Manufacturing skills. As with all other skills, points are required for advancement, and these can come from “experience” levels, missions rewards, completion of (massive) amounts of fabrication in a given skill area, etc.
Manufacturing specialists who wish to repair or create complex gear, weapons, healing kits, or vehicles are likely to require at least moderate training in more than one set of general interests, such as welding, electronics, or metallurgy.
In addition, the Apokalypsos™ manufacturing system counters tedium by continuing the fabrication process in real-time, even if the Manufacturer is called away by that most dangerous of NPCs… real life! A queue of orders and processes can be established in advance, allowing for the production of several items without twiddling of thumbs. Assistants – NPCs or other player’s expert Manufacturing characters – can expedite fabrication and assembly as well.
Quality, as everyone knows, often comes at a price of time. The likelihood of certain outcomes may be adjusted by players who are willing to spend the extra time – and possibly resources – to “get it right” with a higher degree of success or more desirable enhancements and modifications. The same applies to reverse engineering and “dice rolls” for successful creation of Schematics.
Yes, each manufactured item will display the name of the Manufacturer, and cannot be easily removed or altered by the end user of the device or item. This provides a marketing opportunity for masters of a given craft… when player characters compare their weapons and equipment, the “trademark” stamp will let spectators know who to contact in discussing a commissioned piece.
Salvaging is an essential activity, and its importance is evident by skills related to the toil of scavenging and longer-term extraction efforts. Basic material and components can be found throughout the wasteland, some readily visible to be plucked from the ground, others less so. Player characters will able to salvage a staggering variety of raw materials and components from isolated junkyards, garbage bins, abandoned vehicles, ruined structures, and more. Placing skill points into salvage-related skills will not only increase likelihood of finding more scrap material and broken items, characters can also expect to discover Schematics, more functional loot, and even “mother lodes” requiring concerted extraction efforts (a “capable” oil well, for example).
Damn straight. Vehicles will be among the most prized possession of any Apokalypsos™ character, and the manufacture of a rolling chassis is an extremely high-level skill requiring strong ranks in a variety of related categories. Attaining the final skills for vehicle construction may require a “higher order” specialized degree, with an end result that is worth the work – entirely custom vehicles. Creating even a single, relatively “simple” vehicle will require tremendous amounts of salvaged materials, time, and expenditure of currency and patience. But those who roll out in a design of their own manufacture – or who paid an exorbitant price to purchase same – will be the elite pinnacle of the Manufacturing skill set.
Common items such as consumable healing kits and hand-loaded ammunition will not require advanced fabrication equipment or rented stations. Skill ranks, raw materials or components, and a complete Schematic will be the only requirements, and such items can be Manufactured in any safe and quiet area throughout the Apokalypsos™ wastelands. But lest one think such items are trivial, note that high-grade ammunition may carry enhancement bonuses to rate of fire, accuracy, penetration, and elite grades may offer additional damage via hollow point or explosive designs. Likewise, elite medical provisions will impart a regeneration or immediate hitpoint recovery bonus beyond “vendor” equivalents.
The balance is a delicate one, and Apokalypsos™ has devoted thousands of hours in pre-production and design working out the details. Obviously “simulator real” is not the end goal, nor do we wish to introduce real-world dreariness (login, do the laundry) to a game world.
As a rule, the “real” mantra primarily dictates the story line, mission arcs, AI behaviors, physics, weaponry, alliances, and combat equations. Less so the bathing, idle time, chores, and etc. In the end, the Apokalypsos™ team wants a player to be able to “suspend disbelief” and aside from sitting in a room while staring at a screen and handling a keyboard or control pad, feel that the game does not violate realistic expectations thereafter. FPS versus vehicles? In many games, a tank is capable of destroying villages worth of NPCs – in Apokalypsos™ the panzer king will do well to watch his six against clever FPS-mode PvP opponents.
No, swimming, running and jumping will cause fatigue after a period of time. Your base stats will determine how long you can perform these acts, but a player will never achieve an absolute ability to run or jump non-stop. This is a necessary reality check, and allows for an interaction and repercussion model whereby certain actions – e.g. running to fatigue, then seeking to aim carefully at an opponent – will require advance trade-off thought from the players… harder to hold that scope steady if your breathing is ragged and your hands are shaking!
Yes, weight is a limiting factor in equipping and transporting gear, including salvage ops. Certain vehicles will greatly assist in mining or resource acquisition modes, just as they do in the real world. Similarly, strength will assist in transporting “more of the same” and there may even be skills – such as “packrat” that aid the player character by balancing and organizing rucksacks and cargoes to limit the perceived mass of the load.
Mature content is a common real-world event, and obscenities and nudity are more likely to be heard and seen in a world of diminished or altered taboos, grim situations, and unsanitary conditions. Wholly gratuitous “MA” content is not a priority of the Apokalypsos™ team, but consider the following as potential…
- Offensive Verbal or Bodily Expression: Crude and/or offensive language. “Emotes” that let your target know just how you feel. “Mature” – or is it “immature” – demonstrations of bodily functions or symbols.
- Violence: Graphic depiction of the use and effect of weapons. Mutilation of corpses. Blood and gore. Allusions or depictions of torture or other violent acts toward animals or humans.
- Sex: Nudity or innuendo. The so-called “sexual situations” – though overt graphic displays of sex or intercourse is not on the menu.
- Alcohol and Drugs: References and/or depictions of drug and alcohol use, abuse, including realistic paraphernalia and delivery methods.
A channeled chat system will be in available for all players. Text conversations will be presented through an interface not unlike HAM radio or text messaging of today, depending on player gear. Proximity, channel, and other options will allow players to choose what to hear and what not to hear, from soundtracks to their clan, faction, “friendlies in the area” and it is extremely likely that “hacking” of some channels – perhaps garbled real-time text, perhaps flickers of map locations - will be a potential “skill” option… though one-to-one or voice communications will not be possible to intercept for reasons of real-world privacy.
Auction Halls, junk lots, and assorted other vendor-related communities and outposts will be an integral part of the player-based economy. Salvagers and Manufacturers can sell wares using an advanced “storefront” or clan-vendor system, helping shape their factional economies. Mail services will be unreliable, of course, with the potential to roll the dice on sending materials or notes to (in varying degrees of “chance of loss”) self, clan, faction, neutral, enemy. Certain restrictions may apply, as in the case of specially-awarded gear or crafted items.
Apokalypsos will feature The Apex System, a classless attributes & skills system that mimics realistic advancement and abilities.
Base Attributes: each character will include the following:
Agility: Coordination and the ability to move faster. Modifies primarily Speed, Driving and Melee Damage. Also, if you meet the minimum Agility requirements of your armor you do not suffer Resistance penalties with that armor.
Perception: Perception is the primary ability of awareness and sharpshooting. Perception modifies Ranged Damage, Stealth and Scavenging. Perception level limits which skills a player can learn.
Endurance: A measure of how resilient a character is. Modifies primarily Hit Points, Resistances & Stamina. Improves Melee & Ranged Damage.
Charisma: A combination of appearance and charm. Modifies primarily Bartering and NPC interaction. Limits acquiring missions and skills. Adds Faction points.
Intelligence: Learning and deduction ability. Intelligence modifies XP gain, Medical and Engineer skills. Establishes limits on all skills, along with Perception.
Strength: Strength is primarily relevant to three game mechanics: Carry Weight, Melee Damage and Weapon Handling. Also, if you meet the minimum Strength requirements of your weapon you do not suffer Accuracy penalties with that weapon.
Derived Stats: Stats will be derived from the Base Attributes into hidden and visible sets. These sets will determine how well your character can handle weapons, items, vehicles and skills.
Players will be free to select their skills from a broad skill tree. There are no class restrictions, though there are "trees" for certain related or “built upon” abilities – for example, it makes sense that a player character be somewhat skilled in “driving” before they can train a “higher” skill such as “stuntman” or the like.
Experience and mission rewards will contribute to the pool of available Skill Points as player characters evolve and become veterans of wasteland survival and warfare.
The general skill set will branch along common parallels including skills related primarily to Combat, Salvage, Manufacture, Healing, Stealth, etc.
Certain skills will be available only to certain privileged specialist who declare a “profession” or to members of certain expert assemblies. A small number of skills will be unique to each faction – however, most if not all “necessary” skills will be open to casual gamers and neutral parties, allowing for fulfilling game experiences for all players.
Factional skills or those affiliated or rewarded by select groups or extensive mission arcs. For the truly insane, “epic” skills may be made available – though again, there will not be “iWin” button-smashing skills at any level… the majority of high-tier skills are passive and unrelated directly to combat or offense.
Players will be able to mix and match as they see fit, and thus creating "specialized" characters is quite possible. However, focusing excessively in one area will greatly reduce the capability of the character in other areas.
The general skill set will include dozens of branching or “one level up” base skills, examples being Salvaging, Manufacturing, Healing, Combat and so on. The full listing is unavailable for a variety of reasons, among this being the desire to create a complete and varied, but not overwhelming, set of skills, none of which are “useless” to most or all players of the game – and equally, none of which will be mandatory for basic competition or survival.
A limited option to "retrain" some or all skills will be available, but the process will be neither simple nor quick. The process will be expensive not in currency, but in time and trade-offs. For example, shuffling one's skills excessively may cause the loss of "beyond the pool" skill points (such as mission rewards that offer a permanent level increase) during the retraining process.
Just as one does not “forget” how to be a surgeon and “learn” to become a counter-sniper in ten minutes, player characters will work hard to learn their skills and harder to forget or divert their focus in one branch to pursue another.
Yes. Each major faction will have several primary sub-categories, and joining one will allow players to specialize to the highest levels of achievement in their chosen profession. Again, higher-end skills are not necessarily “uber” and opening them as a player, while generally quite rewarding in resource acquisition, combat, fabrication, or the like, is also a chance for titles and status. Physicians can be extremely capable with a rifle, snipers can theoretically hold advanced degrees in metallurgy, etc.
An example – selecting the advanced grade of manufacturing may open a set of “professional” level skills; bridge-building, or political management of public works. In addition, it is likely that the handful of truly elite weapons and vehicles will require an advanced degree and heavy experience in the field for a player to construct elite items from Schematics.
Each faction will have several “professions” albeit with faction-specific naming conventions and possibly a skill plus or minus unique to the faction.
Each individual skill will have several levels of advancement, ten in all. Each advancement level can be achieved by "spending" a Skill Point. The more points in a given skill, the more efficient it will be when used by the player. For example, a "salvage" skill trained to level 3 will be more productive than a level 1 rank, resulting in faster and larger gains in the recovery of salvaged materials.
Literally hundreds of skills in total are being refined into logical groups to present the widest array of options without making “builds” an exercise in frustration for casual gamers or opening the door to “uber” characters for number-crunching fanatics. If this has successfully dodged the question, excellent!
For the FPS mode, there will be up to five "ready" holsters and slots for weapon arrangements. Two areas will be available for smaller, one-handed weapons such as pistols. There will also be a mount point for explosives, close quarters combat, or edged weapons. Larger weapons will also be given two “slots” though certain bulky or extremely large weapons may occupy both slots – grenade launchers or heavy machine guns being candidates for a two-slot weapon.
Players can cycle through these “ready” weapons quickly via hotkeys or a GUI interface, and various factors will influence the rate of swapping weapons. This applies further to weapons stowed in the player’s inventory pack – it will take a few moments to exchange or equip an item from non “ready” cargo. Choose a load-out will require players to think tactically and, for best results, consider likely scenarios in advance to be prepared with efficient weapons-cycling.
Vehicle weapons’ payload is determined by vehicle grade, size, seating capacity, and general model (motorcycle, sedan, transport, etc). Generally, vehicles will include a front ramming device, one or more front-facing stationary hardpoint mounts for projectiles, a swiveling or wide-angle top mount, and a rear fixed weapon that may accept mine-laying equipment and similar weapons.
No. However, with the “tree” system, more points in total must be spent to “reach” certain skills, which is the running theory behind specializations. As a result, large numbers of “powerful” skills, combat and otherwise, will be difficult if not impossible to achieve due to point allocation, even for seasoned veterans.
Reality. All players will begin with similar equipment, skills, and skill points to expend. Apokalypsos™ is not intended as a one-week wonder, and the skill points required to become truly fearsome will require months of gameplay – even with focus on skill-point acquisition. However, while “veterans” may acquire the majority of the general skill tree with hard work, most higher-tier skills will not tip the balance of combat. Successful players will need to do far more than train a number of “headshot!” skills to compete. A combination of tactics, cooperation, reflexes, skills, and gear, including weapons, armor, and vehicles will be required to win the day. Even a "maxed" player must maintain constant vigilance, and can be swiftly destroyed by groups of determined “newbies” with substandard equipment and far fewer skill points.
Stealth and detection will be important factors when roaming the wasteland. Perception, gear, skills and stances can determine how closely you can approach an enemy without getting detected. There will be no “invisibility” skills or anything else outside the bounds of present-day or near-future technological realities.
Realistic gear such as ghillie suits will be available for the devoted sniper, as will be manufactured or carefully repaired long-range rifles, hand-loaded ammunition, and a variety of optics ranging to extraordinarily rare high-magnification scope, night vision, thermal, and other potential for the true master marksman. .
Ginormous! Seems that spellchecker dislikes that. Extremely large! Millions of square miles, extending from Southern Canada through the entire (remnants of the) United States, and Northern Mexico.
No, not entirely. There will be certain “instances” to control the number of players grouped into squads for certain missions, and for performance reasons, sections of the map will likely have a “loading” transition at visible boundaries. Major sections of the overall map will be interconnected with a “supercorridor” highway system helpfully constructed by the US government prior to its decline and near collapse. These dangerous and run-down high-tech thoroughfares will allow for high-speed transportation for players in a hurry to reach various sections of the game world.
All the Apokalypsos™ maps are based on real topographical survey data and thus represent entirely real locations in North America. Of course, the decay of time and ravaging storms, massive seismic activity, and a limited nuclear exchange will require extensive hand-crafted and modeled changes to the current landscape and population centers of today...
Player characters gain reputations and influence as they complete missions and gain experience and skills – and, of course, flashy gear and eventually, vehicles. Veteran players will be likely to swear allegiance to one of the three warring factions, with further specializations and allegiances to splinter or elite groups within the factions themselves. All of these, combined with various skill choices, will contribute to a player’s influence, exchange rate, and more within towns and outposts.
The meek did not, sadly, inherit the earth. While hostility of NPC humans and wildlife will vary based on character skills, reputation, faction, and locations, the wastelands are hardly friendly. Give no quarter, expect no quarter – the mantra of those who live to see gray hair.
Artificial Intelligence will be as realistic as possible. This means it is highly probable that certain NPCs will not be content to mill about their spawn point. Unpredictable, nomadic, and fierce, AI hordes are known to do all manner of zany things… such as attempting to overrun towns in their quest for resources, mobbing player characters to beg for food or other assistance, attack (wildlife) with a hunger for human flesh… prepare for the unexpected!
Supercorridors and lesser highways are the mainstay of swift travel in the wastes. Everyone knows that! The problem is, everyone knows that. While faster, due to higher traffic, such routes are especially prone to ambush, sabotage, and PvP encounters. Acquiring a sturdy vehicle with a powerful engine and some fearsome-looking guns should ease the journey for characters with a serous desire to move rapidly across the landscape.
A moderately realistic weather pattern will run Apokalypsos™ in 8-hour day-night cycles, with advantages and disadvantages to combat depending on conditions, including darkness. NPCs and loot tables may also change as nocturnal beasties emerge and others curl up in their lairs. In addition to wind, precipitation, and other “normal” systems, players of Apokalypsos™ should recognize and prepare for inevitable continuation of the earth’s turmoil… natural disasters on smaller scale, such as localized tornadoes and earthquakes, may cause damage to towns, roads, railways, clan halls, and more. And obviously, there are the category five hurricanes that whip through from time to time – no fun to ride out for characters caught without warning in a pup tent, but their winds and eroding rainfall may just uncover unique and special items of all kinds…
Revisiting instanced zones can always yield new salvage opportunities, either via destruction of fortifications, seizure of farms, small villages, or in tribute paid by vanquished tribes. There will be no shortage of reasons and incentives to explore deeper, and repetitively – what may not have been exposed or discovered the first time around…
As for larger zones, the Apokalypsos™ map is not an entirely unrealistic sequence of “each load screen means a harder level” – due to truce or isolation, low-tech and “easy kill” NPCs may very well cohabitate or live nearby extremely dangerous creatures, bandits, or entire colonies.
An extremely precise coordinate-based navigation and mapping system will be available to assist players in their exploration of their world. While visited areas will “fill in” additional details in a radius around the player, it is also quite common to discover or purchase maps of various quality – some may be dated or hand-drawn – leading to everything from rumored troves of pre-collapse resources to some of the meanest critters and bosses or gangs in the Apokalypsos™ world.
Player characters begin the game as survivors inhabiting a neutral refugee camp in the upper Midwest of the United States. Once players find Camp Zero – assisted by introductory missions – they will find themselves in relative safety, but extremely unpleasant squalor. As soon as they learn a few basic skills, most put one foot in front of the other to get the hell away from the stench, unsavory NPCs, and rampant disease.
Camp Zero is the largest operational refugee camp known to have survived the long winter. While secured and lightly policed by the remaining SOS forces and stocked with a meager ration of supplies, it is in constant danger of being wholly upended by gangs, drugs, epidemics, and a number of other unpleasant alternatives.
The SOS is an international humanitarian aid group that found its largest original contributors were eventually its largest recipients of manpower. While it is quite possible SOS forces are concentrated into camps dotted around the world, most have fallen out of contact for a variety of reasons, and it is presumed many have been forced out of their stated purpose into basic survival – just like the rest of the world.
The storyline is global, but primary emphasis revolves around events within the “map” – isolationism, destruction and wars elsewhere, and spotty media and communications in later years made for increasingly localized events and friction. As new players will come to realize, each of the three factions has a quite different perspective on shared events, and a richly-detailed faction-specific history, culture, and unique ceremonies, political structures, and priorities. While all seek to first survive, expansion of influence and the conquest of abandoned territories is typically on the agenda. NPCs for each of the three primary cultures will offer a vast array of faction-specific information, missions, history, and viewpoints on the state of current affairs.
Indeed. The “global” timeline, while at times stretching to create a “realistic but unlikely” world interestingly dissimilar from our own, has been heavily-researched and professionally composed by a number of talented futurists, technology experts, climatologists, journalists, bullfighters, and Nobel prize-winning authors. Please understand that for reasons of full disclosure, we should note that “zero” is considered “a number” when convenient for Apokalypsos™ purposes, as it is here.
You bet – Apokalypsos™ is a dynamic, evolving world, and aside from the usual reboots, crashes, and downtime, there will be a large number of pre-configured server events and “timeline specific expansions” as the game matures. Remember, player actions will impact their surroundings.
All members of factions will share a common set of skills, but a select few will be unique to the faction. These skills are not necessarily combat-only.
Not necessarily. As is typical of Apokalypsos™, in keeping with the factional storyline and genesis, one faction may be naturally more gifted at skills such as accuracy, running, or have a slightly larger radius of potential detection of resources, enemies, etc. A primary goal of the game is to ensure that “balance” is confined to shared skill tweaking, and it is unlikely the faction-specific skills would be considered “uber” even if they are similar in effect with different names.
The factions in Apokalypsos™ will not be identical. Each faction has evolved over a period of several decades spent in geographically distant locales, and as befits the situation, each has completely unique culture, look, dress, and attitude. When a “neutral” player character swear allegiance to a specific faction, their transformation and initiation – not an immediate process, it involves what may amount to days or weeks of missions and actions – will be distinctly evident in their visual appearance and possibly even their “eyesight” perspective of their world.
Apokalypsos™ will feature many factions and common-bond inhabitants throughout the wastelands, but there are no immediate plans for additional player options in terms of factional affiliation. However, as the game evolves in both ongoing story development and post-release mechanization (no peeking!) the possibility exists. In addition, belonging to a faction does not preclude the possibility of forming alliances, trade relations, and other agreements among players and certain sub-factional NPC groups.
Does the Pope… err, yes! In the spirit of the Americas today, religious tolerance and variety will remain intact – even if the religions themselves are strongly influenced and modified by the events of the recent past. Each faction will have a dominant, unique religious or spiritual component, which players can choose to engage – or disown.
After all, the concept of a benevolent deity has taken something of a beating as both the earth and its greatest civilizations crumbled with no sign of divine intervention… or perhaps the hand of god can be seen in the crumbling itself, a judgment on man’s arrogance and failure to carefully tend His creation?
Ack! Best not to get into such discussions without weapons near to hand.
Informally? Yes. Formally? Possibly. Factional religious establishments will be eager to supply players with missions and requests, and true champions of the faith may be invited to take a ceremonial title. Whether this imparts a unique skill, or merely a titular extension, remains to be seen.
Define government again? In Apokalypsos™ a centralized government is impossible to manage given the current situation. However, each faction will have complex and wholly unique political structures, power struggles, and dissenting voices. In fact, players should be mentally prepared to handle a large and delicate array of missions sequences involving sensitive missions, urgent messages, and most of all, game-altering decisions their characters grow in power and experience.
Once a player joins a faction, there will be a series of mission arcs that will allow for gaining ranks and status, with higher tiers being open roughly analogous to “bureau-level” stations. However, given the fractious and fickle nature of an active constituency, retaining a post will require an ongoing and demanding attention to requests, bribes, allegiance, and random events. As a final and critically important test of leadership, “votes” will be assessed regularly based on the player’s standing among leader boards in various areas, from PvP to the management of large-scale construction projects and game-influencing resource extraction strategies.
Each new player’s character will begin the game with a noxious, battered tent within the bowels of Camp Zero. Players can find more attractive accommodation over time, purchasing or commissioning the construction of an outlying villa, grabbing a pad in their favorite town, and/or bunking in clan, religious, or political chambers. Income, associations, and achievements will be primary forces dictating housing for veteran players.
To gain access to a private or community-shared residence beyond the unsecured tents in Camp Zero, and presuming you own or are entitled to enter, interacting with the doorway will spawn a potentially-shared instance. Once inside, players will be given options to do some household decorating – at a price, naturally.
Practical installations can include working with public services to obtain Manufacturing equipment or facilities, and to keep the walls lively, decorative amenities will be available… old-world posters and hunting trophies are perennial favorites. It may even be possible to upload images from a player’s local machine to the server, giving a personal flair to the residence.
This is Apokalypsos™ we’re talking about – what do you think? Not much point in having a pad if you can’t grab some friends and have an air guitar shin-dig!
Yes, single-occupant homes and clan structures among other arrangements will allow players to safely stow numerous possessions.
Loads. Apokalypsos™ represents an era of pre-collapse technologies and items combined with new or hybrid vehicles. From motorcycles to SUVs, muscle cars to pickups, tractors to tanks, every car manufacturer that seems unlikely to file a lawsuit is up for representation.
Yes. Certain vehicles or model types may require additional Skill Point expenditures to achieve reasonable navigation, handling, and etc. However, aside from the skill requirements, player characters are encouraged to acquire and drive as many vehicles as they can afford.
No, players will not be able to fly. On the other hand, deployable drones or RC aviation models may be available as controlled reconnaissance, vanity, or even limited-use combat items.
Indeed – certain “custom” rides will exist for each faction, and will be restricted by biometric data to a given player or faction. Obtaining such a vehicle will require an exceptional expenditure of time and dedication.
As soon as they can afford one!
As soon as they obtain a functional vehicle. While driving skills are of great assistance, particularly in high-end PvP, roaming about in a sedan will not require a significant number of skill point allocation to be both enjoyable and effective enough for general purposes.
Most vehicles will provide storage, with limitations set by realistic expectations of cargo yields, which may be reduced if encroached upon by certain weapons, accessories, or extensive fuel and ammunition reserves.
Argh matey, hell no!
While it is unlikely “piloting” will be an option, the few remaining rail and bus lines offering public transportation can assist the vehicle-challenged and newer players with long distance, rapid public transportation. Though as for safety, one might do just as well to hike – rail cars in particular are favorite targets for destructive NPCs or ambitious PvP-minded player squads.
“Spawning” is a less predictable affair than the usual insta-pop, fixed location, timer-based spawning of NPCs and mobs in most games. NPCs will emerge from logical locations, such as homes, caves, towns, and so forth. Non-human NPCs will follow similar basics of realism, emerging from a den or even being given birth to by surviving adults.
There will be many options for the storage of inventory and goods, including FPS backpacks, vehicle cargo bays, domiciles, clan storage facilities, banks, etc. Access and amount of storage at a given time will be determined by the player character’s location, mode (FPS, vehicle), and other modifiable or upgrade-possible influences such as type of pack, vehicle model, a packing Skill, and more.
If it’s likely to exist, the Apokalypsos™ team is unafraid to include it. Brothels – some of them rather unappetizing – whorehouses, rowdy bars, low-light, smoky casinos – if it’s a vice, expect to find it, if you want or are required to for mission purposes. As a realistic game, while graphical representation of sexual acts or drug use may not be a focus, the potential to abuse your character as one might in the real world will not be denied – though as in the real world, adverse affects may express themselves…
Triggered sounds and a musical score will be an integrated, highly immersive aspect to the game. From the crack of a rifle to the growing rumble of advancing enemy patrol vehicles, to the ambiance of what’s left of a natural world, again, reality is key. As a “fun factor” element, an energetic musical score with factional or location-relevant melodies is being produced by sound engineers and artists. Players may even find that “old favorites” might be hoarsely sung by lonely NPCs, who have only memory and “life is hard” inspirations to update familiar songs.
A full day in Apokalypsos™ will be 8 real-world hours. This will allow for tactical planning by players who may wish to use the cover and advantages of night, or travel and explore by day, to full advantage without permanently locking “fixed play time” or time zones into the same cycle as the real world.
Apokalypsos™ features real-world topography using the most complete GPS data available. Even minor details and landforms are rendered faithfully, with “unusual” land features and human constructs modeled separately. Nothing will be spared to ensure that highways, cities, deserts, and more resemble today’s world… though again, the actions, events, wars, and weather systems over decades of low-maintenance and high destruction will make most “real” areas wear the charred mask and broken features of a post-apocalyptic landscape.
For general purposes, the storyline, NPCs, and text will be delivered in the language chosen by the player. However, the wastelands are home to many groups of diverse cultures and ancestry – and many “scraping by” NPC camps and individuals put bread before education. As a result, while communication is intended to be possible, a variety of factors will contribute to the ease and fluency of conversation. And of course, quite a few of the grouchier residents may not bother to speak with you beyond a grunt of warning.
Prices will be driven by realistic market-side supply and demand principles, so a shortage or surplus of goods is likely to affect pricing and availability drastically. Certain NPC vendors will have strong trade partnerships, but none will be automatically recharged with an endless supply of good and services. Just like player characters, NPCs can and will run out of inventory for varying periods of time.
Obviously, players can seek to charge or disrupt markets with floods or hoarding of goods if their station and power allows, and some may patiently await higher exchange rates or demand (prices) to loosen their personal surplus. In short, the economy will be primarily, but not entirely, player-driven.
Clan formation and support will be a major feature in Apokalypsos™, allowing clan founders and members to expand, establish a visible presence and, for role-players, publish or otherwise make known their core tenets and rules.
While clans will offer a number of benefits and game-enriching functions and opportunities, a core presumption is that clans will be self-selected groups of like-minded characters offering mutual support, protection, resource-sharing, and more. Great or small, clans are more likely to compete in PvP situations with rivals, whether for resources, NPC dominion, regional control, and in a defensive manner, the guarding of clan halls and facilities… which can be destroyed by a determined and ruthless group of rivals or marauding NPC caravans and rogues.
Many mechanisms in the game will be tailored to efficient or maximized use to clans and other chosen societal affiliations; however, from the perspective of gameplay, missions, and overall enjoyment of the Apokalypsos™ world, a “lone wolf” player will not be crippled by their decision to go it alone.
A player character can only swear allegiance to a single clan at any given time, and entrance and exit contracts, rituals, or required missions will dissuade “clan-hopping” without significant forethought. Clans are also, of course, specific to a given faction, to a Rebel and Reformer will never share a friendly meal in the clan hall. That said, even factions are a choice, and while the road to defection is neither simple nor assured in its success, player characters are allowed to push the envelope of game structure.
Clans will be uniquely named, and larger clans will likely have both the resources and time to create spheres of influence and semi-permanent (they must be protected) clan halls and fortresses with outlying buildings, retaining walls, garages, Manufacturing equipment, and more. Manufacturers belonging to a clan may be able to create visually-unique “clan gear” to include entirely customized symbols and colors. While this is to date an open matter, the concept of player-supplied graphics is a definite prospect in Apokalypsos™ and clan symbols represent a clear outlet for such technologies.
Forming a clan is as simple as a strong leader – mentally, there are no gameplay restrictions – announcing his or her desire to form a clan, at which point it may be required of the leader and/or a clan squad to complete a variety of requirements or missions. Once a parcel of land has been acquired for the clan hall and expansion over time into other facilities, the number of active clan members will be important in defraying the costs of protection, maintenance costs, and initial outlay for garages, Manufacturing facilities, one-player housing chambers, additional storage, etc will require an escrow account with a guarantor (bank) paying weekly or monthly “use” fees.
In summary, the creation of a clan is simple. Creating a feared and respected, active and cohesive clan is the rub – leadership and participation in clans can be difficult, and retaliation or defense of everything the players have struggled mightily to create among the ruins can be downright deadly!
Apokalypsos™ will support two modes of travel and exploration, in and out of towns and instances – FPS (first person shooter, on foot) and vehicle-mounted..
FPS mode will utilize the WASD keyboard style of movement familiar to most gamers, with full keyboard-mapping options for those who wish to customize their experiences with alternative key layouts or non-keyboard input devices aside from mice. The FPS mode will offer a variety of camera options as well as three game-influencing “stances” as well as leaning to the side and temporary run/sprint modes. Vehicle-based operation will at its most basic involve a similar 4-way input, with a large variety of special movements and stunts potentially involving additional keys or combination thereof; offensive (guns!) capabilities will be controlled in default mapping via mouse, with “hot keys” for certain skills or skill-based operations, such as rolling repairs or position (seat) swapping among player characters.
Damned well better be. Ignoring “gaming” keyboards, software-based mapping will be an integrated feature of Apokalypsos™ with the ability to “chain” or macro certain commonly repeated, successive movements or operations (for example, a hotkey assignation might “draw weapon” + “reload”).
Community modification and “skins” will be an option as the game releases into beta and beyond. Individual players will have the ability to drag and resize windows, displays, font sizes and colors, and so forth. Players with moderate user interface (UI) and language experience will further be able to locally edit certain “open” format-related files to develop skins that may be submitted to developers and, if approved, made public for the community to download and implement.
Run lock will be possible, though it should be noted that as fatigue is a combat-influencing factor, this may not be wise to abuse. Auto-targeting (swiveling guns or the player character towards a firing opponent) may be offered as a upgrade or skill, but only inasmuch as it initially directs a player character in the general direction of incoming fire. Automatic target “tracking” is not an option – active input-based aiming and firing will be required.
Extensive chat channels based on keyed input will be offered, formatted and delivered in ways one would expect of a post-apocalyptic world. It may be possible to upgrade player communications by locating higher technologies along special missions or via experimental Manufacture…
Voice-based communications may be integrated into Apokalypsos™ but given the popularity and relatively low costs of third-party technologies, it is likely these options will remain in the hands of players, and technically “outside” the game.
Apokalypsos™ will have a highly-customizable user interface, including several options for text-based chat presentation, channel selection, transparency, and etc.
Apokalypsos™ is designed to function in both “windowed” and full-screen modes, and these modes and resolutions thereof can be changed by players.
Trick question! Nothing worthy of mention.
Adding a second monitor (that displays different information than the primary game screen) may be possible. It is unlikely that an “expanded horizon” is made available for reasons of keeping the game experience fair for all… however, chat layering, maps, inventory, and other non-combat information may be allowed to go “off-page” in order to reduce clutter and let those players with multiple monitor video support fully enjoy the “eyesight” visuals with less distraction.
The Apokalypsos™ commitment to “reality” is constantly tested against “fun” and playability in addition to user feedback. While it is unrealistic, it is likely that identification – of names and more – be offered at player toggle discretion. However, note that it is quite possible “how much” one can tell about another player or NPC is contingent on trainable skills or attributes such as Awareness…
Players are, obviously, individuals – and their characters, accouterments, and vehicles should be no different in a truly immersive game experience. Apokalypsos™ provides a vast array of customization options, with millions of permutations to characters and accessories. As unique as the people playing it – that is the future of gaming in the wastelands.
We have utterly no idea. While facial morphing is being considered, implementation is contingent on the network layer and emerging technologies in consideration of bandwidth and packet passing. Technical hurdles notwithstanding, the local technologies exist and can be expanded infinitely – provided an excess of the two most exciting elements of game design, time and money.
Beginning with a choice of character name, a high degree of customization will be offered in terms of avatars, weapons, gear, clothing, and vehicles.
Yes, weapons will be visible on player characters in both first and third-person points of view, and inventory design may allow for visibility of “equipped” items even when holstered or otherwise stowed.
We will have the obligatory list of disallowed names, covering as most MMOs are wont to do, NPC, GM, Developer, and otherwise unavailable trade names and items under copyright – and, of course, racial slurs and other items that may cause friction beyond the confines of a fantastical environment. Otherwise, players are entirely free to choose a name that suits their personality and play style – bring on the p0wnz3er_98s!
In the wastelands, choice is all. It is the opinion of Apokalypsos™ staff that deliberately offensive, random, l33t, and other such variations will in fact assist other players in choosing comrades for fire squads and other groups such as clans.
First come, first serve. Or server, as case may be. Given the structure of the Apokalypsos™ character system, it is likely that most players will have a single character name, not a dozen or more as is common among certain MMOs. This should reduce the “camping” and unavailability of more popular names.
Currently, the Apokalypsos™ team is aggressively recruiting volunteers for all aspects of development and design. Some of this is practical – more hands, more work accomplished in less time… there is also, however, a sincere desire to make Apokalypsos™ unique in its development cycle, offering both casual and veteran MMO players the opportunity to provide ideas, feedback, and insight throughout the entire process, paper concept to polished engine. If you want to influence a game, this is your chance! Head to our user forums and speak up!
Upon launch, Apokalypsos™ is geared towards an active community, with player-led events and ideas steering further releases. Moderation within the game's political and social structure will also fall when possible to proven “game” leaders, as these pyramids satisfy a vital role in the “realistic” building or further destruction of the virtual Apokalypsos™ world!
Yes, localization has been addressed throughout the design process, and was in mind from the earliest stages. The Apokalypsos™ development team spans continents, and this alone serves as constant reminder to construct data elements in such a way so as to make interchange of database text and graphical elements a basic process.
Apokalypsos derives from the Latin apocalypsis, which means "unveiling" or "revealing" – alongside, obviously, the generally understood meaning of cataclysmic destruction. The game conveys hinges on these central themes from all the meanings above:
- Apocalypse: the destruction of modern civilization.
- Revelation: a realistic portrayal – environmentally – of what may indeed be a possible sequence of events, not terribly exaggerated, should civilization and industry continue as we have for several centuries.
- Deterioration: the decay and collapse of current social and modern values, whether cause or effect of the former concepts.With a collapse of infrastructure comes rapidly a lack of “book learning” and thus the misspelling of Apokalypsos™ seemed fitting. For general purposes, it is not uncommon for developers and fans to abbreviate the game to Apok.
It is unlikely that Apokalypsos™ will go beyond current MMO payment models, though several forms of revenue stream have been discussed to date.
Apokalypsos™ will feature a completely original soundtrack that will round out the immersive experience for most players. However, integrated streaming or local-client juke widgets are considered.
To cover our arses! Next question!
The SOS is a combined force of humanitarian organizations that was assembled by international decree to centralize responses to natural and man-made disasters.
Any number of ways…
- Join our forum and share your ideas and suggestions.
- Post or send us samples of your work portfolio – we’d gladly welcome assistance in many areas of the development process.
- Spread the word about Apokalypsos™ – tell your friends, family, talented developers, and anyone you know who is eager to promote or work on an independent, unique vision!
- Donate funds towards the development and maintenance of the project.