One of the most original games I saw at E3 this year was Stubbs the Zombie
from Wideload games. Wideload games was founded by a group of
ex-Bungine employees so it wasn't too much of a surprise to see that
the game was using a heavily modified version of the Halo
engine. What was a surprise was that there was actually a new,
original idea out there and that it was actually quite a bit of fun to
We got a chance to submit some questions to Matt
Soell, the lead writer at Wideload Games about the inpiration behind
the game and what gamers can expect when it hits shelves on October
GamingNexus: How did the idea of being the zombie instead of killing the zombie come about?
Matt Soelll: We
were consciously trying to come up with ideas that were different but
not completely abstract – something we could explain in a simple
sentence. We knew we wanted it to be an action game
with a sense of humor and so, while we were all off brainstorming
separately, I tried to imagine the wildest, most chaotic scene I could
because I knew that would lend itself to both action and comedy. So I've
got this picture in my mind of a city in chaos – people running around
screaming, bodies in the streets, buildings on fire, explosions and
gunfire everywhere – and when I took it as far as it could go
naturally, I thought "...and that's when the dead come back to life and things really go nuts." At that point it seemed obvious that what we wanted was a game where the player could create that chaos and destroy Rome in a day, so to speak. Games are full of zombies, but they're always the bad guys – so obviously a game from the zombie's point of view was long overdue. Everyone is familiar with the idea of zombies – how they act, what they do – but they've never been in the position of thinking like a zombie. So it was a way of doing something that was different without being a totally foreign concept.
GamingNexus: How long as the game been in development?
Matt Soelll: About two years.
GamingNexus: The game is being developed for both the Xbox and PC, will there be any differences between platforms?
Matt Soelll: I think the only difference is that the Xbox version will have two-player co-op.
Zombies are generally not interesting characters; they rarely have
anything to say, they are usually pretty two dimensional when it comes
to character development, and they tend to be on the slow side. Did you view this as a concern going in to the development of this game?
Matt Soelll: Not
really, because we decided at the outset that it was more important to
make a fun game than to adhere slavishly to zombie conventions. We knew that Stubbs would have to exude more character than most zombies to be successful as a protagonist; otherwise he'd just be this hideous, brain-eating, farting monster.
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