Tyler Sparks here, though most of you will know me as JonnyTruant in The War Z. I'm the Senior Producer on the project, and wanted to host an AMA to answer any burning questions anyone may have about the development of War Z, or game development in general.
I've been a producer in video games for some time now, having worked on titles from Call of Duty to Spiderman 3 to Kung Fu panda, and have been an avid gamer for my entire life.
I'm unsure exactly of how to provide proof, but if someone can help me out here, i'm more than willing to provide whatever info would help establish my identity.EDIT: My mobygames profile. Not current, missing a few games (including this one LOL!) but anyway. http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,290394/ EDIT 2: Pics of the office: http://imgur.com/a/PTlFV including my main man KEWK at the front! FEDORA AND ALL
UPDATE: Whew, SO many questions thanks guys! Taking a brief break, i'll be back to answer more later. FINAL UPDATE: Thanks for the interest all. I've answered a BUNCH of questions. If you're peeved your question didn't get answer, scroll through the list and I'm sure you'll find some info. Also, we'll be compiling my answers and posting them on the forums.
This was fun! I'll do another once we've reached the next level of development to chat about some of more exciting upcoming content.
One such user has already probed him regarding the current hack system, however I'm hopeful a lot more interesting questions & answers will come our way so here's a list that we have so far!
Q: Prior to release - it was said that your anti-hack system was the best, and that has obviously been voided. what are you guys doing to combat hacking and make the game enjoyable for all?
A: I've answered this a number of times, but for those who haven't seen my answer yet - we already have a number of systems in place. We just launched another measure that has caught a massive amount, and we're also working with a third party company for extra support to tighten the net.
Q: Will you also open up buildings above 5-10 stages, like the biggest towers in Boulder City & Campos City.
A: Absolutely! The problem at this stage is simply a matter of time. Once map polish is complete, we'll have more time to revisit things like further opening up buildings.
Q: Any plans to implement voice chat? It would make all of our in-game lives so much easier! I always get killed halfway through typing "friendly"
A: I know :( And I agree its an issue. We have some higher priority targets in terms of features we need to hammer out, but you can expect to see this early next year.
Q: Whats the deal with the mutant zombies? People have posted that the character stated on facebook didn't exsist and everyone would really like to know about this.
Also, the sercret "dev tent". Are we being lied to or do these things TRULY exsist in the game now and not something that will be implemented.
Thanks for doing this!!! And keep up the great work, my friends and I are having a blast in the game.
A: You are not being lied to :) mutant zombies are out there, they're just INSANELY rare at the moment. As in only around for a very very brief period of time randomly.
The tents already been discovered :D Its just been so blown out of proportion by the community that no one believes it.
Q: Will there be another wipe before release?
Q:Do you plan on implementing a dedicated melee slot?
Have you completed the tweaking of night darkness? Because it's not visible at all for me.
Can you please look into Assault Rifles, it seems the accuracy is way off, i.e. the bullet scatter is not consistent.
Can we see some interior photo's of your office so we can see how awesome a Zombie related office is :).
Can we get more hints to the special 'tent' location you once touched on?
A: The dedicated melee slot won't be coming for some time, if at all. However - we're discussing the ability to formally equip a secondary and a melee if so desired.
Night darkness is going to be tweaked again, so its actually visible on low settings.
I'll check our ASR spread.
Here you go :) Our entry hall and support bay, including my main man at the front KEWK! http://imgur.com/a/PTlFV
The tents been discovered ten fold. People just don't want to BELIEVE :D
Q: Great why have the servers been so unstable lately? Will there be more zombies in the final game? Otherwise, fantastic addictive game! Love playing with groups of friends. Sorry also, estimation on the anti hack engine release? Thank you
A: Some unsavory individuals have been DDoS'ing us. We're currently addressing the issue. Also - MORE ZOMBIES ARE COMING YAY. As much as double the current amount.
Q:When the anti cheat will be 100% useful?
A: Well that's a pretty loose question - no antihack is 100% useful, but ours is improving greatly day to day. Many don't see it, since we don't broadcast those changes (to aid in catching said hackers) but its happening.
Q: Will you fix the glitches (jumping into trees, glitching up on buldings) before or after release?
A: We have some higher priority fixes we're working on ATM, but these glitches will be fixed very soon.
Q: What EXACTLY are the devs working on improving at the moment? Not simply one item, but the list of things that are on their priority list.
A: Hackers. We've implemented a series of checks that have already eliminated a large number of hackers, and are currently working with a 3rd party for further assistance.
Server hopping. A fix is incoming for this very soon
Q: How to deal with server hopping to get weapons on most known spots?
A: We have a fix for server hopping incoming, should resolve the issue.
Q: Will you improve the zombie animations more and more, they are completely subpar at the moment compared to other zombie games... Not to be negative or anything, but this is just a thing that I would really like to see improved. :)
A: I'm actually sitting next to our animator at the moment. He's cranking away and doing the best he can.
Q: How soon will we be seeing more common civilian firearms, like .223 Sniper Rifles, Hunting Shotguns, and .22 Rifles?
A: 3 more just went through art and animation, coming very soon! .22 rifle, mini 14 for example
Q: How are you guy's planning to differentiate bandits/lawmen? Bandanas and badges?
A: This is something we're discussing right now, actually. Its a toss up - if we implement it improperly we'd be basically telling the players how to play the game, and the way we like it to be is to play without constraints.
1- How come Sniper Rifles are so rare? I have not seen one since the wipe and I play every single day. I can understand if one type of sniper is extremely rare but why all of them?
2- Do you guys plan to give us full control over rented servers when they come out? such as IP ban, kick, community mods?
3- Why have you guys not yet used PB to protect the game from hackers?
4- Can you tell us what is the next patch going to include?
Sniper rifles are rare because, in this world, they would be. Regardless of model, its a very powerful weapon, so owning one would be a huge bonus.
You'll have admin privileges on private servers
We're implementing an indepth anti hack at the moment.
Patch notes will be released when we're ready to patch.
Q: Many of the people here are looking forward to the skill system being implemented yet there has been next to zero information provided on a ETA or what we can expect from it. What information can you provide with regards to the skill system.
A: Skills are coming early next year. We'll announce more info once its more concrete so there are no questions.
Q: How do you feel about all of the hate and controversy that your game has received? Do you think that this will all die down as the game gets more complete? What about the game are you the most proud of? and what are you the most disappointed about so far?More will be answered in due course
A: My opinion of the hate/controversy is actually pretty simple - I take it as positively as I can. The fact that we've gotten so much attention means people care about the game. For every negative PM I receive about the way a feature functions, I do my best to breath and focus on the fact that the only reason i'm receiving it is because said person simply wants the game to succeed.
In terms of dying down? Hard to say. Over my career in video games i've come to take it all in stride - as they say, 'haters gonna hate'.
This game is a huge point of pride for me. I walk tall, confident in the product we've released. If anything, I'm disappointed we weren't able to deliver on all promises so far - but again, thats taken with a grain of salt, as its tinged with the knowledge that it was simply our own ambition that tripped us up, and we're learning from this.