Survivors’ personalities, their likes and dislikes matter! Contend with paranoia, aggressiveness, fear, irrationality, and a host of other gameplay-meaningful characteristics
ZPocalypse: Survival | UI & HUD Design
Zpocalypse: Survival – A new survival game mixing RTS, rogue-lite, tower defense, RPG and more all while trying to survive a post-nuclear zombie apocalypse.
Zpocalypse: Survival is a game about exploration and survival in a gritty post-nuclear zombie apocalypse setting. The players job is to help a group of survivors attempt to eke out an existence and build a place for themselves in a brutal world. They will need to scavenge for supplies and food, find and fortify a shelter, recruit other survivors to their cause, craft the gear they need to continue on, defend their people, and attempt to grow and expand, facing challenges every step of the way.
Zombiiies! One of the most loved & popular genres in video games, and whether blood thirsty or plant thirsty, there have been numerous takes and game styles set in a zombie infested universe. Each tries it’s own twist or take on the usual tale of the reanimated corpses hunting living prey, and the ZPocalypse series has hit a positive note with fans of the undead. After a successful board game release (with support through a successful Kickstarter campaign) Greenbier Games decided a video game was the natural way to extend the series further.
Zpocalypse Survival was brought to my attention during the early stages of development when the developers at Greenbier Games were looking to add the HUD & User Interface. The commission was a complete UI & HUD treatment, including UX wire frames, design & NGUI development.
Having a wealth of media already available for reference made the design process reasonably straightforward and allowed the additional time to be spent on creating additional elements and effects that would complement & suit both the existing visual style and environment. Not simply a case of reusing existing assets, it was important that the design could stand by itself, whilst also looking like it belonged to the ZPocalypse franchise, so all elements were designed from scratch, using a ‘cobbled together’ industrial theme that reflected the core gameplay mechanics.
Also tasked with the NGUI development side of the UI, once the designs were approved I jumped into the preparation of sprites, layouts, prefabs, particle effects, controls, atlas, custom scripts (for transitions, crafting tree, & controls keyboard controls). The drag & drop functionality for the Inventory was an interesting challenge, using the system in a 3D UI meant a few custom scripts & techniques were required to ensure the items location corresponded correctly to the cursor location without being effected by 3D location or perspective.
The tree system required for the Crafting Screen was not a core component of NGUI, so this was developed especially for this project, ensuring that the expectations and UX required by the wireframes was met. The Inventory also required specific logic scripting for the players stored inventory. Each item requiring a specific number of slots, the grid was made into a mini game of sorts requiring the player to micro manage the position of each item in the grid, to maximise the amount of items that could be carried.
The game has already been GreenLit on Steam & Greenbier are currently running an excellent series of VLogs which help show an insight into development of the title as it moves forward towards release.