Zombie Army 4 – E3 2019 Exclusive Interview with Victoria Boyce
We are happy to bring you an exclusive interview with Vicky Boyce to talk about Rebellion Development’s new game, Zombie Army 4.
Disclaimer – This interview was done and recorded on June 12.
Leonind Melikhov: Hey guys welcome to Gaming Instincts. Today we’re going to be talking to Vicky about Zombie Army 4.
Vicky Boyce: Hi nice to meet you.
Leonind Melikhov: Nice to meet you, how are you guys doing?
Vicky Boyce: Nice how about you?
Leonind Melikhov: I’m doing well, so tell us about the biggest differences between Zomie Army 3 and Zombie Army 4.
Vicky Boyce: So in the Zombie Army trilogy Game, at the end of the trilogy you manage to actually defeat Hitler and Zombie Army 4 is a sequel to that. So you’re thrown into the game and something’s not right. There’s Nazi Zombies still around so something’s brewing and you don’t know what. You’re going through the game eliminating zombies to find out what is happening and what is going on?
Leonind Melikhov: I see cool. You guys are running on the PS4, Xbox One, and everything else?
Vicky Boyce: Yes so we have PS4, Xbox One and on PC.
Leonind Melikhov: Steam store or Epic Games?
Vicky Boyce: We are launching on the Epic Store.
Leonind Melikhov: Exclusively?
Vicky Boyce: For one year yes.
Leonind Melikhov: Do you know how that came about?
Vicky Boyce: That was a business decision and that was out of my control, I’m just a senior designer.
Leonind Melikhov: Senior Designer, so what were you responsible for particular in this title?
Vicky Boyce: It was mostly like the systems and core gameplay elements in the game.
Leonind Melikhov: So what is your favorite new feature that he old game doesn’t have? I know it’s your baby.
Vicky Boyce: They’re all good systems in the game. We got new upgrades in the game for example, special melee attacks, special melee weapons. There’s a lot more in the game to come so there’s not a lot that I can announce right now.
Leonind Melikhov: If you’re comparing this to Zombie Army 3, what do you feel like Zombie Army 3 was lacking in the most when it comes to gameplay compared to 4, that really made you say, “this is want to fix because we didn’t have development time or something like that.
Vicky Boyce: That’s difficult for me to answer because I didn’t do any development time with Zombie Army 3. I did a little level-design work with the original. I actually came back onto the project mid-development of Zombie Army 4 so it’s very hard for me to pinpoint what systems I could’ve improved upon.
Leonind Melikhov: How many years has the game been in development for?
Vicky Boyce: That I don’t know either. I joined the project mid-development.
Leonind Melikhov: So you weren’t there from the beginning.
Vicky Boyce: I was not no.
Leonind Melikhov: Do you know how many years it’s been in development for?
Developer: It’s been in pre-production for a while.
Leonind Melikhov: What can you tell us about the engine?
Vicky Boyce: We use our own in-house engine called Azure.
Leonind Melikhov: Is it an upgrade from 3 or is it from the ground-up for Zombie Army 4.
Vicky Boyce: It’s the same engine, but it’s an engine that we continue to develop upon with every new game. We’ve developed Strange Brigade with it, we used it with the Sniper Elite Franchise with it as well, so yeah we’ve just been using it and building upon it and every time we do we add a few new things to the engine.
Leonind Melikhov: This is more a question to you as a developer as opposed to what you are working on or doing something. Obviously on Sunday, Microsoft talked about Project Scarlett and they talked about the new tech, high framerates and lack of loading screens which is a big deal especially if you’ve got games that have a lot of hordes of enemies on the screen. That takes a lot of RAM, CPU, and GPU load, so as a system designer going forward with future projects does that really excite you as a developer with ideas and things you can do in the future?
Vicky Boyce: New technology and new consoles always excite us. It’s really always interesting to see what goes on. In regards to this game, we don’t have any announcements in regards to developing something just yet.
Leonind Melikhov: That’s totally fine, it’s more of a developer question.
Vicky Boyce: Yeah we’re always just excited for new consoles and technology.
Leonind Melikhov: If you compare current-gen systems, they were mostly kind of lacking in CPU prowess. That was the biggest criticism so do you feel like the new Zen CPU is really gonna bring a lot of things that you have difficulties on before. But for work in the future would it make that process easier?
Vicky Boyce: I will admit that I have not actually seen the tech so I haven’t read much into it.
Leonind Melikhov: It’s about 4-5 times difference, it’s very big.
Vicky Boyce: It does sound very exciting.
Leonind Melikhov: From all of the developers that I have talked to every year. I’ve been to E3 for the last 5 years. Since the PS4 launched and Xbox One. We’ve been there together to see the industry grow. It’s always exciting to ask the developers what’s the problems they go through development and what they really want the new technology to get rid of these problems and move on. I personally am really excited to see what you guys come up with in the future.
Vicky Boyce: That’s ok.
Leonind Melikhov: Did you guys also make Sniper VR 2, was it the same development team for Zombie Army?
Developer: We have all of the different teams in the studio. Some people that might have worked for Sniper Elite 4 may have worked on Zombie Army 4 as well. We have been growing as a studio. We now have around 300 employees and lots of different teams within the studio.
Leonind Melikhov: Is that scattered across different countries?
Developer: No we are based in the UK.
Leonind Melikhov: Awesome, to the fans of Zombie games and Zombie Army in general, what do you guys want to say to the fans?
Vicky Boyce: We just really hope you enjoy the game when it comes out in early 2020. It’s a single-player and cooperative game so when you play it single player you get a really unique experience and and when you play it cooperatively you also get a really enjoyable gameplay experience.
Leonind Melikhov: Are you doing something new for multiplayer or is it just gonna be co-op and solo.
Vicky Boyce: They will be customized experiences when you play.
Leonind Melikhov: When I was playing it earlier today I noticed that you guys added a lot of new things to the game like perks, which wasn’t in the last game. Is that something brand new?
Vicky Boyce: Yeah perks are new to Zombie Army 4, we do have weapon upgrades as well with different weapons and new character. We got our existing characters along with two new female characters.
Leonind Melikhov: Are you adding new enemy types?
Vicky Boyce: Yes, in the trailer you saw that we had a Zombie Flamer and he’s one of the new zombie types along with a few others in the game.
Leonind Melikhov: We can always expect nice boss sequences and epic moments just like the previous games?
Vicky Boyce: So in Zombie Army Trilogy, we used to really show off our bosses in the game along with the enemy types.
Leonind Melikhov: I remember in Zombie Army 3, there was one part that I played that was marvelous, it was like a guy who was summoning demon zombies in the air or am I going crazy?
Developer: Yeah that was an enemy who would summon Zombies Up.
Leonind Melikhov: Yeah they would kind of float or something. It was really creepy.
Developer: There’s going to be lots more like that in the game.
Leonind Melikhov: Are we going to expect more things like that? Like traditional things that people like.
Developer: If you like the Zombie Army Trilogy and that kind of stuff, you’ll enjoy Zombie Army 4 a little bit more.
Leonind Melikhov: That’s awesome, I’m looking forward to playing it.
Vicky Boyce: And we’re looking forward to everybody playing it as well.
Leonind Melikhov: Thank you all so much, I really appreciate it.
Vicky Boyce: Thank you very much.
For more information about Zombie Army 4 with new gameplay, check out our coverage here.