I’d like to apologize for the time it’s taken to get this update out. We didn’t want to do it without uploading Vlog 10, which demonstrates where the game is currently at. All of us have been working double, even triple time to make sure that this update could get out as fast as possible. We thank you for your support and patience while we worked out some nasty issues that decided to pop up on us last minute :)
Let's get straight addressing the big elephant in the room. There has been some information floating around the internet about how the maps are going to be setup in Dead Matter that we would like to address:
We've heard you all loud and clear, and after consulting with our mapping lead, the primary South Alberta map will be targeted for 16km x 16km. This is the original target size, minus the area that Calgary would've been occupying on the map. To directly address concerns from backers, our map isn't going to be smaller than Skyrim's map, or have “Escape From Tarkov” styled instancing. Our game is, and always will be, an open world survival game.
We originally wanted to downscale South Alberta to 10km x 10km with a separate map of the same size that takes place in a different, unique section of Alberta to add some variety to the game. As a result of slamming the brakes on these changes we will likely have to play with the Zombie AI and add further optimizations as the map grows in size, especially on servers that have a large playercount and require hundreds of active zombies to be present.
Why is Calgary going to be on a separate map?
Calgary is a massive city, and a massive undertaking. We want to have a dense urban environment. We want to represent the size and scale of the city, and do it justice. In order to properly pull off the original vision we had for Calgary, we're going to separate it from the main map.
The Calgary map will feature a new set of factions, a unique set of meta-game events, and of course, plenty of new and unique locations for players to explore. We’re currently targeting 6km x 6km for the Calgary map, but this number may potentially change as our plans for the city become more conclusive.
Players will be able to travel between the two maps (provided someone is hosting servers with a database both server instances are connected to) by walking to the Eastern edge of the South Alberta map to travel to the city. This means there will be a roughly 16km long window for those of you that like to play it safe. There will be a loading screen as you're connecting to a different server, but given how far Calgary is geographically from the Southern Alberta our map takes place in, we feel that it's not too bad of a tradeoff for being able to preserve your character and vehicle across multiple maps.
When transferring to a different map or spawning in for the first time you will be given a set of locations to pick from in order to spawn. When discovering new locations, they will be added to a list of known locations that you can spawn or respawn at. In the event you are transferring between servers your character will incur a calorie and hydration cost when spawning at locations further away from the map border. Stocking up for the journey is recommended.
If you're adventurous, there's also going to be a handful of points scattered across Southern Alberta that you can use to travel to Calgary. These will be known to players, and if you're looking for a fight then this is the potentially lucrative option for you. Plan accordingly.
To address the other elephant in the room, the date for the closed alpha will be moved back to June. We will announce the exact date at the start of that month. We were not planning on pushing back the Closed Alpha again, but we've got some concerns with the Zombie AI, performance and making sure that the build is up to par for a Closed Alpha. That being said, the game is in a very good state for a PreAlpha, and we are extremely confident in the work we’ve put into the game thus far. We have made all necessary improvements to the core mechanics of the game to the point where we have established a solid foundation to move forward into Closed Alpha with.
We've also addressed a lot of our management concerns and now have a much stronger project management structure, as per feedback from many of our backers. This will be it, and we are extremely excited to get additional feedback from our community.
To make up for the extra time we’ve been spending, every backer is going to get a unique backpack variant that can be crafted in-game with some weight reduction benefits. Even your double barrel buddies will be receiving the blueprint for this item.
We would like to apologize for keeping our supporters waiting for so long, but this is the final time that we will be having to do this, and we look forward to an exciting testing period with our backers.
Early Access will be commencing at the start of 2021. If we still have issues being discovered by our backers in the Closed Alpha, we'll be doing our best to work with the community on getting them resolved to ensure a smooth Early Access launch, even if it means taking some extra time. We'll be announcing the exact date of the Steam Early Access launch as we approach the end of the year and can give an accurate estimate based on the Closed Alpha.
If you haven't seen our latest vlog which contains the latest gameplay, then check it out here:
If you want to get in touch, please feel free to hit us up on the forums or our community Discord and we're happy to talk to any of our supporters whenever we're available to do so!
We appreciate the support everyone has given us so far; it's been quite a journey, but we love our backers and are excited to give you guys the game that you've been waiting for!