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Dying Light: The Following Interview – The Zombie Cure

Alessio Palumbo
Posted 10 months ago

After yesterday’s preview, here’s the full exclusive interview with Techland’s Producer Tymon Smektala about Dying Light: The Following and Dying Light: Enhanced Edition, both coming on February 9, 2016. The Following will be a DLC priced at $/€ 29.99 (though Season Pass owners will get it for free), while the Enhanced Edition will be free for every owner of Dying Light.

  • You’ve mentioned in the latest gameplay video that Dying Light: The Following features “a map bigger than all the areas of the original game combined”. How much bigger, though, if you had to guesstimate? 20-25%, perhaps?
  • We haven’t measured the new area exactly. Though a quick look shows us there is enough space to take the 2 main maps from Dying Light and fit them into The Countryside at least twice.
  • When you announced the price increase for the expansion, you said that it’s big enough that it could be a stand-alone title. How many more hours of gameplay are we looking at, roughly?
  • Everyone’s play style is different and since the progression of the main story line is non-linear, total time is going to vary quite a lot. So strict storyline completion is 10+ hours of gameplay but if you’re into exploring your options or a completionist and want to take on multiple side quests, challenges, get all the buggy upgrades etc. then expect your playtime to ramp up by a lot.
  • I really liked Dying Light, though it did end with a cliffhanger of sorts. Can we expect the story to pick up right from there, with Crane looking for the scientist’s data to find a cure?
  • I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but the events of Dying Light: The Following take place soon after the main game’s events. So player’s are acting on info that could deal with Tower’s immediate needs. We’re using Dying Light: The Following to add to Kyle Crane’s involvement with the Harran outbreak. Our expansion goes beyond the city walls and takes you to the outskirts where the plague has had a completely different effect on society.
  • As someone who also played Dead Island, the transition from vehicles to parkour in Dying Light made perfect sense. With The Following though, you’re reintroducing vehicles in the mix, and I’m a bit worried that it might disrupt what made parkour so special in the base game. How do you plan to avoid this issue?
  • There are areas of the map where parkour is still essential and a key tool to your survival. We know fans loved the parkour so were making sure it’s still a crucial element. The dirt buggy is something new when it comes to getting around, while parkour will be the familiar favourite which equally has a place in Dying Light: The Following.
  • When you confirmed the release date of Dying LIght: The Following, the press release mentioned “advanced AI behaviors”. I’m curious as to what that means, exactly.
  • New AI behaviour plus all the other enhancements will be available in the base game too, not just Dying Light The Following. It’s all part of the Enhanced Edition update that we’re making live on Feb 9th 2016. As for the AI, we looked at the attack pattern behaviours of various enemies and tweaked them considerably so that players will need to think on their feet a lot more and react appropriately. It’s not just one simple upgrade across the board. It depends on the enemy type and its existing AI and from there we went and made individual changes.
  • The press release also hinted at various graphics enhancements, so I’m wondering if you can go into more specifics about those. Also, I’m assuming you won’t have DX12 support since there was no mention of it – do you plan to add this to the Chrome Engine for your next game?
  • We’re always aiming to use the latest technology in our engine because that’s what will keep you in the forefront. We’re looking at DX12 for our engine but nothing is official right now. As for the graphic enhancements, we actually want to showcase that a bit later somehow visually, so stay tuned.
  • Another two items on the enhancements list featured on your website peaked my interest. Can you tell us anything about the Legend and Bounties systems yet? 
  • My colleague Maciej Binkowski actually covered these in a lot of detail in an interview from PSX. I couldn’t have put it better myself. “When you max out your character, there are 250 additional levels that you can unlock and these levels allow you to develop your character even further. So you can basically become an even bigger badass. There’s over a hundred new looks for new weapons. And if you want to find new weapons, you have to play the legendary levels. Then, there are new outfits, like 10 of them. There are also player emblems so that you can express how good you are and it shows a kick-ass emblem in your legendary levels when you’re with other people online. We’re also introducing something that we call “bounties.” We know that people spend hundreds of hours with our game and bounties are little tasks that we split into two categories. One is basic tasks, and you can fulfill them while you’re doing other stuff. Like, let’s say, cut off a number of [enemy] hands, be really precise and go for the hands or survive a chase at night for some time. We also have dailies and dailies will be one bounty a day. It’s going to be really tricky. They’re focused on different areas of the game, but they’re really going to stress people in how they play. For an example, there’s a daily that requires you to climb the highest bridge in the game. The first thing to do is, figure out which one is the highest. Then how do you get on top of it? Then, jump from it and survive. Stuff like that.”
  • Finally, have you considered the opportunity to add VR support to the game, with devices such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR due for release in the coming months?
  • We’ve got an internal R&D team working with all the current and upcoming VR sets but not just for Dying Light. They’re looking at multiple applications. So it’s something we’re looking into actively but nothing can be confirmed yet unfortunately.
  • Thank you for your time.
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