Microsoft’s State of Decay 2 features dynamically-generated survivors to enhance realism

According to Undead Labs, State of Decay 2 is a game where you tell the story of your zombie apocalypse, alongside up to 3 of your friends. Just as in the original State of Decay, you don’t play as any one individual. Instead, you’re a community of survivors, all of whom have their own unique combination of appearances, traits and needs. It’s up to you to manage and satisfy these needs while executing your strategy in pursuit of not just surviving, but instilling belief among your community that tomorrow will be a better day.

As fans of the prequel know, an important part of the State of Decay experience is that you recruit people as you find them. People have on them whatever they happen to have been wearing when the apocalypse broke out. However, how did the studio incorporate so much visual variety? Undead Labs’ Art Director, Doug Williams, calls it “photochop”. The survivors themselves are dynamically generated from packs of faces, personalities and clothes.

There is also a greater emphasis on realism this time so don’t expect many survivors to be wearing horns and body armor. In order to create realistic faces, more than 100 friends and family members, and developers and members of the community, went through a face scanning process! All of this creates a believable world because realism enhances immersion. Hopefully this will counter the problem with the first game where survivors felt generic and mostly the same.

More information about State of Decay 2, including proper gameplay and a release date, will be announced at E3 2017. The game is expected to release sometime before the holiday season so the wait may not be too long. The title, just like other Microsoft-published games, supports Xbox Play Anywhere meaning that you can buy it on Xbox One or Windows 10 once and play it on both platforms.

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