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Zombopocalyptic steampunk RTS They Are Billions is in the final stretch of production, and developers Numantian Games reckon that it’ll be done by July. Unlike many games leaving early access, they’re not just tying a bow on it and pushing it out the door. Instead, they’re bolting on a seemingly massive, branching story-driven campaign on to what is currently just a zombie horde survival game. In a big developer blog update today, they shared a shambling horde of details on the campaign’s story, structure, how it differs from Starcraft or Age Of Empires and some Spanish screenshots.
Zombopocalyptic steampunk RTS They Are Billions is in the final stretch of production, and developers Numantian Games reckon that it’ll be done by June. Unlike many games leaving early access, they’re not just tying a bow on it and pushing it out the door. Instead, they’re bolting on a seemingly massive, branching story-driven campaign on to what is currently just a zombie horde survival game. In a big developer blog update today, they shared a shambling horde of details on the campaign’s story, structure, how it differs from Starcraft or Age Of Empires and some Spanish screenshots.
It’s rare for strategy games to go all-in on their story mode, but the initial early access success of steampunk zombie RTS They Are Billions has opened up the chance for developers Numantian Games. In a big development blog post on Steam, they declare their plans to extend the game’s stay in early access, with the scripted campaign mode debuting in its entirety on launch day. It’s understandable why they’d need a bit longer, as they’re now claiming the campaign will weigh in at an evening-devouring “40-50 hours of content”, though they’re not skimping on the other facets of the game.
They Are Billions developer Numantian Games has laid out its plans for 2019, which will see continued improvements and expansions made to the level editor and two new maps added to the Survival Mode. It also provided an update on the status of the campaign, which is taking longer than expected to finish but is still on the way.
The developers will continue to add "more features, assets, and interesting new elements" to the editor, including interactive and ornamental assets, and of particular note, the ability to mod game rules. An option to create a campaign-like series of levels that must be played in order is coming, to ensure players are "following the levels and the narrative in the order decided by the designer," and an option to enable branching stories through some kind of persistent state is also on the table, although that's not carved in stone—the developers are currently "considering" it.
Speaking of campaigns, They Are Billions' is still in the works, but the plan has been changed somewhat. Success in Early Access has convinced the developers to make a more ambitious campaign than they'd originally envisioned—"like a new full game with 40-50 hours of content"—but of course that means more time is required to pull it all together. Interestingly, they've decided against putting it out as part of the Early Access release, but will instead hold it back for the full launch.
"We've just got one chance to release the full finished game, and we would honestly prefer to be known as the ‘slow developers’ that have released a great RTS, than the ‘rushed developers’ with an average game," it wrote. "We will perform all the testing internally here with our team of testers and, of course, we will keep on updating you about the campaign details here. We believe is better not to release the campaign 'in pieces' as it would delay the development, and it would spoil everything. We want to surprise you with the full campaign."
Two new Survival Mode maps, one the easiest and the other the hardest in the game so far, are coming soon, and will be the biggest expansions until full release. New Infected units have been completed and Empire Heroes are being made (they're being held back for the campaign, though), as are new research upgrades such as the Laser Titan, which certainly sounds intriguing.
"Once the Campaign is released we are thinking about adding new game modes and integrating some elements of the Campaign to the Survival," Numantian wrote. There's no indication as to when that will happen, but there is a handful of new screens that you can check out down below.
They Are Billions is the video game equivalent of spending time assembling some sort of mechanical thing – a rocking chair, let’s say, with various interlocking parts. And then, as you step back to view your good work, the cat springs up onto it and, eyes locked with yours, lets loose a magnificent, four-tiered modernist turd right into the middle of the seat.
The developer of zombie plague RTS They Are Billions has released an official level editor that will let you build your own survival scenarios—and play through other custom creations via the Steam Workshop.
After you subscribe to a level in the Steam Workshop, you'll be able to play by hitting 'custom levels' when you launch a new game. The level editor has been in testing for a while and when it launched on Thursday more that 80 player-made scenarios were ready to go. Another 40 have been added since—the levels include a full episodic campaign called the Emperor Series and lots of ultra-hard challenges.
They also include a level created by developer Numantian Games called The 50 Days Challenge. As the name suggests, you have 50 days to build up your colony before the final swarm of zombies arrives.
As for the editor itself, you can access it in-game (hit 'more' and then 'launch editor') and it'll let you create a map from scratch or edit a randomly generated one. You can add custom events and scripts to help build a narrative for your level, and it supports multiple languages. You can find an official guide for it here and if you're stuck on anything then look in the comments on that page, where the developers are helping to troubleshoot problems. You can visit the forums here.
In a Steam post announcing the editor, Numantian also updated fans on the long-awaited campaign mode for the Early Access game. Now that the level editor has launched, the team said they will "focus on finishing the campaign mode", and are aiming for a spring 2019 launch.
Steampunk zombiefest RTS They Are Billions may not have a campaign yet (it’s coming), but I reckon this latest early access update might be more important in the long run. Released yesterday, developers Numantian Games rolled out their Steam Workshop-integrated editor after a couple weeks of testing. Players can build scenarios both hand-crafted or procedural, with custom rules, complex scripting and new victory conditions. They also released a new official challenge scenario – even with reinforcements, can you finish your defences when the horde is only 50 days away?