We touched on Massive Damage Inc’s Please Stay Calm a while ago, and were impressed with the progress Ken Seto and his team had made with their iOS location-based zombie survival game and some of the unique ideas they were developing. News arrived that the team were preparing to launch (initially in Canada only), so we relentlessly pestered them to answer a few questions. Agreeing to keep things out of the courts, Ken kindly filled us in on the game’s status, launch plans, features and the future. We agreed never to email them again. Ever.
Laptopzombie: Can you give us a little background information on Massive Damage, Inc (formally Endloop X)?
Ken Seto: Massive Damage is a spinoff from my iOS apps & games company, Endloop Studios ( http://endloop.ca ). You might've heard of iMockups for iPad ( http://imockups.com ) and Chicken Balls ( http://getchickenballs.com ). The reason we spun off Massive Damage was we wanted a separate company to explore building location based massively multiplayer games and it didn't make sense to interfere with the current success of Endloop.
LTZ: What was the inspiration behind Please Stay Calm?
KS: Our obvious influences were movies like Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead and of course Army of Darkness. We wanted a funny, somewhat light hearted zombie game so that it would be more approachable.
Please Stay Calm – Opening Cinematic
LTZ: What separates the game from the other location-based iOS MMORPG’s?
KS: We're taking a very different approach than most location based games. We think people care more about the actual places and venues they visit and inhabit every day and thus the majority of our gameplay takes place inside a venue as opposed to some dot on a map. It's cool to make your office a safehouse and make it the toughest in your city. Everyone in the city will know if Laptopzombie HQ is a level 5 safehouse for example.
LTZ: Tell us more about the game's objectives/mechanics.
KS: On a basic level, it's a Mafia Wars style of game but we've layered on some great mini-games for combat and scavenging that take it to the next level. We plan to release more mini-games as we develop the game further.
We also have a great storyline that chronicles the history of the infection and gov't conspiracies... these are told with awesome graphic novel cutscenes that present themselves as players complete the main quests. Yup, that means we have a full quest/mission system that will be updated with new content for each episode we release.
The game is launching with Chapter 1 and we plan on at least 10 chapters... each one will be a free update that includes more zombies, missions, weapons, armour and storyline.
Ken Seto Interviewed by VentureCapTV
LTZ: Will there be IAP's?
KS: Yes, the game is free and can be played without paying any money. However, if you want to speed up your weapon upgrades and such, you can watch videos to earn credits or simply purchase credits in bulk via IAP.
LTZ: How’s the BETA going?
KS: The BETA has just finished... we had players in Toronto decimating zombies all around the city and building up impressive safe houses. And kicking each other’s butts in duels too.
LTZ: The game is set to infect Toronto soon, what’s the strategy for a UK release?
KS: Actually we'll be launching in Canada on Sept 8th, then in the US for Oct. 14th. After the US launch, we'll be able to turn our attention towards a European and Asia launch. The reason it has to be separate is that our game is very dependent on constant communication with our servers so we need to set up servers in Europe/Asia to make sure there is no lag.
LTZ: What’s next after launch?
KS: After we all catch up on some sleep, we're pushing out episodic chapter updates for Please Stay Calm... we’ve got about 10 of them planned. We have ideas for our second game but it's way too early to think about it yet.
LTZ: Finally, we have to ask – Your favourite horror movie, and why?
KS: I have to say my favourite horror movies were Evil Dead 2 & Army of Darkness... also a huge fan of The Walking Dead (both graphic novel and TV show).
With the launch of Please Stay Calm imminent in Canada we wish the team luck and will be counting down the days until this apocalypse reaches our shores. More when we have it.
Please Stay Calm – Original teaser
Please Stay Calm Official Site