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Undead Inc.

The Dark Arts of Pharmaceuticals - Undead Inc. Interview

The Dark Arts of Pharmaceuticals - Undead Inc. Interview

Audio transcriptions

"Hello everyone. Welcome to Gamescom. Welcome to Gamereactor. I'm Alex. We've just checked out Undead Inc.
I'm here with Doru. That's the correct pronunciation?
Oh, absolutely."

"Oh, thank you. I usually butcher these things.
But we've just checked it out. It's sort of a roguelike sim in a way.
Could you talk a bit more about what Undead Inc. is and why people should be hyped about it?
Well, I think people should be hyped about it because of what you just said."

"I think it's fantastic for a management game to be leading into the whole roguelike thing.
Basically, you're playing as a franchisee of the Enswell Medical Corporation.
You are occupying the exciting space between cutting-edge research and bleeding-edge bioweapon technology.
And it's a lot of fun. I mean, I don't know where to even start explaining what this game is all about."

"Basically, you need to toe the line between doing all kinds of cool legal activities and, should we say, less than legal but very, very lucrative activities.
On the one hand, you're selling to the end-user consumers, call them what you will, but also to other, maybe shadier business partners that will pay a lot more but maybe get you in trouble."

"So, without giving too much away, it's a tightrope act and I think people are going to have a lot of fun with it.
What struck me about Undead Inc. when we started playing was the different viewpoint.
We're looking at it from front-facing, really, and we get to see all the levels.
And we also get a lot of different areas that we get to explore and build things in, Can you talk a bit about how those are going to sort of differentiate from other sim management games and how they'll sort of build up over time?
Okay, so starting with the perspective, because I feel like I have to ask you a question and stuff."

"So, starting with the perspective, it's a combination of two things.
Number one, it's so ingrained in the fiction of the evil biomedical corporation that you're working very vertically, as it were, right?
If you're not, like I like to say, if you're not building evil bioweapons in the sewers and lower still, are you even trying to be an evil corporation, really?
So, that's part of it. It's part of the fiction. It's part of how that whole thing works."

"But there's also something a bit more fundamental about that.
There's this kind of dividing horizontal line that we think is kind of the spirit of the whole game.
It's the above board, below board, above ground, below ground, right?
It's communicating something more fundamental than just sheer geography to the player."

"The way the map is set up is also consistent with this.
When you first start playing, you actually have no fog of war above ground.
Everything is a little bit more on the kind of peachy side.
It's not utopian, but it's like a normal side-on perspective."

"And as you move downwards, there's fog of war, there's more oppressive ambience.
You know you're being naughty when you're down there, right?
So, that's kind of part of the game's identity.
We want the player to feel this dichotomy at all times."

"And that's why we chose that perspective and that way of playing.
So, the game's called Undead Inc.
You've talked about the illegal things we can do.
One of them is sort of researching into and creating, in a way, sort of zombies."

"What else can we do that's sort of really to the extreme that's going to get a lot of eyes on us?
Wow. Well, I mean, there's a risk of going into spoiler territory here.
But if you think that zombies are on the tame side, I don't know what to say to that.
I think that zombies are already pretty cool."

"Besides that, though, we're looking into all kinds of areas.
We have weaponized animals.
Some people jokingly ask, what, like hamsters? No, not like hamsters.
The kind of animals that, even if you were not weaponizing them, would probably rip your face off without thinking twice."

"But besides that, we're also looking into other classic tropes from these kinds of fictions, like weaponized flora, so basically plant research, that kind of stuff.
You can look forward to maybe, if not oceanic creatures at first, maybe amphibians at the very least."

"So all kinds of interesting bioweapon applications, many of them that actually kind of start off in the natural, real world, and then eventually players will be able to grow towards more bespoke, customized applications that God had no hand in creating."

"That's about as much as I want to say about that for now.
Okay, thank you very much. I mean, who is in charge of all this then?
Both at a sort of upper company level, but also as a player, do we get to control one singular person, or are we controlling maybe just the entire hospital as it goes along?
Yeah, so first of all, small correction, you're not really building a hospital, you're building a bunch of separate clinics inside an office."

"It's an indemnity clause thing.
I just want to make it really, really clear that obviously it's not a hospital hospital.
That being said, there are layers of hierarchy, because that's the only way a corporation can work."

"You know, I have a lot of people, they talk about, oh, it's super flat and all this other stuff.
No, that's just another means of controlling your staff.
You pretend that stuff's flat, it's not flat."

"There's at least one person above you at all times.
So, at the very top you have Enswell HQ.
Now, Enswell HQ, they basically shirk any responsibility.
They have all the indemnification clauses in the contracts with their franchisees, and you actually play as a franchisee."

"You actually control one of several directors who are the game's hero units.
And all of them have different pros and cons, different strengths and weaknesses, different special abilities and what have you, and they in turn are your hero avatars."

"So, what that means is if they get killed, if they get arrested, if they're kind of taken out of commission, the game is over.
But everyone beneath them, who you also have direct control of, is basically expendable."

"You can call it a metaphor.
I'm not really sure what a metaphor even is, but some people have said that it's a metaphor for something.
I'm going to let the players figure it out."

"So, we've talked a lot about responsibility and doing very bad things.
What is sort of the way in which we might get, not necessarily punished, but found out when we're doing these horrible things?
Oh, so you mean by what means, by what mechanics that might actually happen?
Well, stuff can happen all kinds of ways."

"Some of it's a little bit more targeted, some of it's completely random.
So, on the one hand, you have the more completely random stuff that you can't do anything about.
So, just hypothetically, just something off the top of my head, let's say that you have a group of university students, they're out on the town, they're having a lot of fun, and then they're going, hey, wouldn't it be cool if we got super-duper drunk, and then we went down into the sewers and played around down there with fireworks?
I'm guessing that's how uni students talk, I haven't been."

"But anyway, so they go down there and they bump into your stuff on complete accident.
And then you have the case where, for example, like I showed in the demo that we watched, you're doing some underground excavations, and as it so happens, you had a beat cop just on patrol hearing it and deciding, you know what, I do make minimum wage, but I'm going to actually try hard today."

"And he actually goes underground, bumps into your staff, and now you have a problem.
So those are the kind of, first you have the completely random, then you have the slightly reactive one, and then you have the ones where you've already gotten in trouble earlier, and the cops are just waiting for the chance to pounce, right?
So, for example, there's a raid happening, right?
That's not random, that was in the making for a really long time."

"So there are all kinds of ways for you to get more or less found out throughout the course of the game.
And, you know, obviously the more stuff you've gotten around to doing that you shouldn't have, the more is at stake, and the more likely you are to be put in prison, killed, or both."

"Brilliant. Finally then, when about can we expect to see Undead Inc., and what platforms is it going to be on?
So right now we're working to make it a PC Steam game and make it a fantastic PC Steam game, and that's as far as we've thought about the whole thing."

"And as for a release date, we haven't announced yet, but...
Coming soon? Yeah, coming soon.
Stay tuned.
PR lady says coming soon. We all have our handlers, right?
So, yeah, look forward to it."

"Yes, keep an eye on it.
Thank you for your time."