Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dead Frontier (Part One)

The game I'm introducing today is Dead Frontier. It is of a pretty familiar genre to most people if not all. You basically run around killing zombies (that is if you still haven't guessed it from the name).

The story of Dead Frontier takes place in the city of Fairview. During the summer of 2016, a sudden biological outbreak resulted in the hordes of hungry dead zombies that are running around today. The human survivors eventually had to cluster together and form stongholds to ensure their survival, but reality is harsh and the weaker ones ultimately got overran. Currently, only four outposts are still standing - Nastya's Holdout, Fort Pastor, Precinct 13 and Dogg's Stockade.

Dead Frontier - Precinct 13Dead Frontier - Inner City
The game uses a mixture of web-based pages plus Unity. The Unity engine kicks in once you enter the Inner City but within the outposts, players navigate via the web-based pages.

While the gameplay is simple, just bashing zombies, the concepts behind it is not (I will explain them in a moment). The game makers have clearly spent some effort into making their game unique amongst other zombie-mashing web-based games.

Character Creation

Dead Frontier - Character Creation
The character creation in Dead Frontier is pretty simple. There's not much options for you to customize your avatar, but nonetheless, you still should not rush through it. Players should take extra care into choosing their profession because each profession has its own pros and cons and if you've chosen wrongly, it will cost you real cash (1000 credits ~ 34.95 USD) to convert to another profession. Alternatively, you can also spend in-game money to purchase these credits from other players.

Although there are currently 20 different professions available to choose, they can be generally narrowed down to four categories, Service, Production, Stat-Boost and Role-Playing.

As the name suggests, people in these professions provide a service to other players. As they gain levels, the value of their service increases, but players will have to note that each service provided costs a certain amount of hunger. Starting from fully nourished, a Chef or Doctor can perform 10 services while an Engineer can perform 8 repairs before they become too hungry to continue providing a service.

  • Doctor:
    - Can administer complex medical treatments.
    - Starts with an extra $80.
    Doctors get a little extra starting cash, but they can also administer medications more effectively using their medical knowledge. The cost for using this ability is a loss of 8% Hunger each time the Doctor uses the ability on anyone including themselves. Doctors are only able to administer a healing item if they have the level to use it.
  • Chef:
    - Can prepare and cook high quality foods.
    - Starts with a Chef Knife.
    Quite a lot of food was left lying around when the outbreak came, but a lot of it cannot be eaten instantly and this is where the Chefs come in. They use their skills to prepare various kinds of food for the hungry survivors. The cost for using this ability is a loss of 8% Hunger for each time the Chef prepares and cooks for anyone or themselves.
  • Engineer:
    - Can repair armour.
    - Starts with an extra $50.
    Most people who knew a lot about technology or mechanical craftsmanship worked in large cities and were quickly killed when the outbreak first started, but a few lucky ones remain. Engineers get a small amount of starting cash, but they can also repair armour. Unlike other service classes, the cost for using this ability is a loss of 10% Hunger for each time a piece of equipment is repaired.

Production personnel are able to create specific goods as long as the player has logged in at some point during the day. The number of items created is random while the quality of them is determined by the level of your character. A higher level character means higher quality goods being produced. The production cycle is once every 24 hours, but this production is not possible if your character is starving or in critical health.
  • Farmer:
    - Can create high quality foods.
    - Starts with a Mini-41 Rifle.
    Farmers have the skill to grow and find food more easily than others. They are able to generate two to four food items each day (24+ hours between production times, usually upon login). However, not all food the Farmers produce is instantly ready for consumption. As some of them needs to be cooked, Farmers and Chefs actually work hand-in-hand with each other. Farmers start with a Mini-41 and 80 5.5 mm rifle rounds.
  • Scientist:
    - Can create complex medical items.
    - Starts with an extra $50.
    Before the outbreak, Scientists were at the top of the income list. Now that their own work has destroyed humanity, they feel obligated to work on antidotes and medicines to aide the brave men and women who venture into the city to fight the infected. A Scientist will create two to four medications once per day (24+ hours between production times, usually upon login). These medications will have the most effect when applied by a Doctor.

Stat-Boost professions will always have a status advantage against other professions of a similar level. For example, Soldiers start out with +35 stats and +10 proficiency. Other professions without a status bonus will always be 7 to 35 levels "behind" a Soldier in terms of stats.
  • Boxer:
    - +20 Strength
    - +10 Melee Skill
    Professional Boxers, being quite strong and skilled, were always ready to defend themselves and easily survived the outbreak. Due to their strength and experience, heavy weapons and melee combat are of no problem for them. Boxers have no special abilities, but their pure strength and skill would scare even the zombies, if they still had minds.
  • Soldier:
    - +5 Strength
    - +10 Accuracy
    - +10 Endurance
    - +10 Reloading
    - +10 Machinegun Skill
    - -20% Experience Gain
    - Starts with a Skorpion SMG.
    A few Soldiers survived in the less infected areas, but most deserted the battlefields, having seen their comrades torn apart and re-animated, or their chain of command wiped out. Having had the most extensive pre-outbreak survival training, Soldiers are both physically and mentally fit. They also have advanced training in the use of machine guns. A downside of their extremely strict training is that Soldiers have a harder time learning new things, so they progress more slowly than other classes. Soldiers start with the Skorpion SMG and 300 rounds of .32 bullets.
  • Police Officer:
    - +10 Accuracy
    - +5 Reloading
    - +10 Pistol Skill
    - +10 Shotgun Skill
    - Starts with a Mancini Shotgun.
    Police Officers had to fight the infected alone at the start of the outbreak. Though they were later aided by many brave civilians, their losses were tremendous. Due to their training, Police Officers start with greater proficiency in the use of mid-level firearms, like pistols and shotguns. Police Officers start with a Mancini M1 and 25 rounds of 20 Gauge shotgun shells.
  • Fireman:
    - +20 Endurance
    - +10 Melee Skill
    - Starts with a Damaged Fire Axe.
    Firemen, being known for keeping their cool in emergency situations, were often the most reliable people to follow during the early stages of the outbreak. Now, they are known as smart and trained melee fighters. Wielding their trusty fire axes, they now seek survivors in a burning world gone to hell. The Fireman's Endurance bonus and axe make for a very strong start. Most Firemen quickly learn to appreciate the power and reach of the Damaged Fire Axe as well as the impressive Endurance bonus that helps to survive against attacks.
  • Athlete:
    - +25 Agility
    They're a bunch of people who just loved to train their bodies to the limit. Their rigorous training greatly helped when they had to flee the infected areas. Athletes are very fast and well-balanced people, who are great at loot 'n' run tactics. Their impressive agility helps them evade enemy hits or flee from any danger they may encounter. Besides their training, most Athletes have never really fought with weapons, but their agility is a dangerous weapon by itself, enabling them to circle their target and sprint out of the way of flailing limbs.

Role-Playing professions get up to 30% more experience when killing zombies. Although this sounds great, you need to realize that they will always be behind stat-boost professions in terms of their stats. Although this might not be too visible at the start, however, once beyond level 50, the gap will become more pronounced. This is because after level 50, you will only get 1 stat point per level and 2 proficiency points. Nonetheless, if you plan on rising to the level 200 cap (a feat achieved only by a few) this might be the perfect profession for you!
  • Teacher:
    - +30% Experience Gain
    Before the crisis, Fairview's teachers ranged from private school ex-professors to barely-qualified inner-city personnel. When the city was hit by the wave of undead, those who were able to reach Nastya's Holdout make do with what little textbooks and school supplies they scavenge to try and make something of the Z-Generation.
  • Priest:
    - +30% Experience Gain
    Priests, the "Minds of the Public", were some of the last to stand up and fight, due to their relatively old age, as well as their strong faith and hope for an end. But when the first zombies entered holy ground, most Priests took up the sword of God and killed the unholy beasts without mercy. Now, it is their duty to cleanse the world of the sinful zombie filth. Few Priests survive for long, but those who do still fight with faith and hope in their hearts.
  • Lawyer:
    - +30% Experience Gain
    - Starts with an extra $100.
    Lawyers were once the most hated professionals on the planet, due to being stereotyped as defending evil corporations from righteous lawsuits, or propagating the endless cycle of frivolous lawsuits. This hatred dropped away when people exchanged subponeas for eating brains, naturally. Aside from legal scuffles that Admin or his squad tend to solve by reaching a compromise anyway, their skills haven't been called on for a while.
  • Accountant:
    - +30% Experience Gain
    - Starts with an extra $50.
    The job of an Accountant was always quite boring and underpaid during the 21st century, but since it was so common and easy to learn, many people had no choice but to accept it as a way of life. Now that many of their colleagues and managers have tried to eat them, they realized that the world has changed, their former career and knowledge is now worthless, and they must now learn a new path to survive through this horror. While others were busy searching for weapons and friends during the beginning of the outbreak, Accountants fled, taking only what they always had with them, cash.
  • Journalist:
    - +30% Experience Gain
    - Starts with an extra $50.
    Few Journalists were able to observe the outbreak, and even fewer came out unharmed from the crisis zones. Those who did, tried their best to warn the public with their gathered intelligence, pictures and videos. At first the government hid, suppressed and denied the facts, but soon the outbreak became uncontrollable and the public finally learned the truth. By then, most Journalists had fled the cities already. Journalists are not made for war, so their saved possessions include only a bit of cash.
  • Actor:
    - +30% Experience Gain
    - Starts with an extra $20.
    For obvious reasons, few Actors are known to have survived from the outbreak. The best-known actors, idols and celebrities quickly fell victim to zombie attacks, rioting or simply from a lack of survival skills in the now turned lawless city. Today, very few of them remain. Even of those who still live, almost no Actors would identify themselves as such. Those who do, seem to fancy themselves as storytellers and performers - the bards of the new world. Due to the fact that most surviving Actors were penniless romantics or have depended on credit cards and off-shore bank accounts, which are now worthless, they tend to only have a tiny amount of starting cash.
  • Stock Broker:
    - +30% Experience Gain
    - Starts with an extra $100.
    Being some of the most skeptical observers of the news and unconfirmed outbreaks, Stock Brokers were not prepared when the time came to leave the business districts. Although, once they realized what was going on, they used what little skills and lots of cash they amassed during their stressed lives to help themselves and others flee the cities. Stock Brokers are very glad that they were rich, even though they are just weak civilians. Always keeping a good load of "emergency cash" with them.
  • Architect:
    - +30% Experience Gain
    - Starts with an extra $50.
    Architects were a rare and creative breed before the outbreak, generally unprepared for a large-scale disaster. But as their beautiful buildings and grand houses crumbled, many found the inner strength needed to survive and fought just as hard as any other, using their knowledge to help build outposts and barricades.
  • Entertainer:
    - +30% Experience Gain
    - Starts with an extra $20.
    Entertainers led a strange life. Telling strangers jokes, making people laugh - it was all well and good, but the dead have very poor senses of humor. Escaping with what little cash they could scrounge up, Entertainers are a vital part of Outpost life, continuing their trade even after most audiences have turned into brain-eating monsters.
  • Student:
    - +22% Experience Gain
    - +1 Strength
    - +2 Agility
    - +2 Endurance
    These resourceful young men and women fight to retake the future that was stolen from them along with their homes, friends and families. Before everything went to hell, these bright yet inexperienced learners knew little but what their Math and English textbooks told them. After the outbreak, however, those who survived found themselves alone in a world ridden with death and chaos. With few options left, they abandoned their Math and English books and took up a new subject - Zombie Killing. Being a combination of the Role-playing and the Stat-Boost professions, the Student gets a 22% bonus in experience gain, which makes leveling slightly faster, but also gets a few small stat bonuses.

Next: Dead Frontier (Part Two)