As we all know, there are quite a lot of mobile games out there on the Gaming market. However, a lot of them are anything but great. And quite frankly, I am yet to play a really good 3D third-person post-apocalyptic action RPG that offers online and co-op support. Well, guess what? Hell Tap Entertainment is developing a game of that kind, and it´s called “Post Brutal“.
So I decided to do an interview with Hell Tap about “Post Brutal”, and this is what they told me.
Could you give us a proper introduction of “Post Brutal”? I would also like to know what your own goals, expectations and hopes are for the game?
Post Brutal is a post-apocalyptic, action RPG that takes place during a zombie outbreak. The main character is literally YOU. You can use the camera to capture your own face and the microphone to record your own voice to actually be a part of the game, interact with characters, and be a hero of the people, or own the face they learn to fear.
In the wake of The Event, most of the population has been driven insane, feral, and worse. The city has been quarantined to contain the threat and you’re trapped inside. To stay alive, you’re going to need to master some fast and furious gunplay, take up whatever sharp or heavy object you can find for gory, uncompromising close combat, utilise stealth tactics to stay one step ahead, and brace yourself for blood to spill. Wave after wave of the Afflicted pour into the streets in search of fresh meat, and merciless Raiders fight you tooth and nail to control the aid drop zones, the primary source of food.
Post Brutal drops you into a dystopian nightmare and lets you decide the tools you need to survive through the choices you make, whether it’s how you want to shape your character or how you want to achieve objectives. The question is, how long can you hold out in a city that wants you dead?
Our main goal was to make the kind of game that we’d like to play. Something that is compelling but accessible, that has depth, but you can pick up and find satisfying every time you play it. We would love to be in a position to fully tell the story we wanted to tell, add all the game modes and missions, visit all the places in City Zero that we’d like to explore, but ultimately, we hope people enjoy playing Post Brutal and help us build a loyal following. That’s the most we can ask from our players!
How, when, where and why did “Post Brutal” happen?
It was in 2012 that I first came up with the idea of a post-apocalyptic RPG that allowed you to capture your own face and voice. At that point, I hadn’t formed Hell Tap yet and I was freelancing for some other clients and developing games for them.
I’ve always been a fan of the original Fallout games and I still personally think of Deus Ex 1 as the best game ever made! In fact, you’ll find quite a few references to DX1 in Post Brutal as a special kind of homage!
I figured I’d try to combine what I loved about those two games, while adding my own twist of character personalization and a zombie element to see where I ended up. The zombie apocalypse is a scenario people love, but not a lot of games with that back drop really explore the idea as anything but an excuse to shoot zombies, which, of course, we also have. I didn’t want it to just be the standard zombie apocalypse set up, and wanted the universe of Post Brutal to have its own identity and things that set it apart. That was a goal for gameplay and the setting.
I had started to build the engine of the game and it was becoming clear how huge in scope this project was going to be. In the summer of that year, I recruited two additional members, including a dedicated writer who handled the story, setting, and some of the game design. The project has really been a challenge for such a small team, but we felt we were onto something good. Four years later, the result is Post Brutal!
How did you come up with your studio name? (Hell Tap Entertainment!).
I knew from the get-go I’d be dealing with post-apocalyptic and dystopian themes, so I needed something relatively simple and catchy to communicate that – as well as a name that you could still buy a domain for! Haha…
I came up with Hell Tap Entertainment because the “Hell” theme matches up great with the apocalyptic stuff and the “Tap” implies we’re primarily focused on mobile apps. Finally, I chose “Entertainment” because I wanted to keep the possibility of working on other forms of media in the future.
Will there be a Co-Op and online feature in “Post Brutal”? And how many hours of gameplay will the game offer? (Roughly calculated).
In earlier builds of the game, we had the beginnings of competitive, death match style multiplayer, but we never developed it all the way. An engaging single player experience has always been the focus of the game, and we decided early on that it was best that we concentrate on making Post Brutal’s core experience the best it could be.
We have no short-term plans of offering multiplayer functionality but we’ll continue to look into it as we release updates and gauge demand. There are some cool things we could do with co-op, but it’s all a case of logistics, right now.
This isn’t an official number, but if we include all of the replayability factors such as collectible Data Logs, achievements, player skills, multiple endings, core missions and various player choices, you might be looking at well over 20 hours. Don’t hold me to that, it’s just an educated guess at this point!
All in all, there’s a tremendous amount of value there, but it’s quite difficult to quantify, as people will play the game differently. We also have plenty of free content planned for updates so expect new locations, Patrol missions, achievements and weapons in the near future!
I couldn´t help to notice the following highlighted features for “Post Brutal”:
“Place Yourself in the Game”
“Intense, Dynamic Combat”
“Meaningful Character Development”
“Become Part of the Story”.
“A Challenge Beyond Brutal”
So could you perhaps walk us through each feature and explain to us what they will offer, and what the players can expect in terms of gameplay value for each feature?
Sure, we’ve already talked about “placing yourself in the game” by capturing your face and voice so I’ll skip talking about that one! It comes up in another subject too.
“Intense Dynamic Combat”
Combat in Post Brutal is fast paced, action-packed and revolves primarily around your equipped ranged and melee weapons which you can easily switch between. The dynamic of combat can change drastically depending on your chosen weapons, enemies and location. It also affects the kind of approach you may adopt. Some weapon setups might have you dancing around, using hit and run tactics, and others might let you wade in. You also have the ‘Adrenaline’ ability at your disposal, which allows you to temporarily slow down time and amplify the effectiveness of your assault, or use enhanced agility to evade bullets and other attacks. You’ll find that enemies taunt you during combat, which makes it all the more satisfying when you deliver post-apocalyptic justice; limbs are dismembered, guts go flying and heads get decapitated. It’s not for the faint hearted!
“Meaningful Character Development”
In the first release of Post Brutal, your character has a maximum level of 24. Every time you level up your character you’ll be offered a skill point where you can unlock and upgrade a variety of eight skills. These skills don’t merely upgrade your stats, but often unlock noticeable features. For example, upgrading the navigator skill unlocks a minimap and allows you to detect enemies and items of interest, while mastering the Assassin skill allows you to perform silent kills by sneaking up behind your enemies. A personal favourite is the Iron Arm skill, which makes your critical melee attacks so powerful that the corpses of your enemies are launched into the air like ragdolls!
“Become Part of the Story”
We have voice actors for every character in Post Brutal and you have the freedom to get to know them through dialogue. We’ve already talked about VoiceRoom; when you talk to characters, sometimes they’ll ask you questions, or your character will have something to say in response, so it’s not just NPCs talking at you, like it usually is in games where you can create your character.
You’ll be having fully voiced dialogue between in-game characters, and you, with your own voice, so you’re a part of the story in that way and can interact in a way that’s not just based around missions. Camera angles often show your character in dialogue and cut scenes, so you regularly see your own face in conversations, or story events, as well as regular game play.
In the campaign, there are branching story paths, and your actions can affect if other characters live or die. You see the first example of this in the tutorial, where you need to recover supplies from an aid crate, and Raiders are harassing another survivor who tried the same thing. How you interact with that situation, if you interact with it at all, is going to affect how things unfold. You can choose sides, choose no sides, wait it out, slaughter everyone; it’s up to you.
These kinds of events don’t always follow the same formula, and they’re definitely not the same every time, but these kinds of choices are presented to you throughout, and they’re often tied in with the way you want to play the game.
Along the way, you’ll also gain access to other people’s email accounts, Data Logs and other documents to understand what is really going on under the surface. The more you explore, the more you’ll uncover about the wider story, both for characters you’ll meet and others you won’t, in other parts of the city.
“A Challenge Beyond Brutal”
We’ve spent a lot of time adding replayability features to the game. Each mission has 3 difficulty modes, which makes enemies stronger and rewards greater. Some of the missions are really hard on Post Brutal difficulty, so it lives up to the name! There are also Data Logs (which might be a journal, important email, or a document) to be found and each achievement offers its own reward. Finally, we’ve also included an exclusive weapon as a reward for anyone hardcore enough to unlock all mission achievements!
How many weapons do you believe that the full version of “Post Brutal” will offer? And will there be alternative attacks for each weapon?
The first version of the game is going to include around 30 weapons, ranging from every day items like kitchen knives and baseball bats all the way to chainsaws, flamethrowers and missile launchers. We have some ‘post apocalyptic’ weapons too, which are usually one or two items bolted together to become something deadly. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have weapons made out of junk.
We don’t currently have any alternative attacks for weapons but we’re experimenting on this for some weapons in the beta. We can’t guarantee that it’ll make it to the first release but some specific weapons are likely to have special functionality soon!
Which games, books and movies have “Post Brutal” been inspired by? From my point of view, I would guess old-school George Romero movies, “Splinter Cell”, “Resident Evil” and “Urban Chaos”.
It’s always great to hear what other people think our influences are! The early inspirations of Post Brutal probably came more from the original “Deus Ex” and “Fallout” series in terms of atmosphere and tone, and possibly from movies like “Mad Max”, and to some extent “Equilibrium” and “The Matrix”.
You’d never guess it from playing Post Brutal, but we all loved Bastion. We took a lot of inspiration from some of the design choices in the game, and seeing how they translated to our 3D environment and darker tone. One of the team is also a big fan of Dredd (2012, definitely not the Stallone one); that kind of brutal, very near future sci-fi setting where life is hard and cheap had a similar tone to what we aimed for.
Post Brutal has some horror undertones, there’s some System Shock influence in the team, and some of us like horror as a genre more than others, but there isn’t really a clear influence for that; it came about organically from the themes of the game. There’s actually a conspiratorial thriller element in the story, which might be the biggest example of Deus Ex worship in-game. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there’s a lot of questioning about what you’re being told and things not being what they seem. The truth is out there!
What kind of feedback and response have “Post Brutal” received so far? And has it been mostly positive or mixed opinions? Furthermore, is there a demo that people could try for themselves?
We’ve mostly had positive feedback in the beta so far, plenty of suggestions and ideas, which we are working overtime to include. We’ve found our testers to be the source of some amazing improvements. To some extent they’re doing all the work for us, we just need to listen to them!
Post Brutal will be free to download on release – we’re using a hybrid business model where players get to choose what kind of experience they want from the game. If players are looking for a casual title then they can level up their character, upgrade skills and acquire weapons and equipment by undertaking randomized patrol missions for free!
For those who want the premium experience, or want to get deeper into the story, there are a range of premium upgrades to enhance Post Brutal such as removing adverts and unlocking the core story-based campaign.
We’re planning to expand the Post Brutal universe regularly with updates, and the vast majority of this content will be free!
Is there any nailed down release date for “Post Brutal” yet? And is there any chance that the game “might” be released to other formats besides iOS and Android?
No nailed down release date yet, we’re currently in beta and we’ve decided to take the philosophy of “it’s ready when our testers say it is” lol. We’re hoping it’ll be soon! We may possibly decide to open up the platforms. We have some experimental builds for the desktop but we haven’t decided if we want to go ahead with that yet.
What´s your plans for 2016? And will you visit any big Gaming events this year? If so, which events will you visit?
That implies that I’ll have the time to leave my programming cave! lol … I haven’t made any plans yet but would be cool to check some out!
Is there anything else that you would like to add or say to our fans and readers?
Thanks so much to all of you for taking the time to read about Post Brutal! I hope I’ve made Post Brutal sound interesting enough to try out, and if I have, I want to give some heartfelt gratitude from everyone at our tiny indie team to anyone who plans on spending time with our game. You won’t regret it (unless you’re so engrossed you walk into a wall or something lol).
To anyone unsure about Post Brutal: Do you like gory violence? Do you like challenging combat? Do you like slow-mo fight scenes? Do you like being given a choice about how you want to play the game? Do you wish the zombie apocalypse had more broadswords in it? Do you like the idea of literally, actually being in the game? Give Post Brutal a try. After all, it’s free!
Robin “V-Act” Ek
The Gaming Ground
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