This week we got the opportunity to interview indie developer PixelMate, about their upcoming survival horror title Beyond Despair. It is one of the five titles included in the Top 5 Unreal 4 Engine Indie FPS Titles to Keep on Your Radar list. Nick Romanov of the team, acted as translator for the interview.
We discuss the game’s ultimate goal, features, setting and locations, backstory and much more. Beyond Despair is an open-world multiplayer survival horror game scheduled for release on Steam Early Access in January 2017. The player takes on the role of a volunteer who is sent to an island to find the missing former head of the New Light Corporation, Victor Ognin.
On the island, however, are monstrous creatures, dangerous anomalies, strange global events and of course, other survivors. Will you survive long enough to find Ognin or will you become the next meal of the islands many hungry monsters?
GameSkinny: What is the ultimate goal of the player in Beyond Despair?
Nick Romanov: Ultimate goal is to survive. But in our game, it is not to only find food and water plus some weapons to scare away other players. We have global events that may change the rules for a period of time, special monsters with unique weaknesses and some other things you will see after the release of the game in January of 2017.
Also, there are alternative goals like side quests and the main story. These are very important for us and we are working hard to make them interesting for all players. We want to give players different routes and ways to play.
GS: How big will the island the game takes place in be?
NR: It is about four square kilometres on the surface at the moment. Plus there are many underground facilities and bunkers. Later we plan to add more space with new islands or underground locations.
GS: What kind of locations can the player expect to experience on their travels?
NR: There are many different types. It used to be a populated island with infrastructure. You will see industrial districts, villages, cemeteries , mountain, forests, a small plane with giant mushrooms, a frozen in time tank battle and many others. Every location tells a story and has something to show players.
GS: With Beyond Despair being open world will players be able to interact and trade with NPCs?
NR: At the start of Early Access we won’t have interactions with NPCs in the world, but it is a planned system for safe zones. At the same time some NPCs will contact you through the radio and give you missions or warnings about global events, and this will be from the start of EA.
GS: Will there be missions and side missions for the player to embark on?
NR: Yes there will be side quests and repeatable quests. Also there is a main story for players to follow.
GS: One feature you are yet to showcase is combat. How will the combat come into play in Beyond Despair?
NR: Melee combat is still being balanced. Right now it is pretty simple light attack, strong attack and block. There are also some guns, but the ammo is very rare.
GS: So far I have seen a Mauser as one of the weapons for the game on Twitter. What other weapons can players expect to see?
NR: There are lots of melee weapons, which might have modifications and at least three guns planned for EA.
GS: Will Beyond Despair be combat heavy or will it be more about picking your fights carefully?
NR: Players can choose themselves. But the world is harsh and may punish for your actions. It is not a zombie slasher/shooter because there is not much ammo and some nasty creatures may get interested by loud noises. PVP is an option too.
GS: Will there be online multiplayer? If so how will it play?
NR: BD is a multiplayer game, anybody can host a server and play alone or with friends or even open it up for anybody to connect. But at the same time, we have the main quest with chapters and many side quests. There is not a party system yet and it is not planned for the start of EA. It may be added later in the development.
GS: Could you talk a bit about the backstory of the game?
NR: World of BD is a planet where a terrible event took place. New Light corporation was conducting experiment connected to teleportation. During the time when the game takes place, New Light states that Victor Ognin former head of the corporation is the main suspect and is missing. Players will find more information if they follow the main quest.
Player character is a volunteer who was sent as part of the recon team on the island to look for clues about the events from the past and to find information about Victor Ognin.
GS: Will there be a crafting mechanic in the game, if so how will it work and how complex will it be?
NR: It is planned, but not for the start of EA. Craft is an important and interesting part of gameplay and we need more time to implement it in the best way possible.
GS: You have an example of the soundtrack on your Indie DB page. A wonderful slow, horrifying atmospheric piece of music by Dmitry Camros Fedorov. Is this the aim for the soundtrack or will there be various forms of different tracks?
NR: The mood will be mostly the same. Every big location will have it’s own music and some events may change ambient to a faster track.
GS: You have plenty of monsters and strange creatures showcased on your Indie DB page. Is that all of them or do you have other horrors in store for the player?
NR: Many of the planned creatures were already shown. Some other are partially ready or in the state of concept art. Not all of the shown before will be ready for EA, and we will add them a little later.
Several more unannounced creatures are also in plans for later versions of the game.
Beyond Despair is looking to becoming a most promising survival horror title. With a vast island full of wonderful locations, bizarre creatures, an interesting story and a wonderful atmosphere, it is a title I am most excited to see materialize.
GameSkinny wishes Nick and his team at PixelMate the best of luck the game’s development and look forward to hearing more about it as it progresses.
If you would like to find out more about Beyond Despair you can check out their Indie DB page or follow them on Twitter for all the latest news.
Image Source: All screenshots were provided by Nick Romanov for the purpose of this interview.