The latest Population Zero Dev Diary has been published and addresses world exploration and its effect on gameplay mechanics. According to the developer, Enplex Games, the exploration feature for Planet Kepler binds all other mechanics together. It is a storytelling tool, a fun thing to do, and a way to progress character development.
Creative Producer Denis Pozdnyakov and Level Designer Polina Zubareva discuss the creative concepts behind the Population Zero world and regions, main features of the exploration mechanics, and the effects on character progression and world-building. New locations reward the player with additional information, which can lead to the acquisition of new equipment and skills.
Population Zero is a game that fuses exploration, survival games, MMOs, and session-based titles. The world on which it takes place is alien, with mysteries set in an environment that is far from welcoming. Players must repair a reactor, restart their hibernation pod, save themselves from the Sphere’s devastating radiance, and survive a 168-hour cycle on Kepler.
Upon starting the game for the first time, players will run through their first day cycle on Kepler. The cycle will begin at a special Drop Zone, which is a single-player tutorial level. In addition to exploring the planet and completing the main objective, players must resource gather, craft, battle mobs, or other players. Win or lose, players will still earn rewards and experience according to their session progress. Players will be rewarded with account experience each Kepler cycle, which will allow them to unlock mechanics, new modes, or to otherwise enhance gameplay. When joining new sessions, players will be matched according to their account level.
Enplex Games is a Moscow-based developer. The team consists of highly skilled developers and industry veterans who have previously worked for companies such as Mail.ru, Wargaming, Blizzard, Nival, Disney, and more. Through Population Zero, they hope to create a uniquely futuristic and persistent online world for millions of players.
Population Zero is set to launch on Steam Early Access on May 5, 2020. Players interested in taking part in beta tests can purchase a Founder’s Pack on the official site.