It seems there's some doubt about whether or not H1Z1 will actually be ready to make its Steam Early Access debut before the end of May, despite previous promises from SOE president John Smedley, but new information from H1Z1 developer Adam Clegg should make that pill a bit easier to swallow.
Though not quite as exciting as actual gameplay footage, those anxious for new information on H1Z1 will be happy to hear that a handful of new details were unearthed by the five hosts of Podcast Zero, an all-things-H1Z1weekly video podcast from a number of popular Twitch.tv personalities. This week, the Podcast Zero hosts were joined by H1Z1 developer Adam Clegg, one of several members of the H1Z1 team who have popped up on various streams over the last few weeks.
As we mentioned in the opening paragraph, Clegg still seemed uncertain about when H1Z1 will actually be available on Steam, saying it's always possible that Smedley could decide to push the H1Z1 launch back by a couple of weeks. On the flipside, Clegg also acknowledge the studio's plans to show the game at E3, which also means they'll need to have a playable judge's demo ready. So there's still some chance we could see H1Z1 pop-up in the Early Access section of Steam before the end of the month.
The H1Z1 developer also revealed an interesting take on zombies that may prove extremely beneficial when it comes time to evade one or more of the undead. Apparently, in H1Z1, zombies will be drawn to sources of heat, and will even abandon pursuit of players if they are drawn to a larger source of heat. That doesn't just mean fires, either. Given their lack of intelligence, Clegg says zombies will be drawn to fires, packs of animals, and/or literally anything else that would generate more heat than a single individual. Of course, that also means it's going to be quite a bit more difficult for players to escape the undead in large groups.
On the stranger end of things, Clegg revealed previous SOE design meetings yielded the possibility that players will be able to capture/domesticate infected animals. It's not clear how players might make use of these trained creatures, other than creating traps for would-be home invaders, but it remains one of the more interesting potential features floated during the roughly two-hour broadcast.
Clegg also confirmed that Sony Online Entertainment is open to including player-coordinated events into the official H1Z1 lore, in much the same way that developer CCP Games has become known for leaving lasting monuments/tributes for the various EVE Online battles that made the news over the years. The example given in the podcast was possible recognition of similar player battles, though you could obviously think of other situations -- say, zombies overrunning a survivor camp that people assumed was unconquerable -- where it would be appropriate to alter the H1Z1 lore.
Turns out, players may be able to sabotage non-player creations as well. We've known since the game was first announced that players would be able to craft shacks, houses and other structures, and that opposing players would be able to burn or otherwise destroy those buildings.
According to Clegg, SOE is considering giving players the ability to do things like blow-up the fuel pumps at a gas station, to make life more difficult for other H1Z1 players on the same server. The functionality isn't guaranteed yet, and definitely won't be in the Early Access build of H1Z1, but you can count me among those who'd love the opportunity to turn an already desolate map into a true No Man's Land.
If you've got a couple of hours to kill, or need something to listen to while you work on a project, I definitely recommend checking out the entire Podcast Zero interview with Adam Clegg for more info on H1Z1 while we wait for an official Steam Early Access timeline. Alternately, if you'd just like a point-by-point breakdown of the entire H1Z1 discussion, reddit user ReloadUI has you covered.
Be sure to check back with iDigitalTimes.com and follow Scott on Twitter for more on H1Z1 as we keep tabs on Sony Online Entertainment's upcoming zombie survival game throughout the H1Z1 Early Access period, and for however long the studio continues to produce new H1Z1 content.
What do you think of all the latest H1Z1 gameplay information from Adam Clegg? Is there something that you were disappointed not to hear discussed in the Podcast Zero interview? Just hoping that SOE is able to release H1Z1 via Steam Early Access before the end of May?
Let us know in the comments section!