On the show floor of New York Comic Con, I got to sit down Next Games Marketing Director, Joonas Virtanen, and try out the demo for the new mobile AR The Walking Dead: Our World. Using an iPhone, I was able to track down the katana-wielding Michonne and partner up in taking down zombies.  While it only took place on a small screen, my stress levels were definitely increased by the slew of rapidly moving zombies getting closer to my face.  After completing a level I got to talk about the challenges of the game, and what sets it apart from other AR, with Next Games Marketing Director, Joonas Virtanen.

CM: A lot of people have been calling this app the Pokémon GO of the Walking Dead? What do you think sets it apart or was it stepping stone for this game?

JV: First off, Pokemon Go was a great game that introduced location-based AR to the public, that being said, it was the first game of its kind during that time and AR availability has dramatically changed since it [Pokémon GO] first came out.  When a new technology or new mechanic comes out, you always see the first base game created, and then all games after that are kind of compared to it.  Though we believe that even if there are similarities between the two games, Our World will stand on its own and represent its own world and the character’s from AMC’s The Walking Dead.

CM: How will this game compare to other Walking Dead related games that are already available to the public?

JV: Well we already created No Man’s Land which has been out for a few years now, it was the first game we did with AMC, and is more of a turn-based action strategy and is more of a thinking man’s game.  Where Our World is going to be a more visceral, you in the world, kind of experience.  Where in No Man’s Land you are controlling your own unit of survivors, Our World is very much about being involved in the Walking Dead world and surrounding yourself with the experience of that world and its already existing cast.

CM: When playing ‘Our World’, what are the main objectives?  Is it more about just killing zombies or are your also completing side quests with the characters?

JV: While we can’t get into to much detail, as the game hasn’t officially released yet, I will tell you that it does very much relate to experiences characters have in the show.  In that kind of situation, you need supplies to survive and equipment to kill zombies with since they aren’t going to kill themselves.  You’ll be moving from one point to another, finding new characters along the way and possibly unlocking new equipment along the way.

CM: What were the biggest challenges of talking the Walking Dead world and translating it to AR?

JV: As you see with lots of new games, like the ones that have come out for the Oculus Rift, new technology makes new ideas possible.  When Apple introduced the ARKit in September, it made it possible for us to start building the world of Our World and creating it for a mobile platform on the iPhone and on the Android.  With the creation of the ARKit, I think you’ll start to see a lot of new AR games being created and ideas taken to new heights through this technology.

CM: What were your favorite aspects of the game while developing it and testing it?

JV: I really liked the idea of being able to completely immerse myself in the world of the Walking Dead wherever I went.  Whether it was walking the dog, or sitting on the couch, or being at work, I could just open the app wherever I went and suddenly be involved in that world.  You don’t have to tailor your life around the game, though you could if you want to scour every possible location and unlock every objective.  That choice is up to you really and that’s what I like about Our World.

CM: Did you find that AMC had a lot of creative directions or limits for this game, or did you feel like you had a lot of space to run with it?

JV: We have a really great relationship with AMC, we’ve been working with them for a couple of year’s since we worked on No Man’s Land and they put a lot of their trust with us on this project.  It did not feel like a normal licensor to licensee relationship, and they were very collaborative with us.  They gave us the freedom to make sure we did what was best for the game, while still making sure that we positively represented their brand.  The game was very much based on the show, and while you don’t have to watch the show to enjoy the game, there will be a lot more easter eggs for those who watch the show.

CM: Were there a lot of original storylines written for this game? Or was there a lot of already existing material that was used from the show?

JV: While we can’t get into too much detail about the storyline for Our World, we can tell you that there was original content for No Man’s Land that was created by the writers from The Walking Dead show. So there is material that was written for No Man’s Land that is canon to the TV show and is part of the Walking Dead world.  Though after a few episodes, we will also try to take some material based off what happened in the storyline and what happened to the characters in those episodes to make you feel more immersed in the world.

CM: What would you say to fans who have not yet experience the world of the Walking Dead or the Our World game to draw them in?

JV: Really that this is an AR experience that no one has previously experience before, it is a very alive and visceral experience.  We see the experiences fans are having today with the demo, and we feel that they are very involved with whats happening in the world we created based on the Walking Dead.  If you follow us on social media, you will be able to see the trailer and all the news for the game, as well as some reveals along the way.  You’ll be able to collect characters and new items along the way, but we first want to introduce players to the core mechanics of zombies in your living room and if you don’t kill them they’ll kill you kind of gameplay.

For more information on The Walking Dead: Our World and the latest gaming news, you can follow Gamer Assault Weekly on all our social media platforms.

 

 

About The Author

Christine M
Sr. Community Developer/ Staff Writer

About me: Christine "smollbirb" Marten is a recent college grad that has been playing video games since she was gifted with her first NES console in 1999. Known as LuxAterna on Steam, she started as a games journalist in 2012 and has been writing about games and the industry since. In college, she acted as the president/clubmother for the gaming club, and hosted her own gaming radio show called SoundWave Games. When she is not gaming she can be seen cosplaying at conventions, working with non-profits that fundraise through video games (like Extra Life and Child's Play), acting as community manager for The Senpai Project, playing League of Legends with friends, or serenading passerbyers with her violin skills on the streets of NYC. She will literally play anything that is thrown at her (but please don't throw to hard she is smoll). She enjoys indie games and horror games especially, and her favorite series of all times is Kingdom Hearts. Her third love, after video games and violin, is puns. Although it is a dangerous life she makes them whenever she hears the opportunity to do so. Christine hopes to bring her own spin on storytelling to the GAW community as she continues to seek out whatever the world has to offer!