April 3rd, 2012 | By Alex Bokan
Though the quality and scope of indie games is changing every day, the common misconception is that ‘indie’ means ‘small’. While that is typically true when describing their development teams, it isn’t always indicative of the games themselves.
Eyesodic Games is challenging that very stereotype with Days of Extinction, an ambitious open world game currently in development. In an attempt to figure out exactly what Days of Extinction is all about, I got in touch with Dan Kenny (DK), developer at, and founder of, Eyesodic Games.
IGM: Tell us, what exactly is Days of Extinction?
DK: So, Days Of Extinction is our first open world RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world. In our game, the apocalypse occurs due to an alien UFO crash landing and the alien DNA mixing with human DNA causing mutations, so, for us, it was like looking at an alternate style of the Roswell alien crash and seeing what would happen if it was never covered up.
The style of the world is borderline sci-fi, so although the world will look somewhat normal, like our own, some elements may seem a little more out there. For instance, most homes in the game come equipped with emergency cryostasis units in a reinforced basement of the house. It seemed to fit well with the world style and culture we had created as it gives a sense that, no matter what happened, people could just freeze themselves until things were OK. In the game, your character put himself into cryostasis along with his very sick wife in hopes that when you woke up she could be cured, but, when you do wake up, you find this apocalyptic world, and your wife is missing.
IGM: Why did you make Days of Extinction? What goal did you have in mind?
DK: With Days Of Extinction, we wanted to come away from what is expected of a post-apocalyptic game, such as it just being an open world FPS shoot-em-up, so we are putting more focus on emotion in the game, such as the feeling of fear and loneliness and that sense of real, constant danger. That’s something that’s very hard to do if your character has 1000 health and can gun down everything in his way, so we try to balance realism in combat by making you more vulnerable. The gun combat feels more real, in the sense that one or two bullets can kill an enemy, but since ammo is hard to come by, it leaves you thinking, “Do I really want to waste it and risk attracting more mutations”?
A lot of time is spent on making the melee combat feel very gruesome and gory, the idea being that it’s so dangerous to attack a mutation that it genuinely makes it a hard decision between shooting them or melee combat. The mutation’s sound sets were also very important in making them genuinely scary. That’s why we put a lot of effort went into making them sound as unnerving as possible, in order to add to that sense of fear.
IGM: How will Days of Extinction play exactly? I’ve seen you describe it as an open world role playing game. Does that mean it will play similarly to the Fallout series?
DK: I wouldn’t compare it to the Fallout as those games have very complex, detailed systems to handle quests and so on. That being said, we do have quests other than the main story and, to make the world more dynamic, we give NPCs routines and allow them to interact with the world. One of the main things we did with side quests is that they are not just a way of getting new weapons or info by doing a task. Sure, that’s a part of it, but the main idea of the side quests is to show emotion through other characters in the world and the dangers they face. We do this in a way that makes your story in the game feel like it’s not the most important thing in the world, and that it is just one part of the world and the game’s overall story.
Another point to the side quests is that by doing them, you can sometimes learn more info that helps you progress in the main story. Unfortunately for the player, it won’t always be a very pleasant side quest. For example, you may be asked by a corrupt town boss to lure a guy out to a mutation trap, so this leaves you to decide, “Will I commit an evil act for the greater good or will I find another way”?
IGM: From the screenshots I saw, the game looks quite creepy, if not downright scary. Are you expecting the final product to fit into the horror genre?
DK: The game does have a very strong horror feel to it. At some points in the game, you can find yourself in scenes that build up a very strong sense of fear, and you will think it’s a horror game, but then you go outside and might be reminded it’s an RPG. I think what will happen when it releases is that some people will look at it as a post-apocalyptic RPG, and others as a horror game. For me, personally, I would describe it as a horror game with RPG elements.
IGM: What kind of gamer or player are you expecting Days of Extinction to cater to?
DK: I think that the game will have a good blend of RPG and FPS elements. So, if you like shooting games, you won’t need to be a big RPG player, and vice versa. In that sense, I think it will suit a wide group of folks that are into horror, post-apocalyptic, and FPS games.
IGM: How has the feedback for Days of Extinction been?
DK: So far, there’s been a lot of great feedback about the game, especially from the folks on Indie DB. It’s always great to see so much interest in a game before it’s even finished. It makes working on the game all the more fun because you know that folks are going to enjoy it.
IGM: Despite the creatures being mutants and not zombies, some of them do seem to share some similarities. Would you classify Days of Extinction as a zombie game?
DK: Well, at the end of the day, everyone loves zombies and so do we. The way we explain the mutants in the game that look like zombies is that the humans that did not bond very well with the alien DNA did not mutate as much. Therefore, they are weaker than those that did mutate fully, and ended up looking like zombies. Though these are the most common enemies in the game, there are plenty of other more advanced mutations as well. We just have not shown many of them yet.
IGM: Days of Extinction looks to be quite a large scale project. How was the development process like? Any setbacks?
DK: It is a very large project to work on, especially as an indie and,as with all projects, there are setbacks from time to time that can come down to a feature not working out as originally planned or having to cut out some parts of the game because they did not add to it, but, overall Days Of Extinction is a great project to work on and is probably one of the most fun things I have ever worked on.
IGM: Did your work on, or reception of, the award-winning ‘Reapers End’ series help influence the creation of Days of Extinction?
DK: Yeah, I mean, with any project, you look back on past projects and see what worked and what didn’t work. Looking back on Reapers End, we found people really love how the gun combat felt and how guns handled in the game, so we take that element and make it better in Days Of Extinction. Another thing people liked was the sense of being trapped and under pressure, so we look at how we can achieve that similar feeling in Days Of Extinction.
IGM: Do you have any sequels, updates or DLC plans for Days of Extinction in the future?
DK: At the moment, I can’t say yes or no. It’s something I would love to do, and we may very well do it, but, right now, our focus is on the game itself. We’re trying to get it done and out there for folks to play.
IGM: What do you see on the horizon for Eyesodic Games?
DK: We’re taking everything as it comes, but the hope is that the studio will grow. There is another game being designed at the moment, and once Days Of Extinction is finished, it will hopefully go into development.
IGM: Any plans on which platforms the game will be released on?
DK: Well, as of now, the plan is for a PC release on Steam and Desura, and maybe other platforms down the line.
IGM: Finally, any word on a release date?
DK: At the moment, I can’t give a release date, but we are getting closer to announcing it.
Keep up to date on the development of Days of Extinction, as well as other Eyesodic Games titles, on their official website.