Earlier this week, SegmentNext interviewed the developers at Haenir Studio, the people behind the upcoming Extraction-lite multiplayer game Blight: Survival. Along with the multiplayer and single-player, however, the interview also includes different aspects of the game. To start with, the developers went into detail on what they mean by calling the game an “Extraction-lite”.
Blight is round based, meaning that each ‘run’ has you venture into the map in an attempt to survive as long as possible until you reach a point of no return where you either extract or die. If you successfully extract, you will get to keep whatever you may have picked up. However, if you die you will lose your character and your equipment, only to keep some experience points that will carry over to your next of kin, who will carry on the legacy of your bloodline.
And, of course, with persistent characters that can change based on whether they live or die during a mission, an extra way to get players attached to their characters is to give them the option of making them themselves, which is a big plus thanks to Haenir’s use of Unreal Engine 5.
We’re currently working with MetaHumans for both our character creator, but also for some of the humanoids in the game. We’re still in the middle of production, and are still making active decisions about our processes and tools, but thus far MetaHuman definitely seems to be very suitable for our needs.
While the thought of a medieval zombie survival game may be familiar to some people who keep track of such a genre, the developers are keeping that on the down-low, it seems. After all, even if such an idea isn’t copyrighted, there’s always someone that might try something.
I’ve been told not to draw comparisons to other works, due to opening us up to a potential lawsuit. So unfortunately I can’t say anything specific.
Thankfully, even if the game’s premise isn’t necessarily original, the gameplay reveal has proven to be a big hit with those gamers that are interested in it. This likely means good things for the game, even if it doesn’t have a release date just yet.
It’s been a very humbling experience, that is for sure. Ulrik and I had hoped for a good response, but the sheer amount of excitement and enthusiasm that has been pouring in the last half year has been nothing but breathtaking. We’ve very happy to see this kind of game resonate with so many other gamers out there. It is that support, and excitement that has made it possible for us to work on this full-time and to build a talented team around this wild and wonderful endeavor.
Even with such a positive reaction to the game’s gameplay preview, however, Haenir’s developers still have no idea of when the game will actually come out; games like this take time, after all, and it’s better to not rush things, especially given the studio wants to release the game all at once.
Unfortunately I can’t share any release dates, or release windows as we’re still somewhat early in the development cycle. The project has grown more ambitious since we started out, and since we just recently onboarded ten new developers we had to take a step back in order to take two steps forward. We’re now finally building momentum and will make sure to update you all along the way.
As for early access, we hope to be able to avoid it and deliver you the full game upon release.
With Blight: Survival being an “Extraction-lite” game, it will include various roguelite elements in it. The game has been developed with replayability clearly in mind, but there will also be mechanics in it that make it more of an objective-based game similar to other games of its genre.
Just like any other roguelite, replayability is an important factor, and we hope to make every new playthrough different from your last. Without going into specifics there will be optional quest-type objectives to complete and mysterious to explore; but given that this is a co-op title, we appreciate that not everyone wants or can pay attention to a story-driven narrative. That means that pretty much all content in the game is optional. It is up to the player to decide where to go and what to do.
There will be plenty of player progression to dive into, through talents, traits, player attributes, crafting and then of course gear customization.
As it’s a game with persistent characters that players can use, Blight: Survival also includes a crafting system to allow players to upgrade and craft new armor and weapons that they can use to increase survivability in future missions, along with other things to craft for progression, as well.
Currently we have two crafting systems planned. Weapons and armors, which requires an artisan who, for a cost, will provide you with various upgrades and customizations to your gear – to give an example, a sword would consist of a hilt, a crossguard, a blade and scabbard. Secondly we have remedies, which range from bandages, torches to herbs and potions. It is still too early for us to dive into the specifics, but it is safe to say that crafting is a key part of our progression system.
Of course, in a game like this, in order to work together effectively players will each need to fill a certain niche if they want to cover every possible weakness that the team might have. Haenir, however, says that players won’t be limited by something like character classes telling them what they can and can’t use.
No. We have a classless system, allowing players to mix and match gear and weapons however they see fit. We want to allow players to play how they fancy.
Not only will this classless system mean that players get to pick and choose what weapons they want without limitations, the game’s intended playstyle is the same way. Even in a medieval apocalypse, after all, you’ll have some players who will just want to throw stealth out the window.
Players get to decide themselves however they want to engage. With that said, sometimes a more stealthy approach might be…safer. However, we’re never going to force players to play in a specific way, but rather incentivize them to adapt.
To clarify, you can absolutely go in swords blazing throughout the whole game, if you so wish.
One interesting mechanic that was shown during the gameplay trailer was the apparent ability to pray at shrines in order to gain buffs. While nothing more was really elaborated on in the gameplay preview, the Haenir devs gave us a better picture of what those are for.
There will be several religions in the game, whereas the playable characters – the Writhen – can make offerings to any of these to receive a random blessing for the duration of the ‘run’.
With all of the different weapons and armor that you can craft using the game’s crafting system, there’s definitely a lot of medieval weapons and gear to choose from. The folks at Haenir gave a brief explanation of the sort of things we can expect to see.
There are a lot of different gear slots; and different levels within each. A bascinet for example is composed of multiple pieces – Coif, Bascinet and a Visor. Then there will be different rarities and conditions for each, which can be upgraded at an artisan in exchange for materials and coin.
Finally, with the game being multiplayer-focused, it fits that Haenir would try and get the game out to the biggest audiences possible. While they’re not locking into the decision at the moment, this could even extend to cloud-gaming services.
We want to do what is best for the game and our players. If that option is some sort of game pass, that is definitely something we would entertain. We’re not locking into something at the momentum, but would much prefer for the game to be available to as many players as possible.
There’s no release date officially set for Blight: Survival at the moment, but hopefully whenever it does come, it will mean the game is fully ready and players will be able to have fun carving through waves of medieval zombies. Currently the game is exclusive to PC.