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Rissole25

Redditor claims insider development knowledge of SoE (No Spoilers)

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Rissole25    378

I know, I know. No proof, and it's reddit. Most likely joshing us around. But it's an interesting read nonetheless. Note there are no leaks in it, but feel free to remove it staff if you feel it shouldn't be here.

https://www.reddit.com/r/CODZombies/comments/3d25gx/a_look_into_the_development_of_soe/

Transcript of what he's saying, he also says more in the comments.

I was a part of the original zombies team all the way back in WAW. I dealt heavily with the conceptual aspects of the maps, as well as lore and QA. Zombies has really become something near and dear to my heart. I am no longer employed at Treyarch, but I still love zombies. SoE is truly something special, and that’s coming from someone involved with the development of (almost) all the previous zombies maps. Before I leave zombies forever, I want to get everyone else hyped for the map, as much as I am. This is not a “leak”, I just want to shed some light into the development and existence in what has been the best creation out of the zombies team.

Shadows of Evil had a fairly long development cycle. For the first time ever, Treyarch allocated the same amount of resources that went into the development of the games other 2 tentpole modes (i.e. multiplayer and campaign). This meant the team had to develop something new and revolutionary. We really wanted to take advantage of the new prolonged three-year development period. We wanted to push ourselves in terms of features and gameplay. Our ideological baby was shadows of evil. Its the most detailed and feature-rich map treyarch has ever dared create. During the initial conception period (where the team practically just sits in a room [most under the influence of some thought-altering substance] and throws ideas at the wall to see what sticks) we knew we wanted to do something decidedly different, but that didn’t divert too much from a gameplay point of view. The “basic” idea for the map goes all the way back to DLC 3 of black ops 2. Admittedly, the map has changed a great deal since then, but the initial idea of having an open world city setting was what stuck. Now, before I go any deeper, I want to make clear that I never saw the map out of an extremely early pre-alpha phase. Everything I’m about to say are conceptual ideas; things that may or may not be in the final GM (some features may change slightly). Zombies programmers are rather fickle minded and therefore tend to change things last minute, but for the most part I am relatively confident that the final product will be something along the lines of what I’m about to describe.

The core gameplay mechanics we wanted to explore and create were:

  • True “next-gen” map design
  • Great storytelling & depth
  • Different while still being familiar
  • Fusion of noire and goth
  • Stand-out cast
  • Immense open-world

The zombie team was greatly expanded during the development of BLOPS3. As I said earlier, Activision allocated a lot more resources into zombies, meaning the team inevitably grew in size. Lots of developers previously involved in campaign were brought over to zombies. Activision wasn’t the only one with newfound enthusiasm for the mode; the zombie team truly were excited to make something great utilizing the next-gen architecture. I remember concept art from the art team being spilled out nonstop, and how the team would work together to draft out the overarching mythos in the new chapter of zombies. And once the conceptual phase was completed, our main goal turned to making a true “next-gen” zombies experience. The new hardware gave us much more room to work with. We could finally stay true to the concept without having to make compromises. This was huge for the team, since before we were always “grounded” to reality by the devs because of hardware limitations. We could finally make the map of our dreams, and that’s what we did. Thanks to the upgraded hardware we were able to develop a true open-world. The size and scope of the map is comparable to some open-worlds that constitute entire games. Its absolutely massive, and thanks to the three-year development cycle we were able to meticulously scrutinize every polygon of the game’s reality. Everything in SoE is thought-out, and there’s universal purpose to all the occurrences and objects in the map. Everything is there for a reason and it all makes sense.

This leads me to the next point: great storytelling and depth. Thanks to the popularity of Mob of the Dead (both internally at treyarch and externally with actual DLC sales), we wanted to make something similar. SoE exists in a different bubble than MotD, but they’re unmistakably connected. The entire map is self-sustained; meaning this particular “chapter” starts and finishes in the same map (the crew will only be along for this map, and no future DLC is planned directly continuing this storyline). We really wanted to tell a fully thought out story in one offering. The general story is amazing, not only in the obvious things but also in how it ties in to the overall story 3arc has been telling for the past 8 years. I can’t reveal too many details, but what I can say is that you’ll be glad you weren’t spoiled. The story is perfectly fused with gameplay, and it truly is something unique. In zombies there are many branching storylines that are connected, but that divert in some ways from one another. Like origins diverts from the normal “continuum” of zombies (the storyline that has the blown up earth), we wanted to do something similar with SoE. This storyline is very similar to MotD in this sense; its sort of connected to everything else, but really it’s its own thing. So, don’t go in expecting Origins or Moon in terms of the backstory. The team wanted to make something new that stood on its own, and in terms of story its just that. Again, I can’t reveal too much but the story deals a lot with sin and morality. And there’s also a mysterious “evil” thats at the center of all the mayhem. Think samantha but more “cthulu” rather than “sci-fi”.

Another thing we wanted was change, but it was made very clear that we had to be careful. Exo-Zombies made it obvious that change could be counterproductive. In fact, the vast majority of the 3arc team despised what neversoft did with zombies. This established that we wanted the core gameplay to stay intact, and only then would we add features. SoE is feature-filled but the core mechanics are the same. There are no advanced movements (although we did toy with the idea for awhile), and the gameplay is still 100% non-linear. For awhile we wanted to incorporate missions or objectives in the rounds similar to campaign, but after seeing exo-zombies we scraped the idea. There is definitely a narrative and some objective-oriented gameplay, but thats totally up to the discretion of the player. Although we wanted familiarity, change is definitely present. There is a whole new perk-like dynamic in the game. Pack-A-Punch is reimagined, and buildables are much more central to gameplay (among other things, of course). There is also harkened change in the aesthetic. The map is vibrant, and the colors really pop-out despite being set at night. The map also has a lot of dream imagery. Lots of lucid occurrences and things you’ve never seen in a zombie map before. The best way I can describe the feel is like a horror-influenced bad trip. In fact, the aesthetic was greatly influenced by classic 1940s noire and fantastical horror straight out of HP Lovecraft. There aren’t just zombies in the map, there are also lots of fantastical creatures and objects that look like a goth’s wet dream. The characters and architecture are definitely noire, though. The goth and noire have a stark contrast that make the atmosphere perfect for the map. Another aspect of the map we wanted to get just right were the characters. Black Ops 2 had a very low appeal with fans in terms of the execution. In fact there was a management change within the team in large part due to the underwhelming experience some had with a few maps in BLOPS2, and this was in great part due to poor dialogue writing and unexciting, shallow characters. We wanted to make sure we had them right, and having talent involved with this was what we needed. A large part of the dialogue writing was outsourced, and the higher-ups wanted a celeb cast to help drive preorders. So, we hired some talented b-list actors that could nail the part. Each actor has a role; there are no filler characters. Thanks to the extra time in the development, we were able to add huge depth to the characters. Each one has their motives and purposes. Perhaps the biggest aspect of SoE is the open world. It is absolutely immense. It is definitely larger than Green Run, only that every single part of the map is explorable. There is also a large subterranean area. The scope is absolutely massive, and the amount of detail is unparalleled in zombies. There will probably be easter eggs people will be discovering years after the release of the game. Not only are there large-scale side quests, but there are also small easter eggs (like in the world at war days).

A few things I’d like to point out before I conclude this post are:

  • SoE is on another storyline, but the Origins story will still be continued

  • DLC was conceptualized by the time I left 3arc (meaning it’s probably in heavy post-development by now)

  • The Giant (remake of Der Riese) is a remake not a remaster. Meaning the map layout is the same, but virtually everything else has changed. The characters are the same ones from Origins (younger versions of the original 4), and the map’s side quest essentially combines the Origins storyline with the whole blown up earth storyline (think terminator genysis in the way the essentially create a new storyline from a preexisting one)

  • The internal name for Shadows of Evils was actually SFT (stands for “Sorry for Transit”… I’m not kidding)

  • I have no knowledge on the new zombie ranking system, other than the fact that it exists. The reason being is that the multiplayer team actually worked on that since our last attempt at a zombies ranking system could be considered far from perfect.

  • There was some talk that the whole “the giant” remake was made to be able to re-release older, remade maps. Since the new origins crew will have to ‘undo’ what happened, they’ll have tor visit earlier maps, therefore creating a canonical excuse to release old maps.

All-in-all SoE is nothing short of a masterpiece. This is the zombie map for non-cod players and will inevitably garner a new generation of zombie players, and if you don’t believe me just wait until November 6th. I hope you found this post enlightening, and now I’d like to open myself up to any questions you’d like to ask. Thank you for your time, and happy zombie killing.

UPDATE: Oh, and one more thing...

100:99 - 100:99 - 100:95

~ http://i.imgur.com/uBq6EFM.png?1 ~

100:70.0208 - 100:68.8656

Again, remove this mods if you think it shouldn't be here. But if it is, what do you think of this all? There is no proof he is providing remember.

Edited by Rissole25
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TheNathanNS    34

 

  • The internal name for Shadows of Evils was actually SFT (stands for “Sorry for Transit”… I’m not kidding)

 

Lmao.

 

I don't really believe this though. Good read, but I just don't believe it.

 

Something feels off about that post.

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Vyhl    15

Don't believe it for a second but in case its real ( these never are though ) I hate the return of buildables. They were horrible in BO2 and pointless.

"The size and scope of the map is comparable to some open-worlds that constitute entire games. Its absolutely massive, and thanks to the three-year development cycle we were able to meticulously scrutinize every polygon of the game’s reality."


This is what makes me really doubt this post the most though. A lot of what he says can are easily made assumptions based off what we've already seen anyways, there's nothing new here. 

His account is also just one day old which is also pretty suspicious. The image he linked in the post are coordinates that lead to the pyramid of Giza if anyone was curious

Edited by Vyhl
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Matuzz    218

Okay the open world part confirms this bs from what we have seen and I have tried to puzzle the map layout together it's not even the size of Tranzit. It has much more content but in no way is it a "open world" in anyway.

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Spider3000    140

"The size and scope of the map is comparable to some open-worlds that constitute entire games."

Lol, no. No Zombies map will ever be that big. I think Treyarch cut back on the idea of ever making a map similar in size to TranZit ever again. Also, lol at everybody believing it without no proof on Reddit.

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The Clay Bird    173

I also saw a few people on there saying they were hearing different quotes on some of the old maps?  is this something that could have been added via hotfix?  I played Kino on friday for shits and gigs with all the hype going around, and i didnt' notice anything different, but I long have thought they might try and play up the hype for zombies by stealthily adding some new stuff in old maps

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Guest

I like how people are saying that open world definitely means that the post is fake, yet only Nathan has picked up on the only thing that is incorrect about the whole thing and makes it fake which is the Sorry for Tranzit thing. If people believe it after that, WOW.

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Exo-Zombies made it obvious that change could be counterproductive. In fact, the vast majority of the 3arc team despised what neversoft did with zombies.

It was at that point that the OP realized, he had fucked up!

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Spider3000    140

I like how people are saying that open world definitely means that the post is fake, yet only Nathan has picked up on the only thing that is incorrect about the whole thing and makes it fake which is the Sorry for Tranzit thing. If people believe it after that, WOW.

I like how people are saying that open world definitely means that the post is fake, yet only Nathan has picked up on the only thing that is incorrect about the whole thing and makes it fake which is the Sorry for Tranzit thing. If people believe it after that, WOW.

An open-world that is the size of some games' open-world in a side mode? I really REALLY doubt they'd make a Zombies map that big.

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Guest

Yeah but the tranzit thing should actually be the first giveaway. From what it sounds like, SoE is actually quite big but not open world.

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Vyhl    15

Yeah but the tranzit thing should actually be the first giveaway. From what it sounds like, SoE is actually quite big but not open world.

Why should that be the first giveaway? Developers do stuff like that all the time. That part actually sounds the most believable to me.

The whole post isnt true though. He threw in a lot of fluff and went on about the size of this map quite a bit. It blew things way out of proportion.

Maybe I just don't want it to be real since he says buildables are a core part of gameplay and I hate them :P

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Guest

Your joking? Please say you are joking. For a start: Transit, not Tranzit. For a second, they wouldn't do that at all.

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Spider3000    140

 

Your joking? Please say you are joking. For a start: Transit, not Tranzit. For a second, they wouldn't do that at all.

I'm not sure if you just got the two mixed up, but in case you don't know, in-game, TranZit is spelt with a Z not a S.

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Vyhl    15

Your joking? Please say you are joking. For a start: Transit, not Tranzit. For a second, they wouldn't do that at all.

Who are you replying to here? Me? I never said TranZit in my post once, and why wouldnt the Devs do something cheeky like that with the internal name for the map? Plenty of devs for tons of games do stuff like that all the time.

I see what you're saying now, sorry. I didn't realize that mistake in my read through last night at 4am.
Sorry for the confusion again.

Edited by Vyhl

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I think you are all failing to take into account the OP on Reddit said that Neversoft made Exo-Zombies when they made Extinction. Raven and High Moon make Exo-Zombies.

 

The post is interesting and they could be on the money with a lot of it, but how many Reddit posts before release of a map or DLC start with...

 

"Hi. I used to work for Treyarch. I don't anymore but I will completely go against my signed NDA and tell you a lot of shit about the game anyway"

 

Come on...

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Spider3000    140

How come im the one who is mixed up?

How come im the one who is mixed up? 

Because you got the spelling of the map name wrong.

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Read it again, I was pointing out that in the post the map was spelled wrong.

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The Clay Bird    173

Your joking? Please say you are joking. For a start: Transit, not Tranzit. For a second, they wouldn't do that at all.

I'm not sure you are qualified to say what developers will or won't do.  Im sure that folks in many industries poke fun at themselves for failed projects.  Why would they not have a little fun when making a new game and giving a map a project a nick name like that?  its not like they were going to call the map that in the actual game, its just an inside joke amongst those on the team. 

I mean its definitely fake, but that isn't really anything that would make me think so. more than anything the user name, the fact that they used secret code and a cipher lol.  That is not something that an actual former employee would do

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Vyhl    15

Read it again, I was pointing out that in the post the map was spelled wrong.

Go read my post again as I realised my mistake already,

Nevermind I see who you were replying too now. Sorry again :(

 

Edited by Vyhl

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I think I am qualified to say that they wouldn't spell tranzit wrong, yes.

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I know, I don't think you understood what I was saying. I meant that they would not mess up Tranzits name, sorry if that confused you.

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Tasha    86

I know, I don't think you understood what I was saying. I meant that they would not mess up Tranzits name, sorry if that confused you.

TranZit is named zm_transit in the gamefiles, so he did in fact spell it correctly.

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