Do you have the Will To Survive the Alien Invasion?

Will To Survive is a  Single-Player, RPG Survival game set in the English city of Brighton. But instead of surviving in a world ravaged by an unknown virus and having hordes of the undead around every street corner, Will To Survive tasks you with surviving through an Alien Invasion! That’s right, no zombies insight folks! The game is currently being developed by Firing Pin games (aka Alex Dawson) and will definitely bring a completely new, and ultimately fresh, take on the survival genre.

You play as Will, one of the survivors of the Alien invasion. After the invaders have ravaged earth and taken the resources they needed, most of the aliens returned home. However they left pockets of enforcers to handle the small pockets of survivors which still scatter the earth. And that is where you come in, trying to survive in this harsh and devastated city, while not only staying alive by eating and drinking, but by also taking the fight to the aliens, or not. It’s your choice!

Unlike most games currently out there, Will to Survive is truly a 24/7simulation, featuring a persistent world which will continue to simulate even after you have left the game, similar to what we see in State of Decay. Upon exiting the game, you will be notified of how much estimated survival time your Will have to survive, taking into account food and water levels, as well as your fortification. If your Will is unlucky enough to not make it through while you are away, there are unlockable starting perks which will make starting again much less daunting. Even when you are playing, you will have to play carefully, as death means death!

Will to Survive will also have several different modes. catering to a wider variety of players depending on their needs. Survivor mode is the standard game mode, where Will will eat and drink automatically to stay alive while you are away, however he will leave the defenses how you left them. Automatic mode is suited to people who won’t be able to dedicate as much time to the game as Will takes charge of eating, drinking and looking after all the defenses, giving him the best chance of survival. Hardcore mode is for those players who really want a challenge, and of course, time! In this mode, Will only eats, drinks and build defenses when YOU tell him to! So if your gone too long, you may have no Will to return to…

Having been delighted we had discovered Will trying to survive an alien invasion, we were even more delighted when Alex Dawson agreed to do a Q&A with us, to help give you even more of an insight to what exactly Will to Survive is and what the future has install!

Q: What made you want to create Will To Survive and what was the inspiration behind it?
The original idea came to me while I was in the pub getting lunch one day. Originally back then it started as a zombie survival game, there wasn’t really a survival game at the time which was exactly what I wanted and the idea of a constantly on simulation really appealed to me. I don’t think Project Zomboid existed back then and neither did anything like DayZ so it was pretty fresh territory and something that I really liked the thought of. At the time zombies were starting to be overused a little, not as much as they are now but still enough for me to make the switch to using an alien invasion. The more I thought about the alien side of things the more I realised how much potential I had with aliens to come up with the mythos behind them as well as having a blank slate to create different types. The idea stuck in my head and developed over time, eventually I realised it would work really well as a mobile game and syncing saves logically came next. Eventually I left the games job I was working in at the time to become a freelancer whilst developing games in the down time in-between contracts. I started creating a smaller game at first but soon realised my heart was set on Will.
The story is set after the alien invasion has been. The invaders have killed almost every human in order to plunder our world for resources, including our water. Most of the alien forces have travelled back home leaving a skeleton group of enforcers to handle the remaining pockets of surviving humans. You play Will, a survivor who, in a rather cliché tongue in cheek way, has just awoke from a deep coma state. It’s a new hostile world where he now has to fight for his life.
Q: 24/7 Real Time Survival sounds extremely interesting. How exactly will this work and what impact will it have on players when they return?
Your survival is based on three primary factors. Water, Food and Defences. The game simulates food and water much like how the body does naturally, these levels are based on real-world survival data and they decrease constantly over time while you play. The levels even drain faster based on your physical activity so running a lot will burn more calories and vital fluid.
Defences are handled in a similar fashion to a tower defence game. You fortify a safe-house which acts as Will’s protection while you are away from the game. Aliens patrol every 24 hours, sensing you in there they attempt to gain access to your safe house. By placing barricades, traps and automated turrets you will hopefully take out the invading forces before they can get to you. If you are unlucky and have a close encounter, Will protects himself with whatever fire arms he has, this is a last resort.
When you go to exit the game you will see an estimated survival time, this accurately takes into account your available supplies and placed defences. When you return the game works out how long you have been gone, lowers Will’s levels accordingly and if he has food or water items available gets him to consume them to top up. The game also then simulates any occurred invasion attempts, lowering barricade conditions, setting off traps and simulating fire fights.
If the aliens manage to injure you too much or you run out of food or water then you die and it’s back to square one. There will be unlock-able starting perks however to soften the blow of dying and give you a reason to start again.
Q: Can you team up with other survivors during the game? How much of a role do fellow survivors play?
There will be other non player survivors in the final game, you will be able to trade with them, pick up hints about the environment and some will have missions for you to accomplish for rewards. Some of the missions may also help lower the threat level of the world, a level which will eventually affect the amount and danger type of the aliens attacking your safe-house and appearing throughout the world. There are currently no plans for co-op play however it’s something that I would love to investigate and achieving extra funds on the Kickstarter could certainly help looking into that.
Q: Is building limited to barricades, or can you build shelters and fortresses so to speak?
At the moment the defence section of the prototype is fairly rudimentary in order to test the concept of the game. At present you can only build barricades, place traps and sentry guns in specific locations. The plan for the final game will be much improved. There will be a 4 story safe-house building where you will be able to put up barricades, traps and other defences wherever you like. This will enable you to funnel aliens into a kill box or use other tactics. The aim is to also have a visual representation of what actually happens when you return so you can learn from the outcome of each invasion. Ultimately the amount of features I can add will be based on the amount of funds raised on the campaign, I would love to be able to implement the ability to have multiple safe houses, outside defences, roof top gardens and water collection facilities for example.
Q: What makes Will To Survive stand out from the rest of the survival games we are seeing of late?
I think for me what really makes it stand out is the concept of a constantly simulating world which never stops. Especially when you couple that with the idea of being able to synchronise your save file on-line to later resume play on another device like a mobile phone, tablet or Playstation Vita. I liken it to a Tamagotchi as you are in a sense looking after and responsible for the well being of Will. I really get excited about the idea of a game lasting for months or even years too, that after playing for 3 months you might suddenly discover a new enemy type that only appears later in the game. Playing the mobile version of the game is especially fun, I found myself quickly checking up and grabbing a few supplies before I went to bed.
Q: Is there an “ending”? Or does the game play out for as long as you are able to keep Will alive?
There aren’t any plans for an ending as yet. The game will keep going infinitely. However I like the idea of a rescue option, this would pop up at different points while playing and much like the Call of Duty prestige mode if you accept rescue you will start from the beginning but with a worthwhile reward or starting perk. I would also love to get different story game modes in there where the aim is to survive for a month or so then get rescued which would unlock a nice reward for the main game scenario. While these aren’t in the current plan I would definitely like to keep updating the game once it’s made so they could be added retroactively.
Q: When can players expect to get their hands on the game?

The aim is to work on the game for a year, be it as a solo developer or as a team and release the game around September of 2014. It’s a fairly agile project which will adapt based on the total of the received funds from the Kickstarter campaign. Releasing it sooner is definitely possible should I have the ability to rope in some of my freelance friends for extra code or art support.


If you are interested in supporting Will To Survive, you can find it currently on Kickstarter here!