Submitted By:
Blendo Games

Watch Their Video
Game Type:
Core
Game Platform:
Custom Engine
Class:
Professional
Credits:
Brendon Chung

team leader

Game Title:
Atom Zombie Smasher
Game Description:

Atom Zombie Smasher is a strategy game that simulates the events of a full-scale zombie epidemic, from its inconspicuous beginning to its inevitable apocalyptic end. On a continental level, you must curb the infection spreading across the land. On a city level, you’re tasked with evacuating civilians with via a fleet of rescue helicopters. Your efforts are aided by mercenaries such as snipers, demolition crews, and artillery. As the campaign against the undead continues, you gain access to more exotic assets, such as orbital nuclear space-cannons.



What was your inspiration for making the game?

I wanted to put the player in the role of a hero who has to do terrible things for the greater good. While saving humanity is the ultimate goal, your path to that goal entails a lot of collateral damage and choosing the lesser-of-two-evils. A zombie outbreak scenario was a good fit for that – civilians are what you need to rescue, but are simultaneously the crunchy kindle for the zombie wildfire.



How is your game unique from others out there?

Atom Zombie Smasher is unique in its blend of real-time strategy, boardgame world map, tower defense, and persistent unit progression. All of this is layered on top of heavy focus on procedural generation – the city layouts, the world map, monthly events, and mercenary squads are procedurally generated when you start a new campaign, meaning no two playthroughs are ever identical.



How long did it take you to make your game?

Early prototype work took a few months of on-and-off work. The final released version of the game took about seven months of full-time work.



What was the hardest part about making it?

I’m a one-man team, so it’s difficult to evaluate my own work. I’m the guy who made every little detail, so I know how every game mechanic works. For that reason, I’m very fortunate to have great friends and family playtesters who have no problem identifying parts of that game that are terrible, confusing, or need fixing. Thank goodness for that! My games wouldn’t work without all that feedback.



Any other unique or interesting facts about your game we should know about?

The ground infantry team’s audio barks were recorded via an Xbox360 headset, the only microphone I had at the time. As an experiment I reversed their playback, and loved how they suddenly sounded like an exotic foreign language.



How did you pick the name of your game?  Did you have any others in mind?

It was a play on an amusement park ride name, “The Atom Smasher”. The name Atom Zombie Smasher vaguely sounded like a bad 60’s B-movie title to me, and I thought that it was a perfect fit for the flavor of the game.



Questions for the Team Leader
Hometown?

San Gabriel, California



College?

University of California, San Diego



What is your gaming background?

I’ve been playing and making games since elementary school. My early days were spent making maps for Doom and Quake. As my projects got more ambitious, I started to reach the boundaries of what mapping can achieve, so I started teaching myself some light programming and art asset creation. Somehow, it all led to making independent games full-time.



How long have you and your teammates known each other?  What’s the story behind how your team got together?

Atom Zombie Smasher was made by one person – me!



What game or games are you playing right now?

I’m playing Skyrim and Frozen Synapse. They’re both such amazing pieces of work.



What is your favorite all-time game?

For my favorite game, it’s a tie between X-COM and Thief. I love it when games reward player creativity, and I feel both titles completely encompass that ideal.



What is your least favorite all-time game?

For my favorite game, it’s a tie between X-COM and Thief. I love it when games reward player creativity, and I feel both titles completely encompass that ideal.



What is your best game-related story?

At a studio I once worked at, we had a Battlefield 2 tournament. The team I was on had decent FPS skills (I myself was terrible), but our ace in the hole was one of our teammates had military experience. He had us all wear headsets, learn basic terminology, attached a name to every location in the tournament map (Gulf of Oman!), and assigned roles to all of us. With this situational awareness advantage, we crushed our way through the tournament, finally ending up at second place. Videogames are fun, but this blending of real-life techniques into a videogame took it one level further.



First video game system you owned?

My first system was an XT personal computer. It was clunky and slow and I loved it.



Current system you spend the most time playing?

My PC still gets the most playing time. Old habits die hard!



When you and your team aren’t making awesome games, what other hobbies are you involved in?

I’ve recently taken up charcoal drawing, and have been enjoying it quite a bit.