They Are Billions Update: Ready for the Survival?

Greetings! Today we would like to talk more about the Survival Mode as you will be able to play it very soon.

The Survival Mode

As many of you already know, They Are Billions will have two main modes: Campaign and Survival Mode. The campaign will be an epic story with many challenges. You will have to reconquest a large territory from the infected and at the same time discover the truth behind the origin of the infection.

The Campaign mode is the main game for They Are Billions. This mode will take several more months to be completed. On the other hand, the Survival Mode is a fun and short game (about 2-4 hours) which consists of surviving in a randomized world for a period of time. We could say that the Survival Mode is just about 25% of the game, but since it is fun and addicting enough, we wish to offer that experience to the players interested in They Are Billions. For us, those playing the Survival mode will be a very valuable source of feedback and testing that will enhance the campaign mode development.

The Survival mode is still in live development stage and will be expanded in many ways. Indeed, we are working on adding new interesting features. So this mode will be improved with time and will be much deeper and complex when the game is officially released.

World Setting and Difficulty

When you start a new game, you can select some options that will change the difficulty of the game:

Map Type
There are four types of maps: The Dark Moorland, The Peaceful Lowlands, The Frozen Highlands and The Desolated Wasteland. Only one is enabled by default. When you win a game, another game type will be unlocked. Each map type has its own geography and special parameters. For example, in the Frozen Highlands, all of the buildings consume 30% more energy because they need to be heated in the cold weather. Worlds are randomly generated, with their own events, geography, and special elements.

Infected Population
It controls how many infected are in the world and the size of the swarms.

Game Duration
The default is 100 days. You can select 80 or 120 days. The longer the game, the easier it will be because you will have more time to build and evolve the colony. Additionally, the infected swarms will take more time to reach the colony.

When each game ends, a Score Factor will be computed and multiply your final score depending on the choices you make.

Saving and Loading Games

The Survival mode of They Are Billions will be in Ironman mode. What does it mean? Death is permanent. The player cannot save or reload previous games. Instead, the game will automatically save their state when the player exits the game. So the player can exit the game and continue at any time until the colony is destroyed.

Why is it so hardcore?
Allowing to reload games negatively affects the tension and mood of the game. Also, it makes a lot of game features to be useless and very easily exploited. For example: the map exploration. Exploring the hidden maps of the game can be very dangerous. Sometimes as you can call the attention of infected groups that can be attracted to the colony. But at the same time, it is vital to plan the colony expansion, discover resource sources, Villages of Doom, or picking resources from ruins. For exploring the map, you have several means: you can invest in more army units, especially Rangers, or create a structure that can watch very far like the Lookout and Radar Towers. Obviously, if you can reload, you would be able to explore the surroundings, and then reload without any consequences.

The experience is much better this way as it feels more realistic. All the decision matters, and it makes the game even scarier, as you never know what lies beyond the darkness…

Furthermore, losing in this game is really fun. When you cannot stop the infection in the colony and everything is lost, just stop, and enjoy yourself as you watch the devastation of your colony collapsing. It is a real show! 🙂

End of the game & Final Score

When you finish the game, win or lose, you will be given a final score that will depend on the amount of time the colony has survived, the difficulty, and many other parameters.
Winning the game is very hard, even in the easiest difficulty. After all, that’s the seal of our company Numantian Games. Indeed, even the developers struggle to win the game with the default difficulty settings!

So just have fun surviving in this apocalyptic steampunk world. Try to increase your survival score and share your experiences with the community!

Game Schedule

In the beginning, we planned the Early Access launch of Fall 2017 (October, November or December). The Early Access will only have the Survival Mode until we finish the Campaign. We would then release the full game several months later. The schedule originally looked like this:

– Fall 2017: Steam Early access with Survival Mode (beta)
– Spring 2018: Full game Steam Launch with finished Campaign.

But later we decided that the Early Access must have the full game, otherwise, we take the risk of having players complaining that it is a half finished game, which is understandable.

So we changed the schedule in this way:

– Fall 2017: Preview beta access to the Survival mode from our website.
– Spring 2018: Steam Early Access with both improved Survival mode and Campaign.
– Sometime later in 2018: Steam Full Launch.

We know there is much hype about this game, but we have to be sure that it is high quality in all aspects. They Are Billions has been in development for almost two years and we want that it be the best game possible. So please be patient!

The Survival Beta Access

In the next update (in about one or two weeks), we will introduce our backing page on our official website for They Are Billions. Everyone interested in playing the beta with the Survival mode can purchase it there (a Steam key will be given) and some other nice rewards for all the ones that wish to back the project further.
Also right now there is a Youtuber playing They Are Billions and creating the first gameplay video and will be published at the same time as the next update.

See you soon!

  • Posted by Julie
  • On October 23, 2017
  • 10 Comments
Tags: beta, numantian games, they are billions

10 Comments

zhuwa
I don't think 2-4 hours per map is short and also no save allowed which means the game can't be played in sessions. I think that's an unreasonable amount of time to ask for one session especially for players who don't have time to game (full time workers, parents, etc). Please consider having the option for the game to be played within a reasonable time, e.g. 15-30 min one map)
    Florestan
    You misread. Ironman mode does not mean without save, but only one save, and mandatory save on exit. It's the usual as ironman modes go.
      zhuwa
      Yes, very sorry, I misread! The game auto-saves! Thank you for pointing it out (But I still suggest a shorter game-time)
        pyhfol
        I think that having it any shorter would not allow the player to achieve 'endgame' access. IE there would likely be units and buildings that would not be accessible within a shorter time period. imo any survival game is about endurance. Surviving the zombie apocalypse for 30 minutes would be a pretty unsatisfying victory :(
pyhfol
So freaking excited to get my hands on this. Will be backing indeed! HYP3!
Aidan Brenkovich
All aboard Hype train - Gimmie front seat please ^_^
Triggerman
I'm ready for the beta :)
OkamiAmmi
I am really excited about this game. I will definitely be backing you guys! :D
Gabe
This game is amazing, I've lost many times already the hard coreness of this game makes me play game after game. And the hords makes me laugh when I know they can't be stopped.
Brian
From what I've seen so far, it's really hard for players to really know whether they're "ok" in the progress curve [econ/army/defense], or if the next zombie swarm is going to ROFL-stomp them. Especially at the 1 hour and 45 minute mark, when the zombies overrun the final rampart. What lesson can the player learn from their failure besides: "You needed about 300 more soldiers to succeed". Or worse, having the player think that RNG screwed them out of a hard-won victory. It would really be cheesy if the survival progression curve was coded such that the player falls into a build order, which gets really tedious after 30 minutes: "At Day 6 have at least 5 soldiers" "At Day 21, have a triple-reinforced wall with 24 solders behind" "If I survive that, at day 25 start researching Cannon Turrets, or else I can't deal with the big zombies" "Harpies come at day 64, make sure my AA is at least 2 layers deep"

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