Fractured Veil Director Talks Bringing Survival Horror to a Tropical Paradise

Developer Paddle Creek Games is currently working on a survival horror title that takes place in a beautiful part of the world. Fractured Veil will look to offer more of a focus on survival while monsters take over in Hawaii. With a planned release for 2022, the game is currently in early access on Steam. We recently talked with Ryan Wiancko, developer for Paddle Creek Games, about the origins of Fractured Veil and what players can expect to experience when the game finally launches.

[Hardcore Gamer] Fractured Veil looks to be offering an open-world survival horror experience. What will this project do to make it stand out from the competition?

[Ryan Wiancko] First, its location and embracing Hawaiian culture including the inclusion of traditional leiomano (shark-toothed weapons) and translating the game into Hawaiian.   Gameplay wise we’ve blended some standout elements from our most cherished games in a way that has never been done before, such as taking the incredible base building system from Rust and adding in 7 Days 2 Die style mutant sieges to defend against.  Overall one of the biggest differences is how we plan to balance PVE and PVP to offer people who enjoy both types of play a chance to coexist relatively harmoniously. We’re leaning more heavily into MMO style play than most survival games while staying more hardcore survival than most MMO’s.  For example we’ve added diablo inspired dungeons while having full loot drop across most of the map.  Lastly, our autonomous drones patrol the sky with multiple camera modes in search of bad actors or interesting gameplay, streaming live to Twitch, YouTube and Steam 24/7

Going with Hawaii as a setting seems to indicate a bright and vibrant setting. Will Fractured Veil offer day-to-night transitions or the option to go inside buildings to offer some darkness?

Fractured Veil has a full day/night cycle, including the breathtaking sunsets and sunrises one only sees from the beaches of Maui.  Most buildings can be entered, some leading to dank dark basements for those that want to get out of the sun or the rain as we also have a dynamic weather system including wind and rain, lightning and thunder, which we plan to expand to incorporate more of the tropical weather patterns seen on the island. 

What is the basis behind the name of the game, Fractured Veil?

We knew we wanted to make a post-apocalyptic game in Hawaii so our story really starts with the invention and eventual collapse of the Veil network, a technology capable of transporting goods and people instantaneously from one location to another.  This collapse kicked off a chain reaction, fracturing and recombining reality into infinite and horrific alternate dimensions.  Hence the name Fractured Veil.  

Will this be more of a narrative-driven experience or something more along the lines of DayZ where it is you as an individual strictly surviving the world?

Coming from a Rust, DayZ and 7D2D background, player choice and freedom are paramount, so while our world will be rich with the lore and stories that we have been writing for over 5 years, we never want to force it on anyone.  For the past five years, our focus has been on core features, stability and performance but now with the Kickstarter and Early Access we’re putting more focus on story, adding quests and starting to hint towards what could have caused the Fracture. It’s still a mystery but we know there are players out there who are going to want to try and find out. 

What aspects are going into the PVP and the PVE elements?

We joke that PvX or Balanced PvE and PVP is a 12 step program, meaning it takes a lot of finely tuned systems working together to enable those wanting to craft, base build, run dungeons and take on Boss Mobs to do so in the same world as those who want to spec out their guns, raid their enemies and wage war against an enemy clan.   Some of the systems that make this possible are tiered zones where players actions affect their reputation to a greater or lesser degree, a reputation which in turn affects their relationship with NPC guards, vendors and drones patrolling the sky, some of which are streaming live to Twitch, YouTube and steam 24/7. Zones where a PVE player may have the advantage to evade PVP players if they chose not to engage or offer more protection than less secure zones for raiding.  

What makes the world dynamic?

We have dynamic weather systems, day/night cycles and AI that is responsive and adjusts their behavior in response to the players, such as mutant dogs that form packs or cannibals that will be drawn to feast on bodies left behind after a battle.   Most importantly, as is the case with large scale open world games, other players are what make the world truly unique.  Logging in each day is always a surprise in terms of new structures being built and eventually settlements and trade routes that will live and die by the decisions of the players.

What went into the decision to choose Hawaii as a setting for the game?

The founders of Paddle Creek Games have a long history with Hawaii, having traveled there many times. It’s a place with so much natural beauty and rich cultural heritage that we felt needed to be shared with the world, especially when you consider how few games are set in this incredible location. We wanted get across the beauty and wonder of the place by creating a gorgeous and deadly game while also thinking ahead to how we can honor the customs without exploiting them. It’s also just one of our favorite places and since we knew we’d be spending thousands of hours playing the game, we wanted that game to be in the place we love. 

When did the planning and initial design implementation begin for the game?

The planning began in 2015 with the initial concepts and design starting in 2016, when we laid down the visual style and themes around which the rest of the game would be built.  It was at this time that preliminary work began on the backend systems which would prove to be one of, if not the most complex and daunting aspect of a project like this.  Getting hundreds of concurrent players playing together in a world with 10’s of thousands of AI’s and nearly a million foliage actors was no small feat. But when we cracked that nut is when the real fun started.