Development process, PvP and customization – Interview with the authors of the survival simulator Rooted

The Korean YouTube channel 겜방삼촌 has published an interview with the developers of the survival simulator Rooted. The questions were mainly about the development process, available content, and upcoming testing. In this article you can read our translated answers in Russian.

Where is Headlight Studio located?

Hello, we are from Montpellier, south of France. Although it would be more correct to say “I”, since the team consists of talented people living in different cities of France (and soon in other countries). Several factors are supporting our decision to retain this organization for the time being:

  • the COVID period, which greatly developed remote work;
  • the cost of renting offices for the entire team, which incurs costs when we need to focus the entire budget on development.

How many people work in the studio?

As a freelancer, I change the size of the team based on our budget, our ambitions, and the various phases of development. When we hurriedly created the trailer for the Future Game Show, there were up to 6 of us. Then I reduced the team to 4 to move forward quietly. The incredible support we receive from players who buy packs on our site has allowed us to expand the team by adding two new people who may have already joined us by the time you read these words. We are currently also looking for new employees for certain positions.

Are they (developers) scattered around the world? Or are they physically in the studio and working together?

As mentioned above, we are currently scattered all over France and spend our time talking via Discord. I created an organization that allows everyone to stay motivated, maintain team spirit. It is very important. We have daily meetings where everyone shares their progress, where we set goals, and where we take the opportunity to brainstorm all the elements of the game, taking into account everything we can read, especially on the Discord server. It’s very enriching.

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I know you are working on localization for Rooted. Are there any plans to translate into Korean?

Localization is a big topic. From a technical point of view, we have created the necessary tools to get help from the community, as is often done in the independent scene, without which it would not be possible to offer many languages. We still need to move forward on this to announce the available languages, but again, from a technical standpoint, we’re done. So Korean must appear!

I read about your plans for a PVP mode, but I can’t find this information and forgot where I saw it 😝 Will the game be similar to Rust in terms of PvP? As far as I remember, there will be about 8 people on each server. Any thoughts on larger servers for 20-50 people?

Rooted was originally created as a single player and co-op game that can be played by up to 8 people. Since the game was introduced, we have received many requests for a PVP mode. We thought about this a lot, and first decided to add friendly fire (through an option activated only at will). Some may see this as just a little more realism, while others already imagine PvP with up to 8 players.

Finally, during brainstorming, we told ourselves that it wouldn’t take many changes to offer a “true” PVP experience on servers capable of accommodating more players. To be honest, I really want this mode myself! We also already have server partners for the largest gaming licenses who are interested in working with us. But first we want to focus on the solid foundation of Rooted with the single player/co-op mode, and if we achieve the result we expect, then we will move on to the PVP mode.

Will the game be similar to Rust? No, since such games already exist and they do their job very well. Rooted will be on a different axis, just like our PVE, which is neither a one-man narrative game nor a pure PvP game.

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What can we expect from the next alpha testing? What does Headlight studio want to show us and what should we expect from the upcoming stage?

The alpha sessions will be progressive and will allow us to test the core features of the game and assess/improve the strength of the Rooted foundation. Each new major alpha session will prove to be an opportunity to add a new feature to those already tested in order to enter beta status at the end of the year (or later if necessary). This does not mean that everything will be finished, but we will make good progress!

Important: It should be remembered that the alpha version will be the most buggy and will be the least representative of the final version of the game. Thank you!

When I exit the game, will my character continue to stand in the same place? Or move to a safe zone?

We have several scenarios, and it is player feedback that will allow us to make the right decisions for early access. This applies to dedicated server games, as in sessions with a host player, in-game time stops when you exit the game. And you reappear where you were last time.

One thing is for sure: no fast travel that teleports you at the moment you disconnect. You will have to choose a safe place!

Will Rooted have a character customization system?

There is a character customization system, but it’s not something we’re working on right now. As I said earlier about localization, development is kept as modular as possible so that we can easily adapt the scope of our functionality depending on the team and budget. But yes, you can definitely customize your character. And, as far as this question is concerned, your character will have some kind of hidden “passives” that you yourself will have to find out. For example, he may have slightly increased stamina, but will be allergic to certain foods.

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Are there any in-game purchases planned, such as for additional armor slots, special equipment, skins, etc.?

We have several elements that will allow us to distribute items, skins, etc. to players. on various occasions. In addition, players will be able to use the Steam Workshop. All this to say that from a functional point of view, everything is ready to offer in-app purchases. If this happens, it will only apply to skins – no in-game bonuses.

Since we presented the first images of our game project, everything has been very fast and fair. We’re more focused on development than finance thanks to Kickstarter – thanks again to all of you. Now, selling kits on our website allows us to move forward without spending a lot of time looking for funds.

However, the longevity of the game, its updates, DLC, etc., of course, depends on the studio’s revenue. So from a technical point of view, everything is in order, and I will make decisions on this issue later. The main thing is that at the end of the alpha session, the players receive positive feedback.

Will Rooted have multiple character slots? Or can we only play one?

Another great topic! Is it better to have a character on each of the servers? Can we control our characters regardless of games and servers, and choose which character we will be friends with every time? There are many questions that come up with this, and we don’t have all the answers for the final decision yet. In a few months, I will be able to answer this question more clearly.

Recall that earlier on the portal an exclusive interview with the developers of Rooted was published. You can get acquainted with it at this link.

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