Ashwalkers Devs Talk Inspiration, Design, and Choices

The Apocalypse is Getting Off to a Rocky Start

Post-apocalyptic games are getting big lately, but let’s face it – the vast majority of them include zombies, or something akin to zombies. Whether it’s society barely hanging on in The Last of Us: Part II or taking to the rooftops in the upcoming Dying Light 2, zombies have become a catch-all, which is why Ashwalkers, even if it isn’t as big as either game, has caught eyes for its more subdued, post-volcanic apocalypse.

The first game by Nameless XIII, co-founded by Dontnod Entertainment’s Herve Bonin, sees you and a small party journeying through the ashy wasteland, facing moral dilemmas as you attempt to survive. The design is stark and fitting, entirely in greyscale but with flashes of red.

Sin City was a great inspiration and pushed us in our artistic direction to add red because we saw that “okay, that works we can try it,” said creative director Matteo Gaulmier in a recent interview.

“The only color you find in the game is red, which was to use a color to indicate the danger or draw attention in a gray scale environment. Mostly when you find red, it’s nothing good for your playthrough. So there is blood, you killed someone, you are bleeding, danger is near, it’s coming back, etc.”

It isn’t just comic books where the devs drew inspiration, though. Life Is Strange’s choice-based narrative style seems to be present, with a staggering 34 unique endings depending on your choices.

“There is a soul in the game, and I think it’s common point with Life is Strange is that every choice you are making there is a reason. There are consequences – if anything they unfold later. So you have this feeling you are writing your own story with your choice.”

Of course, we all want to think that in an apocalypse we’d be peaceful survivors, but when the chips are down, how do we know? They say there’s only nine square meals between us and anarchy, so try not to judge people too hard if they somehow become king of the cannibals or murder people over campfires. It’s a dog eat dog world, after all, and when all you have to fight for is your survival, who knows what you’re capable of?

This may be a controvertial opinion but I think I’d last about five minutes in a post-apocalyptic setting. I do not want to live in a world without caffeine. Let us know how long you’d last in the comments, on Twitter, or on Facebook.