There is no doubt that Overkill’s The Walkind Dead flopped last year. Powered by Unreal Engine 4, this team-based multiplayer game aimed to blend together Left 4 Dead and The Walking Dead. As we wrote in our PC Performance Analysis article, the game performed similarly to all current Unreal Engine 4 games and as it was revealed, the game was mostly developed with the Unreal Engine 4 tutorials that are available online.
As it was revealed in a pretty big article dedicated to Starbreeze from Eurogamer, the development team did not know Epic’s engine, meaning that it was learning how to use the engine while it was using it to build the game.
As a person from the development team noted:
“If you go to any studio now, there is always a good hope at least 50 per cent of the people know the engine they’re working on, so they can coach the rest. But in this case, it felt like just 10 per cent of the people understood the engine. 90 per cent of people were just relying on that 10 per cent, or checking online. So we were using tutorials to try and make a game. That was bad.”
To its credit, and at least for the PC version, the game did not have any major performance issues. Yes, performance could have been better overall things looked great on the PC. While it displayed a lot of zombies on screen, it does not require a high-end CPU though its GPU requirements are indeed a bit high.
In May 2015, Starbreeze bought the Valhalla game engine and its original plan was for Valhalla to power all of its games. Overkill’s The Walking Dead would be powered by it, however that engine was a mess and the developers decided to switch to Unreal Engine.
“There wasn’t even a file open button when we got it. It was impossible to use. And this is when it all started to get a bit fucked up.”