Published on April 22nd, 2015 | by Patrick Garde0
Interview with Seth Sivak, CEO of Proletariat
After playing and reviewing World Zombination, it piqued our interest to get to know more the game developer behind it. We had a chance to chat with Seth Sivak (@sjsivak), the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Proletariat, game developer of World Zombination. We discussed their history, advice for people getting into the industry, how their game differs from other tower defense games, hardest part in developing the game, and what should we expect from Proletariat in the future.
Could you tell us a little bit of history of Proletariat? How did you come up with the name?
We started Proletariat following the Zynga Boston studio closure. The name came from a conversation we were having a few days after the layoffs where we realized that the founding team was made up of all people that had an active hand in building games. There were no specific managers or executives on the team and we considered ourselves the working class of the industry, so the name just made sense. Also helped that we had the domain name already.
Were there any video games that you’ve played that served as an inspiration?
Plenty. I personally love tower defense games like Kingdom Rush and Anomaly. As a team we played a lot of different MMO games that greatly impacted the feel of our game World Zombination. We really wanted to provide the feeling of dungeon crawling and guild raids but not require four hours to accomplish them.
Any advice for people who are considering getting into video game development?
My advice would be to finish something. Games are really easy to start but very difficult to finish. If you work on a project alone or in a group, see it through to the end and then take away lessons from each experience.
World Zombination is the first game under your belt. How did you start working on it, could you tell us about that?
The founder team has a great deal of experience in the industry prior to starting World Zombination, including having worked on Lord of the Rings: Online, Rock Band, Ratchet and Clank, Resistance: Fall of Man, and many other titles. We started simply enough by finding game mechanics that felt good and created fun experiences. After that, it was just building and iterating on those until we had something complex.
What gameplay elements did you focus on in World Zombination?
We put a lot of time into the guild system and the moment-to-moment gameplay. We built two totally unique gameplay styles for humans and zombies that had to work in the same meta game and then layered in a multiplayer guild system that we thought could deliver a unique experience on mobile.
How does the game differ from other tower defense games?
We worked hard to provide both an interesting spin on tower defense and a totally unique reverse tower defense style of gameplay. There are a lot of ways to play, even outside of the two factions. I personally like managing my team of units, levelling them up, and choosing their specific skill trees.
You have had a warm reception from critics as you manage to net a 77/100 metascore on Metacritic. We also rated your game 4 stars out of 5. Did you expect to receive a positive response?
We are really proud of the work we did on World Zombination and it is something that we all still enjoy playing and enjoy working on. In my experience, it is hard to guess how games will be received, but everyone is really happy with the response.
The game feels original and I like the option of choosing sides. In your opinion, what is going to keep users playing the game?
Players really love working together in guilds to complete guild raids. Because of that, we are planning to build on the guild mechanics and features to grow that part of the game even more.
May you share what is the hardest part you encountered in developing this game?
Building two unique styles of gameplay that had to be balanced and work together was incredibly difficult and something we are still working on with every single update.
World Zombination is already available in iOS and slated to be released soon on Android, PC, and Mac. Why did you choose to release first on iOS platform?
We built the game to really shine on the tablet, and the iPad is the best one available. That was the key factor in our initial decision but we knew from the start that we wanted to bring the game cross platform.
Going forward, what should we expect from Proletariat?
Proletariat is going to keep making interesting and unique multiplayer experiences. We are always looking for better ways to connect with our users and deliver deep new gameplay and dynamic worlds. We’re just happy we get to make the games we want to play.
Seth Sivak, CEO – Proletariat
Be sure to visit Proletariat’s official website and follow their social media accounts (Facebook & Twitter) to get the latest news. You may also get social with World Zombination’s accounts (Facebook & Twitter) to receive game updates.