Once again Gamereactor is in attendance at PAX East, and the first developer we bumped into after our arrival was none other than Undead Labs' Jeff Strain.
During the subsequent interview we discussed the demo on show at PAX (apparently it's "devilishly difficult" to a make a good demo for a show like this) and how the Game Pass is "an effective tool for [building a community]", something the studio is looking forward to as it prepares to follow Sea of Thieves onto the subscription service.
We also discussed the game itself, in particular discussing how this sequel is being made primarily for those who loved the first game.
"We really did craft this game to be first and foremost for fans of the original. We're not taking radical turns and we're not trying to do completely different things. What we wanted to do was take the things that worked from the original, take the things people told us they loved, and really deepen and double-down on those things."
That said not everything is going to be the same, and the way Undead Labs delivers narrative to the player is "one of the biggest differences" between this sequel and its predecessor, and the new setup also helps ensure variety across multiple playthroughs too.
According to Strain, they want to "tie that story into the simulation, make it more dynamic and adaptive to the choices the players were making in the game. So we call it 'dynamic narrative', and it is one of the hallmarks of State of Decay 2, that the story is very customised to you as it unfolds."
Once again permadeath is going to make a return, so there's going to be plenty of risk assessment going on while you play. One interesting feature is that players can take their character into a friend's game, but the threat of permadeath carries over with you. On the other hand, anything you earn while playing with a friend will come back to your own game with you.
State of Decay 2 is heading to PC and Xbox One on May 22.