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A quest of a lifetime

4 April 2019

A short guide to quests in the world of Population Zero

For many games, quests are an essential gameplay part which introduces us to the basic mechanics and game features, teaches us how to use abilities. They also guide us through the plot and motivate to explore the in-game world. And though it’s not necessary for a survival game to have quests, Population Zero uses them to help players get used to the new planet, reveal its secrets and interact with each other.

Initial quests are intuitive and straightforward. The wild alien planet and bloodthirsty monsters might force you to crawl into a cave and never come out. To embrace a new game world, colonists perform their first quest tasks. Go there, gather this, craft that — and bam! Now know how to build and wield a basic axe. These initial quests help to learn the rules of survival and crafting, introduce perks and technologies and encourage to explore the world of Population Zero.

Quests don’t control players – only to show them the right direction and ease game immersion. An AI-friend Gordon, who accompanies colonists since the very beginning, provides them with primary tips and instructions.

What’s wrong with me?

One of the major game features in Population Zero is mutations. The colonists will quickly notice supernatural forces on Kepler as well as the hostility of the local environment. Some areas on Kepler are toxic and most of the water sources are poisonous. Such atmosphere affects players and they will notice. At some point, colonists receive a mutation related quest. The unknown forces will keep affecting you in many ways throughout your travels on Kepler, so the player will need to join one of the fractions and choose his further lifestyle. The quests lead the colonist through the story and provide him with available options.

The biggest of their discoveries, however, is that dying is only the beginning of their journey…

Fight or be cunning

Some quests will inspire you to meet others and take part in different kinds of activities. For example, some colonists might get a task of finding a particular place and getting a specific resource. So dozens of players have to discover the place and complete such a quest one way or another. You can either brute-force your way in PvP-style or get creative: search the dead colonists or grab resources while others are distracted by the battle.

The player can also get a quest to slay a sahrim – one of the most dangerous monsters on Kepler. In this case, he’ll need to ask for help and build alliances (if he doesn’t want to get killed mid-hunt).

Storyteller

At first, a player doesn’t know what happened to him or the other colonists, so quests give him a better grip of the situation and reveal the plot. There are various ways to find a new story — from a note left by someone at a certain place on the map, or after completing specific tasks, fighting an alien monster or finding a new location.

By completing all kinds of quests and solving mysteries, players will uncover Kepler’s secrets and their own destinies.