A Conversation with Zack – Developer of Signal Decay

Aug 8, 18  | posted by Alex Quayle (2134)

A chat with Zack Zhang

Signal Decay is an upcoming stealth rogue-lite title featuring a team (assembled by you) against enemies in a procedurally generated cyberpunk dystopia. It’s a refreshingly unique blend and the four awards it’s won (despite being unreleased!) backs that up; to share some insight into the development of Singal Decay, I interviewed developer Zack Zhang.


Welcome, Zack! So you are the sole developer of Signal Decay, a game that has racked up 4 awards despite not being released yet! How does that feel?
The development has been through four years, and I am still working alone and full-time. It’s pretty stressful. Part of it is that you don’t know if people will like it or even discover it when it’s released. With no partners, it’s easy to get worried a lot and get depressed. It is also because you just couldn’t keep up with everything. I believe every solo developer knows that well.  I am lucky, though, because I have some friends and freelancers help me with some parts of the game. Now I’m just focusing myself on one thing: delivering the best co-op experience with the game.
One of the main catches of the game is permadeath; will you add a legacy feature where parts of previous characters will transfer over to a new playthrough?
Yes or no. Players will unlock new weapons & gadgets for the beginning of a run when achieving something. I call it “Tech Launcher” for now. Signal Decay is a special roguelike because it is primarily a co-op game among friends (and it’s the only stealth action roguelike as I could see). One of Signal Decay’s special features is that when a player died in a single-player game, he will get a save file, with which he could invite a friend for a rescue mission. If the rescue succeeds, the game continues as a multiplayer one then.
Will you be adding a Steam Workshop for players to create new levels/characters/weapons/features?
Not in the current plan. I’ll finish the base game first. It’s a great idea, though.
Do you see Signal Decay coming to consoles in the future?
Yeah, for certain. It will come to popular consoles.
This one is a bit cheeky, but do you have a rough release window for when we could expect to see Signal Decay?
The publishing plan is not fully decided yet, but the game is close to being finished. It will come out at the end of this year or sometime next year.

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