Dying Light developer Techland has said its upcoming zombie survival game will be of a higher quality than Dead Island, its first crack at the genre that launched with a number of rough edges.
"You have to consider that Dead Island was our first open-world game so we had to learn some lessons the hard way," producer Tymon Smektala told Eurogamer during an interview at EGX 2013. "But our level design team has grown three-fold [since then], and the same can be said of our quality assurance team.
"We've really put a lot of resources into playtesting so we make sure this game is a AAA project. We really feel we need to prove to people that we have made a AAA game and we're confident we're doing it."
Where Dead Island had a slow, plodding progression and some ropey-looking environments, Dying Light has traversal mechanics more akin to Mirror's Edge, a challenging day/night cycle and a fresh engine for use on next-gen consoles.
"Dying Light is a game that's quite different to Dead Island," Smektala added. "It's more mature and more serious. I think people will be surprised by our story to some extent, by our gameplay and how complex it is.
"When you put Dead Island's gameplay mechanics on paper, it is a hack and slash game. Put Dying Light's mechanics on a piece of paper and you'll have to use all of that page to describe what the game's all about and how it plays."
Smektala also touched on the controversy surrounding Dead Island: Riptide's Zombie Bait Special Edition, which contained a disembodied bikni-clad torso - the work of publisher Deep Silver.
Put Dying Light's mechanics on a piece of paper and you'll have to use all of that page.Dying Light producer Tymon Smektala
"My reaction was I was surprised by it," Smektala said. "I was working on Dying Light and I just didn't know something like this happens. It was something our publisher did but... I can't comment on it in any meaningful way because me, personally, I was surprised. I thought, that's a strange idea really but that's just my personal opinion.
"I'm sure there will be a special edition for Dying Light though it's not going to have a severed woman's torso."
Dying Light still has a vague 2014 release date, but work is progressing well, Smektala concluded. The team has hit the game's alpha and now has months to iron out remaining bugs.
"A couple of weeks ago we hit alpha, which means that the whole game is there. It's not all working yet, but it's now only a matter of iteration to make things perfect. We still have a couple of months to do it and I'm looking at schedules and timelines and deadlines and I'm pretty confident we'll be able to give players something that is close to perfect."
Watch Dying Light's EGX 2013 session with exclusive gameplay footage below.