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Staten Island Game Studio Raises Funds for Zombie iPhone Game

By Nicholas Rizzi | March 18, 2013 2:10pm

ARDEN HEIGHTS — A Staten Island game studio needs the internet's help to survive the zombie apocalypse.

Turn Based Studios has started a campaign to raise $10,000 on the crowd-funding website Kickstarter for its game "Survive!, " the debut which founders hope will get the company off the ground.

The game, developed for iPhones, will challenge players to withstand hoards of zombie waves while trying to keep their characters alive, said Joseph Perez, owner and founder of Turn Based Studios.

It takes the traditional tower defense genre of games — where players build up defenses to protect a base from waves of enemies — and adds some unique twists on it, said Perez, 26, of Arden Heights.

"It has a lot of tower defense element but it’s nothing like a traditional tower defense” he said. “[The zombies] come after you, they’re trying to get you, and you’re trying to figure out whatever strategy it takes to survive.”

Perez said that after the company decided to develop a tower defense game as their first title, he had the zombie idea from the TV series “The Walking Dead.”

“It’s not really about killing zombies, it’s about survival,” he said. “[The Walking Dead] is almost a direct inspiration for most of the details in this.”

The game will have 8 characters and 25 levels total for them to survive through.

The four person game company has worked on the game since February, and decided to try and raise the extra money on Kickstarter to hire a second programmer and designer.

“I tried to go as far along as I could without needing any extra funding,” Perez said. “It just got to the point in order to bring the amount of polish I want to the game, we do need the extra funding to get started.”

Perez, a Navy veteran, started Turn Based Studios in December as a way to combine his two loves — video game and music.

“I’ve always wanted to start a company of my own, and it was just about figuring something that I can do and that I would love to do,” he said.

“Probably the two things I love to do both are music and gaming, and I figured why not do the game studio? I’ll do the music, I’ll bring in a programmer and we’ll get to work.”

Eventually, he said he plans on the company to focus on developing turn-based role playing-games — similar to the Final Fantasy series — but they take a lot more time and a larger budget to make, so he decided to start with a smaller project for their first release.

The game is still in early stages of development, Perez said, and the company hopes to release gameplay footage soon on the Kickstarter page.

So far, the campaign has raised a little more than $200 in a week.

Regardless of the project's success on Kickstarter, the studio plans to release the games on iPhones in June or July for 99 cents.

After the release, the studio plans to release a high definition version for iPads, and then potentially for other platforms like Android phones and the Xbox 360.