State of Decay 2 shows off the size and variety of its digital cast

State of Decay, for lack of a better phrase, was a zombie apocalypse simulator for Xbox 360 and Steam, achieving impressive sales success and widespread acclaim.

Featuring base building systems, perma-death, and dynamically evolving populations, players were put to task managing resources and navigating zombie hordes. Some relatively awkward third-person combat, poor engine performance, and limited content held State of Decay back, but as we learned in our recent interview, Undead Labs aims to improve every single aspect of the original.

Announced today on the game's website, Undead Labs' community manager Josh Stein revealed how the studio is creating the State of Decay 2's inhabitants.

Using procedurally generated character models, State of Decay 2 will produce a huge array of unique-looking humans, enhancing the sense of individuality each model has.

In State of Decay 2, your community members aren't just throwaway units like in an RTS; they have personality traits and important skills. Losing them in the field can be devastating to the prosperity of your base, but the fact every character model will look unique, it should ramp up the emotional impact of a favorite character being killed off as well.

Using photogrammetry, Undead Labs reproduced the faces of hundreds of people for State of Decay 2. The results were then tweaked further to make them fit into the game and viola!

Combined with State of Decay 2's vast amount of clothing styles, faces, and body types, you just might struggle to see the same NPC twice in State of Decay 2.

State of Decay 2 is heading for a planned 2017 launch on Xbox One and Windows 10, with a full reveal coming at E3 2017 in June.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!