Project Zomboid is the ultimate in zombie survival. Alone or in MP: you loot, build, craft, fight, farm and fish in a struggle to survive. A hardcore RPG skillset, a vast map, a massively customisable sandbox and a cute tutorial raccoon await the unwary. So how will you die?
User reviews:
Recent:
Mostly Positive (236 reviews) - 74% of the 236 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (13,624 reviews) - 89% of the 13,624 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 8, 2013

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Project Zomboid is a much more ambitious game than we could ever have hoped to fund ourselves. It has grown massively over the years, and it’s been a rollercoaster, but we find ourselves in a stable financial situation with an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the Steam community. We hope you will join us, but if not we understand. If you're not ready to jump in yet, then please consider us when we break out of Early Access.

How often do we update the community?

We have weekly newsletters, known as 'Mondoid's, which we publish on our site and as a Steam announcement every Monday (unsurprisingly) as a small tonic to the depressing 'back to work' feeling. These detail what we've been up to during the week, often with sneak peeks of upcoming features, interviews, videos and all that goodness. We've had an unbroken chain of Mondoids for a long time now, and plan to continue them as long as Project Zomboid is developed. We also communicate with our community directly on our own forums and Steam forums, often with changelists for upcoming builds.

How often do we update?

We have a reputation that seems to diverge greatly when it comes to update frequency depending on who you ask. Many consider our game frequently updated, some consider us slow. In recent times it’s rare we don’t have a release within a month (including beta releases), and these always contain new gameplay features or major tweaks to the gameplay.

Some features, particularly NPCs, have taken a long time to implement. This is largely out of our commitment to getting the features right and them not disappointing on release, but it should be noted that we make no apology for delaying their release until we feel they would be enjoyed, live up to people’s expectations, and most importantly do not have a detrimental effect on the gameplay or stability of the game.

We will admit to a few long waits between updates in the past, but we feel from community feedback that the majority of our customers are very satisfied with the development of the game. It should be pointed out too that the game has significant modding support, with map editors and full unrestricted lua modding access. We have a vibrant modding community that can help plug the gap between updates. It should also be taken into consideration that the game is already very far through development, to the point where we now have 1900+ hour players - There is a lot of content to enjoy in the game already and we firmly and proudly believe it worth its current price as it stands. Please consider reading some reviews if you are still unsure about the content of the game or the release frequency.

Details of major milestones can be found below.

What is required for 1.0?

Two major features are yet to be implemented into the game, both of which are currently in full-time development each with dedicated full-time developer support. These are:

NPCS - A far reaching and in-depth NPC system with character relationships, personalities, and an emergent story engine that allows for diverse and emergent character based zombie survival story unique to every playthrough. This also includes the tutorial, a return of Kate and Baldspot who starred in the early alphas of the game.

Vehicles - Fully physics modelled 3D vehicles, siphoning petrol, mechanics skills.

Several features require either significant modifications, rewrites or completion before we could consider 1.0.

Map completion - We still have a major city, an army base, more wilderness, and several small towns to implement to the game map.

UI Rewrite - The UI isn’t perfect by any stretch. We would like to get a more intuitive and ergonomic UI system implemented.

Stealth / Combat - New animations to allow for stealth mechanics (looking round corners, crouching behind walls, cover etc) as well as a rewrite of the combat system to leverage new animations to make combat more involved, intuitive and fluid.

We want to have all this in the can this year. However, we tend to avoid ETAs because Early Access development in particular is often filled with unknowns and we want to ensure we get these highly anticipated features right. 

In the meantime however we will continue to update the game and provide new features for our community to play with. One of our developers full time responsibility is providing frequent and new items, crafting recipes, skills and survival gameplay elements to fill out any holes in gameplay, and provide frequent feature rich game updates in line with community feedback, while the other developers focus on finishing these specific remaining major features.

What about after 1.0?

At this point, once we feel we have fulfilled every promise we gave when the Project Zomboid site first launched (except the last one, ahem, ignore that. Absolutely no one wanted that, it turned out), as well as the extra things detailed above, and the game is sufficiently polished and bug free, we will launch the game as 1.0 and leave Early Access.

What happens at this point depends entirely on whether the game is making money or not, but given the past solid performance of the game we see no reason why it shouldn’t be. Several developers within the team will likely start exploring our second project at this point, however we have dedicated and passionate developers who were brought into the company via the Project Zomboid modding community, emotionally invested in the game, who are already a big part of the development and communicating with the community. As long as Project Zomboid is making enough to support their continued development of the game, and they are happy to continue working on it (which seems likely), we will continue making Project Zomboid indefinitely as long as there is interest.

That all said, we can’t make any solid promises beyond the 1.0 mark, however there are countless things we would love to do that go way beyond 1.0 and sales make us confident that we’ll get the opportunity to explore them. Truth be told, given that it was Zomboid that put the money in the bank in the first place, as long as our company is secure and we can fund any other project's development comfortably, it's very probable we'd be willing to put some money back into the game beyond the point it's sustaining itself if there are any features in particular we can't bear to leave out of the game. Words are wind though, and all we can do is guess where we'll all be by then. We really want to keep this train going as long as we can though, as long as it continues to the benefit of the game. At which point the modders will hopefully take the mantle with almost unlimited access to the game's core.


Development Costs

Here we hope to give you a better idea of how the sales revenue from Project Zomboid will support development of the game. While we will keep particular developers salaries confidential, we would like to offer a breakdown of developer and office locations, along with the average rent costs, reported on http://www.numbeo.com/ for the Indie Stone offices, along with each developer's location to give you an idea of relative studio costs. It's become clear to us recently how significantly this factors into Early Access games chance of continuing development and we hope others will follow suit in divulging this information.

All percentages are in comparison to New York City (100%) - Other examples would be San Francisco (98.66%), London (93.81%), Moscow (52.71%) and Delhi (9.53%). The lower the % the further your purchase of an Early Access game will go to fund development (or more crucially how long that money will last), as accommodation costs correlate pretty closely with expected salaries and costs of living and working in that location. (Please note that in several cases the developer lives sufficiently outside the given city to make the actual %s likely much lower than reported)

3x Developers + Office
Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom - 32.37%

1x Developer
Brighton, United Kingdom - 56.37%

1x Developer
Toronto, Canada - 51.78%

1x Developer
Surrey, Canada - 30.87%

1x Developer
Lille, France - 31.59%

Monthly development costs are currently recouped within approximately the first 1.5 weeks of the month on average, which means at present each month produces extra funds to further develop the game should sales dry up. This does not include sales or other promotions.

What if PZ stopped making any money tomorrow?

The Indie Stone have made sufficient sales since launch on Early Access to ensure that if the game stopped selling any copies tomorrow, the entire PZ dev team could carry on funded development as at present, with no reduction in workforce, for at least the next two years, potentially longer. This would not be an ideal situation for us, of course, but we are committed to finishing every major planned feature before we consider moving the game to 1.0. Considering the financial situation we are in at present, the chances we will not be able to fund the remaining development of the game are quite small.

In the worst (and least likely) possible of financial cases that required the disbandment of all paid developers of the game, 4 of the listed developers are directors of The Indie Stone with an invested interest in the success of the game and company, who would cut their income significantly and/or supplement development of the game with other work to get through any financial difficulties. Despite this no doubt causing progress to slow significantly, the 4 directors hold all required skills to continue development of the game during this nightmare scenario.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“See above!”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“See above!”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“See above!”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“It will likely be £5, $8 more expensive once we hit 1.0. Due to our commitment to making sure early adopters get the cheapest price in appreciation of their early support, we will never appear on bundles, or in sales that take it to or below the original alpha price of £5, $8 until a long time post 1.0. This commitment also means that, until 1.0 and the price increase, we will never be willing to go beyond a 40% sale.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“See above!”
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Recent updates View all (153)

February 13

Stash in the Attic



 

Hello! A few things from the big list of what’s cooking:


MAP STASHES

In the next IWBUMS beta release there’ll be a system that we’ve added to our new in-game maps. In essence on the maps you loot from zombie corpses in SP (specifically the ‘survivor’ zombies post-anims, when we have more control over clothing and appearance) they will often come with annotations written on them by that pre-zombie survivor, or perhaps their friends/family who tried to help them.

Sometimes annotations won’t help (zombie hordes that have since moved on etc) but more often than not there’ll be directions to interesting finds that have been left in buildings on the map. A weapon cache, tools, a booby-trapped safehouse, a dangerous building of boarded-up zeds and the like.

Depending on where in the PZ timeline you are, the more apt the different variety of ‘treasure’ that’s marked on the map. This will also be tied into our ‘random house’ system, meaning that we will also have control over how boarded up the places are, zombie numbers inside etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_miSFTS_mys



All stash description, contents and locations are done in lua
, meaning that the community will be able to easily add to the system – and of course how frequent you can find these maps will also be a sandbox option.

The system will also work in MP, but because the system is reliant on highlighting unvisited locations it won’t last for long on big servers. Clearly, however, the annotated maps will be discoverable written by ‘real’ people in this instance though – so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Unseen in the above video is an improved ‘handwritten’ font, and also new stamps for the maps system. We also intend to have stashes be a bit more visually appealing without them just appearing in crates or ‘underneath the sink’ – so things look like they’ve actually been hidden by someone in a hurry.


VEHICLES

Okay, so here’s what’s happening with vehicles. Yuri, one of our inestimable friends from General Arcade, is currently making the streets and streaming of Muldraugh and environs a smoother ride for EasyPickins’ fab work on vehicles and physics.

The results have been really exciting, and at a later date the vehicle movement interpolation code can also be extended over into player movement to make life smoother for non-drivers too.

We’re not looking at a release in an imminent build, but we clearly are at a stage when we’re more comfortable with talking out loud about them – and Yuri’s engine-smoothening, performance-improving and zombie/player collision work over the past few weeks has been great to see.

In terms of visuals, meanwhile, Martin (whose name you’ll know for his animating mentions) has been tasked with creating various different vehicle models that’ll be found on the Zomboid map – and the various skins that’ll pretty them up and differentiate them. He’s working on these whenever he’s not working directly with us on the animations (or the other wilderness features the anims will unlock) so here’s an example of his current work on two different varieties of ‘pick up truck’.




COOL MAPS

There’s something of a community mapping frenzy at the moment with lots of cool projects bubbling away on our forum and in the mapper Discord. We just wanted to highlight Cardenaglo’s awesome sequence of islands known as ‘Bungil’ which is a really imaginative ‘Zomboid journey’ we’d love to see in action.

Xeonyx has also recently updated his New Denver map on Steam so that it plays nicely with Rosewood Prison, while it also sounds like he has the Rosebery expansion brewing nicely. Also a quick shout-out to Pat_Bren and his small Irish village of Ballincoolin. We saw your plea for love Pat. Happy Valentines.

This week’s featured image from the, hopefully not rude-named, Kobrakum. The Block of Italicised Text would like to direct your attention to the PZ Wiki should you feel like editing or amending something, and the PZ Mailing List that can send blogs like this and patch notes direct to your mailbox. We also live on Twitter right hereOur Discord is now open for chat and hijinks too. A general overview of the content of PZ builds past, in testing and upcoming can be found here.

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February 6

Roots n’ Branches



Hey all, hope you’re well. Updates from various departments in zombie land this fair Mondoid.


BUILD 37 IWBUMS BETA

We released a bugfix update last week to Build 37’s Muld/Rosewood etc lootable maps, and also their marking and annotation system. There’s another ‘fix build’ on the brew, and any and all feedback is welcome. Specifically, the new ‘oven dial’ UI has been built for multiple uses across the game’s many devices – so feedback on its general usability would be greatly appreciated.

Next up, although we’ll give full details once it’s in the can, RJ is going to work on expanding this system so that it benefits MP safehouses with annotated maps that can be put on public display, and a plan we have about pre-annotated maps discovered on zed bodies that’ll be useful/fun in SP and co-op.

Details on how to access the IWBUMS beta – here. [We’ve removed password from the beta, as everyone’s quite used to unstable branches these days.]


ANIMS

One element that’s been a part of the perils of getting the animation build playable and into testing, is that the closer you get – the more issues in general gameplay become clear, and the more evident it is that they need fixing. The ‘not fun’ factor looms large. Primarily, in this instance, was cludgy indoor movement with a side salad of ‘rotate on-the-spot’ zeds and survivors looking pretty crap.

As such, while pulling everything together, there’s been a side-thread of work going on with Martin the Animator to see how we can improve things. It’s all to do with ‘root motion’ – in the new PZ anims the movement of characters has always been directly taken from the animation data itself, instead of being pumped into the character in the game logic.

Thing is, there was one important part of the system that it became increasingly clear that we needed: we only had support for movement in a straight line, and no support for characters to rotate within animations and for this rotation to translate into the rotation of characters in-game.

Up until now we still had to rotate characters/zeds in the game code and completely divorced from the animation. The most obvious consequence of this was that despite characters making realistic steps when walking, sneaking and so on (and in videos as you’ve seen, if the character is rotated while sneaking it works pretty well) rotating on the spot would still produce ‘slidey on the spot rotating’. This works okay in the current game, but looks a bit silly when the animations around it are much more realistic.

Without going into lots of technical details this was a much more complicated and confusing problem to solve than the positional root motion system [Mondoid writer aside, direct to camera: seriously there’s been all this chat about Quarteronions that’s pretty much incomprehensible to me], but after a meet-up with Martin last week we finally worked out the best way of how to approach it.

Now (well, almost now, there’s still one more bug to sort out that would have resulted in an in-game video today) we have support for rotations, it allows us to improve in various areas, as well as fix the issues mentioned above.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXtK2xEh0XQ


In Summary:

a) Rotating on the spot. When the player rotates on the spot, we’ll be able to have them actually make steps to turn themselves without the aforementioned sliding in a circle with feet stationary.

b) A big issue with movement that we found it difficult to solve was that with deferred movement it’s important that the character’s movement mirrors the animation, and that characters don’t rotate super-fast to change direction. In-game this lead to a kind of inertia effect, with characters speeding up from stationary and having a finite turning speed, meant that indoor navigation got a lot more difficult.

Now, however, we’ll be able to have the character turn and step in any direction as part of their ‘starting to walk/run’ animation. Zeds and survivors, for example, can twist their torso while immediately stepping to the right, left, or making a turn through 180 degrees.

This should make movement a lot more responsive and immediate, and though this is clearly nothing to do with our game specifically this should give you an idea of the kind of rotational character locomotion we’re talking about.

c) There are a fair few animations, particularly in the ‘wall hugging’ advanced cover traversal system, that require this rotational movement to be able to function. This is a system that isn’t currently planned to be implemented in the anims test build release, but was a major technical barrier to it – and it feels good to have a system in-place that bypasses it.

d) In future a lot of stuff like zombie walks could now have rotational movement encoded into the animations, to make their movement much more realistic and non-linear. The same could apply to an injured character’s movement, drunken stumbles and other things. It opens up a lot of doors.


ITEMZED RELEASE



  Turbo has just released the full version of ItemZed. This is a development and modding tool that’s used to edit the contents of script modules (foodstuff items, weapons, recipes etc) and the distribution table that dictates where different in-game items can be found and looted on the map.

On top of the tool’s previous test release, there’s now options for the batch refactoring of large numbers of items and in-game objects and lua integration that allows the entire data set to be programmatically modified, and output to any sort of format – meaning that changes and new items can quickly and easily become part of user mods, and a part of the main game.

Here’s a vid Turbo’s made to explain it all a bit, turn on English subtitles for written descriptions.


OTHER STUFF
  • General Arcade continue their work on getting map-streaming, physics and MP sync ready for EP’s vehicles. New recruit Eugene is also getting used to the codebase by mixing in Discord compatibility with game chat as an extension of our old IRC plugin, given our increasing love for the service.
  • The inestimable RingoD has updated his comprehensive guide to creating user maps in WorldZed and TileZed, with an updated Section 3 detailing exactly how to make individual buildings. The Steam version can found here. We’re delighted to see that there’s a bunch of people already using these, and creating cool stuff.


Featured image from Arsenic Legacy. The Block of Italicised Text would like to direct your attention to the PZ Wiki should you feel like editing or amending something, and the PZ Mailing List that can send blogs like this and patch notes direct to your mailbox. We also live on Twitter right hereOur Discord is now open for chat and hijinks too. A general overview of the content of PZ builds past, in testing and upcoming can be found here.

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Reviews

“What can I say? This game's interface looks so simplistic by today's standards, and yet the Indie Stone team has managed to possibly create one of the best post-apocalyptic zombie survival games in existence to date.”
Max Power! (105 hrs)

“Most realistic zombie apocalypse scenario game to date.”
democar821 (81 hrs)

“The gameplay is surprisingly addicting, sometimes I look at the clock and wonder where the last 4 hours went, but looking at my fort shows me where they went.”
syfy2K4 (1,021 hrs)

About This Game

Project Zomboid is an open-ended zombie-infested sandbox. It asks one simple question – how will you die? 

In the towns of Muldraugh and West Point, survivors must loot houses, build defences and do their utmost to delay their inevitable death day by day. No help is coming – their continued survival relies on their own cunning, luck and ability to evade a relentless horde.

Current Features


  • Hardcore Sandbox Zombie Survival Game with a focus on realistic survival.
  • Online multiplayer survival with persistent player run servers.
  • Local 4 player split-screen co-op
  • Hundreds of zombies with swarm mechanics and in-depth visual and hearing systems.
  • Full line of sight system and real-time lighting, sound and visibility mechanics. Hide in the shadows, keep quiet and keep the lights off at night, or at least hang sheets over the windows.
  • Vast and growing map (loosely based on a real world location) for you to explore, loot and set up your fortress. Check out Blindcoder’s map project: http://pzmap.crash-override.net/
  • Use tools and items to craft weapons, barricade and cook. You can even build zombie proof forts by chopping trees, sawing wood and scavenging supplies.
  • Deal with depression, boredom, hunger, thirst and illness while trying to survive.
  • Day turns to night. The electricity falters. Hordes migrate. Winter draws in. Nature gradually starts to take over.
  • Farming, trapping, fishing, carpentry, cooking, trapping, character customization, skills and perks that develop based on what you do in-game.
  • Proper zombies that don’t run. (Unless you tell them to in the sandbox menu).
  • A ton of amazing atmospheric music tracks by the prodigy that is Zach Beever.
  • Imaginative Challenge scenarios and instant action ‘Last Stand’ mode, on top of regular Sandbox and Survival 
  • Full, open and powerful Lua modding support.
  • Xbox Controller Gamepad support on Windows. [Others pads can be set up manually. Gamepad support not currently available on Mac]

    We’re a small team at the moment, but we’re also committed to providing the following:

    Planned Features:


  • The return of our PZ Stories mode that also serves as first ever tutorial actively trying to kill you at every turn. Kate and Baldspot return!
  • In-depth and varied NPC encounters driven in a persistent world, powered by a metagame system that turns each play-through into your very own zombie survival movie with emergent narrative gameplay.
  • Constant expansion of the countryside and cities around Muldraugh and West Point
  • Full wilderness survival systems, animals and hunting for food.
  • More items, crafting recipes, weapons and gameplay systems.
  • Steam Workshop and Achievements support

For more details on the game follow us on @theindiestone or visit http://www.projectzomboid.com

A huge thanks to the wonderful MathasGames and Dean Cutty for making the awesome intro video. If you love indie games their channels are well worth a sub.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    • Nb. This is an Early Access game. A demo has been provided so you can be sure the game runs on your set-up to your satisfaction.

      Radeon 4xxx series (or below) graphics cards / Please make sure to try the demo before purchasing!

    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 10
    • Processor: Intel 2.77GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2Gb Ram
    • Hard Disk Space: 1.23gig
    • Video Card: OpenGL 2.1 compatible dedicated graphics card
    • Sound: OpenAL compatible sound card
    • Nb. This is an Early Access game. A demo has been provided so you can be sure the game runs on your set-up to your satisfaction.

    • OS: OS X 10.7.3, or later. 
    • Processor: Intel 2.77GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2Gb Ram
    • Hard Disk Space: 1.23gig
    • Video Card: OpenGL 2.1 compatible dedicated graphics card
    • Sound: OpenAL compatible sound card
    • Controllers currently unsupported in Mac
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Mostly Positive (236 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (13,624 reviews)
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