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?
Recent Reviews:
Mostly Positive (239) - 79% of the 239 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (12,099) - 87% of the 12,099 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Nov 8, 2013
Developer:
Publisher:

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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 (193)

January 11

Spiffospaced



Ello all. Hope you’re well.

Vehicles Spiffospace Test Server
We’ve reached a point at which we need a place for MP vehicles testers to hang out, drive cars, bash zombies and report bugs. With that in mind, then, the Spiffospace server has been revived – and is accessible from the vehicles beta server list. Please post feedback in the server thread, and bugs in the tracker.

There will almost certainly be crashes and lag issues that we’ll need to sort over the coming weeks, so some patience is required, but initial testers are reporting that they’re having a lot of fun. We’ll keep the server up and running as long as possible, and avoid resets as much as we can, and a little further down the line this is the server that’ll be used for Community Megatests too.

We’re currently on Vehicles Build 31.2 and 31.3 will follow tomorrow – loot sync issues have improved in these builds, but Yuri has also just committed a fix for loot that could be lost/duplicated when two players were in the same inventory space at the same time. (We’ll be resetting the Spiffospace server once this released, with some player-requested new time settings etc too.)

In terms of the vehicles build itself RJ is now back and working on bugs and XP balance, while resident artist Mash is working on a more final version of the Mechanics Skill vehicle UI overlay. Another issue we’re dealing with is coming up with a way to prevent players locking their own vehicle keys in the trunk – which, while providing some hilarious anecdotes from testers, probably isn’t the optimum situation.


Vehicle SFX
Our optimization guru Bitbaboon Steve recently revealed that he has a bunch of experience in working with vehicle noises over the years. He’s done sound work on vehicles for big games by folks like Atari, Ubisoft and Disney so it seemed wise to pass the audio baton over to him.  The current car sounds have been crappy for too long in the vehicles beta, and this should get them done well and efficiently.

“Right now I’m adding support to the audio code to allow me to pitch shift samples” explained Steve when we nudged him. “This will mean that we can take four steady samples from the vehicle idling through to it going fast – and then let me set the volume / pitch so there’s a seamless blend through the whole RPM range.”



“This will then be hooked up directly to the vehicle simulation to provide a basic vehicle sound. Once it’s complete I’ll add an additional on/off ‘load’ so the vehicles sound different when accelerating and stressing the engine when compared to players easing off the accelerator. After this I’ll then find different sound sets to use for the different varieties of car – sports, truck etc.”


Anims
Our goal is to have anims in a state that’s ready for us to jump straight into once vehicles are wrapped. Right now, in the unified anims build that’ll be used as a base for the releases beyond vehicles, Bitbaboon Mark has fixed up mesh rendering with new system – so we can now see anim models alongside vehicles and judge how they size up against each other. [Screenshot taken before the wheels bug had been worked out though!]



Next up he’s adding some extra anim debug info that’ll let him display anim state info about each character in the world – which will help Animator Martin and himself track down exactly when the system bugs out / gets stuck. AnimZed, the tool that will allow us/modders to edit anim states live to the game is doing its job fine but still needs some functionality issues ironed out – after which the sanity/data pass that we mentioned in previous blogs can get going.


Zed pathfinding
Performance in the vehicles build is currently pretty okay, apart from when the wider sound radius of moving vehicles attracts the attention of a whole bunch of zeds – which then knocks into FPS repercussions.

To address this, then, EP is experimenting with the implementation of a C++ navigation mesh to find paths to replace the Java version we currently have – which will both remove some memory from the heap, and also dispense with the ‘thinking time’ of zombies who’ve lost their way far more quickly than our current set-up.



Other stuff
  • Zomboid won’t have Steam achievements for a while yet, and so PZ modding hero Nolan has stepped in to provide for all those who love the sweet caress of a cheevo notification. Check it out, and make suggestions, here.
  • RingoD has written a guide for map-makers with some simple steps as to how to update maps to handle the roof occlusion system.
  • Our fair RingoD has also provided some guidelines for mappers who want to add car spawn zones to maps in preparation for the release of the vehicles build which can be found here.

Today’s rooftop gunning from Anima Chimère du Chaos [FR[/url]]. A general list of stuff added to PZ, and vids of features being worked on, is kept[url] here – so you don’t have to plough through endless dev blogs for info. The Centralized 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 open for chat and hijinks too.
As previously mentioned, ShylokVakarian’s Great Loot Search study is still ingoing here.Fanks!

56 comments Read more

January 4

Back in Bleak



Hey all, cogs and gears are back whirring after the Christmas and New Year break – so we thought we’d do a quick round-robin of the primary work being done at the moment for the Vehicles build, and the next public builds that follow it.

  • In terms of the vehicles build itself we just released a fix for the roof-rendering bug that had crept back into recent versions, and also some work from Yuri that will hopefully improve some of the MP sync issues that still remain.


    We intend to release Vehicles 32 next week, which will primarily focus on balance and bugs – while Yuri is also looking at the sound issues in MP, trees losing collision at high speeds etc. (Once it’s clear that the more glaring MP issues have been knocked out the build then we’ll also be shifting the test build into the traditional IWBUMS beta slot.)


  • Something that we haven’t mentioned previously is that since he finished his jwjgl3 work (stability/operational improvements due for integration after vehicles are out) we’ve had Stas from General Arcade working on an improved MP chat window. The basic aim will be to give players a more familiar, intuitive and functional chat experience that’s expected from modern games and… looks a lot nicer, and doesn’t get into trouble when it snows.


    We intend to have optional tabs that are defined through Server Admin options for radios, safehouse, faction etc. and are also building on the existing (unreleased) General Arcade work on Discord implementation. It won’t be part of the vehicles build, but can be expected in the next one or two builds beyond it. Our thanks to Rathlord and EG for their help with the research and planning doc on this.


  • Mash continues to work on fleshing out the map – and making the farmland, river banks and country tracks in the ‘loop’ north from Rosewood and up to Riverside, then over to West Point and back down round through Muldraugh feel more real and lived-in. If we encourage players outside of towns with the vehicles, then we’d like those exploring the spaces between our major hubs to find a little less scrubland on their travels.


  • Bitbaboon Steve is back to do some more optimization work alongside us this week, while his colleague Mark down under is fixing up kinks in the unified animation build so that everything is in working order when the wider team’s primary focus turns away from vehicles. His immediate task is the one from the vid we showed in the blog before Christmas – that of a math issue from the model import changes that’s made cars invisible.


    He has a unified math wrapper to put around the whole shebang now, after which the focus will turn to getting the AnimZed tools to Animator Martin and the wider team and then checking through all the data to make sure it looks right when played out in-game. All the while he’ll also be taking note of performance issues as/when they appear and the best way for the game to handle them.


  • Also as mentioned before Christmas: optimization of zombie cognition, path finding and path following will be our next focus as we seek to reduce the impact of the widened net of zombie attraction that our noisy/speedy vehicles now provide.


    With this in mind, at the same time as Yuri considering a new ‘walkaroundbuilding’ state mentioned before Xmas, EasyPickins is also experimenting with a new general pathfinding library that uses a navigation mesh to find paths that could save on memory and optimize the current set-up significantly.


  • In more general news that doesn’t befit an entire bullet point on its own: Turbo is working towards getting his fog/snow into an upcoming vehicles build, Connall is working on a way to allow modders to easily add settings for their mods in the Options menu and ChrisW is looking into visual issues on tiles where players are building/destroying stuff.

Today’s Spiffo parking lot escape from Hellaries. A general list of stuff added to PZ, and vids of features being worked on, is kept here – so you don’t have to plough through endless dev blogs for info. The Centralized 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 here! Our Discord is open for chat and hijinks too. As previously mentioned, ShylokVakarian’s Great Loot Search study is still ingoing here. And check out Willm93’s ‘How to live forever without being undead’ guide if you fancy a few PZ tips, while you’re at it.
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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
SteamOS + Linux
    • 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
    • 64bit OS required
    • 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
    • 64bit OS required
    • 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
    • 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.

    • Processor: Intel 2.77GHz Dual Core
    • Ubuntu LTS 6.04/Steam Machine. Requires Libgcc 6 or higher
    • Memory: 2Gb Ram
    • Hard Disk Space: 1.23gig
    • Video Card: OpenGL 2.1 compatible dedicated graphics card
    • Sound: OpenAL compatible sound card
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