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 (185 reviews) - 77% of the 185 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (10,574 reviews) - 88% of the 10,574 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 (162)

May 15

CarDevDoid



Hey all. Many thanks for all the vehicles thoughts and feedback over the past week. More of which below…


CARS
Last week we released our Vehicles Tech Test build (details here) and the community has been giving us loads of technical feedback, spotlighting bugs and useful ideas for their future development. We’re going to keep this beta branch open and updated for the foreseeable future. It seems that most testers have been having a lot of fun with them, and are pretty enthused so: yay!

We released a new version on Thursday that gives vehicles placeholder sounds and also addressed a physics bug that was causing FPS degradation – but some choppiness remains for some systems. As such Yuri is currently looking into further rendering optimizations and also investigating the way draw order currently operates.

 
In the mean-time Mash has finished her pass on the more neutral ‘PZ’ colours for car textures, and this new art style will be added into the game fairly imminently for testers to check out.

 
Getting the tech working well for everyone is currently the 100% priority (this, and then physics improvements, will be the focus for the next little while) but it’s probably a good juncture to respond to common queries that have been raised since the release.

Overall we’re planning for car maintenance to work (and look) a lot like the current player health/medical system – everyone can use it in a basic sense, but those with specific skills and professions will be able to identify what’s wrong with an engine. We also plan to cross-pollinate some aspects of ‘vehicle work’ with relevant existing professions that are already in the game.

 
Zombie attraction levels to car noise, and the radius it’s heard within, is currently set really high in the Tech Test. This is partly because we wanted to push systems fairly hard, and partly because it’s better when balancing to drop things down in terms of difficulty rather than raise them up. As such Zed vehicle-love will be dropped as we go until we hit a sweet spot. This said, down the line, vehicle noise will depend on what’s being driven and engine condition – as well as how easy it is to start the car, backfiring etc.

 

BUILD 38
Barring a few necessary fixes to Build 37, RJ is now in full-flow on Build 38. A key component of it is likely going to be the necessity of body disposal should corpses stack up around your safehouse.

The current method for corpse-riddance (gas + flame) is fairly inelegant, and the punishment for decaying corpses around your home is more through it looking untidy rather than it having an impact on health, infected wounds etc. In a real zombie apocalypse this would be a bigger issue for a survivor than it currently is in PZ.

As such we’re going to be looking into more effective corpse management (body pits, graves, perhaps pyres and wooden crosses / memorials for RP) as well as some gameplay encouragement to do so.


STAFFING UP
As regular readers will know we now have Mark with us on the long-promised animations system who, in another life, a few of us knew either from his long-ago time at Reflections (‘Driver’ games era!) or in his more recent technical roles at SEGA Europe. He’s currently going great guns in creating a new model format for the animations (now pretty much complete) and providing a new exporter to streamline it all and circumvent a bunch of the issues that have routinely been blocking us.

This week we’ve also had another coder join us from our triple A pasts, another Chris from the wilds of northern England, but we’ll introduce him in more detail in future once he gets settled in. We’re also delighted that General Arcade will be also be providing additional support in MP and Engine optimization for the next few months too. Speaking of…



STEAM INVITE ISSUE

Something weird has happened with Steam Invites and the guys from General Arcade, who built us the system, are looking into it. Basically: in most cases when Steam invites are sent from a host, they’re not being received.

The issue currently doesn’t seem to be tied to any particular PZ update or patch, so it seems likely that it’s something that’s changed somehow in Steam’s workings. In any event, Detective Sergei is currently on the case.

In the mean-time a workaround to the issue that has been working for some people, as highlighted out by Onkeen and further investigated by Nasko on the PZ Discord, runs as follows:

 
  • As Host: make sure your friend/friends are [Allowed] on the invite menu
  • As Not-Host: make sure the game is shut down
  • As Not-Host: in Steam right-click on the Host’s picture in the “Friends” panel and click “Join Game” (this will launch the game and connect you right away)
  • Make sure your Router/Firewall has UPnP activated
  • Play together. Avoid zombies.
 
 
WOLDREN’S MEDIEVAL MAP

Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to survive a zombie apocalypse in would be like in ye olden days of yore? Well wonder no more

This week’s featured news van from Retro. 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.

73 comments Read more

May 8

Vehicle Tech Test



 
Hello! Today we’re releasing an early version of our vehicles build as a Tech Test. We are currently streamlining performance, and as such need to know how the build runs on the many/various/countless different machines that make up the PZ community.
 
It’s a Work in Progress version (and still needs a bunch of gameplay and features attached to it) but it’s also quite fun to drive around and see the sights in – so we do hope you enjoy it and like where it’s all headed. The only fly in the ointment is that we don’t have a Mac build right now, and this will be coming later this week. So apologies to our non-Linux and non-PC people.

Our thanks to EasyPickins, Yuri and all the General Arcade gang for all their work so far on this!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Fhc2WwYpyI
 

HOW TO GET IT
  • First off, if you currently have an ongoing PZ game then be sure to back up all your save files.
  • Right click on Project Zomboid in your Steam library and select ‘Properties’
  • Navigate to the ‘Steam Beta’ tab
  • Input the following password: workinprogress
  • A beta branch called ‘vehicle’ will now be unlocked, which can be selected on the dropdown menu.


WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
This is a Vehicles Tech Test and, as such, is unpolished and unfinished. You should be aware of the following:
  • At present cars are overpowered, and general gameplay balance is out of whack.
  • The art-style of cars is temporary and hasn’t had the new, less intrusive, Mash textures added yet. Likewise, they are not ‘grounded’ by shadows right now.
  • We are aware of a significant FPS drop after driving for long periods due to a physics bug. Getting this patched out of this build is currently our number one priority – but it shouldn’t impact your initial gameplay/testing too much.
  • To aid community testing all cars are unlocked and fuelled. Current work on locked cars, gas tanks of varying emptiness and other gameplay can be seen with the startup command –disableeasyvehicles.
  • We currently don’t have vehicle sounds, crash damage to player/car and zombies you run over have no effect on vehicle momentum. You may also see some tree pop-in, that we’re also currently working on.
  • Due to the current draw order some sprites and zombies car appear over cars. This means some ground sprites such as grass and zombie bodies can be drawn over cars, and occasionally cars may be drawn in the wrong order.
  • Due to this being worked on on a separate branch, expect more bugs than usual in the non-vehicle-related realm and don't expect this to work as a stable or even IWBUMS version
 

DRIVING LESSON
Once you have loaded up a new game then you’ll find cars in some driveways, and most parking lots. You can enter a car with ‘E’, though be sure to get in on the driver’s side if you want a swift exit.

Press ‘V’ to open up a vehicle’s radial menu – from which you’ll find access to the ignition, car radio, headlights and more.



Important:
 You use the key icon to start the car BUT sometimes repeated attempts at ignition will be required. The lack of sound effects means that failed start attempts are not made clear. When the icon at the bottom of the screen turns green then the engine is on, and you can drive.

The keyboard shortcut for ‘start engine’ is ‘N’ – and this is a less fussy way to turn the key.

Once the car has started then use the WSAD keys to drive. Other keyboard shortcuts you can use when in the vehicle are ‘L’ (Headlights) and ‘U’ (vehicle info).


WHAT WE’LL BE DOING NEXT
Yuri’s focus is currently on performance, and we will be updating the Vehicles Tech Test branch this week with whatever fixes are required as and when they become clear. In coming weeks we will also be working on zombie collision and vehicle impact, the exaggeration of tilts and leans when you take corners and implementing greater differences in handling between vehicles.

There’s also some ‘reverse momentum physics’ when the front of the car moves up when hitting the brakes instead of pushing down which we need to add the fix for.

Yuri has a full tasklist, but it’s one that’s being ticked through at a steady rate. We’re hoping that we’ll be able to release further vehicles test builds to the community whenever milestones are hit, so that we can harvest feedback whenever it’s most required in the run-up to vehicles becoming one with the main game.

It’s cool to stream, as long as you clearly tell your viewers the WIP status and it being a tech test version.


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.

116 comments Read more
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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
    • 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
Customer reviews Learn More
Recent:
Mostly Positive (185 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (10,574 reviews)
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