Project Zomboid is an open-ended zombie-infested sandbox that asks one simple question – how will you die?
User reviews: Very Positive (5,288 reviews)
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 may or may not change significantly over the course of development. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you may want to wait until 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, we've had our ups and downs, but 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. We have a demo too, if you'd like to give the game a try. Please be aware there may be a few compatibility glitches, but these can always be resolved by either turning off the Steam overlay for the game, or turning off 3D models on older cards.

How often do we update the community?

We have weekly newsletters, known as 'Mondoid's, which we publish on our site and on the Steam announcements 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 well over a year 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, many 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.

Here is a list of recent update dates. It should be noted that full releases often contain many more features than previous beta releases and for those looking for new content can often be considered distinct releases within themselves.

22nd Sept - Build 29 (beta)
2nd Sept - Build 28
4th Aug - Build 28 (beta)
7th June - Build 27

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 we have had recently discovered the first known 1000+ hour player - 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.

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 November last year 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.

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.

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 uninterrupted 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’ve been aiming for these to be completed by the end of the year, but as it seems the end of the year is looming toward us like an unstoppable army of the undead, it seems more likely it will fall into Q1 next year. However, this too is not set in stone. 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.”

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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"One of the most depressing video games you will ever play. In a good way."

Recent updates View all (28)

September 22

Zombies in Love

It’s been a busy week, what with last Monday’s $2.5 billion sale of The Indie Stone to Sony. We’ve spent most of that time chasing each other through the skies in golden helicopters, but recently landed just in time for a Monday release of… Build 29 on the IWBUMS branch! Woo! [Love you forever btw Notch <3]


Build 29 IWBUMS release!
For the uninitiated, IWBUMS (the ‘I Will Back-Up My Save’ branch) is our experimental build released for final bug-chasing and testing. For the full scoop on how you can get it fed into your Steam Library go here.

Amidst the tweaks and fixes of Build 29 there’s some cool new stuff. The awesome SFX of Mister NJ Apostol, Romain’s sprightly new forest foraging, some survivalist crafting and the all-new melee skills of blunt and blade. Oh, and updated translation stuff. Finally, controversially, watermelon consumption is no longer fatal. Full changelist here!

Creating a Knox Event Mythos
Ever since Will returned from his writing duties on Alien: Isolation he’s been focussed on creating a back story for your doomed travails in and around West Point and Muldraugh. Much of this has been in fleshing out and locking down our earlier thoughts on what this zombification disease is (and whether it is rooted in science or religion), why it’s happened and how it all panned out.

You’ll likely never know the truth, as per the laws of proper zombie fiction, but the clues will be out there amongst misinformation and speculation. Will has written TV and radio reports that can be played during your opening days – which will then gradually turn to static, one by one.

We already have four TV channels and three radio stations fully scripted – which will have something new to hear after every 12 hours passes in-game. These include news stations, call-in radio talk shows and a TV shopping channel. Occasional NPC dialogue and parts of the Kate and Baldspot storyline will also, clearly play into the wider back story.

We want to have five channels/stations on each medium before they go into the game, but already have good feedback from a few select community people who’ve been exposed to Will’s mega-spreadsheet. Some elements of it still might change however, as we’ve sent our super-secret lore document to two scientists who specialise in applicable disease outbreaks (we know!) who’ve kindly agreed to be consultants on the game.

Quite how close we can stay to real world disease when dealing with the affairs of the undead isn’t yet clear, but we’re doing our utmost to keep in shouting distance of it.


Build 30 Medical sneaky-peek
We’ll hold off from going into precise detail as to what will be in the next Zomboid build, buthere’s something that’ll give you a fair idea of what’s next on the menu. Yup, Medical overhaul is on the cards. (Please note we expected a more exciting screenshot than that, but it seems we’ve lost Romain for the evening before getting a tasty screenshot. Damn youuuuu RJ!! Keep an eye out on our twitter feed and we’ll throw that out to you when we get it!)


All the other usual stuff
As always there’s tons of other stuff going on in the background – Steam integration things, NPCs, exciting musical developments, vehicles, fresh animations and all that jazz. Next Mondoid we’ll, most likely, be talking to you about TurboTuTone’s fine work on getting Erosion into the main game.
 

Kirrus’ Newsletter bit
Be sure to check the upcoming version post and subscribe to our newsletter to be sure you won’t miss anything! That’s it for now. Thanks so much for living and dying in our game! Love y’all.

13 comments Read more

September 15

Trust me, I’m French

Kate Winslet once famously asked Leonardo Di Caprio “Do a build update video of me, like one of your French girls” in the celebrated 1997 movie ‘Titanic’. With this in mind, then, the highlight of today’s Mondoid is some giddy Gallic build commentary.
 
Build 29
Build 29 is deep inside the internal testing process. New sounds are being balanced, forests are being foraged ruthlessly and melee skill points are popping into character stats like nothing that’s ever come before.
While applying hot-fixes alongside fellow coder EasyPickins and eradicating bugs [not the edible kind] coder Romain ‘RJ’ Dron found the time to create another of his Upcoming Build videos. If you compare and contrast it with the last one then you’ll notice that he’s stuck a few points into his Video Editing skills as well. Stick around till the end for a very important French lesson.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofGOQDKxPTU

You can find the full patch notes for Build 29 here. Its IWBUMS branch isn’t super-imminent, but keep an eye on our twitter for any and all updates.
 
Vehicular Fun
This week the mighty EasyPickins showed us a little something vehicle related, and it wasgood. We’ll hold off on any videos for now (mainly because of sound license issues) but the work he’s done on them is something to behold. There are a few technical issues still to resolve, particularly on how multiplayer streaming of cells will deal with high vehicle speeds, so its hard to say when they will be ready. But when they do! Head lamps, suspension, turning wheels, skids and all that physics fun. We’re very very excited! And hopefully we’ll be able to share soon!
 
Something else
As well as all the usual fun and games of our forums, certain members of our moderating team wanted to abuse their position of privilege by asking for the Mondoidation of the ‘Colour Me Stupid!’ game. It has nothing to do with zombies, but because it’s almost always hilarious we felt it necessary to comply.
http://projectzomboid.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/penguin.png
 
Subscribe!
Don’t forget that you can beat the Monday blues by subscribing to our Mondoid mailing list, and get email alerts for all our stable and IWBUMS releases at the same time. Just point your internet in this direction.

17 comments Read more
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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 – your continued survival relies on your own cunning, luck and ability to evade a relentless horde.

Current features:


  • Sandbox zombie survival game.
  • 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. Society is in freefall.
  • Farming, trapping, fishing, carpentry, character customization, skills and perks that develop based on what you do in-game.
  • Hundreds of zombies with swarm mechanics and in-depth visual and hearing systems.
  • 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.
  • Instant action ‘Last Stand’ mode, on top of our Sandbox and Survival
  • Full, open and powerful Lua modding support.
  • Online multiplayer survival with persistent player run servers.

    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.
  • Engine upgrade to make the most of your graphics card as well as your processor
  • 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
  • Game pad support
  • Local 4 player split-screen co-op

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

System Requirements

PC
Mac
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 and Windows 8 may have issues. Please make sure to try the demo before purchasing!

    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7
    • 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 Snow Leopard 10.6.3, 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
    • 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
    • Memory: 2Gb Ram
    • Hard Disk Space: 1.23gig
    • Video Card: OpenGL 2.1 compatible dedicated graphics card
    • Sound: OpenAL compatible sound card
Helpful customer reviews
133 of 160 people (83%) found this review helpful
84.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
I woke up one morning cold and dreary. To find the monsters outside my window bold and eerie.

I grasped my lucky baseball bat and swung hard into the black. To my suprise it was not two or three but a whole army of undead waiting for a snack.

They grabed my arms and pulled with such fright pushing me to the ground. Out of the corner of my eye I see my shotgun, oh old friend you'll never shot another round.

The world fades to black. "You survived: 457 days, 11 hours, and 37 minutes"

Time to start another game. Muldraugh or West Point?

- 10 out of 10 would play again.
Posted: June 9
Was this review helpful? Yes No
122 of 167 people (73%) found this review helpful
123.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
I defended a pizza shop in my underwear with nothing but a shotgun and a bottle of whisky and stayed like that for 3 days

10/10
Posted: April 29
Was this review helpful? Yes No
77 of 115 people (67%) found this review helpful
68.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
I cooked a dead mouse and forgot it in the oven over night. My house burns down. 12/10
Posted: June 19
Was this review helpful? Yes No
37 of 51 people (73%) found this review helpful
20.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Took over a grocery store, made it a fortress, celebrated with a cupcake, and died instantly. 10/10 I regret nothing.
Posted: June 22
Was this review helpful? Yes No
48 of 72 people (67%) found this review helpful
67.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
chopped down a tree with a butter knife to barricade my home
10/10
would chop again
Posted: May 24
Was this review helpful? Yes No
791 of 854 people (93%) found this review helpful
42.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
"This is the story of how you died"

Project Zomboid is one of the few Zombie survival games that actually tries to have everything loved from the genre. Crafting, cooking and farming. Barricade windows and doors, build a safe house and scavenge supplies to stay alive.

Using the skills to build and cook or fight will allow you to become better at them, so there is some character progression.

Also let's not forget the awesome music in this game. Highly reccomended!

If I had to compare it to any games I would say it is like the sims+ Don't starve+ night of the living dead.
Future plans are in place to add npc's other than zombies and polish to the engine and graphics.
It really is quite addicting and a great early access title to get your hands on. Especially if you liked state of decay and wanted a little more. Also word going around that a story campaign will be put in as well.

With amazing details like food degradation and injury/ illness/ exposure to cold and heat/ mood debuffs/ weapon durability/ character encumberance/ sound and light attraction of the zombies this game can be a nice challenge on the nice open maps.
It isn't an FPS but it plays great and has similar controls to an FPS.

Just remember this is Early Access and there are some bugs and such. As it stands the game is very much in a good playable state and well worth the money. Hearing about the coming changes to this title, I am even more stoked about this particular purchase.
Posted: November 25, 2013
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