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Project Zomboid, now with 100% extra Nickenstein

Two has become three in a sort of backwards version of that Spice Girls song. Nickenstein is a talented and horribly jaded ex-commercial developer who we’ve known and worked with for the best part of twelve years. He’s moved into our flat and that, so he comes at the whopping expense of 29p...

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Programmers get all the best screenshots

Posted by CaptainBinky | Posted in Project Zomboid | Posted on 30-03-2011

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“Oh woe is me!”, the programmer laments, “Art is so immediate, coding can be so dull. There’s so much less to show off. Sulk sulk sulk sulk – OH HERE IS A SCREENSHOT I HAVE JUST TAKEN BECAUSE I’M THE ONE WITH THE WORKING BUILD I CAN FIRE UP ON A WHIM”.

So you’ll just have to go to Lemmy’s blog if you want to see the picture. Perhaps in the future I’ll snaffle one or two of the rejected ones to post here.

Sulk 😉

First Zomboid footage, and another interview

Posted by CaptainBinky | Posted in Project Zomboid | Posted on 29-03-2011

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Below is a short video demoing shotgun combat. Obviously in the final game, combat will represent only a small fraction of the gameplay but given that up until this point we had only released a couple of screenshots, we figured people might actually want to see a few things in motion.

And if you’re a fan of words, the lovely David Brown has interviewed us over at Plughead.net. This is the first interview we’ve given since Nickenstein joined.

Anyhoo, without further ado:

Fire! Doo doo doo! I’ll take you to BURN!

Posted by CaptainBinky | Posted in Project Zomboid | Posted on 28-03-2011

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This weekend’s exciting Project Zomboid updates include:

Fire! (doo doo doo – I swear I’m going to have that song stuck in my head for weeks now)
Bloody Mess! (this looks great in motion as the lumps of gore are projected back from the force of impact. There’s also the occasional eyeball spawned for ultimate Fallout homage!)

Next on the list to take those two features to funky new heights, is get the zomboids to be set alight by this spreadable fire and have the heads removed from the sprite when you blast them with a sufficiently high powered weapon. Also, more blood splat variation because you can’t have too much blood in a zombie game! 🙂

Clicky the linkies because there’s pictures there, and that.

Update: You can see the blood effect in action over at Plughead.net, where we’ve released the first ever in-game footage! Slightly scary doing that – earlier than we intended, but given the lovely responses we’ve been getting it seemed only fair to show something actually moving rather than just screenshots.

Deluxe Paint Animation lives on!

Posted by CaptainBinky | Posted in Stuff | Posted on 25-03-2011

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Werner and Walter Randelshofe have a website, part of which is dedicated to Deluxe Paint Animation (and equivalents across MS-DOS, Amiga, and Atari ST platforms). A whole heap of files are there to be browsed, sorted by platform and artist. It’s really quite the treasure-trove 🙂

But best of all, on their site they have downloadable viewers and web applets for playing these program’s file formats directly!

The ANIMApplet plays Amiga IFF ANIM files using a Quicktime-style embedded video player.

Features:

  • Plays files of type IFF ANIM, IFF ANIM+SLA, IFF ANIM+ANFI, IFF ILBM, IFF PBM
  • Supports all Amiga display modes (OCS, ECS and AGA)
  • Supports Amiga 4 channel stereo sound (requires Java 1.3 or above)
  • CRNG and DRNG color cycling
  • Supports discrete and blended (soft) CRNG cycling
  • QuickTime-like user interface
  • ANIM files can be zipped to reduce loading time

MS-DOS .ANM files would need to be converted to IFF ANIM format to play, of course. And there’s still the Windows Media Player codec for playing these DOS files.

Browse their library of animations here!

http://www.randelshofer.ch

Fast versus slow zombies

Posted by CaptainBinky | Posted in Project Zomboid | Posted on 24-03-2011

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Simon Pegg once wrote a brillopops article on why zombies should never run. It’s something that seems to have happened with zombie films and, since Left4Dead, zombie games too.

I suspect that a lot of this is due to the zombie genre meeting head-first with the FPS game. Arm the player with a machine gun and throw waves of useless shuffling idiots at them and, well, it’s probably not going to be the hardest game on the planet.

Of course, chuck super fast zombies into an FPS and another thing has to go as well – if a scratch from a zed means death the game would be utterly impossible, and so another modern zombie game cliché is born: the conveniently immune player character.

But Left4Dead was a glorious game and even if running zombies and immunity irritates the hell out of you, it’s difficult to criticize it for that when the game’s so beautifully crafted. Left4Dead even went one step further: by including a versus mode and having human players take on the role of the “special infected”, the zombies suddenly became smart – planning and executing ambushes and generally co-operating. But it’s just a game, the versus mode was incredible fun, and it’s their game and therefore their rules on how the zombie virus works.

So the trouble is essentially, slow useless enemies don’t lend themselves to a fast-paced action FPS. They do, however, suit a slow-paced survival RPG – the sort of game which is to Left4Dead what “The Last Man on Earth” (the Vincent Price adaptation of “I am Legend”) is to the Resident Evil movie. Except where black and white film has become retro pixel graphics. Or something. I haven’t really thought this comparison through, if I’m honest.

The beauty of “The Last Man on Earth” is that the problem isn’t so much that there are (well, they’re really sort of a zombie / vampire hybrid but I’m going to call them zombies because it’s easier) zombies everywhere, but that there aren’t any other humans. The zombies are pretty much ineffectual for the entire film – Price as Robert Morgan is quite safe in his house as long as he boards up the door and windows, and hangs up some garlic. Instead, they serve as a constant reminder of his loneliness – every night, shuffling around outside moaning. It’s enough to drive anyone mad.

Of course, this level of isolation would make for a pretty repetitive game – but there’s a lot to look at for inspiration. The day to day life of Richard Morgan involves travelling outside by day, clearing areas of the city of zombies, taking the bodies to the pit to be burned, fetching supplies and then at night returning to his house, checking the defences and then having dinner and putting some music on to stop himself going insane. It’s the basic blueprint of the survival RPG.

If zombies were to run about in this sort of game, not only would it make it impossible to survive but it also wouldn’t really suit the atmosphere. Finding yourself surrounded by the horde because you broke into a house, set a burglar alarm off, and failed to check if you had another escape route is a much more exciting turn of events (to me, at least) than finding yourself surrounded by the horde because they can run as fast as you but have no stamina limits to worry about.

In every good zombie film, it’s the slip-up which leads to death. I went to bed without checking the back door was locked. I came home from a supply run without checking that no zombies had followed me. I failed to keep my comrades sane, so one has walked out in the middle of the night leaving the front door wide open. Those sorts of things.

The other final beauty of the slow zombie, is that you can never be entirely sure you weren’t followed. You’ve arrived home, the streets are empty – you’re safe! But who’s to say that hours and hours ago a zombie didn’t look up and see you creeping past and begin his slow relentless trudge after you, alerting more and more zombies as he does? Who’s to say that somewhere out there, there isn’t a hundred zombies all stumbling ceaselessly in your direction? Are you really certain? Sweet dreams.

More info on Project Zomboid

Project Zomboid, now with 100% extra Nickenstein

Posted by CaptainBinky | Posted in Project Zomboid | Posted on 22-03-2011

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Two has become three in a sort of backwards version of that Spice Girls song. Nickenstein is a talented and horribly jaded ex-commercial developer who we’ve known and worked with for the best part of twelve years.

He’s moved into our flat and that, so he comes at the whopping expense of 29p for some extra beans a week – so there was really no good reason not to immediately rescue him and plop him headfirst into Indie development.

Lemmy’s gone into much more detail here.

And you can read Nick’s all-new blog here.

So hooray and all that!

Lemmy & Binky write-up interview thingy

Posted by CaptainBinky | Posted in Project Zomboid | Posted on 19-03-2011

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Woo! The lovely James Keating has posted an article on “the Indie ethos” over at Push-Start featuring Lemmy and I, and Project Zomboid.

It’s pretty long because er… well, as anyone who has ever met us can attest to, we do rather ramble on and rant when somebody asks us questions about the games industry.

Clickitty-click the link for the article:

The Indie Ethos – An Interview with Project Zomboid’s Developers

Lemmy’s blog currently down (link to copy of post below)

Posted by CaptainBinky | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 16-03-2011

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It looks like traffic killed our site, given that we got a completely unexpectedly large volume – which is great… but then your hosts get grumpy and break your site for you 😉

So, until Lemmy’s blog is restored or this part of the site also explodes in a fiery mess, you can at least read a copy of Lemmy’s original post here: Linky

Update 21/03/11: Lemmy’s blog is all back up and working again on our funky new server: Linky

Unfortunately, we can’t put the donate button on that page, so instead I’ve got it here:

My post about the game (sketchier on the details, if I’m honest, so I’d deffo recommend reading Lemmy’s post linked above) is here.

What. A. Rigmarole.Sorry for the inconvenience 🙁

The response to our game announcement has been phenomenal, and we are officially ‘not in the shit’ with regard to the immediate rent. We can pay our RENT THIS MONTH! AND EAT FOOD AS WE DO IT. WITH ELECTRIC, AND EVERYTHING!

Seriously guys, the response has left us close to tears and with butterflies in our stomach the entire day. It’s been incredible.

We woke up this morning with an unpayable rent, and we reach the evening of that same day with another month of funded development in the bag, and are sure to make some great progress in that time. And hopefully when we get the video out there others will be moved to make such a generous contribution to the project and see us through the month after that.

That all said, if you’re interested in the game and would like to support us and receive lifetime updates, please still consider donating. Obviously any more donations or pre-orders will only go to extend the amount of time we can develop without concern of running out of money. We guarantee any money will go purely on ensuring we can commit constant full-time development of the game.

Again, a big warm heart-felt WE LOVE YOU from Lemmy & Binky. The response has truly astonished us and makes us proud to be part of the indie scene and proud to be gamers.

In other news, we’ve just created the Project Zomboid forum over at the main Indie Stone site, so if you’re interested in discussing the game or what you would most like to see come from it during development, please join in the fun* here.

You’ll also get to meet the third Indie Stone founder (not part of this project, yet) MashPotato, the most genuinely lovely girl in the known universe.

* fun may not actually exist until people start posting.

Follow us on twitter to keep up with news: @lemmy101 and @CaptainBinky

Love,

Lemmy & Binky

You lot are amazing

Posted by CaptainBinky | Posted in Project Zomboid | Posted on 16-03-2011

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I’m speechless, so I’ll let Lemmy do the talking.

First look at our Zombie Apocalypse

Posted by CaptainBinky | Posted in Project Zomboid | Posted on 15-03-2011

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Well that whole “Project Secreto” thing didn’t exactly last for all that long. Nope, balls to secrecy – we’ve got food that needs buying.

Survive the zombie apocalypse directly in your browser. The first release will be completely free to play to give you a taster of things to come.

  • Zombies are alerted by sight, smell, sound, and other zombies. Creep around silently staying in cover – being spotted by one zombie leads to another, and another, and another. While the proper zombies can be outrun easily, the horde is another deal entirely.
  • Teaming up with other survivors is a good strategy for defence, but they all need food too and tensions within the group need to be dealt with. Can you really be certain that one of them isn’t hiding a bite from you?

  • Best not leave those bodies lying around or you’ll risk disease. A whole heap of corpses outside your safe-house isn’t exactly brilliant for team morale either. But burying the dead is time consuming, while burning them lights a beacon identifying your presence.

  • Getting trapped in a building can be disastrous, but you need somewhere safe to sleep and store your gear. Best barricade up the place and defend your position.
  • Using a full body damage system, leaping out of a second storey window might be your only option but you’ll not get far with a broken leg.

  • Fight off the horde using weapons ranging from baseball bats, spades, and planks of wood to the effective but noisy ranged weapons such as pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Anything you can get your hands on will do. But be careful with close-combat melee weapons since just one scratch means doom.

How long will you survive?

More detailed information can be found on Lemmy’s Blog.

Please note the first cut-down version will be free, in an effort to attract interest in the game, but subsequent releases beyond bug fixes will be a paid-alpha branch and it is this you will have lifetime access to.
If you cannot afford to buy, then please help spread the word.

Please note that the first taster version will be free in an effort to attract interest in the game.