Project Zomboid is an open-ended zombie-infested sandbox. It asks one simple question – how will you die? Whether surviving in Knox County free-roam or controlling Indie Stone mascot Baldspot in his quest to save his injured wife Kate – death is always a certainty. Quite how long you manage to put it off is another matter…

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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: The Third Act Twist

15 comments by lemmy101 on Jan 20th, 2014

Hello everyone.

What's that?

I don't think I quite caught that....

Is this some kind of elaborate hoax?

 No it's not.

 What started with a very early and rough Christmas multiplayer test between Lemmy and Binky across the UK some 2 years ago, progressed through to the integration (and subsequent untegration. Sorry about that, we're working on it!) of split-screen, we've been poking our noses in from time to time and its finally time to show it off!


Online multiplayer with persistent player run servers! Yes!

 We have no figures on maximum player count as of yet, but we'll be expanding our tests in the run up to release and suspect it'll be connection and server spec limited only. Bugs aside, it managed 10-12 or so on a domestic cable connection pretty effortlessly though, and could probably have gone higher and whatever the limit can definitely be optimized further.

 Anyone with a copy of PZ will be able to launch their own dedicated console only PZ server just by passing the appropriate parameters to the executable (or running a batch file, or whatever) with whitelists and blacklists, choice of co-op or PvP (purposefully defaulted to co-op to ram the point home) and all that goodness. Servers will be fully moddable using the same stuffs you mod PZ with now. Modders will be able to create their own networky messages to sync the server and client, and we'll add checksums to check both server and client are running the same mods. In future we could look to auto-download stuff in cases the clients don't have what is required.

 Due to the moddable nature of the game and the easily decompilable nature of Java, it's likely that we're not particularly hack resilient, so until we can work on some solid countermeasures, people should stick to whitelisted servers with user/pass access, to allow servers to be policed effectively and 'wrong'uns' removed. You can read more on all this on this thread, where Lemmy was very proud and also frustrated to hold his tongue on the status of the multiplayer in his responses.

 We also plan for split-screen to work seamlessly with the multiplayer once it's reintegrated, so two, three, even four players on a single machine (perhaps in a living room on SteamOS!) all to inhabit the same online world together.


YES NPCs are still very much in development. In fact we've done some work on them in the past couple of weeks, along with the new meta-game stuff detailed in the last couple of Mondoids. However, since release, and particularly since our appearance on Steam, it's become clearer and clearer not only that MP is of such massive demand, but that the lack of multiplayer has had a not insignificant effect on the 'must-haveness' of Zomboid to a large chunk of gamers out there, that would otherwise have dove in long ago.

We need to make clear that this in no way impacts the Indie Stone's massive focus on single-player for this game. Remember that outside of game design, Will, one of the co-owners of Indie Stone,  as well as PZ dev RingoD's sole development responsibility on the game is single player story and NPC writing and scripting, so you can bet they will be given a ton of attention.

 As a development team we vehemently uphold the principle that a game should not punish those who wish or have to play alone with less features and scope, and we are the first to complain when an RPG series we like goes all 'MMO' and more or less ends our interest and participation there and then. Our fondest hope is that once NPCs are added to the game, most people would choose to leave them enabled as part of a multiplayer server, so integral as they will feel to the dynamics of the game. In short, multiplayer will always remain just that: A way of playing the single player game with multiple people, and we'll never rest on it as a crutch and let single player features slide.

 That all said, despite the closer community of our game being ravenous for NPCs, the lack of multiplayer has been a cavernous hole in our game as far as a huge percentage of people are concerned.So why did multiplayer hit before NPCs? Well, as amazing as it sounds, and it has surprised us too considering the nightmare that is network coding. The NPCs have become such a hotly anticipated and crucial to get right feature of the game, as Mathas has repeatedly quite correctly said, they are the feature that PZ will live or die by, and so  the unthinkable happened and NPCs ended up becoming a more complicated and difficult task than the multiplayer did.

 As Lemmy dropped back and forth between them as one or the other caused migraines and/or swearing at the computer monitor, it started to become clear that multiplayer was beginning to slot into place a lot faster than expected, and NPCs a lot slower. Multiplayer development however had the privilege of being mostly unknown to the community, who had wrote it off (often with sadness) as 'not for a few years', where NPCs have been more or less perpetually in the spotlight. This doesn't affect how long one or the other take, regardless, despite NPCs having the lions share of time devoted to them.

 There are two camps in the PZ community, and while a lot of the community will be ecstatic about this Mondoid, we don't want the NPC camp to be fearful or disappointed. The team are still beavering away at those AI controlled twerps and the only reason you haven't gotten your mitts on them is because 'damn we need to get this right and it ain't quite right yet'.


Despite the cherry picking of footage, there are still a fair few issues, things not synchronised, and a few map streaming bugs over the ol' internet, so this isn't releasing tomorrow or anything, but as you can probably tell it's largely functional and the vast majority of the work is behind us.

 A few things. Bugs like barricading, farming and hanging sheets not synchronizing between the clients. Coding the thirst system to work over the net. Fixing a few bugs in the map downloading system that transfers the maps to the clients. An uncannily large percentage of the game is fully functional online at this stage, but there's still a bunch to do - and since we're now at the stage of closed testing you should not read that a public release is super imminent. Just it's harder and harder to contain and keep this on the down-low: we're very very excited about it all.

 In the run up to open testing, however, you can probably look forward to peeps like Twiggy, Mathas and whatnot partaking in some multiplayer Zomboidin', given their (now rather obvious) tester access, as soon as we're comfortable with unedited video of MP being stable and bug-free enough to be transmitted warts and all.

 No ETAs as usual but hopefully its clear that it's not far off. Though 'not far off' doesn't necessarily mean this week, or next week. But then again that's in the realm of remote possibility none-the-less.It all really depends on how well future tests go and what new issues crop up, but it's certainly not months away - or 'next year' as per previous community estimates.

 And finally, our forum peeps have something else to say when the 'WHEN MULTIPLAYER' threads pop up!


On its way soon! As Twiggy viewers will no doubt be aware the build is starting to look pretty darn stable, so we'll look to getting that build out on the beta branch very soon! Details here.

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Zomboid Map Tools - 32bit

Zomboid Map Tools - 32bit

Jan 14, 2014 Mapping Tool 0 comments

For Windows 32 bit. Goes without saying all credit for these tools goes to EasyPickins who has done some amazeballs stuff and all credit for tiles to...

Zomboid  Map Tools - 64bit

Zomboid Map Tools - 64bit

Jan 14, 2014 Mapping Tool 0 comments

For Windows 64 bit. Goes without saying all credit for these tools goes to EasyPickins who has done some amazeballs stuff and all credit for tiles to...

Save Editor

Save Editor

Aug 29, 2013 Prefabs 10 comments

A very handy editor made by randomer679. This is just a little program he made to edit sandbox options mid-game. He wanted to be able to turn off zombies...

Project Zomboid 2.9.7 - Latest Build - Mac

Project Zomboid 2.9.7 - Latest Build - Mac

May 10, 2013 Patch 9 comments

Project Zomboid 2.9.7 - Latest Build - Mac - Project Zomboid 2.9.7 - Latest Build - Mac

Project Zomboid 2.9.7 - Latest Build - PC

Project Zomboid 2.9.7 - Latest Build - PC

May 6, 2013 Patch 46 comments

Project Zomboid 2.9.7 - Latest Build - PC - Zomboid build RC 2.5 version 7.

Project Zomboid Tech Demo 0.1.4c

Project Zomboid Tech Demo 0.1.4c

Jun 19, 2011 Demo 28 comments

A very early demo, so please be kind! Surviving isn’t just about blowing zombie’s heads off. Depression, starvation, trust issues, loneliness, illness...

Post comment Comments  (2060 - 2070 of 4,056)
MasterCoxy Jan 9 2013, 10:59pm replied:

Either you didn't google search to find out what an Alpha was, or you set your expectations too high. What you bought was essentially an Alpha Tech Demo. It is not the completed product yet. Throwing money at it does not magically make it finished. Your 8 dollars did not single handedly fund the development of the game. Just take a chill pill man, the devs are hard at work to produce us an awesome game, its in all our best interests to just hang out and see what happens. In the future I recommend you research a product before you make a purchase so that for one, you won't stress over it, and secondly the community won't think you are just being a whiny brat.

+5 votes     reply to comment
halororor Jan 10 2013, 2:53pm replied:

They've been working on a single update for a year and a half now. How long do you think it's going to take them to finish the entire game?

I know the next update is apparently really big and adds a lot to the the game, but I mean, come on. We're going on two years and the game is still *technically* pre-alpha.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Humungusungus Jan 10 2013, 8:06pm replied:

Anybody who thinks there is problem with the game, build a better one, and faster, then YOU can reap the rewards. But until that happens let them build a GOOD game, not a quick release game like most companys are doing these days. Games have gone WAY downhill, the reason? Pushing out games before they are done! So chill and wait.. If they stop updating us, then be wary, untill then STFU!

0 votes     reply to comment
NeuerOrdner Jan 9 2013, 9:30am replied:

Well, As you said yourself, you bought this game in an alpha-funding status. That said, it is not helpfull to push the developers into harsh gamemakeing, since that will only result in a bad game.
Furthermore, those mods they add, are not som useless pieces of junk, they add whole new layers to the game, like an corelating relationshipsystem for the NPCs, a valid and immersiv gameworld or the possibility to plant seeds and farm instead of scavange.
As someone, that does a lot of codeing in his time, I know exactly how hard developeing any kind of software is. Trust me, they don't want this to fail, even more than you.
So please, stop this rant and show some patience and you'll get a top game for top dollar!

+5 votes     reply to comment
_Rouge_Xvil Jan 9 2013, 3:56pm replied:

Im sorry man, but all u said is ******* WRONG.
They don't know where to go, they are too selfish, and don't think about people that bought the game.
I've bought it almost 2 years ago, and guess what ? it was the same version.
SO, it's just a ******* HOAX, that's it, POINT.
They added things that needed to be polished, and before even do this, they add layers and layers of crappiness, if they still believe in their project, we don't.
And i'm NOT A TROLL, i mean, 2 years and i'm still not able to save my game ?!?! wtf.

0 votes     reply to comment
_Rouge_Xvil Jan 9 2013, 4:27pm replied:

Desura's birth got helped a bit by this game's hype, but that doesn't mean they deserve to be in top page for a year now...
There are so many games in alpha version that looks like triple A compare to it..
Lemmy wanted people to mod his game very early in the development, and for me it's a proof that he didn't know where to go. And all the demos i've tried from their forum show me how they still can't focus on anything, all is pre version, the map, the inventory, the crafting system, the AI of zombies, of survivors, the plot, even the engine was revamped and i don't wanna know why... but man..
If there were squids instead of zombies, this game would be dead now..
Thanks to our dead fellows, they can still make people believe in their lies.
I think that if we were able ton convert all their blogging stuff, detailled explanation of what they are unable to do, into lines of code, this game would be deeper that dwarf fortress.

+1 vote     reply to comment
BlackNinja4780 Jan 10 2013, 3:59am replied:

Your not the smartest are you? the forum versions have a save feature and much much more. Maybe do some reaserch before spewing stupidness all over the place.

+2 votes     reply to comment
NiceTim Jan 14 2013, 5:07am replied:

okay then if it was like that, WHY DIDN'T THE GAME TAKE IT TO IT'S MAIN UPDATE THEN, are you that stupid to think it through, why would they make people do the manual work when they could just make it themselves, we are the customers and we paid something to expect something back you dumass

0 votes     reply to comment
_Rouge_Xvil Jan 9 2013, 4:33pm replied:

...deeper THAN dwarf fortress, sry for my english.

+1 vote     reply to comment
NeuerOrdner Jan 9 2013, 6:53pm replied:

can't really tell about anything you said since I just recently got into this.
so you might be right or just trollin, no way for me to see that.
But if thats true, I totally get your frustration. Things like that make me wary about kickstarter and alpha-funding as an idea and as a trend.
Anyway, I don't think rageing makes them work faster or help people, if what you say is true, to stay of that wobbly ride.

+3 votes     reply to comment
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Project Zomboid
Windows, Mac, Linux
Developer & Publisher
The Indie Stone
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Released Jun 19, 2011
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9628 votes submitted.

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Highest Rated (245 agree) 10/10

This is one of those examples of how great indie alpha funding can be... Project Zomboid is a real work of love fueled by a great community and great interaction between developers and fans. Even if it's just in the earliest stages the colossal potential it has for modding alone makes this a game full of potential. As for the game itself it has great music, and awesome atmosphere... It's a great ride for all the nostalgic gamers that fondly remember isometric games. And the structure of this game…

Aug 28 2011, 11:39am by Broax

Lowest Rated (12 agree) 1/10

I enjoyed this game for a while, but due to the constant "patch coming soon" but never actually coming, im giving up on this game for now, maybe the game will finally be slightly updated within a year.

Jun 24 2012, 3:33pm by Obelisklarvan1

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