Welcome to Watch Survival

Hello Bloggers and Readers and Survivalists and Gamers! I see you have found your way to Watch Survival. This web space is all about my favorite genre of video games. What you will get on Watch Survival is News and Updates on Current and Up-coming Survival Games.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

DayZ Mod 1.7.6 Update and Hotfix

A good sized DayZ Mod update has been dished out recently.  This one had a lot of good stuff in it.  Looking forward to trying Crossbow quivers out. Apparently they decided to go a different route with the can goods and removed them in a hotfix.   Details below


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* [NEW] - Added a 2 minute delay to new zeds spawning once MaxLocal zeds fall's below the acceptable level.
* [NEW] - Added new sfx for chopping wood.
* [NEW] - Started Update for Cherno intro. (map intro)
* [NEW] - Zed attraction, this will draw zeds to loiter closer to players over time.
* [NEW] - BAF_L85A2_RIS_SUSAT - (Heilcrash - HeliCrash_No50s)
* [NEW] - Crossbow Quiver added - 6 arrow mag size.
* [NEW] - WoodenArrow added 6 arrows can be turned into a quiver.
* [NEW] - WoodenArrow can be picked up after use.
* [NEW] - 20% of breaking WoodenArrow when firing it.
* [NEW] - Crowbar now attaches to toolbelt.
* [NEW] - Added Anti teleport script. Reported to server's RPT log
* [NEW] - New models by JoeysLucky22:
- (Soda)  Long's Island Iced Tea (Clayton)
- (Soda)  Dr. Wasteland (Dr. wasteland)
- (Soda)  Mikhail Made Lemonade (-=PA=-Mikhail)
- (Soda)  LVG Root Beer (LVG)
- (Soda)  Mountain Green
- (Soda)  mZLY yZLY (mZLY)
- (Soda)  R4Z0R soda (R4Z0R)
- (Soda)  Smasht (Smasht)
- (Beer)  Rabbitman (Rabbitman)
- (Can) Bad Guy's Ubiquitous Peaches (UbiquitousBadGuy)
- (Can) Chef Boneboy Ravioli (Boneboys)
- (Can) Curgon's Chicken Noodle Soup (Curgon)
- (Can) Demon Groves Green Beans (DemonGroover)
- (Can) FraggleOs (Fraggle)
- (Can) Griff Black Beans (Griff)
- (Can) Herpy Dooves Canned Muffins (DerpyHooves)
- (Can) Orlok Mixed Fruit (orlok)
- (Can) Powell's New England Clam Chowder (Powell)
- (Can) Unlabeled Can
- (Can) Tyler's Kidney Beans
- (Can) Conrad's Whole Kernel Corn

* [NEW] - New models by Elvaron:
- New melee weapon: Machete - (Farm - Hunting)
- New Food: Pack of pistachios
- New Food: Pack of trail mix
- New Food: MRE military rations (Military Loot)
- New junk loot
- Model for Compass instead of green pouch in loot pile
- 2rnd shells for pellet and slugshot shotgun ammunition (no more 8 bullets shown on ground when it's actually 2 bullets)
- New models and textures for FoodBaconRaw and FoodBaconCooked.
- Model and textures for Quiver.

* [UPDATED] - BoltsSteel replaced with WoodenArrows.
* [UPDATED] - BAF_L85A2_RIS_Holo Removed from crash site's added to Military tables
* [UPDATED] - loot weighted array generation fixed.
* [UPDATED] - Updated logout system to check radius of zeds from 50 meters to 35 meters (30 sec count)
* [UPDATED] - Player range on logout to 6 meters. (30 Sec count)
* [UPDATED] - Max Range of targets 120 meters down from 300 meters. (this should help long range agro, This is zeds max target range).
* [UPDATED] - AI behavior updated to try making them zigzag less.
* [UPDATED] - Added push bikes to the zeds pull from vehilce list.
* [UPDATED] - Epeen key moved to Custom Controls - Use action key 20 (No default key needs setting up)
* [UPDATED] - Zeds Targets array modified
* [UPDATED] - Weapon fire sounds divided by 2 (This will help us settle zeds hearing a little more) (107_DZ Zed pull range 450 meters / 2 = 225 meters (capped 120 meters aboue for now))
* [UPDATED] - Max local zeds per client now fixed at 40 zeds, Global at 40 +10 foreach player within 400 meters and total 500 zeds max.
* [UPDATED] - Added some Czech language
* [UPDATED] - Updated zed attraction to dead players from 50 meters to 20 meters.
* [UPDATED] - Players will now drop empty cans after consumption to nearest lootpile or creates new one.
* [UPDATED] - Updated Infection to cough, shake camera and loose blood.
* [UPDATED] - Updated russian string tables.
* [UPDATED] - Backpack Spawns should now see higher grade backpacks more.
* [UPDATED] - Deer stands has it's own loot table (Hunting).
* [UPDATED] - Reduced Zed Running Speed.

* [FIXED] - Zeds talk, lowed to 80 meters down from 200 meters this will stop any zeds targeting for sight/noise outside of this radius
* [FIXED] - CookedBeef StringTables now added.
* [FIXED] - Spanish, French StringTables updated.
* [FIXED] - logout timers updated from sleep 3 to sleep 1 this should now fix long logout timers.
* [FIXED] - Zeds should no longer walk though all objects. (Some objects can still be walked thought)
* [FIXED] - Updated refuel to attract zeds. (3-6 Meters)
* [FIXED] - EH's updated to work with Battleye filters.
* [FIXED] - Ammo counts now fixed on dc.
* [FIXED] - Zeds will no longer magically hit players just because they're within 3 meters. ( Zeds can no longer dmg without running the attack animations. (running into zeds will no longer dmg the player))
* [FIXED] - Fixed some base class's for vehicles reporting issues with crew
* [FIXED] - You can now logout with a broke leg.
* [FIXED] - Temperature icon should not disappear anymore.
* [FIXED] - Humanity should now work increase again.
* [FIXED] - Chemlights and flares now work again.
* [FIXED] - time is now set on startup.
* [FIXED] - Hatchet and crowbar don't require reload anymore.
* [FIXED] - Hatchet and crowbar no longer overwrite each other.
* [FIXED] - Exploit when converting Mags into other mags (Example - DMR to M24 then back)
* [FIXED] - Blood particles not shown for player.
* [FIXED] - Hide body animation not shown for player.

Combat Roll
* [Fixed] - No longer possible to combat roll with broken leg
* [Fixed] - Added 4 sec delay to multiple rolls.
* [Fixed] - No longer possible to combat roll over player created objects (tents, sandbags so on)
* [Fixed] - No longer combat roll in buildings.

* [REMOVED] - Chase combat logging systems removed. (Removed due to ealry warning of agro)
* [REMOVED] - Debriefing window has started to be cleaned up. (blank box on dc)
* [REMOVED] - BearTrap Due to issues with the trap still staying active after removal.
* [REMOVED] - DZ_Patrol_Pack_EP1 Due to us no longer planing to remove backpacks from new spawns.
* [REMOVED] - All chance based systems for sight and sound from zeds they will now only agro if in view or your making noise. Should allow more freedom to move.

DayZ mod Hotfix

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* [UPDATED] - Fixed version issues.
* [UPDATED] - Updated Spanish String Tables
* [UPDATED] - Force save updated.

* [REMOVED] - New models by JoeysLucky22:
- (Soda)  Long's Island Iced Tea (Clayton)
- (Soda)  Dr. Wasteland (Dr. wasteland)
- (Soda)  Mikhail Made Lemonade (-=PA=-Mikhail)
- (Soda)  LVG Root Beer (LVG)
- (Soda)  Mountain Green
- (Soda)  mZLY yZLY (mZLY)
- (Soda)  R4Z0R soda (R4Z0R)
- (Soda)  Smasht (Smasht)
- (Beer)  Rabbitman (Rabbitman)
- (Can) Bad Guy's Ubiquitous Peaches (UbiquitousBadGuy)
- (Can) Chef Boneboy Ravioli (Boneboys)
- (Can) Curgon's Chicken Noodle Soup (Curgon)
- (Can) Demon Groves Green Beans (DemonGroover)
- (Can) FraggleOs (Fraggle)
- (Can) Griff Black Beans (Griff)
- (Can) Herpy Dooves Canned Muffins (DerpyHooves)
- (Can) Orlok Mixed Fruit (orlok)
- (Can) Powell's New England Clam Chowder (Powell)
- (Can) Tyler's Kidney Beans
- (Can) Conrad's Whole Kernel Corn

Crawle 0.5.6a

Survival Indie game Crawle released a new update not to long ago. It consists mainly of bug fixes but I thought I would left everyone check it out. 


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Crawle 0.5.6a has been released to address a variety of critical issues. It also brings the addition of a very requested option to disable the GUI fading.
0.5.6 --> 0.5.6a
- Added an option to turn the GUI fading on/off.
- 1 point of energy will now be taken every 20 seconds.
- Movement should now feel a lot faster.
- Added an action message for when you take bark from trees.
- Energy is now drained slightly faster.
- Energy now regenerates slightly slower.
- Increased the range on the bow.
- Fixed spears being able to be used as axes.
- Made significant optimisations to the rendering system.
- Fixed getting black screens/automation errors.
- Fixed eating giving a subscript error in multiplayer.
- Fixed sometimes not being able to open baskets.
- Fixed energy still being drained despite not being able to run.
- Fixed being able to cut down trees with bows.
- Fixed being able to duplicate animal meat/fur.
- Fixed being able to duplicate sharp bones.
- Fixed not being able to turn blind mode off during world creation.
 Major highlights
 This is more of a issue fixing patch however we've added an option to disable the GUI fading for those of you who like to constantly keep up to date with your vitals:
User Posted Image

Minecraft Snapshot 13w09A and 13w09B

Minecraft has released a couple of new snapshots for us.  While most of it is bug fixes there's still some pretty decent stuff listed.



  • Mobs can now ride stuff that rides other stuff
  • Players riding stuff will keep it when logging off (ie, if you’re on a minecart and log off, you will take that minecart with you)
  • Animated blocks and items in texture packs now requires the animation definition (previously it was optional)

  • Language files have been updated
  • Cannot Connect To Own Server While Not Online (LAN) / Playername being E-Mail address when offline
  • Comparators causes block updates while idle
  • Hopper's name doesn't change in its GUI after renamed in anvil
  • Command Block Arguments Length
  • Unnecessary delay of "Done" button in the texturepacks menu
  • Hopper don't update comparator when receiving item stack
  • Mob Spawners failing to "Saving entity NBT"
  • EntityAIAvoidEntity Interference
  • Scoreboard accepts arguments for @p but if not found it will use a wrong name

Posted Image 



Here is an update to yesterday's Snapshot!  Keep an ear to the ground, as the 1.5 pre-release won't be far off now...

Bugfixes Aplenty:

  • crowdin.net: Entry entity.WitherBoss.name is missing – German translation is "Withern"
  • Self-Powered Redstone Lamp / Breaking a repeater with a piston pointing at a block won't stop the circuit
  • Potatoes are not affected by the Fortune enchantment
  • Items with NBT data do not stack correctly due to serialization
  • Cannot Drop Items in Creative Mode
  • texturepacks no longer work
  • Rail Duplication glitch
  • World crashes after a few seconds
  • blocks keep the redstone state when breaking a comparator that powers that block
  • Pistons can't destroy comparators
  • Crash with 512x texture pack
  • Fortune doesn't affect the drop rate of apples and saplings
  • "Pick Block" on certain items then switching to survival creates infinite or ghost items
  • When removing "Ghost Items" from the inventory, the number may be negative or zero
  • /clear with command blocks not working with armor that has been worn with custom damage values.
  • Minecraft crashes when a saddled pig you ride dies or when changing between rideable entities
  • Pressing Single or Multiplayer Button crashes the game
  • Mining Fatigue broken
  • Added an /effect command

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Don't Starve Update Trailer A Winter's Tale

Just noticed Don't Starve has released a new teaser trailer for their newest update labeled "A Winter's Tale."  This seems to add a good amount of content to things like temperature and seasonal weather. This is looking really good so far and a little creepy on the ending there.  Check it out below.

Discussion for the trailer can be found on their forums.


Project Zomboid Monday Update Muldraugh Tour!

Hello and well met everyone!  The new Monday status update for Project Zomboid is out. I must say it looks quite nice! This update we get to see more information about the town and get to see a layout of the world we will be trying to survive in.  They also include a video showing us more information about how the new skills and XP system will work which is looking really cool as well.  Check it out below.


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Is everyone settled in? Can you hear me in the back? Fantastic!
Greetings, passengers! I’m MashPotato and today I’ll be your Muldraugh tour guide, giving you the inside scoop of the history, highlights, and gossip of our fair town!
Let’s take a look a look at Muldraugh, shall we?
No, no–not that Muldraugh–THIS Muldraugh:

Since its founding in 2011, Muldraugh has undergone tremendous changes. The first rendition of our town was based on the principle of “cram everything in”, and while this made for an efficient looting commute, actually living in this town was quite befuddling. And some residents had to make do without bedrooms or bathrooms.

So we ripped it all out and rebuilt the town, basing it generally upon the layout of Satellite Muldraugh. You’ll noti– Sir–SIR–please keep your arms inside the bus at all times. There are specific reasons for this. *ahem*
You’ll notice that that the new Muldraugh is already much bigger than the old (the town itself is currently five cells, compared to the previous two cells), and is expanding every day. While the core of Muldraugh nears completion as we speak, the outskirts (400 cells worth) are also being developed with lovely remote locations to visit. Do you remember that “long” trek to the farm? Haha, if you plan on touring a farm on THIS trip, be prepared to walk… and walk…. and walk… seven cells. But on the way, you’ll find plenty of places to camp and picnic!
What’s that? Why are so many of our residents pale and walking strangely? … lack of vitamin D. It’s been a nasty winter.

And what new things can you expect to see in this new Muldraugh? You’ll find your old favourites like Spiffo’s, but also exciting new franchises like Pizza Whirled, places to shop and eat, and a couple of places to spend a comfortable night. Many new tiles have been created to construct these new locations (125 tilesheets are available, compared to the previous 39), and considering what previous residents have made using the old tiles, we can’t wait to see what will come in the future.

But when you’re tired of walking around town, what other things are there to do? How about improving your body, mind, and spirit? I’ll let the lovely Romain explain with this video presentation; may I please direct your attention upward to the TV screen? Ignore the residents banging on the bus sides, they’re just excited to see some tourists.


Well, that ends our tour of fair Muldraugh, I hope you’ll all have fun during your stay. By the way, when you exit the bus, I suggest keeping away from the town center as much as possible. Crowds, and all that. Oh, and wear comfortable shoes. Have a good day!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

State of Decay follow up QandA A Matter of Character

State of Decay has released a new blog post recently with a new shiny Q and A for us to read. A lot of questions were answered. Check it out Below or read the copy and paste.


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The Survivors

Q: [Multiple]: How random are the characters? Will we ever see two characters that have the same skills and abilities? What about replays, will the survivors be the same?

A: Storyline characters (you start as a character named Marcus Campbell, for example, and quickly meet Thomas Ritter, along with Maya, Ed, Alan, and others) will be the same every time you meet them. They have extensive histories as well.

Many of the other survivors are generated, with their names, appearance, traits, and skills all potentially varying each time you play the game.

Q: Fleshblight: [Is the game designed such that] no two NPCs (all of whom may potentially be recruited and controlled by the player) look or sound the same, or have identical sets of skills and abilities?

A: There is a limit to the amount of art we created. You’ll probably never encounter two Npcs who look exactly the same at the same time, but if enough people die, you may start encountering survivors who bear a “striking resemblance” to those you’ve met before. In these cases their abilities and names will almost certainly be different. (Though there’s some randomness there, so no guarantees. It’s possible for two survivors to be similar in the same way it’s possible to flip a coin and get tails ten times in a row.)

Q: Major Warpath: Is it possible to have a character who is completely useless? Hey, I know a few people like this.

A: Oh, I wouldn’t say anyone is useless, but certainly some provide key skills that others do not and some survivors are more immediately useful than others. With time and effort, anyone can become a good shot, competent at hand to hand fighting, and bright enough to come in out of the rain.

Don’t underestimate the value of that. More than one project has been scuttled by “too many managers, too few workers.”

Q: Screenamesuck, VladimirKenju: Will we be able to see everyone's skills BEFORE we recruit them to the group? Can you talk to them or read a bio, or are you only able to find out their skills after they become one of the "family"?

A: You get a limited glimpse into this and have to make your decisions based on the information you have. When you talk to someone, you’ll be able to see their personality and one major background trait.

Q: [Multiple]: How do you switch between characters? What are the limits on switching between characters? Is there a proximity range for switching between characters? What happens to the one you switch from in general?

A: You can walk up to a Friend and make the switch via conversation, but if you’ve been watching our videos, you know there’s also a journal you use to keep track of everything that’s going on, including keeping track of all your community members. You can also find your Friends in the Journal and switch to them with a press of a button..

There are limitations, though. For example, you can’t switch survivors while you’re in the middle of a mission or in combat, and you can’t switch to someone who’s gone missing.

Q: Bronxsta, Creed: Along with potential SWAT backup, can you also request help from your survivors? Is there a way to get a survivor of your choice to come and kill zombies with you until you sent them home?

A: You can’t call your base and ask for a specific person. You can switch to the survivor you want and run over to the trouble spot. There is no way to switch when you’re in combat, so your best bet is to find a safe place to hide, switch to the survivor you want, and get to the source of the action.

Q: Capt.C.Baker: Let's say I have a 2 star cook named Wendy back at my base. While I'm out scavenging, I come across a 4 star cook named Chris who also has some woodwork under his belt. What options do I have for this situation? Do I have to replace one character for the other? Can I have both? Will the food get cooked quicker or something if I have both?

A: Your survivor best suited to a particular job will be automatically “assigned” to the appropriate facility upon joining your community. Having two of something in your group means you have a backup. Redundancy is good.

 Skills and Abilities

Q: TwilightSparkle: Do you mind telling us how many skills are in the game total right now?

A: Well, if you count “Spike Handling”, it’d be 35. So one fewer than that. (Note: a little more than half of these are not all that useful.)

Q: Kurnster: We know there are 4 basic skills everyone has. From the screenshot shown, can we assume that the number of total skills is limited to six? Likewise, for the traits, I'm assuming a limit of 8 although that would be a lot of traits!

A: The survivors can’t have more than seven skills and six traits, and they probably have fewer. The seventh would be the survivor’s Weapon Specialization. It’s special, so it gets that blue background.

So why six traits and eight slots for displaying traits? We sometimes use this space to display some additional temporary status information.

Q: Workhorse, Bronxsta: Can you give some more examples of Signature Abilities? Can you have more than one?

A: As the article said, each survivor can have four Signature Abilities, but only one of each type. (Offensive, Defensive, Utility, and General.) Here are a few more examples:

* Decapitate (Offensive) -- Hold [LB] and press [X] to launch a slow, focused attack guaranteed to decapitate the target.
* Rage (General) -- Sometimes taking your anger out on something is therapeutic. Every time you kill an enemy, you regain a small amount of Stamina.
* Thievery (General) -- You are the night. Doors are never considered locked for you, and you make no noise when you search. You can also move quickly while sneaking by holding [LB].

So you can have both Decapitate and Rage because they’re in different categories, but you can’t have both Rage and Thievery because they’re both in the General category.

Q: Workhorse: Do wits affect other things, too, or just search speed?

A: There are also a few abilities that you gain automatically from Wits, and some Signature Abilities. The Thievery ability I mentioned above requires 7 stars in Wits.

Q: VladimirKenju, PoolBoy: Can skills like construction or vehicle repair be taught? For example, if I consistently use a character to build alongside an established construction expert, can she eventually get the skill?

A: No, though that would be pretty cool.

Q: Loco Little: Does a maxed out leader character effectively/automatically become the leader of the group (as in other characters start referring to him as leader, some characters like him taking charge while others don't, etc.)

A: There is no formal leader in a survivor community in the sense that you’re using the term, but survivors can temporarily take on a special role within the community based on what they accomplished the day before.

Q: Kurnster: Will all traits and skills have flavour text or info text to explain what they do in more detail of you highlight them in game?

A: Yes, though we don’t spell absolutely everything out. There are a lot of mechanics working behind the scenes, so instead of trying to explain all of them all the time, we try to make sure the consequences of your choices are sensible and to call things out if and when they matter. So someone with a potentially disruptive personality won’t constantly be causing problems at random. We’ll let you know before they start acting up so you know what to pay attention to.

Q:Wake Up Ne0: Is there only one type of attack with a weapon, or are there multiple 'moves' you can gain/unlock as there are in unarmed combat?

A: Increased skill with melee weapons unlocks new moves, yes. Increased skill with a gun gets you reduced recoil, more headshot accuracy at distance, faster reload times, faster jam clearance, and reduced wear and tear on the gun.

Q: Joey: Is sexting actually in the game or was that just a joke?

A: It is indeed an actual skill in the game (as are Sudoku and Reality Show Trivia), but it does nothing in a world where cell towers no longer function.


Q: Multiple: How hard is it to raise the skills of a character? How long does it take for a character to max a skill?

A: YMMV, depending on how you play and whether or not you’re good at pulling off some of the feats that give you bonus XP.

Here are a few things you can expect though:

* The overall rate of progress is a lot quicker than it’d be if there wasn’t permadeath and character switching.
* As you might expect the early stars come in more quickly than the later stars.
* You shouldn’t expect to completely max out a skill in a single play session, but you shouldn’t be playing for a long time without making any progress.
* Thinking in terms of trying to “grind” for skills is probably a bad idea. Remember that your ammo is limited and melee weapons get damaged and break. And you’ve got a community to feed and protect. It’s probably more important for you to save those last ten rounds for the next incoming horde than it is to try to go out and shoot zeds in a field for target practice.

Q: Demonslay999, Joey: What is the effect of more skill? Say if a person with level 1 melee skill used a lead pipe on a zombie, would it take multiple swings in order to kill it? As opposed to someone with level 5, would he just insta-smash the head of the zombie in? If I had some superhuman all star survivor, would I be 1 hit KO zombie mashmaster every time?

A: Our goal was to never let the survivor’s stats override player skill. So, yes, your odds of smashing a zombie’s head with your first swing is a little better if you have 5 stars in fighting instead of 1, but your primary advantages are the additional abilities you’ve unlocked and the fact that you have +20 Vitality.

Q: SpcB: How much of an effect does the skill "leadership" have on the amount of influence I gain in a common mission?

A: The bonus is currently +10% at 1 star and +100% at 7 stars of Leadership. The exact numbers and names are still subject to change as we continue to refine playbalance and playability, of course. (One note of clarification: the bonus is for Trust, not Influence. You’ll find that Trust is the more valuable and scarce of the two. That’s why we put the bonus there.)

Q: Madmock: Will unused traits ever lose stars? If I got 2 stars in fighting, but then never fight, will I become "rusty" and downgrade to 1 star?

A: No. We’d talked about doing this for the seventh star, but decided to keep things simple.

Q: G0lgothan: If someone had a Bum Knee, could you get them the equivalent of some physiotherapy through Training and eliminate the negative side effects?

A: No.

Q: [Multiple] Will NPCs level up skills when using them, or do you have to be in direct control of the character for them to improve? What about NPCs who aren’t part of your community, are they just out there in the world getting better at stuff? Can a survivor level up while offline? How exactly do the survivors in the community level up skills if you can't directly control them?

A: Survivors only improve their skills while you are controlling them directly. Their skill levels stay the same while they are running around as NPCs, and they don’t gain XP while you are offline. We discussed having them gain a small amount over time, especially as they carried out actions like supply runs and home defense in the game, but decided to save the progression moments for when you directly use the skills.

(*Note for Facebook/Twitter followers: This was the cause of the one day delay. We were investigating the possibility of getting the gain working as described and making this answer completely different. )

Q: [Multiple]: Can all skills get maxed out to seven, or do you continually improve them? Do characters with less ability “cap out” sooner than seven?

A: All of the skills to which a character has access can be maxed with endless time and focus. It will take the characters with less natural ability significantly more time, time you may prefer to spend on finding food and making landmines.

Also, remember not every character will have access to everything.

Q: Andrewdogg: If a successful headshot streak helps level up gun skill faster, how do wits level faster?

A: Certain activities provide a bonus to Wits. For example, climbing up to a lookout point and surveying the area for infestations and hordes gives you extra Wits XP.

Q: Joey: Will there be a way to safely train your skills, like on dummies?

A: Not exactly. If you build a Dojo and institute “Combat Training”, your community gains a temporary bonus to how fast everyone gets Fighting XP, but you still have to go out and fight actual zombies to improve your skill.

 The Things They Hold

Q: Warpig: What do you mean by starting weapon? Do you mean that is their best weapon that they are good with or when you find them they have that on them?

A: It’s whatever they happened to have on them. That may or may not be related to their existing skill, and if it’s at all related to the survivor’s potential, it was due to random chance.

Q: 2016kellamni: Will the survivors always have starting weapons, or could someone arrive with nothing?

A: Nothing is certainly a possibility. Not everyone is equally prepared for the apocalypse.

Q: Norannyo: If your character is carrying a bag of supplies as we saw in the Distraction trailer, can that character drive a vehicle with the backpack? or can he/she only run back? If he can drive with a backpack, what happens to the backpack when you get inside the vehicle?

A: Your stuff stays with you. As you may have noticed in the video, the backpack doesn’t show when you get into a vehicle. Just assume the survivor tossed it on the seat.

Q: Quinico1: Does increased firearm ability prevent (or reduce, or slow) wear and damage to the weapons themselves?

A: Yes.


Q: Tarman, G0lgothan: Can negative traits be improved? For example, a Selfish Asshole might realise that the way he's going isn't going to work in the current world. Could he bust his ass to become a Team Player (or something). Similarly, could a Coward, with enough combat exposure, become Battle Hardened (or something)?

A: Generally speaking, people don’t change who they are. There are a few situations where personalities can change, but you should not assume that you can smooth all the rough edges off of everyone and eliminate all their drawbacks. (Our reasons for that are gameplay-related as much as anything, but it’s also an attempt at realism; I don’t know how many Selfish Assholes you’ve had to deal with in real life, but I’m pretty certain it’d take a hell of a lot more than a zombie apocalypse to turn around most of the ones I’ve known.)

Q: Tarman, Atreyu113: Does a character with negative personality traits (like Alan Gunderson) need to be at the base/near others to affect community members? Or is whatever any character is feeling anytime, anywhere immediately affect all community members across the map? Could I keep my community happier by assigning a rude person to an outpost?

A: Oh, that’s a fun idea, but no. He can ass things up for the community no matter where he is.

Q: Bronxsta, Lynch74: Can injury and/or poor morale permanently affect a survivor's Personality and Traits? If a survivor has good Leadership and is friendly, and then his friend dies, will his personality and mood degrade accordingly? If a survivor is faced with several of his group getting killed – will that potentially have an everlasting effect on his mental state?

A: There’s a little bit of this, but it’s pretty rare. Attitude changes are much more common (and frequent) than permanent personality changes.

Morale is always a concern. Unattended morale problems lead to mutiny, survivors leaving, and even suicide.

Death certainly affects morale, but if you can get people cheered up, they won’t start having flashbacks or anything. They’ll just get depressed over the next horrible thing to happen.

Q: Zombiepreacher: Will there be relationships stronger than friends? I'm not talking about having babies included in the game, but a lover and number one go-to-guy would be so amazing (seeing how it's a community based game).

A: No, sorry. Friendship is awfully meaningful, though.

Q: 2016kellamni: It says in the examples of fear that some people are resistant to fear does that mean they are going to run out in a blaze of glory or what?

A: It means their attitude won’t tend to switch to a fearful one, which means they won’t be responsible for events like wasting a bunch of ammo firing off in a panic.

 Kicking People Out

Q: Norannyo: How do you tell a survivor he/she is no longer welcome in the group? What happens right after this option is chosen? Does the survivor walk away into the distance, or just disappear completely?

A: First of all, the survivor might tell you hell no, he won’t go. So there’s that. (Use someone with Leadership if you want to be sure he’ll take you seriously.)

If he does leave, he may help himself to supplies, depending on his personality. Then he’ll head for shelter. Possibly another community, possibly on his own. If he’s out alone, you may hear him screaming for help someday.

Q: Jexz: If we kick someone out of our clan, can we later add them back?

A: Yes, if they survive and they’re willing to come back. You’d need to earn trust again to be able to invite them, though.

Q: Joey: Will a family be mad if I kick out a family member? Like if I kick out the autocrat because he’s a dick, will I get resistance?

A: Resistance? Not exactly. You’ll want to pay close attention to everyone’s feelings. Some of your other members may think to themselves, “Hey, if he’ll kick out that guy, I could be next.” Others might be relieved.
 Changing and Evolving

Q: MatchesMalone: I would like to know if you folks have something that keeps track of what skills your community has, and from there determines challenges to throw at you? If so, how does the system make a decision on what mission to generate? Is it an AI or some arbitrary "Duck, Duck, Goose" system?

A: We do try to tune the challenge a bit based on how well you’re doing, but within limits. A core part of this game is letting your actions have real consequences, so the primary driving force behind which missions and situations appear is what you’ve done before.

What determines whether or not there’s a mission to go rescue a missing person from your community? It’d be something like you didn’t help out someone who was calling for help and (luckily) instead of being killed, they went missing. Why are there missions to clear out an area that’s been overrun by zombies? It’s because you’ve let a bunch of places get overrun by zombies. So it’s true that the events are sometimes arbitrary, but often they are determined by your prior actions.

Q: Zombiemarch: You said there can be conflict between the groups/characters and that "counselor characters" can help fix/prevent disputes. How will conflict affect people? If one character is overpowering/angers easily and upsets another, will the upset character not perform certain tasks, run away, ask to leave?

A: All of the above. They might be less willing to cooperate across the board, and their unhappiness will lower morale across the board, sending the whole community into a downward spiral of unhappiness and lack of motivation.

Q: [Multiple]: Can in-game actions transfer to physical traits? For example, Bum Leg is a trait. In addition to being a character you start with, can you get a Bum Leg due to an injury?

A: No, though I’ve been very tempted to add that.

Q: Workhorse: Is there a permanent cough trait where some characters literally can't sneak effectively? [Could a survivor develop such a cough?]

A: No, although there are abilities that make you sneak more effectively. But it is possible to get sick and develop a cough, if not a coughing trait.


Q: Tarman: You said, "Cardio — Rule #1 for survival. If you run out of Stamina, that’s it. Can’t fight, can’t run away. You’re done." If you completely run out of Stamina but have full health, is your character then truly dead (done)? OR Can you sneak into the bushes (or lay low on a roof/water tower/outpost) for a while to compose yourself like you mentioned later in the article?

A: Sorry, we should probably tone down that description a little bit. Being out of Stamina doesn’t have any direct, immediate impact on whether or not you are alive, but you’ll find that without Stamina you are much, much more vulnerable in combat and you’ll have trouble getting away if you decide to flee.

Stamina comes back pretty quickly when you aren’t sprinting or fighting or climbing, but there’s a little more to it than that: If you’ve just used a bunch of stamina and dropped down to zero, to get it back, you just have to take it easy for a little bit or eat a snack. After you’ve run around for a long time, though, you’ll find your Maximum Stamina getting lower and lower. To get that back, you need to actually leave the survivor at home to rest, or use something more extreme like a stimulant.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Dead Linger Build 007 The Prison

The Dead Linger has released a pretty awesome new update called the prison update.  Lots of good stuff in this one including......a prison!  This game is starting to slowly look better and better.  Check out all the info below.


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Patch Notes:

    World Generation Changes:
  • Prisons can now be found anywhere in the world, but never near the spawn. There are rumors of at least one prison roughly 2 kilometers to the north. Good hunting!
  • The first prison complex is named after Kickstarter backer “Elias Thompson.” Congratulations!
  • There have been well over 70 new art assets added to the world of The Dead Linger, ranging from telephone poles to brand new and much more performant houses. The entire world looks newer, fresher, more realistic, and more beautiful than ever before.
  • Farmland is laid out in a much more intelligent manner. It now has a road passing through it, along with substantial size increase to the crop fields, better visibility of crops, improved farmhouse, hay bales, and more.
  • More world loading has been shifted to take place during the loading screen, so initial framerate when joining the game should be smoother.
  • Trees should no longer appear on roads as often as they have in the past.
  • Substantial new improvements to terrain texturing and terrain variety.
  • Gameplay Changes:
  • Survivors can now see their first person hands, along with dozens of new animations for weapons, reloading, and more.
  • The framerate during gameplay has been drastically increased in almost all cases, and the world looks much better than ever before.
  • Time of day is now saved with the world file, so games will be resumed at the same time of day they left off.
  • Inventory should now save much more reliably than previous builds. Please try to avoid getting attached to world saves or items, though! We are still in Alpha after all, and sometimes data can be lost.
  • Holding Tab (default) will display the scoreboard/player list. If you are in a multiplayer game, this will show the other players in the game (up to 32 players) and display their network ping.
  • There is now a temporary compass in the top right of the HUD. It shows the cardinal direction you are facing (North, East, South, etc.) and your X Y location in the world, accurate to 100 meters. This feature will be removed once we add in maps, a compass item, and other methods of locating your friends in multiplayer.
  • Survivors now require backpacks for larger inventory space. Survivors start with “pockets,” by default. Pockets are a small 3×4 inventory space that can hold a very limited amount of items. If you have existing items in your inventory from 006, all excess items will fall onto the ground when you spawn. For those who played 006 and wish to start fresh for 007, please be sure to delete your Inventory folder in %appdata%/Sandswept Studios/The Dead Linger/.
  • There are now multiple backpacks that can be found in the world and equipped. These backpacks range from Small (10×4) to Medium (20×8).
  • Fixed a bug where knockback would not stop a zombie’s movement. All knockback from weapons will now work properly. This provides a substantial change to melee combat.
  • All objects now carry more realistic weight values. Couches and refrigerators are now very heavy, while other objects are light. They currently do not apply any physics damage if they fall on enemies or players, but that will be coming in a future update.
  • Farmington Shotgun hipfire spread has been tightened a bit, so hip-firing with this gun will yield more accurate results. (This does not affect the spread of projectiles, but where the projectiles are grouped when firing from the hip.)
  • A player’s vertical position is now saved. (If you log out on top of a water tower, you will now respawn there, instead of down below on the ground.)
  • Heavy objects can now block doors a bit more than before.
  • Survivors now have the ability to drag large objects. Dragging allows the player to slide large objects, such as couches and refrigerators, in order to block doors and rearranging rooms.
  • Objects held by the player will now collide with other objects and walls.
  • Held objects will no longer start rotating randomly when they bump other objects.
  • Held objects can now be rotated by (default key setup) holding X or Right Mouse Button and dragging the mouse in the desired direction.
  • When grasping or dragging objects, weapons are now holstered and can not be used.
  • Objects the player is grasping or dragging can be thrown. Throwing items uses stamina. Throwing currently does not deal damage, but that will be changed in a future update.
  • Objects will now be knocked around when hit with a melee weapon.
  • Cursor is hidden when grasping or dragging objects.
  • Weapons should no longer disappear when crossing kilometer block boundaries.
  • The Vegas Rifle no longer spawns in garages or homes. It can be found… elsewhere.
  • Gun and ammunition spawn rates have been decreased, but also spread around. Survivors will find ammo and weapons in more unique places, but it will be harder to find as a general rule.
  • Magazines are now refilled at twice the rate as before. The standard gun reload animation plays for this. We will add more animations in a future update to help clarify the magazine reloading process.
  • Some minor and some major improvements to shadows and lighting.
  • We’ve added a new rim lighting shader to the engine which makes many objects look excellent.
  • Various skyboxes have been added to the sky. These are mostly temporary as we design a much larger and more advance sky simulation system, but for now they will bring some flavor to the sky and change during different times of day.
  • Multiple new crossair hand icons added for dragging, opening doors, and more.
  • Multiple new third person animations have been added to the game.
  • Animation length on melee attacks now matches the action length.
  • Small fix to improve glitchiness with terrain on kilometer block boundaries. This often manifested itself in causing the player to fall through the ground for a moment. It should now happen less, if it happens at all.
  • Survivors can no longer shoot or use weapons while climbing ladders.
  • Fixed a bug where players could lose rounds of ammunition by shooting while reloading, but with no effect.
  • Fixed a large bug where scoped weapons might not be able to use their scopes, or other items may not have their proper attributes.
  • Fixed a bug where stamina did not regen while carrying objects. Stamina now regenerates at half the normal rate when carrying objects.
  • Fixed a bug where inventory items would appear over the main menu after a server disconnect, and in some other rare cases.
  • General Changes:
  • The game should crash substantially less than it has in previous builds. 007 is officially the most stable build to date
  • The game now uses camera-relative rendering, which should substantially decrease flickering of textures and objects from a distance.
  • Screenshots taken with the Print Screen key now save in a subfolder in %appdata%/Sandswept Studios/The Dead Linger/. This subfolder is called “/screenshots/”.
  • Screenshots now save with the prefix “thedeadlinger-” instead of “screenshot_”.
  • Removed multiple settings from the Ogre Engine Rendering Setup window when TDL.exe is started. This change will require you to reselect your Rendering Subsystem when you launch TDL.exe after the patch.
  • Renamed “Video Mode” to “Resolution” in the Ogre Engine Rendering Setup window when TDL.exe is started. Be sure to change the Fullscreen and Resolution settings to match your desired setup!
  • There is now a new loading symbol for when the game is initially loading during a black screen. This screen can take some time when you run TDL for the first time, so this should help players understand what’s going on better.
  • Road intersections currently have a texture bug and appear darker than the rest of the road.
  • Doors will sometimes disappear when interacted with while being blocked by large items.
  • Some first person animations do not work, or are in progress.
  • Sometimes animations will revert back to “default” poses when the animation is missing. This can cause sliding, or otherwise confusing animations.
  • Terrain texture sometimes does not seamlessly match up.
  • Trees will occasionally spawn in strange places, such as inside a house, or in the middle of the road.
  • There is sometimes slight framerate stutter as the world loads in initially, but it should generally disappear after a short period of time, leaving you with deliciously high framerates.
  • All doors are still destructible, even steel reinforced prison doors. There will be a sweeping change.
  • Swerts stores are undergoing some refurbishment, and will be returning in the next large update, bigger, prettier, and better than before!
  • When traveling far from the world origin, first person animations and other graphics can become a bit jittery. As with all known issues, this will be fixed in a later update.
Please report any and all bugs to our Bug Forum!
What’s next?
In 008, we’re going to be focusing on foliage (for real this time!), more graphical effects such as anti-aliasing, quite a few long-promised buildings, and a whole slew of activities for the player to partake in! Zag has also expressed an interest in making the woods a bit more interesting… Stay tuned for more on that.
Linger on, Survivors!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Project Zomboid Monday Status Update

Wow Guys and Girls the new Project Zomboid Monday Update was very awesome.  This Monday we get to see all about the new sandbox mode and how you can alter your settings for everything in the world to suit your own play style and get your own experience out of the game. This is going to add tons of hours of game play for this game.  Check it out below.


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Welcome to this week’s Monday blog post! Lemmy here this time, and yes, we have a video! Though probably not one you’d ever expect. As we continue to beat the meta-game into submission, perfect the skill system, expand the map, add all the missing animations, and do numerous fixes to the game to bring it toward RC3, we thought we’d give you a look into a part of the game we have kept under wraps for a while, but one that should have a huge impact on the game.
One thing about the zomboid community is it’s a diverse bunch. Whenever we’ve released versions in the past, we’ve had requests to lower the zombie populations. We then lower them and some people wish for higher zombie populations. Some want more weapons, some want less. Some want harder zombies, some want easier ones. Trying to find a balance where everyone or even most people are happy is a massive challenge. Some people may love it when they are hounded by zombies and want every last moment to be manic panic with short action packed survival times, where others may want to be left to build in relative safety. There isn’t a fit-all balance that would please everyone isn’t really possible.
Of course this left us with a bit of a dilemma, because since starting this game we’ve had very specific goals of making Zomboid not only as realistic as possible, but also the core premise of the game is that you are going to die and the game should try to do that at every opportunity.
Particularly with building, farming and numerous other features going into the game, it’s important that the official ‘You survived for’ main game mode should make it extremely difficult to survive for long periods of time, and doing so should be a massive achievement,, and the game should be balanced not only to be realistic and to conform to our borderline obsessive idea of what ‘proper zombies’ should be.
As such we decided to split what was Sandbox into two game modes. Survival being what Sandbox is in current versions, the standard and ‘official’ way to play the game, which is the same as the settings for the Story mode. This is canon Zomboid and balanced in similar ways to 0.1.5d. After dying you will get the ‘you survived for’ message in the recognizable font.
Sandbox mode however, is now freed up to have additional options, allowing those players looking for different experiences, or with different tastes or skill levels, the option of customizing the gameplay in a multitude of ways. These options are cheap and quick to add, as well as being fully moddable, but potentially open up a multitude of community challenges and varying game styles. These can be added to over time in the future ultimately giving a huge amount of variety to how you can play. This is what a sandbox is all about.
The beauty of this is that we can give people the ability to change the game to fit their personal preferences without compromising the story / survival modes or our original goals about what the game should be. Sandbox’s death message will be in a different, smaller font, post RC3 possibly with additional information about the sandbox settings.
Here is the Sandbox options screen (with an annoying typo noticed a millionth of a nano-second after posting):

Oh yes, we went there! We have a ‘proper zombies’ tick-box. You need to untick the ‘proper zombies’ tickbox before you’re allowed to edit anything, just so you know that you’re delving into ‘non-proper zombies’ territory!
And with he Survival/Sandbox split along with the 3D sprite system meaning the required sprites could be spat out in minutes, it means we could justify going there…

Oh noes!
The Sandbox being a truly customizable experience, just with a few drop-down box changes you can change the zombie lore to most popular zombie fiction. Running and instant infection, to ‘everyone’s infected’ shamblers, to non-infectious weak runners, to anywhere in between. Huge amounts of zombies or not many, lots of NPCs or no NPCs, 1 hour days or play the game in complete real-time. The choice is yours. Although some of these options would be something we’d never ever want for the main game, it opens up many more options for players if they want a different experience depending on their mood or tastes in zombies and gameplay. Players who want to build a huge zombie fortress can be left in relative peace, or those who want to be hunted can ramp up the zombie threat.
We can imagine forum / youtube challenges for survival times with ‘Insane’ numbers of ‘Sprinting’, ‘Superhuman’, ‘Bloodhound’ zombies as the results are frightening and entertaining to behold:

Thanks everyone for their continued patience and we’ll get you RC3 as soon as we can!
Why not discuss this on our forums? And check out Mondoid when it appears!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

State of Decay In depth look at character and skills.

State of Decay is getting better and better!  They recently released some new information for us regarding characters and their personalities and traits and skills.  This was a pretty good read and helps tell us how cool the character personalities are going to be.  Check it out below.


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A good story isn’t about characters as unchanging archetypes. It does explore innate potential and expectations, but it’s also about choices and change (or refusal to change). A good survival story in particular puts its characters to the test, but not just as individuals. A crisis is both a test of the individuals and of the dynamics between them. In designing the character and skill systems for State of Decay, we’ve tried to capture all of these elements.
We’ve talked before about the fact that you don’t get to tailor-make your characters. Instead you encounter a wide variety of survivors with vastly different personalities and skill sets and then you decide who to bring into your group and who to leave out on their own.
So that’s the high level. If you’ve been following State of Decay closely, you’ve heard that before. Today we’re going to going into more depth about exactly how characters and skills work.
Let’s dive right in.

All survivors share the same four basic skills:
  • Cardio — Rule #1 for survival. If you run out of Stamina, that’s it. Can’t fight, can’t run away. You’re done.
  • Wits — When the shit hits the fan, you need to think fast. The quicker you can assess a situation, the better chance you have.
  • Fighting — Sometimes your best option is a lead pipe to the face. Other times, it’s getting the hell out of the way. Master both if you want to survive.
  • Shooting — Used to be shooting was just a hobby. Now it’s a daily requirement.
Every survivor has a rating in these four skills, shown as a number of stars next to the skill name. 1 star is weak. 7 stars is exceptional. Additional stars are gained by successfully using the skill. So destroying zeds in melee combat raises the Fighting skill. Taking them out with firearms raises the Shooting skill. You can improve skills faster by performing particularly skillful feats like a headshot streak.
Each skill provides a specific stat bonus. This bonus gets higher the more stars you have in the skill.
  • Cardio — Determines maximum Stamina.
  • Wits — Improves search speed.
  • Fighting — Determines maximum Vitality.
  • Shooting — Reduces recoil when you shoot.
  • Leadership — Increases how much trust you gain whenever you gain trust.
In addition to these stat bonuses, most skills provide Abilities as you achieve more stars. Abilities can be active techniques, like Counterattack, which gives you a more powerful attack if you face a zed and dodge its attack first. Counterattack unlocks automatically when you gain your second star in Fighting. Other abilities are more passive, such as Quiet Search, which reduces the noise you make when searching. Quiet Search unlocks automatically when you get your fourth star in Wits.
Looking back at the list above, you’ll notice the last skill, Leadership, isn’t one of the basic four. That’s because not everyone has any skill in Leadership. It’s a Personal Skill that requires some natural talent or specific background. Most of the skills in State of Decay are personal skills, and they’re part of what makes characters unique.

To start, every survivor has a unique combination of Traits. These Traits define the survivor on a fundamental level and have a whole range of effects.
The first Trait for every survivor is a Personality. Chatterbox, Selfish Asshole, Coward, Born Leader, Braggart, Autocrat, and Daydreamer are just some of the dozens of personalities you might encounter. Personality plays a big role in how survivors react to success and failure, how they interact with each other, and to any moral choices you make. In the short term, Personality is the least important thing to know about someone, but when trying to make your community work over the long haul, the mix of personalities matters. (We’ll probably need to dig into that in another article.)
Many Traits reflect a survivor’s background, representing job history or hobbies the survivor had in the past. These typically provide free Stars in related skills. For example, any active hobby like Hiking, Cycling or Aikido starts a survivor with two or three stars in Cardio instead of the one star that most survivors have initially. The Aikido trait also provides a free star in Fighting. Similarly, backgrounds that require street smarts or survival skills give a bonus star or two in Wits.
Other Traits reflect natural aptitude or ineptitude and provide a bonus or penalty to how fast a survivor can advance a particular skill. Being “Eagle-Eyed” means improving all Shooting skills faster than normal, while the “Hates Gore” Trait makes some slower to improve in Fighting, and being a “Dim Bulb” means Wits takes a lot more work to raise.
A handful of Traits have unique game effects. Having a “Bum Knee,” for example, means stamina drain while crouched. So a survivor with this trait can hide in bushes just as well as anyone else but can’t use it as a way to recover.
Finally, many Traits provide Personal Skills such as Leadership. Only survivors with the right Traits have access to each Personal Skill (and the stat bonus and abilities it provides). Just as in real life, the skills that the survivors have developed can vary widely in usefulness. Here’s a small sampling:
  • Bruiser — Comes from Natural Athlete, Brute, or Strong as an Ox. Provides a whole unique set of combat and exploration abilities. Survivors with this skill are few and far between, but they have the potential to learn unique melee combat techniques, to carry heavier burdens without tiring, and to use larger firearms without sacrificing mobility.
  • Construction — Comes from Architect,  Mechanic,  Electrician, or Engineer, among other jobs and hobbies. This skill doesn’t have much effect when out exploring, but having someone with any stars in Construction is essential for building a more advanced Workshop in your home.
  • Leadership — Comes from Presence or Born Leader. As mentioned above, each star of Leadership increases the Trust you gain from your actions. In addition, higher Leadership unlocks special effects from your emotes, allowing you to do things like boost the combat effectiveness of the survivors around you by cheering them on.
  • Counseling — Comes from People Person, Funeral Director, Stylist, or other jobs and hobbies. This skill has no impact on your combat or exploration abilities, but provides a chance to prevent community conflicts and to raise the spirits of frightened or depressed community members.
  • Sexting — Comes from Sleaze or Flirt. Without phone or internet service, this finely honed skill may be doomed to be something of a lost art.
  • Sports Trivia — Just as in real life, this is one of the most common skills. Sure, it might not be useful, but did you know that Randy Moss’ vertical leap was once said to be 51″? I did. (True story.)
So we’ve talked about the Basic Skills that are common to everyone and about the Traits and Personal Skills that make survivors unique, but that’s just part of the story. You also get to make major choices about how to develop each survivor.
First, you can choose one Weapon Specialization for each of your survivors. This can be a specific category of firearms, such as Shotgun or Pistol, or a class of melee weapon, such as Bludgeoning or Hack and Slash. A Weapon Specialization is an entirely new skill line with a unique stat bonus and a whole set of unique abilities. Before choosing a Weapon Specialization, you need to unlock it by gaining enough stars in the corresponding basic skill: Gun-related specializations unlock at four stars of Shooting. Melee-related specializations unlock at four stars of Fighting. Each survivor can have only one Weapon Specialization, so choose carefully.
Once selected, the weapon specialization can be improved just like any other skill: by using it. So to raise your Shotgun Mastery skill, you have to take zombies out with a shotgun.
In addition to choosing a weapon specialization, you choose a number of Signature Abilities. Our goal in designing these abilities was not merely to provide abilities that make you stronger, but that change the way you approach exploration and combat. There are four different categories of Signature Abilities and each survivor can learn one ability in each category: Offensive, Defensive, Utility and General.
Which abilities are available varies from survivor to survivor, based on their skills. Only a survivor with three stars in Bludgeoning can learn Spinning Backhand, an offensive ability that lets you perform a spinning attack that turns an enemy around, exposing his back to you. Only a survivor with at least one star of Bruiser has the option to learn Push Kick, a utility ability that changes the [Y] button to do a powerful push kick, forcing enemies to stagger back.
The Push Kick, in particular, is an example of an ability that fundamentally changes how you approach a combat. Instead of encountering a group of zeds and trying to take them on as a group or trying to use the environment to separate them, you can use the kick to momentarily remove a few from the fight. You might choose to pair this with offensive abilities that let you kill individuals quickly but leave you vulnerable to groups or to let you focus on using pistols, which are versatile and lightweight but don’t have the physical stopping power of shotguns and revolvers. How you make use of these abilities is up to you.
All told, these choices allow you to take the same survivor and create someone who you’d want to use in very, very different ways. At a minimum, you’ll choose to focus on ranged vs. melee combat, and on fighting vs. avoiding fights, but you’ll also have a lot of specific options like the push kick that can provide interesting tactical choices. At the same time, since not all survivors have the same options, you should find yourself playing very differently as you switch between survivors.

As with every part of State of Decay, we’ve worked to create a system with just the right mix of clarity and depth. We try to not to inundate you with stats and minor bonuses, instead focusing on key skills and abilities that have a big, identifiable impact. To close out, I thought I’d provide a quick look at some of the survivors you’ll likely encounter:

Thomas Ritter
  • Father Figure — Protects others against Fear. Objects to Selfish actions by the community.
  • Carpenter — Provides the Construction skill
  • Travel — Wits +1
  • Camping — Wits +2, Cardio +1
  • Organizer — Provides the Leadership skill
Starting Gun: Revolver: M1917 — 45 caliber — Aging classic from the last days of WWI, a collector favorite.
Starting Weapon: Crowbar — No zombie apocalypse is complete without one.
Thanks to his Construction skill, Thomas provides additional options at the Workshop (if you have one). His mood also improves whenever you upgrade or build a Workshop. He has no special advantages in combat, but he could still choose any Weapon Specialization if he raised his Fighting and/or Shooting skill first.
Thanks to the Leadership skill, the Cheer and Taunt emotes have additional effects for Thomas. Anyone can use the Cheer emote to try to gain Trust with allies and performing the Taunt emote makes enough noise to alert nearby zombies, but when Thomas cheers allies, their combat effectiveness increases for a short while, and when he taunts zombies he can actually draw them away from attacking allies. He’s also better at earning Trust in general and is more effective at resolving problems with community members who have fallen into a bad attitude.

Sam Hoffman
  • Iconoclast — Resistant to Fear. Becomes Insensitive when she’s feeling good about herself.
  • Service Job — Wits +1
  • Eagle-Eyed — Faster Shooting skill improvement
  • Great Reflexes — Provides the Acrobatics skill.
Starting Gun: Shotgun: Warden — Shotgun Shells — Low profile, slim but brutal. Affectionately named “Fiona.”
Starting Weapon: Lead Pipe — A simple bludgeoning weapon.
Sam’s personality is a blessing and a curse. When her attitude shifts to Insensitive, there is a danger of her worsening the attitudes of community members who already feel bad. (This can be counteracted by having community members with the Counseling skill.) Physically, though, she’s gifted. She improves the Shooting skill faster than normal, making her a great choice for a gun-related Weapon Specialization. On the other hand, the Acrobatics skill, much like Bruiser, is an uncommon skill that provides a whole slew of unique combat abilities. This may mean you want to focus on melee combat with her.

Alan Gunderson
  • Autocrat — Resistant to Fear. Prone to Anger. Becomes Overbearing when he’s feeling good about himself.
  • Law Enforcement — Shooting +2
  • Loved Range Shooting — Shooting +1
  • Eagle-Eyed — Faster Shooting skill improvement
Starting Gun: Rifle: 700 Huntsman  – 7.62 MM —  A classic scoped hunting rifle, versions of which are used by the military.
Starting Weapon: Machete — Good for chopping brush… or necks.
Alan’s personality is almost pure downside. He becomes angry easily and, even when he is feeling good, his Overbearing attitude can piss off other community members. Again, the key to balancing this out is other personalities that counteract this effect or to kick him out of your community. In terms of combat, he has a clear inclination: he’s good at shooting stuff. You won’t find many better than him and that may be reason enough to keep him around.
Here is a visual example for you:

Lucky guy. A funeral director in a town where the dead don't stay dead.

Lucky guy. A funeral director in a town where the dead don’t stay dead.
Those are just a few examples. With dozens of personalities, jobs, hobbies, talents, and personal skills, each character starts out unique, and how they develop from there is up to you. Between choosing equipment, deciding how to invest your time, selecting a weapon specialization, and learning signature techniques, you have the ability to dramatically redefine the survivors, as individuals and as a group. By managing your community, you can cover for their weaknesses and play to their strengths, or you can allow everything to fall apart. You shape their story. Their survival is in your hands.

Minecraft snapshot 13w07a

Minecraft released a small bugfix snapshot for us. They are currently working on a new lighting system but it is not quite ready yet.  It will be nice when it gets done though.


Bug Fixes:

  • Slight optimizations to lighting
  • Map item placed in item frame experiences Z-fighting
  • Nametag of certain mobs too low / too high
  • Team colors/prefixes/suffixes are not displayed with "@a, @p\, @r"

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Don't Starve Insanity Update goes Live!

Don't starve has released their newest update with a ton of new features and additions. It's way to much to talk about and I'm kinda in the middle of something so I"m going to post this fast! This update looks awesome


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This Update: Sanity

New Character: Wes - Do you think Don’t Starve is too easy? Try playing as Wes, the mime! He’s not good at doing anything!
Sanity - The player character loses sanity when he is left alone in the dark, gets close to scary monsters, or does crazy things like eating monster meat or jumping through a wormhole. Sanity can be regained through acts of dapperness, like wearing fancy clothes in the sunshine and eating candy.
Low sanity is not fatal, but strange creatures from another time and place are attracted to madness. There are new, powerful items that can be built from the nightmare fuel that they leave behind when killed.now
Save Slots - You can have up to four save games at once now. Your existing save will be imported into the first slot when you start the game for the first time.
Sandbox Mode - This is the game as you all know it. There will eventually be a customization screen before you start a level, but you just get the default generation for now.
Experimental Adventure Mode - When you start a new game, you can choose to play in adventure (ie story) mode. Currently, there are five levels of difficulty as you progress through the levels. This is an early test, so we have a lot of work to do to make these levels meaningful and fun. We also need to add the story’s ending. This is for experienced DS players who want a taste of the future.
Pathfinding - Monsters and followers can navigate around corners and walls.
Mod Support (steam only)- Modding is now allowed! We’re distributing the the source scripts with the game, so have a look in data/scripts, and see what you can do. There is an example (machine-translated) French language pack included with the game to get you started. See the modding forum for more details.

New Craftables:

Bush Hat - Hide from your enemies in plain sight.
Night light - Light your nights with nightmare fuel.
Night Armour - Protects the flesh, but sacrifices the mind.
Night Sword - Live by the sword, go crazy by the sword.
Cobbles - Build your own roads.
Taffy + Pumpkin Cookies - New recipes! Mmmmmmm!

More Info!

For the complete release notes detailing all of our bug fixes, changes and tweaks - head over to our Insanity update community discussion!

Project Zomboid Monday Status Update.

Project Zomboid has released another Monday update for us. This one wasn't to bad.  It explains some skill information and gives us a little information about customizing our character.  It also explains how clothing works and how realistic it is going to be and gives crawling zombies some attention.   Check it out below.


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Right then, it’s that time again and unfortunately for you, blogging duties have fallen to me (Binky). I’ll do my best not to make an utter pig’s ear of it. Last time I did one of these, I ended up interviewing Marina but since she’s busy beavering away on some lovely new container object tiles and other assorted map goodies, I guess I’ll have to interview myself.

Hello Andy. So, tell me what you’ve been up to this week.

Hello. Gosh. First off, I highly recommend everyone watches this video of Mendonca’s Project Zomboid Worlderizer – a rather fabulously awesome map generator which creates landscape data and road networks and all sorts. It’s all rather brilliant if you want to start modding huge custom maps but don’t fancy putting every tile down by hand. We’re thrilled to bits to see tools like this in development and this, plus the awesome work EasyPickins has done (see this blog post) should really empower modders to make some terrific map mods!
As for me, well, we gave a sneak-peak at the old crawling zombies last time but there are additional animations you need for that other than simply the ability to crawl.

Like what?

Like being able to bite while crawling.

Of course.

Indeed. Also, if a standing zombie is clubbed in the kneecaps, falls to the ground, and becomes a crawler… well, the trouble with crawling is it’s only really effective if you do it facing the ground. Otherwise you’d just be waving your arms in the air. So anyway, you’d need a zombie to be knocked backwards and then get from that position into a crawling position to avoid having to have a specific knock-down animation where the zombie ends up in a crawling position. Because that would mean that you’d know as soon as they were knocked down that they’d become a crawler and there’d be no fun in the player having that knowledge.

So you’re talking about transitional animations?

Er. Yes. I suppose that’s a more concise way of putting it. You should be writing this, not me.

We’ll swap halfway through. So I guess the obvious question now that crawling zombies are being addressed is what about those gruesome crawlers you get in films, where they’re only a torso and entrails? Is this a possibility?

Curse you. But yes, that would be good wouldn’t it? With the old hand-drawn sprites, we drew them with this in mind – having the head, torso, and legs as separate sprite objects so we could decapitate people or remove legs and replace with gore, etc. We never got as far as that in-game with the old system before switching and with the new sprites as they are, the base bodies are all one complete sprite – there’s no separate heads or legs. So at the moment it’s not possible to turn the legs off. However, since crawlers would only need a subset of animation frames the overhead of having a specific set of zombie frames for crawlers is not massive, so I would put money on us expanding the crawlers beyond a regular zombie on the floor crawling at some point.

Is that a “yes” then?

It’s an “in the future, we don’t see why not”.

Marvellous. So what else have you been up to?

I’ve also done a bit of work with Romain (who has been doing a tremendous job) on tarting up the skill screen which is starting to look pretty good now. It’s one of these things that we’ll continue to refine as we test since it’s important that it’s clear to the player what’s going on, how skills are levelling up and why.

There’s still a few issues to sort out as you see it there – those little ‘>>>’ chevrons, for example, indicate a skill that’s levelling up faster than normal. These will be replaced by a graphic either superimposed on the actual skill box, or to the side as you see it here. So this sort of represents 80% completion or so – we need to test this screen in-game to see how well it works. It’s still possible that the way skills function could change which would mean this screen would need to adapt. It’s one of those things that needs frequent evaluation as more skills go into the game.
On top of that this week I have, of course, watched Mondoid which I highly advise everyone else to as well as Mathas’ continuing Project Zomboid “Let’s Play”s.
Nice plug!
Thanks! Also, I’m quite keen on finishing the… hang on, this would work better as a question.

So tell me Andy, is there anything mid-development that you’re itching to get in game?

Funny you should mention it, but yes! I started making male equivalents of the female costumes so that male characters could wear skirts – essentially making each costume a unique costume across both genders. At the moment there are two shirts – a long-sleeved shirt and a vest, and the male and female characters have equivalent although not quite identical versions. This needs to change so that if a male puts on a blouse, it’s still a blouse and doesn’t magically transform into a male shirt. The same goes for skirts not transforming into trousers. It might be a small thing, ultimately, but I think it’s important so that clothing is clothing and not magic clothing. One of the benefits of having the 3D character assets is that to apply female costumes to males and vice versa is a small job compared with the previous system of having to draw all the frames of every costume twice.

So aside from clothing, how much customisation of characters are we talking?

Well, we’ve already shown some stuff about the new hair and beards. We’ve got a few glasses made but these aren’t in-game yet, but I’d like to get them all finished off reasonably soon. As far as the base sprites go, at the moment there’s a couple of skin tones per gender (which we will expand later) and the males have an additional body hair or no body hair option.

Males get body hair? What about females? What’s the equivalent?

Er yes. At the moment there is no equivalent because I’m buggered if I can think what the equivalent would be. Males get body hair and beards extra, so it’s currently an unbalanced amount of customisation which is not ideal. There’s also no matching zombie skintones for the human skins – zombies are all pale-skinned – so this will also need expanding. We’re also playing with the idea of sprite-based blood overlays – something which can be drawn on top of the sprites in-game so it’s possible to see the more extreme injuries visually which is particularly good for NPCs for whom you can’t open up a health panel like you can for yourself. If this works well, then it might be something that would work for zombies too, so where at the moment we have a few zombie skins with differing blood for variety, we can cut that back to just skin tone variety and do all the blood as an overlay.

Smashing! Thanks for your time, Andy. Is there anything else you’d like to add before you go?

Only that this Royal Edinburgh shortbread goes tremendously well with the cup of tea I have just made.