Project Zomboid - The farming simulator disguised as a zombie survival game

  • Downtime due to DDoS attacks still. I'm waiting on different providers to give me what I need to deal with it long-term.

It's HK-47

Meatbag's Bounty of Bodies
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True & Honest Fan
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Survival-Crafters are one of the most irritating types of games to enjoy, because the ones that are actually worth a damn are so few and far between that for every one of them worth playing, there's 50 more that should have never left whatever Windows 95 ass desktop they were programmed on before they were rammed into Steam Greenlight like a suppository the size of a small horse. I've messed around with a lot of them over the years, probably almost all of the ones worth mentioning, but the one that always keeps me coming back is the one that gets remarkably little attention or credit: Project Zomboid.

It's not too difficult to understand why, because it's been lingering in early access since November of 2013, and a quick glance at the Steam page would have you immediately dismissing it as one of the ugliest games ever made. Much like another game called Kenshi that's given me hundreds of hours of playtime without ever getting boring, Project Zomboid has been an incredibly slow-rolling project. Updates are few-and-far between, the community is very small and very non-vocal, and when updates do roll in they're generally so small and specific that you'd be forgiven if you didn't realize anything had changed, save for the time when they added vehicles or first started to update the models and animations so we don't feel like we're playing Dawn of the Runescape.

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Build 41, the most-recent update that you have to manually opt into, is where the game has really started to change. Most gear and weapons appear on your character now, all the way down to the patches you sew into your clothes to mend holes or add extra defense against bites and scratches, or the bandages you wrap around your nipples when you think that sprinting full-tilt through the woods is a good time. The vehicle system has expanded to the point where you can all but live out of your car for a long time, until you do something stupid and break it, or finally find a place you'd rather start a legitimate base. 2013 Project Zomboid was not particularly impressive and it left a lot to be desired. 2020 Project Zomboid is becoming dangerously close to being described as, "If Zombie Survival Guide was a game instead of a book."

At a glance, it looks like an exceedingly overwhelming game because of all the information that it tries to pile on top of you, and because the loot menus and crafting windows look disarmingly confusing, and because the combat feels clunky and underdeveloped until you get used to it, but if you spend long enough working your way over that hump, Project Zomboid is remarkably intuitive, and all of the crafting generally makes sense, apart from the fact that wood glue and duct tape are used to repair just about fucking anything. Once you get the hang of the fact that Project Zomboid plays like almost no other games on the market, it becomes incredibly comfortable because you realize just how much control you actually have over everything.

One of my favorite parts that isn't related to the gameplay is the gradual degradation of the entire map. For the most part, very little is damaged on the first day. There's some wrecked vehicles and some boarded-up houses, maybe a couple of half-burned houses, but the world is otherwise very clean. It doesn't last. Grass starts to creep into the pavement, vines start to climb, zombies wind up smashing more windows and more doors, the buildings start to look dilapidated, and after a few hundred days, the world starts to look like no one is taking care of it. The water shuts off, the lights go out, the hordes keep growing as more people die and reanimate, all the houses you've raided for supplies and fought tooth-and-nail over just to get that last can of tuna, it all starts to pile up and it's all persistent. The window you smashed 400 days ago is still smashed, the zombie you brained a month ago is starting to rot into a skeleton, and the world is starting to look a bit like shit.

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The number one rule of the game, though, is that you are not a killing machine. You can be, it's possible, but you won't get there for a long time and you're going to get your face--quite literally-- eaten off many, many times before you learn the rules. This isn't DayZ, this isn't State of Decay, and this for damn sure isn't Dead Rising. The zombies mean business and you're going to underestimate them. You're going to have a good laugh because they're so slow and so stupid and they stumble over everything. You're going to be beating them over the head with the first blunt object you find, and then you're going to get bit, because you got careless, and you forgot to check your surroundings.

And that won't be the end of it. You'll open doors without thinking and you'll get bit in the face, you'll try to rush through looting a house because you think you've got plenty of time before they break the door down, and you'll get cornered on the second floor, leap out of a window in desperation, break your legs and get eaten, you'll find a shotgun and have a ball with it, only to realize 30 seconds later that now you're out of ammo and you just told the whole neighborhood that dinner's ready. You can't sprint your way through crowds of zombies because they'll just drag you down, you can't fend off hoards of zombies because your character will tire out, and you can't just run-and-gun forever because ammo is scarce and guns are loud.

One pistol shot to save your ass in the immediate moment will bring down whole host of problems just minutes later, and if you don't have a car to help mow down the bulk of them and know how to use your weapon, all you did was delay your death for 30 seconds. Alternatively, you could just not be a dipshit and run away. A couple of canned goods and a few experience points in your axe skill aren't worth losing everything, but you'll do it anyways because you're confident, and then you'll get bit.

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Maybe you'll be really lucky and you'll make your way out to an area with almost no zombies anywhere to be found. Hell, maybe you'll make it to one of the cabins in the woods or one of the isolated farmhouses, and you'll surround them with log fences and barricades, and never have to worry about zombies again. Good job! Now what are you going to do for food? Where are you going to get water once the plumbing shuts off? Sure, you can grow and rotate all of those crops and survive for a couple months, but what are you going to do when winter rolls in and you don't have any jars or vinegar for preserving all of that food? Did you bring the right kinds of crops? Radishes and carrots are great for filling up in a pinch, but that low calorie and carb count is going to come back to haunt you, and by spring you'll be down to barely 100lbs and you won't be able to run or lift or fight worth a damn, if you even survive the winter in the first place.

Even then, you're still only hitting the surface of the game, because even though Build 41 currently isn't traditionally compatible with multiplayer, Project Zomboid is capable of being played on open servers, with VOIP, and yes you can royally fuck someone over and I don't recommend it unless you're a big fan of RUST, or unless you plan to play it with a few friends, because nothing is more fun than playing with your friend for the first time, looting a house, and hearing them start to rack up shotgun shells upstairs because they just stumbled across a double barreled .

My advice is to just start running and let him learn the hard way.

If you're someone who's never played the game before and you're looking for a faithful recreation of the Zombie Survival Guide, or if your someone who opted in at the start and couldn't stand how fucking ugly it was, I really recommend taking a look at it as it stands today. Just be sure and opt into the Build 41 beta through the Steam options if you're not interested in multiplayer or don't mind doing janky stuff to make multiplayer work, because Build 41 is where the game is really starting to shape up.

Generally speaking, before you dive into some of the mods that are available, almost every single item in Project Zomboid has a purpose. You can't open cans without a can opener, you can't drive nails without a hammer, you can't change a tire without a jack, so on and so forth. If you're new to or unfamiliar with the game, one of the best uses of your inventory space, once you've managed to come across a good backpack or satchel, is to devote a small chunk of it to items that you will almost always need at least once during an outing.

Once you gain access to a reliable vehicle, you can store most of this in a bag inside of the trunk to free up more inventory space. That being said, you're going to have a difficult time carrying all of this until you manage to find a bag to hold it all in. Cross your fingers and hope for a hiking backpack, otherwise you're just going to have to make due with plastic bags and fanny packs. Once you do, I'd recommend trying to keep most of the things on this list somewhere on your person at all times, unless you're just dicking around in your base. Having an "in base" and "off base" backpack is always a good idea, it saves you the hassle of sorting everything later.

Screwdriver
Hammer
x5 Nails, at minimum
At least 2 sheet ropes, in case I need to bail out of a second story window.
Propane Torch, for cutting through metal doors.
Matches / Lighter
Tweezers, which are mostly useless unless you're an idiot who goes leaping through broken glass windows, but one of the mods I use makes it vital in case I get shot.
Suture Needle
5 Bandages, Ripped Sheets, or Sterilized Bandages
Alcohol Wipes
Can Opener
Water Bottle
Duct Tape
Hand Axe
Spear w/ Hunting Knife attached, if possible
Spare Hunting Knife because I'll probably break the first one
Saw (Normally not useful for brief outings, but if you're intending to stay out awhile, you will eventually need to make more spears.)

Project Zomboid's skills and professions window will make just about anyone shit themselves the first time that they see it, unless they've spent an inordinate amount of time in something like Ultima Online or Neverwinter Nights. You're two seconds into making a character and this game just kicked you square in the balls with an almost unreadable textwall--Something we both have in common-- but it's actually not as bad as it looks. In fact, I'd go so far as to recommend ignoring the professions entirely, and just creating a custom loadout. Even if you're extremely impatient, which is going to mean you really shouldn't play this game, you can always save a custom loadout so you never have to fuck with it again when you die.

It all works off of a negative and positive system. If you want a positive trait, you have to take a negative one. If you want a really positive trait, you have to make yourself clinically retarded. Not all of these traits are permanent and not all of them are created equal, though. If you get enough exercise and don't over-eat, you can bring yourself down from Obesity and essentially net a free +10 points, you're just going to be a fat piece of shit for the first month or two. You can nab Smoker for another +4, because the negatives associated with not smoking are pretty manageable, and because cigarettes are common enough to make you incredibly popular in prison, anyways.

It just takes a little reading and a little trial-and-error to find out what suits your playstyle best, but some of these traits alter you so significantly that I'd call them mandatory. Sure, you don't need to take Organized, but an extra 30% carry capacity on every single container in the game is a bit fucking difficult to turn down, so suck it up and be a fatass for awhile, it's totally worth it. I wouldn't entirely recommend some traits for a starting player because the Obesity trait will make an already awkward game to learn almost miserable, but I really can't imagine making a character and not taking Organized, Dexterous, and Keen Hearing, unless you like fumbling through your bags like an old woman and then getting bit in the ass.

That being said, traits like Slow Driver don't matter much because driving at 90MPH is a great way to wind up wishing you brought splints, Slow Reader is just free points because why the fuck do you need to Johnny 5 your way through Farming for Intermediates, Weak Stomach isn't a big deal because you really shouldn't be eating rotten food in the first place, and Slow Healer has never caused any problems for me other than using a few more bandages between now and when I inevitable trip off of a roof. For the sheer sake of the Hell of it, here's the loadout that I personally find the most comfortable:

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Here's where Project Zomboid leaps off of the rails and over the nearest shark tank. The modding scene for Project Zomboid is pretty damned substantial for a game with such a small community. People have created massive map expansions to an already unusually large game, they've made completely unique challenge maps, they've reworked the car API to allow not only campers to be part of the game, but to allow you to tow them behind your car. Some crazy bastards sat down and coded survivors into the game that defend safehouses, scrounge for supplies, tend to farmlands, or if you're really unlucky: Form raiding parties of bandits that shoot you in the fucking ass for a can of half-eaten tuna.

I won't go over even a tenth of the mods available for the game because it's fucking nuts for the size of this community, but I can list off some that I almost never play without. Fair warning, if you're a veteran to the game, one of these is likely going to piss you off, but I don't care.

BookCollection - It reorganizes the way that books are named, so that Farming for Intermediates, Farming for Beginners, Master Farming, etc is just labeled, "Farming Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, etc." It's a simple change, but the original naming system annoyed the shit out of me and made my bookshelves a mess.

More Builds - Zomboid may have a pretty good chunk of building options and it may allow you to steal every piece of furniture that isn't nailed down, but I always like to have more options available, because I may be a violent kleptomaniac that will shank your ass for three pieces of duct tape, but at least I don't live in a fucking crack house.

Crashed Cars - I don't like the default wrecked car models. Why are all of them burnt?

AIZ Enhanced 2 - This one I would be careful with. It's a compilation of almost every single map expansion all jammed into one, so it massively increases the size of the world without you needing to worry about manually selecting map mods that don't overlap, but I've had problems with it not properly allowing containers to show visible contents on the model, which makes it difficult to determine which shelves are empty and which ones have loot. It's probably a ridiculous thing to be annoyed with, but once you install a map mod you can't uninstall it for that file, so be mindful of that.

Exploring Time - Because it's weird that gas lanterns and torches don't exist in the base game.

Taped TV Shows - Because sitting in front of your TV for the first week so you don't miss the cooking and carpentry shows is a pain in the ass and incredibly boring.

Autotsar Trailers, Vehicle Additions API, and Towing Car - All of these work in tandem to allow you to tow vehicles, add campers and wheeled storage to the game, and they're a fantastic addition if you want to make a bald man, live out of a camper down by the river, and roleplay as Post-Apocalyptic Tim Pool. Yeah, you thought I was going to make an entire post without politics in it? Fuck no.

New Car Sounds - You'll understand why I have this mod the first time that you try to drive a car.

[Relih] Swat & Riot Pack, and Armored Vests (IWBUMS B41) - They just add neat outfits. They're very hard to come by, though, unless you know where to look.

Superb Survivors! - I wouldn't recommend installing this one blindly, because there's a lot of different versions for a lot of different builds, so I'd recommend poring over which survivor mods are available that would suit what you're looking for. This is just the one that I personally enjoy the most, even if it's a bit unstable and even if I'm sick of those raiders breaking my fucking windows to try and make off with my MREs. (Here's where the PZ veterans start twitching.)

Hydrocraft 41 - I know, you've played the game, it ruins it, it has ugly sprites, there's too many useless items but I don't care. Hydrocraft is an absolute disaster of a mod that adds hundreds, maybe even thousands of borderline useless items to the game, it makes your crafting window lag like a son of a bitch and clogs it full of crap you will literally never need to or want to make, but the excessive bloat is the reason I like it. It piles in so much useless crap that it floods most of the storage boxes in the game and packs warehouses full of bullshit, but I like how well that simulates rummaging through someone's actual junk drawer. Most of the stuff you'd find in houses and storage units would be useless bullshit, I just personally feel like it adds to the charm and I ignore all the ugly crap I don't like.

Firearms B41 - Guns are not a good idea. Guns are actually an awful idea almost 100% of the time, but if you absolutely, positively, feel like you want more guns, throw this one into the mix, make a custom sandbox setting and crank ammo and zombie spawn rates up and you'll turn Project Zomboid from a desperate game of Poke-Stick into a veritable Left 4 Dead.

UndoMaskExclusion - It's stupid that we can't wear masks and a hat at the same time.

Creepy Music Mod - Project Zomboid has some pretty good music, but normally it's really uncommon for it to play. This mod just makes it much more common.

Survivor Radio V3 - The default radio in the game isn't used for a whole lot and it really feels underdeveloped. You occasionally get broadcasts depending on what station you're tuned into, but more often than not it's just dead static. Survivor Radio adds a ton of new stations with custom music, and a few stations that are just random, survivor chatter. I like how this one pairs with Superb Survivors because it makes it feel much less like you're the only living person in the entirety of fucking Kentucky.

Thread and Twine - It's also stupid that we need thread for almost everything and we can't turn old clothes into thread. Why is thread so fucking rare?

Repair Any Clothes - No I'm serious why the fuck can't a max-level tailor fix this shit?

Kitsune's Crossbow Mod - Not all ranged weapons are awful, just guns.

I won't dig too deeply into all of the available map mods, though. You'll just have to pick and choose which ones you like and do a little reading to try and figure out where each of them are placed unless you plan to play on a completely custom map. If it's your first playthrough I wouldn't even worry about it, because the world size is already so ridiculous that odds are you won't ever see even 10% of the map for quite awhile. Some of them make really great additions, but you'd never even notice them unless you'd already been playing the game for long enough to have memorized most of the map's layout.

Learn to use a spear: That bears repeating: learn to use a fucking spear. You can fight with your bare hands if you're desperate, you can use a hand axe to get by pretty successfully with a little practice, you can kick some pretty measurable quantities of ass with a katana or a sledgehammer but the spear is your new god. They seem like complete pieces of shit when you're first starting out so you might never make one again, but the spear has a very specific range where it will do an instant, one-shot kill. It'll take some practice and you'll get frustrated after your 20th de-facing event, but once you learn to use a spear you'll never want to go back, and unlike most weapons in the game spears are ridiculously simple to craft and maintain. Learn to use a fucking spear.

Over-confidence is death: This goes hand-in-hand with complacency. No matter how well you think you have the situation in-hand, no matter how many times you've run through this house, no matter how sure you are that the door's going to hold and you have plenty of time to loot that jar of mayonnaise, don't get comfortable when you're outside of your secured base. The second that you stop paying attention is the second that you're bandaging a bite wound and waiting for the New Game screen. Treat every single area outside of your home like death's right around the corner, because it is.

Rattle the Doors: The tutorial never mentions this and quite a few players don't know about it, but if you're going into a structure and you're equipped enough to be able to handle a fight or you don't want to risk opening the bathroom and getting Mike Tyson'd, use the push option against a door. It will cause it to rattle and wake up any zombies in the immediate area, so you either know where to expect them, or know to run before they break out. Alternatively, you can use the Q (shout) command while sneaking to yell much quieter, grabbing the attention of a zombie that's only a few feet away, instead of a few blocks. Seriously, don't hit Q if you're not sneaking unless your misery is getting lonesome.

The Helicopter Event: lol good luck

Don't Fight; Run: Even for people relatively new to the game, taking on a single zombie isn't too much of a hassle. As long as you have plenty of time and plenty of space, even a completely naked character armed with nothing but their shoes can make decently quick work of a zombie, if your strength isn't 0 and you're not affected by a dozen negative moods. Two of them are going to put up a fight, so you'd better start being careful because if you time a swing wrong, the second one's going to lunge in and bite you. Three is where you're pushing your fucking luck and I hope you know what you're doing, and anything more than that is the domain of the experienced or the soon-to-be-dead. Just remember that you can't sprint through a crowd of them, or even just a couple. If two or three zombies grab you at the same time, that's it. You won't even have to wait for the infection to set in.

Plant Early, but Not Often: I know that you just stumbled across a trove of cabbage seeds, but don't go making an entire field of the things. Sure, when the harvest comes you'll be swimming in so many cabbages that even trying to carry them will break your legs, but what are you going to do when they all rot in a few days? Stagger your crops, plant just a couple of them at a time, and spread it out. Try to subsist on crops and cooked, foraged or fished food for as often as possible during the warmer seasons, so you can save your canned goods for the winter. Loot and eat perishables in fridges and supermarkets while you're roaming, and leave preserved food for later when you really need it. Also, don't harvest your crops immediately, double-check them and make sure that they're "seed-bearing" first, otherwise you won't get a single seed.

Aim for the Head: You wouldn't think it, would you? Isometric game, relatively simple-looking, the combat can't be all that intricate, right? Project Zomboid actually has a relatively intuitive hitbox for its weapons, though. If you knock a zombie to the ground and chop at their feet, you might break the damn axe before they finally die. It takes some getting used to, but much like with spears: Learn where the hitboxes are. A well-placed swing can one-shot a downed zombie most of the time, a misplaced swing just wastes time, fatigue, and durability.

Get a Car: Finding a vehicle with any respectable amount of gas that isn't at 2% durability across the entire body can be a bit of a trick, but once you come across one, hang onto that fucker like it's a unicorn. Don't be tempted to go smashing through hordes of zombies because the hood's going to fly off and your engine's going to break much sooner than you think. Don't think that you can cheat it by backing up, either. If your trunk breaks, all your items start to fly out of it. The vehicle is a mobile base, it's your 60MPH backpack, and there's no better way to go out hunting for loot than by using a car to empty all the good stuff into the trunk and then cart it all back home, especially if you find a good trailer and use the Organized trait. The amount of storage you get from that is nothing short of fucking nuts.

Don't be too intimidated by the mechanic window when you pop the hood, either. It'll make sense once you mess with it enough, and odds are your mechanic skill is going to be so shit that you won't be able to do anything under there other than maybe change the battery and inflate the tires. Keep in mind that for some reason most of the vehicle options are 'hidden' in a radial menu that you access by pressing V when you're nearby. That's how you siphon gas out of the tank, add gas, break the windows, or if you're inside of a vehicle, that's how you control the AC, the radio, and how you hotwire a car if your electrician and mechanic skill are high enough.

The World Persists; You Don't: You're going to die. No matter how good you are, no matter how lucky you are, something will eventually go wrong and your character with 10 Strength, Fitness, Sprinting, Sneaking, and everything else under the sun will wind up face-down in the dirt. That doesn't mean the world is done, just the character. If you want to hop back in to the world you were working on, the whole thing is still there; even your ex-character's dead body is laying there, and it takes quite awhile for bodies to decay completely. There's no need to start a new world if you don't want to, just roll the dice and run back in.

It's Over Anakin: Until you get more familiar with the layout of the towns and learn where the best places are to bunker down (My personal favorite is the big warehouse in the middle of Muldraugh) it would not be a terrible idea to find a two story house and a sledgehammer, set up some sheet ropes from the second window, and destroy the stairwell. You'll be able to move freely up and down the ropes, which the zombies can't do, so your second-story base will be effectively completely immune to zombie break-ins. The exceptions being that if your house is absolutely swarmed, you're going to have a hard time fighting your way out, and sheet ropes aren't 100% effective. Sometimes you might slip and fall, but from the second story that's rarely a serious problem.

I actually make it a habit to set up one or two of these houses scattered around the towns, just so I have somewhere to run and hide in the event that I need a safe place to spend the night, or somewhere to bandage up and heal for awhile if things went South in a hurry. Be mindful of the fact that they're not 100% safe, though. If you spend too long away from that house, a survivor could have climbed up and died in there. This is a fancy way to excuse the fact that zombies can respawn at random, but it's so rare that I haven't personally seen it happen, and I have an embarrassing amount of playtime in this game.

Noise Isn't Always the Enemy: Most of the time, the areas you'll want to get into are being swarmed by more zombies than even a very experienced player would want to deal with unless they had a shotgun and as many shells as they could carry. Making noise attracts zombies, and generally speaking you want to avoid this as much as possible, but not always. Keeping a spare radio and a spare battery or two in your vehicle can be useful if you want to pull a crowd of zombies to one place, so they're no longer crowding where you want to go. Just set it on the ground, crank the volume and run away.

Police and emergency vehicles can function the same way. You can hotwire them and flip on the sirens, but you need to get the fuck away after that, because it's going to pull in every zombie from several, several screens away. If you need to empty a town or just want a ridiculous shooting gallery, police and ambulance sirens are the best way to draw a crowd.

You Will Hate the VIew Cone: The biggest complaint I always hear about the game is the directional view cone, because people just want to be able to see all the way around themselves all the time. Originally, I hated the cone too, but after you spend enough time dealing with it, you learn how to work with it, and eventually it becomes a non-issue entirely. Hell, there's even a mod to make your character fucking blind because it's legitimately possible to play like that. It's difficult, but you can do it.

For new players I would deeply recommend taking Eagle Eye and Keen Hearing just to widen the cone and make it easier. Once you get more experience learning how to discern where sounds are coming from and how to pivot around to keep an eye on your surroundings, you'll find that you really don't even need those two traits anymore. In Project Zomboid, more often than not, your ears are more important than your eyes.

I can't even say that's all that there is to say about it; I could probably rant about this damned game for several pages all on my own. I've tried DayZ, 7 Days to Die, State of Decay, Dead Rising, Dying Light, and just about any other zombie survival game under the sun, but none of them have the charm or longevity of this ridiculous, clunky little game that a small developer has been grinding away at for the better part of a decade, now.
 
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Bunny Tracks

Nothing equals the splendor
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I like the old retro graphics. It reminds me of those old "tycoon" games.

I've never played Zomboid, but it has been on my wishlist for a long time. I only haven't bought it, because I don't like shelling out money for a game that's still in early-access and almost never updates.
 

TwinkLover6969

Boys are for pleasure women are for babies
kiwifarms.net
I like the old retro graphics. It reminds me of those old "tycoon" games.

I've never played Zomboid, but it has been on my wishlist for a long time. I only haven't bought it, because I don't like shelling out money for a game that's still in early-access and almost never updates.
it updates fairly frequently but I sure wouldnt expect it to ever leave early access.
 

It's HK-47

Meatbag's Bounty of Bodies
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it updates fairly frequently but I sure wouldnt expect it to ever leave early access.
I stopped caring too terribly whether or not a game gets "stuck" in early access and opted to just care about whether or not it's immediately fun. ARK releasing from early access into the official 1.0 meant absolutely nothing since the game never had any of its problems ironed out and just kept getting drowned with additional DLC that nobody was asking for. Conan Exiles felt absolutely no different from EA to 1.0 to the point where I never would have noticed it was the full release if no one had told me, and most "full release" games these days are so riddled with bugs that they're effectively an early beta test.

The whole concept between "early access" and "fully-released game" really ought to be revised because it really doesn't mean much of anything anymore. Assassin's Creed: Unity, Fallout 76, Mass Effect: Andromeda, and No Man's Sky were all full releases, and they weren't even within mortar distance of being a finished product. Oxygen Not Included, Kenshi, and Conan Exiles hung out in early access for a long time, but even halfway through development, they were a more polished and coherent experience than any of those three.

I mean technically speaking Dwarf Fortress is an early access game, but does that really matter? Does it make the game less fun in its current state?

Is this game actually fun now?

I'd say that it depends on what you're looking for in a game. If you're expecting a wild run-and-gun with ten thousand zombies filling the screen, normally I'd say no, that's not the focus, but Project Zomboid has an "open sandbox" mode that lets you control every single aspect of the world, the weather, the spawn rates for the items, the types of zombies that spawn, the behaviour they have at certain times of the day, it's a pretty comprehensive list.

If you don't want a slow-paced survival game where you spend most of your times poking people in the face with a stick and crying over the fact that you missed the carrot harvest, just screw with the internal settings for the world and make it behave the way that you want. I tweak mine pretty significantly to extend the duration of the days and nights, and I modified the zombie settings so that during the night they're ridiculously fast and unreasonably strong, but during the day they all but hibernate, so as long as I don't stumble into a bunch of them and cause a 'chain reaction' I'm free to do just about whatever I like during the day. The drawback is that I drastically increased the number of global spawns, so if I wake up zombies I wake up the entire town.

The night time is spent crying and hiding in an attic.
 
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Exceptionally Exceptional

GET OFF MY LAWN!
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Zomboid is a fun game if you like survival. The updates have been slow, but honestly the team seems to actually give a fuck about what they're doing and another is bound to come along eventually until they finally declare it done.
I just wish they'd bring back the wheelie bins. I miss those.
 

White Devil

Well I may be a monster, but you're gay.
kiwifarms.net
I'd say that it depends on what you're looking for in a game.
A decently paced horror survival where I can actually find my friends on the map without resorting to looking up coordinate grids on a third party website. And not having half the game be about running out of stamina. Last time I played it was clunkier than ArmA but with none of ArmAs autistic fun.
 

Jaimas

MT Foxtrot's Handler
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Zomboid reminds me of this one SS13 mod that involved Zombie survival, and it seems to be significantly less of a shit-show. I'll need to keep my eyes on this one.
 

It's HK-47

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True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
A decently paced horror survival where I can actually find my friends on the map without resorting to looking up coordinate grids on a third party website. And not having half the game be about running out of stamina. Last time I played it was clunkier than ArmA but with none of ArmAs autistic fun.
Yeah, the complete lack of a map system in the game tends to piss a lot of people off. I personally like just running around and memorizing the map because the highway is a relatively easy landmark to find and understand, but if you're trying to meet up with your friends ASAP or you're just as crap at navigating as I am remembering to shut the stupid car off when I get back to base, there's still solutions for that.

eris_minimap Adds an actual minimap to the game, which can help you learn your way around much quicker, and if players all have a radio that's tuned to the same frequency, you'll show up on each other's minimaps. Even if you can't find a radio, the map still has built-in coordinates and it's probably a Hell of a lot easier than trying to tab over into the Project Zomboid Map Project. Failing that and resorting to absolute desperation, you could always install something like Cheat Menu or NecroForge to teleport directly to each other at the beginning of the game, but I have no idea how well those work even on private multiplayer sessions, let alone public ones.

The stamina used to be pretty bad, and depending on how you set your character up and how long they've been exerting themselves, it can still set you up for a bad time. If you're bothered by low stamina and constant pauses to catch your breath, then I don't recommend the Obese trait thing. The right traits and even the right exercise (Health menu, Fitness button) can help offset it to the point where stamina mostly becomes a non-issue. The higher you can get your fitness skill the better off you are.

If you're keen to run around like Forrest Gump and not have to worry about your stamina often, opt for the Athletic trait, since it gives +4 Fitness, +20% run speed and -60% endurance loss.
 

TwinkLover6969

Boys are for pleasure women are for babies
kiwifarms.net
I stopped caring too terribly whether or not a game gets "stuck" in early access and opted to just care about whether or not it's immediately fun. ARK releasing from early access into the official 1.0 meant absolutely nothing since the game never had any of its problems ironed out and just kept getting drowned with additional DLC that nobody was asking for. Conan Exiles felt absolutely no different from EA to 1.0 to the point where I never would have noticed it was the full release if no one had told me, and most "full release" games these days are so riddled with bugs that they're effectively an early beta test.

The whole concept between "early access" and "fully-released game" really ought to be revised because it really doesn't mean much of anything anymore. Assassin's Creed: Unity, Fallout 76, Mass Effect: Andromeda, and No Man's Sky were all full releases, and they weren't even within mortar distance of being a finished product. Oxygen Not Included, Kenshi, and Conan Exiles hung out in early access for a long time, but even halfway through development, they were a more polished and coherent experience than any of those three.

I mean technically speaking Dwarf Fortress is an early access game, but does that really matter? Does it make the game less fun in its current state?



I'd say that it depends on what you're looking for in a game. If you're expecting a wild run-and-gun with ten thousand zombies filling the screen, normally I'd say no, that's not the focus, but Project Zomboid has an "open sandbox" mode that lets you control every single aspect of the world, the weather, the spawn rates for the items, the types of zombies that spawn, the behaviour they have at certain times of the day, it's a pretty comprehensive list.

If you don't want a slow-paced survival game where you spend most of your times poking people in the face with a stick and crying over the fact that you missed the carrot harvest, just screw with the internal settings for the world and make it behave the way that you want. I tweak mine pretty significantly to extend the duration of the days and nights, and I modified the zombie settings so that during the night they're ridiculously fast and unreasonably strong, but during the day they all but hibernate, so as long as I don't stumble into a bunch of them and cause a 'chain reaction' I'm free to do just about whatever I like during the day. The drawback is that I drastically increased the number of global spawns, so if I wake up zombies I wake up the entire town.

The night time is spent crying and hiding in an attic.
Yeah, I agree. It's worth the $15 in my opinion. Early access has almost become a meaningless term. Kenshi's 1.0 release is still a bit of a mess in my opinion but it's also a great game.
 

Keystone

True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Haven't thought about this game since that one L4D themed video about it a decade ago

I like seeing games that actually get better over time instead of just getting shat out on Steam then abandoned.
 

byuu

Non-binary they/them
kiwifarms.net
I've tried the new beta but everything is so horribly sluggish now.
Also is sneaking the new walking? Zombies with their back turned at the other edge of the screen now notice me easily while walking normally.
 

It's HK-47

Meatbag's Bounty of Bodies
Local Moderator
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I've tried the new beta but everything is so horribly sluggish now.
Also is sneaking the new walking? Zombies with their back turned at the other edge of the screen now notice me easily while walking normally.
A lot of different factors go into how quickly zombies notice you, now. The longer your character survives and hangs around zombies, the more adept they get at doing so undetected. Sneaking goes a long way if you stick with it over time, but if sneaking annoys you too much, don't' bother yourself with it because Lightfooted is just about as good, in terms of noise reduction. You won't have as much of a low profile as someone who sneaks all the time, but you'll be significantly quieter when you're walking or running.

Nimble also alters the speed of your sneaking skill, so the higher it is, the faster you'll move while sneaking. Unless you go for specific traits or professions, all four of your movement skills are going be pretty shit when you're first starting out, and it's also important to remember that sneaking drains more stamina than walking or running. I think that the material of the ground you're walking on plays a role in how much noise you're making, too, but I haven't bothered to sit down and actually test that yet. I know that walking over broken glass tends to attract attention, but I have no idea if walking over gravel or walking over grass have different values.

If you want the specific breakdown for what we do know about the sneaking and detection system, based on some Reddit nerd:

Normal footstep sound travels 14 squares.
Are you in debug Ghost mode? no sound
Are you sneak walking? sound x 0.2
Are you sneak running? sound x 0.5
Are you walking? sound x 0.5
Are you running? sound x 1.3
Are you sprinting? sound x 1.8
Are you indoors? sound x 0.5
Do you have the Graceful perk? sound x 0.6
Do you have the Clumsy perk? sound x 1.2
Your Lightfooted skill: x 1.0 at 0 skill down to x 0.2 at max skill.
Your Nimble skill: x 1.0 at 0 skill down to x 0.5 at max skill.
Your Sneak skill: x 1.0 at 0 skill down to x 0.4 at max skill.

Normal chance at being heard is 50% per step
Sneaking chance is 25% at 0 lightfooted skill down to about 8% at master level lightfooted skill.
 

Smaug's Smokey Hole

Sweeney did nothing wrong.
kiwifarms.net
I remember when the hard drive that had all the game data got "stolen" and they had to restart from a much older build. Its great to hear that they're still working on it. The last time I played it they had just added cars and they felt pretty bare bones, I'll have to play it again soon.
That was 9 years and 1 month ago and it looked like they would never be able to put anything out beyond the pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-alpha tech demo that they sold.
 

CivilianOfTheFandomWars

Living It
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
This game is great fun. Though once you have a base on the second story of a warehouse with rain collection and a good way to eat, it gets pretty easy.
Really worth a play though, especially if you like atmosphere and thinking quickly to get yourself out of the hole you put yourself in.
 

Swiss46

Existing
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I'm an impatient retard so most of my games end with me telling myself that I can take on that group of 20 zombies banging on my front door as long as I out think them before backing into a wall instead of a doorway and being consumed. 10/10 game I will probably never experience winter.
 

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