My short bio: Hey everyone! We're indie game developers The Indie Stone @theindiestone, Chris Simpson, Andy Hodgetts, Marina Siu-Chong, Will Porter and friends working on a zombie survival game that is currently on Steam Early Access. It's been a long time since we engaged with the reddit community, and we thought it would be nice to answer any questions people may have on indie game development, alpha funding, Early Access, the game itself, or anything else for that matter.

My Proof: https://twitter.com/theindiestone/status/440887372759048192

game page! (mods: we were asked to add this during the AMA, if its an issue with rules feel free to remove)

Comments: 312 • Responses: 104  • Date: 

808sAndThrowaway33 karma

How hard was it to get back on your feet after a burglar stole two of your laptops back in 2011?

theindiestone43 karma

Hey 808 - It was very tough. There was a lot of crap flying around our heads for a long time after that. The biggest killer was the loss of motivation, having such a set back, and the nagging feeling we'd lost our chance to make any kind of mark with the game. It was very very difficult to get out of the slump and make progress again.

We made big big mistakes, that much is clear, in the weeks preceding the burglary, and even more mistakes in our handling it afterward. However we've made great effort to learn from those mistakes and transformed pretty much every aspect of how we develop the game and interact with the community.

The lingering mental issues the whole debacle left us with still affect us, to the point we still get nervous about doing stuff like this. But on the whole, looking objectively at it, we've come through the end of it stronger and just want to put it behind us now if at all possible. The game is better than it would have been otherwise.

Doing another AMA on here is partly us putting that chapter of our lives firmly behind us. - Chris

Chezziwick32 karma

Why isn't this more popular? I LOVE your game!!!!

theindiestone19 karma

Haha, aw <3 Help spread the word, and hopefully PZ will become more popular, one gamer at a time :D -Mash

Tooks_TV25 karma

Will dragons be added in via DLC or will we see them in the vanilla game?

theindiestone67 karma

Next version of the game will have unlockable 'dragon parts'. There are 1035 'dragon parts' to unlock. Once all the parts are unlocked then dragons will start spawning in the world. Each part will take 3 months or real-time to unlock, but you can expedite this process with a small microtransaction (£1000) - Chris

Goatmanification22 karma

Have you seen any of the LP's made about your game? I've been watching Robbaz play and he basically sold your game to me!

theindiestone29 karma

Yes we have! We love seeing LPs and streams of Project Zomboid--not only does it help spread the word (important for a small company like us!), but sometimes when working on a game you get a bit isolated, but when you watch people playing and enjoying it, it really provides a motivational boost and reminds you of what you're working toward! We really appreciate the time and work LPers and streamers put into PZ :)

Btw, if anyone reading this wants to make an LP/straem, here's the link to a page that gives permission for you to do so, in case YouTube starts hassling you: http://projectzomboid.com/blog/youtube-terms/ -Mash

joey695719 karma

I'm a quadriplegic gamer and unable to use my keyboard while gaming will point & click to walk around the map be added?. game looks great by the way i'll be buying it soon

theindiestone23 karma

This, as well as colour blind support, is important to us but as of yet we've ended up so caught up in bug fixing and the pressure of placating the masses it's ended up slipping and slipping. That's not fair, in the same way the 'numbers game' also has made mac/linux guys suffer a bit. We want everyone to be able to play the game, and we're going to look into making it a priority in the near future. It's something we want to improve on massively going forward. - Chris

m_ride8612 karma

Best. Indie. Ever. Can't remember how many hours I've played of this. Freakin' love it and am so excited to see the Multiplayer finally coming to fruition since buying last year. Can't wait for NPC's to be implemented.

theindiestone13 karma

Aw thanks for your support and enthusiasm! We can't wait for NPCs either :D - Mash

Connall12 karma

Isn't the games wiki extremely sexy and amazing. :D

OT: What games that you love that people might not of heard of?

theindiestone20 karma

NEO SCAVENGER NEO SCAVENGER NEO SCAVENGER NEO SCAVENGER NEO SCAVENGER NEO SCAVENGER NEO SCAVENGER http://store.steampowered.com/app/248860/ - Chris

theindiestone8 karma

Phwoar, yes it is--especially that spiffo page! http://pzwiki.net/wiki/Main_Page Many thanks to the PZ wiki editors! (Connall is among them ;D )

OT: gah, it's always hard for me to come up with lists off the top of my head, but looking at my steam library, lesser-known games that I've played very recently and that I've really enjoyed include Card City Nights, Skulls of the Shogun, FTL: Faster Than Light, and Girls Like Robots. The others will come along later to name their games :) -Mash

theindiestone8 karma

FTL a lesser known game? I'd argue its 10x as well known as our game. :D - Chris

theindiestone4 karma

Haha, I just meant it's not a AAA game with ads on TV or anything ;) - Mash

theindiestone3 karma

NEO Scavenger (http://store.steampowered.com/app/248860/) £6.99 and has a free demo.

Andy

so_sic_of_it8 karma

Will you please never remove bleach as a food item?

Follow up question: to your knowledge, has anyone in Kentucky ever actually referred to tea as a "cuppa?"

Love the game, please keep up the good work!

theindiestone8 karma

Haha, I, for one, want bleach to stay ;) It's the first test to pass if you want to survive: can you resist drinking the bleach? - Mash

theindiestone6 karma

Bleach is a liquid, so therefore it makes sense that it should be and remain drinkable regardless of whether or not that is in any way a good idea :D

As for "cuppa"... no idea. Maybe? If anyone here lives in Kentucky, you should start. Cuppa is a good word :)

Andy

pacsmack548 karma

Your personal favorite gameplay feature?

theindiestone11 karma

It's not fully implemented yet, but I'm pleased that we're planning on having a detailed system of cooking. Food is such a big part of our lives, and having a hot meal that's tasty in an apocalyptic scenario would be a huge psychological boost! I like the idea that having a chef in your party could be as important for keeping your group together as having a carpenter :D

The others can chime in with their answers later :)

-Mash

KBAREY7 karma

How difficult is market penetration for a smaller gaming developer such as yourself?

theindiestone8 karma

Well all I can say is we were lucky in those early days. We got lucky with a big reddit and a retweet from Graham Linehan and that kinda kickstarted us in ways we couldn't even begin to predict.

It's a lot more difficult for many other indie devs who don't have that lucky break right from the get go. We think it's the responsibility of those with high follower counts or community to try and bring attention to games that are perhaps a bit more niche or unknown. Our game and NEO Scavenger for example have a lot of cross over, but us being real-time and a little more graphically orientated we have an easier time. So we try our best to point people over at NEO Scavenger http://store.steampowered.com/app/248860/ because its a truly wonderful game that inspired us a lot.

And basically, that's what Dean Hall is doing to us, albeit at a much grander scale. :D

So yeah, it's as hard or as easy as the people who can actually make a difference noticing you and giving you a leg up, be they a website, youtuber, or another dev. I hope one day we're in a position to be able to make a bigger difference. - Chris

theindiestone3 karma

It's been difficult because we announced the game extremely early into development, so any initial buzz has had a loooong time to dissipate.

With alpha-funded games, you obviously have a number of key points along development where you can say, "hey! There's this feature now!", and maybe that'll gain you a few more players but you don't have that initial massive splash that a fully complete, traditionally funded game gets when it launches.

Unless you count the cost of our display at last year's Rezzed, we've spent absolutely nothing on marketing/advertising and yet since multiplayer launched we've seen our largest stats of current players, nicely exceeding what we saw in the first week of the Steam launch. So this gives us hope that we may continue to build on this into the future :)

Andy

theindiestone3 karma

Just to add we may not have spent money on marketing/advertising, but we do spend a lot of time on our community. I think focusing on the players you have, and not just the players you want to get, is a good way of growing your game :) - Mash

TheTrueUnicornWizard7 karma

Will we be seeing any new weather types in the future? Such as fog that will make it more difficult to see, or snow accumulation during winter months that can slow you and zombies depending on how much snow you get?

theindiestone8 karma

We certainly plan to. We were planning on converting the engine to 3D, to allow us to optimize better for modern graphics cards. However, the urgency of that has fallen a bit since the game is much better optimized these days.

Really this was what we were waiting for before doing stuff like fog. I guess we need to figure out if we're still going down that route or not before we can say for sure, but fog is certainly something we could implement anyway.

Snow, for sure. Check out the erosion mod which does this now. We'll look to add snow ourselves in future, but its worth pointing out that Kentucky isn't known for its snowy winters. It does snow though, apparently. :D - Chris

ourgh7 karma

  1. What's been the most difficult part of the game to pull off successfully? What's been the easiest? Did either of these match your expectations, or were you surprised?
  2. If you could travel back in time and give advice to yourself back when you first started making the game, what would you say?

theindiestone12 karma

  1. Without a doubt it's the struggle between depth and accessibility. We had a simple and easy to use combat system that meant players could easily kill entire hordes, which was a big NO NO for our game concept. So we made the combat system deeper and more nuanced, but now it's not really as intuative to new players. In a 3D high res game we could have a great deal more to the visual side of the combat to make it easier to balance, but due to the viewpoint and our desire for deep gameplay it sometimes leaves us in a difficult place for having deep gameplay AND intuitive accessible gameplay. We're trying to straddle the line between hard-core and accessible fun for all, not wanting to stray too much in either direction, but that's tough.

  2. Install Dropbox you dips***t. ;) - Chris

James1o1o6 karma

What is The Indie Stone's long term plans for Project Zomboid?

theindiestone13 karma

'long term' as in 'getting our of alpha' is basically getting NPCs in and finishing the map.

Our long term plans as in what we want to add before the end? There's too much to list, but:

  • Vehicles
  • Multi-server worlds (Think player run server EVE universes)
  • Electronics / trap system. Think dismantling alarms and security lights and making new devices with the components.
  • Hunting / trapping

and basically just as much content as we can possibly add. We want people to be able to do anything to survive they can feasibly conceive of. We'll be working on the game personally for the next few years, and after that will make sure Indie Stone continue development of the game as long as there is enough interest in it.

We'd love for people still to be playing the game in a decade if that's possible, which is one reason the mod support is so important to us - Chris

Trujin5 karma

Just here for the free food, don't mind me.

theindiestone9 karma

sneaks shrimp into pockets, pours cocktail sauce into purse - Mash

vazura5 karma

I remember playing the alpha way back when, it was extremely hard, and my game never saved. I heard about the robbery, and thought that it was over.

Last week I seen someone post a fort in /r/gaming and was blown away that the game was back better than ever. Instantly went, and bought it! Also thank you for providing a demo, its a rare and thoughtful move that shows honesty in the gaming market.

I have two questions, first will we see terrain such as hills or canyons, maybe even caves?

And second, do you plan on having random events like the water and electricity (which was genius). Like random fires? Or flora overgrowth?

Thanks for making me, and my buddy's dream survival game!

theindiestone3 karma

Hey vazura!

1) It's something we're keen to do but don't want it to get in the way of more important gameplay features. It's tempting to say 'yes' and it's definitely something we want to do, but we don't want to promise this any time soon.

2) Yes very much so, the 'sadistic AI director' or meta-game system will have a whole ton of situations players can happen upon. And the erosion mod on our forums already does all the overgrowth stuff. It's something we'd love to do in the full game someday too.

And you're welcome, we're really happy to have you back! <3 - Chris

Valaran4 karma

Are you noticing spikes in people buying the after some famous youtubers post videos of them playing it?

theindiestone15 karma

It's a weird black box we don't fully understand. One time a youtuber with 20,000 subs may post a video and we see a massive spike in sales. Other times a youtuber with half a million subs will post a video and we don't get much of a spike at all. It's weird.

We've got no idea really how youtube videos relate to sales, so are just basically happy if we see people playing our game on twitch or youtube, regardless of sub counts.

The multiplayer has certainly made a big difference though. :) - Chris

ihysoal3 karma

Do you think Lets Plays hurt your sales or boost your sales?

What about piracy?

theindiestone11 karma

Lets Plays are fabulous for us. Whether they boost sales is a hard thing to pin down because they may not cause a spike but more a gradual drip feed over a long period of time. But they definitely don't harm sales at all. No. They're brilliant and amazing.

HOWEVER. We're making a sandbox game, where the idea is every game is unique. I imagine I might feel differently about Lets Plays were I making a very linear narrative-driven game where to watch a playthrough is to diminish the need to personally play it. I'd like to think not, though, since I personally very much enjoy watching them :)

Piracy... pffft. It's really not worth worrying about. Piracy happens, and sometimes for understandable reasons (there's no demo available or the game is flupping ridiculously expensive). We tried to mitigate those reasons by providing a demo and having (we believe) a very good value price point. But there'll still be piracy, and there's no point worrying about it ;)

Andy

dcebulsk2 karma

I bought the game after watching MathasGames' lets play. Good stuff.

theindiestone2 karma

Mathas rules <3

Hipmonchan4 karma

Have you seen Robbaz' letsplay of your game?! Its really funny you should check it out!

theindiestone8 karma

<3 Robbaz. I watched his vids before he ever did a zomboid video anyway, so was overjoyed to see a PZ series pop up. My particular fave is his modded Sims 3 experiments feeding sims till they get morbidly obese. :D - Chris

theindiestone4 karma

Yeah, love his videos :) <3

Andy

Abrer4 karma

Thanks for the Linux support!

theindiestone3 karma

You're welcome! We had a shaky start but feel we're getting there, in no small part thanks to Kirrus and the linux PZ community. :) - Chris

Aborted_Fetus_Eero3 karma

Will you please implement full controller support?

theindiestone5 karma

We're not far off that now in the next build, but yeah controller support is a big deal to us since we want to get our game SteamOS / living room friendly. In the long term we'll be adding a joypad specific UI to the game too. - Chris

Mattyratty3 karma

When can we expect to see NPC's? Muldraugh is awful lonely :(.

Also, when you feel ready will NPC's be added to the MP side of Zomboid. Or are you confident the players could easily fit the roles of the NPC's?

theindiestone7 karma

No ETAs, as per usual, but we're going to be pretty much solidly working on NPCs until completion once the next build is out there.

We've expanded the coding team quite recently, picking up the awesome EasyPickins, so we're hoping that development will go a lot faster going forward. Look how fast MP snuck up! - Chris

jakeredfield3 karma

Can you sum up your game in one sentence?

theindiestone4 karma

Haha, you should see how we always butcher this questions whenever we're asked ;) But I suppose the answer is actually a question: "What would you do during a zombie apocalypse?" Build, raid, go solo, join a group, set fires in a blind panic...? We want all of these to be viable options (some may be more successful for survival than others ;) ) - Mash

dick_wool1 karma

Is there an option to be a cannibal? ...Because I definitely wouldn't do that.

theindiestone6 karma

Haha, this is actually a topic that we were discussing not too long ago ;)

Cannibalism is something that could not be implemented in the game as it currently stands, because there would be no downside and the game would be terribly imbalanced ;) As we develop the game and have the capacity for psychological/other repercussions, it's something we will consider. -Mash

theindiestone3 karma

My reply is always, "survive... by any means necessary" :)

Andy

LivesInASixWordStory3 karma

I just picked up Project Zombie last Friday and I must say I haven't been this into a game since Skyrim. No question here, just thanks for making such a great game!

theindiestone3 karma

<3 thanks!

noxiousd3 karma

Are there any plans to add items that protect more from zombie bites, such as the Magazine+ductape idea from World War Z?

theindiestone7 karma

Definitely - we'll be adding loads more clothes and protective gear later down the line, and once this stuff starts going in we can assign stats - so that motorcycle leathers, for example, provide way more protection than cotton shirts. We've had the system in place for this, pretty much since the start, but we've yet to find the time to actually create the assets.

Incorporating craftable elements which tie into this is the natural extension.

Andy

ForgedIronMadeIt3 karma

With farming, you can replace your vegetables fairly easily, but things like eggs, steak, chicken, and eggs run out or spoil fairly quickly. Any chance that raising animals will be added so you can get your steak and eggs fix a month into the apocalypse?

theindiestone4 karma

That would definitely be something to look into after we've got animals in the game :)

Andy

pooh99113 karma

Git or SVN?

theindiestone2 karma

SVN into a Dropbox. ;D Double protection - Chris

noxiousd3 karma

are there any plans to allow things to go underground? bomb shelters, basements, trenches, tunnels etc?

theindiestone3 karma

We definitely have plans since basements would be terrific places to store loot and hide away, and it totally opens up a whole slew of possible map options - that said, there are a few technical obstacles to overcome before it's doable.

Andy

ActuallyTremolophone2 karma

You guys have created something truly special. Thanks so much for not giving up despite all of the many setbacks you've had!

Got an on-topic and off-topic question.

Firstly, what content are you guys most looking forward to seeing from the PZ community in the coming years?

Second, when you were all youngsters, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Thanks again for your time and effort. PZ continues to surprise and entertain.

theindiestone4 karma

Firstly: Map mods and custom buildings are the things which we're starting to now see, and are really excited to see develop.

Secondly: Boring answer, but I've wanted a career in videogames for as long as I can remember (it's possible that maybe around 5yr old I wanted to be an astronaut, you'd have to ask my mum). But yeah, first computer was a ZX81, next was a C64 - I squandered maths class by using the graph paper to draw sprites and do all my DATA statements and took my first steps with programming. It's the same old story you hear from pretty much all indie devs ;)

Andy

theindiestone5 karma

I spent my math class actually doing math, and now I'm doing art--oh the irony ;)

When I was small, what I wanted to do (and a goal that I still have) was to write and illustrate children's stories :) - Mash

Tooks_TV4 karma

Mash if you ever get some down-time (which I know you and Andy rarely ever get) could you PLEASE write/illustrate a childrens story with Spiffo in? :D

theindiestone2 karma

Haha, we'll see what the future brings :D - Mash

umopapisn2 karma

Are you planning to add in ways to cure infections? Right now if you get infected you're kinda screwed, but I like that. It raises the stakes.

Also- would it be possible for a mode with a randomly generated map?

theindiestone11 karma

There will never be a way to cure the zombie infection in the vanilla (un-modded) game. There will, however, be many more ways to be sick - therefore muddying the water in terms of knowing for certain whether you are infected.

Andy

Addict72 karma

What do you think of DayZ? Do you play it?

theindiestone5 karma

We're all fans of DayZ and have much love for Dean Hall, Brian Hicks, and the rest of the DayZ team. Also many of the streamers who have been really important to us in terms of spreading word of the existence of our game have come from or are connected with DayZ streaming.

Although we share much in common, and as much as the success of DayZ (both the mod and standalone) makes our game a little tiny blip on the side, we feel we both aim to satisfy different (albeit overlapping) audiences.

So yes, we play it and we love it a lot :)

Andy

theindiestone4 karma

Love it <3 We're huge fans, and we took a lot of inspiration for the multiplayer, emergent gameplay of players, and future plans for the online mode from DayZ. Myself and RingoD play it quite a lot (though not recently due to workload) and it thrills us that Dean has been influenced by our game too.

It deserves all the success it's had, and its nice that we can indirectly contribute to the game and the biggest complement we could possibly get. - Chris

mim202 karma

What have been the main things that inspired this game? If it be books, other games, movies?

theindiestone6 karma

For me, it's The Sims + Vincent Price in The Last Man on Earth + Max Brooks books + early Romero movies (Night, Dawn, Day)

Andy

theindiestone3 karma

George Romero (though we've 'fallen out' in recent years), Max Brooks (who I only just found out the other day is Mel Brook's son :| WHAT?!, The Walking Dead, Simon Pegg, all the usual influences. :) NEO Scavenger, Cataclysm DDA, DayZ and some other zombie games have been an inspiration of course in various ways. - Chris

Mescaline_UK2 karma

Will you put drugs in the game? I'm well into the Survival longevity as endgame but need some help passing the time XD__________)))))

theindiestone3 karma

I'm very keen to have stuff like this in the game, personally. I've always wondered what it would be like if you were a heroin addict in a zombie apocalypse. I don't say this as a joke I think it would be genuinely interesting gameplay. However there are 'ratings' and stuff to consider, we don't want to get the game banned in places or whatever as that may hurt. I guess what I'd really like to see is a mod that added all this stuff.

We'll certainly have alcohol addiction in the game. So we'll see! - Chris

blooshamoo2 karma

Farming and carpentry have created an "end game" scenario where you can survive the apocalypse forever. I strongly feel that fortress building ruins the core "keep moving" mechanic. I appreciate that a lot of people would hunker down and fortify in a real life zombie onslaught but farming is just so easy atm, is it going to get harder to survive like this?

My suggestion to fix this would be, much scarcer seeds! and birds/mice periodically coming to eat planted seeds that you need to shoo away/kill. Also potatoes are rarely grown from seeds, except by specialist breeders. Usually you plant a regular* potato and a new plant and new potatoes grow from that.

*actually you normally use seed potatoes which are regular potatoes selected as genetically health clones from a breed stock.

theindiestone3 karma

There is definitely room to improve the farming system and balance loot. That said, we have a whole bunch of ideas for ways to screw people over - part of the fun for us is to watch how people play, see what things they rely on, and then introduce mechanics which interfere :)

Once NPCs go in, we'll have a lot more in the way of options to make problems for the player long-term.

Andy

Conspirologist2 karma

Hello. I have never heard of you or your game. Can you add a link to your game on your OP? Otherwise I really have no idea what to ask here.

The only question I have right now is this - why the choice of a zombie game, is it because you genuinely like the zombie genre, or are you trying just to cash in because of the mainstream interest in zombies?

theindiestone8 karma

Yeah, if you're into zombies there's never been so much choice as there is right now - it's definitely understandable that people may question your motives cynically in this context.

However, when we started Zomboid, there were no zombie survival games. DayZ the mod didn't exist, there was no sign of Dead State, State of Decay. All there really was was Left 4 Dead and a couple of small indie things like Rogue Survivor.

But yeah, as it turned out quite a few other developers had the same idea and now we're in a situation where there's an abundance of choice. We like to think our games offers something a little different, though. But first and foremost our motivation was, survival-based game, proper zombies :D

Andy

theindiestone4 karma

Added link in main post. We were hesitant to do that in case it seemed self-promotey and broke rules or something. :)

re: second question, it's very much because we like the zombie genre. When we started zomboid, there was no DayZ, State of Decay etc etc. There were a couple of roguelikes which did zombie survival (but not true romero style, containing 'special zombies' or even robots) but nothing else except 'run and gun' kinda games. Zombie games were stuff like Left4Dead, DeadRising, or CoD Zombies.

We wanted to make a REAL zombie survival game where people raised on Romero zombie films who for years asked the question 'what would I do during a zombie apocalypse' could play that out. At that time it feeled quite fresh and interesting, despite being a game premise a million people had thought up all around the world, no one had ever really tried it.

It can be frustrating to read the 'groan not more zombies' a lot toward our game due to this, but at the same time I'm sure stuff like TWD has helped keep interest in our game, so it's all swings and roundabouts. -Chris

Grphx2 karma

This is the first game in a long time that i actually let the music play, instead of turning it off and playing my own music. I play so much though that the music starts to repeat itself. Please have the music maker guy make more music, it's so awesome and captures the atmosphere so well!

Also +1 to don't remove bleach as a drinkable. I never drink it, or when I do want to drink it(turning into a zombie) i never have some, but I think it's awesome that you can not only drink it, but it actually makes you sick. Also drinking from the toilet is pretty funny.

Do you plan on adding any type of welding crafting? I guess you could incorporate this into the game by collecting gas cans and finding a generator to do some crude welding. My IRL skill of welding makes me feel like I'd do pretty okay in a zombie outbreak. Could make better fortification and weapons.

Do you plan on adding more careers to choose from?

Did you intend on people playing the game and when you die, just make a new character on that map and go pick up from where you left off(aside from the skills you learned on your last character?) I don't know if that is how everybody else plays but it's definitely an option.

theindiestone1 karma

We definitely plan for more skills and professions in the game, and we considered bricklaying and wielding as possible additions. They would likely be very difficult to get set up in though requiring a lot of prerequisite materials. :D

That said we want to make construction a huge part of the late game, so the more of these kinds of options, even if they lack practicality for most players, would be great!

re: creating a new character on an existing map. Yes we really want people to consider this an option. At the moment thought it tends not to happen due to the need for more late-game stuff to counterbalance the lack of loot and skills when restarting.

It would be great if people never felt the need to reset, particularly on MP. - Chris

Lava_Croft2 karma

Thanks for the five quid of awesomeness.

How is the work on the renderer coming along? My survivors always start with negative psychological effects because deep down inside, they know they are running compatibility mode.

Keep up the good work!

theindiestone7 karma

Thanks! The issue with this is merely a bug, but a bug that's been impossibly hard to track down. We're always on the case, making stab after stab to figure it out. One day we'll get there and compatibility mode will be gone forever. Frustrating that it's still an issue, but some of these low level renderer things can stick around for some time until a moment of realization hits and we discover some silly obvious thing buried deep in the guts of the code. - Chris

TustyTargaryen2 karma

As a Kentuckian I'm curious why you guys chose to use Kentucky based towns in the game. Are you guys based out of one of those towns if not where is your studio?

theindiestone6 karma

Hi Tusty. We don't really have a unified office, we all work from home and collaborate over the internet. Two of us are in Newcastle (UK), one in Toronto, and one down near Brighton (UK).

We chose Kentucky and specifically Muldraugh for a number of reasons mostly revolving around what is around it. On top of that Muldraugh was itself small enough to be doable for the first map iteration, and the surrounding area has lots of variation from big cities, army installations, farmland, hunting, etc. It satisfied all of our needs as far as what a game map should contain as well as gave us ideas for what we could add.

It also felt small enough to reflect the "average guy/girl" game style.

Andy

theindiestone3 karma

Ahem - Fort Knox too, obv. - Chris :P

littlepurplepanda2 karma

As one of you lives in Brighton, will you be at Develop this year?

theindiestone2 karma

We unfortunately won't be there as a company whole, but Will might be going :) - Mash

Caplet2 karma

My character is always killing Zombies in his underpants. Every time he puts on pants or a shirt he gets "Hot". Is this a feature or a bug that will be fixed. I kind of like that I have a crazy man that runs around in his skivvies killings zombies during the Apocalypse.

theindiestone4 karma

It's a bug really, we need to balance it and get more clothing items to make more variation in what you can wear in different heat. T'is funny though. - Chris

Crash_Test_Monkey2 karma

Love the game, wound up sending you guys 10 bucks maybe three years ago for it and damn was that an excellent investment. I actually hadn't played it since a couple of the initial test build really but finally got back into it this last month when it got added to Steam. Congrats on getting this far!

Two questions, any current way for folks like me who've had it for a while to keep supporting you guys? And will you be adding more weapon types in general? I'd love to see craft-able spears out of the Sturdy Stick and a Kitchen Knife or something like that.

theindiestone3 karma

Thank you! The best way to support us is to continue spreading the word, and encouraging your friends/family to check out PZ :D (it also makes a great birthday/anniversary present ;D)

And yes, we'd like to add more weapon variety, but those that require different animations (like a spear) will take longer to do. - Mash

LinkTheHobbit2 karma

As a fan of aesthetics I wanted to ask if you have any plans to add in more clothing and maybe some improvised armour. Also when will I see backpacks on my back! keep up the good work guys.

theindiestone3 karma

Yep, deffo to more clothing, maybe to craftable clothing (we'd like to, but this would be something we'd look into only after we've provided more stock clothing), and deffo to visible backpacks and stuff :)

Andy

sexybertha2 karma

I can't believe you guys took the time to answer everything here! I love this game a lot! The learning curve is really steep though, I had to youtube other people playing it before I realized how to move or fight, or really how to do anything. Are you guys planning on implementing any more tutorials or something to help ease new people in without having to rely on outside influences (youtube/friends). I feel like if I didn't have a solid group of friends that had already played a ton and youtube vids, I would of given up on the game after like an hour (I couldn't figure out how to get out of my house or equip anything for awhile).

theindiestone2 karma

Funny you should say that, we're actually working on a proper tutorial at the moment, that will take a player hand in hand through the basics of the game, with pop-ups, disabling bits of the game and highlighting buttons and all that fancy stuff! Thanks for your support :) - Chris

Hrath2 karma

Greetings! Great game you guys have and I especially love how every time a zombie spooks me in game that sound fx scares the crap out of me IRL. I do have a question, what are the plans for easing the use of multiplayer? I know it's not difficult to setup a server now but how easy will it become in the future to get a lan or a few friends together to play? Thanks in advance.

theindiestone2 karma

Hi Hrath, that's a difficult question to answer with any sort of accuracy. I guess all I can really say is, "as easy as possible" since the easier it is to set up MP games, the more people will do it, the more chance they might encourage their friends to play, the better the game does.

So it's good for us to make it as painless as possible :)

Sorry for the vagueness of my answer, and thanks for the kind words <3

Andy

Guyinthexpensivesuit2 karma

I came with several questions, but they've all been asked and answered already, so all I can say is thank you for sticking with the game through so many setbacks and hardships. Your dedication and hard work has made something truly amazing, even in it's unfinished state.

theindiestone4 karma

Aw, hug :) - Mash

Social_fuzz2 karma

Picked up the game as soon as I heard planned multiplayer. Loving it.

Loads of great ideas for the game around on the forums, and I like how in depth you plan to go with crafting.

I just wonder how you plan to approach so called "end game" scenarios.

Lets say a server has persisted for a month or so. People have supplies, can deal with the Z's. Defensible abodes, and little farms. What kind of spanners are you going to throw in the works to crush their dreams?

Will there be huge roaming hordes, npc bandit groups, natural disasters, old age? Special unique structures like a power plant, or missile facility that have inherent benefits for locking up there. Structures that factions will fight over.

Basically, how are you going to keep survival spicy?

Love the game, you guys rock.

theindiestone7 karma

This is the sole job of the Sadistic AI Director. It will basically monitor what's going on in the world and dish out events that tie in narratively to zombie movies. Some asshat who completely screws people over all the time may start getting dealt crappy hands, zombies lurking in shadowwy corners ready to bite them on the neck. A group held up safely for too long may find one of them getting an infection and requiring anti-biotics and a run into town. And yes, zombie hordes will be affected by this system too.

We'll tweak fate and karma to keep things interesting, without it being overbearing to the point of ruining the simulation aspects of the game. - Chris

SurvivorBoss2 karma

Not sure if this is still happening, but... Have you given any thought to more renewable water sources? Such as drilling wells that may replenish as it rains? Or even having pre placed wells? Huge DayZ nerd here, Deans preaching turned me onto your amazing game. Thank you for being so creative and sharing it with the world.

theindiestone2 karma

We already have pre-placed wells, you just have to know where to look!

Also with a garbage bag and rudimentary carpentry skills, you can make rain collectors to keep you hydrated. :D

Thanks! <3 - Chris

noxiousd1 karma

Not sure if theres a limit on questions so here goes, its incredibly dark on a night time in MP, any plans for floodlights and/or generators to power things? Perhaps you need to scavenge gasoline to power them? And more Spiffo items please :)

theindiestone3 karma

Yeah the night time light levels is something that could still use some balancing. The issue is that we use shaders for a pretty night effect, but also need to support no shaders, and this makes it very difficult to balance so night appears the same in both.

It's something we'll work on, and yes more ways to light the world are definitely something we want to do. - Chris

Schmetterling901 karma

First off thank you for providing my favourite zombie apocalypse at the time :D. Really like how I may customize my difficulty and zombie behavior/abillites, big props for that :).

Now spending a bit to much time in Dwarf Fortress, one soon becomes very familiar with loss of limbs and other gruesome endings, question that popped my head is will amputation of arms/hands be a way to perhaps prevent infection in the official PZ?

What do we think of zombified animals?

theindiestone2 karma

Thanks! We would like to have amputation in, but it would be very risky (especially if someone with no medical skills did it), and wouldn't always pay off. Zombified animals will not be in PZ vanilla (I can imagine someone making a mod, though), but feral animals will definitely be in :) -Mash

Baddiekins1 karma

I just wanted to let you guys know that I really like the engine you've developed for Project Zomboid. Any plans on using it for other things?

theindiestone1 karma

Thanks! We'd be crazy not to use the engine again, since the amount of time spent on it would be saved on any future project. We wouldn't want to crowbar any game into the engine though it would have to be an appropriate game for the engine, we have some vague ideas of what we'd do next with it but we forbid ourselves thinking about any other game too deeply as it only leads to frustration if you know you'd not get to explore those ideas for years. :D we have one focus alone and that's zomboid, but we'll definitely look to reusing the tech for games in future. - Chris

theindiestone1 karma

We'd like to take the engine (and game) to the point that people can make total conversion mods, using the base game to make entirely different games. As for us using it for something else... well, when we do (eventually) get to the point of moving from Zomboid onto another new project, we wouldn't want our design to be governed by the engine. So until that design is completed, we couldn't say.

Andy

metzeger1 karma

You mentioned adding NPCs to the game. To add to that, I wonder if you're considering adding 'raiders'.

Essentially, I have a huge fortress in the woods and rarely see any zombie contact while being almost completely self-sufficient. How cool would it be to have my fortress targeted by raiders with guns trying to take it?! The better the fortress, the more desirable.

I realise this is probably one of the targets of the multi player, encouraging real players to do just that, but it could be cool in single player, and as a random event online as well!

theindiestone2 karma

We definitely want things like that to happen in SP games! MP was an important step in the game's development, but SP is near and dear to our hearts, and we really want NPCs to be developed to the point where an SP game can feel like an MP game, and MP games will have NPCs :) This blogpost is a bit old, but you can read more about where we're hoping to go with NPCs here http://projectzomboid.com/blog/2013/01/tales-from-the-metaverse/ -Mash

JipsAndJools1 karma

Can we see the possibility of drivable vehicles in the future and more ranged weapons? Its quite amazing that after staying very quiet you guys were able to pull out some pretty awesome multiplayer! My friend found a shotgun and did some kind of last stand where he left a trail of bodies. He also shot me in the chest with the pistol I gave him :(

theindiestone3 karma

Vehicles will definitely come. We pushed their priority fairly low down since, initially, the size of the map didn't warrant vehicles and there's a few technical challenges which would need to be overcome.

But they will definitely come - a zombie apocalypse isn't a zombie apocalypse without huge numbers of abandoned cars cluttering the highways ;)

As far as weapons go, yes, we'll expand the scope and variety of weapons too. We're probably not going to go so far as to have very specific weapons, like this type of handgun or that type. But we'd certainly like to cover each 'category' of firearm and massively expand the melee choice too.

Andy

JipsAndJools1 karma

With vehicles on the horizon, does that mean that Muldragh and West Point will be joined together? Or are they one big map already, and you can just pick which part you want to spawn into first? I'm not sure since I've never managed to get to the main road before haha

theindiestone3 karma

You can already run from Muldraugh to West Point :) The game map is just one giant region we're constantly expanding and refining. You can optionally start in either location, but its all the same map :)

Andy

theindiestone2 karma

Drivable vehicles 100% confirmed, it's just a matter of us working out the best way to implement them. And thanks for the kind words! :) We were amazed how quickly MP came together ourselves. - Chris

Renekill1 karma

Maybe not the right place to ask but since i'm here and really want to play it.

I downloaded the demo from steam because the game looks amazing but when I installed it and tried to run it, it immediately shuts itself off again. When I try to run it I get a little MSDOS screen that pops up and then goes away again. I have no idea what to do :(

I'm using Windows 8 and I know it's not compatible for it but and i run it in windows 7 mode it still doesn't work. Do you know what's going on perhaps? (Sorry for the bad english)

theindiestone2 karma

Sorry you're having problems! To get help, please check out our support forums, and have a look at our FAQ :) http://theindiestone.com/forums/index.php/forum/18-pz-support/

If the FAQ doesn't help, please start a new thread and someone will be around to help you out :)

Gootch031 karma

I don't have a question, I just wanted to say thanks for creating such a great game. Keep up the great work, and pat yourself on the back for me. You earned it.

theindiestone2 karma

Aww, thank you for the support :D - Mash

iEtix1 karma

When will Build 25 come out? This week? I love your game regardless! :)

theindiestone1 karma

If there is any justice in the world, then it should be out this week. Stuff may crop up and hold it back however, so we can't say for certain. We certainly hope so! - Chris

Pukwugie1 karma

Have you guys seen Indi game the movie? and if so was it similar to any of your experiences?

theindiestone2 karma

Hahahahahaaaahaaaaaaa... oh man. The emotional roller-coaster ride. Yeah, there's an awful lot we can relate to and have, in some way, experienced first-hand although, to date, not the staggering success of Super Meat Boy unfortunately :D

Andy

cjbrigol1 karma

Thanks for the game! Having fun so far but something about it is... Hard to control. I find it difficult to move around efficiently. Any word on how mechanics will be changing in the future?

I also dislike how things out of the characters view are dark... I get it. It makes sense. But I'm just not that into it. Is there any plan to make an "easy mode" where this isn't in effect?

I burned my house down in the game yesterday because I left the stove on. That was awesome.

Thanks for all the hard work! The game is tons of fun :)

theindiestone2 karma

Controls can be fiddly, I agree - it's often a problem with isometric games. The controls are continually being worked on since we'd like the game to be playable with a controller, with mouse only so it's possible to play even with certain physical difficulties, etc.

Much of the development of this will feedback into the KB+Mouse controls and see a progression of refinement... hopefully. We'll see. We agree where we are now isn't perfect.

As for the visibility... that's kind of integral to the mechanics but... perhaps it would be something configurable in sandbox eventually. That said, because it is effectively 'cheating' to have 360 degree vision, if we allowed such a feature it would have to be determined on a server level for MP games.

And thankyou for your comments - I played a multiplayer game with some Twitch streamer friends a while back and I managed to burn down the well (we have to fix that bug :D ) so I wouldn't be too worried about a house fire ;)

Andy

noxiousd1 karma

any plans to incorporate the various mods available into the full game? The overgrowth mod in particular is fantastic. Also the map from Ringo, is that going to be available to add to the current map?

theindiestone6 karma

We've implemented mods before. Reloading, farming (and we took on the modder as permanent member of the dev team) etc. We'd definitely consider the erosion mod in future too if the author wanted to.

However maps are another matter. As awesome as it is, Ringo's map is not Kentucky, and we're making the map loosely following google maps data of an actual real place, which discounts the possibility of using mod content. However we may consider packaging the mods up as mods, accessible via the mods menu in-game on download. - Chris

theindiestone7 karma

To add to this, we've developed the map stuff so that modded maps can be easily incorporated into the vanilla game map should that be what the author wishes. So, for example, it would be possible to run from Muldraugh and seamlessly enter a modded map. Andy

EpsilonDude1 karma

Is winter going to be added?

Or seasons

theindiestone3 karma

Seasons technically already exist, but we'd definitely like to implement them visually, too :)

Andy

NickOnTheWing1 karma

What's your "favorite" feature you hope to implement eventually?

theindiestone3 karma

Obvious answers, NPCs etc aside. Personally, I'm really looking forward to getting more in-depth crafting stuff for traps and electronics.

We want to see people dismantling security lights, taking out the motion sensors, and say taking the speaker out of an alarm, or the radio out of a walkie talkie, getting a bunch of wires, and being able to connect these items together in a kinda blueprint 'circuit board' system to make early warning systems, or trip mines or whatever else. Our version of Red Stone I guess, to allow people to get creative with traps and crafting. - Chris

[deleted]1 karma

[deleted]

theindiestone1 karma

Hi vazura - that sounds like something which might be interesting for an appropriate game, but for our game we'd like to keep it grounded in reality. Pick your character's traits / personality / profession and go.

So for our game, we would prefer that players pick the trait "athletic" rather than athleticism be arbitrarily assigned to them on account of their having picked a certain bloodtype.

Andy

obscuresausage1 karma

Love your work guys, been following since the announcement and the tech demo haha, bought it for £5 and supported and played ever since! just want to give a big thumbs up for the best UK indie devs ever, thanks for this amazing game guys! i actually spoke with your twitter account for a bit about zomboid and spacebase crossover as well as suggested a while back you look into multiplayer and a suicide button through E-Mail haha thanks for everything guys! :) Also why dont some of you try and become mods of the zomboid reddit? Communicate with the community there and gather some feedback there? i know i learn a lot about the game there and some of the problems some people face with it!

theindiestone3 karma

Thanks for your support! As a small group, we unfortunately can only focus on a few communities for providing support etc., and these generally our our official forums ( http://theindiestone.com/forums/ ) or the Steam forums ( http://steamcommunity.com/app/108600/discussions/ ). However, we do have a Community Manager (nasko_zomboid on reddit) who hops between communities :) For me personally, this is the first time I've been on Reddit! -Mash

obscuresausage2 karma

Love your artwork Mash, i have spoken with nasko before haha he told me about the zomboid in space thing that was done before in a game jam haha

theindiestone3 karma

Haha, nooooooooo don't advertise that ;D And thanks for the compliment!

johnfredcee1 karma

After all the shit you've been through, do you still prefer being Indies to AAA? :-)

[ Game is awesome BTW ]

theindiestone7 karma

I worked for 10 years in commercial games dev and have no desire to ever return to it ;)

Andy

theindiestone4 karma

/answers AMA question in dressing gown

YES :D - Chris

aieronpeters1 karma

What time did you hit the sack from your late-night coding session? ;) -- Kirrus

theindiestone4 karma

I cannot for the life of me remember! Was definitely late/early though. :D - Chris

Rapaskoti1 karma

Do you watch The Walking Dead? If yes, do you get influenced by the series? :D

theindiestone5 karma

I'm the odd one out, as I've read the comics (up to about issue #100; I bought those big collections), but haven't watched the series beyond episode one ;) - Mash

theindiestone5 karma

Of course we do! We're big fans. One thing we've noticed, and we're pretty much 100% sure this is coincidence, but we often see stuff that's in zomboid appear in TWD episodes. (Mini spoiler) Latest had a golf club!

We watched the early ones again not long after first PZ version released, and cringed a bit when we realised how many moments and set pieces had been borrowed by us for the game. Now we're at the point we seem to be pre-empting a lot of these moments, and seeing stuff happen in TWD that mirrors features in the game, which is encouraging to think that we've added a lot of stuff to the game for these moments to stand out so regularly.

It's nice to pretend that's not coincidence from time to time! :D -Chris

Dymarob1 karma

I can't think of any questions...............hi!

EDIT: Holy crap, they said hi back to me. I'm so happy right now! :D

If you guys see this post again, I'd like to say thank you for making this wonderful game. Project Zomboid is my favourite zombie game ever. I really mean this. I've gotten way more enjoyment out of it then a AAA game like Dead Island.

And even after all the shit that happened to you guys, you managed to get through that, and got on steam, and now there's multiplayer. MOTHERFUCKING MULTIPLAYER!!! I love you, Indie Stone, I FUCKING LOVE YOU!!!

.......uhhh, I hope that's not creepy.

theindiestone3 karma

Hi! :D - Mash

theindiestone3 karma

Hello! <3 - Chris

theindiestone3 karma

Good evening! - Andy

EDIT: Thankyou very much Dymarob :) It's been a long road, but we're getting there :) <3 (love you, too)

AllOfYourYes1 karma

Pancakes or waffles?

theindiestone2 karma

The real question is, proper pancakes (like crepes) or potato waffles.

Andy

theindiestone2 karma

DON'T MAKE ME CHOOSE!!! :'(

But if anyone else would like to... http://theindiestone.com/forums/index.php/topic/104-pancakes-vs-waffles/ I take a strange satisfaction in seeing how many people have voted, and how close that voting is ;) -Mash

alegend901 karma

No question, just wanted to say my brother introduced me to the game last week and we're addicted. So thanks for developing such a challenging and fun project!

theindiestone3 karma

Awesome, thanks alegend90 <3

Andy

Zukw1 karma

Hello love the game :D Any word on my most wanted feature, ripping zombies limbs off and beating them to death (re-death) with them?

theindiestone5 karma

...splattering yourself with infected zombie gore while you go :D Would be funny, but ill-advised ;)

Andy

Khxlil1 karma

Do you guys believe that the building/crafting system can still be expanded and if yes any plans for it in the future ? (Like perhaps stone walls , steel doors)

theindiestone3 karma

Absolutely and massively :) Carpentry will not be the only skill which allows you to build stuff :)

Andy

umopapisn1 karma

I just started learning how to play this game correctly and goddamn is it addictive and fun!

Can you tell us some of the features you'd like to implement?

theindiestone6 karma

Thanks! Now that MP is in (albeit still in need of work) the biggest feature we're working toward is NPCs, which is really what we hope will set our game apart :) This blog post is fairly old, but it's a good sum up of where we want to go with NPCs http://projectzomboid.com/blog/2013/01/tales-from-the-metaverse/ -Mash

LovingBacon1 karma

Hi guys! Thanks for doing an AMA. Great game, been playing it most times I get the chance to! My question is, have you had any considerations to what the end-game content might be? Sorry if this has been asked and answered before, and/or if it's too early to be considering this!

Thanks!

theindiestone7 karma

The end game we are striving for is the transition from 'apocalypse just happened' to the Land of the Dead style re-emergence of civilization. Walled cobbled together towns with trade routes camped by raider gangs, trading food for nails or whatever.

It's basically making the gameplay, NPC/Player interaction and survival systems deep enough that you'd never have to start a new game or reset the server, and carry on through time into the far post-apocalypse world. - Chris

I_Wrestle_Giants0 karma

love your work..need any assistance in writing dialogue?

theindiestone2 karma

Thanks! However, we don't need any assistance with dialogue as we have the spiffy Will Porter as our writer :) - Mash