Hi Reddit,

My name is Thad David and I'm a former Recon Marine Sniper during the Iraq War. A couple years ago I was contracted to do security work of the cost of Africa, basically scaring away pirates. While I was living on one of the big cargo ships down there, I came up with the idea for my mobile video game.

I have been working on it constantly for almost two years now, and it is getting closer to being released. I'm pretty stoked to share with you one of our first gameplay videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkGfbF05g8Y

Feel free to ask me anything- from my experience being a sniper in the Iraq War to moving away from a military career and starting a video game company. I would love to hear what you think about the game.

Visit our website here: http://www.zombiecompanycrusade.com

Comments: 1091 • Responses: 47  • Date: 

cyph3x308 karma

What's the furthest distance that you feel you could consistently hit center mass? Minimal wind, clear sight lines, target is walking slowly. M40, I guess, or whatever your preferred rifle is.

Thanks for this, looking forward to hearing what you have to say!

Thad_David310 karma

I shot with the M40-A1. at 600, may be 700 yards I was dead on every time. anything further than that and i would need to start to really dial in. 500 yards and below and I wouldnt adjust anything though.

driftsc294 karma

Is this going to be a pay to play game, a game you buy out right,an ad based game? Is it possible to accomplish missions with out buying anything?

Thad_David295 karma

The game will be completely free to download from the app store. It will have in-app purchases. You will be able to play 100% of the game without paying real money. Just like you guys, we don't like games that forces the player to pay to play. We are making a game, we as gamers, want to play.

Slight0261 karma

Not trying to hate, but you just described 90% of the "F2P" mobile games out there which really aren't free to play at all if your definition of "play" involves any amount of actual enjoyment.

I_SHIT_A_BRICK130 karma

"Free to play" these days involves 5 days at a time of not opening it because you have to wait.

Thad_David111 karma

We understand your concern. From day one we wanted to get away from this model. Our primary goal is to create a FUN game that we want to play. I have played those games and hit the "5 days" you are talking about and it sucks. On the app store you have two options, charge upfront or do a F2P. We chose F2P because it allows more players to get into the game and we can create a larger community of players.

clothes_are_optional76 karma

i can guarantee you that making a cool game thats worth playing and charging 2.99 for it can work wonders. if theres ANYTHING that involves in app purchases to give you a boost over other players, youre just going into clash of clans territory

Thad_David62 karma

I agree that model does work, just look at how well Friday Night at Freddy's series is doing. We talked about it a lot when we first started creating the game. Our game is going to be more fun with a huge player base especially since you can battle with other players in real time. For that reason we decided to go with a F2P model. Even 2.99 can be a barrier to download for some people.


I'll definitely be giving you a shot then :) I don't mind (some) waiting. When it gets to be days at a time for each thing, like currently I'm on the last waiting bit from four stages of 2-3 day waits EACH ... one required the other kinda thing, it makes me stop playing at all.

Thad_David15 karma

I am excited for 1000's of zombies to descend on your base!

turgid_wang9 karma

Exactly. Even in games where you "can play it all for free" there are bonus challenges that are impossible to beat without buying a hero or something.

Thad_David20 karma

There is going to be no challenges you have to pay to beat. We are completely against this model.

TheShmud70 karma

Hoping you can at least play partially without paying, looks fun, but I'd like to try it out first

Thad_David245 karma

You will be able to play the complete game without paying a cent.

Agent_Nil_Potio66 karma

Can using money help one further themselves in the game, play for longer periods of time, or gain currency faster using the in game purchases?

Also, can one obtain currency to buy in game purchases simply by playing the game, completing achievements, etc?

Thad_David237 karma

We are going to be generous with the in game currency, lots of in game ways to earn it without paying. There is two things we don't like in mobile games 1) Games where the best people paid for that status and 2) games that make it hard to play without buying in game currency. We are going to make sure that both these things don't happen.

confibulator141 karma

This makes me want to give you money.

Mr_Evil_MSc192 karma

BANG! - that's how they get ya.

ProfessorLag45 karma

How dare someone create something and want anything in return! Everything should be free!

Thad_David100 karma

Tough crowd on reddit. Maybe someone could at least spot me some beer money :) .

aryeh5643 karma

I'm sure it will have some of that stuff, but probably not all of it. The fella seems like he is sympathetic to our expectations, but it is his job. He needs to make some money to pay for beer.

Thad_David78 karma

Haha... I definitely could use some beer money.

itonlygetsworse68 karma

Did you watch the video?

This game is no different from any other Clash of Clans/Town Builder game where you need to upgrade resources buildings, defensive buildings, and offensive buildings.

You will be able to spend premium currency purchased with real money to speed things up. The combat system is similar to any Clash of Clans or other games (star wars, vikings gone wild, castle clash, etc).

As you get further, things will take more time. At first it will take minutes, then hours, then days, and then more than week to upgrade each building. It will also become increasingly hard to obtain resources, a second reason to push the player to purchase resources with real money through a premium currency.

The entire hook of this game is basically time investment. As you spend more time, its easier to resist the urge to delete the game because you've invested hours/days/months into the game. The game however will take months or even a year to "complete" (upgrade all buildings and upgrades for units).

The most interesting aspects are the arena and zombie survival modes. The campaign is clearly just filler/adventure mode like in other builders.

The UX needs to be improved. There are way more popups than needed that detract from capturing audience when they are first introduced to the game.

Thad_David28 karma

Thanks for the feedback on the UX. It is something we are always looking to do a better job on. We have spent countless nights discussing font sizes and button placements to make sure the user has an optimal experience on all devices. We understand your concern about this being another "base builder." Since day one we wanted to remove all of the negative aspects that you describe in those games. One of the more exciting features we are adding is the Arena Battle where you will be able to play other players in real time.

ashsimmonds18 karma

Ok, so is there an elevator pitch for your projected revenue model?

Thad_David19 karma

You wouldn't want to get in an elevator with me...

Zenzyme136 karma

Since 95% of all existing games are now based around zombies, in what ways did the idea of creating a new game based around zombies seem profound to you?

Thad_David36 karma

There are a lot of zombie games popping up on the app market lately, no doubt about that. We think that ours is very different. Personally I love the genre and combining it with the military theme is going to create a unique experience. We are adding some radical features that have not been seen in mobile gaming. There is no other game on the market that is putting all this together and we are really excited about it. I can’t wait to have peoples bases from all over the world get swarmed by 1000’s of zombies.

restthewicked65 karma

There are a lot of zombie games, and there are also a lot (even more?) "build a base, train and upgrade things, spend real make to make it all go faster" games. Your game play footage, while maybe it's unique to you, felt like a hundred other games I've browsed through in the free section. Even the tutorial (to me) is exactly the same as hundreds of other games. They're all the same game with different skins.

What is the niche aspect of your game that's going to separate you?

Also, your arena mode. What bugs me to no end about games like this is that the player vs player aspect is not fair. Whichever player has invested more time, or in a lot of cases, money, has a clear advantage. This diminishes the skill requirement. You say you're a fan of C&C? Well C&C, and RTS games like it (most famously, Starcraft and Warcraft), when you enter that battle against another player you both start on equal footing. Same units, same resources, with skill the deciding factor. I could hop onto my starcraft account right now, after having not played the game is years, and play a game against someone and we both start at the same place and skill will decide who wins.

Which direction does your player vs player game go in?

One more question, if you like C&C so much... why not make a C&C type game for mobile? A mobile RTS where you log in and play and you don't have to do the farmville thing of watching your base grow for hours and hours every day?

Thad_David7 karma

I understand your concern and you bring up a lot of valid points. The arena battle mode will pair you with other players at the same exact position in the game. Each player will be battling on equal footing. It will come down to skill on how you arrange your troops. You will have to train your troops beforehand but that is part of the fun. Some people might like to use paratroopers while other people perfer tanks. It will make the battle different every time.
The winner will be determined by how skillfully the player deploys and controls their troops in battle. It was tricky to get troop controls nailed down that are functional on a touch screen. We have that in place now and are really excited about it.
We do like C&C and eventually want to create large complex maps that really test the skills of the players. Unfortunately we do not have the budget EA is working with so we will have to add some of these features in future updates.

MemeRapIsPap130 karma

What the fuck did you just fucking say about me, you little bitch? I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Navy Seals, and I’ve been involved in numerous secret raids on Al-Quaeda, and I have over 300 confirmed kills. I am trained in gorilla warfare and I’m the top sniper in the entire US armed forces. You are nothing to me but just another target. I will wipe you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the Internet? Think again, fucker. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of spies across the USA and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your life. You’re fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just with my bare hands. Not only am I extensively trained in unarmed combat, but I have access to the entire arsenal of the United States Marine Corps and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent, you little shit. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little “clever” comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue. But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and now you’re paying the price, you goddamn idiot. I will shit fury all over you and you will drown in it. You’re fucking dead, kiddo.

Thad_David122 karma

He who speaks the loudest has the least to say.

j0zh94110 karma

(For proof) MOS? How many tours, when? Why did you join a PMC group?

Thad_David154 karma

My SOI mos was 0311, which changed to 0321 when I passed ARS which isn't open anymore because they combined recon schools in Cali. Sniper mos is 8541, but they stopped using that awhile ago. I did two tours, 1st with 1st recon Bn in 2003. Then we went back on a float that ended up being a full deployment because the ships left us and we flew back. 04-05

Thad_David88 karma

If you know any Recon bubs im sure we know some of the same guys.

Snoopsta_g401 karma

He said a bunch of military words guys, checks out.

Thad_David17 karma

haha thanks.

ColbyCarlton42 karma

1st recon Bn in 2003

Did you know any of the guys/events depicted in Generation Kill? If so, any interesting stories off the top of your head (including the obvious i.e. the invasion of Iraq)?

saintcazorla42 karma

inb4 he's Rudy

Shulerbop21 karma

Fun fact: fruity Rudy plays himself.

There's a couple of guys making cameos too, but not as themselves- iirc, dude who had to deal with captain Americas shit (Colbert's equivalent) played Godfather's driver, who I think was the guy who have the 'end zone' speech to Encino man on the bridge.

Thad_David19 karma

HAHA I love that you know this. So many people dont know it but several guys played there roles.

A buddy of mine even got a role on Treme from playing in this. Crazy long story but we met up randomly when he was filming in New Orleans.

OneEyedCheshire12 karma

Ha! I met Rudy when I was in Africa and they were on break from filming. So much of him in his tv character

Thad_David21 karma

I love Rudy but he does not act. He plays himself 24-7

USMCdude26 karma

Do you know Capt. Fick from "One Bullet Away"?. He was with first recon during 2003 to 2004 time period also. Were you east or west coast Marine?

Thad_David45 karma

I knew Lt Fick, before he was Capt. Fick One of the most amazing officers I have ever known. He once brought us pizza when picking us up from a training up in a 5 ton. Great guy.

Thad_David45 karma

As far as PMC it was a mixture of money, that was a big reason, then just needing to get away. With 8541 being on my dd214 it was an easy quick out after my mom died.

jayanem10 karma

Whats your 5th general order? What's the mission of the marine corps rifle squad? What's your favorite terminal lance comic?

cronuts23 karma

What's your favorite terminal lance comic?

This is the most important question.

Thad_David3 karma

HAHAHA this might be the best. blue water stains definitely hurt everyone

rawkers73 karma

Why should I play your game over a game such as Clash of Clans or Boom Beach?

Thad_David151 karma

Do you like military zombie warfare? or do you like to play cartoony games?

alent123468 karma

how do you lie still so long and how long can you go without sleep and still function?

Thad_David124 karma

After 5 to 6 days without sleep I personally start to hallucinate pretty badly. In both recon school and sniper school I had to not sleep for 7 days during hell week. Over seas it was easier to catch a 20 min nap here and there. Especially with my full team. As a recon sniper I was always out for long periods with my 6 man team which made it easy to rotate for sleep.

smross81852 karma

So can we expect something like Clash of Clans just with control over your troops or more of an RTS like Age of Empires or Command & Conquer?

Thad_David62 karma

We are looking to create a badass zombie RTS style game that is fun to play on mobile devices. The trickiest part was nailing down how to have precise troop controls using a touch screen. We pretty much have those nailed down now. I grew up playing C&C and is one of my favorite games and have looked to it many times for inspiration. I want it to feel like C&C with the same ease of use as CoC with zombies of course.

Horrgs28 karma

Instantly the game looked familiar. Read the comments and a bunch of people said this a complete copy of "Clash of Clans".

So a few questions:

  1. What do you say to those who say this a copy of "Clash of Clans"?

  2. Why should I play your game? Why should I play your game vs. "Clash of Clans"?

Thad_David37 karma

To be honest with you, I don't think those people would say anything to me after my response. However, I do think Clash of Clans took a popular gaming style and put it on a mobile device. There are plenty of games that were in the same genre of CoC before, just not as popular.

As far as playing mine vs CoC... Why not play both? I play CoC to this day and I really enjoy it. Its a fun game. I just wanted to improve on it with my game. troop controls, arena battle mode... are a few of the ways I tried to.

spudtechnology24 karma

Will there be a potato cannon in your game? If not, why?

Thad_David45 karma

Great question. We discussed this very seriously during development and spent several nights awake talking about it (see above post on sleep). We wanted to put a potato cannon in the training mode but it's not completed yet. Stand by for a more complete answer.

Lxjones524 karma

What is your opinion on the controversy surrounding American Sniper?

Thad_David38 karma

Wow. One of my favorite questions. I have a lot of respect for him and what he did. I personally would not write about my stories. It seems very dangerous, especially with the times we live in. Not just for me... Which I am not concerned with. But lets say a child reads a story about something he wrote and his dad was killed in that same story, whats to stop him/her from coming after my family... I wouldn't put my family at risk. its to soon for things like that.

whiteandpastry19 karma

Any plans for an Android version? I don't do Apple.

Thad_David48 karma

Yes. Android is already in the works. It should only be a few months for it to be ready to go on droid.

aryeh5613 karma

Any chance of windows phone?

What if I ask nicely?

Thad_David14 karma

First iOS and Android. After that we will look into other platforms. We have to develop for what the most people are using.

landonop6 karma

This is literally the answer everyone gives. This answer means "no."

Thad_David4 karma

We are not everyone. It will be on Android very soon. Before we started developing this game, android was taken into consideration. Its just a huge process and I had to look at what the larger companies did. Building for IOS then moving over. Fortunately I built it with Droid in mind so it wont take long.

But yes, It will be on Android very soon after the IOS launch.

RedMatter311 karma

Can you 360 no-scope?

Thad_David61 karma

1 perfect 360 no-scope, with a Barret 50-Cal, is the last step in completing sniper school... so yes... yes I can.

SjaakTrekhaak988 karma

Can you give us some cool sniper-jargon? For the fun?

Thad_David16 karma

I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you... Turn to your left a little. Haha seriously though im happy to share some knowledge. Do you have any specific questions about jargon?

GOkriegerGO7 karma

What is your favorite day of the week? Is it Thursday?

Thad_David23 karma


Ringosis6 karma

When you say you "came up with the idea" on a cargo ship were you by any chance playing Clash of Clans to pass the time?

Edit - typo

Thad_David12 karma

I was actually playing an older, more original game, 'Warcraft 3' while on ship.

Yes CoC is a very popular game but can I ask, do you honestly think that was the first of its style?

FranzVonSoxhlet5 karma

Is the "h" silent in your name?

Thad_David13 karma

Thad, similar to Chad

ManBearPig9236 karma

Or as in "Castle".

Thad_David2 karma

HA, i get this more times then I would like to admit.

NAbsentia3 karma

Is it exciting to shoot people? Do you celebrate a good shot when it kills a person? Do you think about the person in your crosshairs before firing?

Thad_David6 karma

I didn't find it exciting, only necessary. "On Killing" Is a great book if you want to read on this topic. It was required for me to read in sniper school. I highly recommend it.

XMT33 karma

How often, if ever, do you have to actually scare off pirates?

Thad_David18 karma

Honestly there were quite a bit out there. They never messed with armed ships though. I always explained it as robbing a car in a parking lot filled with cars. You have 100 cars to rob and 1 of them has 3 armed guys in it. It's an easy choice.

Thad_David9 karma

We did get reports all day and night of ships that were attacked with gps locations. The attacks happen a lot more then our main stream media reports. Just not if the ship has security

lanadeltrey2 karma

Can we get any sort of ETA on this app? I'm kind of psyched after the last few seconds of that YouTube video.

Thad_David3 karma

That is so good to hear! It has been a long journey and it is exciting to hear from people stoked to play. We are currently launching it in Canada to do some serious beta testing. After we get all the bugs out we will be launching in the US and shortly after that the rest of the world. We should have a better idea in a week or two but I want to shoot for getting this up on the US app store in about a month.

cantpissoffmods1 karma

The gameplay looked great and im glad to see a good C&C styled game for mobile.

Did you ever think about adding some special levels, like showing a scope in which you have to snipe some target, using wind in your favor, controlling your breathing and heart rate to make the perfect shot? Or putting a puzzle like thing in order to defuse a bomb the enemy put on a bridge vital for the mission? Just to mix up things a little?

Thad_David2 karma

We will keep it in mind for an update, right now we are focused on the core gameplay.

jalpotato-3 karma

What makes this better than Clash of Clans or any of the infinite similar games?

You didn't make a game, you cloned the idea of a popular game, re-skinned it and want us to think you're special because you're a military vet.

ChangingtheSpectrum10 karma

Well, yes.

But also, no need to be a chode.

GaryJohnston2 karma

Am I right? Who cares if he made a similar game, he made it, it's his first app game and he seems to enjoy it. No need to knock him. Besides the vet thing is a marketing strategy.

Thad_David2 karma

This is my first game and it has been an amazing experience conceptualizing it and putting it all together, as well as a huge learning curve.

Scoodlyvooti-13 karma

Did you ever shoot any pirates in the head?

Thad_David3 karma

I never shot a pirate. After showing a weapon they always turned away, in my experience.