Surviving isn’t just about blowing off zombie heads. Depression, starvation, loneliness, illness, insanity. These are just some of the things you have to deal with…
First of all — YOU WILL DIE
You’re trapped in Muldraugh, a small town in Kentucky. The population, however, have become infected. There is no escape. There is no cure. The end is coming. You will die.
Project Zomboid is about the choices you make, and how you choose to live your last days on Earth. Will you be a hero who goes out in a moment of heroic self-sacrifice to save a defenceless friend? Or a callous coward who saves his own skin and leaves his companions for dead?
PZ is about these choices, and the story you weave into your last days on this planet. Zomboid isn’t about saving the world with some pie in the sky cure, or flying away in a helicopter to where everything will probably be okay. This is the apocalypse.
As Project Zomboid develops, we will add more and more new areas to ‘Knox Country’. We already have our version of the small town of Muldraugh (a fictionalised version of a real world location), and are moving on to create the countryside, wilderness and cities that surround it.
Any building can be used as a safehouse, and any building can be looted for equipment to help you survive. You’ll hunt out weapons in the town stores, medicines at the pharmacy, and (increasingly rotten) food at the local market. Then again, what you’ll scavenge in people’s fridges and bathroom cabinets could keep you going too.
Right now, the outside world knows nothing about the zombie threat. The government has quarantined the area, and cut off all communication with the outside world. The news is rife with speculation about the events that are occurring in the city borders. Soon they will know, and wish they didn’t. The quarantine can’t hold forever, and just outside the exclusion zone lies the still operational local power plant. Once that goes, batteries and canned food will be worth more than their weight in gold.
With Project Zomboid we intend to have the game-world change around you as the apocalypse develops. You’ll be able to keep up on current events by turning on a radio, and at points you might even be able to influence them. At one point, however, the electricity and water will fail – meaning that you’d better hope that you’ve got enough batteries and bottles stocked up.
Surviving is easier when you have company. In our story modes, currently being rebuilt for the RC3 builds but playable in build 0.1.5d, you’ll meet a cast of our own characters – spearheaded by Kate, Baldspot and the friendly neighbourhood looter in our tutorial. In sandbox mode, meanwhile, we’re working to reintroduce a full complement of NPCs to team up with or fight against – and the meta-verse system that tracks their own off-screen survival.
These will be developed into a full and diverse host of characters that you can trade with, join forces with, battle for resources, betray, help, or work for. We’ll also introduce randomly generated quests – say helping them find loved ones, or escorting them through the more infected areas of town.
On top of this there’ll be the different personalities and relationships that can sometimes lead to deadly friction. And what to do with that clumsy kid who keeps leaving doors open and making way too much noise? Give him a talking to, or ask him to accompany you on a salvage mission and blowing his brains out down the street, before returning and claiming to the others he got eaten by zombies? It’s up to you how you keep people safe, and what lengths you’ll go to.
There are all manner of skills and perks the player can develop to help them survive. 50% unique and innovative, 50% ripped off other titles, our skills and perks systems keep character progression interesting and avoids the dull increasing of numerical values, without sacrificing depth.
In time, you’ll also learn skills from other survivors – everything from shotgun operation to cooking, medical training, carpentry and orienteering. All this will increase as your character progresses, and provide unique bonuses as they develop.
You can already pick a profession for your character which bestows unique perks to them, but we will also let you develop as you play by completing hidden ‘achievement’ style experience targets, meaning your character can be trained up differently depending on your play style and preferences of weapons and tactics.
Mind and Body
You can sustain injuries to any part of your body, from a broken leg to a concussion. These will need to be attended to – and as the game develops on top of the bandages you’ll need wounds set, cauterized and staved off from infection.
It’s not just physical injuries that you can be inflicted with, however. The zombie apocalypse is hard to deal with, and it’s easy to sink into depression. Morale must be kept high, boredom must be avoided and even the little things will keep you sane – a cooked meal, or snatched half hour of entertainment.
As the game develops when NPCs are at the end of their rope they may become withdrawn, fight, cry, or even stick a gun in their mouth and pull the trigger (which makes a lot of noise!). Paranoia can fool the senses and outright insanity isn’t easy to come back from. Cigarettes, alcohol and drugs can keep the darkness at bay, but rely on them too much and you may become addicted.