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May 7, 2024

MOD SPOTLIGHT: TAYLORSVILLE

Howdy, y’all! This month we shine our bright mod spotlight on Taylorsville, a custom map made by Erika.

The map is based on the real life Kentucky town of the same name, and can be found west of West Point. Taylorsville takes up sixteen cells, and is filled with dozens of new and interesting locales to loot, fight, and accidentally burn to death in!

The town fits in well with our base map, and features mansions, farms, factories, and a densely detailed “downtown” area similar to West Point, with a courthouse, a bank, and restaurants, along with a factory, a video store, and more.

Erika has really captured the “feel” of both the towns on our base map, and that of a real life small American town.

Downtown Taylorsville with a crossroads, showing a courthouse, Knox bank, and various small car parks.

We put on our best white suit and most charming Southern accent and found Erika sitting cosy in a large mansion on the outskirts of Taylorsville, where they were kind enough to answer a few questions about themselves and their map!

Erika

Who are you in real life? Tell us a little about yourself.

“I’m a database developer from Stockholm, Sweden. I love gaming, architecture and animals!”

How did you first discover Project Zomboid? Why do you like it?

“A friend suggested the game to me, and I fell in love with it instantly. My favorite game genres are survival horror and simulation, and Project Zomboid feels like a perfect combination of both.”

How did you get into mapping for PZ? Have you made maps or mods for other games before?

“I love to explore all the cool locations in Zomboid, and after a while I wanted to try to make some of my own. I had a lot of fun while making my first map (Louisville Quarantine Zone), so I have continued to make more maps since then. I also previously made a few mods for The Sims 3, but that was a long time ago.” [PAT_BREN EDITOR’S NOTE: The Indie Stone also had some humble beginnings in Sims 3 modding, a long time ago. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”]

Tell us about Taylorsville. What sort of locations can players expect to find? What sort of player will most enjoy the map?

“The town is not very big, but it has a lot of different locations to explore. The main street has a courthouse, and stores filled with almost everything you need to survive. The map also has multiple warehouses scattered around. I think this map is well-balanced for most playstyles, since it has both a busy main street with a lot of zombies. but also some quieter areas in the outer parts of the town.”

How long did your map take to make, in total? What was the most difficult part?

“The map took me almost a year to complete. I’m not sure how many hours I’ve spent on it, but it’s definitely a lot! The most difficult part about mapping is to not get burnt out. My advice is, when you get stuck on something, leave it for a while and do something else, then come back to it later.”

What areas of the map would make a good base? Are there any locations the player shouldn’t go to without being prepared?

“Taylorsville has many areas that make good bases, but my favorite is the warehouse surrounded by fences next to the library. I also like the pawn shop and the motel outside of the town. The main street requires a bit of preparation; it’s easy to get trapped in one of the buildings if you’re not careful.”

Taylorsville is based on a real Kentucky town. Why did you choose that town? How accurate is it to real life? Did you have to make any changes to the real layout?

“I love the architecture that a lot of the smaller American towns have, with the historical main streets and houses. When I saw pictures of Taylorsville, I loved it, and decided to make it my next map project. I tried to make it as accurate as possible but some buildings and locations had to be sized down or removed to avoid the map being too crowded. All the houses have exteriors and interiors that are inspired by real-life homes in Kentucky which I think makes them feel more unique and fun to loot.”

How have players responded to the map? Have any fun player stories taken place on your map?

“I love to watch streams and Youtube videos of people playing the map! It’s really fun to see how everyone plays the game differently and how they explore the map. A lot of people like the amount of detail in the map, which makes me happy, as it’s something I spent a lot of time on.”

Is there anyone else in the PZ community (or beyond) you would like to give a shout-out to? Which maps (or mods) by other users do you enjoy or find interesting?

“I would like to thank Daddy Dirkie dirk, I learned a lot about mapping from his Youtube videos. I would also like to thank Gabester for inviting me to the Unofficial PZ Mapping discord. Everyone there has been really friendly and helpful and inspires me a lot.”

“My favorite mod is Common Sense by Braven, it adds a lot of useful things to the game. It’s really hard to pick a favorite map mod, there are so many good maps available, but I think the Louisville Shipping Port and LV International Airport maps by Simon_MD are really good.”

What’s next in your mapping plans? What’s the dream?

“I currently have multiple map projects that I’m working on, but have not had much time for mapping lately. Hopefully I will finish one of them soon!”

Thanks to Erika for taking the time to answer all our questions! You can subscribe to the Taylorsville map on the Steam workshop.

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