Case #

04.14.15

Researcher

Digital Pre-Orders for YOSE!

I feel like bursting into song. How’s that one go… let the bodies hit the floor? LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR. Ahem. Sorry.

On Steam: State of Decay: YOSE

On XB1: State of Decay: YOSE

Most of your questions are going to be answered here: YOSE FAQ

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Case #

04.8.15

Researcher

First YOSE Stream: Who Doesn’t Like Grenade Launchers?

We had a blast yesterday at the first Year One: Survival Edition live stream. I mean, it started with Brant and Geoffrey awkwardly cuddling and it only got more fun from there. Look, you had to be there. So, will we see you on April 14th? http://www.twitch.tv/undeadlabs at 1 PM PDT/4 PM EDT/9 PM UT.

I’m just messing with you. You can also watch this week’s recording: http://www.twitch.tv/undeadlabs/b/647087225

But if you don’t have an hour to spare, I live-tweeted all the juicy YOSE details at @undeadlabs. (Note: Most of this is already known to you if you follow us closely here on the site and out on social media.) Here’s what all I said on Twitter and in the stream chat channel:

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Case #

04.3.15

Researcher

Achievements to Rock and Unlock

As if we were going to miss the chance to add more achievements to State of Decay! The release of Year One: Survival Edition was a golden opportunity to add a whole bunch of Xbox Achievements to the entire game, both Original Recipe and the two DLCs. As we prepare for the launch on April 28, we’re doing a lot of infrastructure preparation, and there’s a chance the new achievements could be seen. Since we always want you, our kickass community, to be the first to hear any news…feast your eyes on this glorious list. (This is every one of the achievements, adding up to a total of 1500G. FIFTEEN HUNDRED achievement points. The new goodies are in bold type.)

Oh, and if you are reading this and yet you’ve never played State of Decay… spoiler alert.

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Case #

03.31.15

Researcher

Subject

News, Q&A, State of Decay

One Month Until YOSE!

That’s right. Four weeks left until April 28, and the launch of Year One: Survival Edition. We’ve already kicked off the fun with our Last Human Standing game, and already the dice have dealt out some serious mayhem among the nearly 400 participants. There will be more, smaller contests to come as we gear up for the big celebration in four weeks.

For now, we’re starting with the facts. Or the FAQ. If you have any questions about YOSE, check out the post, and if your own question isn’t there, let us know so we can get it handled for you.

Note: Tomorrow is April Fool’s, my least favorite day of the year. The Undead Labs forums, website, and social media channels are April Fool Free Zones. But I still won’t be posting updates unless I absolutely have to. Feel free to join me on the forum, where it’s safe to believe what you read.

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Case #

03.26.15

Researcher

Will You Be the Last Human Standing?

To celebrate the impending launch of Year One: Survival Edition, we are running a version of one of our favorite forum games: Last Human Standing. Do you have the good fortune necessary to survive the apocalypse and win copies of YOSE, swag, or even a new XB1 console*?

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Case #

03.19.15

Researcher

The YOSE Debut Trailer

I have been unable to stop watching this thing since it was delivered. It’s all real gameplay footage, no animations or cut scenes or anything you couldn’t find in the game as a normal person. And the thing that makes it more awesome than any other trailer ever made? There is only one traditional media/reviewer quote. All the rest of the quotes come from you. That’s right, the brag quotes are from regular players who happened to be posting the day we were looking for quotes. We are so proud of State of Decay, and of YOSE. Thanks for helping to make it awesome.

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Case #

03.13.15

Researcher

PAX East Roundup

It wasn’t even a week ago, and I’m not sure I believe it actually happened.

At one point on Thursday night, we had canceled our appearance at PAX East. Seriously. We’d made the call. Jeff was going to go demo in the Xbox pavilion, and I was going to sit alone in our giant booth explaining to everyone who showed up that our team had been unable to get out of Detroit, where they had been diverted following the closure of their actual layover airport.

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Case #

03.4.15

Researcher

Subject

Moonrise, News, Steam

Moonrise Coming To Steam

As promised last night, we have some big news for Moonrise.

We are bringing our beautiful creature battler and its unique PVP to Steam. We will be handing out beta keys to people who try it at PAX East this weekend, and we’ll move into Early Access after we assimilate the feedback we get from the beta.

Of course, Steam players will be sharing the world and doing battle with our players on mobile devices.

We believe we have something very original and special with Moonrise, and we’re excited to bring it to a much wider audience – PC and Macs to start. This is only the beginning.

Note to media friends: We’re in #3092 at PAX East this weekend if you’d like to come by!
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Case #

02.16.15

Researcher

Subject

News, State of Decay

London Calling For YOSE

Our friends at Microsoft hosted a media event in London at the end of last week, and the press embargo was lifted this morning. I can’t wait to see what the attendees had to say, but in the meantime, here are the new details from the release that went out on the Xbox Wire:

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Case #

01.21.15

Researcher

Subject

News, State of Decay

Year One Survival Edition: April 28 and May 1

If you were online yesterday, you may have seen a couple posts here and there, on a few little-known sites like IGN and Polygon and Kinda Funny. What’s up?

We announced the release date for the Year One Survival Edition. We’ll be coming to Xbox One, Steam, and retail outlets on April 28 in the USA and around the world on May 1. (That’s right, retail – YOSE is being released on disk. Woo! Tell your friends!) If you missed our announcement last summer, here’s what it is:

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Case #

12.18.14

Researcher

Subject

Moonrise, News, Research

Welcome, To Another Edition Of Thunderdome! Or…

…Solari Arena Mode, One Of The Two

by Richard Foge

One of our main goals with Moonrise has been to create a robust platform for a huge variety of different gameplay modes, especially for PvP. Our first foray into the realm of custom gameplay types produced Solari Arena, which is inspired by Sealed Deck formats popular in many CCGs…but with mechanics that helps create more balanced teams.

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Case #

12.11.14

Researcher

Subject

Moonrise, News, Research

Dungeons!

by Brian Giaime (gee-AHH-mee)

Hello! This is Brian Giaime, System Designer on Moonrise. Today we’re going to nerd out about dungeons: challenging, high-stakes combat endeavors that stand between players and sweet, sweet loot.

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Case #

12.5.14

Researcher

Subject

Moonrise, News, Research

Quest-Quest: The Quest for the Best Quest System Ever

By Ian Adams, Age 32

Hello again, folks, this is Ian Adams, Content Designer and Writer on Moonrise. I’ve already introduced myself in a previous article, so today I’ll just give you a fun fact: I can say “toy boat” ten or more times in a row, quickly. I can do any other tongue twister as well, but that’s the one I’m proudest of. I challenge all of you to do it even four times. If you can, maybe Sanya will give you a prize. I don’t know, I didn’t ask her about this.*

When discussing story, we’ve mentioned “quests” off-handedly a few times, but we haven’t really gone into detail on what that means. By the time this article is over, we will no longer live in a universe where that is true. We’ll talk about quests, what they have to do with story, how we make them, what our goals are and other things that I’m going to leave out of this list. To find out what they are, keep reading!

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Case #

11.21.14

Researcher

Subject

Moonrise, News, Q&A

Moonrise Community Q&A

Thanks to all our friends on Facebook, Twitter, and the forums for the great questions! We’ll definitely do more of these, so if there’s something dear to your heart that we skipped, please click on the comment tape below. On to the Qs:

Q: Brian mentioned in one of the articles that some Solari have multiple affinities. How do you know which one to choose?

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Case #

11.13.14

Researcher

Subject

Moonrise, News, Research

Meta-Gameplay In Moonrise PvP

by Richard Foge, Andy Collins, and Brian Giaime

From the very outset, we knew that we wanted PvP to be a huge part of Moonrise. In this article, we’re going to chat a bit about an important element of PvP in Moonrise. Specifically we’re going to dig into meta-gameplay.

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Case #

11.6.14

Researcher

Subject

Moonrise, News, Research

Balance in Moonrise

by Brian Giaime

What does “Balance” really mean?

Balance is a misleading term. You might think this means “everything is as good as everything else”. This isn’t entirely incorrect, but it misses out on one of the great things we can create through games: A series of interesting decisions.

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Case #

10.30.14

Researcher

Subject

Moonrise, News, Research

Combat in Moonrise

by Brian Giaime

Combat lies at the heart of Moonrise, and it takes a lot of forms. You and your team of trusted Solari might battle wild, rampaging Lunari. You might fight against another Warden in a friendly duel. Or perhaps you’ll face a truly nefarious villain, with innocent lives at stake! But regardless of the enemy, combat follows the same rules.

How do you fight?

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Case #

10.23.14

Researcher

Subject

Moonrise, News, Research

Warden Customization in Moonrise

by Brian Giaime

[Meet Brian. He has gaming in his pores, starting with building with the Warcraft III editor as a kid, to setting his sights on video game design in college, to shipping Marvel Super Hero Squad Online while still in college, and from there becoming a designer at Glu Mobile working on several games, the best known of which was the incredibly successful Deer Hunter 2014. The back of his car contains every RPG handbook known to man, as far as I can tell. Certainly there is no room for actual people to sit. We love his enthusiasm, and how much he cares about our future Moonrise players. — Sanya]

One of our favorite aspects of Moonrise is the way in which your character (your Warden), participates in combat. You’re right there with your team, hurling fireballs, doling out heals, and actively engaging with powerful foes.

Every player will play their Warden differently. Some players will build their Warden into an artillery piece that slings powerful attacks from behind tanky, defensive Solari. Other players will bring healing and buffs to support and strengthen their already formidable offensive Solari. Some players may equip relics with unusual effects like:

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Case #

10.10.14

Researcher

Subject

Moonrise, News

What is Moonrise?

The tl;dr version is that Moonrise is a AAA multiplayer, creature-collection RPG for mobile devices. The long version is the rest of this article!

Moonrise is our first game (as a company) to be released on mobile, in partnership with Kabam who have a ton of experience on mobile platforms. Many of us at the Lab love playing games on our mobile devices (as well as the ubiquitous 3DS, and the Vita stalwarts), and we felt that phones and tablets would be a fantastic home for our AAA take on the creature-collection/battling RPG. There’s a long story about how we got there, but we’re saving that for a future article.

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Case #

10.2.14

Researcher

TWO. Million. Sold.

About this time last year, we had a million reasons to smile.

Now, we have two million reasons. That is, two million copies of the original State of Decay have been sold, between Steam and XBLA. We’re not even talking about DLC, here.

There just aren’t the right words to tell you how much this means to us. No marketing, no advertising, just you playing and streaming and spreading the word. You made this happen, and if we could individually thank each person who hit that download button, we would. Your enthusiasm and support have been everything. Thank you.

When we hit five hundred thousand copies sold (which was pretty remarkable for a zombie apocalypse simulator with a persistent world and permadeath), we celebrated by starting work on Breakdown. When we hit a million, we gave away some freebies.

Two million calls for a hell of a celebration. We’ve already announced everything we can when it comes to the future of State of Decay — and then some — so we’re going to kick off a month long celebration. Keep your eyes here, and on our social channels (@undeadlabs on Twitter, http://facebook.com/undeadlabs on Facebook – accept no substitutes!), for details. If you make videos or stream, be sure to come back later today!

You’re…you’re just the best. Thanks again.

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Case #

08.29.14

Researcher

Subject

News, State of Decay

State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition

Hell yes, we’re making State of Decay for Xbox One!

Man, it felt good to write that. There’s a huge difference between “We think it’s a good idea and we’re seriously considering it”, and “Hell yes, we’re working hard on it right now.” It’s generally a good idea to wait until you can say “hell yes”, because until then, Things Can Change, but we’ve crossed that threshold for State of Decay on Xbox One.

State of Decay is coming to Xbox One via the State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition. While we’re still very much in development, here’s what I can tell you today.

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Case #

07.29.14

Researcher

Indeed

Ten years ago, before zombies were legend, I sat down and began a journey that would eventually bring some of you with me down the long, post-apocalyptic road of armageddon.  Day by Day Armageddon, for some, was a brief escapist reprieve from a cubicle or other such devilry.  For others, it was the heart and soul of a lone survivor poured onto the pages of a ten dollar paperback.  For me, it was a humble contribution to a zeitgeist defining genre.

Fast forward to now, and we’ve seen the zombie genre explode into every medium you’ll pay money for.  As an ardent gamer since the days you needed a flathead screwdriver to connect your console to your TV, I’ve played my share of zombie games.  In all my years of blistered thumbs, I hadn’t run across a title that I thought did the genre justice—until a year ago.  I had recently transferred from an arduous tour of duty and had a little free time on my hands.  I decided to boot up my Xbox 360 to see what I’d been missing.  After an eon of system updates, I scanned the Xbox Marketplace and noticed a game titled State of Decay.

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Case #

07.29.14

Researcher

Let’s Chat

In the fall of 2009 I went on a zombie bender. Zombieland had just been released, and I saw it four times. It wasn’t the best zombie flick I’d ever seen, but I loved the road-trip aspect of it, and the focus on how each person needs to decide whether they’ll work together, or alone, in the apocalypse. Mostly, it just rekindled my love of the zombie-survival genre, so it was back to Day, Dawn (classic, and the 2004 remake, which was a damn fine movie), the 28s, a ton of obscure hipster zombie stuff, and a fantastic dive into the Walking Dead comics. And books, too. Brooks of course — more the Guide than WWZ.

Fun stuff for sure, but none of it was really scratching my survival-fantasy itch. The great thing about zombie books and movies is that they make you think about what you’d do if the apocalypse hit tomorrow. Hanging out with your friends and comparing survival plans is truly one of life’s great pleasures.

But then a friend (known around here as Brant) turned me on to the Day by Day Armageddon series by J.L. Bourne. The author was an active duty military officer, and it really showed in his work. The story was personal and gripping, but also logical and well structured. It was believable. It was impossible not to cast myself in the role of the narrator, relying on my wits and whatever equipment I could find to survive every day. I consumed it in a day, read it again, then read the sequel.

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Case #

06.5.14

Researcher

State of Decay: Year One

Exactly one year ago today, one year ago from this very moment as I write this, I was in bed. Not sleeping — oh no, that wasn’t going to happen for at least a few more days — but finally, actually, truly in bed. After a final, all-in push to get things wrapped up, the hours were ticking down to the worldwide release of State of Decay, a game we’d been working on for two-and-a-half years; a game we’d poured our hearts and souls into, bled over, fought for, and pulled kicking and screaming into existence despite its design breaking almost every game design rule in the book.

On that Tuesday night, June 4, 2013, I was in bed waiting for Judgement Day. The game would start rolling out on the Xbox Life network at 2:00 AM local time. Scarier still, the review embargo lifted at midnight, so reviews could start hitting within the hour.

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Case #

01.10.14

Researcher

Subject

News, Studio

The Road Ahead

Hola fellow survivors,

I wanted to let you know we’ve signed a multi-year, multi-title agreement to extend our development relationship with Microsoft Studios. We’ll be able to share details later this year, but as with State of Decay, we think it’s best if we just keep our heads down and build some prototypes before we talk too much. For now, suffice it to say there are big things going on with State of Decay.

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