Case #

06.26.15

Researcher

Subject

News, State of Decay

State of Decay 2 Year Anniversary Shirts Are In!

Look what we just got into the office!

Thanks to Microsoft’s generosity in our Community efforts, we have an extra 700 t-shirts on hand.  Would you like one? We’re giving them away. http://undeadlabs.com/2015/06/news/2-years-of-decay/

All you have to do is enter. We’ll take it from there. These are on a first come, first serve basis, so don’t wait! The contest ends Tuesday, June 30, 2015

StateOfDecayAnniversaryShirt01_small

 

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Case #

06.26.15

Researcher

Subject

Moonrise, News

Moonrise Travel Guide Part 4: Tajiri Station

Back for more, are you? Well, you don’t need to twist my arm to get a story out of Duncan! Gather ‘round and listen to the mysterious tale of Tajiri Station!

I must warn you in advance, this story might pose more questions than answers. I can’t take the blame for that. You see, Tajiri Station isn’t a typical town. Sure, I’ve told you about Qurada Colony, which clings precariously to the side of a great stone bluff in the Agarid Barrens, and of Kijang Village, built up the trunks of the Great Trees of Kunisi Wood. But trust me, Tajiri Station is stranger still!

First of all, you won’t find Tajiri on many maps. Most folks wouldn’t even recognize the name. And if you told them that it was located at the bottom of the Shallow Sea, they’d probably call you crazy or accuse you of telling tall tales. But I’ve walked along its tunnels and I can tell you it’s most certainly real!

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Case #

06.19.15

Researcher

Subject

Moonrise, News

Moonrise Travel Guide Part 3: Kijang Village

I can see by the expression on your face that you’re looking for another story. Well, you’re in luck, because I was just thinking back on the time I spent in one of my favorite places: the treetop settlement of Kijang Village.

To the eyes of someone unused to the region, the village of Kijang must seem alien indeed. Instead of planting their homes and businesses on the ground like most folks, the people of Kunisi Wood long ago came up with the bright idea to build right up the sides of the massive trees that dominate the landscape. This put the town out of reach of wild Shrubbles and Kitzapps, prevented the need for clearing land, and over the generations it’s also bolstered the people’s link to the health of the forest. After all, if your life literally depends on the trees continuing to stand, you’re pretty invested in keeping those trees happy!

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Case #

06.12.15

Researcher

Subject

Moonrise, News

Moonrise Travel Guide Part 2: Qurada Colony

Welcome back, my friend!

As you may recall, my name is Duncan and I’m a bit of an explorer. I’m also a bit of a storyteller, as you’ve no doubt gathered! Today I’ll recount some of my experiences in the desert region known as the Agarid Barrens, particularly the area around Qurada Colony.

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I neglected this region for many years of my exploring career, preferring instead to spend my time in other areas. I suppose I believed the stories that it was nothing more than a harsh, desolate place, devoid of life or anything worth seeing. But as any explorer worth their salt will tell you, it’s often the overlooked places that are most rewarding to visit!

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Case #

06.10.15

Researcher

Subject

News, State of Decay

2 Years of Decay

Hey Survivors!

Can you believe that it’s been two years already since we launched the original State of Decay?  Time flies when you’re surviving the Zombie Apocalypse.

We wouldn’t be here, two years later, without you – our amazing, dedicated, and supportive fans. And we want to reward that dedication with a Summer of Zed giveaways.

First up, we’re kicking off our  “2 Years of Decay” contest in which four lucky players will win their choice of either an Xbox One or Alienware Alpha Console, and 50 runners up will win a limited edition anniversary t-shirt designed by the Labs’ very own Brant Fitzgerald.

How can you enter? Easy:

Take a picture of yourself flashing the number two, (2 fingers in the air) in front of anything with the State of Decay logo on it (a game screen, some swag, a boxed copy – you name it) and then share it with the world on social media with the hashtag #2YearsSOD! (No exclamation point necessary.)

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Case #

06.5.15

Researcher

Year 2 Recollections

Hello fellow survivors,

On this very day two years ago, several hundred thousand of you took a chance and bought a little Xbox Live Arcade game named State of Decay. You had no idea who made it, or what it was all about, but you clearly loved survival-fantasy games and had a true gamer’s appetite for innovation and new gaming experiences. You may not have known that most of the development team behind the game — the artists, programmers, designers, musicians, animators, testers, and producers at Undead Labs — had been awake all night, waiting to see how you would react to a game that didn’t follow any established templates, and even broke fundamental design rules with mechanics like permadeath.

And, much to our joy (and, yeah, relief), the vast majority of you loved it. And told your friends. And streamed it on Twitch. And posted videos to YouTube. And tweeted about it. And over the next few months, State of Decay became the fastest-selling original* game of all time on Xbox Live Arcade, and went on to sell millions of copies on Xbox 360, Steam, and Xbox One.

And you know, two years later on, as we work on Big Things for the future of State of Decay, it’s a good time for all of us at Undead Labs and Microsoft to take a deep breath and reflect on exactly why we’re here, and why we have the opportunity to work on Big Things. I know it’s cliche to thank your customers, and sometimes it’s kind of like your mom saying “I love you” — she probably says it every day and you kind of start taking it for granted. But man, she means it from her heart. And so do we. Thank you for getting us here. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to keep working on Big Things. And thank you for being the kind of gamers who will take a chance on innovation.

Onward.

Jeff
June 5, 2015

* Curse you Minecraft! 😉

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Case #

06.5.15

Researcher

Moonrise Travel Guide Part 1: Gateway

Well hello there!

My name is Duncan, and in my years I’ve explored nearly every corner of this land…and some of the sea as well! Lately it’s come to my attention that folks like you are interested in hearing some of my stories about the places I’ve seen. As my good friend Hoku will confirm, there’s nothing I like more than telling a story…other than telling a story while enjoying a fine beverage, of course!

So pull up a chair and sit a spell, and I’ll begin my world tour with a quiet little town called Gateway.

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Case #

06.2.15

Researcher

Get your official permits here—it’s “Hunting Season” in State of Decay!

Ah, Trumbull Valley, where you can always find fresh Zeds on the pond, in the fields, and out back by the barn. You could say it gets downright infestational at times.

As part of the new Hunting Season Xbox Live Monthly Challenge, players who kill 200 zombies with firearms before the end of the month will unlock an exclusive reward—the Burning Diplomat, a custom revolver that fires incendiary shotgun rounds! Yeah, THAT could come in handy during Hunting Season.

And before you set out, make sure all your licenses and such are in order. Undead Labs’ very own Master Gunsmith, Brant Fitzgerald, not only designed the Burning Diplomat but also a whole set of authentic Trumbull Valley hunting permits and licenses to make it official.

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Case #

05.27.15

Researcher

Subject

Events, Moonrise, News, Steam

Moonrise Early Access is LIVE

We are proud and excited to announce that Moonrise is now on Steam’s Early Access list. The early feedback has been amazing! Thank you to all our beta testers, streamers, YouTubers, guide writers, and fan art creators for joining the fun.

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Case #

05.26.15

Researcher

Subject

Moonrise, News

New Moonrise Combat and Team Building Guides

Have you seen the new guides that Peter “Heartbeat” Lim created for Moonrise?

In case you hadn’t and you’re looking for choice information on how to Build a Team or Learn Some Combat, they are now available!

Who knows, you may even beat Heartbeat with these strategies.

Moonrise Combat

Moonrise Team Building Guide

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Case #

05.21.15

Researcher

Subject

Moonrise, News, Press

Moonrise Coming To Early Access on May 27

Our regulars already knew the basics, of course — we’re community-first when it comes to news — but we’re finally ready to commit to a date!

We will put Moonrise up for Steam’s Early Access on May 27. There will be two possible bundles for sale, both with four-star creatures, gems, gold, and exclusive creature skins along with the code for, well, early access to the game. Check out that link in the first sentence for all the details.

Before the sale starts, we’ll be giving away plenty of keys for those of you who want to sneak in under the wire. (A little bird told me to keep an eye on MMORPG.com later today, with other partners still to come.) And if you like the game enough to support it, the bundles will be in the game’s store for you to grab at any time.

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Case #

05.15.15

Researcher

Subject

News, State of Decay

State of Decay: YOSE Soundtrack Available Now

This is old news to the SOD audiophiles who probably picked this soundtrack up the day it was available.  To those who hadn’t heard, did you know that the amazing Jesper Kyd composed thirty new minutes of music for the YOSE soundtrack?  Well, he did, and it’s available now!

If you love music and you love SOD, you’ll want to pick up the soundtrack available at these two retailers.

iTunes

Amazon

For more on Jesper Kyd, check out his interview with Xbox.

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Case #

05.5.15

Researcher

Subject

News, State of Decay

Rewarding Challenges

by Geoffrey Card

Xbox Live has a new feature this generation that not everybody knows about — Xbox Live Challenges. These are special Achievements that require players to accomplish specific objectives within a certain time period, like “Clear 15 Infestations during the month of May”.

There is no Gamerscore associated with Xbox Live Challenges, but to make up for that, game developers can actually use them to trigger in-game rewards on completion.

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Case #

04.28.15

Researcher

Happy YOSE Launch Day!

My one regret today is that I only have two thumbs. So many texts, tweets, posts, and emails! You all are the best, most supportive community we’ve ever seen. We are trying hard to keep our heads down and working, but it’s hard when you all are posting such great videos and screenshots.

But we need to focus! We have a stream at 1 PM PDT/4 PM EDT/9 PM UT at http://twitch.tv/undeadlabs, and we’re not allowed to come out and play until we finish our chores. (The stream is archived, but join us again next Tuesday!)

Speaking of chores, we are hard at work on the first YOSE patch. If you feel inclined, we are tremendously appreciative of everyone leaving suggestions and bug reports on the forum. You returning players know that the QA team and the designers lurk so they can apply your feedback.

Many of you have been playing, but plenty more of you were waiting to see reviews. Here’s a sample (not even a complete list, either!):

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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 #

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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