Case #

10.17.14

Researcher

#2MMinutes Gets You an XB1

Our #2MMinutes campaign has so far resulted in just over 3500 minutes streamed in the first half of October, which, while not near our goal of two million, is still pretty damned amazing for a game that’s been out since June of 2013. But let’s see if we can kick this up a level. We’re only going to award the all-expenses trip to our studio if the insane goal is met…but we’re going to award TWO XB1 machines to lucky participants no matter what.

Here’s how:

The First XB1: We will mail this to one randomly chosen streamer. Each stream you post counts as one entry in the sweepstakes. All it takes is a little luck and one posted video, stream, or podcast.

The Second XB1: You’ll need to be a member of our Extra Life team (http://www.extra-life.org/team/undeadlabs) for this one, and it’s very simple. Be the person to stream the most minutes for Extra Life, and you’ll get the XB1 with our gratitude, and the gratitude of the sick kids you’ll help.

Don’t forget to send me the links to your streams, everyone!

Case #

10.13.14

Researcher

Join Us For Our Own #2MMinutes Stream

We need to help the effort as well, so please join us tomorrow for a Twitch hosted by our friends at Xbox: http://www.twitch.tv/xbox

We’ll stream from 11 AM PDT/2 PM EDT/6 PM GMT until we get thrown out (or an hour passes, whichever comes first). On the video feed you’ll enjoy the comic stylings of Geoff, Brant, and DJ. (If you’re new to our streams, that would a designer, an artist, and a QA lead walking into a bar.) In the chat window, you can watch me have an aneurysm when they start oversharing.

There will be prizes! We’re planning to give away a hoodie and a bunch of DLC codes, and for every person who attends, I’ll add one minute to our total. Remember, it’s all about the powerups.

And speaking of powerups…I don’t know yet exactly what we’re going to be streaming. Better tune in and find out ;)

Case #

10.9.14

Researcher

This Ringtone Is Straight From the Commander In Chief

To celebrate our two million milestone, we wanted to give everyone something, and the logistics of giving everyone a pony were just too complicated. We thought ringtones might be nice. It turns out a number of you already have State of Decay ringtones. At least, those of you comfortable rooting around in the game files. For the rest of us, here are some of the favorites suggested by the community:

Better’n biscuits on Sunday morning! http://undeadlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SOD_Alan_Biscuits.mp3

http://undeadlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SOD_Alan_SniperSupport.mp3

http://undeadlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SOD_Alan_ThatsNotGood.mp3

http://undeadlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SOD_Ed_GotRedOnYou.mp3

http://undeadlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SOD_Ed_HobosCornDog.mp3

http://undeadlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SOD_Ed_ShootingThePony.mp3

http://undeadlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SOD_Eldridge_Clearance.mp3

http://undeadlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SOD_Eldridge_CommanderChief.mp3

http://undeadlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SOD_Eldridge_Curious.mp3

http://undeadlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SOD_Eldridge_PrettyPleaseBoss.mp3

http://undeadlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SOD_Marcus_ComingUpMilhouse.mp3

http://undeadlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SOD_Marcus_Nice.mp3

http://undeadlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SOD_Marcus_NotAsGoodAsMe.mp3

http://undeadlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SOD_Marcus_RunWildOnYou.mp3

http://undeadlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SOD_Sam_PlasticFishWatch.mp3

http://undeadlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SOD_Sam_StinkOnABloater.mp3

***

Instructions for getting them onto your phone vary wildly, but we and some of our most trusted testers have managed to get these working on a wide variety of phones. Decide which one you like, click the link, right click the player that pops up, and you can “save audio as” whatever you want.

I personally used this tutorial to get “Niiiiice” onto my iPhone 4S. Microsoft offers these instructions for Windows phone owners. And this works for Android people.

Enjoy! And to find out how to retrieve any sound file and make it into a ringtone, feel free to ask our highly technical player community in the comment thread.

Case #

10.7.14

Researcher

Calling All Artists: Wallpaper Contest

If you know your way around an image editor, this contest is for you. The prize pack includes fame (or at least your image shared around the world), your choice of a shirt or a hat, and a mini-portfolio of original concept art signed by Undead artists.

You may use, modify, alter, and manipulate any image you find here on the UndeadLabs.com website. You may use any screenshot you take yourself from the actual game. The only elements that must be included are the logo of the game, and something about two million. You can be as subtle or as blatant as you want.

Sizes: You do not have to create your image in each of these dimensions! I am listing them out for you so you can decide if you want to go desktop or phone, and figure out how your image looks in the sizes we’ll use to make the wallpaper available to your fellow players.

Full: 800×600 | 1024×768 | 1280×960 | 1280×1024 | 1600×1200
Wide: 1280×720 | 1280×800 | 1440×900 | 1680×1050 | 1920×1080 | 1920×1200
OR
Phone: 320×480 | 480×360 | 480×640 | 480×800 | 640×480 | 640×960 | 640×1136 | 800×1280

Your entry must be posted to the contest thread on the forum (linked below via the green comment tape) by 11:59 PM your time on Thursday, October 16th. You must indicate if the image is intended for phones, or desktops. If you are chosen as a finalist, you’ll get an email at whatever address on Friday the 17th.

We will narrow the field, and post a poll on October 20. (Finalist images will be posted to Facebook as well, although voting will only occur on our forum.) There will be two winners – Community Choice, and Lab Choice. The poll closes and winners will be announced October 27.

Okay! Let’s see what you’ve got! We have SERIOUS talent around here – bring it on!

Case #

10.2.14

Researcher

#2MMinutes

The original State of Decay has now sold two million copies, not including any DLC. If you have a YouTube channel, a Twitch stream, or a podcast, we’d like to invite you to join our two million celebration and attempt to share two million minutes of State of Decay throughout October.

What happens if we hit that goal? For starters, one of you will win a trip to Seattle to meet the team, be the first person to play the Year One Survival Edition, and more. Other prizes will be announced during the month of October, but we thought you’d like to hear about that one right away.

Here’s how it will work:
Sign up with either this Google form –OR– join the Undead Labs team at Extra Life. More on that in a second. The important thing is that I have you on either of those two lists, so that you’ll be eligible for prizes. (Note that the trip to Seattle is only possible for residents of the USA, because of a bunch of horrible legal issues. We are proud to have such a global community, however, and as you all know, we’ve sent loot all over the world.)

Next, stream, podcast, upload video – whatever it is you most enjoy, in whatever language you prefer. It just has to be about State of Decay. Share the link on social media, with the hashtag #2MMinutes.

Email me the link (sanya at undeadlabs dot com), along with how many minutes you spent on State of Decay. I’ll add it to the database, share the link with the community, and add the minutes to your total.

Each time you stream, podcast, or upload a video, send me the link, because each thing will count as an entry into the contest. There is no limit to the number of contest entries you can have. If you post five videos and run two streams, you’ll have entered seven times.

If we hit two million minutes by 12:01 AM PDT November 1, the grand prize will be awarded to one randomly chosen participant. If not, well, plenty of other prizes will go out over the next four weeks.  We’re just saving the best stuff for when we hit the goal.

Bonus Minutes

Some of you may be familiar with Extra Life, a charity that raises money for sick kids by playing games. Their big event is the gaming marathon on October 25, where people try to play games for 24 hours straight. Of course, people can and do play/stream/’cast at other times. You can read more on their website.

The point here is that playing for Extra Life will earn bonus minutes and extra entries for the #2MMinute challenge – 1.5 times the minutes, and double the entries.  If you stream State of Decay for 30 minutes as a member of our Extra Life team, that session will count as two contest entries, and 45 minutes toward the total. If you participate in the marathon on October 25, you’ll earn DOUBLE minutes toward the challenge. Finally, for each dollar raised, we’ll add one minute to the total. Powerups, people, they’re how you win the game.

Extra Life team members who raise any amount at all will each get a DLC code to keep or give away as a prize.

Media List

We consider YouTubers and Twitchers and podcasters to be gaming media. You’re the bloggers of the modern era, and we owe a big part of the big milestone to you spreading the word. If you are part of #2MMinutes, and your channel is still active (updates 2-3x week, at least 25 subscribers) when the Year One Survival Edition launches this coming spring on PC and XB1, you will receive a review copy.

Finally

We’re going to need every possible day to hit the goal, so I wanted to get this up today. Stay tuned for the legal rules, other prizes, and more. And if streaming’s not your thing, fear not – we’ve got a ton of fun contests coming up. This month-long party is in your honor!

Case #

08.22.14

Researcher

Subject

Events, Fans, News, Studio

Will We See You At PAX Prime?

PAX Prime is a special show for us. It’s the show where we first revealed State of Decay, AND it’s our “home” convention. You can in fact walk from the convention center where PAX is happening to our office, even if you should probably change out of formal shoes and into sneakers before you try it. Oh, well, live and learn. The point is, we love PAX Prime, and our absolute favorite part of it is meeting as many of you as possible.

And we have some one day passes to give away to make that happen, if you can get yourself to Seattle, courtesy of the gang at  Microsoft. Here are our plans for next week:

Thursday, August 28: Media event at the Lab. We’re going to be unveiling the next thing for State of Decay (but the news is embargoed until Friday morning), and doing a hands-on with our new game, Moonrise. We still have seats available for this event, but because we’re doing dinner and drinks for the attendees, there’s a limit. If you are a reporter and in town for PAX in time for this party, drop me a line! sanya at undeadlabs dot com

Friday, August 29: PAX opens! Come find us in TWO places:

State of Decay Fan Booth: N5. We’re behind the escalator in one of the fourth floor lobbies. We were there accidentally last year and loved being able to talk to you without screaming. We loved it so much we requested the spot for this year! Come and play State of Decay, meet the developers and the designers, get swag, buy Undead Labs or State of Decay gear if you’re so inclined, and participate in some fun contests (the hashtag is going to be #snacksofdecay). Look for the green and brown balloons.

Moonrise Booth: 6103. Walk into the sixth floor expo hall and look for the tower with the moon on it. What can I tell you, we try to make it easy. Ten minute time limit while there’s a line waiting, but if you make us your first stop, you’ll get plenty of time to be the first to play our lovely new RPG.

Saturday, August 30: J.L. Bourne, author of the Day By Day Armageddon series that so inspired us during the development of State of Decay, is now part of our team…and will be in the Undead Labs booth signing autographs and talking survival between 1 and 3 PM. That’s between 1300 and 1400 hours to some of you. Please come by and give JL a big Decayed welcome to the community.

Sunday, August 31: Our own Drew Hobson will be hanging out in the booth, telling stories and making us laugh, from 1 to 3 PM. For those of you new to the community, Drew was the voice of Marcus… and he also played a big role in one of our expansions. Come by and ask him which one it was.

Monday, September 1: Last day. We’re always a little bit burnt and a little bit punchy by the fourth day. This is the perfect time to ask us questions.

The only question now is… will you win one of these passes I have burning a hole in my pocket? I’ll do more contests on Monday (one on Facebook and one on our forum), but here’s the first one:

Share this post on Twitter, with the hashtag #UndeadLabsPaxPrime — and let me know what day you want to attend. I’ll pick one sharing and caring person at random on Sunday, 11 AM EDT/2 PM PDT. Annnnnnd…go.

 

 

Case #

08.6.14

Researcher

Subject

Events, Fans, News, Studio

Are You a Superfan?

If you are Undead for life, we’d like to meet you. Without what we call our Superfans, we wouldn’t be where we are today. You don’t just like our links — you share them. You don’t just play our games — you tell people about them. You don’t just consume our games — you make them better with feedback and saves and constructive criticism. You don’t just hang out in our community — you’re the soul of it.

So, yeah. We want to shake your hand and thank you in person. Tragically, not everyone can get out to PAX Prime at the end of August, but we’re going to do what we can for two of you. How does plane fare, a hotel room, a PAX badge, and an invitation to our Thursday night media event (where we’ll unveil the latest news for State of Decay and go hands on with Moonrise) sound?

We’ll choose one Superfan based on their total participation and contribution to the community over a long period of time. (Being a Superfan is a whole lot more than your post count.) We’re going to ask you to choose one of your own in the Second State of Decay Superfan Contest.

Here’s how to enter:

Before 11:59 PM (23:59) PDT on Monday, August 11, 2014, you must make a post in the forum with two parts.

Part One: In one paragraph, tell us why you are a superfan. (For legal reasons, you must enter to be considered.)

Part Two: In one paragraph, nominate another member of the community, either by forum handle or Facebook name, and tell us why he or she is a superfan.

(The fine print is all here.)

Prizes (2 total): One round-trip plane ticket to Seattle from the nearest major airport to your home, four nights in a Seattle hotel room, one badge admitting you to PAX, one admittance to our private media event on Thursday, August 28th, and dinner with Jeff Strain and J.L. Bourne on August 30th. (And whoever else can convince Jeff we should be included, COUGH COUGH AHEM.)

Yes. This is basically the coolest prize pack we could put together, and we only have two regrets. One, we could only two prize packs instead of fifty. And two… and this is the hardest one… for legal reasons, you must be a resident of the USA.

I know. It’s the worst. Someday we are going to have an Undead World Tour, and we’re going to do something to make it up to you guys who can’t enter this contest. This I swear.

But for all of you who ARE eligible, and are willing and able to hop a plane on the morning of Thursday, August 28? Get going! The comment thread IS the official contest thread, so just click the green tape.

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.

I, and my colleagues at Undead Labs, had no idea what was to happen over the next 24 hours. We knew we’d built something unique: a game that broke rules about permadeath, multiple avatars, and offline progression; a game that blended RPG, third-person action, and survival simulation in a manner that caused our publisher to scratch their head through most of its development (and kudos to them for standing by it). We were proud that we’d built something new, and grateful we’d had the opportunity to do so; but there’s a difference between being proud of what you make, and making something people actually want. We’d soon find out whether people wanted a zombie-survival simulation in which your starting character was very likely to die in the first hour of play. (Ah, Marcus, we loved you, man…)

I distracted myself for a few hours by watching Zombieland for the fifth or sixth time. Not really genre canon, but still a great movie. Zombieland came out in fall 2009, exactly 12 days before the foundation of Undead Labs. At that point the seeds of ‘Class3’, the codename for the game that became State of Decay, were well planted, but Zombieland focused on human relationships over a period of weeks and months, and really made me think about how survival is not just about food, water, and shelter (and bullets), but also about your emotional health. Having good friends may not be more important than avoiding being eaten, but it’s definitely up there somewhere around ‘sanitation’ and ‘tooth brushing’ on the long-term survival priority list.

Anyway, the movie ended, and midnight hit. Judgement Day was upon us. I waited. I felt like my whole life was on the line, and in some ways, it was. At about 12:15, Sanya sent an IM with a link, that simply read, “IGN review is in”. I stared at it for a long time. IGN is one of the big guns, and if their reviewer got his Marcus killed and rage quit an hour in, we’d be toast.

I finally mustered the courage to click the link, scroll to the bottom, and open my eyes.

8.9 — Great. “For many, State of the Decay is the zombie game they’ve always wanted.”

I couldn’t believe it. I read the entire article, and they loved what we loved. They understood how permadeath made your decisions meaningful, how playing multiple characters made your community your primary investment, and how other risky decisions were made in service to our goal of creating a true survival simulation. I was floating — although that was probably more from lack of sleep than anything, but the combination was awesome.

The next day was like a waking dream. The game rolled out across the world starting at 2:00 AM as planned, and by the time I went into the office at 6:00 AM, we’d surpassed 25,000 paid downloads. By noon we hit 50,000, by the start of our release party at 4:00 we’d passed 100,000, and by the end of the day we settled in at around 135,000. It was a record-breaking release (only Minecraft, a game with a huge existing fan base, had sold faster), and would set the pace for the 500K and 1M thresholds to come over the next few months. State of Decay went on to become the fastest selling original game in Xbox Live Arcade history, and is now among the top sellers of all time.

Over the next year we released numerous free updates and two DLC expansions to the game: State of Decay: Breakdown, which focuses on the simulation mechanics of the game to offer an ever increasing survival challenge, and the just-released State of Decay: Lifeline, which returns to the narrative focus of State of Decay and offers a new map, new mission types, and a whole new military-themed story to experience.

State of Decay continues to sell well a year after release, but we’re just getting started. In January we announced a multi-year, multi-title partnership with Microsoft Studios to continue development of the State of Decay franchise. State of Decay was a great first step, but our ambitions for where we take it from here are much higher, and Microsoft is ready to step up and work with us to make those ambitions a reality.

Those of you who have followed Undead Labs from our early days probably know where all this is going, and I won’t disappoint you. The success of State of Decay, and the opportunity we have to take it even further, is 100% because of you. Not just because you’re customers, but because you’re gamers. Real gamers. Not just casual fans of the latest big-budget shooter or pre-scripted action adventure (although those can be awfully fun too), but gamers who are passionate enough to try something new. You met the unexpected with a smile rather than a frown. Your Marcus died, but you didn’t rage quit (or if you did, you came back the next day after you cooled off), because you were willing to embrace a game with real consequences. You enabled us to take risks and push the boundaries of game design in the pursuit of new gameplay experiences.

More than merely being thankful to you for making State of Decay a success, I want you to know that it’s a genuine pleasure to make games for you guys. You’ve fueled us up over the past year, and now we’re off building the future of State of Decay…and we sure as hell don’t intend to let you down.

On behalf of the entire team at Undead Labs, thank you.

Jeff

Case #

06.2.14

Researcher

Photo Call – Will You Share Your Happy Milestones?

The one year anniversary of State of Decay is this Thursday. Can you believe it? All of us have come so far in the last year, one day and one step at a time. We would like to celebrate your milestones as well as our own. If you’d like to contribute something to a project I have in mind, please click the green tape and let me know!

Case #

05.13.14

Researcher

Subject

Events, Fans, News

8-Bit Salute For Those Who Serve

This weekend, there’s going to be an event called “8-Bit Salute,” and we at the Lab are the proud sponsor of a team. (If you watched our live Twitch a couple weeks ago, you may have noticed the logo for this event as an easter egg in Lifeline.) The purpose of the Salute is to raise funds for Operation Supply Drop, a charity that gets games into the hands of those serving in the armed forces, either deployed or recovering from injuries in military hospitals. If you’re so inclined, I would be grateful if you joined our team.

Here is the link to the Undead team page: http://www.operationsupplydrop.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.team&teamID=5106

There are two ways to participate. One is to simply join our team and make a donation of any size. (If fifty players each donated two dollars, it would be 20% of our goal. It really is the thought that counts. Together, we can move mountains.)

The other is to join the team, and livestream State of Decay during the gameathon from your own Twitch channel. Send me the channel link ASAP, and I’ll promote your channels on our 8-Bit team page, as well as on Twitter and our forum. You ask your viewers to donate directly to you – your total contribution will count towards our total as long as you yourself are part of the Undead Labs team. (Edit to add: You can also join our team, and ask your friends and family to sponsor you during the gameathon – no livestream needed!)

Anyone contributing a hundred dollars or more to the team total will automatically get a Lifeline morale patch and two Lifeline codes (Steam or Xbox 360, your choice) on the day we launch. Yes, we’re still on track for early June, which is right around the corner! Either of those two codes could be given away during your live stream, as long as you warned your viewers that the prize would only happen if you hit the hundred dollar mark….

The person who contributes the most will get a special prize: A press copy of Lifeline. This Steam code will work before the game goes on sale, and you’ll get it the same day as our media friends get theirs. We’ll also throw in a State of Decay hat and that snazzy morale patch that was such a hit at PAX East.

Every single person who joins our team will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Lifeline.

All the winners will be notified next week, but of course, the real winners are the men and women who will get cool games in their care packages thanks to this event!

Our friends on the official forum (and a few people who saw us at PAX) have already gotten us 31% of the way to our modest goal. I secretly hope we’re going to blow that goal away. Thanks for reading this post, and if you are able to participate, thank you for supporting our gamers in uniform.

Click the comment tape to go to the forum conversation already in progress!