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.
Here’s the release:
Moonrise, which has been in closed beta since last March, combines the depth of a collectible card game with the speed and challenge of a head-to-head fighting game. The result is a rewarding blend of strategic decision-making and fast-paced action.
Players battle NPCs and other players with a handpicked team of creatures called Solari. There are hundreds of unique skills for players to choose, and each Solari can be leveled-up and evolved along several different progression tracks. This variety allows players to experiment with a huge variety of team and creature builds to find the best fit for their preferred style of play.
Undead Labs will use player feedback gained through Early Access to fine-tune the combat balancing in the single-player campaign and PvP, as well as to polish all core game systems.
“Early Access has become an invaluable part of the development process and we’re incredibly excited to let the Steam community come in and kick the tires on Moonrise,” said studio founder Jeff Strain. “When you need honest feedback from dedicated gamers, there’s no better community than Steam and I look forward to hearing what they have to say.”
Early Access will be available through two premium content bundles, priced at $14.99 and $19.99. Each bundle includes exclusive Early Access content and a variety of in-game items offered at far less than the regular price.
Moonrise will be available to PC and Mac players on Steam Early Access.
If you’ve got any questions, want the sparkly press kit, or you’re a streamer/YouTuber who’d like to get in on the PVP action, please drop me a line in the next few days!
Edit to add: Hey, don’t forget – we streamed Thursday at 1 PM PDT/4 PM EDT/9 PM Universal. The second half the show is, as always, PVP with the devs in Arena Mode, where every player gets a random set of creatures to fight with. It’s pure skill vs. skill and it’s a crapload of fun. If you’re in the beta, and you want to thank me for that key you got, please come to the stream and kick Peter’s ass. http://twitch.tv/undeadlabs
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.
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.
The funny thing is, when we started the process of coming up with our own set of Xbox Live Challenges, we couldn’t actually find any games that were doing this yet.
So each month for the next year, we’ll be offering a different Xbox Live Challenge with a unique in-game reward. Complete the Challenge within the month, and the reward will appear on your Radio menu (opened by pressing Down on the D-pad).
This month (May), the Challenge is to clear 15 Infestations. Get it done, and you’ll unlock a flashy red sportscar, bearing decals from one of our in-game brands.
Next month (June), the Challenge is to kill 200 zombies with firearms. Do that, and you’ll unlock a unique revolver that fires Incendiary Shotgun rounds. (You can thank Brant for that one.)
Packing some real heat.
The following month (July), the Challenge is to kill 100 zombies with explosives. If you succeed, you’ll unlock a “mad bomber” character that you can recruit through the Radio Menu in Breakdown.
… and it just goes on from there. Eventually, you could find yourself driving around in a Little Piggy Tow Truck. And if you’re good, around the holiday season, we may even let you earn some Pie.
The point of this, for us, is to keep people playing the game. Buying it is great — we’re super grateful to everybody who does that! — but continuing to play the game, staying involved in our community, and giving us feedback, is how you help us make this franchise better and better as time goes on.
So keep an eye on your Challenges each month! You’ll see them on Xbox Live, and we’ll also be announcing them here, at undeadlabs.com.
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!):
Best Buy Canada: “The gameplay is addicting, it offers the right balance of strategy, and action that will keep you coming back for more.”
Canadian Online Gamers: “I for one enjoyed what I played, and the added content of past DLC, plus all the bonus goodies that have been tacked on above that make the whole package a pretty good value.”
CGM: “State of Decay is still, without a doubt, one of the better zombie games available today.”
Complete Game Reviews: “State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition is really one of the best games I have played on my Xbox One so far.”
Deal Spawn: “State Of Decay is one of the all-time great zombie games.”
Flickering Myth: “This is easy one of the greatest open world games created, you’ll celebrate victories for your camp and grieve the loss of key characters all while making the tough decisions that only you can make.”
God Is a Geek: “However, after two years, a stack of hot-fixes, two expansions and one console generation, State of Decay is finally, tantalizingly, mouth-wateringly close to Undead Labs’ original vision. What a difference a generation makes.”
High Def Digest: “State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition’ is an example of a good remastering…There hasn’t been a better time to play ‘State of Decay’.”
High Score Reviews: “There is just as much content here, if not more, as there would be if you bought a $60 game. If anything, State of Decay made me afraid to die and that’s what a game should do.”
IGN: “Everything I said in my original review still rings true: This is a special game, and captures the post-zombie-outbreak survival experience I’ve always wanted to play.”
Inside Games: “[German] State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition kann durchaus als rundum sorglos Paket beschrieben werden, vor allem für diejenigen unter euch, die das Zombie Open World Abenteuer bisher nicht gespielt haben.”
Polygon: “Still, even after two years, State of Decay remains a unique and singularly successful take on the zombie subgenre — and the new content and retooled systems made enough of a difference to pull me right back in.”
Portugal Gamers: “[Portuguese] É ainda um dos destaques acima de muitos do género muito menos conseguidos e de valor superior. Recomendado.”
Shack News: “If you like games that are less horror and more survival, then State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition should be heavily considered.”
Steve Rulez: “I cannot recommend Year One Survival Edition enough…”
Stevivor: “…it’s the zombie game that many people have always wanted. It’s not about putting the most lead into a zombie’s head and charging headlong into endless zombie hordes. It’s about playing smart, scavenging for supplies and trying to keep your community safe. Undead Labs has really raised the bar and been willing to listen to player feedback.”
The Telegraph: “Where many other games could quite easily transfer to film, State of Decay will remind you why video games are such a unique artform.”
The Sixth Axis: “…there’s a huge amount of content and potential gameplay to be had for a relatively small entrance fee.”
This Gen Gaming: “It’s been almost 2 years since I originally reviewed this excellent game, and playing it once again on the Xbox One has reminded me how good this game was when it was first released. It still holds up as one of the best zombie video game titles out there today.”
This Is Xbox: “Frankly it’s a package full of great content that I’ll be playing for many months to come.”
XBLA Fans: “For returning players, the promotional price and special attention lavished by Undead Labs will leave all but the harshest of critics feeling as if they have been wrapped in their favourite winter blanket, freshly cleaned and renewed after a year or so on the shelf.”
XBox Achievements: “State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition isn’t an easy ride by any stretch, and it’ll test the mettle and patience of players looking for a more instantly gratifying experience, but stick with it and Undead Labs’ seminal open-world survival horror rewards in spades.”
XBox Gamer ME: “YOSE, like its Xbox 360 predecessor, offers many, many hours of gameplay; even if you are a returning player it is well worth the upgrade. And if you’ve never played before, what are you waiting for? This is the best zombie survival game currently available.”
ZTGD: “For players looking for something different, they’ll find it here in State of Decay.”
Thanks very much to everyone who took the time to review and stream. I hope these links help anyone on the fence to make an informed opinion – and either way you choose, we’re just glad you are still here reading the website. The future of State of Decay is bright!
If you reviewed YOSE and would like to be included on this list, please email me!
Most of your questions are going to be answered here: YOSE FAQ
But I’ll repeat the most common question right here: “How do I get the 33% discount promised to returning players?” The answer is “buy it on either Steam or Xbox with the same account you used to buy the original. The discount will be applied automatically.”
We are so excited to be launching the definitive edition of State of Decay. We really hope you like it, and that you who have been with us all along feel appreciated! Please tune in to today’s live stream over at our new Twitch channel – http://twitch.tv/undeadlabs – at 1:00 PM PDT/4 PM EDT/9 PM UT where the team will be playing it and answering questions.
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.
How You Get It
Cannibal Family Picnic
Got to the Mt. Tanner Ranger Station.
Escaped Mt. Tanner and found the survivors at the church.
Escaped Trumbull County.
It Was Just a Police Action
Found out what the Army was up to.
Home on the Grange
Played matchmaker for Quentin and Becca.
Saw things through at the courthouse.
Helped the Wilkersons resolve their differences.
Destroyed 5 infestations in one day.
Watch the Birdie!
Distracted zombies to complete an objective.
I Can See My House From Here
Completed a survey activity.
Built one of every type of facility.
Built a facility.
I’ll Be There For You
Earned 500 Fame.
Killed a member of your community to prevent them from turning.
Come and Knock On Our Door
Convinced another enclave to join your community.
Built 8 outposts.
Everywhere You Look
Got 15 people in your community.
Movin’ On Up!
Relocated your home base.
Maxed out a community member’s Cardio skill.
Trust Me, I’m an Expert
Earned a skill specialization for one of your community members.
Destroyed 10 hordes in one day.
Ya Always Were An A-Hole Gorman
Sacrificed your life in a blaze of glory.
Got killed by zombies.
Get Yo’ Freak On
Killed one of each freak zombie type.
Killed 3 zombies with an exploding propane tank.
Performed a hand to hand double kill special attack.
Gotta Enjoy the Little Things
Used a car door to kill a zombie.
Get Outta My Dreams
Killed one of each freak zombie type with your car.
Ran over 250 zombies.
Completed 50 missions or activities with the same character.
Get Over Here
Invited a community member to follow you.
Invited a community member to follow you 10 times.
Order at DZ
Intercepted a mysterious supply drop.
Letters from Cleo
Intercepted 5 mysterious supply drops.
Maxed out a community member’s Shooting skill.
Maxed out a community member’s Fighting skill.
Maxed out a community member’s Wits skill.
Apples and Beans
Fixed delicious snacks 5 times.
Powder and Primer
Crafted ammunition 5 times.
Watch the World Burn
Killed 25 zombies with incendiary shotguns.
Went out in a Blaze of Glory at Breakdown Level 1 or Higher.
The Dead Man
Destroyed 5 Bloaters at Breakdown Level 2 or Higher.
Performed 50 Zombie Executions at Breakdown Level 3 or Higher.
Collected 150 Resources at Breakdown Level 4 or Higher.
Destroyed 5 Juggernauts at Breakdown Level 5 or Higher.
Executed 50 Stealth Kills at Breakdown Level 5 or Higher.
Reached Breakdown Level 6.
Unlocked All Heroes.
Reached Breakdown Level 2.
Reached Breakdown Level 3.
Reached Breakdown Level 4.
Reached Breakdown Level 5.
Completed All Research Projects at Breakdown Level 1 or Higher.
Burned 100 Zombies with Fire at Breakdown Level 2 or Higher.
Destroyed 5 Ferals at Breakdown Level 3 or Higher.
Earned 25 Headshot Streaks at Breakdown Level 4 or Higher.
Wired for War
Killed 100 zombies with Drone Strikes.
Rucks in Trucks
Delivered 6 rucksacks to your base in the back of a single vehicle.
Survived 10 sieges on your base in a single playthrough.
Survived 2 minutes within a Danger Zone.
Sent an energy drink flying.
Completed all hunting missions with Sasquatch.
War Never Changes
Survived detonating a nuclear device in Danforth.
Last Voice of Danforth
Escaped Danforth with Vienna Cho in your community.
Successfully extracted Thomas Horn.
Successfully extracted Julene Horn.
Successfully extracted Michele Martin.
Successfully extracted Timothy Hall.
Successfully extracted Hadley Westen.
Successfully extracted Dan Bogatz.
Successfully extracted Madison Grant.
Successfully extracted Eldridge.
We hope you enjoy these as much as we enjoyed coming up with them.
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.
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*?
You and your fellow survivors start out with a weapon chosen from a list during sign up, and a hundred hit points. And then… the dice come out. We roll for damage or heals and post the updates in a forum thread. All you really have to do is be there, because we’re handling all the boring bits. There will be prizes for the survivors and the dead.
The apocalypse party kicks off on Monday, March 30, 2015 at noon PDT. After that, the sign up sheet will be closed to new survivors and the game begins. The game will run until there’s only one last human standing. So check out the rules, head to the sign up sheet, and join the best community around as we celebrate YOSE our way. (The official fine print is here, in case you’re curious.)
*I am completely bummed to have to say that legally we cannot ship the console outside the United States. However, we love our WHOLE community, and the game is open to everyone around the world. And of course, game codes have no borders 😉
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.
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.
Two things saved the show: One, or I should say one through six? Richard, Chris, Chris, Aaron, John, and Nick. Plus a half dozen more and equally intrepid volunteers who were willing, but I ultimately didn’t need. These people put on badges, some scrounged swag shirts, and demoed our games like it was no big deal. It was exactly like those rock and roll movies where the lead singer yells out, “Our guitarist broke his hand! Does anyone know the solo?” And the guy in the front row says “No problem,” and climbs on the stage and owns the hell out of it. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Two of our volunteers had more than a thousand hours of time, each, in State of Decay.
The other thing that saved PAXEast was the gang from the Lab. When Jeff told them to give up, go home, we can’t find a flight that would get anyone here in time, these lunatics beloved colleagues started talking about renting a Winnebago and driving to the next valley… I mean Boston. It was just an eleven hour drive through ice and snow for a bunch of people that think Seattle actually has a winter! But they managed to cobble together a redeye flight, a shuttle bus, some kind of detour involving New York City pizza at four in the morning that I don’t fully understand, naps on the airport floor, and camping the gate agent spawn in order to fly standby on multiple flights. The first of them arrived just as the show started, and took their places beside our volunteers. Throughout the day, more and more Lab people made it in, until finally it was all (official) developers sharing our games with our players.
This team, and this community, are collectively the best I’ve ever known. It was a PAX miracle.
And it was totally freaking worth it, because no matter how insane that all was, we were even more insanely excited about getting players hands-on with YOSE and Moonrise. We loved seeing people come through the State of Decay side of the booth and lighting up when they saw for themselves how smooth it was. We loved seeing the reactions to all the things we were putting in for the fans that got us where we are today. We were pumped to see people really getting into the Moonrise combat, and understanding what we were trying to do. This isn’t a full list of the media coverage, but if you weren’t able to attend, I wanted you to see a little of what our visitors and friends had to say:
Game Informer, on YOSE: “If you haven’t yet played the zombie apocalypse simulator, you’re in for some fun.”
Game Informer, on Moonrise: “It made a stellar first impression, and I want to play more.”
iDigitalTimes, on Moonrise: “The upcoming creature collecting game…could very well be one of the year’s biggest sleeper hits.”
MassivelyOverpowered, on Moonrise: “It’s solid, responsive, and designed to cater to many different strategies and team layouts.”
MMORPG, on YOSE: (VIDEO) “The much-anticipated Xbox One edition…with tons of upgrades and bells and whistles added.”
MMORPG, on Moonrise: (VIDEO) “We took the PC beta for a spin and came back with these thoughts on what we’ve played so far.”
Sprites and Dice, on Moonrise: “If you’ve been looking for a game that will make the monster battling genre evolve to the next level? This is going to be it.”
Twinfinite, on YOSE: “With dozens of new weapons, vehicles, and content, State of Decay just got that much more re-playable.”
I know there’s more out there. There are fifty media kits floating around. If you wrote something up, let me know so I can include you.
Oh, one other small thing. We have changed the Moonrise twitter handle. If you are interested in our tactical creature battler, please follow at http://twitter.com/MoonriseGame, not MoonriseMobile – we’re not just for mobile anymore!
Next up… getting ready to launch YOSE. Stay tuned.