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

 

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!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The first question to answer is, “How in the world did I manage to find a secret underwater city?” The truth is that Tajiri Station isn’t technically a secret, it’s just very remote, very secure, and very much the kind of place that most folks don’t bother to think about. You see, it’s actually a research outpost, established by scientists several decades ago. Today they use it to study Lunari in controlled environments, or something like that. Frankly, talking with the locals about their experiments made my eyes glaze over a bit!

WaterTownRainy

I’d heard stories of the place for quite some time. A few years ago I managed to finagle an invitation through a friend working there for a season. When I arrived, I found that the town itself only takes up one of the many domes that comprise the region, which its discoverers named Blue Haven. Nobody knows what it was originally called, or even who built these domes in the first place. It’s actually a bit unsettling, if you think about it…a whole network of domes and tunnels at the bottom of the Shallow Sea, and nobody really knows how it got there or even how long it’s been there! The construction is nothing like any of the other prehistoric ruins lying about, like the crumbling stone buildings near Gateway or the Mesachie Ruins in Kunisi Wood. Mind you, I did come across one other location that reminded me of Blue Haven…but that’s a story for another time.

Where was I…oh yes, Tajiri Station! The town is named after Dr. Hayao Tajiri, one of the first scientists to explore Blue Haven. In fact, during my first visit there I met his great-grandson, who shares not only his ancestor’s name but also inherited his single-minded focus on studying this region.

Tajiri

Dr. Tajiri was very friendly, introducing me to other scientists—whose names I’ve sadly forgotten over the years—and giving me a tour of another nearby dome that the locals call the Barrier Zone. I was glad for his guidance, because in just the short time we spent there I spotted several Squillexes, a few Zurgles, and a Sleespark.

WaterWildlandsSunset

Dr. Tajiri explained that Blue Haven was teeming with Lunari even before the first scientists discovered it. That surprised me, for I had assumed all the denizens were brought there specifically for study. In fact, Dr. Tajiri was working on a hypothesis that Lunari had lived in this undersea complex for untold generations. Scientists had long since discovered a nearby set of domes that held dense foliage—plenty to keep thousands of Lunari thriving and healthy. Tajiri’s ancestor had dubbed this place the Menagerie, and my new friend felt certain that he’d identified containment structures, observation areas, and ancient machines that he believed might once have kept the entire ecosystem alive and well.

When I suggested that the flora and fauna might have naturally settled here from the surrounding sea, Dr. Tajiri pointed out a Riffix standing not ten meters away from us! He further confirmed that he’d identified Scuttlebugs, Hedgelocks, and even Blastropods within the Menagerie, none of which you’d normally associate with living in such a watery environment!

Upon our return to the safety of Tajiri Station, the doctor introduced me to their newly arrived guildmaster, Zhousteau. She greeted me, somewhat brusquely I’d say, and after she left Dr. Tajiri apologized for her attitude. Apparently she was one of those types who deal better with data than with people. I told him not to worry, as I’d met all varieties of personality during my travels.

Zhoustaue

After allowing the kind doctor to return to his work, I managed to chat up some of the locals. Perhaps unsurprisingly, few people had lived very long at Tajiri Station. In fact, other than some scientists, the average stay in town was only a few months! It seems that most people there are temporary workers, taking care of the various needs of the research staff, who are in turn stationed for cycles of six to twelve months. That made sense. After all, most academics I’ve met seem ill-suited to tend to basic necessities such as food, maintenance, and the like!

The workforce of Tajiri Station was heavily tilted toward the young and energetic, which also seemed quite reasonable. Other than myself, I’ve found few people still interested in such adventures beyond their twenties. Every person I met was friendly and outgoing, and I admit that I allowed many of them to engage in the apparently traditional mode of welcome by purchasing copious beverages for me at the local tavern. I’d offer a few names of the people I met, but I’m afraid my memories of those evenings aren’t quite as clear as I’d like!

That said, it also seems quite likely that most of them no longer work there, having long-since moved on to new adventures or back home to friends and family. I couldn’t help but compare this lifestyle to that of the long-term denizens of Kijang Village, for whom such a transitory existence might seem quite unthinkable!

Before departing, I asked Dr. Tajiri if there were any other dungeons like the Menagerie in the area. To my surprise, he became quite flustered at my question! He mumbled something about there being sectors of Blue Haven that were “off-limits” due to “security protocols” but he was so uncomfortable that I let the matter drop.

All in all, Tajiri Station is certainly one of the most unusual locations I’ve ever had the privilege to visit. Had I the patience to spend years learning about a single place, I’m quite sure I would find Blue Haven worth a lifetime of study.

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!

Town_Nature_01

The first person I met in Kijang Village was a woman named Hana. She was very friendly and introduced me to a very unusual local beer that uses mushrooms in the brewing process. I suppose I’d describe it as an “acquired taste.” But you know, I still remember something she told me over twenty years ago: “It’s easy to respect the Great Trees. They’re big and old and look like monuments. The hard part is respecting the seedlings that need another thousand years to get there.”

That’s just one example of how the locals think about time and history. You’ve probably heard people talk about “putting down roots” in a place? Well, in forest towns like Kijang Village, it’s almost a literal act. Take Hana for example. She ran the Kijang Shop for more years than you’ve spent walking! When it came time for her to retire, you might think she’d sell the place and use the gold to go on a big vacation, right? Not a chance! She passed it on to her nephew, Tanu, just like her father had passed it down to her decades earlier. And when Tanu hangs up his shop keys, I imagine someone else in the family will step in to keep the place going. The idea of turning your back on that kind of legacy…well, it’s just not how these folks think.

Mind you, there are some slight exceptions to that. The only reason Tanu inherited the shop was that Hana’s only child, Laskian, was too busy training to be the town’s guildmaster! I think Tanu secretly enjoys teasing his cousin about “abandoning his responsibilities.” As if becoming a guildmaster weren’t a tremendously important job!

Tanu                Laskian

As beautiful as Kijang Village is, I must admit that I find the surrounding wilderness even more enchanting. There’s nothing like the sounds and smells of Taankwan Thicket as the sun drops below the treetops. Have you ever heard the chirp of a Smallfry in the twilight? Or the ululating cry of a Sportle claiming its territory? And don’t forget the fluttering Podpetals, filling the air with a perfume that I swear smells like warm maple syrup.

Wild_Natural_Sunset_01

One of the most unusual places in all of Kunisi Wood has to be Sagalee Ridge. It looks like a row of trees growing from a low hill, but it’s actually an enormous nurse log formed by a single fallen Great Tree. Over time, decay and digging have created a network of tunnels and chambers stretching deep into the downed tree. In my youth I spent many days exploring it and cataloguing some of the many species of plants and fungus that grow inside. I even spotted a Pyromander in there, though I gave it a wide berth. It’s really an ecosystem like none other I’ve seen…a wondrous proliferation of life in all forms.

The same can’t be said of the Mesachie Ruins. It’s a bit farther away from the village than Sagalee Ridge, which is probably for the best. There’s just something…wrong about that place. Even as a foolhardy young man, I decided against delving too deeply into those ruins. The trees have cracked apart the stones too much to really study what was there before, but thinking back on it I can’t help being reminded of the ruins I had seen near Gateway. Who lived in these places before they fell apart? What caused them to abandon these mighty structures? I’ve found precious few people willing to explore these unanswered questions, even among the natives of Kunisi Wood. You’d think that a people so aware and respectful of their history would be intrigued by such mysteries, and yet everyone I ask seems far more comfortable simply ignoring these relics of the past.

But you didn’t stop by to listen to such philosophical issues, so I’ll bring this tale to a close. Until next time, may your adventures be many and your journeys enlightening!

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!

I first ventured into the Agarid Barrens about twenty years ago, following a new trade route that had just been established between Kunisi Wood and the Grand Frontier. As I trekked through the sands of the Daharan Desert, I ran afoul of a Vulcature that saw me as a tasty meal, which led to some tense nights spent huddling in caves that felt entirely too small and exposed!

StoneWildlandsNight

To my good fortune, the route I followed went directly through a new settlement called Qurada Colony. This tiny mining village had just been established, with the goal of extracting local deposits of valuable ore and precious stones. At the time I didn’t care about any of that, I just felt thankful no Lunari followed me into town!

As I learned during that visit, most towns in the Barrens are temporary and exist only as long as the locals need them to. At first I thought that meant the people were nomadic and transitory, never setting down any roots. But over time I found that wasn’t the case. Instead, most folks in this region bond quickly to wherever they live, forming a quick but deep respect for the land. However, they don’t let this bond prevent them from moving on when the time comes. It’s quite typical to see new arrivals treating Qurada Colony as a treasured home after mere days spent there!

StoneTownSunset

This practice is aided by the fact that many people move together from one town to the next. If you didn’t know better, you’d assume they were family. I suppose in a way they are, though without the blood relations that most of us take as a prerequisite for such strong connections. It makes it easier to understand how folks can bond quickly with their new home; after all, they’re already surrounded by close friends!

After spending the proper amount of time recovering from my taxing journey through the desert—during which time I became quite familiar with Qurada’s excellent tavern—I ventured back into the Daharan Desert. It was then that I encountered my first Podpetal swarm. It reminded me of the spring blooms in Kunisi Wood, only the mass of color flittered and flowed through the blue sky like a school of fish darting through a clear sea. If I had to pinpoint the moment that my love for this area was born, I suppose that’s as good a guess as any.

Over the years, I would return to Qurada Colony again and again, despite the lumbering Blockheads and crafty Zigments that lurked in the desert. Each visit seemed to bring more discoveries—lonely mesas standing silent guard against the encroaching sands, wondrous rock formations carved by powerful, endless winds, and tiny spots of green that thrived despite the harsh conditions.

It was during one of those visits that I first ventured into the Gazira Mines. Back then, they were still actively worked—this was a few years before the Archaic Tunnels were discovered, mind you—but that didn’t mean they were free of Lunari. In fact, it was a run-in with a fierce pack of Toddlerocks that led to my first meeting with my good friend Hoku, who now runs the tavern in Qurada Colony! We had plenty of time to become acquainted during the hours we spent perched on a high platform, waiting for the Toddlerocks to grow bored and wander off. We shared stories of his native Ahimoku, as well as other locales that we’d each visited.

Hoku

By the time I next returned to Qurada Colony, the mines had been abandoned, overrun by Lunari coming up from deep underground. I ventured in, hoping to reach the deeper levels rumored to contain ancient constructions, but I was chased off by Squizzles and a savage Porpoisely. Not exactly the kinds of Lunari I had expected to encounter deep beneath a desert! I’ve always regretted not fully exploring Gazira Mines…but I suppose my exploring days aren’t over yet, eh?

On the other hand, I’ve had quite my fill of another dungeon not too far from Qurada Colony, called Xenari Caverns. It’s not simply the Lunari that infest that place, mind you. I’m no fan of surprise encounters with Kindlehooves or Slugleys, but those threats pale beside the terror that comes from imagining how those caves came to exist, as well as the undeniable dread that I felt exploring the lower levels. I don’t hold much stock in sayings like, “places we weren’t meant to go,” but I might make an exception for that place.

Thankfully, I was able to retreat safely from the caverns to Hoku’s Tavern, where I enjoyed a few fine beverages with other locals I’d come to know, including the shopkeeper Yasmin and the guildmaster Ibli. I soon found myself trading stories as if I’d known these folks for years, which made it all the more difficult to say farewell as I continued my journeys.

Yasmin    Ibli

Of course, I never escaped the pull of that town. Eventually I settled in Qurada Colony, and while I’m not ready to say I’m done exploring, I do find it harder and harder to find a reason to leave this town and my friends here. I wonder sometimes what I’ll do when the locals decide they’re ready to pull up stakes and move on. Will I resume my nomadic lifestyle, or will I follow them to the next mining colony? Only time will tell, I suppose.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me ramble about the future, so I’ll bring this tale to an end now. If I didn’t bore you too much, perhaps you’ll return to hear another story about my travels.

 

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.)

Brant and Foge are sad cause they thought they'd be able to keep their swag. They're wrong. We're giving it away.

Brant and Foge are sad cause they thought they’d be able to keep their swag. They’re wrong. We’re giving it away.

After you post, fill out this Form and you’ll be entered to win any one of the fabulous prizes above. Because we love you.

If you don’t win this time around, no worries! We’ve got you covered. We have more giveaways planned all summer long. Just check back here to see what we’ve got cooking next.

Prizes

1st Prize (4) – Xbox One or Alienware Alpha + Special Edition State of Decay T-shirt

Two Winners will be Chosen by Undead Labs and Two Winners will be voted on by the Community.   Winners will be announced July 10th, 2015

2nd Prize (50o)- Special Edition State of Decay T-shirt

year2ts

NEW INFO: Guys, thanks to Microsoft, we have the means to really blow this up. This means that the first 500 people to enter – regardless of where in the world you live – get the special edition t-shirt.  If you didn’t have a reason before, you have one now.

The official rules can be found here.

Get out there and show us your stuff!

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! 😉

What would an anniversary be without some fond memories? Here are a few of our favorite moments from along the way.

My “favorite” recollection? Rewriting a serious mission critical bit of code on the bus ride home at midnight. Getting up on a few hours sleep the next day. Finishing it on the bus. Getting it working that day and submitting a milestone deliverable which required it.

Amazingly the code was solid and worked for the entire project. I thought I might have been hallucinating when it actually worked.

– Shaun Leach

The Team with our Superfans before we launched State of Decay

The Team with our Superfans before we launched State of Decay

We designed the game to be extremely systems driven.  This created a huge amount of content despite our tiny team (we made that big open world game with fewer people than the team that did the cinematic facial animations for Ryse!)

Unfortunately, sometimes systems-driven games take on a life of their own.  Very close to ship, we got a report from a tester along these lines:

As I walked into the church I heard Pastor Will flipping out at another character, shouting “I’ll cut you like a prison bitch” before abruptly leaving my community.  Is this expected behavior?

We never managed to repro that one, but our debate about whether it was a *bug* or a *feature* was a classic.

– Steve Theodore

Making videogames tends to turn you into a Feral

Making videogames tends to turn you into a Feral

One of my favorite memories was from near the end of SoD. James [McMillan] wanted a giant muffler man that looked like Billy Connoly (because of the film Fido) in the game, and I thought it was an awesome idea. That same day Shaun said ‘No more content after today’, it was a hard line in the sand. So I told James, #$@# it’. Figured it wasn’t meant to be.

The next day before James was in I was driving around testing the game, and there’s this giant muffler man in the game. He stayed at work until four in the am getting it in there

– Doug Williams

I was testing on my laptop at home late one night.  The lights were off, my headphones were on, and I was pretty engrossed.  I was looting a house.  Once the house was clear, I left through the front door. Then out of nowhere I got side tackled by a feral.  I screamed like a little girl, waking my 1-year old son.

– Matt Heiniger

1) The zombie clown-car cabin that would spawn so many zombies that they would be spouting out of every door and window

2) Ben [Scott]’s “Gore Bomb” that was supposed to fill infested houses with blood and guts but it would spawn them as you drove by so there would be body parts exploding out of windows into the street. It got pretty gross on main street Marshall with all the buildings vomiting body parts.

– Brant Fitzgerald

Undermining Civilization? Why we'd never!

Undermining Civilization? Why we’d never!

What was so great with SoD is that after 6 months of selecting our game engine we could run, shoot, and drive… and kill lots of zombies. It was obvious early on that what we had was fun and that we were on the right track. This was contrasted by my years of working on fantasy RPGs where the fun factor doesn’t show up until late in the project.

The day that Foge wired in the ability to take out a zombie with the car door sealed the deal.

– Dave Dunniway

best_error_ever

Best Error Ever

My favorite part was Eli refusing to stay dead. omg…Eli. What a [redacted] nightmare. So the farmhouse mission ends with you putting Eli out of his soon-to-be-turned zombie misery.

He’s laying on a cot, and you have to shoot him in the head.

Well there was a bug so that when you shot him, he would just stand up on the cot frozen there. And that bug came back i would say at least once a month if not more.

Until we shipped…

for like a year.

– Jess Brunelle

zombiejes

Zombie Jess

just another night at the lab

Just another night at the office

My favorite Lifeline memory was Geoffrey announcing to the whole company that I was the first person who had reached the end of the game.

– Abby Wilson

My favorite was working on Lifeline and driving vehicles to places they shouldn’t ever be able to get to, then taking screenshots of it and sending it to Brant and waiting for him to sigh loudly from his desk behind me.

– CPH

CPH's parking job

A CPH Park Job

During Lifeline, it seemed to take weeks to get the latrine in and hooked up and we had no way to force someone to use it.

So Brant was following npcs around and waiting for them to use it…they’d always tease – walking up and standing next to it.

Until one day – someone walked in, sat down, and started eating beans.

We all died.

Chris Willoughby

Tricycle of Gibraltar

Tricycle of Gibraltar from Captain Assassin

“After we sell a million copies, I’m getting a tattoo.”

– Jeff Strain, millions of copies sold, still tattoo-less

 

Be sure to check back in with us all through June, our Two-Year Anniversary Month!

We’ll be giving away some really cool anniversary T-shirts and some even bigger prizes along the way.

Hey, it’s a celebration after all.

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.

Town_Normal_Night_01

I first visited Gateway almost thirty years ago. I was only a foolish young man back then, and I had the idea to walk the entire width of the Grand Frontier, surviving on nothing but what I found or bartered for along the way. Of course, I hadn’t counted on the challenge of foraging in Lunari-infested territory. I was chased by Buzzle swarms, battered by a pack of territorial Shellfoxes, and hunted by a particularly tenacious Growley! My pride led to quite a few hungry nights, let me tell you!

By the time I stumbled into the Gateway Tavern, I must have looked like some kind of wild hermit! But the locals kindly nursed me back to health, apparently more taken by my bravery than my foolishness. As I recuperated, I became quite familiar with some of the delicious ciders that the town has since become somewhat famous for. As soon as I was back on my feet, I moved on, continuing my trek across the Grand Frontier. I’m embarrassed to admit that I barely even took time to acknowledge the kindness of these good people!

I don’t remember many other details of my first visit to Gateway. I do recall that the place had a sense of history and stability despite its small size. This wasn’t some boom town like Qurada Colony! No, these folks had built something that they intended would last for lifetimes.

It would be almost two decades before I returned to Gateway. To my surprise, almost nothing had changed in the intervening years. To be sure, different folks ran most of the businesses, and many buildings sported a new coat of paint, but the hardworking, can-do attitude of the local population was just as I remembered it.

I began at the tavern, just as I had twenty years earlier, but this time I made sure to properly introduce myself. I met Ayodele, who had then just started working in the tavern that she now owns herself. Quite an impressive young woman, and a fitting example of the pioneer spirit of that region. And she’s also turned into quite a talented woodcarver, though she’s not yet been bold enough to display her work publicly at one of the town’s many art shows.

Ayodele

Edwyn was running the Gateway Shop even back then. He claims that he’s lived his entire life in that town. Personally, I think he’s spent most of it inside the walls of that shop! I tried to inspire a little curiosity in him by sharing stories of the wondrous places I’ve seen, but frankly I’m not sure he believed even half of my fantastic tales. Ah well, travel isn’t for everyone.

Edwyn

It may be hard to believe it now, but Agatha was just a new guildmaster back then. Not that she was some spring chicken like Guildmaster Laskian over in Kijang Village, mind you! Like me, she’d spent years traveling across the land, learning about people and customs (and Lunari) of every region. Personally, I think she was holding out on settling down until she was able to score an assignment to her home town. We traded many stories over mugs of ale at the tavern, each tale attempting to top the last. For the life of me, I don’t recall who won that contest.

Agatha

The next day, Agatha dragged me out to Thorn Heath, where I watched some of the new Warden graduates battle Hatchwings and Ryzos. I envied their youthful bravado, remembering a time when I had felt similarly immortal, not to mention possessed of all the knowledge worth knowing in the world. I remember laughing out loud, and then having to explain to Agatha of my first visit to her town, which was somewhat embarrassing!

Wild_Norm_01

As we walked, I must have pondered why there were so many Wardens for such a small town, because Agatha spent some time explaining the situation. Since Gateway is home to one of a small number of Warden Academies scattered across the land, many recent graduates spend time instructing or tutoring the students. That’s in addition to their normal Warden responsibilities of keeping locals safe by curing the Moonrise-corrupted Lunari, of course! Sounds like quite a full schedule, if you ask me.

Agatha finished my tour by showing me a site that the locals call the Crumbling Ruins. She explained that this place used to be part of a rite of passage among young Wardens, who proved their bravery by exploring deep into the ruins and coming back with a souvenir. These days, though, anything more than five minutes spent in the ruins was apparently enough to impress the other students. I took the hint, and shelved my thoughts of exploring this dungeon, at least for the moment. Still, there was something familiar about the architecture of the place, ruined as it was, which would draw me back there later.

But that’s another tale, for another time. Right now, I’m feeling parched and my mug seems uncharacteristically empty! Don’t worry, though, I’m not going anywhere. Come back again soon and I’ll tell you more of my journeys across this wondrous and perilous land of ours!

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.

Want to win a State of Decay hoodie?

Post a picture of yourself on our Comments Link, with your hunting permit, and a screenshot showing you beat the challenge.

Five lucky winners will be selected randomly.

Get your official permits  by clicking on the images.

full sized parking passfull sized picture licensefull sized hunting license

Now get out there and bag some Zeds. Don’t let the Wilkersons get all the glory.

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.

All the bundle details went up last week, as our regulars know, but to prepare for today, we (working with some amazing media friends) gave away nearly four thousand access keys before the weekend. If you got in that way, you can still get the bundles from the in-game store if you want, but no matter what you decide, you can rest assured there won’t be any server wipes.

If you’ve been following our progress, you may be interested in the patch notes that go with this version of the game. The biggest change is probably that dungeons no longer require tickets. Now, entry costs gold. (The ticket concept was one of the only timer-related things in the game, so that’s pretty huge in terms of reducing the barriers to entry.)

Let’s see, what else. One of the most common questions we’re getting is “what happened to mobile?” We have not forgotten mobile, not by a long shot! But it’s really, really fast and easy to patch Steam in response to feedback and testing. We can go from idea to feature in hours, not months. So we’ll take everything we learn from Early Access, and get it into all versions of the game. Once we’re synced up, you’ll be able to play cross-platform from one account.

But that is the future! And right now, we’ve taken a great big step towards that future.

 

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