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
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!
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.
We had a great time in San Antonio, thanks to all of you! We sure appreciate how patient everyone was with the lines. That’s the (only) downside to developers doing demos: We are really freaking proud of our games, and we all want to show you every detail. Keeping to ten minutes is the hardest thing about the show, hands down.
Media demos are longer, fortunately. The reporters get twenty minutes to explore, shoot footage, and ask questions so that everyone not at PAX can get all the juicy details. If you weren’t there to get your own hands-on time…or either of the epic collectible Pinny Arcade Pins…check out the following!
APGNation came by and recorded a nice long State of Decay interview with SOD Lead Designer Geoffrey Card.
Bitch Team Alpha declared Moonrise her top game for casual players: “After playing it once, I couldn’t stop talking about it.”
Capii Media wasn’t media. They were the guys who ran the photo booth where Moonrise players could “picture themselves in the game,” but in between green screen shenanigans, they shot this fun highlight reel. Includes shots from both SOD and Moonrise!
Our forum crew that attended got their own State of Decay media demo, and ThatChristmasKid brought a legal pad with pages of questions from our regular players. Don’t miss the resulting Q&A!
Gamespot gave us our favorite headline to date about Moonrise, and this awesome quote: “The mobile creature collecting-and-battling RPG takes some of the series more prominent elements and turns them on their heads, making for an enjoyable, refreshing take on the genre.”
One of the guys from Geek Avengers wrote up his experience on his personal blog, explaining why people should care about YOSE. “What I want to tell you about right now is what I think was the game of the show…I’m not a tech jargon expert, but it looked fantastic and plays beautifully. Zombie heads pop like melons in beautifully rendered HD. Running over the undead is just as satisfying as ever.” He also got a bit of the story from how the original game came to be.
As the site name would suggest, Hardcore Gamer was all about the PVP in Moonrise, with lots of detail about the fighting system. They also saw State of Decay, of course: “When games were trying to emulate the lightning-in-a-bottle co-op experience…Undead Labs released a solely single-player, story-driven experience devoted to depicting survival in a zombie wasteland.”
Before Massively disappears forever (BOO! HISS!), check out their double feature on both Moonrise and State of Decay: “It was a little jarring to go from adorable pet battles to being torn in half by a zombie, but the two-for-one session provided a nice glimpse of where Undead Labs has been and where it intends to go.”
MMORPG.com swung by, and they were pleasantly surprised by Moonrise: “It…could be ideal for someone looking for a little more depth in their mobile gaming than what’s generally available now.”
PixelDynamo gives us the tagline “Reanimated for a new generation” and gets into all the YOSE details.
Windows Central did a solid overview of State of Decay: “If you haven’t played the game, prepare for a fairly realistic depiction of human life after a zombie apocalypse.”
This list is really a work in progress. We had plenty of other interviews at the show, and I’ll update this list as I get the links.
So…who’s going to PAX East in a month? Contact me at sanya at undeadlabs dot com if you’ve got a website, YouTube channel, or Twitch stream.
Has it really been three weeks since PAX ended? It seems like just yesterday Drew Hobson (the voice of Marcus) was cheerfully saying “niiiiiiiice” on request, and revealing his other role on State of Decay. J.L. Bourne was only a few hours ago signing autographs in our booth and telling stories during the Superfan prize dinner. I feel like we were just standing in a crowded room, telling people that as a matter of fact you’ll be able to play as Sasquatch in the Year One edition of State of Decay. And it sure feels like I was very recently sitting on a convention center floor scribbling notes, while over my head Jeff and Foge were designing a PVP tournament for Moonrise.
Brant isn’t in the picture because he’s taking the picture, but what you’re seeing is the Superfan celebration. We are the luckiest game company on earth, I have to tell you. Our Superfans were supposed to be treated like royalty in return for all they’ve done…and instead they did more. They met us at the crack of dawn at the company HQ to load boxes. They helped set up the booth. And even though they had four day badges to see the show, every time I turned around one of them was doing a demo of the game for new players. (Our Negnar did step away from the Undead Labs area long enough to try out the new game, and he wrote up his experiences here.) I hope they had as much fun as we did. I mean, we are grateful to all of you for being part of the community, and meeting some of you in person is SUCH a thrill.
Speaking of meeting in person, here’s Drew! He signed shirts and hats and recited any line you wanted. “Niiiiiiiice” was a popular request. As befits a guy who is a professional DJ as well as a voice actor, Drew was the life of the party. It was great watching people come up to talk about the game, and then realize that “Marcus” was standing right there. What they didn’t know, and Drew was able to reveal, is that he’s also the voice of Sasquatch. Sasquatch, who will be a playable character sometime early next spring. We’ll be working with Drew until Hollywood comes calling for this guy.
Fans of J.L. Bourne (he whose novels were such an inspiration to us during the development of State of Decay), you will be glad to hear that he is EXACTLY the guy you want beside you if the apocalypse happens. He doesn’t just spin a pretty story. He thinks tactically at all times. It was an education watching him make plans and contingency plans, and more than once I got a little shiver and thought, boy, glad we’re on the same side. He’s also a hard worker, thoughtful, honest, and damned funny. We are so lucky to have him working on the future of the game. Wish I could talk about that future…
In the immediate future of State of Decay, and what we can talk about, is the Year One Survival Edition, which I would really like everyone to abbreviate on Twitter as “YOSE” instead of the cringeworthy “YO.” Seriously, if you could please hook me up, I will pay you back at the first State of Decay live event. Drinks, swag, something. Okay, moving on. Although we weren’t ready to show it at PAX, we did talk about it at our press event the night before the show. Major Nelson made a horror movie about it. Gamespot saw it in person. So did Ten Ton Hammer. Some bigsites wrote about it. And it wouldn’t have been a media event without some of the writers who’ve been there since the beginning.
Highlights include, but are not limited to: Remastered in 1080p. New mission type (“Cleo Drops” – military looking crates that contain rare and powerful goodies…but they seem to attract a hell of a lot of zombies). New playable Heroes from Lifeline — Hawkes, Kilo, Vance, and Sasquatch. New SUV, new weapons, new music. The facility goodies (snacks, ammo) from Lifeline will be retrofitted into the whole game. And to be honest, we’re not done.
YOSE will bundle all of the DLC into this package, to make THE definitive version of State of Decay. This generation of it, anyway. We’re still talking about ways to thank those of you who bought the original game but might want to upgrade, so, stay tuned.
And of course, there was Moonrise. PAX was our first chance to see real players interacting with our alpha build. As you regulars know, our PAX booths are never staffed with temps or marketing people. Every demo is given by someone who is actively working on the game, and really, REALLY cares if you’re having a good time. So, this show was big for us.
With fourteen demo stations, we figured the line would move so fast that there wouldn’t be a chance for much of a line to form. We were…pleasantly surprised. We were freaking delighted when one of the PAX people came over with a roll of tape to mark out where the overflow could go — around two sides of our booth! — without pissing off the fire marshal.
And then there was the line on the OTHER side of the booth for the tournament. After the show started, Jeff and Foge (the Design Director, BTW, you’ll be hearing more from him soon) looked at each other. They had a gleam in their respective eyes that I have learned means nothing but trouble. “Man, people don’t get to the PVP during the demo. That’s the best part,” one of them said. One thing led to another, until I was sitting on the floor of the booth taking notes while they worked out the rules. At the end I held out my notebook. Jeff took a picture of the page and disappeared. He came back a few hours later with two posters, four iPad Airs for prizes, and a few thousand postcards with the rules.
The tournament was EPIC. Nothing is more fun than PVP. Check out the pictures on the Moonrise Facebook page. And if you don’t believe it happened just the way I’ve described:
As usual with our games, Moonrise is damned hard to boil down to a simple slogan. Early next month we’ll start a series of design articles that will show you what all went into crafting this beauty, and I’ll post a more complete press roundup next week. This post is already crazy long, so in addition to Negnar’s post, for now you can start with MMORPG: “[C]heck out Moonrise, a real-time combat RPG that really made the obsessive compulsive gamer collector in me get excited.” And hey, why not GamersInBeta: “Besides the intuitive game play, what was most impressive about the title was how quickly you forgot about the medium you were playing on as you were so immersed in the story and action.”
If you want the news as it happens, be sure to follow us on our various social media things. We’re @undeadlabs on Twitter. We’re cleverly disguised over at Facebook. Although we don’t have the State of Decay tags on either Facebook or Twitter, we share the Moonrise tags with the people at Kabam: @moonrisemobile and http://facebook.com/moonrisemobile.
Please do keep track of us. We have something really neat to celebrate with you in the near future, and I don’t want you miss any of the fun.
Today it’s my great pleasure to announce our new game, Moonrise.
Moonrise is a multiplayer creature-collection RPG for mobile devices, conceived and developed here at the Lab and published by Kabam. It’s a fun romp through a gorgeous 3D world of ancient ruins and magical creatures, with deep, real-time strategic combat, full character and creature customization, and real-time online play with your friends.
You can read more about Moonrise and our partnership with Kabam in the Moonrise announcement press release, and at the game website at moonrise-game.com. We’ll also be showing the beta build of Moonrise off at PAX Prime in Seattle at the end of this month, so look for more information about the game and release details then.
Like everyone at the Lab, I’m intensely excited about Moonrise. It’s a game that embodies the same passion and spirit we poured into our first game, State of Decay. But alongside that excitement, I’m also very aware that this is a surprise to everyone who has been following the Lab for the last few years. What does it mean for us to be releasing a game that isn’t State of Decay?
But those things — particularly when they’re big things — require time; for planning and design, for R&D and new technologies, for business and contract discussions, for new platforms to mature, and for a whole host of things that need to get done before you can unleash a full, chomping-at-the-bit game development team. So while the core State of Decay team continued to work on those things after the release of the game last summer, we built another team to take on a new project we’d been thinking about, which became Moonrise.
I’ve used the phrase ‘gaming omnivores’ to describe our personal gaming tastes at the Lab. You’ll find fans of every genre and platform here, and most of us love it all, provided it’s made with passion and respect for us as gamers. As game developers, we’re the same — omnivores. But just as we wanted to create a fresh take on the zombie genre with State of Decay, we wanted to create a fresh take on the creature RPG with Moonrise. As we’ll discuss in the coming weeks and months, Moonrise builds on the core foundation of collecting creature companions, with deeper team mechanics, real-time combat, a strong multiplayer core, and console-quality art and animation. And, of course, it’s playable on a device that most of us already have in our pockets or backpacks.
Moonrise is of course very different from State of Decay in many ways. It’s bright and colorful, it’s fantastical, and it’s on mobile. But despite those notable differences, you’ll also find that it’s very much an Undead Labs game, with a focus on systems-driven content, sophisticated progression mechanics, and a few bold design choices — such as strategic real-time combat — we think will result in a fresh gameplay experience. And, like every game we will ever make, Moonrise is a gamer-focused game, meaning it’s developed for people like us — passionate gamers who expect our time and money to be treated with respect. It’s also fully an Undead Labs game in terms of our complete commitment to the player community and long term support for the game. Moonrise is as much our baby as State of Decay, and babies needs lots of love and attention…
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.
As we prepare to release Moonrise and continue development on the future of State of Decay, this is more true than ever. It’s been a pleasure building games for you so far, and I can’t wait to show you what we have in store for the future. On behalf of all of us at Undead Labs, thank you.
We are now live on both the Xbox 360 and Steam, and so far, it looks like everyone who knows about it is enjoying it. Thank you so much for your good wishes and good cheer all over the internet. It means everything to us.
Some of us are trying to be all chill about your reviews and tweets and posts. Some of us don’t have a cool bone in our bodies and we’re running around the internet like methed up ferrets, reading every word and watching every video.
Er… was that TMI?
But seriously, keeping cool when you’ve been waiting for this day for months is hard, and the best feeling in the world is when real people actually play it and LIKE it. These were the first four reviews to come in. Not cherry picked. Just the first four in my spreadsheet:
“Rather than adding a few hours onto the existing State of Decay narrative, the Lifeline expansion offers an entirely new campaign; one which is likely to take you more than one attempt (and quite a few hours) to complete successfully…I’m not sure there’s a zombie-survival game on the market (single or multiplayer) that currently holds a candle to the State of Decay franchise, and the Lifeline expansion only extends Undead Labs’ lead over its competitors.”
“What you can get in this DLC exceeds the price tag as it is intense, replayable, and overall a blast to play. If you were expecting just another version of Breakdown, you were wrong. What Lifeline feels like to me is the opposite of Breakdown and that isn’t even close to a flaw.”
“The new DLC seems more like a sequel built upon the same engine instead of just an add-on for State of Decay. Lifeline is a must for fans of Undead Lab’s zombie survival entry. Gamers who enjoy the genre and haven’t tried the game yet should really give it a shot as it remains one of last-gen’s best examples of zombie gaming.”
As with the original launch and Breakdown, the only advertising we have consists of these reviews, and more importantly, you telling your friends that the game was worth your time. If you like what you’ve seen so far, please spread the word that the game is out!
We are ON for tomorrow, everybody! The cost is $6.99, or whatever the rough equivalent is in your local currency (the Xbox/Steam does the math, not me). Who will be joining us?!?
Very early in the morning, Pacific time.
But what EXACT time?
Okay, for Xbox players, it doesn’t work exactly like that. The process will begin at 2 AM PDT/5 AM EDT/10 AM GMT (and for my Australians, 5 PM WST and 7 PM EST). However, the exact time it hits your local marketplace will vary, because the files have to move from server to server all around the world. So it may not hit precisely on the hour. Try to be patient.
For Steam players, Microsoft is going to push the button at 10 AM PDT/1 PM EDT/6 PM GMT (Australians, that’ll be 1 AM Saturday WST and 3 AM Saturday EST). Again, it may take a bit for your personal computer to see it.
In the meantime, reviewers have been putting up streams and posts. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed. I’m sharing links as they come in: @undeadlabs is where the party is all day tomorrow!
We didn’t anticipate the way this early pitch would get so many people excited, if you want to know the truth. State of Decay was included in a list of IPs presented for consideration, worlds that would make great entertainment. It’s not like that’s the only thing we have under discussion, either. We keep saying there’s all kinds of stuff behind the scenes, and this is just one of many, many ideas. When we say there’s a lot going on…we mean it.
We haven’t gone Hollywood, though. We’re focused on making games. Xbox Chief Phil Spencer said on Twitter just the other day, when someone asked him about State of Decay, that “SoD is important to [Microsoft]. @undeadlabs has a good plan for the franchise and it’s bigger than a DLC expansion.”
Right this minute, we havethatexpansion to get out the door. (Join us for the Lifeline live stream today at 11 AM PDT / 2 PM EDT / 6 PM GMT!) If anything does come of this live action thing, you know we’ll tell you when we know something for sure. Meanwhile, join us in the forum for an imaginary casting call. Dibs on Nathan Fillion! Or Chiwetel Ejiofor, Walton Goggins, Kerry Washington, Sarah Shahi…
We had an amazing time with Lifeline at PAX East two weeks ago. Everyone had a blast running around the new map, checking out the new characters and the new facilities, and getting the crap scared out of them while venturing into the underground street tunnels of Danforth.
The live game we played was hilarious. (If you missed me blathering about it before the show: All the jobs and hobbies in the game went into a hat. Each person waiting to do the demo picked one – doctor, sniper, TV watcher, cop, dentist, teacher, high school jock, etc. In order to enter a drawing to win a copy of Lifeline, you had to try and form a survivor enclave with your fellow demo survivors. In order to get a guaranteed win, your group needed at least one medically trained person, a weapons trained person, a construction trained person, and three to seven other people of any ability.) Total strangers were forming groups on the spot. People were camping the booth looking for the rare specialties.
My absolute favorite moment was when a big group of people had everyone except their medic. A nice couple came up behind them, and drew jobs. He got “paramedic.” She got “fisherman.” I couldn’t help it; I had to stir the pot. So I said to the man, “That group only needs a medic. So what are you going to do? If you go with them alone, you automatically survive the apocalypse. But you could tell them that the condition of taking you means making room for her.”
You could see him thinking. You could see HER thinking, “WHY DO YOU EVEN HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THIS!?”
But the existing group heard me. Remember, they weren’t friends. They’d just been thrown together by circumstance, people that happened to have a good spread of skills and talents. And you could see THEM thinking… “of course he’s going to want to bring his wife. Who are we going to kick out of the group so we can have the medic?”
It was completely awesome. It was like watching State of Decay coming to life.
(Then one of the original group members actually read the rules card, and shouted, “Wait, we only have eight people and we’re allowed to have up to ten! We have room for both of you!” and the moment passed with hilarity all around.)
But that was just what we did to kill time in line. Watching people play Lifeline was a huge moment for us. It was the first time players had their hands on it, and until you all have tried it out, we don’t really know how it’s going to go. If the PAX crowd was any indication, this is going great.
All we know for sure about launch right now is “early June” and “probably close to what Breakdown cost.” As for more game details, Geoffrey is in the middle of writing his next design article this one a good look at the new facilities and outposts. But if you can’t wait, what I have here is the most complete round up of PAX coverage that I could put together.
Massively/Joystiq:SoD Eyes Multiplayer; Stays Offline “While it’s broadly accurate to say that State of Decay is a template for an eventual MMO, the game has stood on its own and served as a very successful title.”
Ten Ton Hammer:Top Picks From Pax “What it is: A very worthy expansion to one of the best zombie apocalypse simulators on the planet
“What we saw at PAX: A complete rundown of what makes Lifeline tick, and why it isn’t just more landmass tacked onto the original game”
Xbox Gamer:Lifeline Preview “I had a smile on my face the whole time, as did Chris as he explained the game to me and watched me die a couple of times by hordes of zombies.”
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