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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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!
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
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
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.
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 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.
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.
Now get out there and bag some Zeds. Don’t let the Wilkersons get all the glory.
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.
We had a blast yesterday at the first Year One: Survival Edition live stream. I mean, it started with Brant and Geoffrey awkwardly cuddling and it only got more fun from there. Look, you had to be there. So, will we see you on April 14th? http://www.twitch.tv/undeadlabs at 1 PM PDT/4 PM EDT/9 PM UT.
But if you don’t have an hour to spare, I live-tweeted all the juicy YOSE details at @undeadlabs. (Note: Most of this is already known to you if you follow us closely here on the site and out on social media.) Here’s what all I said on Twitter and in the stream chat channel:
We took four of our favorite heroes and wrote all new material for them. Sasquatch, Hawk, Kilo, and Vance are the four heroes migrating from Lifeline to the whole game.
What do you get if you’re a returning player who wants to upgrade to YOSE? Gurubani, the epic hero exclusive to returning friends of SOD. She has a suppressed WW2 scout rifle. While the rifle itself will need repair, just like every other weapon in the game, the built in suppressor will never need replacement. She was inspired by the lead designer of SOD’s experiences in India. Her weapons are just freaking cool, and her starting stats make her a top quality hero. You’ll find her in all parts of the game (original, Breakdown, Lifeline) and you can start as her in Breakdown. We wanted to make Gurubani VERY special for the returning players – the people who made State of Decay a success.
Gurubani is for returning friends. The Prepper’s Pack is for first day (well, first few days, really) buyers, whether or not you’ve played before – there’s a new gun, a new SUV, and a handy folding axe with sharp edges for maximum mayhem. The Prepper Pack SUV has a camo paint job, and the gun is an assault rifle with an underslung grenade launcher. No more switching between a rifle and a launcher, when you have both kinds of ammo!
We redid the animations, and added some badass new combat animations.
In the original, losing a weapon meant… shoving a zombie to death? In YOSE, you have an unbreakable knife always at hand.
Ammo refills, and snack making, are both going from Lifeline to the whole game. We also added Lifeline’s feature of manually repairing your weapon (instead of having to wait) to the whole game.
The draw distance is a lot further than it used to be.
We have a new mission type! Drops the best loot in the game, like a supply pinata. Assuming you can turn the beacon attached TO the supply beacon off before every zed in the game attacks you. But what’s the story deal with the new mission types? Well, it lets us tease things for the future of the franchise, storywise…
We spent…a lot…of time redoing the pathing. There’s still some goofy [stuff] but it’s WAY better than it used to be.
Yesterday we put out a new update on the 360 that added the menu option to move your save game to the cloud. Once you do that, and after you get YOSE, you can turn on the XB1 and get your save, and carry on. If you choose to move your save, by the way, the feature will move all your saves at once: Original, Breakdown, and Lifeline.
If you stay loyal to a format – Xbox360 to Xbox1, Steam to Steam – and you’re using your same account name, you automatically get 33% off of YOSE.
Retail preorders for the disk are already cooking along. Each store has a different pre-order bonus – a unique skin for the unbreakable knife. Everyone gets the knife, of course, but the visuals are cool.
We’ll have more information on digital preorders (and digital pre-loading, to max your fun factor on launch day) very soon.
We think YOSE plays like a whole new game – we wanted to make it worthwhile for you to come back to Trumbull Valley. We just brought everything up a level. Why? We had the most wonderful chance to make State of Decay look and feel like our internal daydreams vision, and we took it.
Everybody? We can’t thank you enough. State of Decay would never have happened without our community, let alone this shiny edition. And without you, there wouldn’t be a future for SOD at all.
We hope to see you all at the April 28 launch. But we’ll be streaming a few more times before then Look for us again next Tuesday, same bat time, same bat channel.
Want to queue up a question for next week? Ask it in our ongoing comment thread!
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.