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.
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.
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.
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.
For more on Jesper Kyd, check out his interview with Xbox.
by Geoffrey Card
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.
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!):
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.
I’m just messing with you. You can also watch this week’s recording: http://www.twitch.tv/undeadlabs/b/647087225
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:
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.
That’s right. Four weeks left until April 28, and the launch of Year One: Survival Edition. We’ve already kicked off the fun with our Last Human Standing game, and already the dice have dealt out some serious mayhem among the nearly 400 participants. There will be more, smaller contests to come as we gear up for the big celebration in four weeks.
For now, we’re starting with the facts. Or the FAQ. If you have any questions about YOSE, check out the post, and if your own question isn’t there, let us know so we can get it handled for you.
Note: Tomorrow is April Fool’s, my least favorite day of the year. The Undead Labs forums, website, and social media channels are April Fool Free Zones. But I still won’t be posting updates unless I absolutely have to. Feel free to join me on the forum, where it’s safe to believe what you read.
To celebrate the impending launch of Year One: Survival Edition, we are running a version of one of our favorite forum games: Last Human Standing. Do you have the good fortune necessary to survive the apocalypse and win copies of YOSE, swag, or even a new XB1 console*?
I have been unable to stop watching this thing since it was delivered. It’s all real gameplay footage, no animations or cut scenes or anything you couldn’t find in the game as a normal person. And the thing that makes it more awesome than any other trailer ever made? There is only one traditional media/reviewer quote. All the rest of the quotes come from you. That’s right, the brag quotes are from regular players who happened to be posting the day we were looking for quotes. We are so proud of State of Decay, and of YOSE. Thanks for helping to make it awesome.
It wasn’t even a week ago, and I’m not sure I believe it actually happened.
At one point on Thursday night, we had canceled our appearance at PAX East. Seriously. We’d made the call. Jeff was going to go demo in the Xbox pavilion, and I was going to sit alone in our giant booth explaining to everyone who showed up that our team had been unable to get out of Detroit, where they had been diverted following the closure of their actual layover airport.
As promised last night, we have some big news for Moonrise.
We are bringing our beautiful creature battler and its unique PVP to Steam. We will be handing out beta keys to people who try it at PAX East this weekend, and we’ll move into Early Access after we assimilate the feedback we get from the beta.
Of course, Steam players will be sharing the world and doing battle with our players on mobile devices.
We believe we have something very original and special with Moonrise, and we’re excited to bring it to a much wider audience – PC and Macs to start. This is only the beginning.
Note to media friends: We’re in #3092 at PAX East this weekend if you’d like to come by!
Our friends at Microsoft hosted a media event in London at the end of last week, and the press embargo was lifted this morning. I can’t wait to see what the attendees had to say, but in the meantime, here are the new details from the release that went out on the Xbox Wire:
We announced the release date for the Year One Survival Edition. We’ll be coming to Xbox One, Steam, and retail outlets on April 28 in the USA and around the world on May 1. (That’s right, retail – YOSE is being released on disk. Woo! Tell your friends!) If you missed our announcement last summer, here’s what it is:
…Solari Arena Mode, One Of The Two
by Richard Foge
One of our main goals with Moonrise has been to create a robust platform for a huge variety of different gameplay modes, especially for PvP. Our first foray into the realm of custom gameplay types produced Solari Arena, which is inspired by Sealed Deck formats popular in many CCGs…but with mechanics that helps create more balanced teams.
By Ian Adams, Age 32
Hello again, folks, this is Ian Adams, Content Designer and Writer on Moonrise. I’ve already introduced myself in a previous article, so today I’ll just give you a fun fact: I can say “toy boat” ten or more times in a row, quickly. I can do any other tongue twister as well, but that’s the one I’m proudest of. I challenge all of you to do it even four times. If you can, maybe Sanya will give you a prize. I don’t know, I didn’t ask her about this.*
When discussing story, we’ve mentioned “quests” off-handedly a few times, but we haven’t really gone into detail on what that means. By the time this article is over, we will no longer live in a universe where that is true. We’ll talk about quests, what they have to do with story, how we make them, what our goals are and other things that I’m going to leave out of this list. To find out what they are, keep reading!
Thanks to all our friends on Facebook, Twitter, and the forums for the great questions! We’ll definitely do more of these, so if there’s something dear to your heart that we skipped, please click on the comment tape below. On to the Qs:
Q: Brian mentioned in one of the articles that some Solari have multiple affinities. How do you know which one to choose?
by Richard Foge, Andy Collins, and Brian Giaime
From the very outset, we knew that we wanted PvP to be a huge part of Moonrise. In this article, we’re going to chat a bit about an important element of PvP in Moonrise. Specifically we’re going to dig into meta-gameplay.
by Brian Giaime
What does “Balance” really mean?
Balance is a misleading term. You might think this means “everything is as good as everything else”. This isn’t entirely incorrect, but it misses out on one of the great things we can create through games: A series of interesting decisions.
by Brian Giaime
Combat lies at the heart of Moonrise, and it takes a lot of forms. You and your team of trusted Solari might battle wild, rampaging Lunari. You might fight against another Warden in a friendly duel. Or perhaps you’ll face a truly nefarious villain, with innocent lives at stake! But regardless of the enemy, combat follows the same rules.
How do you fight?
by Brian Giaime
[Meet Brian. He has gaming in his pores, starting with building with the Warcraft III editor as a kid, to setting his sights on video game design in college, to shipping Marvel Super Hero Squad Online while still in college, and from there becoming a designer at Glu Mobile working on several games, the best known of which was the incredibly successful Deer Hunter 2014. The back of his car contains every RPG handbook known to man, as far as I can tell. Certainly there is no room for actual people to sit. We love his enthusiasm, and how much he cares about our future Moonrise players. — Sanya]
One of our favorite aspects of Moonrise is the way in which your character (your Warden), participates in combat. You’re right there with your team, hurling fireballs, doling out heals, and actively engaging with powerful foes.
Every player will play their Warden differently. Some players will build their Warden into an artillery piece that slings powerful attacks from behind tanky, defensive Solari. Other players will bring healing and buffs to support and strengthen their already formidable offensive Solari. Some players may equip relics with unusual effects like:
The tl;dr version is that Moonrise is a AAA multiplayer, creature-collection RPG for mobile devices. The long version is the rest of this article!
Moonrise is our first game (as a company) to be released on mobile, in partnership with Kabam who have a ton of experience on mobile platforms. Many of us at the Lab love playing games on our mobile devices (as well as the ubiquitous 3DS, and the Vita stalwarts), and we felt that phones and tablets would be a fantastic home for our AAA take on the creature-collection/battling RPG. There’s a long story about how we got there, but we’re saving that for a future article.
About this time last year, we had a million reasons to smile.
Now, we have two million reasons. That is, two million copies of the original State of Decay have been sold, between Steam and XBLA. We’re not even talking about DLC, here.
There just aren’t the right words to tell you how much this means to us. No marketing, no advertising, just you playing and streaming and spreading the word. You made this happen, and if we could individually thank each person who hit that download button, we would. Your enthusiasm and support have been everything. Thank you.
When we hit five hundred thousand copies sold (which was pretty remarkable for a zombie apocalypse simulator with a persistent world and permadeath), we celebrated by starting work on Breakdown. When we hit a million, we gave away some freebies.
Two million calls for a hell of a celebration. We’ve already announced everything we can when it comes to the future of State of Decay — and then some — so we’re going to kick off a month long celebration. Keep your eyes here, and on our social channels (@undeadlabs on Twitter, http://facebook.com/undeadlabs on Facebook – accept no substitutes!), for details. If you make videos or stream, be sure to come back later today!
You’re…you’re just the best. Thanks again.
Hell yes, we’re making State of Decay for Xbox One!
Man, it felt good to write that. There’s a huge difference between “We think it’s a good idea and we’re seriously considering it”, and “Hell yes, we’re working hard on it right now.” It’s generally a good idea to wait until you can say “hell yes”, because until then, Things Can Change, but we’ve crossed that threshold for State of Decay on Xbox One.
State of Decay is coming to Xbox One via the State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition. While we’re still very much in development, here’s what I can tell you today.
Ten years ago, before zombies were legend, I sat down and began a journey that would eventually bring some of you with me down the long, post-apocalyptic road of armageddon. Day by Day Armageddon, for some, was a brief escapist reprieve from a cubicle or other such devilry. For others, it was the heart and soul of a lone survivor poured onto the pages of a ten dollar paperback. For me, it was a humble contribution to a zeitgeist defining genre.
Fast forward to now, and we’ve seen the zombie genre explode into every medium you’ll pay money for. As an ardent gamer since the days you needed a flathead screwdriver to connect your console to your TV, I’ve played my share of zombie games. In all my years of blistered thumbs, I hadn’t run across a title that I thought did the genre justice—until a year ago. I had recently transferred from an arduous tour of duty and had a little free time on my hands. I decided to boot up my Xbox 360 to see what I’d been missing. After an eon of system updates, I scanned the Xbox Marketplace and noticed a game titled State of Decay.
In the fall of 2009 I went on a zombie bender. Zombieland had just been released, and I saw it four times. It wasn’t the best zombie flick I’d ever seen, but I loved the road-trip aspect of it, and the focus on how each person needs to decide whether they’ll work together, or alone, in the apocalypse. Mostly, it just rekindled my love of the zombie-survival genre, so it was back to Day, Dawn (classic, and the 2004 remake, which was a damn fine movie), the 28s, a ton of obscure hipster zombie stuff, and a fantastic dive into the Walking Dead comics. And books, too. Brooks of course — more the Guide than WWZ.
Fun stuff for sure, but none of it was really scratching my survival-fantasy itch. The great thing about zombie books and movies is that they make you think about what you’d do if the apocalypse hit tomorrow. Hanging out with your friends and comparing survival plans is truly one of life’s great pleasures.
But then a friend (known around here as Brant) turned me on to the Day by Day Armageddon series by J.L. Bourne. The author was an active duty military officer, and it really showed in his work. The story was personal and gripping, but also logical and well structured. It was believable. It was impossible not to cast myself in the role of the narrator, relying on my wits and whatever equipment I could find to survive every day. I consumed it in a day, read it again, then read the sequel.
Exactly one year ago today, one year ago from this very moment as I write this, I was in bed. Not sleeping — oh no, that wasn’t going to happen for at least a few more days — but finally, actually, truly in bed. After a final, all-in push to get things wrapped up, the hours were ticking down to the worldwide release of State of Decay, a game we’d been working on for two-and-a-half years; a game we’d poured our hearts and souls into, bled over, fought for, and pulled kicking and screaming into existence despite its design breaking almost every game design rule in the book.
On that Tuesday night, June 4, 2013, I was in bed waiting for Judgement Day. The game would start rolling out on the Xbox Life network at 2:00 AM local time. Scarier still, the review embargo lifted at midnight, so reviews could start hitting within the hour.
Hola fellow survivors,
I wanted to let you know we’ve signed a multi-year, multi-title agreement to extend our development relationship with Microsoft Studios. We’ll be able to share details later this year, but as with State of Decay, we think it’s best if we just keep our heads down and build some prototypes before we talk too much. For now, suffice it to say there are big things going on with State of Decay.