survival sim

DayZ targeting better zombie behavior with expansion of dev team

Patrick Carlson at

Since its December release, the most complex and frightening encounters I've had in the DayZ Standalone have involved other human beings, not the survival sim's undead population. But with the recent expansion of its development team, the DayZ designers at Bohemia Interactive are now laying out a plan for a better-behaved zombie antagonist, according to a new post on the game's official dev blog.


The Long Dark's creative director explains why the apocalypse doesn't need zombies

Tim Clark at

From the Aztecs worrying about the sun disappearing from the sky, to Hollywood's endless variations on the end of the world, it seems like every civilisation is fascinated with the idea that it might be the last. Perhaps it's a sign of humanity's general narcissism, with each generation secretly hoping to be the one left staring into the abyss at the end of it all, because that might make us special. Or maybe folk just like seeing what happens when stuff goes really wrong.

The Long Dark is going to deliver a comparatively restrained, but no less frightening, vision of our demise. It's a survival game, funded on Kickstarter, which has already generated plenty of buzz for its startling visuals, which are being overseen by art director Hokyo Lim, who previously worked on The Unfinished Swan. The end of the world has rarely looked prettier.


DayZ developer acquires new studio to work on standalone version [Update: Everything but the name]

Patrick Carlson at

Update: Bohemia have been in touch to provide the following clarification: they have acquired Cauldron's facilities, technology and staff for their new Slovakian studio, but not the Cauldron brand itself.

It looks like the DayZ Standalone will be getting a few new helping hands. Creator Dean "Rocket" Hall has announced the purchase of Slovakian game developer Cauldron by Bohemia Interactive, with 25 of that studio's staff set to work on the zombie survival sim, according to a report at Eurogamer.

The best Rust videos so far: a brave reporter, a naked conga and wolves that strike from the sky

PC Gamer at

Rust is the biggest alpha game on Steam right now. The arid multiplayer survival sim drops players into the middle of its world mostly naked and armed only with a rock. Silliness inevitably follows, and is often captured by streamers, and those who keep an ongoing record of their in-game lives for posterity, who happen to have caught some farcical moments along the way.

We've rounded up a few of the best Rust videos so far, featuring a determined and oft-killed in-game reporter, sky wolves, a house beneath the sea and more.


DayZ's latest dev blog teases lighting improvements, lootable containers and physics

Phil Savage at

The DayZ team have recently revealed some more planned improvements from their development pipeline. As the early access survival game progresses over the next few months, post-apocalyptic survivors will find themselves helped (and hindered) by adjusted lighting, lootable fridges, increased zombies, and - most terrifyingly of all - a physics system. Through the implementation of a middle-ware physics engine, players will be able to throw items and ragdoll about. I look forward to seeing how the game's community will warp these systems in the name of trolling and torment.


DayZ sells 875,000 copies in three weeks, new development post outlines priority features

Phil Savage at

Despite DayZ's Early Access Steam page containing enough warnings to make even the most dedicated impulse buyers pause for thought, it seems as if PC owners really want to trudge through a grey field, before being held up by bandits and robbed of their shoes. A new post on the official DayZ blog reveals that the standalone alpha sold over 875,000 copies in the first three weeks of its release. That post also outlines some of the priority features that should see their way into the zombie sadistic jerk survival game over the following weeks and months.


Nether update adds subway system, wing glider, more content based on community feedback

Emanuel Maiberg at

If all goes well, urban survival MMO Nether will get an update on Steam early access this Wednesday, December 18, with several features that will significantly impact gameplay. The new features included are among the first selected by Phosphor Games Studio, based on feedback from players participating in the early access beta.


Project Zomboid interview: on Steam early access, survival clothing and top modders

PC Gamer at

Article by Edward Lewis.

Project Zomboid is a 2D isometric zombie survival RPG set in the town of Muldraugh, Kentucky. Players have to fend off hordes of zombies, while seeking out robust shelter, crafting items for survival, scavenging for food and (importantly, given the horrible apocalypse) keeping your character in high spirits. The zombie apocalypse survival game is currently one of the highest rated games on Steam Greenlight, and fans take to the forums in their thousands to offer strategies for survival and promote new mods (some of which have made it in to the official build). So why is co-designer Andy Hodgetts still concerned about this Friday's Steam Early Access release?

"I don’t like to get excited by things because I don’t want disappointment," he says. "All you can do is the best you can possibly do and hope that it works out, but we have no expectations on this. We are working on a niche game for a niche set of people, but we think it’s pretty cool."

Gods Will Be Watching survival sim gets full funding through Indiegogo

Patrick Carlson at

Gods Will Be Watching, a product of April's Ludum Dare 26 game jam, has achieved full funding through Indiegogo for the development of a "bigger, but deeper" version of the point and click, pixel-art adventure game. Spanish game studio Deconstructeam had set a goal of €8,000 for the project, but has seen nearly double that amount roll in with nine days left in the funding period.

Ambitious indie survival shooter, StarForge, hits IndieGoGo

Tom Senior at

It's been a while since we checked in with StarForge, the crazy ambitious indie project that lets you base jump from orbit onto a procedurally generated planet full of evil worms. It's got procedurally generated guns, physics-driven parkour and deformable terrain. You can also build structures that will stand and fall based on tech that analyses stress points in the house you're building so if you're thinking "there's no way the worms will get me when I finish my vast upside-down pyramid" that's sadly not going to work.


Minecraft 1.4 delayed for "issue causing mobs to suffocate and fall through wooden floors"

Tom Senior at

The Pretty Scary update for Minecraft has been pushed back a little bit because of some rebellious code that's triggering some strange behaviour among Minecraft's denizens. That's not strange in a WooOOooOOoo spooky sort of way, it's strange in a disturbingly broken sort of way. Mobs are suffocating to death in open air and then sinking through wooden floors to an unexpected grave and, more importantly, wet wolves look "way too scary."

The update will land this Thursday October 25 while these important fixes are applied. The pre-release, aimed primarily at modders and server admins, is available to download from the Mojang site now. Find the latest list of fixes below.


I Am Alive coming to PC this September

Tom Senior at

Ubisoft's solo survivathon I Am Alive will arrive on PC on September 13. It's been available on Xbox and PS3 as a download-only title since March but soon we'll get to wander blindly through its post apocalyptic cities, engage in desperate fights for resources with starving refugees and shotgun bandits to death in just a few weeks time. Find out more on the I Am Alive site. It was quite well received on consoles, hopefully we'll get a sensible port that retains that Mad Max vibe.


Sir, You Are Being Hunted brings new screens; extremely polite robots out for your blood

Richard Cobbett at

Friend of PC Gamer, Mr. Jim Rossignol wishes it to be known that his new Gaming Endeavour For Gentlemen And Ladies, colloquially known as Sir, You Are Being Hunted continues its Gestation with much Alacrity. Featuring a British Countryside Generator to provide a Classy Hunting Ground without requiring those involved to sacrifice that most civilised of rituals, Afternoon Tea, and robots, which make anything better by simple dint of Being Robots, it is looking quite fine indeed, we do say.

Would Sir or Madame be interested in some additional pictures? We suspected as much...


Dead Island: Riptide announced

Tom Senior at

Dead Island was a surprising hit when it landed last year. It filled a satisfying survival sim shaped hole that DayZ has recently been catering to. There's good news for fans of the first game. VG247 have news that a sequel called Dead Island: Riptide is on the way. For now there's no information a beyond that name, but Riptide does have a watery feel to it. I'm going to resolutely hope for zombie sharks until more information is released this summer. What would you like to see from the sequel?


Minecraft sells 6 million

Tom Senior at

"Minecraft has now sold six million copies" said Notch on Twitter earlier today. Another milestone smashed. According to the Minecraft site at the precise moment of writing, 6,001,992 copies have been sold, and 29,894,214 people have registered to the site. A version was released on Xbox recently, which seems to have boosted total Minecraft sales quite a bit. Mojang's Daniel Kaplan estimates that a grand total of 9.2 million copies have been shifted. In short: there are a lot of bros breaking blocks right now.

The game is still growing. Lead developer Jeb recently released an update snapshot to give players an early look at NPC trading and the magical Ender safe. In March, the Financial Times took a look at Mojang's finances and deduced that the company had made a cool $13.5 million in profits during its first fifteen months. It looks like Mojang's success is set to continue. Minecraft is still selling well and, from what we've played Cobalt is shaping up very nicely. Grats to Mojang.


Under the Ocean trailer introduces gorgeous indie survival sim

Tom Senior at

Perhaps you're having a hectic day, perhaps you caught a glimpse of Gabe Newell peering suggestively over his cash fan and now your heart's all a-flutter. Sit back and enjoy this calming slice of footage Under the Ocean from RPS. It's a gorgeous remake of the free survival/exploration game, Under The Garden in which your blue chap must strike out into the surrounding wilderness to find food and shelter.


Dead Island patch boosts level cap, nerfs zombies, adds new weapon mod blueprints

Tom Senior at

Techland have been tackling the hectic task of getting Dead Island up to scratch head on with a series of post-launch patches. In recent weeks crashes and major bugs have been the focus. The latest patch marks a change of tack, and sees the devs rebalancing Dead Island's undead hordes, adding extra stuff in the form of new weapon blueprints, levels, and crate rewards, and boosting the XP rewards for those on a second playthrough. It's looking as though Techland made the right decision in delaying the upcoming Bloodbath Arena DLC pack, but how long will it be before we can finally play a polished, bug free version of Dead Island? Get the full patch notes below, via Eurogamer.


Project Zomboid's eureka moment: "we started selling the world's worst games"

Tom Senior at

We recently met up with Project Zomboid developers, The Indie Stone, to discuss their many adventures trying to turn the indie sandbox survival sim into a commercial success. Yesterday we learned how help from Steam, Desura and FilePlanet saved the developers from exhaustion and pirates. Today we examine the serious problems the team faced finding a way to sell the game legally in the first place.

The problem was that Project Zomboid was technically an unfinished product, which made it difficult to sell using traditional retail methods. Their solution? To sell "the world’s worst games."


Minecraft to enter beta soon, will increase in price

Tom Senior at

The mind behind Minecraft, Notch, has announced that Minecraft will be making the move from alpha to beta on December 20th. The change will come with a price rise and will mark a shift in development focus, with extra modding support and some story elements already in the works.