Great moments in PC gaming: Building a little server community in Project Zomboid then dying six times in a row

Project Zomboid - A player on a city sidewalk is attacked by two zombies.
(Image credit: The Indie Stone)

Great moments in PC gaming are bite-sized celebrations of some of our favorite gaming memories.

Project Zomboid

(Image credit: The Indie Stone)

Year: 2013 (early access)
Developer: The Indie Stone

Death is inevitable. In Project Zomboid, doubly so. More than 10 years after Zombie survival classic Project Zomboid launched, my friends and I finally set up a server. We tweaked the settings a little to give us a semblance of security, but Project Zomboid is punishing even on its easiest setting, and it wasn't long before each and every one of us was on our second, third, even our fourth character. That's when the rage-quitting started.

We were doing so well—at points. Even when the water connection finally shut off, we'd collected enough rain and wood scraps to disinfect rags and make stew on the daily. All three of the main crew had their own cars even, thanks to my character's ability to hotwire. Some days, you would walk through the house and see a living settlement blossoming; players reading books in the garden, stripping down to their underpants to get in some reps, dismantling bits of furniture to build up the defenses.

It was really growing into a bustling little community. But all this living the high life came to an abrupt end when our non-survival-game-playing friends arrived. Asking them where they'd spawned was an ordeal in and of itself. "Oh, I'm in a little house," they would say. Like, OK… what's around you?

Thankfully, my partner had set the server up so we could all see each other on the map. So, me being the wonderful friend that I am, I gathered some snacks and weapons together, and headed off across practically the entire length of the Knox County map to retrieve my stranded buddy. It wasn't long before we got into some trouble. 

Soon this so-called friend discovered that the Q button makes your character shout, and since they kept spamming it, in came the horde. We thrashed around a bit while I tried to explain to her what "encumbrance" meant, and were quickly mauled to pieces. There goes my badass burglar character with level five fishing skill, Peter Phile.

On the second attempt my car ran out of gas half way there, and in the middle of a massive horde, of course.

Eventually we got our friend back to base camp, but scouting with anyone who's unfamiliar with a game is stressful (I should know, it's usually me). Basically it ended up with both of us rage quitting because screw going through the character design process for the fifth bloody time in one sitting. I love my friends, but this is why I play solo RPGs.

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for three years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.