A taste of what’s to come…

Posted in AI, Characters, GUI, Items, Press, Procedural world, Zombox on July 20th, 2016 by Tyson Ibele

So a huge amount of time has passed since the last update.

The good news is that a ton of stuff has been added to the game, and I’ve been working on it harder than ever…I just haven’t posted any updates because I’ve been focusing on getting a playable version of the game ready for beta testing. I’m also knee deep in reworking the NPC/story AI, and want to hold off on posting any real updates until the NPCs are done….since they’re the biggest hurdle left in the game’s development.

However, here’s some stuff that I’ve done since the last time I posted:

  • I’ve added a character upgrade that allows you to pick up, carry and throw zombies
  • there’s a fast-travel subway system you can unlock throughout the world to travel quickly around the map
  • on-screen indicators alert you to nearby hideouts and landmarks
  • many buildings now have basements you can explore
  • there are 4 new hero zombie types, each with special attacks and much higher difficulty
  • a new achievement system was added with 90+ unlockable achievements
  • the Zombox world map has been expanded to be nearly twice as big as before, with tons of new areas, islands, etc
  • crafting system improved: you can build bridges over water, you can build doors into empty doorways, etc
  • craftable structures must now be constructed from the ground-up, after placing them in the world
  • the original book-reading system for unlocking new crafts has been improved
  • structures that require power now indicate visually – through animated electricity textures – whether they are functional
  • new craftable tesla coil trap zaps nearby enemies with electricity
  • save data is now much more efficient – save files are 5x smaller than before, on average
  • items dropped on the ground are now saved to the location they are dropped at, so they won’t disappear when you walk away
  • bombs/molotovs/etc you throw now have an on-screen indicator showing direction of throw, as well as time until detonation

As you can see, I’ve been busy! Once the NPC/story AI gets closer to completion, I’ll post some images and videos of the things listed above so you can see them all in action.


Posted in Press, Zombox on October 8th, 2014 by Tyson Ibele

Ok, it’s here….the full update to what’s been happening with Zombox….

Near the beginning of this year I was feeling very burned out on Zombox. As a pure hobby project that I can only work on in my limited free time, it was still far from complete even after years of development. The thought of being an indie game developer for several years and having zero finished games was depressing. I felt I needed a break from Zombox — but not from game development in general…

I decided that I needed to pause Zombox development and create a different game with a much smaller scope. One that would give me valuable app store experience, Android device experience, user acquisition/management experience, and the gratification that comes with finally pushing out a finished, polished product.

This was around the time that Flappy Bird was in the spotlight, and it inspired me to try and come up with a super simple concept that would be fun, challenging, and ideal for mobile devices. It’s not easy to come up with an engaging, original concept that fulfills those goals, but then I had a dream one night about a hippo wearing moose antlers and a lightbulb flicked on in my head.

So, to make a long story short, I’ve spent the last few months creating a game called Jungle Moose. It’s about a hippo with an identity crisis who wants to cross a river full of piranhas.

It has no crafting, or zombies, or procedurally generated content. It’s just a simple, challenging, addictive game meant for casual mobile users who want some quick, hilarious fun. It has a wonderful music score by James Watkins (my composer for Zombox as well), and it has my signature over-the-top violence and gore, while maintaining a pleasing, whimsical aesthetic. I’m quite happy with how it’s turned out, and it’s completely finished at this point — just sitting in the App Store review queue. We’ll have to wait and see what Apple thinks of the blood and gore that is generated when the piranhas attack, but that can all be easily toned down for iOS if they decide it’s too intense. Regardless, it’s a finished product that will be released very soon for free on both Apple and Android, and it’s exactly what I needed to do in order to revitalize my energy for Zombox.

So….that’s it. It’s been all quiet on the Zombox front for the last few months because I was busy mud-wrestling with a cute, blue hippo. Once Jungle Moose is approved for the app store and released, it’ll be full steam ahead again on Zombox. I can’t wait to get back into it!

Thanks to those who continue to support Zombox and my game-developing efforts. Below are some video clips from Jungle Moose. The Jungle Moose website is still under construction (it’s just a simple landing page and it might not scale properly in certain browsers), but you can check it for updates if you want to find out when the game is released. I also re-designed my own website, which will now function as the main hub for all of my active projects.

Here’s a semi-outdated gameplay teaser (some of the menus were re-designed since this was posted):

There are lots of different unlockable game modes (hats) to choose from. Each one changes gameplay in a unique way. Click to play the video (no sound).

For example, the baby moose hat requires a lot more precision to kill fish, making the game much more difficult. Click to play the video (with sound).

With the magnet hat, explosive depth charges get pulled up to the surface. Accidentally swipe over one and it’ll explode! Click to play the video (with sound).

With the turret hat, instead of bouncing fish off your antlers you have to toss them in front of an automated machine gun. Click to play the video (with sound).

Here’s a clip of an unlockable boss fight. Click to play the video (with sound).

That’s all! Once Jungle Moose is released, look forward to more Zombox updates soon after!

Always backup your data…

Posted in AI, Press, Zombox on January 25th, 2014 by Tyson Ibele

Some of you might remember the story from a couple of years ago where the creators of Project Zomboid had their laptops stolen, causing a major setback in the game’s development at the time.

Well, yesterday the house I live in was burglarized and (among many other things) 2 of my laptops and my main iOS development testing phone were stolen. I haven’t lost any Zombox code because it’s all backed up off-site…but losing the devices (especially the iPhone 4S) still stings. Had I not been careful to keep the game code backup up elsewhere, the ending to this story might have been much worse.

So this is a reminder to everyone: keep your data backed up off-site!

In other news, I’ve transitioned over to using UnityVS as my IDE instead of relying solely on Notepad++ to write code and in the process I’ve converted all Zombox code to C#. So…no more JavaScript! Compile time is now faster, code is cleaner, etc…having worked with it enough I now much prefer C# over JS.

I hope to have some more substantial Zombox updates to post soon…currently working on fixing some annoying AI bugs that are proving very difficult to solve, so I don’t have much to show for that yet.

What’s happening…

Posted in Press, Zombox on July 17th, 2013 by Tyson Ibele

Hey everyone,

So you might be wondering what is happening with regards to Zombox development. I mean, the game has been in development for over two years now! Why isn’t it out yet?

Here’s the short answer:

There’s a lot left to do, and most of my recent developments have been back-end stuff related to the new map generation system.

Here’s the long answer:

Zombox was originally conceived as a micro-game in which you walk around a neighborhood killing zombies and destroying property. It was meant to be a simple test to see whether or not I could make an iOS game on my own.

It quickly exploded into what it is today. It now features a rich character upgrade system, a massive world, a complex system of NPCs, dozens of zombie types, almost a thousand different items to find, buy or craft, etc.

The latest overhaul of features that I’ve been working on is a complete rewrite of the map generation system, to make way for the hundreds of new city elements. This is no trivial task, because the old map system was integrated into many different parts of the Zombox code base, so replacing that code is a complicated process. So far I’ve already re-written several thousand lines of code, and by the time I’m done, I’ll have added several thousand more.

In re-writing those sections of code I’ve also put a lot of work into making the map system much more efficient. As it stands, it’s about 20 times faster and uses 10 times less RAM. That will make a big difference on mobile devices, because it means the game will load very quickly and be less likely to crash (running out of memory will cause games to crash on iOS).

Now, that is all behind the scenes stuff that takes a lot of time, which means that while I am coding those types of things, I won’t have many updates to post here.

So,┬ájust because I haven’t posted an update, doesn’t mean the game is not constantly in development!

Now, that said, here are some updates that you have to look forward to, in the future:

  • Weapons will have durability, and must eventually be repaired or else they will break
  • Players will be able to swim for short periods of time in the water, even though it is toxic.
  • The prop-crafting system (for things like walls, chests, doors, etc) is going to be augmented with many new buildable items
  • Different types of workstations will be craftable, that will allow you to craft more advanced items. So, for example, you’ll need to build an oven to craft certain foods, or a workbench to craft certain objects, etc.
  • A power system is going to be implemented, that will allow you to build generators (which will require fuel) that can be used to provide electricity for more advanced crafting workstations.
  • Zone-specific NPC behaviors are going to be implemented. For example, in the military areas you’ll have to face aggressive soldier NPCs who might not be as friendly as the sewer NPCs or the random NPCs you might meet elsewhere.
  • Eventually I’d also like to add in things like NPC sub-stories and quests, but I haven’t put too much thought into those things yet.

I have other things on my to-do list as well, but those are the main things for now! I’m not sure how long it’ll be before I have some new content to post, but you can rest assured that lots of development progress is still being made!

In the meantime, I appreciate everyone’s support and patience!


I’m alive!…

Posted in Press, Zombox on October 27th, 2012 by Tyson Ibele

Hey guys,

Many of you are wondering when the next update will be. The reason for the lack of updates is because I’ve been swamped with work and haven’t had a chance to dive back into Zombox. Because Zombox is just a hobby project and my real job takes priority, that can happen sometimes.

So that’s why there haven’t been any updates lately, and there probably won’t be another one for a little while. But don’t worry…I have big things in store for the future!

In the meantime, check out this awesome Zombox figure my brother made out of wood! My brother also makes all kinds of crazy stop-motion animations, and you can see his stuff on his website www.terryibele.com.

That’s all for now! Thanks for your continued support!

Answering some questions…

Posted in Press, Zombox on June 25th, 2012 by Tyson Ibele

Wow! After notch’s tweet about Zombox on the weekend and RockPaperShotgun’s small article on it, the game has been getting a lot of attention! And with that attention…lots of questions from interested gamers. Here I’ll try to answer a few of them:

Read more »

Interview on A.D.D Gamers

Posted in Press, Zombox on February 13th, 2012 by Tyson Ibele

A.D.D. Gamers just published on article on Zombox.

Click here to read it!


Posted in Press, Zombox on November 27th, 2011 by Tyson Ibele

zConnection just published an article about Zombox.

Click here to read it!

Comments are open!

Posted in Press, Zombox on November 23rd, 2011 by Tyson Ibele

Just making a note that comments are open on all posts here. Feel free to post feedback on anything and everything that you see. Constructive criticisms, suggestions and questions are welcomed!


Posted in Press, Zombox on June 7th, 2011 by Tyson Ibele

Zombox is a zombie sandbox game I’m developing for the iPhone. A web version will also be made available, so people can play in their browser.

Here’s a screenshot from an early prototype of the game: