A taste of what’s to come…

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.

34 Responses to “A taste of what’s to come…”

  1. hugo ganelius says:

    I’ve been staying updated on this game since 2012 and I still look for updates on this blog every day (When I can). Still extremely excited, the game looks awesome and I’d love to participate in the beta if there is one in the future. Now I’m just hoping for a Steam release and multiplayer. Keep up the fantastic work!

  2. Kestrel says:

    Hugo get an RSS reader so updates come to you rather than having to check every day :)

    Also, yes I’ve been following for a while too and I’m glad this project is still ongoing. Great job man

  3. Spracky says:

    Great update and great progress, keep it up! I’m so excited!

  4. Maximilian says:

    Wow! Great job on all that progress! I can’t wait for beta testing to start. I’ve been looking forward to this app for so long.

  5. Devin says:

    Hey Tyson, I saw a while back (or at least I think I saw you) post a reply to someone that there is a playable version of the first version of the game, and if there is, can you give me a link? I would like to try it out. Thanks.

  6. Fadi98n says:

    Did you just say Beta Test? *sniff sniff* it’s finally happening, i’m so happy.

    Some stuff i wanna ask/say:

    • Can you tell us what is left on the to-do list for the playable Beta version to be finished?

    • I’m assuming that the fast travel system will be similar to games like TESV: Skyrim where you can only fast travel to areas you’ve been to, is that correct?

    • Will dropped items never despawn? if so won’t that affect the performance of the game if you have stuff lying on the ground at all times? (sorry if this is a dumb question)

    • Thank you very much for adding achievements to the game, i really love getting 100% on games that i like and hunting after more than 90 achievements will be great.

    Sorry for all the question, i’m just too excited.

    the new additions are great and i can’t wait to see what comes next and to see what’s in store for the Beta, thank you.

    • Tyson Ibele says:

      Hey Fadi, good questions!

      I’ll hold off on listing the remaining items on the todo list, because often new things get added as old things get checked off, in order to update old systems or solve problems better and optimize performance. So I never know exactly how many things are left to do, but the overall number does keep getting smaller :) I had about 35 things left on it a couple months ago and now there are about 10….but those 10 things left are all pretty huge tasks so I don’t have an estimate of when they’ll be done unfortunately.

      The fast travel system does indeed require unlocks. Currently, when you discover a new subway terminal you’ll have to repair its power generator first and find fuel for it. Once it’s powered on, you can use it as much as you like so long as you keep it fueled….but you can only travel to other subway terminals you’ve unlocked….so as you explore the world and gain resources, it’ll become easier to quickly travel around.

      The new dropped item system is a bit tricky to explain, but the gist of it is that under normal circumstances, your dropped items won’t be removed anymore. In the old system, if you dropped a bunch of items and then walked away and dropped a bunch more, once you drop enough items the oldest items will be removed in order to keep the total number of items dropped under 100 (to keep performance good).

      The way the new dropped item system works, is that each ground tile in the game now has a container that can hold items. So instead of there being a global list of dropped items for the whole world, there is a list of dropped items for each tile, and they load/unload as you walk around. The world has approximate 60,000 ground tiles…so in the past, there was a max of around 150 dropped items at any given time….whereas now even though there is a small limit on the number of items dropped on each tile, the total number of possible items dropped throughout the world is in the millions.

      The limit on each tile still exists so performance doesn’t get hurt if you decide to randomly drop hundreds of items onto the ground in the same place…so in rare situations where a person decides to make a huge pile of items on the ground in the same spot, the oldest items will still get removed as newer items are dropped…but I also have a quality check in place so that “good” items don’t get removed to make way for “generic” items like coin drops or debris, in most circumstances.

      Of course, to avoid any items ever being removed you can just store your items in containers or chests. Items inside containers never get removed under any circumstance, unless the container is destroyed.

      As for achievements…they should keep you busy for sure. Each of the 90 achievements has 5 different levels…so you’ve got at least 450 tasks to complete before you can consider them all done :) They all give various amounts of XP, so earning them will help level up your character too.

      • Fadi98n says:

        450 tasks 0_0

        That’s the best thing i’ve heard today.

        Thank you for the detailed explanations, the loot system sounds great, this is the first time i’ve heard of a loot system that sorts dropped items based on quality, it’s so great and simple but i don’t know if i’ve seen it before.

  7. David says:

    I’ve been following this game and keeping tabs on the website to see new updates and information for like 2 years and I’m very very excited to see this game make progress and eventually get released!!

  8. Conner Sims says:

    Also been following your blogs for years, and still super excited for the release. If your beta test is not just among friends let me know, I’d love help bug test.

  9. Gaspar30 says:

    Woooooah, an update! Good to hear it’s still alive.

    I’m sure this is probably a forbidden question, but, is there a tentative release window?

  10. John says:

    So glad to see that you are making progress. I am still very excited for this game. If and when it becomes available to beta test, I would love to help out.

  11. Ethan says:

    Woohoo! Update!

  12. John says:

    Hey Tyson,
    Is there plans for a steam release? as my Ipad that i’ve been keeping up to date on this project with has become, well it’s ironic, but out of date.

    • Hugo Ganelius says:

      Just in case he doesn’t respond; As far as I know he wants to release it on Steam and he’s going to try to but nothing’s set in stone.

  13. Rudi says:

    Fantastic! Thanks for the update Tyson! Keep up the great work :D

  14. Zionist Or Metatrons Cube Lol says:

    Been watching this for years brother. Glad to see a beta is on the way :)

  15. Pendleburt says:

    Man I’ve been following this Dev Log for years now, definitely excited to see that it’s nearly ready for testing!!!!

  16. Gizrah says:

    A Beta test is close? Oh wow. Like many have written earlier, I’ve been following this blog for years as well, excited to see how it was going. I think I still had an iPhone 4 when I stumbled across this o_O

    *raises hand* if you need testers.

  17. Tre Domke says:

    Like the majority here, Ive been following you since I was 15. Im almost 19 now, will be on August 21st. This…. seeing how close this game is to being done… thats the best fucking present ive gotten in a long time. Pardon my speech there man but its taken you years to complete one game, and its because you actually give a shit. Im a relatively talented musician and my band is pretty damn good. Not saying youll need it, but if you want some free bad ass apocalyptic music, you email me. I wont take any money for it either. The work youve done is payment enough my friend. You sir… youve seriously out done every game on the app store with this one. Youre one legendary dude.

    • Tyson Ibele says:

      Thanks Tre! I appreciate you (and many others) being a fan for so long. It’s taken a long time to develop the game because it’s a labor of love that I’ve poured my heart into. I hope that once it’s ready, it’ll be as fun to play as it has been to make!

  18. Fulvin says:

    This looks great!

  19. Gargolock says:

    Just a question I have had for the four years i have followed this blog is will this game be free or paid will it have micro transactions (in app purchases) if it’s paid will it still have iap (in app purchases) if it’s free is it completely free if it’s paid will it be average app price or big steam game price cause I will probaly pay any amount of money as long as it’s under 40$ because this game looks better than big triple a games to me like battle front was 60$ this game if it was would be a better deal for me it’s just a question I have I think I will love this game when it comes out great work can’t wait for more updates

    • Tyson Ibele says:

      I haven’t decided on all the details yet, but it’ll likely be a premium game with a price tag around a couple of dollars, with optional in-app purchases (possibly).

  20. Vladimir says:

    it sound awsome :) i fell so impatient to test the game :D it is so nice to read all your tricks for optimizing the game (as a programmer too) and you make me feel like i should start making my own game too :P and quit my job :P

  21. Hi Tyson,

    Like many others have commented, I’ve been following the progress of this game for quite a while now. I don’t actually remember where I found this blog, but I’ve remembered to periodically check up on it all these years simply because of how interesting everything is.

    You are a natural talent and your breadth and depth of knowledge is truly inspiring, especially to a lot of Indie developers. To accomplish what you have completely solo is mind blowing to me.

    Thank you for being an inspiration and setting a great example. I look forward to seeing this through to ship!

  22. Terrance says:

    This is fantastic news! Could you please post an update about Zombox on the Touch Arcade forum when you feel the time is right?

    I am so happy to see that your project is still in the works!

  23. Dan_patate says:

    Hey Tyson I hope thing’s going fine for you. A funny question for you : Are you going to disguise yourself for Halloween?

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