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The Dead Linger is coming to Steam!

Hello Survivors!
We’ve been officially Greenlit! The Dead Linger – Alpha will appear on Steam thanks to all your efforts at spreading the word and voting us up on our Greenlight page!

We are extremely excited and very busy as we prepare 010 (The Big Engine Change™) for release. We’re going to jump straight into a Q&A to clear up a bunch of frequently-asked-questions we’ve received since this announcement. Here we go!

Will you be releasing The Dead Linger on Steam Early Access?
Yes, that is our primary goal at this time.

What build will be released on Steam?
The upcoming Build 010 “The Big Engine Change™” will be our first release on Steam. 010 will not release through the current channels you receive the game and game updates.

Can I still buy it from the website?
Yes, but only up until we release it on Steam. Once 010 is released on Steam, all future purchases will be made through the Steam store. If you want to buy it and play it right now, you can do that here. (And thank you for your support! We are currently funded entirely by pre-order purchases.)

Will I get a Steam code if I’ve purchased the game already?
Yes, that is our plan and we’re sure Valve would be fine with it. (From our experience with our past title, DETOUR, Steam generally allows developers to create as many extra game keys as they please.) We are not going to charge our early adopters a second time to get the game on Steam.

What about that Kickstarter promise of “DRM-Free?”
The game is not finished. We promised the finished game would be DRM-Free, and we will be sticking to that. During Alpha and Beta, however, there will not necessarily be a 100% DRM-Free copy as we plan to use Steam and integrate with its features.

Are you going to integrate with Steam Workshop so we can submit weapons and items through that system?
Absolutely. This is actually one of the top reasons we want to use Steam in the first place.

How much will the game be on Steam?
For Alpha stage, we are maintaining the same price as before – $19.99 USD. With Steam, there will also be a lot more payment options than PayPal, which we know many of our users have requested.

Sounds great! So when is this happening?
Build 010 is scheduled for sometime in August, but with the Steam news coming forth, we are probably looking at a more realistic date of early September. We know many of you have waited long for this build, and we can assure you the delay is only to bring the very best experience we can to an ever-growing audience. We will have a teaser video for the new engine very soon, along with lots more goodies between now and then. IN the meantime, enjoy the forums, spread the word to your friends, and most of all — Linger on, Survivors!

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Survivor Showcase #19: Swords, Guns, and Plywood

Hello Survivors!

It’s time for another Survivor Showcase! The Survivor Showcase is where we take awesome creations created by you — the community — and showcase them on our blog. It can be anything from fan art to fan fiction, and more! Please remember that items showcased here will not necessarily end up in the game and do not reflect the level of artwork found in The Dead Linger. The Survivor Showcase is here for your enjoyment and viewing pleasure!

1) 3DMachete by TurdSnack
– “Sexy as hell” – Sir Muffin
– “The blade looks especially well made, nice work” – Aralvar
– “Nice. No other words can describe it but sexy” – Sinistar

2) 3D3D Gun Models with Pictures by godtut
– “Sweet, keep at it!” – Polec
– “Nice! You’ve got a lot of talent! Keep up the great work” – FeedMeCheese
– “[They] look sexy! Keep it up” – HWBMx
– “These are nice!” – Jake398

3) Screenshot - Swerts Zombie Fortress by Spaccaossi
– “That is truly inspiring” – RDJ
– “Dude that’s so cool, nice fort” – viper131
– “Oh my. This is the best yet” – SacredSnowhawk
– “Wow” – Zag

You too can be showcased on the weekly Survivor Showcase by posting your The Dead Linger fan creations on our Survivor Creations forum. Go out there and make some incredible creations! Don’t forget to comment on your fellow Survivor’s creations to show your support and give them helpful feedback!

Linger on, Survivors!

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Survivor Spotlight: Horscht

Hi Survivors!

It’s time for our Survivor Spotlight! The Survivor Spotlight is a monthly blog post where we hand-pick a Survivor from the community – like you – and interview them.

Here it is, the day after America’s Independence Day. Instead of stuffing myself with hot dogs, hamburgers, and other typical summertime-grill-foods, I stuffed myself with massive amounts of pizza, my favorite food! (thanks for your donations, Survivors!). I know it’s a little out of the ordinary for the 4th, but what can I say?

I CAN say that for July’s Survivor Spotlight, I interview Kilian, more commonly known as Horscht. Read on to learn more about this Survivor from Bavaria, Germany who loves lasagna! Carb-lovers, unite!

FEMME: So how did you come up with the handle “Horscht”?
HORSCHT: I don’t really know. I thought it was funny in a way. A couple of people on the forums agree that it sounds like horse excrement.

FEMME: Haha, I can see that! So how did you first hear about The Dead Linger?
HORSCHT: On the WarZ forum after the Kickstarter campaign ended. I was looking for a good zombie game and found a thread about TDL. I wasn’t completely convinced yet but I didn’t forget about it and checked the progress time by time. I bought it when Build 004 was released.

FEMME: What is your favorite item in The Dead Linger?
HORSCHT: The Alpine Shotgun. It’s a very effective weapon, easy to use and has a good sound.

FEMME: So what is your favorite way to play The Dead Linger? What do you like to do the most in game?
HORSCHT: I like to travel a lot. I rarely stay long in one place and I am always looking to find new biomes. It’s awesome to pass a mountain and find a huge area with cities, farms, forests, and other places.

FEMME: Nice, I know that awesome feeling! Now, are you a supporter of PvP in The Dead Linger or do you prefer more cooperative play?
HORSCHT: Right now it’s not a big deal, since there is no use and no harm in PvP. As soon as more modes get implemented, PvP will be a lot of fun. I prefer playing cooperatively though and I really appreciate that you plan to give everyone the possibility to choose on what kind of servers (PvP or not) they play.

FEMME: What has been your most memorable moment in The Dead Linger so far?
HORSCHT: Back in Build 008, I played with two other guys. We scavenged for a long time, traveled far, and fought tons of zombies. After some time I recognized that my screen was turning white and I was shifting to the right – I was infected. On a remote farmhouse, I admitted to the other survivors that I was infected and told them to go along without me. After we made a last group photo they left. Then I just stood there and watched the rising sun until I finally turned.

FEMME: Sounds like a nice way to go! So what do you like most about The Dead Linger?
HORSCHT: The procedurally generated world. I haven’t seen something like this before. In other games, a level or a big map will always be artificial. You will reach illogical borders and houses that you are not able to enter, so it’s just like an arena for whatever you are doing, not a real world. TDL has no borders. You will always be able to go further. If you see something you can go there. This is the main reason why I love this game.

FEMME: That’s great to hear! So as you know we’re going through a Big Engine Change. What are some of your predictions about our Big Engine Change and Build 010? What are you most looking forward to?
HORSCHT: Since the performance will be increased I wouldn’t be surprised if things could be displayed from much farther away. I’m looking forward to the improved shadows. What we’ve seen on the screenshots already looked awesome!

FEMME: What feature or item are you most looking forward to in the upcoming builds, like Build 011?

HORSCHT: Hunting and campfires. This will set the survival aspect to a whole new level.

FEMME: I’m excited for those, too! Now, if you could implement any feature or item that’s not currently in the game, what would you implement?
HORSCHT: Inaccuracy when firing a gun. This would make gunfights much more challenging and intense, since you’d have to be more patient during fights.

FEMME: What are some of your favorite video games?
HORSCHT: Bioshock, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Brütal Legend, Age of Empires, and The Dead Linger

FEMME: Do you have a favorite video game genre that you enjoy playing the most?
HORSCHT: I’m not too focused on one specific genre, but most games I play are shooter

FEMME: What games are you looking forward to playing?
HORSCHT: Rise of the Triad. It is a reboot of a classic FPS and will come out soon. It won’t have modern stuff like HP regen, endless cut scenes or quick time events. Check it out, it will be fun for sure!

FEMME: Absolutely! It sounds like it’d be fun. Now what are some of your hobbies outside of gaming?
HORSCHT: I do some mountain biking.

FEMME: What are your top 3 favorite movies of all time?

HORSCHT: Stand By Me, Shawshank Redemption, and The Shining. Apparently I like Stephen King.

FEMME: Great choices! Is there anyone you’d like to give a shout out to?
HORSCHT: I want to thank everyone who is working on TDL for putting so much effort and passion into this project, and the awesome community for supporting them. Femme, thank you for doing this kind of thing for the community. It really means a lot.

FEMME: Thanks so much Horscht! It was great getting to know more about you! Can’t wait to hear what you think about TDL as we continue in development!

If you’d like to contact Horscht, you can send him a PM on our Forums.

Be sure to also follow him on Twitter and check out his YouTube channel.

He is currently in the clan Hell Raider and encourages anyone who speaks German to join.

Linger on, Survivors!

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E3 Recap & The Future

Hello Survivors!
Geoff Keene here, otherwise known as Zag, and I (along with Dana and Jeff) have returned from E3 alive and … Well, not zombies! Sore feet, creaking voices, and the stumbling undead were abound by the end of E3 2013 as we showed off The Dead Linger at the IndieCade booth, and it was an absolute blast for the team, press, and others who stopped by to check it out! Let’s dive right in! Pictures ahead!

E3 Recap

Note: If you are unclear about what we were doing at E3 early this month, or our intentions in attending, please be sure to check out our previous blog post.

The following E3 section is written by Dana.

E3 was a blast! As per our goal, it really helped us spread the word about The Dead Linger. Much of the time at E3 was spent getting sore feet at the IndieCade Booth where there were over 40 indie games being showcased! The ones we were able to play when we weren’t talking our heads off about The Dead Linger were super fun, creative, and created by such talented devs. It was an honor to stand alongside them (though to be fair, we all know that TDL was the best!)

Various IndieCade devs having dinner at (a very dim-lit) Yard House the night before E3

The IndieCade booth, or at least the PC section of it! It was huge! (C3 in center of frame)

We are super stoked that IndieCade selected us to be showcased at E3 and want to thank them for the opportunity! We were able to speak with tons of media and press who interviewed us, asked us LOTS of questions, and even recorded some of the interviews! Here’s one with Destructoid’s Spencer Hayes, where he dives into an interview with our very own Geoff Keene!

[ Note from Geoff: I got teased about the start of this interview. He said he was going to jump into some questions, so when he paused at the start I was confused! Alternative excuse; I'm a rebel, and I can interview however I want! xoxo - Zag ]

Matt Thorson from MattMakesGames checking out The Dead Linger, while Geoff lands a highly unflattering facial expression

We also talked with some Survivors and Kickstarter backers that stopped by. We have to say, it was just plain awesome to meet the people who have supported us, and even some guys from within the industry itself! We even gave away some fancy TDL exclusive badges, so if you happened to stop by – thank you, and cherish those gifts forever.

Thank you all for your support! Here are some pizza donations entering our mouths at E3!

Overall, E3 was an amazing and completely worthwhile experience. We were able to spread the word about The Dead Linger and gain more awareness. That awareness has led to an increase in many things, especially Greenlight votes! I’ll hand this back to Geoff to discuss Greenlight!

Status Update: Steam Greenlight

In case you’re unaware, The Dead Linger has been on Greenlight and available to vote on for about 47 days now. In those 47 days, we’ve had over 62,000 unique visitors. 58% of those have been yes votes (average) and 38% have been no votes (way below average!) What this means is that people tend to like TDL more than they don’t. Gee whiz, who would’ve thought.

As of writing this blog post, The Dead Linger sits at #28 on Steam Greenlight, out of roughly 1,324 games. To put that in perspective, we’ve surpassed 1,280 games in popularity! We couldn’t be here without each and every Yes vote! If you haven’t voted, be sure to check out the Greenlight page!

Status Update: Big Engine Change™

A lot of talk has been had regarding the upcoming Big Engine Change™ (BEC) and we’d like to go over the details once again, and talk about what we’re doing, and most importantly, why we’re taking the time to do it.

The BEC has been in the planning phases for a few months as we’ve gathered some information about our current engine and dug deeper into our list of wants and needs to make The Dead Linger true to the vision. We’ve also accounted for all the hurdles we’ve been in running into as we develop, and we’ve hit a point where an engine change is the cleanest, fastest, and best option. The bottom line is that our current engine is too restricting without multiple highly skilled individuals who know each facet – something we can’t afford, and something we don’t even require if we were simply on an engine with better tools.

So has it worked so far? Yes!

Since switching to the new engine, we have seen a substantial increase in performance, stability (not a single crash since we’ve began development in the new engine,) and ease of adding new features, as well as features we couldn’t add prior. For example, the systems we were using in the current engine did not allow us to display all our GUI elements the way we want. Very simple features – or what should be simple features – have proven to be tasks that would, over time, add literal months to our development time. The time it takes us to switch to the new engine is proving to be much less time in the long run, and will drastically increase the rate at which we develop once it’s out.

So when is it coming out? We don’t know just yet, but we’re aiming for sometime late July or early August. We have confirmed this past week that Build 010 will simply be the Big Engine Change­™ and all new features, such as hunting, will be coming in 011. Luckily, that won’t be to far off after 010 is released as our development pace will be almost twice as fast as before. Productivity in the new engine environment has skyrocketed, in no uncertain terms.

Awesome! So, what engine is it? We’re not revealing that just yet. However, here’s a few screenshots of The Dead Linger running in the new engine! Remember, this is a work in progress and we are nowhere near finished with populating the world and tidying everything up. The only art/textures that are not custom is the skybox, which will be overhauled prior to the release of 010 with our brand new day-night cycle.

Click on an image to view the full version, if you’d like!

You’ll notice that many of the items now appear as they should – proper specular maps, better shadows, better normal maps, and more. This update is going to be huge.

Oh, and the framerate is phenomenal.

Thank you for all your Greenlight votes, and your patience with us as we overhaul the engine to deliver a smoother, better experience than ever before. You are the best community we could hope for.

Linger on, Survivors!

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Survivor Spotlight: GamesUnhinged

Hi Survivors!

It’s time for our monthly Survivor Spotlight! The Survivor Spotlight is a monthly blog post where we hand-pick a Survivor from the community – like you – and interview them.

Ahh, I love the start of a new month – it means I get to interview another awesome Survivor (or, Survivors) for our Survivor Spotlight! For our June’s selection, I interviewed the guys over at GamesUnhinged, Michael and Anthony. Read on to learn more about these Survivors, YouTubers, and just generally awesome dudes!

FEMME: So where are you guys from?
ANTHONY: We both live in different parts of Arizona, near Scottsdale. We live somewhat close to each other which is great when we need to talk about our channel. If you have never been to Arizona, let me tell you, it’s very hot here. Even though we have lived here our whole lives we still are not used to the heat.

FEMME: How did you two meet?
ANTHONY: Well I don’t know if you would consider it “meeting” since we have known each other our whole lives. We are cousins, so you could say we met at a very young age.

FEMME: How did you come up with the handle “GamesUnhinged”?

ANTHONY: Well, when we decided to create a YouTube channel, coming up with a name was first on our mind. We sat down and blurted out a ton of names, typed them into YouTube and slowly narrowed it down to Unhinged Gaming. This sounded perfect for us, but we realized it was taken. I simply switched the words around and came up with GamesUnhinged.

FEMME: Speaking of YouTube, I know you guys make a TON of videos. Can you tell me a little bit more about them and what series you have?
ANTHONY: In the beginning, we only made videos of us playing TDL. We started getting more comfortable with being recorded and we got more creative. That’s when we came up with The Real TDL, which is the first Machinima series of The Dead Linger. We were skeptical of releasing it thinking everyone would hate us, but it was just the opposite – people enjoyed the video and asked for more!

Then we came up with some filler series like Survivor vs. Survivor and TDL Team-Up while we filmed TRTDL. We are still going strong and now starting to talk about another Machinima series.

Once a week we sit down and talk about our next video. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with ideas and other times it comes naturally. Releasing our video every weekend can sometimes be hard, so we work under a deadline.

FEMME: I know I’m not the only one who loves your videos. I know you guys stream as well. What games do you stream aside from The Dead Linger if any?
MICHAEL: Well you’re right, we do love to stream videos often. Since I had discovered the power of live streaming, I’ve become addicted to it. The main games other than TDL that we like to stream are PlanetSide 2, Minecraft, Project Zomboid, NeverWinter, TombRaider, and Dead Space 3. We will be live streaming other games down the road for sure, mainly because I’m definitely addicted to it!

FEMME: How did you hear about The Dead Linger?
MICHAEL: Well one day I was on YouTube looking up “zombie sandbox games” when I stumbled upon The Dead Linger Kickstarter video. I overheard Geoff saying, “The zombie genre has died. We’re bringing it back from the dead.” After hearing that I may have watched the video about twenty times then instantly called Anthony and bugged him about TDL for days. Anthony finally gave in and watched the video for himself and fell in love with the whole idea. That’s the reason why all of our videos are based on The Dead Linger.

FEMME: That’s so awesome to hear! Now, onto more TDL goodies: what is your favorite weapon and item in the game? Remember who you’re talking to.. (hint hint… Femme’s Cookies. Kidding!)

ANTHONY: Well my favorite weapon is the katana because of the damage it has on zombies. Plus, who doesn’t like to hold a four foot samurai sword! On the other hand, most people know I love red books! But in a fight with a zombie I’d rather have a weapon than a piece of literature.

MICHAEL: My favorite weapon in the game is the sledgehammer, mainly because it gets the job done with building a house and bashing some zombie heads together. But I have to say my favorite friend/item in the game is the pet rock, aka William!

FEMME: If you could implement any item into The Dead Linger, what would you choose?
MICHAEL: There are a lot of things that we would like to implement into the game, but the biggest one we would like is offline communication by using signs, books, or recordings to share with other Survivors.

A good example of this is if you have a friend that lives on the other side of the world IRL and you are not always on when he or she is, you can leave a note telling them to go collect some supplies. This idea could be very helpful for us Survivors to communicate.

FEMME: What has been your most memorable moment while playing The Dead Linger?
ANTHONY: Our most memorable moment was in Build 001. We both spawned into the world for the first time and had our first looks at this beautiful game! Sitting there in awe, a zombie came up from behind us and started to attack Michael.

While Michael fended for his life, I ran away screaming like a little girl. When I approached a nearby town, I could see Michael chasing after me. Looking in the distance, Michael had some followers.

We made our way into the garage of a house where we soon after realized zombies couldn’t get us from in there. Getting a better look at these ugly creatures, I came up with an idea to gather them up. Only able to collect about 10 (which was a lot for the time), we sat watching them trying to eat us. I blurt out, “This is zombie hoarding!” Since then, that’s what we call it!

FEMME: That sounds like it was fun! Do you guys have a “survival plan” for The Dead Linger? Do you guys stick together when you play or go your own separate ways?
ANTHONY: Sticking together is what Survivors are supposed to do. Keeping that in mind, we like to think of ourselves as leaders. This means we plan to travel together to find the best location to create our own community, where we can house lost and defenseless Survivors that need a home or a place to stay and protect them from other Survivors and, obviously, walkers.

FEMME: With that in mind, how do you feel about PvP in The Dead Linger? Have you come across it much and find other hostile Survivors? How do you deal with it when you do?
ANTHONY: Well right now PvP is pointless. Why kill someone when you get nothing out of it? Sometimes Michael and I mess around and kill each other, or I might troll him and repeatedly shoot him when he’s not looking, but that’s just because it’s fun.

In the future, PvP could be nice only because it adds to the realism of the game. At this stage of the game if someone continues to PvP us for no apparent reason then we will bust out in a hardcore gun fight!

FEMME: I’ll keep that in mind next time I try to kill you! Moving on to the Builds, what is your favorite update/improvement/fix/addition in Build 009?
ANTHONY: One of the additions that we liked very much was the barricading. It takes the game to a whole new level. Giving the player the option to take a piece of wood and a hammer and nail it onto the doors and windows of a house is amazing. It gives us a sense of safety and comfort.

One thing we talked about with Richard is the toggle hands command. We know he’s a fan of our Machinima series so when he told us he was thinking of adding a toggle hands command we were ecstatic! This helps us bring more realism to our series and we are extremely grateful!

FEMME: That’s great! Now, what are you guys most excited for in Build 010?
MICHAEL: We are most excited to be able to craft and hunt in Build 010! Having the opportunity to go out and hunt for food will be great! This will also open up more opportunities to create more videos!

FEMME: As you probably know, we are going through a Big Engine Change™ for The Dead Linger. Do you have any theories or suspicions on what that entails? What are your thoughts on it?
MICHAEL: Well saying that it is a big engine change, I think that may mean that TDL will have better graphics and will probably run better. It may also mean that there will be a lot of changes in game such as crafting and changing the way you would normally do something. For example, nailing boards to windows may be different, or the way biomes spawn. Now obviously these are only guesses.

FEMME: I know we’re excited to share the news with you when its time! Now onto some non-The Dead Linger related Q’s: When did you guys first get into gaming?
ANTHONY: Well since I was a baby my dad was always into gaming. He would sit me down on his lap and show me how the computer works. Since I liked it so much he would have me play educational games that taught me how to write or speak. Eventually, I grew as did my gaming experience. Educational games turned into first person shooters – big jump! Then there were obviously console games like Nintendo 64 and the GameCube, but I never really was interested in PC games until I started playing with Michael.

MICHAEL: I started gaming when I was really young. My first game and gaming system was the Gameboy and I played Pokemon Ruby. Very fun game!

FEMME: What genres do you guys like to play the most? And what are some of your favorite games?

MICHAEL: We used to play strategy games before we got into sandbox games.

Some of our favorite games are The Dead Linger, SimCity, Minecraft, Garry’s Mod, PlanetSide 2, NeverWinter, Dead Space 3, Arma 2, Arma 2 OA, all of the Tomb Raider games, WoW, Blocks that Matter, Battlefield 3, Among the Sleep, Left 4 Dead 1-2, Crysis 2-3, the Hidden, Starcraft 1-2, GTA 4, and last but not least Command & Conquer.

FEMME: Nice choices! What are some of your hobbies outside of gaming?
ANTHONY: Outside of gaming, it’s making videos and messing around with Photoshop CS6. I also like to draw and paint a lot! I’m actually doing a painting of TDL right now. I’m not sure when I will be done but when I am I’ll definitely share it with you guys! Then I love to play the guitar so I can serenade the ladies.

MICHAEL: Some of my hobbies are playing football, paintballing, and going to the gym. Some of my other hobbies are on the computer, such as editing videos and recording sound. My favorite out of all of these, though, is playing paintball because I feel like I can get ready for the zombie apocalypse.

FEMME: Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
MICHAEL: I am funny, tall, skinny, sexy, awesome, cool, friendly, chatterbox, zombie fanatic, dog lover, strong, athletic, love AC/DC, buff.

ANTHONY: I am tall, and as my mother would say “handsome” (sexy). I’m smooth with my words and cocky. I’m also very funny. You could say I’m perfect.

FEMME: Haha, that’s great! Is there anyone you’d like to give a shout out to?
ANTHONY: We would like to give a shout out to all of our TDL friends from the GU Community such as Howell, Philip, Grant, Ganz Oakwood, Mad Scientist, Gr4zhoper, and Alex.

Then we would like to give a special shout out to Richard Keene for supporting our channel and videos. He was the first to discover us from Sandswept and he got our channel rolling.

Then another special shout out goes to you, Dana, for doing amazing stuff like this and giving us these extraordinary opportunities to be a part of the TDL community!

FEMME: You guys are awesome! Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to talk with you guys more about The Dead Linger, your YouTube channel, and other goodies!

If you’d like to get in touch with Michael & Anthony, here’s how:
Sandswept Forums

Linger on, Survivors.

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