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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
YouTube
Twitter
Facebook
Twitch.tv

Linger on, Survivors.

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The Dead Linger at E3 2013!

Hello Survivors!
There has been some talk about our presence at E3, so we’d like to officially give you the full run-down of who is going, where we’ll be, and what we’ll have there.

Where to find us:
We will be at the IndieCade booth, South Hall #3035. We invite all press, fans, and stalkers to stop on by and say hello! We might even have something fun to hand out, assuming we don’t run out.

What will we have there: (and info about the Big Engine Change™)
We’ll have a PC (probably a high-powered laptop) set up with The Dead Linger Build 009c, for all fans and press to come check out and play while chatting with us.

We understand some people are surprised we aren’t showing off a new build, but we have many good reasons for that. As an event, E3 is primarily a press event. We’re there so the press can check out our game and get the word out. Secondarily, E3 is a meet-and-greet event for us. We want to meet some fans, meet some press, and meet some other developers out there, while showing off our game.

The reason we’re showing 009c is that we’ve been hard at work shifting The Dead Linger to a new engine to vastly improve performance and squash dozens of nasty crashes that we’re experiencing. The Dead Linger remains in a state of update-limbo until this process is finished, hopefully in a few weeks. There is nothing new to show until then, but we will definitely start teasing the new Torque 3D Unity CryEngine UDK Uningine ID Tech 5 Doom engine screenshots rather soon. When the next update is released, probably wrapped with Build 010 as the new engine debut, you can expect huge framerate increases. We talked to Richard about what would happen, and here’s his response; (fancy technical term incoming) “basically no memory crashes and stupid -sweep!- like that.”

While we’re talking about awesome things, we’d like to mention that we are currently holding steady at #76 (out of 1,285 games) on Steam Greenlight. If you haven’t voted for us yet, vote yes!

Who will be there:
We’re sending the best of the best to E3. Well, we’ll be sending who was available, anyway. You can find the following team members at the IndieCade booth and other places around E3. We’ll generally be stationed there for all 3 days, and you’ll find us wearing Sandswept and The Dead Linger pins or something fancy like that. If you need to brush up on faces, check out the Meet The Team page for ultimate stalkery.

Geoff Keene – aka Zag – Design Director and Project Lead of The Dead Linger, CEO and co-founder of Sandswept Studios
(follow his twitter: @geoffkeene)

Dana Churchill – aka Femme – Community Manager, Team Manager
(follow her twitter: @FisforFemme)

Jeff Macalino – aka JRMac – Lead 3D Artists, Environment and Weapons Artist
(follow his twitter: @JRMac3D)

We’ll be sure to tweet throughout the week, tweet pictures, and more! If you’re at E3 and want to get in touch, just shoot us a tweet. TL;DR Tweet us!

Linger on, Survivors!

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TDL on Greenlight: FAQ and Statistics


Hello Survivors!

Geoff Keene here, otherwise known as Zag! I’m writing a little post to talk about Steam Greenlight and where The Dead Linger stands in the ratings. I can not thank you all enough for voting, continuing to vote, spreading the word to your friends, and leaving positive, amazing, and encouraging comments on our Greenlight page. Thank you, each and every one.

We’d like to share with you the current statistics of our Steam Greenlight Campaign to get The Dead Linger on Steam. If you have yet to vote, go now, with haste, and give us a thumbs up, favorite, and follow The Dead Linger as it makes its way through the Greenlight crucible.

Feel free to leave a comment letting Valve know just exactly how much you want to see The Dead Linger on Steam — they’re watching.

Enough about Greenlight, let’s talk about Greenlight! Here’s a great overview of our current standing on Greenlight, compared to other top Greenlight titles, as provided to us by Valve. (Click to view full size.)

The Dead Linger Greenlight Stats

As you can see, The Dead Linger has been trending above the average top 50 titles (all thanks to you!) We’ve had 17,320 unique visitors as of posting this, and out of those visitors, 59% have voted Yes, they would like to see The Dead Linger on Greenlight (again, above the average Top 50!)

“Oh no! There are No votes! Who would do such a thing?!” you might exclaim? It’s normal. If you notice, we are currently above the average for the Top 50 (that means the top 50 highest rated Greenlight projects and that’s with us standing at 59% Yes votes. This is perfectly normal, and when you look at the size of the Steam market, it’s quite a substantial backing. Fear not the No votes.

You can also see that we are 56% of the way to the Top 100, meaning we have surpassed roughly 650 other titles on the Greenlight voting process thus far. It’s up to you to get us to the Top 100. Spread the word!

Again, thank you for your votes! Every single vote counts and helps us reach our goal of bringing our spectacular zombie survival to Steam. I’m now going to dive into a quick set of Frequently Asked Questions about The Dead Linger and what it would mean to bring The Dead Linger to the Steam platform. Hopefully this will answer your remaining questions as best we can. (Feel free to ask more in the forum thread. There’s a link at the very bottom of this post.)

1. If I have purchased The Dead Linger already, will I also receive a Steam copy if you make it on to Steam?
Yes, we will absolutely provide Steam codes to everyone who purchased, and to our knowledge, Valve is very supportive and understanding of this practice. You will only ever have to buy The Dead Linger once in order to own it. You will not have to purchase it a second time if The Dead Linger comes out on Steam.

2. If The Dead Linger comes out on Steam, can I still download it from your website?
One of the advantages of going to Steam is that we will gain access to their robust update and patch delivery system, and no longer have to pay for the massive bandwidth it requires to provide patches through our servers. We would like to take full advantage of this system.

3. What about a “DRM Free” copy of The Dead Linger? Isn’t Steam technically DRM?
This question has arisen from a few survivors out there, and particularly from those that backed us on Kickstarter. The issue had two parts, so I am going to break them down as such. This is a somewhat long one. Feel free to skip to question 4 if you have no qualms with Steam’s DRM.

Issue 1: The intention of the message when calling The Dead Linger “DRM Free” was that the game would not inconvenience paying users with unnecessary logins and online requirements in order to play the game in solo mode or LAN. It’s important to note that this remains a goal of ours in the final release version, if not also during Alpha and Beta. Long-time users will note we had even removed a login requirement in a past update. However, this is not the only and most pressing issue. Prepare for us to be blunt.

Issue 2: We absolutely love the idea of 100% DRM free games and we fully support the notion that paying users should never have to jump through hoops to play the way they want. The real issue arises when you look at bandwidth costs. As we are paying for bandwidth and maintenence costs on the servers that deploy patches and updates to The Dead Linger, and currently enforce very little restriction on who is allowed to download updates, we are not only paying for bandwidth that paying users are using, we are also paying for the bandwidth used to download updates on pirated copies. The bottom line is that it is not financially sustainable for us to continue allowing pirated copies to use our servers to download patches, and Steam is a great, non intrusive solution to that problem.

The Plan: We plan to provide 100% DRM free copies in the future, but we must first have a stable foundation (preferably on Steam!) before we can fully fulfill the promise we made to our Kickstarter backers. We hope everyone understands the concerns we have regarding this issue, and we hope to have your support as we address them over time.

4. Do you plan to go on Steam Early Access?
Yes, our goal is Early Access, as The Dead Linger is in Alpha stage and incomplete at this time.

5. Do you plan to integrate Steam features such as Workshop, achievements, friends list joining support, and more?
This is one of the major reasons we would love to have The Dead Linger on Steam. The Workshop, achievements, and friends list integration would bring us to a whole new level of community interaction, as well as help us pick community made creations to add officially into the game and enhance modding support in general.

6. Wow, that sounds awesome!
Damn straight. So be sure to vote for The Dead Linger on Steam Greenlight and help us get onto the Steam platform! Tell your friends, your family, your pets, and your mailman! They all want a piece of this, even if they don’t know it yet. Click the button below to go vote and share our Greenlight page!
The Dead Linger Greenlight Page

7. Do you have anything to say before you wrap this up?
The last thing we have to tell you is that we are currently hard at work on the largest engine upgrade The Dead Linger has ever experienced since we began development. We are anxiously awaiting the moment we can share it with you in detail, but that moment is not quite here.

Thank you all for your support and enjoyment of The Dead Linger. You are the reason we do what we do. Linger on, Survivors!

Click here to comment or ask a question!

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Build 009 – “Blood, Sweat, and Tears”

Hello Survivors!
Build 009 is the largest gameplay-changing build we have ever added to The Dead Linger. Don’t listen to us, though! See it for yourself! It’s out, and the dev vlog, installation instructions, and patch notes are just below! We are also now on Steam Greenlight, and we would love to have your votes!

We’ve put our blood, sweat, and tears into this build. We hope you enjoy every minute of it.

Download Instructions

Please follow the instructions which pertain to your specific situation.

A) I’ve already downloaded and need to update my current game.

1. Run TDL.exe. (Requires version Build 003 or later. If you are that far behind, we recommend using step B instead.)
2. You will be asked if you want to update.
3. Click Yes.
4. The game will begin updating. The patch is 71 MB in size. Progress is shown in the black command window.
5. Once finished, you will be fully updated to the latest version.* Enjoy!

B) I’ve bought the game, but I haven’t downloaded it yet.

1. Ensure you are logged in to your Sandswept Legion account that was used to purchase the game. (If you have a code, redeem via the link in Step 2.)
2. Go to the BuyTDL page.
3. If you have purchased the game, you will be redirect to a download link, which will download the latest build in full.
4. Once done with download, run the installer.
5. Allow the game to update to its current patch version, if any.
6. Enjoy!

C) I haven’t purchased The Dead Linger yet.

1. If you have not purchased The Dead Linger, you can pre-order now to enjoy the Alpha, future Beta, and final release! If you purchase now, you never have to buy it again.
2. Once purchased, follow instruction set B.

Patch Notes:

    Gameplay Changes:
  • Massive Feature: Fall damage has been added for both survivors and zombies. Watch your step!
    • Survivors can hold crouch (Default: Left CTRL) at the last second to mitigate substantial amounts of damage from a fall. We recommend using this technique often, or you will have very sore ankles.
    • Added a message on the death screen for dying from fall damage.
  • Massive Feature: Free-form nailing of wood for barricades and structures is now available.
    • Boards that are nailed up to cover doors and windows will have to be destroyed by survivors and zombies before they can progress past them. Improperly positioned boards will not stop zombies. The effectiveness of a barricade is directly proportional to the positioning of the boards by the survivor.
    • A message now appears in the chat box if the survivor tries to open a door that is blocked by something, such as a nailed up board.
    • To nail a wooden object to another stationary object, equip a hammer and grab a 2×4 or similar piece of wood. (Default: Middle Mouse Button or C key) Position the board against a stationary object, and then press melee attack to nail the boards into place. (Default: Left Mouse Button) This process takes 1 second. This system currently does not require nails, but it will in a future build. Build well, Survivors.
    • Survivors can remove a board by using secondary attack (Default: Right Mouse Button) while wielding the hammer. This will pry the board off of the surface after 2 seconds. This is the only way to salvage a board after it has been nailed to a surface.
    • Doors can not be opened if there is a board nailed across them.
    • You can now drive wooden 2x4s into the ground as posts. You can do this by equipping the Sledgehammer and grabbing a 2×4 or similar type of wood. Position the object vertically by rotating it (Default: Right Mouse Button) and hold it there, touching the ground. Then pound the object into the ground by using your melee attack (default: Left Mouse Button.) This action can only be done on terrain, such as grass or dirt.
    • Items that can be nailed by a hammer can no longer go into your backpack while you are wielding a hammer. (Example: The 2×4 weapon can not be put into your inventory while holding a hammer. We found this causes far less annoyance for Survivors when they’re trying to pick up 2x4s to nail them to a wall.)
    • There are now multiple nailable objects, such as varying lengths of 2x4s, and a few plywood sheets. They can be found in piles in random suburban backyards, or by chopping down trees and telephone poles.
    • Note to builders: You can currently climb ladders while grabbing objects and holding them in front of you. This is working as intended. While slightly unrealistic, we feel that the gameplay gains a substantial benefit from this.
  • Massive Feature: Trees can now be cut down by hatchets and fireaxes, and they will drop wood. Larger trees will take longer to cut down, but yield in more wood.
    • Two new sharp weapons have been added; a one-handed Hatchet and two-handed Fireaxe.
    • Fireaxes will cut a tree down slightly quicker than a hatchet.
    • Cutting trees with axes will reduce their durability.
  • Major Change to Sprinting: In order to improve long-distance travel, Survivors can now continue to sprint with no stamina, but they will sprint at a 25% slower pace and their stamina will not regenerate until they stop sprinting.
  • Fixed a bug so that survivors can no longer go into crouch state while falling or jumping.
  • Projectiles from a firearm will now shatter windows.
  • Doors and many other objects now use a health value for destructibility. This means that weapons that do more damage will destroy doors faster.
  • Doors generally take much more damage before breaking now.
  • To prevent confusion, all forms of the crossair are now hidden during certain actions, such as swinging a melee weapon.
  • Infection Diminish (the stat generally found on gas masks) now decreases Infection at 0.5% per minute, down from 1% per minute.
  • Fixed a bug where objects, including draggable objects, would reset their rotation when the survivor lets go of them.
  • Fixed a bug where objects grabbed by other survivors in multiplayer would not always appear in the correct place.
  • Fixed some bugs involving survivors holding, dropping, and carrying items in multiplayer.
  • Fixed a timing bug where melee and other action states would carry over for too long. Survivors should no longer encounter the issue where they would be unable to melee for a moment after a melee animation has ended. This also fixes an issue where guns would load rounds into magazines and firearms about twice as slow as intended.
  • Netcode has been improved so that survivors are no longer sliding around as much as before in multiplayer games, and more accurately show their position at all times.
  • Fixed a bug where the window-break sound was playing every time a window was hit.
  • A stomach rumble sound now plays when you are getting hungry. It will also play if you enter the world while hungry.
  • Other objects are starting to emit various noises when struck. This system is in preparing for zombie hit noises and other satisfying sounds.
  • Zombie Changes:
  • Fixed a bug where zombies visual aggression range was much shorter than intended.
  • Zombie sight range has been modified a bit to be more responsive and further distance. Zombies will pursue the survivors a bit more aggressively when they’re in proper sight range.
  • Zombie spawn rates have been tweaked a bit. Starving Zombies will spawn slightly more often (33% up from 30%) whereas Healthy Zombies will spawn slightly less often. (5% down from 8%)
  • Zombies now deal increased infection risk to survivors. 4% infection risk is added per hit, up from 3%. We are still investigating ways to improve the fairness and reliability of the infection system prior to adding more features to it.
  • Zombies will now attack barricades at different speeds, depending on their level of decomposition. For example, Healthy zombies will hit doors and barricades more rapidly than Starving or Regular zombies.
  • Multiple changes have been made to the way zombies react to survivors, particularly when the survivor is crouching. Survivors can now more easily avoid zombies by crouch-walking and otherwise sneaking about, as long as they’re careful.
  • Sprinting will not draw the attention of zombies as much as it used to.
  • Zombies will no longer slide about or animate a walk between hits against a door or barricade.
  • Fixed a bug where zombies were not repopulating areas over time.
  • Fixed a bug where the zombie knockback animation was not playing properly.
  • Added extra checks to ensure that ‘invisible’ zombies would properly update and appear on screen.
  • Zombies now update more often, especially when pursuing a survivor. Zombies should better represent where they are standing and should never not be visible when hitting a survivor.
  • Added some small changes to zombie pathing and the way zombies detect when they need to use a path point. Zombies should pursue the survivors a bit better around complicated obstacles, such as stairs.
  • Fixed a bug where zombies were not animating all of their actions properly. Zombie animations are now more reliable in general. Zombies will animate the proper motions more often, such as when pounding on a door or barricade.
  • Fixed a bug causing Healthy Zombies to not use their attack animation.
  • World Changes:
  • The new world save folder is called TDLWorld009. As usual, the game is in Alpha and data can sometimes be lost due to bugs. We ask that survivors do not get too attached to their worlds and inventories at this time, just in case.
  • Large, looming 4-story office buildings now spawn in Town zones. These are filled with loot, as well as numerous undead, and provide a great vantage point over a town.
  • A log cabin now has a 50% chance to spawn in any forest zone. This is a secluded and generally secure location, often filled with some unique treasures and items related to hunting.
  • Terrain colors have been rebalanced to more realistic hues.
  • We have created a system for randomizing house textures and the textures of other structures. Houses will now come in more varied colors. We will be adding more depth to this system later on, such as swapping out interior colors.
  • Suburban neighborhoods now have a higher amount of trees in the yards.
  • Transmission towers can now be seen looming across the fields and forests of the world.
  • Many LOD models (distance imposters) have been updated. Farm crops no longer appear as solid green or yellow blocks from a distance.
  • Grass clutter on the ground has been heavily optimized and should no longer cause the game to ‘hiccup’ as you travel. Unrelated hiccups may still be present, but far less often.
  • Grass now appears much further out. You can disable the grass by unchecking the checkbox in the Main Menu, Graphics Settings screen. This may yield in some performance gain for lower end machines.
  • We have taken some steps to reduce the memory usage and clean up memory usage in general. Survivors should experience less crashes due to running out of memory when traveling for very long distances.
  • Barns are now a great place to reliably find piles of wood.
  • The front doors on houses have received a new model and texture.
  • Round hay bales now appear in wheat fields.
  • There is a very low chance that an old cabin will appear on a farm instead of a farm house.
  • Farms will now sometimes be found with only 1 grain silo, instead of 2.
  • Swerts now only have a 1% chance of spawning in Suburban zones.
  • Swerts now have a 20% chance of appearing in Town zones.
  • Fixed a huge bug that was causing Town zones to never spawn.
  • City zones (which looked similar to Suburban zones) can no longer be found in the world, as we prepare them for a much bigger re-appearance in the future.
  • Town zones will almost always have at least 1 water tower.
  • Suburban zones now have a very rare chance of having a water tower.
  • City zones (which were currently identical to Town zones) have been removed until we have unique buildings (i.e. skyscrapers) prepared for them.
  • The Swerts store has undergone some substantial texture changes to enhance general grunginess and wear.
  • Small backpacks are a bit more common now, making them easier to find.
  • Ground should now appear flat underneath Swerts store parking lots, and better match the curb edge properly
  • Forests now have about three times as many trees as before.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing road intersections to appear darker than intended.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing road intersections to appear in off-center from where they should be appearing.
  • Some object weights have been redistributed to better represent their real-world weight.
  • Fixed a bug where doors would fly off their hinges and spin around in multiplayer games.
  • Fixed a bug where some objects were appearing multiple times on top of each other in the farm and prison zones. This should yield in a small performance increase, and survivors should no longer find multiple doors in a single doorway.
  • General Changes:
  • Inventory saving reliability has been drastically improved. Survivors should retain their gear between sessions much more reliably than before.
  • Added a new sprint animation for 2-Hand Long animations, such as the Sledgehammer and Lacrosse Stick.
  • Fixed a bug where the fog at the horizon was set to a longer distance than the horizon itself. Fog should now show near the far edges of the horizon.
  • The default far horizon has been moved in slightly to increase performance.
  • A bug causing the SK 63 rifle’s reload animation to appear strangely has been fixed.
  • The F1 Control Help List that appears on screen during gameplay now automatically fades away after 30 seconds. It can be re-opened by pressing the F1 key.
  • First person animations no longer default to ‘fist idle’ pose when the survivor enters various states such as jumping or crouching. Weapons now use the default idle animation when there is no existing animation to fall back to.
  • Fixed a bug where the survivor could not press OK to disconnect if the multiplayer scoreboard is up when a server shuts down.

ROADMAP CHANGES:

1. Survivor Gameplay

  • Health and Stamina Systems – 50% to 60%
  • Melee Combat and Melee Weapons – 30% to 40%
  • Gathering Wood, Campfires, and Cooking – 20% to 40
  • Barricading, Breaching, and Fortress Building – 20% to 40%
  • Death – 40% to 50%
  • Locking Things and Picking Locks – 10% to 20%
  • Mobility, Vaulting, and Ladders – 10% to 20%
  • 2. Creatures

  • General Zombie Behavior and AI – 40% to 50%
  • 3. Vehicles and Transporation

  • No Large Changes This Build
  • 4. The World

  • Zones – 30% to 40%
  • Building Variety – 20% to 30%
  • Foliage – 30% to 40%
  • 5. Servers and Multiplayer

  • No Large Changes This Build
  • 6. General Options

  • Gameplay Settings – 30% to 40%
  • Sound Settings – 30% to 40%
  • Upcoming Roadmap Estimates for Build 010: Hunting, Tertiary Items, Campfires, Throwable Items, Zombie AI, the start of Crafting, and more!

    KNOWN ISSUES:
    - There are sometimes strange looking ‘seams’ in the terrain on the edges of a zone. They do not adversely affect gameplay.
    - There are still some rare crashes that will occur (Remember; this is Alpha,) and they generally occur more often in Multiplayer than Solo Mode. You can generally just restart the game and you’re good to go.
    - Inventories can still be corrupted and not save during certain crashes, but they are rare.
    - Roads will sometimes intersect terrain.
    - Grass will sometimes still appear on roads when you first enter the world and spawn near a road. If you leave the area and then come back, the grass will be gone from the roads.
    - Some of the glass panes on the office building do not appear with the correct rotation.
    - Roads do not have collision and the terrain collision is currently used instead. Due to this fact, items can sometimes be hidden by falling on roads. We recommend that survivors do not intentionally drop items on road surfaces, or they might lose track of where it dropped.
    - There are some bugs with throwing held objects, especially in multiplayer. The objects may not always throw or land in the same way from different survivor’s perspectives.

    Please report any and all bugs to our Bug Report Forum!

    We predict some hotfixes will be released as well. We are already beginning work on Hotfix 009a to add some small fixes and additions. Stay tuned to our twitter on @thedeadlinger to keep up to date!

    Linger on, Survivors!

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