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Build 10 – Steam Release Date

Hello Survivors!
We are screaming down the tracks towards Build 10 as it steams onto… Uh, well… Steam! Watch the short teaser video below, where we announce the release date, the new engine, and, of course, Steam!

We’ve answered some frequently-tweeted-questions about our upcoming Steam release. Check ‘em out!

I’m just now hearing about this game. What is it?
The Dead Linger is the definitive zombie apocalypse survival, in every sense of the word. It has multiplayer, free-form baricading, and, eventually, just about everything you’ve dreamed of in apocalyptic simulation, with a MAJOR focus on classic Romero-style zombies as the core enemy. You can check out our Development Roadmap to view the features we have planned, and see where we’ve gone thus far. You can also view our Info page for a brief run-down on the game itself.

When is TDL releasing on Steam?
If all goes to plan, The Dead Linger will be releasing for PC (Windows) users on Steam, September 27th, 2013. If you plan to purchase the game once it’s on Steam, you will find it under the Early Access section.

What engine is the game running on in Build 10 and onward?
Like the weight of the sky upon the shoulders of Atlas, we are proud, relieved, and happy to announce that we are using the Unity 3D engine. It’s incredible how no one guessed that!

I already bought the game. How do I get a code for my Steam copy?
We will be sending out Steam codes to your email address tied to your Sandswept.net account. Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages in the coming days, as we’ll announce when the codes are being sent. We are planning to send the codes prior To ensure that the code does not get stuck in your Spam folder, add noreply@sandsweptstudios.com to your address book.

How much will The Dead Linger cost once it releases on Steam?
We will be using the same pricing as it is now. We will also be changing the price come Beta, so be sure to pick the game up during Alpha for the discount! The pricing is as follows:*
United States: $19.99
Great Britain: £14.99
Europe: €18.99

*Some regions subject to change, not all region pricing shown

Will The Dead Linger have a 4-pack purchase option on Steam, and if so, what will be the price?
Yes, we are planning to include a 4-pack option. Here are the current prices for the 4-pack:*
United States: $44.99
Great Britain: £29.99
Europe: €41.99

*Some regions subject to change, not all region pricing shown. Alpha discount still applies.

What is Early Access?
Early Access is Valve’s new way of allowing Alpha and Beta games onto the Steam platform while they’re in development, allowing developers and fans to easier interact and discuss the game as it’s developed. We’re very excited to take part in this program, and we can’t thank Valve enough!

Will The Dead Linger be using Steam features, such as Join Game, Friends List, Achievements, Workshop, and more?
Yes! However, these features will not be active on the initial Build 10 release. We do have plans for user-submitted weapons and items via Steam Workshop, fun challenges and rewards through Steam Achievements, join-game-through-friendlist functionality, Steam trading cards, and a whole lot more! These will be introduced a bit later down the line. Stay tuned for more news on these features!

Will Dedicated Server be shipping with the Steam version?
As it is planned, yes. If we do not have time, dedicated servers will come in a hotfix shortly after release, and we are planning to have some great new server customization/administration features for you as well.

Will there be bugs?
Yes! Brand new ones, in fact! While we have vanquished many of the huge issues that plagued the code of 009c, Build 10 will have its own share of hiccups, missing bits, and other naughtiness that our expert team of bug-hunters will be destroying in a series of predicted hotfixes after Build 10 releases on Steam. We hope you all understand the true nature of Alpha, and we invite you all to enjoy the old-but-new experience running on the brand new engine.

Okay! So if I find a bug, what do I do?
Tell us! But don’t just tell us anywhere, tell us here!

Did Zag really do that one thing that one time and it was awesome?
Yes, definitely.

That’s all for now! We’ll recap most of this come Build 10 release, alongside a very comprehensive and well-written dev vlog. Welcome to the Apocalypse, both old and new. See you on 27th.

Linger on, Survivors!

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Survivor Spotlight: satchel_kachel

Hello 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.

It’s September now, and I know you all have been patiently waiting for news on Build 010. I promise, your wait will be worth it!

For Sandswept’s September Survivor Spotlight (wow, that’s a lot of S’s), I’ve interviewed Brian Kachel, also known as satchel_kachel. Brian is a recent grad from George Mason University who studied Criminology, Law, and Society and lives right outside of Washington, D.C.

Not only is he an avid open-world sandbox fan, but he also happens to be scary good at speaking in just about any accent known to man! Read on to learn more about his thoughts and experiences with The Dead Linger!

FEMME: I love your handle, satchel_kachel. How did you come up with it?
SATCHEL_KACHEL: Way back in the day in high school, my best friend and I were joking that he was going to name his son Charlie Brown someday (his name is actually Chris Brown), and then he said to me that if I have a son I need to name him Satchel Kachel. The “kids” thing was pretty far away at the time so I adopted Satchel as my nickname. A lot of people in high school and even more in college called me it and, thus, it absolutely needed to be my TDL name.

FEMME: How did you first hear about The Dead Linger?
SATCHEL_KACHEL: In my junior year of college, my girlfriend’s best friend Ryan told me about this game that was in development. I had no clue what Kickstarter was, or what “Alpha Stage of Development” meant at the time, but the words “open-world zombie survival” made me search for the game on my phone seconds after he said them. TDL was still in pre-alpha at the time but I watched it closely, checking the blog for updates pretty much all day in between classes, when I woke up, and before I went to bed. I’d always wanted a game where you could go anywhere and do anything, and I was going crazy that the game I’d always thought about was finally here! Unfortunately I didn’t back the game on Kickstarter (something I still kick myself for), and it wasn’t until Build 007 that I actually purchased the game, but when I did I played it for days straight without stopping.

FEMME: What is your favorite item in the game?
SATCHEL_KACHEL: My favorite item in the game definitely depends on what I’m doing at the time. If I’m running around scavenging for stuff in houses, then I’ll always have a sledgehammer on me. It’s just as good as the katana and WAAAAAY easier to find. If I’m running around simply exploring new towns and forests I go with the .22 rifle; it’s got the scope and I think the most common ammo. Plus, I can always use spare bullets for a sidearm if – no, when – I get surrounded.

FEMME: What is your favorite style of playing The Dead Linger?

SATCHEL_KACHEL: My favorite playing style is definitely hunkering down and defending a single building (either a Swert’s, a 2-story house, or a barn). I like to loot all of the houses in a block and bring whatever I find of use into one location. Then I board it all up and hunker down for the zombies that find me. Sometimes there aren’t enough zeds, so I’ve even gone far enough to run through giant crowds of zombies and lead them back to my home base to surround me and make me fight for my life. When I’m not doing that, though, I like to build my own bases in trees and around electrical towers.

FEMME: How do you feel about PvP in The Dead Linger?
SATCHEL_KACHEL: Honestly, I’m not too jazzed up about PvP in most games, including TDL. The players usually aren’t very tactical or creative with it and it just turns into a shoot-someone-the-second-you-see-them kind of thing but I guess that’s what PvP is, so I don’t know, haha. I think for PvP to be really good there has to be some sort of cooperative component with it, not just pure killing.

FEMME: Are you looking to join a clan?
SATCHEL_KACHEL: Nope, no clan for me. I really like to go on my own in most games. I’ve never been too into working with other people. I was involved in a clan a long time ago on Xbox Live and when I briefly played WoW, but since then I’ve developed a real “Lone Wolf” mentality.

FEMME: What has been your most memorable moment in The Dead Linger so far?
SATCHEL_KACHEL: Oh dear, where to begin! I would say the most memorable time was when I was running around collecting zombies to follow me to my base. I must have gotten at least 40 of them, but I waited a little too late in the day and had gone too far from my house. Before I knew it I had this massive horde just feet away from me. The sun is setting so quickly and then, suddenly, daylight is GONE. Now its nighttime and I’m running frantically because every time I stop to shine my light around and see what direction my house is in, the zombies catch up with me. In retrospect I probably should’ve kept the coordinates in the back of my head.

So I decide to say screw it and just run in any direction until I find somewhere to hide or lose the mass of zombies chasing me, and I see a 2-story house coming up. Now, bear in mind this is all happening in Build 008c before the patch that made zombies follow you for a shorter amount of time. I’m in the house and I think I’m safe and that I’ve lost them. I go into the kitchen to try and find food when I hear a banging from the front door. I dismiss it as nothing, and then I hear a wooden crack and glass splintering; I run into the main hallway and see zombies pouring in. All I had on me was my .22 rifle and they were on me in less than a second.

Unfortunately, they got me. I was able to take a screenshot of the first zombie hitting me to commemorate what was definitely the craziest chase I’d been in. (Moving my hands off the keys to take the shot was probably why I died!) I actually ended up sending that screenshot to Zag when he was asking for in-game screens and it’s now the TDL icon pic on Steam Greenlight! So whenever I see that I get to re-live my favorite moment :)

FEMME: Good thing you were able to screenshot that moment! What are some of your thoughts and predictions on the Big Engine Change and Build 010?
SATCHEL_KACHEL: The BEC is absolutely going to change the entire game, even if the features in-game are the same. The new graphics and AA implemented are going to do a lot for drawing new players, and since the devs have said that the new engine is going to make updates come out faster, then we’ll get more content at a faster rate. It’s a win/win/win!

First and foremost for me, though, is that the game will go a bit faster and smoother with the new engine. I don’t have a huge expensive gaming rig, I’m just playing on a stock Dell laptop, so I’m really excited that the new engine should really change how smoothly the game runs for me.

FEMME: What do you like most about The Dead Linger?
SATCHEL_KACHEL: The thing that I like most about TDL is the thing that drew me to the game in the first place. You can truly go anywhere and do anything. Every door and every window in every building anywhere in the game is accessible. There are no invisible walls or flashing warnings when you go too far outside the map of the world, because the game is the world! It’s the sense of true freedom that I like about the game. And when you add in zombies to that? Wow…

FEMME: What are some of your favorite games?
SATCHEL_KACHEL: There’s a definite theme to my favorite games: huge open worlds. So I mostly play games like Just Cause 2, the Assassin’s Creed series, the Grand Theft Auto series, Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2, Dead Island, Fallout 3, Red Dead Redemption. There’s kind of a zombie theme in there too.

Then there are games I know I’m going to need that haven’t come out yet, like GTA V, Watch Dogs, Saints Row 4, and Dead Rising 3. Games where you can just have fun in a massive sandbox are really all I play. Just give me a giant island, a few guns, a bunch of cars, boats, planes, motorcycles, and maybe a jetpack and I’ll play a game until the disk breaks.

FEMME: Lucky for us, TDL doesn’t require a disk! If you had to choose, Xbox One or PS4?
SATCHEL_KACHEL: I was so torn in making the decision between PS4 and Xbox One. I play a lot of media through my consoles which is easier and better on the PS3 (and I’m guessing the PS4), but there are a lot of Xbox One exclusives that I want. In the end, it was one thing that clenched the vote for me: Dead Rising 3! The second they announced that game and showed the gameplay I didn’t even care what games were on PS4.

FEMME: What do you like to do when you aren’t gaming?
SATCHEL_KACHEL: My absolute favorite things to do are outdoor activities, like hiking, camping, and canoeing/kayaking. I’m always looking for a fun new trail to hike near my house, and I’m actually planning a hike that would take a few weeks to complete! I also enjoy writing a lot. I’m in the middle of writing a zombie book now that’s just gotten past 400 pages. Maybe I could throw a few TDL references in there? :)

FEMME: That’s great! I’d love to read it when it’s complete! Now, what kind of tunes do you enjoy listening to?
SATCHEL_KACHEL: I’ll listen to really any music that’s easy to listen to, like acoustic stuff, indie folk, or light rock. During the summer my playlists are almost always country, though. It’s just something about the summer that makes country all I want to listen to. I don’t get too much into house music, electronic stuff or heavy metal.

FEMME: Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
SATCHEL_KACHEL: I’m a 22 year old post-college guy that just likes to have fun. I go out with my friends, I watch TV a little too much (BREAKING BAD AHHH!), and I really like playing video games.

FEMME: Is there anyone you’d like to give a shoutout to?
SATCHEL_KACHEL: I’d like to give a shoutout to my friend Ryan who told me about TDL and to my lovely girlfriend Anjelica who made me perhaps the coolest shirt I’ve ever had.

FEMME: Great, thanks so much, satchel_kachel! It was a pleasure getting to know more about you!
SATCHEL_KACHEL: Thank you so much Dana for choosing me to interview for Sandswept’s September Survivor Spotlight! Geez, those ARE a lot of S’s to pronounce!

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

Be sure to follow him on Twitter and friend him on Facebook.

Linger on, Survivors.

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Survivor Spotlight: Themap

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.

Ahh, another month, another Survivor to spotlight! This super cool Survivor is a jack-of-all-trades – he’s a modeler, programmer, AND a musician! Read on to learn more about the multi-lingual and Portuguese Themap!

FEMME: So what is your full name?
THEMAP: My name is Miguel Ângelo Miranda Pinto – yeah I know, quite a mouthful – and I’m 16 years old.

FEMME: How did you come up with your handle (Themap)?
THEMAP: My name was actually the main inspiration for my handle, because I was checking out the initials of my name and trying to form a name with them. I eventually ended with M.A.P., leaving the other M out because I wouldn’t get anywhere if I didn’t. I don’t know if that’s considered cheating. It just sounded right to me!

FEMME: How did you first hear about The Dead Linger?

THEMAP: I think I first heard about TDL in a forum post in the Wolfire community forums. That lead to Howell’s Master Screenshot Thread. I actually thought he worked for Sandswept so I just kept visiting the page and showing it to my friends until I finally realized he wasn’t working for you guys, and that was simply a fan-made page that shared the pictures and videos you guys released, so I created a forum account. I also think I saw some guy do a terribly wrong assumption about something gaming related, so I felt the urge to correct him.

FEMME: What is your favorite item in the game?
THEMAP: Definitely the Desert Eagle. I’m a Deagle freak. I’ve actually held one in my hands before.

FEMME: What is your favorite style of playing The Dead Linger?
THEMAP: I think I would probably be more keen to be stealthy in TDL, collecting my resources in the night and eventually barricading – if not building my own – houses, creating all kinds of traps to protect it from the walkers.

I’m also really into sniper rifles in video games. If you ever see me playing a competitive multiplayer game, I’ll most likely have a sniper equipped. Most people that know me will tell you that I’ll go completely ape-sweep- sometimes and grap a shotgun or a minigun and kill every zombie in the area. I’ve heard they’re a resentful bunch though, so they might come back to bite me in the ass.

FEMME: How do you feel about PvP in The Dead Linger?
THEMAP: I’m a natural prankster. I tend to lure my friends into trouble any chance I get. I go to the extent of designing traps to screw my friends in Minecraft. So yeah, I’d appreciate PvP in TDL, just so I can keep doing the same!

FEMME: What has been your most memorable moment in The Dead Linger?
THEMAP: My most memorable moment was definitely getting into a prison for the first time. For some reason it just felt weird (in a good way) opening the door to the cell blocks after walking forever. I realized the immense potential of TDL at that moment.

FEMME: What are some of your thoughts and predictions on the Big Engine Change and Build 010?
THEMAP: I’ve got a pretty high-end machine, so performance hasn’t been a problem for me. I’m looking forward to seeing the new shadows and overall graphical improvements in the new engine though. I think I’ll have to agree with those who say Unity will be the new engine. It doesn’t strike me as being a well kept secret anymore.. hehe!

FEMME: Haha, we’ll see about that soon! So what else are you looking forward to in the builds to come?
THEMAP: I think what will be the most fun for me in the next build will be hunting animals. Seems like a cool addition to the survival aspect of the game.

FEMME: And what do you like most about The Dead Linger?
THEMAP: The fact that it’s basically an infinite world. Just imagine the role-play possibilities within this! When the towns and the streets start getting names, it will provide an endless source of potential story-telling.

FEMME: What are some of your favorite video games?
THEMAP: My top 5 are The KOTOR Series (SWTOR was crap, it doesn’t count), Fallout 3 and New Vegas, Dragon Age 1, Assassins Creed 2, Red Dead Redemption.

I’m also into FIFA and NHL, and everything Naughty Dog has ever done. Hopefully TDL will be right up there someday!

FEMME: Good choices! What video game genres do you enjoy playing the most?
THEMAP: I’m really into RPG games, but only if telling a story is their main preoccupation. That’s mostly the reason why I adore KOTOR so much. I’ve been getting kinda sick of easy games recently though, so I’m into everything that’s hard or that has a focus in survival.

FEMME: What’s your rig looking like?
THEMAP: I’ve built my custom PC, so the specs are as follows:

Motherboard- MSI-Z77A-G45- 
CPU- FX-8120 AM3+ BOX BLACK EDITION 8 core 3.5 GHz

FEMME: Very nice! So I know you’re an indie dev “when you have the time” – can you tell me more about what you do?
THEMAP: “When I have the time” basically means when I’m not studying, rehearsing, playing hockey or PC games. I’ve been into modeling and programming for about 5 years. Recently I’ve been working on improving my modeling abilities.

FEMME: That’s right – you’ve posted some pretty impressive stuff on our Survivor Creations forum! What are you studying at school?
THEMAP: My course right now is the typical high school course, with more in-depth views on Advanced Math, Biology, and Physics. I’ve been able to keep a 17.3/20 average on all disciplines, so I’m pretty proud of myself. I intend on following a video game development degree when I go to University.

FEMME: What languages do you know? Are there any that you’d like to learn?
THEMAP: I can speak Portuguese and English fluently. I have basic knowledge on French and Spanish. I’d really like to learn Russian someday.

FEMME: I hear that you are in a band. Can you tell me more about it and what kind of music you play?
THEMAP: We are a group of 4 guys that go by the name of Nausea. We’re really influenced by grunge and metal bands like Nirvana, Seether, Avenged Sevenfold, Pantera, and Alice In Chains.

We have been playing together for about 1 year now, only doing covers. We are starting to compose a few songs of our own. We try not to take ourselves too seriously. I’m the rhythm guitarist as well as the lead vocals – I try not to suck TOO much. I really advise our cover of “Drain You” from Nirvana. I’m particularly proud of that one!

FEMME: Awesome! All of those bands are great! And last question: Is there anyone you’d like to give a shoutout to?
THEMAP: I’d like to give a shout out and a kudos to Travis (aka “TooL” on the forums) for the amazing amount of support and help he’s been giving me to finish the crossbow and sniper I’m making for TDL. Also Howell, who seems to be going through some rough times. Get well, brother!

I’d like to thank you guys at Sandswept for being so awesome and letting me do this. Also Dana, you’ve got a pretty big hand in me liking Avenged Sevenfold, since you shared that video of them in Rock AM ring, which I heard thoroughly, so a huge “thank you” to you – you’ve got yourself a fan.

FEMME: I appreciate you taking the time to answer these questions! Thanks again!

If you would like to contact Themap, you can send him a PM on the Sandswept Forums.

You can also follow him on Twitter and add him as a Facebook friend.

Be sure to check out his band’s YouTube page as well!

Linger on, Survivors.

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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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