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Welcome Survivors!

This page is The Dead Linger’s Development Roadmap. If you’ve been looking for a developer who is open and transparent about the development, you just came to the right place. You can track progress of the game to an intimate level with this large list of features the game has available, in progress, and planned.

Please bear in mind that development can and will take place on any feature at any given time, and nothing you read here is set in stone. This list is not arranged in any specific order, other than category. Features can be changed, added, or cancelled at any time. The percentages shown are rough estimates, in increments of 10%, and will be changed periodically as we release updates. 10% progress generally means the feature is conceptualized, designed and scheduled to be added to the game, but no substantial art or programming work has taken place on it yet.

HEALTH AND STAMINA SYSTEMS

The Survivor health system is mostly completed, allowing the survivor to take damage from many different sources. However, the health system is missing some features, such as fracturing bones and other grievous wounds the survivor will obtain during gameplay. The stamina system is mostly completed, but required balance tweaking and some additional variables based on inventory weight, among other things. We also have more plans for sprinting, and sprinting long distances.

INVENTORY

The current grid inventory is working as intended, but needs some improvement before it’s as versatile and user-friendly as we want it to be. We’re going to add better bars and unlock all the equipment slots over time. There is now a context-sensitive menu when you right-click on items, and a crafting menu that allows you to create campfires and more objects. Items also highlight as you mouse over, and give you additional information about their attributes.

HUNGER SYSTEM

The hunger system in The Dead Linger is designed to keep the survivors pushing forward for new places to explore and simulate the realism of true survival. Future improvements to this system include overeating, food poisoning, foraging, farming, and more.

INFECTION SYSTEM

The Infection system is in at a basic stage. Survivors can currently be infected by zombies if they let their infection risk get too high and receive a bite wound. The system still needs some balance work, and more ways to keep your infection risk lower. When grappling comes into play, whether or not a survivor gets infected will truly come down to skill, and not just chance.

RANGED COMBAT, FIREARMS AND THROWABLES

There are many ways to kill your foes or defend yourself from a distance. Currently we have a few guns in the game, but we have many more guns, and many more types of guns planned. We also plan to add stealthier weapons, such as crossbows, bows, slingshots, thrown weapons, and more. We are also going to be adding bullet drop and other variables to firearms to better simulate real life, while still maintaining fun gameplay and skill-based (as opposed to luck-based) weaponry.

MELEE COMBAT AND MELEE WEAPONS

Melee is currently in a somewhat basic state. We have knockback, multiple target hits per swing, different weapon damages, sneak attacks doing additional damage, and lots of variety in melee, but we haven’t yet added secondary attacks or ways to block or deflect, and really allow skilled survivors to engage enemies on their own terms, every time.

GATHERING WOOD, CAMPFIRES, AND COOKING

Cutting down trees, gathering wood, using wood to craft items, and creating campfires for light and cooking are coming up soon. We have been working on this for a near update. Stopping to cook food will satiate your hunger in a way that raw food never could.

BARRICADING, BREACHING, AND FORTRESS BUILDING

Barricading and fortress building are some of the key features in The Dead Linger. Instead of always running, the survivor can also seek refuge in any of the structural skeletons that have been left behind by the apocalypse. Free-form barricading and boarding up windows is a feature we are actively working on and will be coming soon. Adding curtains over windows is also something we are getting prepared. Survivors will be able to fortify, wall, and defend their compounds, making a safe haven in the apocalypse, and finding a building (or many buildings) to truly call home. Comforting, if it weren’t for the futility of this dwindling existance…

CHARACTER CUSTOMIZATION, AND CLOTHING

Currently, survivors are able to customize their profile name and their currently-equipped weapon can be seen in hand by others. Customization of your character’s appearance is a very big deal to us. The Dead Linger currently features limited character customization, but we have created dozens (well on our way to hundreds) of assets for clothing and customization which will appear on the survivor. We plan to include thousands of potential combinations for the survivor to customize their appearance, from gender to hair to height and more. All clothing will be visible on the survivor when worn, and clothing will give both cosmetic and functional reasons to be worn. Head and facegear show on the survivor, as well as their equipped type of backpack. We will also be including a 3D view in the inventory so that survivors can view themselves as well.

CRAFTING, REPAIRING, AND CUSTOMIZING ITEMS

Crafting is not currently in the game, but it will be introduced as an integral part of The Dead Linger. Survivors can collect supplies and various random items through the world, and then — with the proper knowledge — combine them into useful tools of survival.

WEAPONS AND ITEMS

We are always looking to add more melee weapons to the game to diversify gameplay and give survivors hundreds of choices for any situation.

MAPS AND NAVIGATION

We have no plans for a mini-map or on-screen compass, but we would like the survivor to be able to find and craft various types of maps, depending on what sort of detail and what level of detail they require at any given moment. The current implementation of a navigation system is on-screen coordiantes, coupled with a cardinal direction heading. This is only a temporary solution to allow survivors to find one another in the world. These will go away when we add a compass and coordinate system (i.e. a map, or GPS device) to take its place, which survivors will be able to find and collect within the world.

BATTERY AND POWER SYSTEM

The current system for the flashlight is a recharging battery system. This is merely temporary. We will be adding a battery requirement and many new versions of equippable flashlights that the survivor will have to find in the world. Batteries are intended to become a valuable resource, especially in the dark of night.

DEATH

In The Dead Linger, dying is part of the game. Lots of unique ways to die, from extreme to mundane, are a big focus. Currently, survivors can fall to their deaths, get eaten by zombies, die from infection, and more. We plan to add many more ways to disembowel, decapitate, or otherwise die before the game is complete. This also includes the way we dispose of bodies, and the length for which bodies stay in the world. Bodies will want to be disposed of or avoided entirely. While they currently disappear after a short time, they will eventually decompose and fade away after a much longer period of time.

DIFFICULTY SETTINGS AND DEATH PENALTY

The current difficulty in The Dead Linger is “hard,” but this doesn’t cover the other options required for survivors to have a truely fun and challenging experience. We are soon removing the ability to respawn with your gear when you die. We kept this feature for so long to discourage PvP, but we have more features on that front coming soon as well. Our plan is to add at least 4 tiers of difficulty, from easy to Permanent Death (Perma-death) which adjust the amount of gear lost when killed, and other factors that are character-dependant. We are having difficulty character-dependant, allowing survivors to play with one another, even if they aren’t playing on the same difficulty level (as long as the server permits their difficulty ranges.) Survivors will soon be required to retrieve their gear from their corpse after death, regardless as to whether or not their corpse is still walking about…

MODIFYING TERRAIN

Information withheld by order of the Department of Virus Research and Control.

FISHING

Fishing, while requiring water locales (see “Ponds, Lakes, And Rivers” further down the page) is going to be an important activity for many survivors attempting to keep alive. Whether they’re fishing in a city park, trying to trap fish from a small river in the deep woods, or throwing nets from a floating ship or massive oil rig out on the largest seas of the world. We plan to keep fishing a skillful task, where skilled fishermen will catch much larger and more rare fish, and not simply a “cast and roll the dice” system.

GENERAL PHYSICS

The physics in The Dead Linger are a crucial part of the gameplay. Moving through the world and interacting with objects as you would are one of the key features we’ve brought to the apocalypse. Throwing objects, stacking heavy furniture, pushing a couch in front of a door, and opening doors and drawers are a crucial part of the scavenging and barricading that is required to survive in the world. Ragdoll is also planned for zombies and survivors alike. (See “Dismemberment, Gore and Ragdoll” further down the page.)

LOCKING THINGS AND PICKING LOCKS

We have future plans for locking doors, finding locked doors, and picking the locks on locked doors. This also goes for objects, such as chests and vehicle doors. We will explain more about these planned systems as we approach their implementation. The next step on this feature is to create the concept of a locked house door, with the only options being to go around, or kick them down, until we have more stealthy options implemented.

FUN TOYS

We have many fun items and devices planned. Everything that didn’t fit in the other categories goes here. When it comes to awesome things for the survivor to do, we have just barely begun. Prepare yourselves.

MOBILITY, VAULTING, AND LADDERS

For The Dead Linger, our design goal is that if it makes logical sense, you should be able to do it. Survivors should never get stuck on railings, caught on corners, and be unable to climb and jump over obstacles that they could reasonably scale. Currently, survivors can climb ladders and jump over obstacles with their regular jump. The survivor will soon be able to roll to mitigate fall damage, vault over objects with grace, and move from one end of a house to the other in mere seconds, without any pause in pace, stamina permitting. Survivors become quite athletic after running from zombies for months on end — it’s about time they started acting like it.

IMMERSION AND HUD

We always try to immerse the survivor in the experience as, well, the survivor. Everything you see and hear will be communicated to the survivor as close to real life as possible (while still maintaining fun gameplay,) from the way the survivor moves, the way the camera bobs, to our future plans of peeking around walls, and simulating peripheral vision. We want you to fully step into the world of The Dead Linger.

IMMERSION BONUS: OCULUS RIFT

Our Oculus Rift dev kit arrived awhile ago and we are beginning the first experiments with implementing it into The Dead Linger. The Oculus Rift is a stereoscopic VR headset that will revolutionize the game, allowing survivors to look freely about with their real, physical head, as they move and explore the world. The levels of immersion we’ve witnessed in our simple tests tell us this is the future of true immersion into video games. All survivors who own one will soon be able to experience the zombie apocalypse like never before.

SURVIVOR TRIALS / REWARDS

Survivors will have access to a database of trials that they can complete as they play. Some are pure number counters (“Kill 1000 Zombies”) and some will be more specific (“Fall from X Height Without Dying”). Some of these trials will give rewards, such as special titles, and some will unlock various perks for the survivor to use. (See “Survivor Perks and Customizing Your Playstyle” further down the page.)

SURVIVOR PERKS AND CUSTOMIZING YOUR PLAYSTYLE

As survivors progress, achieving specific goals and challenges, they will gain ‘equippable’ perks that give them a small bonus in one area, with a maximum of 3 perks. The perks will be balanced as such that no survivor’s perks will be inherently better, but simply evolve and refine their playstyle into where they’re most comfortable. We will elaborate on this system as it is implemented. Survivors will remain evenly suited for survival and competition, regardless of this planned perk system.

PROGRESSION AND LEVELING

We have a system designed out to allow survivors to increase their prowess in the apocalypse as they survive and level up. This system is mostly under wraps, but it will focus primarily on cosmetic or ‘feel-good’ bonuses, and will avoid giving higher level survivors any significant power over lower level survivors. Survivors will remain evenly suited for survival and competition, regardless of this planned leveling system.

HORROR

The Dead Linger is a horror survival, not simply survival. At the core, the zombies are terrifying, and will remain so. We will be improving the horrific sounds of nightfall, the ambience of an abandoned school, and the dripping faucets of an empty house. Empty enough, anyway. The feeling of dread will become all too real before we’re done. The fear and isolation will soon leave you the same way the zombies have left the world — hollow — clinging to the bitter morsels of life.

TEMPERATURE SYSTEM

This feature is currently planned and designed, but there are concerns we have with it. The base idea is that survivors will have to wear clothing to keep warm in the cold, or shed clothing to stay cool in the heat. We are concerned that this will force survivors into clothing and item choices they do not prefer as their playstyle. We will address these concerns as we progress.

THIRD PERSON OPTION

The third person feature has been highly requested by a portion of TDL fans, so we’re keeping it on the table, but we haven’t put much thought into it just yet. While our vision is of an immersive first person game, we understand the reasons for wanting third person. This feature is currently not in development, but it may go active later on when we gather the time to implement it as a option.

GENERAL ZOMBIE BEHAVIOR AND AI

Zombies are currently stalking prey, following light sources, pounding down doors, and climbing through windows. We will be adding many more actions to their kit as we progress. Zombies will begin devouring corpses they find about the world, emoting more when idle, smashing objects and furniture out of their path, and following the survivor more agressively through complex structures. Zombie will also begin to appear in larger, roaming herds. The hordes have nearly begun their undead march.

DISMEMBERMENT, GORE, AND RAGDOLL

The gore and dismemberment system is planned, and very early development has begun. The next step is getting hit detection on specific limbs. There will be a future option to minimize and turn off gore once it has been implemented.

ZOMBIE GRAPPLING AND BITING

When attacking a survivor, zombies currently have a random chance to initiate a bite. The hit indicator appears as teeth marks when a survivor is bitten, and this bite rolls for a chance to infect based on your Infection Risk. Biting is currently the only way to get infected. Our future plans for grappling and biting are to create a grapple sequence where the survivor’s direct movement and actions effect the outcome of the grapple, either ending in safety, or ending in a bite if the survivor fails to free themselves of the zombie. We are steering very far away from silly “mash X repeatedly” quick-time events. If the survivor is overwhelmed by zombies and then gets grabbed, the only way to quickly be free from a grapple is to do the correct actions that would get you away from the group as quickly as possible. This is where cooperative play will come in handy as well.

FRIENDLY NPCs AND COMPANIONS

Friendly NPCs have been planned out and designed, but are currently not in the game. We have future plans for “companion” style NPCs, that will follow you around and help you with goals, complete with limited voice acting. There are currently no plans for survivor compounds or large groups of friendly survivors, but if we meet certain financial goals, that would become a real possibility.

HOSTILE SURVIVOR NPCs

Hostile NPC Survivors have been planned out and designed, but are currently not in the game. Military aside, there will be plenty of crazed survivors out in the wild, perhaps taking pot-shots at you as you cross the street and pinning you down with sniper fire. We want these encounters to be unique, and ruthless, not only to break up the pace of the usual zombie hordes, but to add an element of raw surprise to a lonely and desolate world.

ANIMALS AND HUNTING

You can currently hunt wild Bucks in the woods of the world. You can also skin them with a knife and cook their meat over a fire. We have many more animals and features planned revolving around this.

INFECTED ANIMALS

There is currently a zombie dog (dubbed “the Stray”) in the game and it moves a bit quicker than the standard zombies. They’re weak, but pack quite a bit of biting power.

MILITARY PRESENCE

The military was not entirely destroyed by the infection. This feature has been designed, but is not currently in the game. Military presence will expand with development.

THE PARANORMAL

Your sanity will not survive, even if you do.

CARS, TRUCKS, BUSES, AND LAND VEHICLES

While we have hundreds of things we could say about vehicles, we’re going to focus on the most important details of our future plans. The first vehicles, such as cars, will herald in the Beta phase of development. We want realism, first and foremost. Cars should behave and operate the way you imagine, and allow survivors to sit or store items in them the way you would imagine. Throwing something into the trunk, no pre-determined slots, is a huge focus for vehicles. A major part of the vehicle system is giving the survivors the freedom to turn a Bus or RV into a mobile base, complete with a system for free-form welding metal and other defensive materials to the vehicle. We are going all the way on this one.

SIPHONING AND ACQUIRING GAS

All vehicles in The Dead Linger will use gas to operate. The modes and methods of acquiring gas will be diverse. Filling up a desolate gas station is only one of the many ways to find fuel for your vehicles.

BOATS

Much like land-based vehicles, boats will offer similar benefits, and will be operated in a similar manner. Boats will range from small rowboats, to medium-sized motorboats, to larger yachts or houseboats. Many survivors see the advantage to a floating fortress, and so do we. If we meet certain financial goals, we will also be adding much larger craft, for survival on a much larger, and more luxurious scale.

AIRCRAFT

Information withheld by order of the Department of Virus Research and Control.

BICYCLES, SKATEBOARDS, AND OTHER SMALL MODES OF TRANSPORT

One bicycle type is currently present in the world. You can find them mainly in garages, and they handle pretty well. We have more plans for them, including but not limited to jumping, popping wheelies, and air control for tricks.

HORSES AND LIVESTOCK

Information withheld by order of the Department of Virus Research and Control.

MOTORCYCLES

Information withheld by order of the Department of Virus Research and Control.

TRAINS

WE LOVE TRAINS BECAUSE TRAINS ARE AWESOME.

ZONES

We have yet to scratch the surface on the variety of zones we are currently developing, ranging from forests of all sorts, steep cliffs, cave systems, large cities, small towns, massive lakes, and even more variation of rural farmland and neighborhoods. Even then, we couldn’t name them all right now. If you have imagined it, it’s very likely we are already working on a plan to get it into the game.

BUILDING VARIETY

The Dead Linger currently features a wide variety of structures, from suburban homes, to stores and prison complexes. Numbers can not count the buildings we are currently developing, ranging from massive city skyscrapers, small office buildings, large grocery stores, theatres, parks, and lonely cabins found in the deep woods of the world. Our goal is to ensure the variety of buildings enhances the visuals AND the gameplay, giving survivors hundreds of unique places to explore, fortify, and scavenge. This is just a small taste of what is coming.

PROPS AND GENERAL WORLD OBJECTS

The Dead Linger is a true, living, breathing world. While humanity is, for the most part, gone, everything they left behind is a silent reminder of what had been. The world is no emptier than it was before, with lamp posts, desks, beds, chairs, fences, telephone poles, and more. We are always adding details, from small to large, and will continue to add more with every large update.

PONDS, LAKES, AND RIVERS

Water is a massive system we plan to add to The Dead Linger. Ranging from ponds to wide open seas, there will be hundreds of new things to see out on the open water, and many more things to discover on the next shore. Rivers will run through the towns and mountains, generally leading you to civilization, or at least the coast. Water can be used to cleanse your infection risk, in the form of diving into water, or simply washing off under a faucet, assuming water still lingers in the pipes. The ability to swim will also arrive with this feature.

RANDOM ENCOUNTERS AND STORY VIGNETTES

The world of The Dead Linger is not stagnant. We will be adding story events that randomly occur during the game, ranging from military events to random survivor encounters. More information will be given as this feature develops.

DAY / NIGHT CYCLE AND SKYBOX SIMULATIONS

The Day / Night cycle and the skybox in The Dead Linger is currently in early development. Currently there are temporary “time of day” skyboxes that fade throughout the day, and the day-night cycle progresses continually as you survive. We have future plans to improve the look of the sky, add cloud formations, weather systems, calendar seasons, and a few other bonus events that only happen during certain times of day, or certain times of the month.

FOLIAGE

Foliage is at a very early stage in The Dead Linger. We have future plans to increase the distance it appears, add options to change that distance, and increase the variety and appearance of all foliage throughout the world.

GAMETYPE: SURVIVAL

This is the currently available and default gametype in The Dead Linger. This is the mode that the game was born for. Party up or go alone, survival is the key. PvP is discouraged here, if only because you may need some backup to survive in the grim apocalypse. Survivors receive less damage from other survivors, and the main focus is cooperative survival with your friends, or whoever you happen to meet along the way. There is still death all around you, but at least you have a chance. There are future plans to add party support to this game mode, so you can spawn in close to your friends, and work together more effectively. Every apocalyptic plan that you and your friends have created will be put to the test in The Dead Linger. This is the apocalypse of your dreams.

GAMETYPE: PVP FREE-FOR-ALL

This every-man-for-himself PvP mode is not for the faint of heart. Death and mayhem reign supreme as survivors try to stay alive, by whatever means necessary. If you want to create an alliance with another survivor, you may, but there’s nothing stopping him from stabbing you in the back. Work together, looting, scavenging, and surviving the hordes, or work alone, either killing other survivors on sight, or staying to the shadows and hoping they don’t come for you instead. If Survival Mode is the zombie apocalypse of your dreams, then this is the one of your nightmares.

GAMETYPE: PVP TEAMS

This PvP game mode is your classic Red vs. Blue team-based multiplayer frag-fest, but set in the world and the gameplay of The Dead Linger. With the zombies littering the streets, with no regard for alliances, and up to 8 teams fighting for survival and conquest in the world of The Dead Linger, you will not find another team-based multiplayer experience like it. This mode is currently designed, but is not currently available in the game.

GAMETYPE: EXPLORATION MODE

We have future plans to eventually add a gametype that will allow survivors to explore a given world seed without the threat of zombies. This is Exploration Mode. This is a mode for survivors who appreciate the beauty of The Dead Linger, or want to scout out a world seed before trying it out with the zombies in play. This mode is still in design works, but it may also include items, vehicles, non-zombie animals so that the survivor can partake in surviving and hunting in an emptier apocalyptic world.

GAMETYPE: OVERLORD

This is a multiplayer gametype we will be adding very late in development, if we reach certain financial goals. There is currently no additional information available at this time.

GAMETYPE: EDITOR

We would eventually like to add a “creative” mode of sorts, where survivors can collaborate and modify the scenarios at whim. This is a gametype we will be adding very late in development, if we reach certain financial goals.

SURVIVOR INTERACTION: TRADING AND INSPECTING

Along with showing the weapon displayed in another survivor’s hand, The Dead Linger currently allows survivors to drop items for one another. We have future plans for adding additional methods of trading (such as a trade window for safe trading) and an action for inspecting the equipped gear of another survivor.

SERVER LOBBY AND SELECTING SPAWNS

We have future plans for a ‘living’ server lobby, where survivors can meet and organize prior to spawning into the world, so that they can spawn near their friends and create parties without having to rush or be thrown into the world before they’re ready. We will explain this feature as we get closer to its implementation.

SERVER OPTIONS AND ADMINISTRATION

The server host currently has control over many features, such as max survivors, password, admin password, and more. We will be adding additional options to and tools to help server administrators customize, monitor, and control their servers in whatever environment they please. We believe that communities and clans should be able to run a server exactly as they please. Currently there is a Windows server, and we will be expanding the Server package to run on Linux and Mac as soon as we can.

GENERAL NETCODE

The Dead Linger currently supports a stable 16 survivors, and many more if the server host can handle it. We are working on general multiplayer glitchiness and jittery movement of other survivors. Our number one goal is that the survivors are seeing exactly what’s going on, and experiencing the same world together at all times.

GRAPHICS SETTINGS

The graphics in The Dead Linger are ever-improving through development. If your question is “Will the graphics improve?” you can be sure of a definite and resounding YES! The graphics are currently in Alpha, and we have many more things to add, ranging from anti-aliasing to magnificent vistas and incredible shadows, all complete with optional and multiple levels of graphics settings so you can run the game at peak performance for your PC setup.

GAMEPLAY SETTINGS

Everyone plays differently. Some people like more HUD, some people like less HUD. In The Dead Linger, we’re catering to the personal preference of all sorts of survivors. If you want different Aim-Down-Sights sensitivity, you can change it! If you prefer to not have a crossair, turn it off in the menu! We’ve added some, and we will be adding more and more gameplay options to the game as it progresses so that you have full control over how you experience The Dead Linger.

KEYBOARD BINDINGS AND MOUSE SETTINGS

Currently Survivors can bind up to two separate keys to a given action. We will be adding some more options to this menu, such as the ability to bind keys with SHIFT+, ALT+, and CTRL+ keys, among other advanced support for controller types, as well as keyboard and gaming mice with extra buttons.

SOUND SETTINGS

The Dead Linger currently features all your classic sound settings, and more to come, ranging from number of sounds allowed to play at once, to enabling and disabling post-processing effects on sound that could hurt performance on lower end machines.

MODDING TOOLS

While the game is fairly modifiable where it stands, we have not yet made any progress on an official Modding API for modders to create and import their own content into the game. This is planned to come much later in the process.

[Page Last Updated 3/19/2014 - Build 13 - Quality of Life]