[Update: Seems we got this one a bit wrong, originally reporting that the game would be an MMORPG. But according to the game’s developer, that’s not the case. Indie Stone’s Chris Simpson explains that Project Zomboid is “primarily a single player game that will be extended to have a Minecraft style multiplayer mode.”]
If the entirety of the modern games industry collapsed into a singularity, Indie Stone’s Project Zomboid would be the result. It’s got all the major trends of the last five years in one game: it’s an independently-developed browser-based zombie title. Slap on some ironic sunglasses, and you’ve got yourself a critical darling!
Indie Stone are a three-man, UK-based studio who, in addition to Project Zomboid, seem to working on an Xbox Live Indie title called Paws about raccoons and, perhaps, moles.
In any case: zombies. The video embedded above was shot to display Project Zomboid‘s blood and giblet propagation and, as such, isn’t entirely indicative of the full game which, according to one developer, is mapped loosely to Richard Matheson’s I am Legend.
There will be shotguns, no doubt, but Indie Stone’s focus is on survival, not carnage: running, looting, building, stockpiling, boozing, barricading, crafting, dying. Project Zomboid‘s lo-fi isometric view belies its ambition: Indie Stone also want to include dynamic psychological effects (depression, insanity, paranoia), tied neatly to a general breakdown of society — you may start the game with electricity and running water, but for how long?
And finally: infection. Project Zomboid is, well, kind of like SkiFree sans the murderous yeti: death by infection is inevitable, success measured only by how long it takes. Will you spend your last days with loved ones, or will you spring from this mortal coil in a blaze of gunfire?
Or maybe one of your companions will simply slaughter you for your shotgun.
In any case, Project Zomboid is very much a work in progress, full of piss and vinegar and promise. But if you feel super strongly about the project, you can pre-order/fund the game with a measly $5. This nets you the game and any future updates, and nets Indie Stone enough Boddington’s to program another day.