Map Of The Dead: Project Zomboid Gets Level Editor

By Graham Smith on January 16th, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

Bonesville. Population: You.

If you’ve ever invested time in a level editor, there’s a good chance you’ve started looking around your environment and considered how you might re-create it in a game. If you’ve ever invested time in a piece of zombie fiction, there’s a good chance you’ve started looking around your environment and considered how you might survive an attack by the walking dead. The Project Zomboid Map Editor lets you explore both fascinations by enabling you to create your own home, office, or other environment, and port it into the alpha-developed isometric zombie survival RPG.

There’s currently no official documentation for the tools, and very little in the way of community guides. The Zomboid development team have offered to answer people’s questions as best they can in the forum post though, and they do link to this video of someone building Alcatraz in the kit.

Zomboid has been in alpha development for yonks, since long before Early Access, and from the beginning of the trend of early releases. In that time the game has grown from a few houses with a couple of guns, to a vast and complex RPG, with an open world containing multiple towns, a lot of fields, and even more brainless brain-hungry undead. It’s an extremely unforgiving game, and in singleplayer, even more lonely and grim than DayZ. It’s worth playing in its current state.

The team also deserve a lot of credit for their approach to selling their game. When Zomboid eventually came to Early Access, the developers took great pains to make sure the community were aware of the current state of the game, partnering with streamers to display as much of it as possible to anyone who was interested in buying. In the current climate, that’s honourable.

On the official blog, the post announcing the map editor also talks about future update plans, including the continued shift to a 3D model system (which will enable better performance and lighting) and the wonderfully phrased “zombie migration systems”, which controls the ways the undead spread themselves over Zomboids worlds. Important, if you want to practice surviving your escape from your home or place of work.

Living in Bath’s Georgian basin, I’m probably fine in the event of a zombie apocolypse. The newly undead would all be retired second-hand bookshop owners still more interested in searching out expensive pots and pans than human brains. Perhaps I should build the town just to find out though.

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13 Comments »

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    DrollRemark says:

    The video link goes to an Alien Isolation screenshot. This is it for anyone curious:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eaf24aOxHyg

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    bills6693 says:

    This actually makes me interested in the game. Zombie survival games are too saturated a market, but this… could create some really cool stuff.

  3. unangbangkay says:

    I bought into the alpha back in the early days but never got around to actually trying the game out. After they added Steam Early Access to the offerings I downloaded it, but I read somewhere that the current builds aren’t actually playable, or don’t have a campaign or something. Can someone enlighten me? I’ll be away from my computer for a couple of days but I can queue up a remote D/L if it’s worthwhile.

    • tk421242 says:

      The last time I played, which was about a month or so ago, the only option I remember seeing was Sandbox. There are plans last I saw for various campaign settings such as the initial one back in the day that begins with your wife in bed sick but I do not think that is active as of this time. Even when it was active I always preferred Sandbox, nice to be able to play without having to worry about her. Of course equipping the pillow then selecting your wife took care of that real quick in that campaign. Yes… you could snuff her out with a pillow.

      So basically it is playable, you just start the game in a random spot and are free to do what you like… no story.

    • bladedsmoke says:

      It’s a sandbox, there is no “campaign” really. There used to be a tutorial that had some story, but it’s been removed – to go back in when NPCs also get added.

      But yeah, at the moment it’s basically an excellent zombie-survival sandbox and well worth playing. With certainly the most gameplay depth (and possibly breadth) of any other zombie game out there. When the NPCs finally get added again, I think it’ll go from being a quite good game to a truly great one.

      • unangbangkay says:

        “NPCs added back in”? You mean there are no other non-zombie characters besides yourself in the game at this time?

        • tk421242 says:

          As far as I have seen there are no other survivors in the game… though oddly enough the last time I was playing I heard a gun shot when I was in town so perhaps they are there but I did not see them.

          • edwardoka says:

            The gun shots you can hear are abstracted events which signify that a zombie migration is happening somewhere, there’s no NPCs directly involved.

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          cpt_freakout says:

          Correct. Supposedly they’re also reworking them a lot, so no NPCs in the game until further notice, although I think it was one of the features they were going to work on real soon.

          • unangbangkay says:

            Thanks for the clarification. Going by the clarification the zombies are a more credible threat in PZ than they are in things like DayZ, et al (though obviously they’re different types of games), so the survival aspect should still be fun in that “last man on earth” kind of way.

  4. tk421242 says:

    As far as zombie survival simulator games go PZ is about the most realistic and brutal one I have played thus far. 7 Days to Die is good fun and I enjoy building forts but I do not dread stepping out of my base into the word in that game like I do in PZ.

    The map editor is a really neat feature and I am curious to see just how user friendly it is… would be neat to recreate the area I live in and see just how viable my zombie survival plan is.

  5. wodin says:

    Finally got around to buying today.

  6. wodin says:

    Damn tricky trying to hit something with a bat or whatever else your trying to defend yourself with…