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A Song Of Light And Wood: Project Zomboid

Maybe the zombies are just in his head?

It’s been a while since we looked in on Project Zomboid, the disaster-prone survival RPG that, fingers crossed, now hopefully seems to be back on an even keel. During their time hiding and rebuilding, devs The Indie Stone have given the game “a radical engine overhaul,” a new AI system and assorted extra bits. The latest new feature on show is carpentry, which sounds like a minor, dull thing on paper, but in practice you can see just how crucial erecting ruddy great pieces of wood all over the place is to defending yourself against hungry deadheads. Also, there’s a new lighting system on the cards. Cos light is also quite handy for the whole not being dead thing. Unless you’re an earthworm, in which case a lack of light is probably more useful.

Behold: using wood to hold back the army of darkness:

Here’s the new lighting system, which devs The Indie Stone note means they can reduce ambient light at night. “We’ve added light sources like streetlamps, but find yourself in an unlit alleyway or in the woods and you’ll be in trouble.” As a result, torches, batteries, weather and moon cycles are going to become much more significant aspects of the game. Oh, and if you spend too long in the dark you’ll get depressed. Advice I could do with heeding generally, to be honest.

Also being overhauled, I suspect to the unbridled joy of the game’s community, is NPC AI. Hopefully the computer-controlled chappies will be a little better at making their way around their deadly world come the update. They’ll be able to do stuff like close curtains, go looting and co-ordinate assaults, “instead of running around randomly like mentalists.” Here’s a bit in action:

No release date for this update as yet, but there are loads more details on what’s planned in PZ’s 2012 state of the (dead) nation address here.

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Who am I?

Alec Meer


Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about videogames.

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