Project Zomboid Shambles On To Steam Early Access

These guys must really like hot dogs and banana milkshakes.

Project Zomboid is up on Steam Early Access now. Project Zomboid is a zombie survival RPG with a grim tone, and it has been in development and paid-alpha for ages.

That’s it. That’s the news. It was in the title. I’m always a little wary, though, of posting things like this, which are just straight-up, matter-of-fact pieces of information about a thing you can now buy in a new place. So to prove that I’m a hard-hitting journalist, I reached out to Will Porter over the weekend to ask him about the game’s launch into Early Access.

Also I’m so hard-hitting I’m going to paste the Early Access promotional trailer here:

Graham “Hard-Hitting Journalist” Smith: Will!

Will “part of the Indie Stone team” Porter: hullo
how’re you?

Graham: I’m good! I’m writing a quick newsblast for RPS on Zomboid getting on Steam. I’m going to quote from this chatlog, if that’s alright, and make it sound as if I was really aggressive in asking you about it?

So give me some sort of comment on Project Zomboid being on Steam, you prick.

Will: Well, the plan (that’s turned out okay) was to avoid the Early Access nightmare-pits of frustrated people unable to play the game, or annoyed that they couldn’t tell what stage of completion the game was at. (I think it’s a horror story we’ve all seen now.) So we provided a demo, organised loads of Twitch streams and whatnot to show people what was on offer. So if people are at all interested in the game, please check out the demo – make sure it runs pleasantly, and have a nice time trying not to die.

In the mean-time we’re working hard to fix up the memory leaks and whatnot that the sudden exposure to the wider Steam audience has flagged up. (Not universal problems I don’t think, we’ve got a lot of happy campers :))

Graham “used to edit PC Gamer” Smith: Alright. That’s great. FUCK PC ZONE.

Will “used to edit PC Zone” Porter: FUCK PC GAMER.
(hug RPS)
(If PC GAMER are reading this, The Indie Stone do not actually want to FUCK anyone – and this is just an in-joke that’s got waaay out of hand.)

Check out Project Zomboid on Steam. If you’ve already purchased an earlier version of the game, you can follow this brief guide to get your Steam key. Or check out this big, zoomable map of the game’s enormous world.


  1. CelticPixel says:

    Wow. I found this post to be both hard-hitting, and a quality piece of journalism. Take the rest of the day off, Graham. You’ve earned it mate!

  2. Beelzebud says:

    Hold their feet to the fire! Keep them honest! This is the type of no-nonsense, in your face, punch you in the face journalism that the world needs more of!

  3. almostDead says:

    A slight fetish for tags perhaps?

  4. Pilosamancer says:

    I bought this a while ago, I go back every now and then and it seems to be in a similar state. Very clunky and buggy interface, not really much to do in game and there seems to be no compelling reason to do anything really. No interesting events, no hidden depth, just seems to be aimless wandering until you die. Hopefully they flesh out the minor aspects and add a good few more in because it’s fairly boring right now. Also the promised multiplayer I haven’t heard a single thing about, which was the reason I bought it.

    Be careful with this one.

    • spacevagrant says:

      Take it you don’t follow the dev blogs at all then. The team is very open with the development so I don’t see why you would be confused about what is and what is not in the game. Npc’s and basic story driven elements are being worked on and are planned for the next few updates. Every Monday is a dev blog about development. Don’t like reading, well then check youtube because the updates are summed up in videos. I urge you to actually research the game you paid for.

    • Leb says:

      *devs say multiplayer is a long long long way off after the base game is complete*
      *people buy game for multiplayer, mad that it is not there yet*

      Christ sake man I’m normally not much of an internet asshole but are you seriously commenting to complain that the “long promised multiplayer is nowhere to be found.”

      It would take you 0.29 seconds to go on their website and read their weekly dev diary. MP is one of the later focuses, after they refine the base game. Which they have done, a lot. Converted player and zombie models to 3D, work is on the way to bring further 3Dization as well.

      “Be careful about this one”
      No, don’t. Read the dev diaries, try the demo, they’re making progress and keeping the fans updated every step of the way

      • Pilosamancer says:

        I bought this game on day 1 and what was promised and when has drastically changed since then. I’m not mad about anything, I made a comment and you got mad at it. Also why shouldn’t people be careful with how they spend their money?

        • Lone Gunman says:

          Buying something based on promises on what it will become is not being careful.

          • AlphaH says:

            Except that’s the whole premise of buying an early release. You’re supporting the developers with the expectation that they fulfill their wishes.

          • Martel says:

            And complaining about a lack of said promises before the game is released means you shouldn’t buy alpha games…..

        • Leb says:

          I’m not so much mad, nor was it directed at you specifically, apologize for my rash reply… but it is tiresome that in every early access game there are a bunch of people who buy early access, complain that it is feature lacking, and then complain that the game doesn’t shape up to what their imagination told them it would be.

          There should be nothing you expect from buying a game early other than that you are getting a key for a game that you are supporting the development of. It’s quite unfair to then complain that you don’t like how it’s turned out, or they haven’t focused on the features in the order you wanted them to.

          MP is coming, so your implication they scrapped it is nonsensical. As for the clunky UI complaint.. yes it was clunky, they’ve refined it and it’s infinitely better than what it was. It could still use some tweaking yeah.. but again to hold an early access game’s flaws against it while they are still actively and openly refining these features is moot.

        • SooSiaal says:

          I bought the game when there was no game, and multiplayer has always been a thing that would be added after the single player part would be finished, I don’t know where youre getting this promised multiplayer crap.

    • TheTingler says:

      Yep, just remember it’s got a long way to go before it’s finished. Right now it’s just the sandbox-type design. Be careful with Steam Early Access – you always have to remember you’re not getting the finished game, so don’t judge it as such.

      • Deano2099 says:

        But equally the final game could be awful, or worse than it is now. That’s a total gamble. A complete unknown.

        With early access, the question always has to be “is this worth paying for now?” and it’s fine for people to suggest that the answer to that is “no”. Early access games are not immune to criticism. You’re asking for money for something, so people are going to judge it.

        This isn’t Kickstarter, where you put money in early to an interesting concept to ensure it gets made. Steam Early Access games are happening anyway, the developers are committed to finishing them regardless of the money it brings in.

  5. AlphaH says:

    Plays and feels like a freeware game. Not worth paying money for I think.

    • Dorga says:

      Booh to you, this game is awesome. Even when it was in a very, very, very early state, you could still feel it’s personality. As of now it’s still missing many core features so it’s not possible to judge, and yet it already manages to create a very distinctive atmosphere and give you plenty of opportunities to experiment and be creative with, while never letting you rest on laurels, with death constantly looming over you.

      • AlphaH says:

        I bought it within a week of them starting to sell it, a couple of years ago. It had promise back then but the dev team have been nothing but disappointing.
        The game still has potential, but the chance of it reaching its full potential is so small that the game is currently not worth spending any money on.

        • Dorga says:

          I really don’t see how could anyone think so, they seem most dedicated to me, it’s not like they dropped the project or promised great things without accomplishing them. I too bought the game a couple of years ago and I’m ok with it taking so long to be finished. It’s not like I could ask anything more from such a small team, wich also suffered from very ill luck (and yes, maybe it was also a bit naive from their part not to do a back up, we all agree on that) and keeps updating the fans weekly.

          • Syphus says:

            I also bought it really early and am happy considering all the shit that happened. I was fully expecting them to give up after the apartment theft.

          • P7uen says:

            I heard they had troubles but I didn’t realise someone stole their apartment!

    • purex. says:

      Implying freeware games are somehow inherently clunky and/or inferior to games you pay moneys for.

    • TheTingler says:

      You realise the game isn’t actually finished yet don’t you? Hence the “early access” thing? If you’re not interested in the game right now don’t get it until it’s properly released.

  6. dE says:

    I’m happy this is still around. For a while there, this was the whipping post of bad luck. Best Wishes to them, if it’s more finished I may bite.

    • Martel says:

      I agree, good to see them continuing to move forward. It needs a lot of work still, but I’ve still had some fun with it. The “needs more game” comments are pretty on, right now there doesn’t feel like much of a reason to survive.

  7. Nenjin says:

    More journalist to dev questions need to be have “you prick” at the end of them. Debatable where you put the ? though.

  8. tk421242 says:


    I really have enjoyed PZ over the last year or so but I am glad to see them finally get a decent method of delivering and updating the game. At one point there must have been a dozen different versions of the game on their site.

  9. El_MUERkO says:

    The opportunity for a cross website mega post war of “I’m not your friend, buddy! I’m not your buddy, guy! …” gone amiss!

  10. JFS says:

    One of the few games that actually looked better in an earlier incarnation. Yes, go on, call me a graphics whore.

  11. jonahcutter says:

    Project Zomboid does the zombie survival experience better than any game to date.

    It’s low-fi and iso-perspective with some clunkiness, but manages to really summon up the loneliness and bleakness that is at the core of the zombie genre.

  12. Jac says:

    Zombie shambles

  13. The Sombrero Kid says:

    I’m still looking forward to this but the demo is perplexingly bad, much worse than the old one that got me excited about it in the first place. Gonna hold off till there’s a more solid demo or reviews.

  14. bladedsmoke says:

    CONTROVERSIAL STATEMENT ALERT: This is a better zombie game than Day Z ever was at any point.

  15. Neurotic says:

    Oh goodie, Desura-to-Steam info, just what I was after!

  16. Glottis1 says:

    You need strong imagination to enjoy this game. There is not much to do in this game. Gameworld is very generic and gameplay is clumsy.

    Its Dayz without other players.

    • fish99 says:

      …which is kind of a good thing, since Day Z just ended up a giant game of deathmatch.

      • JimboDeany says:

        Day z had a lot of potential, all they really needed to do was make the zombies more of a threat and the players would’ve been forced to work together rather than just hunting down each other.

        • MiKHEILL says:

          And that’s a significant part of the reasoning behind making DayZ standalone. My understanding is that the way ARMA 2 handled network play made using complex AI for the zombies impractical, so they’ve been working on their own net code among other things.

  17. Michael Fogg says:

    Enough with the bloody zombies!

    • Lobotomist says:

      If I see one more zombie game I will myself turn into zombie

  18. The Random One says:

    “The Indie Stone do not actually want to FUCK anyone”

    *walks away sadly, throwing flower bouquet in a trash can on the way out*

  19. S Jay says:

    So is it ever losing the “Project” prefix?