Scene: The RPS chatroom earlier this morning.
Graham: I tried playing Rust and didn’t really click with it. It feels earlier even than DayZ.
John: Another interesting sounding game ruined by the presence of awful other people.
Graham: Haha! Do you play Project Zomboid at all? It’s singleplayer.
John W: I haven’t for a very long time.
Adam S: I played Zomboid a couple of weeks ago – still feels too empty for my liking. I end up surviving for half a day and then running around attracting as many zombies as possible just to make something happen.
Good news for Adam and bad news for John then: about an hour later, Project Zomboid’s developers revealed they had multiplayer up and working. They’ve demonstrated their ability to spy on our conversations with three videos posted on the Zomboid blog.
That’s just video #1.
When will you be able to play this “multi”-player mode for the survivalist zombie game? Soon, but not too soon. Imminently, but not necessarily in the next week or the week after. But maybe in those weeks. Or sooner! But probably not. It’s currently in closed testing, with things like barricades and the thirst system still needing to be added.
For the Johns among you, the Zomboid team stress that this doesn’t override their focus on singleplayer. They’re not looking to make DayZ or Rust, but see the multiplayer as an optional method of playing the singleplayer (in co-op or PvP) with friends. To that end, the game’s long-awaited NPCs are still high on the todo list.
We need to make clear that this in no way impacts the Indie Stone’s massive focus on single-player for this game. Remember that outside of game design, Will, one of the co-owners of Indie Stone, as well as PZ dev RingoD’s sole development responsibility on the game is single player story and NPC writing and scripting, so you can bet they will be given a ton of attention.
As a development team we vehemently uphold the principle that a game should not punish those who wish or have to play alone with less features and scope, and we are the first to complain when an RPG series we like goes all ‘MMO’ and more or less ends our interest and participation there and then.
Check the Indie Stone’s blog post for the other two videos and a few more details. The third video has the best breakdown of the current state of the closed test, but doesn’t start with pleasant humming, so I didn’t embed that one.