A real-time with pause rogue-lite strategic survival game with exploration, scavenging, base building, crafting, and deadly battles! Read more
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 8, 2014.
About this project
Zpocalypse: Survival is a game about exploration and survival in a gritty post-nuclear zombie apocalypse setting. Your job is to help a group of survivors attempt to eke out an existence and build a place for themselves in a brutal world. You will need to scavenge for supplies and food, find and fortify a shelter, recruit other survivors to your cause, defend your people, and attempt to grow and expand, facing challenges every step of the way.
Starting from a procedurally generated world with dynamic events and encounters, Zpocalypse: Survival combines base management and good ol'fashioned combat with infinite building possibilities. It is designed to be moddable at every level, from your base, the survivors and enemies inhabiting the world, to the events and encounters you might come across. Our goal is to build tools and documentation. They will ship sometime after release (or sooner with your help) allowing you to add your own customizations to the game, and share them with friends
- The game is part Sandbox, part Real Time Strategy, and part RPG.
- We will support PC initially, with plans to release on Mac & Linux. This will happen sooner rather than later with your support! We are looking at possibilities for tablets and consoles.
- This Kickstarter is to fund the single player version of the game. We are extremely interested in multiplayer and this may appear as a future stretch goal.
This is a Pre-Alpha Demo. As such every aspect of the game is still evolving. In future versions of the game please look forward to seeing:
- Randomly generated world and events. Never play the same game twice
- In depth story events to drive a more living (or unliving) world.
- Unrestricted building and base advancement/crafting
- Survivor management and task assignment
- Character customization/advancement systems and replayable unlock systems
- Loads of new and more complex items, buildings and enemies
- More responsive and effective AIs
- And lots more!
This is a proof of concept not a representation of a real playthrough of Zpocaylpse: Survival. Also, please feel free to share the demo with others and make videos of your gameplay!
"... I really do think that this is going to be a title to watch. Don’t overlook this as just another zombie game..." Cliqist
"It’s hard to get noticed between the many zombie and survival games out there. Yet, this production house seems to have found a way." Slimgamer
"It just has a lot of potential for being a really good survival game in this genre." MathasGames (YouTube)
"... a thoroughly enjoyable post-apocalyptic strategic survival experience." Alpha Beta Gamer
"Zpocalypse: Survival is certainly an ambitious project, looking to add a new level of realism and weighted decision-making to the already tense atmosphere of a post-nuclear zombie apocalypse." Indie Gaming Magazine
Zombie games are a dime a dozen nowadays, so why do we deserve your attention? Here are some things that we believe set us apart from the rest:
3D Procedurally Generated World
Buildings in an area and their internal structure will be different from the last time you played all in 3D. No sprites here! (Well at least not for the game world...)
Dynamic Stories & Events
While the game is not purely story-driven there will be events and elements of story depending on how you play the game. Each event is built to compliment the area it is associated with, not just make each play through different. We want to bring the world to life. Our AI Manager will also help to keep the world interesting and challenging.
Nuclear + Zombie Apocalypse
The Zpocalypse universe is one that isn't limited to zombies and scavenging. The world as we know it today is gone, but that doesn't mean that there is only one thing raising hell in the world.
Rogue-Lite Survival Hybrid
When your survivor or squad dies they stay dead, but it doesn't necessarily mean it is the end of the game. This approach gives us a lot of power as developers; we can put deadly mechanics in the game that would otherwise be unfair in a normal rogue-like game. We want squad members to be important and cherished but this is the apocalypse so when people die they stay dead... unless they come back as a new undead enemy. See how long you survive and compare your scores with your friends'.
There is only so much time before the darkness comes and the real danger begins. With our day/night system you have to decide how you want to manage your time to get ready for the night. You may be forced to defend yourselves from the hordes of zombies.
This is the yin to the exploration/scavenging plays yang. You are not just out scavenging living for this moment. Instead you need to try and build up a safe place, planning for the future. Search for somewhere that you can band together with more survivors and have people work to build a new community and survive this harsh world. You are not a superhero; you will need others' help to make it in this world.
Physical to Digital
Unlike most games that start from scratch or eventually go from digital to physical, we already have a physical game that we are basing our digital title on. This means we already have a great design base to start from, we already have an existing fan base, and we already have a LOT of story to pull from and expand the game into the future. Also as we expand the physical game it gives us more content to expand the digital game and vice-versa.
We draw a lot of inspiration from our favorite games like FTL, Project Zomboid, Fallout, Diablo, XCom: Enemy Unknown, Endless Space and more. We are taking inspiration from pieces that we love in all these games and bringing them together into a new zombie game, that with your help, has the potential to be a great game like those above!
When starting a game of Zpocalypse: Survival, the player will be able to choose from several themes for their post-apocalyptic world as they unlock them through gameplay. This theme they choose will determine the look and feel of the world. Some themes may be more dangerous than others and perhaps have special conditions associated with them. For example a radioactive waste themed world would have more radiation zones, more radiated zombies and a higher chance for survivors to get radiation sickness.
The world will be broken into a number of areas, each area will have its own unique feature. For instance, in a town themed world, one area might be a house with a yard, while another area might be a school with a playground. The layout and content of areas will be procedurally generated when the world is created. As you progress in the game you will eventually be able to setup how your world is generated by adjusting settings such as the size, the amount of infected, scarcity of resources, and more.
One could argue that the entire point of going out into the world in Zpocalypse: Survival is to scavenge. Besides staying alive, the goal of the player is to scavenge for materials when out in the world, in order to shore up base defenses and improve its quality.
During the course of the game, players will control numerous characters in the wasted lands of the zombie apocalypse. To highlight the brutality of the Zpocalypse, this game will be designed with a high turnover rate of characters in mind; players will lose characters often to starvation, disease, zombies, natural hazards and more. To this end, the character stats will be quick and easy for the player to understand and use. The character advancement system will be light but still interesting.
There are 3 roles that every character will fall into: fighter, bruiser and smarty. Each role has their own strengths and weaknesses and a unique advancement tree. Within their advancement tree each role will have opportunities to further differentiate themselves even from other characters with the same role.
The central nexus around which all games of Zpocalypse: Survival revolve is the player’s base. This base is where the player’s survivors have gathered, trying to hold out for another day in the Zpocalypse. It is where their characters sleep at night (hopefully), where they store their food and supplies, and where they craft the tools and equipment their group will need if they hope to survive for one day more.
Bases will be defined by their base center, which is a safe location in which the characters can retreat to in an emergency and where all the supplies and gear found by the player are stored. The quality of the player’s base center determines the quality of the base entire. The better the base center the better weapons, fortifications, and more the player can craft, the more survivors they can have in their band, and the more storage space available.
All items that can be built or crafted will require resources and time to complete. The resources will be the things the player finds out in the wastelands: various scrap like wood, metal, or cloth and possibly special items. The amount of resources and time required to build something will be dependent upon the complexity of the item. A debris wall will only take a few wood scraps and a short period of time to build while an electrified defense wall might take a lot of metal and a special item as well as a full day or more to construct. Crafting isn’t limited to only your defenses but also includes supplies, weapons and other fun treasures as we build out the game.
The major threat to characters in the zombie apocalypse is, of course, zombies. Zombies will have stats just like characters. These stats will be used for combat purposes to determine how hard the zombie is to kill, and how dangerous they are if they get too close to a character. Initially there will be two types of zombies you will encounter day zombies and night zombies.
Zombies will have multiple levels of physical degradation. Zombies degrade usually from the result of combat, though when encountered they will be given a random state for variety.
Combat in Zpocalypse: Survival will be a brutal but measured affair. Most times the player will have ample opportunity to make good tactical choices, both because the pace of combat will be slower than most RPG style games, but also because our pause feature will allow the player to take the time they need to review the situation and make decisions if he/she chooses.
That said, combat will still be hard and brutal. We WANT characters to die because we WANT the player to feel the pressure of keeping their survivor numbers up, alongside all the other hardships we put on his/her shoulders. Players can take their time to plan their strategies, but if something goes awry, if zombies get too close or appear where they were not expected, then things could go horribly wrong right-quick.
Events will be used to add setting and story flavor to the game in interactive and exciting ways. Some events will be scripted and some will be semi-scripted occurrences. These events could play out a larger story arc or they could be simpler occurrences that add flavor and something unique to your current experience. While one of the key aspects of the game is trying to survive we want to make your survival experience interesting, especially when you playthrough multiple times. The base game is not about winning or losing, instead it is about the drama and sometimes comedy that goes on while you try and survive.
The AI system will do more than simply control NPCs. It will also work to keep the game interesting and different. Modeled after the AI Directory from Left 4 Dead it will keep track of your game and will work to keep your game varied by creating events or tapping into deeper stories dependent on your game play and the choices you make.
**NOTE** The characters unlocked via stretch goals below will be available with the base funding of the game. They can be obtained through gameplay in the game, however as a thank you to our backers we added them as mini-stretch goals so that our backers would start with them unlocked for each goal we meet.
We are all lifelong gamers in one form or another who have been leading dual lives. By day working normal jobs, by night (and on weekends) building games whether physical or digital. Currently the digital team is composed of 7 members and only has one member working on this project full time.
In our spare time, we have formed a successful board game development and publishing company. We have finally come to the bridge of digital games and some members of the team have decided to come across into the digital world and make a great video game! We are extremely excited to add our first digital title to our list of physical titles including Heavy Steam, Ninja Dice, and Zpocalypse.
Read more about our team below:
I’m the guy behind the scenes with my hands in all the pots. I put together the team and have worked on just about everything not directly related to developing the game.
I’ve got an IT background. I started out in mod development on Neverwinter Nights and shortly after began to start putting my own mod teams together first for Neverwinter Nights 2 and then for Fallout: New Vegas. Though those projects fell through I gained a lot of valuable experience. Then I ended up meeting up with the GBG folks and started working with them first on a small app for the Zpocalypse board game and now our first digital title.
My goals for this project are to make a zombie survival game that can differentiate itself in a saturated market and provide an enjoyable playing experience for everyone who gets the game.
Early 2011 I pulled together the Zpocalypse team to create the board game I dreamed (or had nightmares) about. Taking on the role of program manager and lead game designer for Zpocalypse. I spearheaded the design and mechanics, but only through the combined effort of my whole team has it become such a success. Thus Greenbrier Games was born.
I spend my days as a software engineer working for Bose writing C# code. By night I manage several on-going Greenbrier Games projects, including producing the digital adaptation of my long sought after board game Zpocalypse.
I build the game systems and tools needed to add content to those systems. Whether we are adding new features, bringing in new content or building on top of already made assets I wrap everything together.
This is my break into the game industry as a programmer. I joined GBG about a year ago and before that I was working on my own game as a side project while I made a living writing phone apps. I've wanted to be a game designer since my early days playing NES/SNES games which is what lead me into programming. After graduating with a degree in Computer Science I now have two loves in my life - gaming and programming. With that in mind my goal for this project is to make a game that I can enjoy. I hope you will like it as much as I do.
I work on the character artwork and a lot of the weapons, items, and sprites in the game.
I worked in graphics design and asset management from 2008-2013 working for a huge range of clients from police forces to supermarkets. I've always had a passion for digital arts, and wanted to work in the games industry. For many years I would make mods or fan art in my free time, as well as attending classes at the Glasgow School of Art studying life-drawing and illustration. In 2013 Shawn introduced me to the awesome people at Greenbrier Games and I've had the good fortune of working for them on many different projects now.
With Zpocalypse set in a Post-Nuclear world, I'm really excited to start designing zombies that take full advantage of the lore and come up with some crazy horrors that appear later in the game. I also love working on the survivors, from concept art to 3D model, and can't wait to start working with some of our amazing backers to put them in the game!
I work as concept artist and illustrator doing stuff like environment concepts and the illustration used for the title screen.
I’ve been an artist my whole life and it’s something I’ve studied intensely ever since picking up a pencil. I’ve been working as a freelance artist for the last year or two on mobile and tabletop games as well as all sorts of other projects.
I’m excited to be able to design environment and character concepts that give a sense of narrative, emotion, and history. Post-apocalyptic art styles are pretty standard in games, but the procedurally generated world and other rogue-like elements breathe a lot of new life to the genre. I look forward to developing a rich game world that also acts as a blank canvas for your own stories to play out.
I’ve worked in the computer gaming industry for over 15 years at such companies as THQ, Floodgate Entertainment and Zynga. My focus has generally been on online and mobile games, and I hope to bring as much of that experience as possible to Greenbrier Games and Zpocalypse: Survival.
So far, for Zpoc: Survival, I’ve worked on designing the basic systems for combat, crafting, leveling and exploring. Nothing ever survives contact with engineering and testers, so I’m sure many of the ideas we thought were cool won’t be, and I’ll go back to the drawing board on some. But that’s game software development for you!
Founding member of Greenbrier Games and partial designer of the Zpocalypse boardgame. I’ve been playing RPG’s for over 20 years. Huge fan of games like Fallout 1-2/Tactics, X-com UFO, projectzomboid. I help make sure their is enough crunch in the game, and that the ability/class systems make sense to an RPG gamer.
I help out with quest concepts, skill functionality, perks, buffs, debuffs, craft trees and post apocalyptic theme consistency. My goals are to make sure this game is something I’d want to play for many many hours, again and again. While I will not be doing much of the hands on work, I’m a great guy for anyone in the team to bounce ideas off of. This also helps having an outside perspective to new functionality when it’s added to the game. I’m also hoping we can develop a system to leach artwork from the video game to be used in future editions of the boardgame and or pen and paper rpg.
In addition I help out with the web content and pledge manager after the campaign ends.
I was asked to join Greenbrier Games early on as a content writer. The more Zpocalypse expanded, the more I was asked to write, until I became lead creative writer for the company.
I’m not sure when I played my first board game or played my first campaign of D&D, but I have the RPG math dungeon crawl I created in the 8th grade, so it’s been most of my life. I’ve also created numerous educational games for my other job, elementary school teacher, including an Oregon Trail RPG, and a full library of board games for all curriculum.
It seems like a whole different universe than the zombie apocalypse, but they seem to balance each other. After leaving the Zpocalypse universe to work on Heavy Steam, I am happy to be back in the world of the undead!
Greenbrier Games has run three successful Kickstarter campaigns, but we are still just a bunch of average folks working day jobs while playing and creating games in our spare time. With a little over 6 months of heavy development we have gotten a good way into the project and built a pre-alpha demo as a proof of concept but in order to ensure we can keep the same people working on this and get it released in a timely fashion we need your help! Some of the things you can expect from us as a developer and a company:
- Early-Adopter Discount: Because we admire our backers and wish to show our appreciation, Zpocalypse: Survival can be supported for significantly less than the currently expected retail price ($20).
- Proven to Deliver: While we are new to the digital realm we have a proven track record of delivering our products and being transparent about any problems or delays we run across. You can back with confidence that you will see what you are helping us to create!
- We Listen: We treat backers as collaborators. Your contribution extends to aiding us in game creation because we value your input. We work hard to promptly and transparently address all questions and concerns and consider ourselves lucky to have so many people striving to make the game the best it can be.
- Because We Need You: We have put a lot of time and money into this project, but we can’t continue to dedicate as many resources to it without your help.
Risks and challenges
Video games are complex and shipping high quality software on time is often challenging even for experienced teams. While this is our fifth Kickstarter it will be our first in the digital realm. We have learned the ins and outs of board game manufacturing and distribution but that has been through direct experience. While we have done very solid planning and research there is always the potential for errors or miscalculations causing timelines to stretch or scope to change.
Luckily we have already built the base of a lot of the big gameplay systems for our exploration/scavenging mode putting us around 40% complete on our programming side not including any features we may unlock via stretch goals. There is still a ton of work to do, but because we have such a solid base in our programming and we have found ways to optimize our art pipeline (with art being the large majority of work to complete), we are confident that we can deliver the full game on schedule and budget.
Another risk is that we are running two concurrent Kickstarter campaigns. We have minimzed this risk due to having two separate teams for the two separate projects. The digital team is composed of 7 members while the physical team is composed of another separate 8 individuals. Between the two projects there are only three members of the digital team that cross over and assist with the physical products occasionally. Our digital team, lead by Shawn Hayden, manages the full gamut of the digital project from marketing, development, production and fulfillment of this project while I (Jeff Gracia) am heading up the physical team on Heavy Steam. The individual Kickstarter campaigns are in no way dependent on one another.
Thank you so much for your help making our dreams a reality!
-- The team at Greenbrier GamesLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
If we hit our base funding goal the game will release on PC initially. We definitely plan on releasing on Mac/Linux as well. The question is when will it release on Mac/Linux. Essentially it boils down to resources and time. If we only hit our base funding then Mac/Linux will be released at a later date than the initial launch of the game once we have more resources and time to do the appropriate testing and making any changes necessary for full function on those operating systems.
If you want to show your support for the game but would prefer to wait for a later date when a Mac/Linux version becomes available we will collect those details in our pledge manager and accommodate accordingly.
- (35 days)