Where do I begin? I started developing Zombie Jack more than 10 years ago, it was a learning experience and went through many itterations. The game has taken shape into it’s final form and while unfinished, it has amazing potential.
On the 13th of August 2023, Unity, announced their new payment model, namely the Runtime Fees, which would theoretically charge the developer (me) up to 20 US cents (0.31 AUD) per install of my game. Which means, if you install Zombie Jack after purchasing it on your PC and your Steam Deck, I will be put of pocket 62 cents. On top of this, if you uninstall and re-install, I will be charged again. At least, this is how I and many others understand the current situation. We are all still waiting for more clarification from Unity.
Regardless, one thing has been made perfectly clear. At the end of the day, the product I produce does not belong to me. So even if they decide to retract some statements and walk back on their decision/s, we all know now that they can never be trusted.
What does that mean for Zombie Jack? At this stage, I’m not sure. I will probably continue development but with great hesitation until more is known. I will also be looking into alternative open source engines.
Here is a video I found on YouTube that pretty much sums up the recent events nicely.
Survivors! It’s been a while. We spent a few months last year and this moving across the country (Australia) and we now reside in Tasmania! While development did pause for a period of time, it has since resumed. I’m very happy to announce the next big update and the development roadmap. Introducing the VS mode and Bouncer update! But we can just call it the VS update for short.
Meet the Bouncer
If I were to sum up the Bouncer in a single word it would probably be ‘Round’. The Bouncer is a new bloated special infected that rolls to your doom and vomits his sweet-smelling bile all over its fleeing victims attracting hordes of zombies. Be careful. Bouncers explode when killed! So, you might want to keep your distance. The Bouncer appears in all game modes including the new solo and vs mode.
To aid in the creation of the Bouncer’s AI, I connected the Bouncer to a controller so that I could use my human brain to figure out what an AI brain should be doing, and in doing so I discovered an accidental VS mode. Yes! This is what the game needs! I finished what I was working on and immediately started on added all the required features necessary for a VS mode to work. Not only did this help test zombie movement, it’s a fun game mode where you can eat your friends!
What is a special infected player to do during their downtime while waiting for the next special infected portal to open? This is where the Ghost comes in! Meet Sydney, Soda, Minty, and Oddly. Four selectable ghosts you can pick to counter the survivors (Those other people on the couch). With the ghost you can haunt and take control over zombies with more speed and damage, and when the time is right, you can use special infected spawners to rejoin the game as a Bouncer.
What’s next? I’m so glad you asked. Because the road to an Alpha / Early Access release has been planned. In the next update, I will be focusing on improving the weapons and combat systems. A complete roadmap will be available on the website shortly.
– Special zombie added. The Bouncer.
– Player controlled Ghosts added (VS mode only). OOoooOOoo.
– Additional player expressions.
– ‘Solo’ mode added.
– ‘VS’ mode added. Have at you!
– Players can now be covered in blood and vomit. Ew.
– Home is now a ‘safe room’.
– Increased player rotation speed.
– Randomised zombie re-targeting time.
– Reduced volume of idle zombie sounds.
– Player swing animation is now smoother.
– Increased smoothness of player movement.
Survivors! – In this small update, I’ve added the ‘Health Pack’ item. Use it to drop it on the ground and heal you and your allies. Now you can slay all night long.
– Added item: Health Pack – Now you can heal!
– Additional sound effects.
– Tweaked attack speed.
Greetings survivors! In this long overdue update, I’ve made some improvements and fixes to the attack and combat system. Swing attacks are now more fluid and can combo with a left and right motion. Charging to throw and item is now a lot quicker as well as aim speed. Enjoy!
– Heaps more sound effects.
– Reduced weapon knock back force.
– Increased player attack speed.
– Improved item/weapon hitboxes.
– Fixed bug where sometimes player would not stop bouncing.
– Fixed a bug where jerrycan and generator could be activated before they were ready.
– Fixed a bug where weapons would go through zombies but not hurt them.
– Spooky flickering lights.
– Improved breaking fence sound effects.
– Added rake weapon/item sound effects.
Survivors! It’s been awhile. I have been very busy. How are you? GOOD! I’m glad to hear it. Listen, today is kind of a big day. I allowed the first 97 play testers access to the current Play Test build of Zombie Jack. It’s very scary because there is still so much work to be done, but I felt it was time to get the first lot of feedback (even if it is largely negative). EEE!
Anyway, in this update 0.0.9a, there are lots and lots of bug fixes, improvements, and features. Enjoy and happy slaying.
– Additional sound effects.
– Key items now have a cyan outline.
– Key items now appear in HUD.
– Updated Generator model.
– Updated service station world model.
– Updated gate and bridge models.
– Improvements to zombie thought indicators, “!” and “?”.
– Increased player boundary.
– Decreased player movement speed.
– Players can now pick up items when bag has space and hands are full.
– Inventory automatically cycles to next item if current one breaks.
– Reduced mass of all objects.
– Reduced throw item force.
– Reduced movement penalty when carrying large objects.
– Additional keybindings and updated controls screen.
– Increased knock back force when doing a power attack.
– Fixed day/night transition bugs.
– Fixed fuel pump visual glitch.
– Fixed an issue where buildings were not casting shadows while players were inside.
– Stability improvements.
Fellow survivors! In an effort to improve player clarity and presence on screen, I present to you all. Hats! There are currently four individual hats to choose from. Got an idea for a hat? Don’t keep it to yourself silly. Share it in our Discord channel.
– Removed distracting outline from zombies.
– Removed randomised zombie sizing.
– Slightly reduced dash distance.
– Slightly increased player base movement speed.
– Increased minimum movement speed of zombies.
– Fixed rumble not working when players crash into walls.