Zombie Exodus Part 2 Play-by-Play

z3cityAs part of my project to write a Zombie Exodus novel based on the game, I am hosting live play-by-play sessions. During these events, anyone can play the game along with me on Facebook and Twitter, and everyone can vote for each choice I make. I record those choices and use them in developing the Zombie Exodus novel.

To make this next event more accessible, please vote in the survey below for when you would be available.


What date & time would you attend?

Results:

Sunday, March 7; 12pm to 2pm EST 57.1% (28 of 49)
Monday, March 8; 6pm to 8pm EST 22.4% (11 of 49)
Tuesday, March 9; 7pm to 9pm EST 10.2% (5 of 49)
Wednesday, March 10; 6pm to 8pm EST 10.2% (5 of 49)

 

So far, players have created Abigail Miller, a female carpenter, who spends her free time at the gym and the shooting range. She carries a backpack and multi-tool, spoke to Jason, and found a revolver in her neighbor’s apartment. She met Mike in the maintenance office and humanely ended his life after he became infected. On the ground floor, she helped Candace and Mindy kill a zombie, and they in turn helped her get past the police officers at the building entrance.

Abigail drove the river road and bypassed military blockades, killed some bandits who were robbing motorists, and avoided a zombiefied park ranger. She met a little girl in a playground, who she tried to help, but the girl disappeared. Finally, Abigail met up with her sister Emma and her sister’s friend, Heather.

Next, we need to figure out how Abigail, Emma, and Heather are getting out of the city.

 

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Why I wrote A Wise Use of Time

In early Spring, 2015, Choice of Games will publish my choice game/text adventure, A Wise Use of Time. In it, you play an insurance executive who awakes one morning to find yourself possessed of the ability to command the flow of time. How did this happen, and what are you going to do with your new-found powers?

People have asked, “why would a zombie fiction writer switch genres for his second game?” To answer that, I need you to understand a bit about my history and goals.

I wrote Zombie Exodus for several reasons but mainly to gain writing experience, to get people interested in my writing, and to learn about publishing. I wrote A Wise Use of Time (WUoT) to gain credibility. I like WUoT but rather write ZE:Safe Haven. If you want to know more about the last three years of my game-developing life, read on; otherwise, go play a game.

About fifteen years ago, I wanted to become a writer. I started working for a company called The Mining Co, which became About.com. I was their guide to Computer Simulation Games and did fairly well at it. In the early days of blogging, I had 50,000 unique visitors per month. But About.com changed ownership and changed the money-making model, and I lost 75% of my income. I quit and took a job in clinical research.

Five years ago, I wanted to be a writer again. As a new, amateur writer, I found it difficult to get short stories published or gain followers, both of what you need for your writing resume. In May, 2011, I read Choice of Vampires, found out about Choice of Games (CoG), and started work on what would become Zombie Exodus.

CoG published ZE on their amateur label as a free app with advertising. Eventually for reasons outside the scope of this post, they changed the app to have paid downloadable content. ZE did well and gained me exposure and followers.
In January 2014, I proposed a sequel to CoG, Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven (ZE:SH) to be published as an official title. Details of the differences between official CoG and Hosted Games titles are here, but basically with an official title, you gain more support from CoG, more marketing and exposure, and more money. Indirectly, you gain credibility as a writer.

For me to keep writing, to write more, and to support myself full-time with writing, I need credibility.

CoG passed on my proposal for ZE:SH. They didn’t want to make yet another zombie game (they have Choice of Zombies). That was the reason they stated. I thought they made a mistake in passing, but they have big picture ideas about the genres and types of games they want on their official label. I respect their decision as they have more knowledge about the publishing world, their readership, and their coverage of different genres. They said ZE:SH can be a Hosted Games app, but I still wanted to publish an official CoG game.

In April, 2014, CoG accepted a proposal for WUoT for their official label. I handed in roughly one to two chapters per month and a first draft on 12/26/2014. At that time, the game consisted of 197,000 words of code. I have a 2nd draft due in the 2nd week of January. From there, it enters a closed beta for a few weeks, and then will be sent to a copyeditor for several weeks. WUoT should be out in early Spring 2015.

I am very excited for the release of A Wise Use of Time. I used everything I learned in writing ZE to develop it. Also, I used feedback from my followers to tweak the game to make it as entertaining as possible. I made choices matter, gave a variety of choices, enhanced replayability, and created some interesting characters. Romantic interests affect plot. Character customization affects plot. You can be gay, straight, female, male, moral, immoral, greedy, or altruistic. It’s not a zombie game, but I anticipate that my ZE followers will enjoy it.

For me to continue writing, I need people to enjoy my work and show my publisher they enjoy my work. When WUoT is released, please buy it. Number of purchases is the main metric used to measure whether a publishing company takes you seriously or not. I wish it was another way. Believe it or not, I don’t care much about the money; I want to show CoG and other publishers that people will download a game by Jim Dattilo. If that happens, I can work on bigger projects and devote more of my time and energy to doing what I love—writing stories that people enjoy.

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Zombie Exodus Part 5 Walkthrough, Chapter 5 and Epilogue

As part of a contest posted on Facebook and Twitter, a reader of Zombie Exodus wrote a walkthrough of the final battle scene in chapter 5 as well as guidelines for achieving all nine endings. This walkthrough and guide was written by Natalie, whose prize will be to create a recurring non-player character in Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven.

I have also written some extra tips written after each section. And now, the walkthrough… Continue reading

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Zombie Exodus Achievements

Zombie Exodus has multiple achievements obtained throughout the game for accomplishing various feats, from having a maxed-out Dexterity to becoming best friends with all survivors. Continue reading

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Part 5 Walkthrough, Chapter 3

This is the part 5 walkthrough, covering chapter 3. This scene follows your trip with Uncle Lou to search for an “Exodus Truck” he hopes to use to relocate the group. Continue reading

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Part 5 Walkthrough, Chapter 2

This chapter allows you to visit with each survivor and discuss topics related to life at the Cathedral, your role as leader, and plans for dealing with Zombie Exodus and the apocalypse. Continue reading

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Part 5 Walkthrough, Chapter 1

This walkthrough provides the best route through Part 5: Resolution to stay alive and earn the best stats. Many routes are possible to the end, and I encourage you to try them all. Sections of the game that are optional will not be included in this walkthrough.

For the purpose of this walkthrough, I’ll use the most common character type, a high-dexterity soldier. The group consists of Emma, Heather, Tom, Candace, Uncle Lou, Mindy, River, Devlin, Eugene and Jason. Badger is in the Cathedral as well. Continue reading

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Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven Open Beta begins

Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven is now online for open beta. The testing period consists of roughly monthly updates, with new missions and chapters. This is an ongoing beta as development progresses.

So far, the beta provides character customization and the start of chapter 1.

Please read the release notes on the first screen.

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Zombie Exodus: Part V is now available!

The conclusion to the Zombie Exodus series is now available. Part V continues your story as you rebuild after the massive zombie attack on the Cathedral and assume the leadership role of the survivors.

On iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) or Android Devices

Part V is available as an in-app purchase costing 99 cents for a limited time (the price will go up in a few weeks). To obtain Part V, simply download the update and click Upgrade. To download Zombie Exodus, choose your app store:

On the Chrome Store

If you already own the app, the update is free. If you would like to buy it on Chrome, the app includes all five parts and may be played in the Chrome browser.

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Announcing Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven

Announcing Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven

The next interactive story I am working on is a companion ZE entitled, Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven. Taking place at the same time as the events of ZE, Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven will feature all new characters in a new area of the United States.

Here are some features planned so far:

  • New and reworked attributes: strength, dexterity, agility, stamina, charisma, intellect, willpower, perception.
  • 20 professions. Pick from old favorites (Scientist, Athlete, Soldier) or new ones (Homemaker, Teenager, Doctor, Criminal).
  • 18 skills, including crafting, scavenging, stealth, and survival. Each skill has 5 ranks.
  • Physical and mental resource stats, such as Mental Health and Fatigue.
  • An optional Weakness, such as a physical disability, phobia, or addiction.
  • Play through Day 0 of the Zombie Apocalypse. Survive the first week as the infection spreads, scavenging through such locations as a pharmacy, camping store, military base, and hospital.

Twelve chapters are planned in one app (no parts).

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