Dead State

Developer Doublebear (ex Obsidian and Troika developers) are making a turn based rpg set in a typical zombie apocalypse universe. In fact being set in Texas it looks like a Walking Dead RPG. I’m getting tired of zombies but something really excites me about this game.

I know someone is going to show up and talk about how played-out zombies are these days, but I am so stoked about this. I really feel like these are the guys to make a zombie rpg just right.

Sounds AMAZING. Everyone says they’re tired of zombies, but there has never been a zombie game like this that I know of. It’s just shooter after shooter after shooter. Dead Rising’s the closest to the zombie apocalypse simulator this is going for, but it’s still an action game with no real base management or dealing with other survivors beyond rescuing them, little character development, etc.

On the other hand, I have zero faith in Obsidian and Troika, so I’m leery of a studio composed of their former developers. I hope these guys brought the talent and left the inability to finish a game.

The part from the preview that concerns me is that it says you aren’t going to have control over the party in combat, so is it going to be like Fallout/Fallout 2? I never did like that combat model. Combined with the talk of huge hordes of zombies it sounds like you will run into the problem of make a move, wait half an hour for the AI to move all the other units, make a move, etc.

Troika were the creators of Temple of Elemental Evil, right? If so I’m really looking forward to this. I haven’t played many zombie games lately, so no burnout there.

Well, this is the closest thing we’ve seen so far to Z-Com, so color me hopeful. I was certainly excited to hear about it.


From what i read in the preview, you can still give them orders, but it depends on the character and your relationship with them if they follow your order or not.

Its not like they do whatever they want and shoot full auto on your back like in Fallout 1/2

Very, very, very, very leery about this.

With that pedigree, game might somehow crash your computer before you even install it.

Brian Mitsoda did a lot of the writing for Vampire: Bloodlines, fyi.

I’m excited, for all the zombie games out there, none of them cover the interesting parts of zombie film and movies, the fight to survive where the zombie is not the real threat but just the creature that makes it all possible.

That the NPCs are real NPCs and not player controlled could be a really good think in a survival game, so long as someone spends some time on the AI.

This. This right here. Assuming it’s not a buggy mess, this is the game I’ve been wishing for. Finally a game that recognizes that what makes a great zombie movie is not the zombies themselves.

Survival Crisis Z is the closest I think to this kind of game (and it’s not all that close), but it sounds like this should go far more in-depth, and I’m glad they’re putting other factions in alongside the zombies. I hope to see some three or even four-way fire fights.

Dialogue skills will help, but they usually open up alternate solutions rather than just bypassing the decision

Hell yes!

Sounds like a AAA fort zombie. It really is an unexplored theme though and the games that do take place fighting against zombies rarely include the certain event of human survivors being an even bigger threat than zombies at times. The being a leader of a hideout in zombie apocalypse sounds very interesting.

The only thing that concerns me is the turn based combat. I don’t really see turn based working well in a zombie game personally.

I can’t see this game selling at all even if it is good though. No mainstream appeal AT ALL.

This sounds promising, we’ll see how it turns out. Sort of wish it could be multiplayer, though. I want my friends to be the survivors. I mean I want to be able to say things like “Sorry Sam, we’re not wasting our antibiotics on you. Get out.”

Really? I think turn-based is perfect for a zombie game.

You fire. The circle of zombies steps closer.
You fire again. They step even closer.
You’re running out of ammo. You begin to panic.
You fire and fire again. They step EVEN CLOSER…


Depends how much depth they put into the system. If it’s like Fallout for example, being turn-based will just get in the way, where as if it’s like Jagged Alliance 2 I will be panting with excitement.

Of course, Trokia did Temple of Elemental Evil which I heard was excellent in its turn-based combat. Then again, then did Arcanum too…

ToEE did have excellent turn based combat. It needed considerable patching (more than it got officially, alas) to address numerous issues. It had a couple of nice features. One memorable encounter took place in a gatehouse to the Temple proper. You were facing a couple of casters and maybe 15 brigands give or take (your party was probably 4th-6th level at this point, but that was by no means a sure thing). So let’s say 7 of the brigands have an initiative of 15. when it was their turn to move, they moved simultaneously, speeding up combat. Smart design, that. Alas, there were some UI related issues that made combat more of a pain than it should have been.

That feature would certainly work well in a game that potentially featured a lot of zombies in a combat.

The turn-based system will have all the zombies moving at the same time during their turn, so it shouldn’t test your patience. Troika used the same trick in ToEE.

It’s a niche title from an indy developer so they’re aiming for a specific audience. I think turn based lends itself to the genre. Calistas (?) had a great thread a couple years ago where he sketched out his ideal zombie X-Com. Worth looking at.

They did Temple after they did Arcanum, though, so I think they learned something, there. Arcanum’s combat suffered, I think, because they didn’t make a clear decision on whether they were making a realtime or turn-based game. Instead they shipped a game that could be played in either mode, and neither of them was particularly great (though the TB mode was considerably better than the realtime, IMHO).

Temple of Elemental Evil, OTOH is the best example of turn-based D&D combat that I have ever seen in a videogame. Full stop.

I’m pretty excited about the Dead State. It’s almost like they were reading our Z-Com thread from many years ago…