View Full Version : Zombox

10 October 2011, 06:34 PM
Click here for the latest post ( (updated March 17, 2012)

Hey guys,

In my spare time I've been developing a game called Zombox ( for iOS and Unity's web player.

It's an open-world zombie sandbox game, focused on survival, in which the entire world is destructible.

It currently features hundreds of weapons, clothing items, and tools, a character customization system, and a huge procedurally-generated city to explore.

Here's a recent Youtube clip showing some weapon updates I implemented. (

Here's a recent Youtube clip showing some character updates I implemented. (

10 October 2011, 08:44 AM
looks awesome! I love the character editing bit!
So, give us the full story :D (story, program used, progress etc)

10 October 2011, 04:30 PM
Well there's no story yet, although I have some ideas for a story that could work, although the game is going to be very non-linear (the story would be more like random encounters with NPCs who give you bits of information about an over-arching plot than a linear progression).

As for the engine, I'm using Unity so the game will eventually be made available for iOS and Unity's web player (so it'll be playable in a browser window on PC and Mac).

10 October 2011, 08:22 AM
More updates have been made to Zombox (!

-been working on building interiors...about half of the interior models are complete

-controls added to allow the player to rotate the camera

-doors must now be manually opened/closed ( (

10 October 2011, 02:11 PM
That looks like a blast, Love the cube/voxel design for it. On your preview 07 you have the dark edges on your video, was that added, or is that somthing in game?

10 October 2011, 02:55 PM
The dark edges is just the letterboxing of the video frame, because the game resolution has a narrower aspect ratio than youtube's video player :)

10 October 2011, 03:37 PM
I said it before and Ill say it again...very very cool!
How did you find the learning curve for UNITY? I gave up after a few weeks, although I have NO programming/scripting knowledge.

10 October 2011, 04:41 PM
I love Unity! It's very intuitive and powerful, and supports all the important platforms except for Linux (but Linux support is apparently coming soon).

If I was to make another game after Zombox, I'd definitely use Unity.

10 October 2011, 08:02 PM
Hi ivanisavich!

This looks insane, awesome!

I'm also working with Unity and I am wondering, don't you have a problem with multiple touches at the same time?? (the two controller pads)

Thanks mate!

10 October 2011, 08:04 PM
Hey s2k,

Nope...the controls work pretty well :)

I keep track of touches by reading the Input.touches array within Unity, then grabbing not only the touch position but also the touch ID. This way I can keep track of where the finger is, and where its touch information is stored in the touch array, so that if you lift up a finger while dragging with another, it doesn't confuse things.

10 October 2011, 08:07 PM
Wow, that was a fast reply! Thank you!
You're on Twitter?

10 October 2011, 08:08 PM


10 October 2011, 08:31 AM
Did some more work on Zombox ( this week.

-Worked further on modeling building interiors. (

-Got an object interaction system prototype working. When the player touches an object he/she can interact with, it begins to glow and a context-sensitive icon appears in the top right of the screen which can be pressed.

11 November 2011, 07:52 AM
This week in Zombox ( development I finished modeling the building interiors: (

I also finished getting all interior props ready and prepped for the destruction engine: (

I also implemented a day/night system and in-game clock: (

11 November 2011, 03:03 PM
Looking bad ass. Are you dynamically creating the interiors and furnishings? Or are they all 'pre made sets' ?

I'm also really interested in the art style. Did you play around with more 'realistic' styles before this 'lego'esk' one (which I'm ****ing in love with btw!)

11 November 2011, 03:24 PM
Hey Chris,

The furnishings you see above were all manually modeled...I needed precise control over what kind of props show up where and creating a procedural system for that would have taken too long. However, once in the game world, those set pieces are scattered and rotated randomly inside their respective building types (and building types are distributed based on a zoning map for the city, so there are residential areas, industrial areas and commercial areas). Also, there will be "searchable" items and props inside each building that will be randomly distributed and scattered as well, so even if you come across two of the same interior, the searchable things inside will be different.

As for the art style, I went from my first ever Unity test here (, to the style you now see in Zombox in pretty much one step. This was because I needed something that would run on an iPhone at a reasonable framerate, so breaking everything down to little cubes was the best option...and I think it turned out to be a nice aesthetic.

Here are some images to show the overall progression of the boxy aesthetic and UI:

11 November 2011, 11:08 AM
This week in Zombox ( development:

1) Items can be scavenged from various props in the environment using the new interaction system.

2) New food items have been added. These will boost health when eaten. ( (

11 November 2011, 06:01 AM
Collectible coins (Zombucks) have been added to the Zombox ( world, which are dropped by zombies after they are killed. Eventually, you'll be able to use them to purchase weapons and items from NPCs

Also, empty areas of the city have been populated with grass, trees and other foliage. ( (

11 November 2011, 12:37 PM
What else can I say man? Awesome as always!

You planning on having some sort of NPC interaction/Online play? Or is it solely a single player 'survival' thing?

11 November 2011, 07:02 PM
Thanks man! And yes, there will be NPCs :)

11 November 2011, 12:14 PM
This week in Zombox ( development.....primping up the environment with some more exterior props, as well as adding some sounds! (

12 December 2011, 09:25 AM
Lots of new Zombox ( updates this week!

Here's a sample of the changes:

-broken bridges, dead end streets and building fences added to the environment.
-lots of new items added to the world, including rotten/fresh food items, ripped/clean clothing items. The stats of each item is dependent on its quality. A rotten apple, for example, will not replenish as much HP as a fresh one. The game now features over 650 unique items to find and purchase.
-eating/drinking functionality has been added to the inventory panel, and animations corresponding to each action are triggered when you feed your character
-stats are displayed in numeric form in the inventory window
-an HP bar pops up momentarily for anything (props or zombies) damaged in the world, so you can see how many hit points it has left
-the main character now gets bloody when injured.

Here are some images and an animated .gif showing these new features: (

12 December 2011, 11:02 PM
It looks great!

Do you know of an existing basic level for Unity that has Multi-Player capabilities built into it?

We need an environment that is set up for approximately 10 players and can run on a LAN.
We will create all the objects, buildings etc but we are just trying to avoid the learning curve with the previously mentioned aspects..
PM me or email ddustin at dustinproductions dot com..

12 December 2011, 05:12 AM
Hey, unfortunately I haven't dabbled in multiplayer setup at all, so I can't help you there!

12 December 2011, 10:50 AM
More updates to Zombox ( this week!

-XP system
-Medkits/ammo items
-inventory GUI updated to show ammo counters

Here are two .gif animations and an image showcasing the above changes: ( (

01 January 2012, 09:29 AM
Plenty of new updates to Zombox ( over the last couple of weeks.

The zombie AI system was completely re-hauled. Instead of having perfect knowledge of the player's whereabouts, zombie intelligence is now sight/sound based. Zombies won't attack targets unless they can see them, and will wander towards nearby sounds. This means you can do things like distract zombies with sound while heading in an opposite direction, or sneak up on zombies from behind. Zombies will also try to break down the doors of a building if they feel there is a viable target inside.

Zombie swarming was also greatly improved to prevent pesky zombie-to-zombie, zombie-to-player and zombie-to-prop intersections.

Other improvements to the game involve preventing weapons from being able to hit zombies/props through walls, and adding an in-icon ammo counter for active items.

Here are some .gifs showcasing some of the above changes to the game. The first two animated .gifs show zombies chasing the player and breaking down the doors of the building the player is inside. The third .gif shows some of the improved swarming (sped up to 200%), and the fourth .gif shows the active item ammo counters (as well as what happens to the icon when the player runs out of ammo). ( ( ( (

01 January 2012, 09:00 PM
I'm not gonna lie. I'm totally jealous this is only iPhone right now. I hope you're going to do an Android release! It looks like goofy, ridiculous fun.

Now for some feature/scope creep... it'd be pretty rad to be able to barricade yourself into a building and see how long you could hold up by dragging objects in front of the doors and windows or to create a safehouse in the same manner to store loot, assuming a limited inventory carry system.

These platforms, like Unity, and developers like you and Pyke make building on any platform look so effortless! I need to dig these things out and get to work on some of my own ideas. The XNA platform for XBox was neat, but the restrictions were too great so I kinda stopped work after collision detection... But I digress.

This looks rad, keep up the good work!

01 January 2012, 11:53 PM
Now for some feature/scope creep... it'd be pretty rad to be able to barricade yourself into a building and see how long you could hold up by dragging objects in front of the doors and windows or to create a safehouse in the same manner to store loot, assuming a limited inventory carry system.

This was an idea I had, and I would be implementing it if it were not for performance limitations on iOS devices when lots of rigidbodies are involved. I still may do it, though. We'll see :)

I'm currently working on the crafting/building system, so don't think construction is totally out of the question though. It's more just a matter of whether or not the constructed objects will be static, or dynamic (ie, whether they can be moved around using the physics system, or locked in place).

01 January 2012, 08:16 AM
Zombox ( now features building construction!

Players can now create their own fortifications for fending off the zombie attacks.

Also, I'm working on implementing a crafting system, so players can use debris found throughout the world to construct the objects necessary to create walls and doorways.

Click here to read more ( about the latest changes on the devblog. Or, view the following animations to see the building system in action! ( (

01 January 2012, 10:12 AM
More updates to Zombox ( this week!

New weapons can be crafted, building supplies can be gathered from fallen debris, the construction tool has been updated with repair/destroy models, and new particle effects have been added.

Watch this video to see all the new features!: (

02 February 2012, 10:46 AM
This week's Zombox ( update:

- more craftable items! Pipe bombs, molotovs, crossbows with explosive and flammable projectiles, and more!

Here's a .gif showing the molotov in action. (

Here's a .gif showing the fire bow in action. (

Here's a .gif showing the pipe bomb in action. (

Here's a .gif showing the boom bow in action. (

- now you can barricade doorways! Barricading a door gives it some extra HP, which makes it harder for zombies to knock it down. Here's a .gif ( showing the player barricading some doors.

- a new food system requires the player to eat at regular intervals, to prevent starvation. Here's what the food notification icon looks like (top right corner):

02 February 2012, 10:44 AM
Excellent man. The molotov is just awesome!

02 February 2012, 09:18 AM
New updates to Zombox ( this week!

The world now features an elaborate, underground sewer system that you can explore by entering/exiting various manholes throughout the city. The sewer system features shops, medic stations, etc, and will eventually be filled with NPCs -- the remaining survivors of the apocalypse -- who you'll be able to interact with.

Here's the overall layout of the 3 main sewers (the largest one is still a work-in-progress): (

Here's a .gif showing the player entering a sewer, looking around a bit, and then exiting: (

03 March 2012, 01:05 PM
This week's addition to Zombox ( NPCs! (

NPCs can work with you, or attack you, depending on how you treat them.

Here's a more in-depth description ( of all the new NPC features.

03 March 2012, 01:27 PM
That dialogue tree is INSANE. Do your NPC's all essentially work of the same tree, but with slightly different branches? I suppose the advantage of not going full voice over is you can avoiding the 'took and arrow to the knee' thing.

03 March 2012, 05:27 PM
Thanks Chris!

There are different types of NPCs that will show up throughout the world. Each one will have its own full tree. The tree you're looking at is for generic NPCs. There are also hostile NPCs, traders, depressed NPCs, insane NPCs, etc.

03 March 2012, 09:33 AM (

03 March 2012, 06:54 PM
You are just being silly now.


Are you going to have a beta of any kind? or are you just having friends play it?

03 March 2012, 09:51 AM
I plan on having a beta, but I'm not sure who I'll be opening it up to, yet.

More new updates to Zombox ( this week:

You can get NPCs to follow you, they can use ranged weapons, and you can rob them of their money. Watch these animations to see these new features in actions! ( ( (

04 April 2012, 09:39 AM
I've added lots of new features to Zombox ( in the last few weeks!

The NPC dialog trees have been finished, the main sewers have been populated with persistent NPCs. You can now buy/sell from NPCs, heal them, and loot dead bodies. Also, 15 new dungeon sewers have been added, filled with zombies, rare items and secret rooms!

Here's what the final dialog trees look like: (

Here's a short explanation of how they work: (

Here are some animations showing off the new features....

In order....Sewer NPCs, buying/selling, looting, healing, and a zombie dungeon. ( ( ( ( (

04 April 2012, 08:02 AM
This week I added more stuff to Zombox (!

1) I'm in the process of making some new vehicles to drive: (

2) I added a bunch more items to find: (

3) I modeled the campsite where the game begins: (

04 April 2012, 07:04 PM
Would it be possible to mod the vehicles like attaching a chainsaw to the front of the motorcycle?

Because that would be pretty cool.

Awesome as always!

04 April 2012, 07:51 AM
Would it be possible to mod the vehicles like attaching a chainsaw to the front of the motorcycle?

Ha! That would be cool....I'll think about it ;)

05 May 2012, 08:45 AM
More vehicle updates to Zombox (!

Click the following .gifs to see all the new vehicles in action! ( ( ( ( (

06 June 2012, 09:30 AM
There hasn't been a Zombox ( update in a while because I've been busy....but I'm posting one today!

There are 5 playable characters now, each with their own unique abilities and stats. Here's a list of them (click the names to view their selection screen):

Roy (

Susan (

Pete (

Randy (

Mary Beth (

There's also an on-screen map and a character-ability icon, which (when pressed) activates the character's special ability. (

CGTalk Moderation
06 June 2012, 09:30 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.