If you’re cool with bugs, and want to support the game, say the developers, then we’d love to have you on board.

It’s still a little buggy, the developers warn, and downloading the demo is strongly encouraged, but if you just can’t get enough zombie action and don’t mind some rough-around-the-edges gameplay, then sandbox survival title Project Zomboid may be for you. It just recently gained Early Access to Steam, and if you’ve $15 to spare, it can be yours. Or you could just take a shot at the demo. It’s sitting right there. Staring at you with fishbelly-white eyes …

If you do try before you buy, you’ll notice that the pre-made character’s already doomed, having been bitten by a zombie. That’s all part of Indie Stone Studios’ scripted plan, to get you to play around with the systems while at the same time providing a definite end to your sorry saga. Not that Zomboid is a game of happiness and kittens; the whole point is, you’ll die eventually. The only question is how, and when.

It’s been a long, hard, discouraging road for Indie Stone. These are the same folks who took the game offline because it was being pirated directly from the game’s servers, using bandwidth that the developer paid for. Then PayPal shut its account down, for 180 days. Then thieves stole two of Indie Stone’s laptops, which meant much of the game’s code vanished in a bag marked ‘swag.’ Fortunately current backups were found, and by June 2012 the game was on its way to Steam Greenlight.

“We’re both excited and terrified, but it is Early Access after all, and there are many other games up there that have gone up much earlier in development,” says Indie Stone, “so at some point we just have to bite the bullet, draw a line under it, and put our baby up there in front of the Steam audience.” Consider the bullet bitten, a chalk line drawn somewhere, and a baby placed irresponsibly close to imminent danger. Or something along those lines, anyway. Congratulations to Indie Stone; here’s hoping its sandbox horror title gets lots of zombie hugs for Christmas.

Source: Rock Paper Shotgun

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