Burglary Delivers Huge Setback To Indie Game Project Zomboid

The Indie Stone, the UK-based team behind the survival-horror game Project Zomboid might have the worst and hardest luck in independent games development. They've battled piracy — the kind that actually does cost a developer money — and had preorders cut off when PayPal suddenly shut down their account for bogus reasons. Still like the undead, they always managed to shamble back from adversity. It will be a lot tougher to rally this time.

A burglary yesterday claimed two computers that had been used to code Project Zomboid. While the game had been backed up, it was rarely backed up to an offsite location, says Indie Stone.

"We're f**ked basically," wrote developer Chris "Lemmy" Simpson on Twitter, a feed later taken down entirely [screengrab at left] . "We still have code but it's basically before the last update. This will probably finish us. Sorry let everyone down."

The Indie Stone's official statement on the matter is a lot more defiant, vowing that Project Zomboid "will come back stronger".

Update: The Indie Stone contacted Kotaku to vow that Project Zomboid will be finished. Simpson, says Indie Stone, was understandably distraught at the time he tweeted about the damage done to the project.

"In the cold light of day Project Zomboid is not 'f**ked', no one has been run over by a bus—we've simply been knocked back a few steps. With the support of the community we will get our groove back," The Indie Stone's Will Porter told Kotaku. He said the team will have a meeting tomorrow and the community will get an update on the project from the Project Zomboid blog later in the day.

On the blog now, Porter acknowledges that "this will clearly severely delay the next update, which was very near completion". However, no Project Zomboid player's personal information was on either of the two computers stolen, he said.

"During this time we will clearly be asking for the understanding and patience of our community. We are gutted, we are despondent and — most of all — we are sorry that this has thrown yet another bump into the road towards PZ completion," Porter wrote.

"We also REALLY want to wring the neck of the arsehole that did this to us."

Project Zomboid Burglary: Statement [The Indie Stone — h/t Dave Harris]

Special thanks to nimzy for the screen capture of the Twitter feed.


    I am rather astonished at the fact they don't have any remote back up. No Git, SVN, hell, even dropbox.

      Well often you don't consider this option - needless to say they will probably take more caution from now on.

        If I'm developing a game that's been hit by piracy update costs and PayPal being a dick, and I'm accepting pre-payment for it while it's in development, then I sure as hell better be considering offsite backup for the bloody game code.

          Ah the benefits of hindsight.

            Maybe. I'm always given a SVN repository for Uni work, and I use Github for my own personal projects. Remote backups shouldn't even be a question; any programmer worth his salt should do it automatically.

            Not hindsight, just common fucking sense.

            I dropbox all of my important work documents, without fail. Set it up, save stuff in there, and BLAMMO, sorted.

            These guys are developing complicated code for money. How hard is it for one of them to do a backup?

              *shakes ead* Read the article. They did back up their code, they just did it to another computer in the same place. I don't think they were planning on someone breaking in and stealing their stuff, just mundane things like computer's crashing and burning.

                still a very serious failure that any competent system admin should have had sorted day 1 on the job.
                i wouldn't be surprised if somebody head rolls for this. no offsite backup is one of the most mild numbinly stupid things any business can do.
                thank god there wasn't a fire, or this project really would be dead

      Yep. It's a very harsh lesson they've had to learn.

      They do have online code backup, it just hadn't been backed up since the last update. Unfortunate, but I hope there was a lesson learned.

      Still support the game though.

    There is nothing worst programming wise then having to repeat your self over code you lost.

    Poor guys.

    If you read the comments on the linked article from 21st of June, there's this statement by Rockin'R:

    "Ooh, touched a nerve? What, did some evil pirates break into your development studio and steal all your games?"

    Seems a bit harsher in hindsight.

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