Retro Kotaku: Play Zafehouse, One Of The First Zombie Survival Simulators

Man, Zafehouse was not a pretty game. But that's what you get when you build something entirely out of native Windows control, 16 colours (probably less) and a whole lot of text. Even so, people still loved it and somehow, I made a career out of it.

Zafehouse: Diaries, which was officially announced a few weeks ago, is a spiritual successor to this monstrosity. Despite its low-fi credentials, it proved popular with the folks over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun, so much so the outlet was kind enough to write an article about it.

It didn't hit me at first — the concept of making a game people enjoyed playing was incredibly foreign to me. Only when I realised that I had fun making it, despite getting only three minutes of sleep during its creation, did I seriously think about a shift in careers from journalism to game design.

In my original Zafehouse piece for Kotaku, I talked at length about the development process — a short, insomnia-inducing affair lasting seven days. A lot of what I mention is fairly obvious to me now, but discovering those morsels of simple, yet compelling gameplay through trial and error was a fantastic learning experience.

I've said it before and I'll say it again — if you have any interest in working in games development, make a game. Do it now. It's the best way to find out if it's the career for you. Like Zafehouse it doesn't need to look good, be complex or use some fancy technology — Zafehouse was written in VB!

If you'd like to give Zafehouse a crack, it can be download here. The source code, written in Visual Basic .NET, is also available for tinkerers.

Kotaku AU’s Game A Week 2: Zafehouse, The Zombie Survival Simulator [Kotaku Australia]


    When will Diaries be released? Hrmmm?? :)

    I want that, not this. :)

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