How One Zombie Game Spawned A 4000-Post Long Co-operative Gaming Thread

How One Zombie Game Spawned A 4000-Post Long Co-operative Gaming Thread

I haven’t talked about Zafehouse: Diaries for a while. But don’t worry, I’m still slaving away as an indie developer. While we haven’t managed to score a review on a major gaming site just yet, we have popped up in few interesting places. Oh… and there’s a 4000-post long thread on the internet dedicated to co-operative playthroughs of the game.

Firstly, those interesting places. We actually got a mention in a Kotaku US article (link goes to the local version) where we somehow ended up in the same sentence as Minecraft and FTL. It was extremely humbling.

We were then mentioned in a Project Zomboid podcast — the folks were even kind enough to link directly to us. It was crazy-good to hear those guys rave about the game for five minutes or so. So we know, at the very least, other developers think the game is grouse.

Now, onto that mammoth thread…

One of the game’s core features is the ability to add yourself to the game and customise your vital statistics, including age, occupation, education and ancestry. Using this capability transforms the game into a post-apocalyptic RPG, where you can watch yourself — and friends and family — kill zombies, fight each other and in the case of the poor woman above, perhaps lose a limb to that pesky infection.

While Zafehouse: Diaries has spawned a number of co-operative gaming threads, also known as “Let’s plays”, it’s this ongoing one over at a place called Broken Forums that has surprised us the most.

Right now, it’s almost 100 pages long, has close to 4000 posts and has been viewed nearly 50,000 times. To me, that’s a staggering amount of fun and interaction derived from our little game. Even if we never make it onto Steam, we can feel good about the fact that there are gamers out there who absolutely adore what we’ve built.

As a creator, that’s a great feeling to have.


  • The game is amazing, and the latest patch was a welcome addition to the games balance. I’m still 50/50 on it deleting your save file when you die though

    • It’s a very rogue-like way of going about things, but we feel it makes you consider each decision more carefully when you can’t just save and load ad infinitum.

      That said, you can back-up your save manually. It’s a file called “save.zhs” in “My Documents\Zafehouse Diaries”.

  • Enjoyed the demo awhile back, a unique concept, though I was getting slaughtered a bit too quickly in each game (my fault for being too cocky). I must admit that it is strangely addictive especially with the random set ups for each new save. This might have changed since then but I felt the demo a bit too limited in the content locked from the full game; I kept thinking that I might have had an easier time if so and so item were unlocked but alas it is a trial I suppose. Is the steam release still coming?

    • Considering they say “Even if we never make it onto Steam, ” at the end of the article, doesn’t sound like it’s a sure thing as yet.

    • We tweaked the difficulty over the course of the last few patches, and 1.1.6 introduced a new game mode where there’s no pressure to race around collecting clues. So it might be a bit more to your liking. It’s still quite a hard game though. 🙂

      As for Steam, we’ve stagnated basically. My impressions of Greenlight are that if you don’t make it into the top 100 in the first month, you’ll never get greenlit, outside of some extraordinary event. This is mainly an exposure issue.

      • Sounds good, nice to hear that it’s still being updated :). Shame about the greenlight issues. It seems flawed that work in progress games (eg prototype games) and even broken games are being greenlit while actual finished games have to jump through all these hoops to get released on steam.

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