News from 2007
10th December 2007
- Another winter in the quarantine zone, and survivors are marking
the turning of the year by hooking festive lights up to their
safehouse generators, dragging freshly-cut fir trees through the
empty streets, and looting the forgotten costume caches of shopping
- This year it's cold enough to snow, and it's beginning to
settle. Walking outside will leave trails of footprints that last
the snow covers them - be careful about leading any unwanted visitors
back to your well-hidden safehouse.
31st October 2007
- Another day of freak weather conditions, today, as thick fog
blankets the city. Stay inside, ignore any thumping on your safehouse
doors, and please do not feed the zombies, even if they're wearing
24th August 2007
- As the dead suburbs are falling further into disrepair, it's no
possible to free run through the smashed windows and blocked-off shortcuts
ruined buildings - attempting to free run into a ruin will instead
drop a survivor onto the street outside. (Free running out of a ruin is
- It's been a long quarantine, and a lot of the city's inhabitants are
now missing in action. Members of your contacts list that haven't
seen in Malton for over a month are now flagged as such.
- Unskilled and desperate survivors can now use lengths of pipe
to block the doors to a building, as a crude form of barricade.
14th August 2007
- Survivors skilled in construction are now able to use salvaged
to repair damaged generators and radio transmitters.
- Some of the more territorial zombies have taken to ruining
ransacking a building to such a thorough extent that the damage is visible
the street. Ruined buildings can only be repaired by survivors with
experience and a toolbox.
- In an attempt to reclaim the derelict forts, survivors have cleared
inside the fort perimeters, and can now drag bodies from any part
of a base
to outside its gatehouse.
31st May 2007
- Some survivors are going out of their way to salvage clothing
shops and buildings of the city, either as uniforms, souvenirs of specific
or simple fashion statements. Clothes may become tattered and bloodstained
time, but you can always just loot some fresh, clean ones. (Use the
to change your clothing. Flak jackets still work as before, and will be
the new system later.)
- The undead can brush the dust off to reveal what they were wearing at
of their death, but can only do this once.
- With barricades now such a familiar sight across the city,
(and zombies with memories of life) are finding them easier to pull down
from the inside, and anybody inside a building will now notice when others
responsible for fully destroying or starting to rebuild its
barricades. Ransacking buildings and refuelling generators will now also
noticed by inhabitants of the building.
20th April 2007
- Players can now edit more details in their profiles, as well being able to
configure some gameplay settings - it's now possible to automatically
ignore items you don't want to search for, and to filter feeding groans, radio
broadcasts and flare sightings, according to personal preference.
8th April 2007
- Some deranged survivor cult or other has hidden 250 chocolate
eggs around the empty buildings of the city. Eating or smashing them
will get your name on the Egg
6th March 2007
- Survivors have begun looting the city's museums of treasures
to improve the ruined decor of their safehouses. At least until zombies
break in and
- These and other heavy or unwieldy items now take up more space in
inventories, and the total level of encumbrance is now shown. Being
at an encumbrance
level of 100% or greater means, as before, that you cannot pick up further
- Installing equipment in a building is now noticed by nearby
2nd February 2007
- Hammering on the barricades of the derelict suburbs, the dead are
their experiences, and filling with a slow anger - zombies now gain
for tearing down barricade levels, for ransacking empty buildings, and for
machinery that survivors have set up.
19th January 2007
- As winter drags on and the dead adapt further to the urban terrain,
their sense of
smell sharpens. Zombies are now able to distinguish infected survivors
from the uninfected using
Scent Blood, and can use Scent Death to locate nearby
members of their own group.
- The dead are beginning to notice when a scientist jabs a needle into
one of their
horde, and survivors are paying more attention to the final coughs of a
Dropping from infection or revivification will now be
visible to other
players, in the same way as a standard death.
- A cold wind sweeps the streets, and post-quarantine newspapers
some advice and propaganda to new players, rather than long-forgotten
News from 2006
18th December 2006
- As the city's survivors settle in for another winter in the
quarantine zone, a number
of them have been spotted dragging freshly-cut fir trees through
rubbled streets, and
looting long-ignored plastic trees and decorative lights from the hardware
stores of ruined
23rd November 2006
- Friends and foes on your contacts list are now highlighted in
and dialogue, and can be colour-coded to any of nine shades. There's also
an option to ignore
specific users, which will stop you from hearing any speech or radio
broadcasts from them.
20th November 2006
- For purposes beyond the clearance of anyone currently stationed in
city's two military bases have been retaken and rebuilt. Transport
from outside the quarantine cordon have helped to repair the breaches in
external walls, and the internal buildings that were locked down or
derelict are now
back in use.
31st October 2006
- Weather warning. Malton has awoken to a thick and freezing
morning, reducing visibility to zero across the city. It will have cleared
away by the
morning - citizens are advised to stay indoors, and to ignore any strange
sounds they might hear on their safehouse doors today.
- The fog hides a number of minor updates: powered buildings in
are now highlighted, billboards have been scattered through the city,
bodies can now only
be dumped from buildings one at a time, and a few aesthetic changes have
28th August 2006
- As the temperatures begin to fall, the undead's ability to scent death
sharpens, increasing in radius and allowing them to distinguish the dead from the
- The air is now clear enough for binoculars to be used from tall buildings,
to scan distant streets for growing hordes or lost survivors. They're available from
all good sports equipment stores and military facilities.
- The older zombies have been observed communicating and coordinating using crude
flailing gestures, gesturing other zombies towards particular buildings or
- Knives are now more effective as weapons, particularly in the hands of
the city's less experienced inhabitants.
22nd July 2006
- Memo to NecroTech staff: Specimen data has now been declassified for
the benefit of
street personnel - DNA extractions now permit a full readout of specimen
information in the form
of a profile link. This real-time access means that scanned
specimens can now be
revived immediately if necessary, rather than being lost in the
3rd July 2006
- Urban Dead is one year old today. Supply crates have been
airdropped into the
streets for the survivors - zombies can earn experience points if they
reach and smash
16th June 2006
- Some of the stronger zombies have been reported to be dragging
critically-wounded survivors out of their safehouses and into the streets,
feed the waiting hordes or to finish their own meal undisturbed. Any
12HP or less is at risk.
- Scent Fear now echoes this by displaying vulnerable survivors
"dying", and the skill has been moved back to the base of the Scent tree.
- Ransacked buildings must now be cleared before they can be
6th June 2006
- As temperatures rise across the city, the undead begin to detect
and follow the rotting scent of distant zombie hordes and piled
(The 'Scent' tree has been rearranged to accomodate this new skill.)
- Broadcasting from a transmitter in an occupied building will now be
noticed by any other people in that building.
3rd June 2006
- Perhaps to prevent interference with their own communications, the
have altered their radio jamming in such a way that only experienced
operators can broadcast in the 26.00-28.00 MHz band. The 28.01-29.00
been opened up for free public use.
1st June 2006
- The military have stopped jamming
short-wave radio frequencies across the quarantine area. Handheld
radio receivers previously discarded as useless will now be able to pick
up broadcasts from transmitters installed in buildings, across a range
29th April 2006
- As the looting continues, survivors are beginning to find
powering a building makes it slightly easier to find equipment and
supplies in its previously darkened rooms.
- The more advanced zombies are starting to ransack abandoned
making looting them more difficult until survivors are able to clear the
zombies out and repair the damage.
31st March 2006
Memo to NecroTech staff: Your handheld DNA-extractor software has been
automatically upgraded to analyse tissue samples for telltale
signs of cortex damage, which we can now match to our databases, and the
increased difficulty of field revives is being rewarded
appropriately. We'll continue to monitor NecroNet data and aerial shots
of the city, as the situation progresses.
28th March 2006
- Memo to NecroTech staff: The subjects are developing a
resistance to our current antigens - syringe barrels must now be fully
emptied to guarantee successful revivification, even if this takes
longer and puts support staff at risk.
- As a result of revivification
becoming a lengthier process, the brain-rotten dead are now able to pick
up the scent trail of those who attempt to revive them.
- There was a glitch updating the database today, and all game events
have lost their timestamp - this means that you'll see everything in a
random order today, and might also get some old stuff from the past week.
Everything will be there somewhere, it'll just all have the same,
incorrect timestamp. It's a one-off thing and later events will be fine,
but apologies for any inconvenience or confusion this causes.
9th March 2006
- As the feeding groans echo around the malls, the undead are
beginning to distinguish the sounds of their horde from those of ferals
and others. Groans from other members of a zombie's group will be heard
4th February 2006
- Urban Dead merchandise has moved to a new premium
shop so that we can offer multiple items; as well as a new black
Urban Dead T-shirt, there are also some "Mrh?" badges and shirts.
3rd February 2006
- The older zombies are learning to grab onto their victims to increase the
accuracy of their attacks - watch your loose clothing, and keep long hair tied back.
- As looter raids and sabotage attacks continue, the city's survivors are beginning
to camp out in the larger, shared rooms of their safehouses, and even the zombie mobs seem
to be lurching in tighter formation - kills and generator destruction will now be
noticed by other players in the area.
2nd February 2006
- A shift in the air, or the blood, and the fresh dead flex their stiffening
fingers. 5% of the Death Grip bonus has been shifted back to apply to all zombies by
default, including recently-deceased survivors.
19th January 2006
- Memo to NecroTech staff: In response to the spreading epidemic,
some staff are now being given access to NecroNet terminals within company
buildings. These will allow employees to review the DNA-scan data for the surrounding
area, manufacture fresh Mk II syringes, and use lab equipment to treat specimens
with corrupted brain stems.
News from 2005
30th December 2005
- Blocked escalators and corridors have been cleared - it's now possible to walk
around inside shopping malls and other large buildings. (Any such buildings
that weren't zombie-controlled have had their loose corners automatically barricaded
up to full.)
22nd December 2005
- Low and unsettling groans drift through the empty winter streets,
as the undead begin to call to one another...
21st December 2005
- The unprecedented and conversational gathering in Whetcombe Park has thrown
up some serious server load issues we've never met before; this is why the game's
been lagging so badly over the past day or so. There are now a couple of
restrictions if you're in a block with more than fifty citizens - you won't see
all of their names (or be able to interact with them all) without clicking "list
names" first, and if you speak, your words will only be audible to the "nearest"
fifty players, meaning the fifty most recently active ones.
19th December 2005
- It might be a further level of decomposition, it might just be the effects of the
colder weather, but zombies seem to be reacting differently to Headshot as the
snow begins to fall - they no longer lose experience, but their nervous system
becomes frayed and slowed, taking them longer to stand up after a blow to the skull.
- Black military helicopters have been sighted in the grey skies above Malton this
week, airdropping occasional supply crates into the empty streets for the coldest days of
22nd November 2005
- The military have switched the local mobile phone network back on,
after a blanket shutdown during the first months of quarantine. The
reception quality is only good enough for text messages, however, and you'll
need a powered phone mast in your suburb to get a signal.
18th November 2005
- Electricity returns to Malton. The Krinks and Tolman power stations
are still out
of action, but a number of survivors have been seen carrying small
generators through the ruined streets. Doctors with appropriate
training are now
able to take advantage of temporary hospital lighting and equipment.
13th November 2005
- NecroTech memo: To ensure full-time employment for staff on
all shifts, the DNA-extractor uplink coordination has finally been
changed to be time unspecific. Employees are advised to seek and scan
- Group affiliations are now ranked in the game
4th November 2005
- Character profiles can now be edited to include a description
that's visible to others, and group affiliation (which I'll start pulling
out into stats when the data's there).
27th October 2005
- For those wondering how the living are matching up to the dead
in terms of sheer numbers, some game statistics are now
21st October 2005
- Follow the music - there's now an
Mall at Cafepress, if anyone wants an official T-shirt
or mug or badge.
18th October 2005
- We're having the Urban Dead server upgraded again,
today; it'll be offline for an unspecified amount of time,
sometime this afternoon (GMT). Update: It's done. The
game should be a bit healthier now.
11th October 2005
- A lot of boring back-end stuff and server-upgrading, over the
past week; the game should be running more smoothly now.
- Players are given some tips for their first day in Malton when they sign up, now.
29th September 2005
- The unnoticed bodies that litter Malton, yet to stand up for
the first time, continue to stiffen and degrade. Headshot
now does 10XP damage for each level a zombie has beyond the first.
- New zombie skill: Ankle Grab. Watch your step.
24th September 2005
- Something pestilential is spreading and mutating in the blood and
guts of the undead - NecroTech DNA scans are beginning to pick up a number
of specimens who are host to an unknown pathogen. Any survivors who suffer
an Infectious Bite should seek immediate medical attention.
16th September 2005
- Cranial decomposition is setting in. Headshots now only knock
off 10XP for
each level of the zombie, rather than reducing them to zero every time -
higher-level zombies have a greater proportion of active grey cells, and
to lose when the bullets go in.
14th September 2005
- Nightly database resets were a bit late last night due to
the server being overloaded at the time when the maintenance is set to
happen. We've fixed things to stop it happening again; apologies for
any confusion this caused.
10th September 2005
- There may be some server downtime tomorrow while Urban Dead
is transferred to a new machine; it shouldn't last long, but bear with us
when it happens.
8th September 2005
- Advance warning: The large building
functionality is due to be reworked soon, so that if you're inside one
corner of a mall (or
cathedral, mansion, stadium or power station) and move to a different
one, you remain inside. But it'd obviously be horrific to suddenly enact
this overnight - if any teams of survivors are currently using a corner
of a large building as their base, they've got at least a couple of days
to either relocate to a smaller local safehouse, or reinforce the other
Update: Didn't have time to implement this, in light
server issues, and it's been pushed back down the queue since.
- A new feature for the Contacts List: If a someone on your list has
died and later turns up again in a pile of bodies or crowd of zombies, you'll
be able to recognise them.
7th September 2005
- There's now a Wiki running on
server - there are a few disparate guides and analyses on the mailing
forums and other random pages around the web; having an official Wiki for
sort of thing might help coordinate it and make it easier for everyone to
6th September 2005
- The FAQ's been updated, if anyone's in need of
a frequently-given answer.
3rd September 2005
- It looks like the NecroTech helicopters were spraying something they hadn't told the military about,
or leaking it... a few revivified survivors will notice darker patches of cortex having healed up, a few zombies
will have forgotten some distant life skills. (This was a bug rather than a
feature; the effect is permanent, but won't happen again.)
- NecroTech memo: In light of the wasteful re-deaths of patients
post-revivification recovery in such an unexpectedly dangerous
re-engineered syringe stock has been airdropped to all NecroTech
20th August 2005
- Everyone now has a Contacts List
that they can add other characters to; it's very skeletal at the moment,
but will blossom out into reciprocal listing, attitude-flagging, mobile
phoning, linked-GPS feedback and all sorts of things, in the future. To
add people to it, just click the "add" link at the bottom of their
15th August 2005
- And zombies with battle-calloused fingertips can hone the art
of Rend Flesh for increased combat damage.
- Survivors with itchy trigger fingers can now spend their
time developing Advanced Training skills, for the pistol
and the shotgun.
14th August 2005
- Either the zombies are weakening, the survivors are learning where
to hit them, or there's something in the air... it now takes 10AP
for a zombie to stand up after being killed. As ever, safety in numbers
is the key to not being killed in the first place.
13th August 2005
- Server now optimised! The game should be even faster than it
was in the early days, now. We've rewritten huge swathes of the game to
speed it up, so there might be a few bugs or quirks that we
hadn't caught during local testing - post them to the NecroTech dev list
if you see any, and we'll get onto them.
Thanks again to everyone who's helped to support the game during the
last couple of weeks.
12th August 2005
- Just to let people know; the optimised version of the site is
looking good, a lot faster and kinder to the server, and should be in
place over the weekend, if all the testing goes well. We're also looking
at getting a dedicated server sorted out, which should help keep things
running even if we're hit by heavier traffic.
Finally we'll be able
to go back to spending development hours implementing fun things,
after weeks of not having time to. Thanks for your patience and support.
8th August 2005
- We're still in the process of overhauling the scripts and the
server, but as a temporary gesture to those who've donated to
support the game,
they can have access to a game view with a
higher load cap, which shouldn't overload so often.
7th August 2005
- Tagging Mission Over. The streets of Malton had twenty
instances of "an eye", thirteen identical comments about "ME" smelling,
and twelve of "BAD WOLF". The eyes have it, and tagger Ben gets 200XP.
- Weather warning: Heavy storms are currently sweeping the Malton
area - citizens
are strongly advised to remain indoors until the storm conditions pass, to
trapped on the streets in poor visibility. (Server load has been getting
recently, with early-morning and mid-evening EST seeming particularly bad.
better off sitting tight in a safehouse until things calm down, rather
being stuck outside and getting a couple of minutes of "server
in the middle of a zombie horde.)
5th August 2005
- Tagging Mission: Whichever piece of graffiti is most prevalent
on the outsides of buildings across the city at an arbitrary tallying-up
time on Sunday night will
earn its tagger a one-off 200XP respect bonus. (If several people used
the same graffiti, the most prolific tagger gets it. And multi-character
abuse rules still apply, obviously.)
1st August 2005
- Urban Dead was linked on Metafilter
today, so bear with us if the server starts to creak under the load
and slow the game down, over the next couple of days (or longer if
there's, you know, a spreading infection pattern). Any full-blown
outages should only be temporary - it's up to you whether to fight
it out or just lie low in a safehouse until the streets are cleared
and the sun breaks through.
(Development time is being sunk into boring optimisation stuff, to
save the server. Won't be any new in-game features for a while.)
30th July 2005
- Citizens with the new Construction skill are now able to
barricade buildings from the inside.
- NecroTech memo: Some of the specimens are now reaching an advanced
stage of decomposition - revivification techniques don't appear to work
on those with Brain Rot, and your DNA extractors may have trouble
reading their genetic signature.
29th July 2005
- Game messages are now timestamped, after a few requests for
- The IP limit's gone back down to the original 160; we've been
a lot of multiple characters exploiting the temporary 500 range, and the
server load's been generally higher today. The FAQ's been fleshed out a
bit with guidelines for AOL users. Players who have donated are
27th July 2005
- The Zombie Hunters are coming. Check the Skills Tree.
- Some zombies have been observed using a
primitive Death Rattle ability to communicate more complex
noises than their earlier groaning.
26th July 2005
- A new civilian skill - Tagging - gives XP bonuses for
spraypainting certain buildings.
- As a thankyou to the players who've donated to support the site,
they've had the hit-limit lifted to a sufficiently high number, for the
character that they specified with the donation. I'll be doing the
same for any future donations above $5.
25th July 2005
- Dead bodies can now be dragged out of buildings if you're
worried about them reanimating.
- Hm, I've upped the access limit to 500, for today, while I
sort out the problems with shared ISPs. It'll be going back down to
24th July 2005
- Spray Paint can now be found in buildings you'd expect to
find it in, and can be used to leave messages on walls.
- The site now an access limit. In order to keep the server
running smoothly and to prevent people from single-handedly controlling
large hordes of zombies or player-killers, players are now only allowed
to hit the site 160 times from a single machine, per day. This is enough
to maintain three characters if you don't reload the page; if you've
been running more than three, you might want to move the others into
safe buildings and let them go idle, to resume play with them later on.
(There's more about this in the FAQ.)
23rd July 2005
- Zombies are now able to develop the Scent Trail skill, which
allows them to sense the locations of survivors who have attacked or
otherwise come into contact with them since their last turn.
- A change to the Consumer class - the Shopping skill now lets customers
choose which of several stores to loot, when searching a mall. The search-bonus
has been moved to Bargain Hunting.
21st July 2005
- The undead have also slowed to lurching - it now takes 2AP for
a zombie to walk to an adjacent block.
- Something in the air is stupefying the zombies. They can no longer
open doors to enter buildings unless they have the new Memories of
Life skill. Citizens are advised to lock their doors.
20th July 2005
- Unwanted items can now be dropped. This doesn't mean that other
people in the same block can pick them up, though.
19th July 2005
- New players of the game may select the Corpse character class, to
sidestep all that tedious suicide business.
- Memo to NecroTech staff: reports are coming in that infected subjects are
beginning to develop significant phenotypic differences, over time - please start
filing daily DNA samples so that the situation can be better monitored.
- To clear up the map, any player who hasn't logged in for five days now becomes
hidden (considered to have spent a solid five days doing
nothing except securing a shelter), which effectively removes them
from the game. They'll reappear in their previous location whenever they
log back in.
17th July 2005
- In response to the spreading infection,
NecroTech have issued all staff with DNA Extractors
requesting that infected specimens be located and logged.
- A new Miscellaneous-class skill is available: Body Building.
- NecroTech staff with the Lab Experience skill will now be able to
use a newly-added item of zombie-related equipment. It can be found in
NecroTech buildings. (Untrained citizens won't be able to operate it.)
16th July 2005
- Forgotten passwords can now be automatically retrieved through email.
14th July 2005
- First-Aid Kits can now be used on other players.
- Hit points are no longer displayed in user profiles.
- The Scent Fear skill has been tweaked to show wounded survivors in nearby
13th July 2005
- Citizens' date-of-death is now tracked.
- Flare Guns can now be used as inaccurate but powerful weapons.
12th July 2005
- There are a couple of new combat skills in the Zombie Skills Tree.
11th July 2005
- To discourage in-fighting, survivors now get only half combat XP if they're
attacking another survivor; zombies get half XP if they're attacking another zombie.
10th July 2005
- A few zombie skills have been added.
- Skill purchase has been implemented - characters can spend 100XP to buy a
skill from the new skills tree, with cost
modifiers for the Military and Science classes.
9th July 2005
- Players who are tired of life are now able to jump from the windows of tall
- Players caught creating multiple characters for game-abusive purposes
are now having those accounts disabled semi-automatically.
7th July 2005
- Wirecutters now have a use.
6th July 2005
- Zombies are now able to make zombie noises, to communicate with
one another or to threaten the living.
- Two new mailing lists now exist: urbandeadzombies
as a support group for the recently deceased, and necrotech
for analysis of the game's structure, and for bug reporting.
5th July 2005
4th July 2005
- Added a 'Speak' button, allowing survivors to communicate with
others in the same block.
3rd July 2005
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