> Dead State FAQ Version 1.5


What is Dead State?

A survival RPG that takes places as society is breaking down due to a zombie apocalypse.

Who's working on it?

  • Brian - Project Lead/Design/Writing
  • Oscar - Lead Artist
  • Nick - Lead Programmer
  • Annie - Design/Writing
  • Christina - Production
  • Eugene - Programming
  • Jonathan - Programming
  • Ivan - Animations
  • Mazin - 2D/3D Art
  • Kim - 2D Art
  • Joao - 3D Art
  • Jacob - QA Lead
  • Leif - Music
  • Zack - SFX

Additional work:

  • Brandon - 2D Art
  • Jason - 3D Art
  • Vince - Support

Can I help?

We're not currently looking for team members, but if we add any positions, we'll have notification on the forums or the site.

When is it scheduled to be released?

December 4, 2014 on Steam and GOG.com. The Early Access is already available on Steam!

What tech are you using?

Torque 3D with tools and some code used to make Age of Decadence thanks to our partnership with ITS.

What platforms will you support?

PC for sure. Other platforms will be evaluated after PC version is released, so don't throw away your Neo Geo Pocket just yet!

Who is your publisher?

We don't have one. We're an indie studio and will be releasing through digital distribution. We've already released our Early Access on Steam, we'll have our final release on Steam, and we're in talks with GOG for our DRM-free release.

Do you have an official Wiki?

As a matter of fact, we've partnered with Gamepedia.com to bring you an official Dead State wiki. Check it out and contribute!

Will you release a boxed version?

If there's enough interest. There are no current plans, but anything's possible, especially if there is a financial incentive to do so.

What are the system requirements?

Check out the system requirements on our Steam store page!

Will there be a demo?

We have an Early Access available on Steam. Backers and people who have pre-ordered through our site in the past received keys for this automatically. When the final game is released, the EA version will be replaced automatically with the full game and there should be no need to receive a new key. We plan to make a public demo available after our final release, but it will differ significantly from the pre-release EA.

Where can I pre-order other than Steam?

Visit our pre-order page: Pre-Order Dead State.

Do you guys have a store?

Yes! DoubleBear has stores here:
CafePress - DoubleBear Logo
CafePress - DoubleBear Cartoon Logo Version 1
CafePress - DoubleBear Cartoon Logo Version 2

All sales go right back into production and to pay the team, so if you want to support the development of the game, you may do so by purchasing items from our store. We appreciate it! Let us know if there's something you really want to see.

Do you have a Twitter or Facebook site where I can receive the very latest information on the game's progress?

Yes, we do:
DoubleBear Productions on Twitter
DoubleBear Productions on Facebook
Also, our website: DoubleBear Productions

Can I post YouTube videos and Let's Play videos of Dead State?

You have DoubleBear's permission to post and share videos of our Early Access build, but we ask that you please make clear to viewers that this is a pre-beta Early Access version and not the final game.

Game Design

What is the story of Dead State?

You're a survivor in the undead apocalypse. As far as you know, civilization has collapsed on a global scale. The only thing for certain is that the dead are preying on the living and most of the living are getting more desperate as time goes on. Somehow, you need to find a way to survive. Your best bet is to find other survivors and resources to increase your chances, but nothing is easy in this new world.

Where is the game set?

In the fictional town of Splendid, Texas (Central Texas).

What kinds of zombies are these?

Slow, shuffling, stupid zombies. They respond to sound and sight of the living. They're not very dangerous in small numbers, but can overwhelm in large packs. Their bites are infectious, and most people will die within three days of being bit.

There are no running zombies, mutant zombies, secret zombies, or lich kings in the game.

So I can die from being bit?

In the normal version of the game, you can't but your allies can. Antibiotics will control but not cure the infection. Not all bites will cause infection, but the lower a character's health, the more likely a bite will cause infection.

We plan to eventually add a game mode where the player CAN be infected and antibiotics won't work. As you can expect, it's much more difficult.

Are the allies like party-members in most RPGs?

Not exactly. There are lots of them and they're not always great at combat, but then, combat is only one aspect of the game. The player may go through the game multiple times and never find all of them, nor have the same experience with them. The player has to provide for allies and lead them, and if their allies don't agree with the player's decisions, they may leave or challenge the player's authority.

Is combat real-time or turn-based?

Turn-Based, although exploration is real-time. The player controls all allies, except when a character is panicking.

How does Panic work?

Panic is caused either by fear of zombies or combat stress/wounds. Some characters will never panic from zombies and some will never panic from combat stress. A few will never panic at all under any circumstances, and that includes the player. Low Morale/depression will increase chances of Panic.

How does Morale work?

Morale is one of the major systems in the game, reinforcing one of the bigger themes in a zombie apocalypse scenario. Maintaining positive Morale is one of the major tasks the player has to do. Morale is based on Mood, which is generated by allies. When allies are in good spirits, their Morale drain is minor, but if they lose hope, they start generating a larger Morale penalty. Morale is calculated daily and is drawn from the player's "good will" reserves. When Morale is negative, it can cause greater problems in the Shelter. Luxury items can help raise Morale, and certain actions/decisions the player makes can have a positive or negative effect on Morale.

What is this Shelter?

The Shelter is a school that can be used to house allies and equipment the player finds. Parts of the school can be upgraded with certain resources, but the perimeter must be maintained to keep the structure safe. It's the player's base of operations.

Can I have multiple Shelters?

No, just the one.

What if something happens to the Shelter?

The game is over if the Shelter is compromised. This is just one of the ways the game can end.

Do I have to worry about anything besides Morale?

Yes, in fact - food is a major resource, as well. In the normal mode of the game, the player doesn't have to worry about eating, but their allies will need food every day or a shortage can impact Morale. This is one of the reasons the player will have to go out and scavenge, which is risky due to other humans looking for (and killing for) food, not to mention zombies. Food is consumed automatically every day by allies, so there's no need to have to sit there and distribute it, because we're not making an apocalyptic lunch lady sim.

How do I avoid zombies?

Try to avoid making Noise. Zombies (and humans) are attracted to noise. Large groups of humans fighting will generally draw zombies to the area too. There are creative ways to deal with the zombies, but the best thing to do is to just be careful how loud you are. Make too much noise for too many rounds of combat, and zombies will start to overwhelm even the most experienced party.

And how do I kill zombies?

There are melee and ranged weapons. Melee weapons are quieter, while ranged weapons are more powerful and noisier. Zombies on their own aren't that hard to kill, so if you're capable with a melee weapon, your characters should be able to take one down with melee without generating too much noise. Humans, however, are much deadlier than zombies and may be wearing armor and shooting back. Guns are an effective weapon against humans, but the noise can attract zombies. Of course, characters that are good with melee/ranged and have decent equipment will be able to handle a variety of situations. There are also special one-use items with combat or strategic uses.

What are the other skills?

The skills for the game are:

  • Survival - Training in wilderness/military survival. It allows players to travel quicker on the Area Map, avoid random encounters, survey greater distances, and harvest wild sources of food.
  • Mechanical - Mechanical aptitude. Governs ability to pick locks, upgrade the Shelter, modify weapons, and ability to strip more parts from objects.
  • Melee - Proficiency with melee weapons/close combat.
  • Ranged - Proficiency with firearms/ranged weapons.
  • Medical - Knowledge of medicine/treatment of wounds. Skilled characters can heal more HP per character and use fewer healing items to do so.
  • Science - Knowledge and application of scientific principles. Allows the player to craft new items, equipment, and upgrades.
  • Negotiation - The ability to manipulate and reason with people. Used in dialogue and helps reduce Morale penalties.
  • Leadership - The ability to inspire and intimidate people. Used in dialogue and increases effectiveness of allies in combat.

Are there stats too?

A few. Stats represent a character's physical ability/limitations, and are used in conjunction with skills to determine combat effectiveness.

Skills are applied knowledge and stats are physical capability. It is easier to raise skills than stats. They are:

  • Strength - Physical strength. Determines carry weight and contributes to melee damage.
  • Agility - How physically quick a character is. Determines amount of Action Points and combat evasion.
  • Perception - Mental alertness and keen sight. Used to determine initiative and chance to hit distant targets.
  • Vigor - Determines HP, and can give bonus AC.

How do I level up?

There aren't traditional levels in the game. You receive skill points for completing objectives - such as exploring a large or dangerous location or collecting a certain amount of food. There are reoccurring goals, exploration goals, and challenge goals. There are also hidden goals which will award the player for making particularly difficult decisions. You can use skill points to advance skills. When a certain number of skill points are gained, the player will receive one stat point to use in boosting one of their four stats.

We also have hidden perks which can bestow a choice of skills onto the player when they reach certain milestones in the game.

What is the gist of the game?

The game is open-world, meaning the player can go anywhere in any order. There are quite a few "objectives" coming from within the player's group and outside forces, but the player will always have plenty to do and the story/relationships can go in very different directions based on the player's decisions.

The basic drive is going out of the Shelter to scavenge food, equipment, fuel, parts, and other items and trying to survive another day in the zombie apocalypse. There are a lot of ways this can be accomplished.

Is there a good and evil solution for everything?

There is no good/evil points, slider, whatever. If you piss off an enemy faction, most likely they are going to be hostile. Some people will agree with your methods and some won't and some won't care as long as the Shelter provides creature comforts. You have to weigh every decision like a political decision - you can't please all the people all of the time, but you can please some of the people some of the time. Most of the decisions involve sacrifices (not literally) and it's about what you're comfortable sacrificing, though it's not always as cut and dry as that. There is also the question of the needs of the group versus the needs of the individual to consider.

Can I create my character?

Yes, you can create a character and choose a model and portrait, as well as assign skills and stats or select an archetype character build.

Are there perks to choose at character creation?

Currently perks are earned through achieving certain skill milestones.

Will I be able to max all skills in a single game?

No. You can try to be average at a lot of things or a specialist in a few.

How does travel work?

You pick a destination or direction to travel to on the Area Map. If you discover a new area while traveling, it will be marked on your map.

Travel takes time, but can be cut short with a vehicle, though those have fuel costs associated with them. There are also random encounters, though skills like Survival and occasionally dialogue can get you out of them. Generally, you don't want to be out for too long or your group will start to suffer Fatigue, which can only be healed by rest and it's not safe to rest outside the walls of the Shelter.

Will there be any kinds of magic, psychic powers, or chainsaw-chuks?

No, this game is modeled after natural disasters, with the human element being the key factor. It's a what-if scenario, so we're trying to keep it as close to reality as our gameplay mechanics will allow.

I crave more Dead State info! What should I do?

If your question isn't answered on the FAQ, we recommend you check out this helpful Forum post, compiled by community member DrunkZombie: Dev Answer Compilation. There's also a fan-made Dead State Wiki available if you'd like a quick reference. If you can't find your questions answered in any of those places, please feel free to ask us on our official Questions thread in the forums!

DoubleBear Productions