June 2014 Community Round-up

It’s time to take another look at what the crazily creative and prolific Zombies, Run! community has been up to. As usual, you’ve been pretty busy so there’s a lot to get through!

First up is this brilliant Certificate of Achievement, sent in by Daniel along with this story behind it’s creation:

My 11 year old daughter has been following my progress on Zombies Run 5k and Season One.  Yesterday for Father’s Day we did a 5K together – Season 1 Mission 12 – and she presented me with the attached Certificate.  Note the “Zom Free” stamp at the bottom – she thinks that Able Township should give every runner a medical checkup after they return from runs, to make sure they have no bites or scratches. Lucky for me, I passed inspection.

Certificate of achievement.jpg

Next, we have a member of the Zombies, Run! writing team who has created their own game! Gavin Inglis, a writer on Zombies, Run! Season 3, has produced an interactive horror novel called Neighbourhood Necromancer. Unlike in Zombies, Run!, this time you’re in charge of the zombies as you try to take over the suburbs. It sounds deliciously daft and fun, in a way that only a skeleton’s tea party can.

You can grab Neighbourhood Necromancer on iOS and Android devices, or play it online over on the Choice of Games website.


Friend of Zombies, Run!, Kas Sweeney (you may know her better as TheWonderSmith) has created a brilliant new Tumblr account called Ask Radio Cabel. Kas masterfully illustrates in-character responses by Jack, Eugene, Phil and Zoe to questions submitted by people like you. So head on over and see what’s already there, then submit your own!

Ask Radio Cabel is unofficial and not part of the Zombies, Run! canon. But that doesn’t mean we don’t love it!


Zombies, Run! fan p-cinereus has drawn himself as Runner 5, sporting some snazzy bracers and a (not yet bloodstained) axe. Formidable! P-cinereus is a relative beginner to Zombies, Run!, having recently started to play 5k Training. We’d like to wish him good luck with it and look forward to seeing more Zombies, Run! fanart from him!


This adorable pic of Eugene was created by Emma (aka Crownleys). It’s part of a community-wide colour palette meme, where artists are requested to create work using only a set palette of colours. It makes for some striking images, as you can see!


Next up is a great sketch of Dr Maxine Myers sporting a pretty awesome tattoo, created by tedanaxe for the Iron Zombies challenge. Speaking of which…


Zalia’s Iron Zombies After Dark creative challenge has completed and has resulted in a huge amount of new Zombies, Run! fanart and fanfiction. There’s a great round-up of everything the talented participants have created. A quick warning, however: some of this stuff might be NSFW. Enjoy!

If you have something to submit for the next Zombies, Run! Community Round-up, you can send your work (attachment or link is fine!) to Jem@sixtostart.com. We’re looking for art, fiction, photos or any other piece of creative work you’ve made. Alternatively, if you’d like to nominate someone else’s work that’s cool too!

Introducing guest writer Joanne Harris


We’re so thrilled that the wonderful author Joanne Harris (author of Chocolat and most recently, The Gospel of Loki) has penned a guest episode for Season 3 of Zombies, Run!

We asked Joanne a few questions about how she got involved and what she’s made of the experience!

Joanne, how did you come to get into Zombies, Run!?

I initially heard about the game from Naomi Alderman. I’d never done any running before, and I thought it sounded like a great idea. I tried it, and was genuinely surprised, both at how much I actually enjoyed the physical part, and at how quickly I became involved in the affairs of Abel and its inhabitants. I’ve been following them ever since.


How did you decide where to focus in your episode?

So far there have been so many episodes that have centred on the adult inhabitants of Abel, and so few that reflect the younger community.

I began to imagine what it would be like to be a teenager in Abel; going through all the usual angst and self-doubt, with the zombie apocalypse thrown it. Too young to be accepted as runners, but old enough to feel the need to do something to contribute, I created two young characters, orphaned and left to their own devices, who, desperate to prove they can manage alone, set off illegally from Abel, in search of those things adult runners never seem to want to collect…


And finally, what’s your favourite song to run to, and which member of Abel would accompany you on your ideal run?

I have a number of ZR playlists which I vary according to weather and mood, but I always pick up the pace when Voltaire comes on – he has a number of songs about zombies, which I find quite motivational.

I like to run on my own, but, given the chance,would jump at a mission with Sam, of whom I’ve grown rather fond…

And of course, Sam’s fond of you too. All of you Runners Five out there ;-).

Content Drop: June 25th 2014

Zombies, Run! Season 3 continues today with a new batch of missions.

This week’s new missions are named “Return To The Forbidden Planet”, “The Road Goes Ever On And On” and “Brand New Start”. As usual, no spoilers, but we’re eager to hear what you think of them!

To get access to all previously released missions, you just need to purchase the relevant Pass from the Store. But surely you’ve already done that, right?

If you’ve not visited the Zombies, Run! blog in a while, you may want to scroll down and have a look at a few of our latest posts. We have some exciting news about Zombies, Run! for Google Glass, as well as upcoming features for the Android version of the game. 

Announcing Zombies, Run! Glass Edition

Zombies, Run! is all about putting the player in an post-apocalyptic world with a gripping story and gameplay that motivates you to run faster, further, and more frequently than ever before. That motivation is why over 900,000 people, from beginner runners to expert marathoners, have bought the game and become Runner 5.

Lots of people ask us why we don’t include graphics or interaction while you’re running. The reason is simple: if you’re a jogger or runner, you know there’s nothing more annoying than having to dig out your phone, unlock it, and then try not to drip sweat on the screen. That’s why Zombies, Run! is an audio-first game: we don’t want to do anything that takes you away from your run or from our brilliant story, written by co-creator Naomi Alderman.

But that’s for the billions of smartphones in the world today. What about tomorrow’s technology?

To answer that question, we’ve been secretly developing a prototype version of Zombies, Run! for Google Glass, with the expert help of the people at Google.


What’s in ZR Glass Edition?

We’re bringing the core Zombies, Run! experience to Glass – an exciting, motivating experience that takes place in the real world. ZR Glass Edition includes the first three missions of Season 1 for free, and it comes with a beautiful new interface that’s precisely designed for Glass.

Players can easily monitor their pace, distance, and time at any moment, along with real-time visual information on events like chases and item pickups. No need to unlock your phone or wait until the next time/distance audio notification – all that information is available in your vision.

And of course, you can listen to your music at the same time – even streamed from Google Play Music.

ZR Glass Edition is an experimental first step for fitness games into a new world of heads-up displays and wearable devices, and we have plenty more ideas about where we can take players. We’re really excited to hear what you think of it!

I’d like to thank Babu Madhikarmi, our lead Android developer on this project, for his hard work and dedication, along with all of the lovely people who work on Zombies, Run! Babu will be at the Google I/O conference this week wearing the Zombies, Run! T-shirt – say hello if you spot him!

– Adrian Hon, CEO of Six to Start

P.S. You might be thinking, “Wait, if ZR Glass Edition can play Google Play Music, what about the main Android app?” You’re in luck: our next Android release will include experimental support for not only Google Play Music, but also Spotify – and potentially other streaming music players. If you’re one of the lucky 25% who are running 3.1.2, then have a look in the app’s Settings screen for more details, and let us know how it goes.

P.P.S. Haven’t gotten Zombies, Run! for your iPhone or Android yet? The world isn’t going to save itself, you know…




A word from guest writer Elizabeth Bear


As we’re releasing the second set of episodes from Zombies, Run! season 3 this week, our lead writer Naomi Alderman spoke to writing legend Elizabeth Bear about the guest episode she’s written for us. It’s so exciting that wonderful writers like Elizabeth are interested in Zombies, Run! and we asked her a few quick questions.

Elizabeth, it’s such an honour for us that you’ve written a guest episode for Zombies, Run! How did you first hear about ZR, and what made you want to write for us?

It’s hard to remember now exactly what the “vector” was (a little zombie humor), but I know I had heard of the game via internet buzz for a while before I started playing it. (My phone was too primitive at the time!) The real triggering incident, though, was my friend Emma Bull’s love for the narrative. She actually came on the fan podcast I’m involved in, the SF Squeecast, and picked Zombies, Run! as her topic of fannishness.

As we all know, there’s nothing like word of mouth to sell something. And once I started playing, I was totally hooked. I’ve never actually been much of a fan of zombie narratives (weird, right?) but the way the game treats the zombies as a combination of natural disaster and individual pathos and humor worked much better for me than the more traditional horror approach.

As for writing for the game–honestly, who wouldn’t want to, if they were a writer? Great characters, tense storylines, snappy dialogue! That’s just fun!


Can you say a little bit about your episode? How did you decide where to take Runner Five? 

Hah! Well, honestly, I started with a joke and an homage. The homage is still key to the episode (I don’t want to spoil it too much, but let’s just say I’ve always had a weakness for campy 60s spy shows), but the joke got left on the cutting room floor.

I got the genesis of it while participating in a zombie obstacle course run in Texas last year–like Zombies, Run! for real… ish–and the rest of the plot sort of dropped into my head all at once while I was out for a run one day over the winter. I do a lot of plotting while running.

(I hang my head in shame about the cutting of the joke. This happens to everyone writing for ZR… to fit in arc plot other things have to go.) But finally, what’s your favourite song to run to?! And, which member of Abel Township would you most like to go for a run with?

Oh, gosh. It’s hard to pick just one, but Rob Zombie’s “Living Dead Girl” is a big favorite on my Zombies, Run! playlist. (I amuse myself by picking appropriate music for the apocalypse.) It powers me up the hills really well. I’ll also date myself by admitting that Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s “Runner” is also in heavy rotation.

I’m not a very fast runner (unlike Runner 5!) and I’m a bit of an asthmatic. So I think I’d pick Maxine as a running partner. I’d trust her to drag me home if anything went wrong.

New missions, plus an update to the Android app

The Zombies, Run! Season 3 hiatus has ended! We’re back to releasing new weekly missions for you to enjoy every Wednesday. Season 3 Part 2 will contain another 20 missions, after which we’ll be taking another short break before Season 3 Part 3. But don’t worry too much about that, there’s plenty to enjoy before then!

Additionally, we’ve released a new version of Zombies, Run! for Android. This update adds audio notifications for distance and time, which we know is a feature you’ve been after for a while. Head on over to the Google Play Store and update your app for the new feature.

This week’s new missions are named “Sin In My Heart”, “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and “I’m With Stupid”. As usual, no spoilers, but we’re eager to hear what you think of them!

To get access to all previously released missions, you just need to purchase the relevant Pass from the Store. But surely you’ve already done that, right?

Keep an eye out here on the blog, because tomorrow we’ll have a special message from author Elizabeth Bear about her experiences writing a Zombies, Run! mission!

The Walk now on sale this week only!

If you enjoy Zombies, Run!, you may be interested in another of our games, The Walk. It’s a great way to track and improve how much you walk day to day, and it’s got a full length story by Naomi Alderman, lead writer of Zombies, Run! It’s also 80% off for the next week only, so you can now get your hands on it for just $0.99 USD!

The story of The Walk is told in a similar format as Zombies, Run!, however there are some important differences. Check out this blog post for a full run-down of what those differences are.

The Zombies, Run! hiatus ends next week, so you can look forward to a new batch of Season 3 missions releasing on Wednesday June 18. In the meantime, happy walking!