Costumes… trick or treating… getting a scare after seeing a particularly spooky pumpkin… Halloween is upon us again. A traditional time to light a bonfire, watch horror movies, and GET ANY STS APP FOR UNDER $1 US.
As you surely know by now, Zombies, Run! is now FREE. And after extensive experimentation, it turns out that half of FREE is still FREE.
Me, during extensive experimentation
We do, however, have an exciting array of other fitness apps, all of which are HALF PRICE OR LESS for this weekend only! That’s right:
With Halloween on the horizon, and the first ever Zombies, Run! Virtual Race well underway, it’s time to check in with the good folks of Abel Township the Zombies, Run! fan community. But first, here’s a quick roundup of what’s been going on at Six to Start HQ in the past couple of months.
$10,000 of Awesome: Tabletop Gamer, Enterprise Crew Member, Runner Five? Wil Wheaton discusses the Seven Things he did to reboot his life. Spoilers: Zombies, Run! is one! It’s a personal, insightful article. Thanks for sharing, Wil!
App Development: As usual, we’ve been hard at work making Zombies, Run! the best it can be. Here’s a roundup of the improvements we’ve made in the past couple of months – including Interval Training on Android! – and our plans for the next couple.
And with that, it’s time to take a look at what you’ve all been up to since we last spoke! Hit the readmore for the full shebang.
ZR! Community stalwart Zalia has resurrected a long-standing favourite: Iron Zombies! It’s a timed challenge to create a piece of Zombies, Run! fanwork to fill a prompt within a short amount of time, and has produced an absolute mountain of wonderful stuff in the past week. Get more info about the challenge here, and investigate the tag to see just what a fountain of inspiration it is! The current round of the challenge is over for now, but hopefully it’ll be back soon!
The artists in the Zombies, Run! community continue to be so creative and talented that it knocks my socks off. Take a look at some of the stuff that has left me particularly bare-feeted below.
Abel Outfitters by Maya_Koppori – What if Runner Five worked in a mall? AUs (alternate universe fictions) are a fun way to explore familiar characters, and this is one of the best. Putting ZR characters back in more “everyday” situations is a favourite trope of mine.
Since Friday, the first-ever Zombies, Run! Virtual Race has already been completed over 800 times, totalling a distance of 5,300km! You can see all the entrants on our Live Leaderboard:
Unlike traditional races, our Virtual Race can be run anywhere at any time during the race week. Some Runners Five have bravely raced for the glory of Abel on their own, while others have organised meetups around the world:
Hyde Park, London
Upstate New York
Philadelphia Art Museum
It’s been a blast seeing everyone’s stories from the Virtual Race, and there’s plenty more coming in the rest of the race week!
Welcome, citizens! We’re delighted to have over two million Runners Five in Abel Township now – it’s humbling to see Zombies, Run! having an impact on so many people.
We’re excited to share our roadmap for the next two months to all our new Runners,, along with our stalwart Pro Member supporters. It’s because of all your support that we can keep developing and improving Zombies, Run!, so we think it’s only fair to tell you how we’re planning to do it.
It’s been a good couple of months’ development for the game: we’ve been able to add almost all the features we promised back in August. Just as importantly, Zombies, Run! is more stable than ever: our latest iOS 4.1.8 update has 99.8% crash-free sessions, and Android 4.2.2 is at 99.4%. Thanks to Mo and Jeremy for their hard work!
Along with our diligent devs and QA, this improvement is also thanks to our iOS beta-testers, who help us quickly identify bugs while rapidly adding new features (particularly useful due to Apple’s 1+ week review time). We’re also launching a similar beta-testing group for Android.
Here’s what we’re aiming to add or improve in the next two months – as ever, it’s an aspiration, not a promise! Development is unpredictable, so we do sometimes slip behind our roadmap a little way, but this is the plan for the next two months as it stands:
Apple Watch support
Resumable race missions
Related downloads view
GPS tracking improvements
Mission Clip playback
Set distance/time for story missions
Avoid interrupting songs
Improved Base Builder
5k Training app support
Virtual Race and ZombieLink
The popularity of the Virtual Race really took us by surprise – who would have thought that Zombies, Run! players would like running in the real world, eh? As such, we ended up building more technical infrastructure than first we anticipated, which has slowed down development on ZombieLink in particular.
Why particularly ZombieLink? That’s because our web developer, Marcel, was tasked with setting up our payment and shipping gateway, along with the entire microsite for the Virtual Race and the new Rofflenet forum. That’s a lot of work that needs to be rock-solid!
We appreciate this delay will feel annoying for those not participating in the Virtual Race, but the new features we’re developing, like a real-time world leaderboard, will eventually be seen by everyone.
One of the new features we developed for the Virtual Race was a private forum, Rofflenet. The community that’s developed there has been fantastic – members are swapping training tips and running stories, organising real world meetups, speculating about the story, and posting amazing cosplay pics. And people have been really helpful and kind with their feedback.
We intend to keep the Rofflenet forum live beyond the Virtual Race, in preparation for our 2016 Virtual Races (more on that later!). In time, we may invite all Pro Members to join as well, but that would require deeper integration with ZombieLink and more moderation resources. For now, we want to take things slow and steady so we can keep the quality of conversation really high and make sure we don’t take on more than we can handle.
FYI, we’re using the free Discourse forum, is a very powerful yet friendly piece of open-source software. We highly recommend it for your forum needs!
The World of Tomorrow
Now that we’ve brought Interval Training on Android and improved music playback on iOS, we feel like we’ve finally completed the first big phase of ZR4 development. So now it’s time to think about the future! Here are the things we’re thinking about for the next big phases of development:
Base Builder: Along with new buildings, we want to make the base gameplay more interesting and dynamic. This is going to be a long term goal that will span ZR4 and ZR5.
Achievements: Our new version of Achievements will live on the apps and be tied into Apple’s Game Center and Google Play Games, meaning they’ll be more social than before. While Achievements aren’t planned for the next two months, they’re still high on our list.
Social/multiplayer: We’ve been thinking about this for the past four years – it’s a very tough problem in terms of game design and fitness motivation. It’s still high on our list of long-term goals and we’ll be thinking about it even harder next year
Zombies, Run! Expanded Universe: We’ve previously mentioned a book, which we’ll be talking about more very soon, and there are other things that are definitely happening.
Along with all the other excitingstuff happening here at ZR HQ, we recently passed the Two Million Downloads milestone, meaning the Zombies, Run! community is bigger and better than ever! To celebrate, we asked you all to send in some audio telling us your Zombies, Run! story.
The response to our call for audio was beyond amazing, and the stories you all sent in were just fantastic. After a lot of fretting and cries of “we can’t leave that out!”, we’re incredibly proud to bring you the final product: “Your Zombies, Run! Story”.
We received submissions from the following amazing Runners Five, and we can’t thank them enough for their contributions. It was so wonderful to hear all your stories, Runners! Here they are:
The four-minute mile. A man on the Moon. A zombie running game that actually helps you get fit.
They said it could never be done. But now it’s here: Interval Training on Android!
In v4.2.1, you can create custom interval training workouts with a mixture of walking, jogging, and sprinting, and we’ll wrap a story and audio around them.
Interval training – where you sharply increase your speed for short amounts of time – is a great way to improve performance. That’s why we built in zombie chases into story missions. But if you have more specific training needs and you want to have precise intervals at different paces, our new Interval Training mode is for you.
Interval Training is available to all Pro Members right now – and even better, if you’re a Legacy Member, you also get it for free!
We asked one of our favourite fan artists, Shannon Ehrola, to create a comic for our 2 million milestone. Here’s Shannon’s experience with Zombies, Run!
I’ve been using Zombies, Run! for two years now and it’s been an amazing experience. I’m one of those people who needs motivation to work out, but I also dislike going to classes at the gym. ZR was perfect for me!
It was like a video game, it had a cast of characters and a story I easily became invested in, and it helped inspire me to improve my physical fitness. I was completely hooked! Instead of running being a chore I was excited to find out what happened next, to improve my base, and to beat my last time.
Since I first started training with ZR, I’ve participated in several 5 and 10K races with more planned for the future, something I’d never even dreamed of doing before. One day I’d like to complete a marathon and I’m sure ZR will help me get there!
We hope you’re prepared for this one. Today we release the final two missions in Zombies, Run! Season Four, bringing our most thrilling season yet to its stunning conclusion. In all their glory, this week’s missions are:
S4M39: “Bed of Lies”
Those of you lucky souls with a Pro Membership can download and play both missions right now. Those of you without can use your free weekly unlock to get either one, but we’d recommend running these in order!
And with that, another season of everyone’s favourite running game comes to an end. We hope you’ve enjoyed running through it as much as we enjoyed making it. Let us know your thoughts on these missions (and the entire season!) here on on Twitter (@zombiesrungame).