Adrian’s Zombie Apocalypse Squad

It’s a discussion that everyone must have at some point in their lives, one that has haunted mankind for years. Who would you have on your zombie apocalypse survival squad?

We’re no strangers to this question here at Six to Start – after all, we spend a pretty big chunk of our time considering the undead and making them come to life in Zombies, Run!. And now we set out to answer that most pressing of questions as we ask the team, which Zombies, Run! characters would you choose to support you in the zombie apocalypse?

The zombie apocalypse is no laughing matter, which is why I’m starting with Jamie Skeet. As a former firefighter, Jamie will have no problem navigating the ruins of civilization, and his no-nonsense manner means he’ll get the job done, no matter what. Even better, he’s good with kids!  

Maxine Myers has to be part of any squad. You’ve got to have a doctor, and I can’t think of anyone who’s smarter, friendlier, or more skilled. Maxine used to be a geneticist, and while my biosciences are a bit rusty these days, I think we could make a great research team.

Me selling Margaret Atwood an official Runner 5 T-shirt!

So far I’ve just gone with practical picks, but you need to take care of the spirit as well as the flesh. And who better to do that than a master storyteller like Margaret Atwood – someone who can remind us why we fight on, why life is worth living, and why The Arrogant Worms is the best.

CC-BY-2.0 ajmexico

OK – let’s stipulate that I love Sam. Who doesn’t love Sam? And while I’m not going to question his supremacy as the best operator in the apocalypse, there’s only so much one man can do. Sure, the Automated Operator System is a bit rickety, and yes, maybe it’s a little bit dangerous, but that just means there’s plenty of room for improvement. A bit of work and we’ll have it helping hundreds of runners simultaneously!

… and who better to do that work than Chris McShell, zombie expert, master tactician, and stone-cold scientist? He’s not a barrel of laughs, but Chris is the person I’d want by my side if I had a horde of zombies on my heels and we needed to somehow steer them into an area just in between the two of us…

S8 M16 & M17 Released – PLUS Run the Solar System

Banner for Season 8, Mission 16

That’s right – Season 8 is back! The terrain is rocky, so be careful with this week’s new missions, Icebreaker and Red Right Hand.

Run the Solar System Banner

PLUS over in our New Adventures tab, you’ll find Run the Solar System, released in partnership with the British Science Association. Perfect for new players & veterans alike, you can now run across the stars straight from the Zombies, Run! app.

You can download these missions right now from the Missions tab. Run the Solar System is fully unlocked and available for free for all users – and if you’re a member of the Abel Runner’s Club, you can download and play Season 8 Missions 16 and 17 immediately. Otherwise, you can use your free weekly unlock to play either one.

As always, please let us know what you think!

Anatomy of a Milestone Email

You’ve just arrived home after a hard run, evading the hordes of the undead and collecting vital supplies for Abel Township. There, in your inbox, is an email from Sam, congratulating you on a run well done!

Milestone emails are one of our favourite things to create for Zombies, Run! No matter how your mission went, it’s always nice to get home and find a bit of praise and encouragement. Sadly, we don’t really have a Sam Yao around to write those messages for us (I know! We’re sad about that too!), but we have talked to our super talented artist, Kas Sweeney, who’s given us an insight into how she goes about creating our milestone emails.

“Putting together our milestone emails is honestly one of my favourite things to do for the game- I love the thought of Runner Five receiving these fun messages from the characters of Abel Township celebrating whatever amazing accomplishment they’ve achieved after a run, or chatting about the events of the most recent episode.

My process for putting these together is pretty straight forward! I’ll usually start by reading through the scripts of the relevant season, and picking out certain events that might be fun to have a character react to in their milestone email to Runner Five. Once I’ve figured out which story beats I’d like to hit and the tone I’d like to go for, I’ll then decide on which character is writing this message to Runner Five, as obviously we want to make sure the character is actually around for the events of the story! Relistening to the performances of these episodes is a great way of helping me figure out a character’s voice, and what they might be going through. I’ll then draft a letter in the voice of the character in question, before sending it off for approval by the writers. I really enjoy writing Sam, and I’ll leap at any chance to write a milestone from Simon given he’s my favourite of all time and I’m incredibly predictable.

Once we’ve received the thumbs up, I’ll move onto design. The look of these milestone emails is usually informed by two things: which character is sending the message, and in what context the message is being received. For instance, a letter from Sam hastily scrawled on a crumpled up piece of notebook paper and left on Runner Five’s cot is probably going to look a little different to an official letter from Major De Santa! It can be a fun challenge figuring out other ways of communicating a character’s personality through something other than the contents of their message. In order to highlight the difference between characters, I have specific fonts for each character’s handwriting, as well as different types of paper these characters might have access to. If the letter mentions an item the sender is leaving for Runner Five (like this pillow left by Runner Seven,) we’ll include an illustration of that item.

It’s been really fun getting the opportunity to play with these characters that I love so much, and do a little writing from their points of view. It always makes me really happy to see people posting their milestone emails on social media, and how tickled they are!”


Racelink Shutdown

Dear Runner,

We have sad news: we will be closing down Racelink this December. We’re incredibly proud of the virtual races we’ve created ourselves and run on behalf of charities like the British Science Association, Cancer Research UK, and Fight for Sight.

Thousands of you ran across the solar system in 10K and escaped from terrifying dinosaurs, getting fit and raising money for good causes. But sadly, as a business, Racelink hasn’t performed as well as we had hoped.

Our first step will be close entries to all Racelink events on Tuesday 3rd September – so if you’ve been waiting for the right moment to enter our Olympus Mons or buy a Volcano Race T-shirt, now’s your time.

We’ll then fully close down the Racelink and app on Tuesday 10th December, after which point it will no longer be possible to run Racelink events. All entrants to the Grand Canyon, Dino Dash, Volcano Race, and Olympus Mons races will be able to download the race audio.

We’ve really appreciated the chance to share our races with you, and we’re not giving up on the idea of combining storytelling and running! The spirit of Racelink will live on in our sister app Zombies, Run! as New Adventures, which will include selected Racelink events, along with brand new (non-zombie!) stories in the coming months and years.

Thanks for running with us,

The Racelink Team

Lulu’s Zombie Apocalypse Squad

It’s a discussion that everyone must have at some point in their lives, one that has haunted mankind for years. Who would you have on your zombie apocalypse survival squad?

We’re no strangers to this question here at Six to Start – after all, we spend a pretty big chunk of our time considering the undead and making them come to life in Zombies, Run!. And now we set out to answer that most pressing of questions as we ask the team, which Zombies, Run! characters would you choose to support you in the zombie apocalypse?

In a zombie apocalypse, I think after the initial fear, I would want to start gathering power. There’ll be a vacuum perfect for new, strong leadership, and I’m nothing if not a megalomaniac! So with that in mind, Brent Valmont is the king of manipulation and negotiation. I would have to keep a close eye on him, of course, but he’d a very valuable diplomat and always seems to know what’s going on behind closed doors!

Brent Valmont, yesterday.
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I’d take on Veronica, and her genius would be directed at coming up with the cure — after all, whoever control the cure, controls the country. I would still be generous in handing out, of course — I’m a benevolent dictator!

Bella Ramsay would become my Head of Agriculture. With her irrigation know-how, we’d be able to bring sustainable farming back, and less runners would have to risk their lives for supplies!

Phil and Zoe, influencing the minds of the young.
Photo by Victoria Borodinova on Pexels.com

Finally, I’d have Phil Cheeseman and Zoe Crick as my propaganda machines! With their easy, chatty style, I think they’d win people over. Plus, if they’ve already built a following for their radio station, I’m sure it won’t be difficult to get lots of people listening to Radio Lulu.

Plus, Zoe is a big animal lover like me, and she could double as my menagerie keeper!

Help us test Zombies, Run! 5k Training

Do you want to help us make our Couch to 5k Training app the very best it can be? Now you can – we’re opening our Beta Testing program up to Android users.

Follow the instructions below to join the Beta Test and gain access to the latest features and updates before anyone else. Be aware – you might encounter more problems with the app when using the Beta version, as we’re still testing it out.

What is Zombies, Run! 5k Training?

Zombies, Run! 5k Training is an 8-week training program and audio adventure for beginners that’ll improve your fitness so you can run a 5km distance.

We give you clear and detailed instructions about when to walk, jog, run and stretch, building up your confidence and stamina over 25 workouts – combined with a gripping story delivered straight to your headphones.

Test the Latest Features on Android

Find Zombies, Run! 5k Training on the Google Play Store, and click the link to enter the Open Beta programme. The latest release features:

- Android 9 and Q compatibility
- Workout timing corrections
- Stopping a run from a notification now opens a confirmation popup
- Updated credits

Meet The Fans: The Cagg

Working on Zombies, Run! we’re lucky to have a very dedicated, creative and overall lovely fanbase. We try to celebrate that whenever we can, so we’ve been talking to some of our fans. In the second of our fan interviews, we talk to prolific Rofflenet user, Steve C (otherwise known as The Cagg), about dream races and apocalypse plans!

The Mark of Five

What got you into Zombies, Run!?

I was 39 years old and more than a little overweight. Toward the end of the summer my young son developed an understanding of how to pedal a bicycle. At the time I wasn’t able to run more than one city block without stopping or getting winded. I realized that the little guy would likely want to learn how to ride a two wheeled bike in the spring, and that it would be my job to teach him and that this would involve quite a bit of running. 

I had heard about the app several years prior and had downloaded it but it sat on my phone unused for a very long time. The 5k training version of the app is where I started. I don’t think I would have known where to begin if not for the coaching provided there. I wanted to quit about a month in, and that’s where the real magic of Zombies, Run kept me moving. In the simplest terms, I couldn’t stop because I wanted to know how the story in the 8 week program ended. 

I started the standard or main version of the app shortly after, signed up for a virtual race, and got to meet some very interesting people in real life along the way. 

The boy learned to ride his bike in 8 days but I’m still running more than three years later. To date I’ve run four half marathons, a feat that I wouldn’t have thought possible at one point. This fall will mark my fourth year running for Abel Township. My wife and son now run with me. She’s using Zombies, Run too. I’m looking toward hopefully running the NYC Marathon in 2020. 

Could you tell us about your favourite place to run?

I live in a heavily urban part of the world so there are a multitude of parks and landmarks. My favorite spot is probably Flushing Meadows Corona Park which is fairly near my home. It was the site of two twentieth century World’s Fairs (1939 and 1964). You’d probably recognise the Unisphere globe from Men in Black. I really do like to run out in the woods when I can but I rarely get the opportunity lately.

The Unisphere Globe

That sounds like a great place to run! If you could run a race anywhere in the world  though, where would it be?

I’ve had the privilege of running some interesting races in the U.S. including obstacle courses, and one that takes place on an abandoned highway involving two long and extremely dark tunnels (head lamp required). 

There’s a race in Louisiana I’d like to run where the finisher medal is a full sized machete. Disney looks like a lot of fun. The Great Wall Marathon would be incredible (and would likely kill me) as would just about any race in Australia. I’ve wanted to see that land for a long time. 

If I had to choose one place in the world it would probably be a race that happens in Antarctica. It’s a location that few people ever get to see. Just reaching and standing on the continent would be an adventure, let alone completing a race there!

What is your top running tip?

Don’t look for something to motivate you. On days when you don’t want to run but you really should, accept that you have no motivation and go anyway.

Motivation

What would you job at Abel Township be?

In real life I’m trained as a paramedic so I’d likely be helping the docs out in the clinic or running to nearby townships and settlements to reach places where you wouldn’t want to risk the docs.

And do you have your own Zombie Apocalypse plan?

This is a topic my friends and I have mulled over several times, usually in the evening over backyard barbecue or during some other geeky activity. The truth is that I work in emergency services in one of the largest cities in the world. If a zombie outbreak ever happens, and it’s not controlled quickly, I’d probably get a front row seat. Given the population density I think it’s likely that I won’t be one of the lucky few that make it out alive, although Runner Five has beaten the odds before.

A very familiar shirt there!

What’s your favourite music to run to?

I usually use the internal player with a list of hard rock music. Lately I’m using the companion app to my satellite radio subscription which has several “workout” channels.

The Cagg’s playlist!

Thank you so much for talking with us! You can find Steve as a regular contributor on Rofflenet!

Help us test The Walk!

Do you want to help us make our sister app, The Walk, the very best it can be? Now you can – we’re opening our Beta Testing program up to iOS and Android users.

Follow the instructions below to join the Beta Test on your platform and gain access to the latest features and updates before anyone else. Be aware – you might encounter more problems with the app when using the Beta version, as we’re still testing it out.

What’s The Walk?

Created with the NHS and the UK’s Department of Health, The Walk helps you walk more, every single day. When you’re playing The Walk, every step counts.

A bomb explodes in Inverness station, and you’re given a package that could save the world. To stay alive, you’ll need to walk the length of the UK. The Walk is more than just a great pedometer/step counter — it’s a way to turn walking into a journey, a challenge, and a rip-roaring adventure.

iPhone

To join the Beta Testing group for The Walk, follow the instructions at this link.

Android

Find The Walk on the Google Play Store, and click the link to enter the Open Beta programme.

Welcome to the Abel Runner’s Club + 8.0.5 update

Hello Runners! Today, we’re renaming our Pro Membership subscription to the Abel Runner’s Club.

We aren’t changing the price or anything else about our subscription, so if you’re wondering what happened to your Pro Membership or what this new Runner’s Club is, consider them the same thing: our monthly/annual subscription that unlocks all Zombies, Run! missions and features.

Later this year, we’ll be adding some exciting new benefits for members of the Abel Runner’s Club, so we wanted a fun new name to match – one that fits perfectly with the story we all love!

New in 8.0.5

This week we’re also releasing our 8.0.5 update, with a whole host of improvements!

iPhone

  • New Adventures now gets its own section in the Codex, ready for Venus Rising
  • More reliable zombie chases
  • Back-to-back missions now work correctly
  • You can now cancel adding a building
  • Run share text no longer shows spoilers if you hadn’t completed the mission
  • Mission list captions now contain more relevant text
  • Redesigned Membership/Subscription screen

Android

  • More reliable zombie chases
  • Improvements to playing back story clips from the mission screen
  • Redesigned Membership/Subscription screen
  • Improvements to how the Next Mission card on the home screen is displayed

A Tourist’s Guide to Abel

The zombie apocalypse isn’t always filled with cheer; there’s the looming threat of the hungry undead, mad scientists vying to ‘fix’ everything, and the loss of all the things we take for granted – like clean running water and a supermarket stocked with as many Curly Wurlys as we can stomach.

But not everything is bleak! Today we take a look at some of Abel Township’s most entertaining features!

Tequila Shack

The Tequila Shack. Come and enjoy a shot of Pepe’s finest British tequila. Shame lemons are in short supply!

With its twinkling fairy lights salvaged from a Christmas shop and the giant tequila bottle sculpture stood outside, the Tequila Shack is definitely Abel’s most unique building. It’s full of the chatter of living humans, rather the moans of the zombie hordes, and someone has even found a game of Twister to liven things up. Next to the drab housing blocks, the Tequila Shack is a glowing point of welcoming light.

The Tequila Shack was introduced in Season 2 Side Mission 2 ‘Headcount’, where you head out with Janine to attempt a census of the post-apocalyptic world, with varying degrees of success.

Kitten Pen

It’s like a cat cafe, except without the coffee and cake and relative certainty that you’ll survive the night.

Cats: not only are they a pragmatically excellent choice for a post-apocalyptic companion, what with being able to devastate the soaring rat and mouse population, they’re also really cute. With Abel Township growing, it was inevitable that cats would show up sooner or later. Janine insists that it just makes sense to have them to protect the foodstores. Everyone else just likes the comfort of a familiar sight and the therapeutic qualities of stroking a cat are not to be dismissed.

The Kitten Pen was introduced in Season 3 Mission 11 ‘Stray Cat Strut’ where you accompany Zoe and Phil on a feline related adventure that turns up more information than expected.


Concert Area

It’s not exactly the O2 Arena, but it’s also not as expensive as the O2 Arena!

The Concert Area can’t really compare to somewhere like Wembley Arena, and after what happened there during the start of the apocalypse, no-one’s keen to replicate it. But you can always find someone there practising on a rescued instrument or performing an impromptu soliloquy. And who can forget Abel’s monthly slam poetry open-mic evening!

The Concert Area was introduced in Season 2 Side Mission 5 ‘Top 40’, where a hunt for CDs turns into a brush with stardom as you encounter a pop Diva and her moaning fans.

Rollercoaster Car

We’re thinking of doing an experimental Shakespeare performance using it. What if Richard the 3rd, but on a fairground ride?

A relic of a bygone age. While we might have joked about the queue to the biggest ride being full of zombies, that’s become a bit more literal since the apocalypse. A single car isn’t as impressive as an entire rollercoaster (and Janine won’t spare the supplies to build one for some reason), but it’s still become a bit of a tourist attraction at Abel. Sit back and stare up at the sky while imagining a death defying plunge towards the ground, and try not to think too hard about the younger residents looking at it like it’s a piece from a history museum.

The Rollercoaster Car was introduced in Season 3 Mission 60, where you stop a villain and need a quick escape.

Cultural Centre

It’s important to celebrate the things that make us different, especially when the zombies are all the same.

Now more than ever it’s important to remember where we came from. Sure, life has changed dramatically since the apocalypse, and we’re getting the impression that things won’t ever go back to the way they were. The Cultural Centre lets us remember the important things about life before the end. Be it a favourite recipe passed down through the generations, music, or a traditional outfit, you’ll find it here. There’s even a group planning Abel’s first Lion dance event!

The Culture Centre was introduced in Season 4 Mission 11, where you help Sam go shopping for some important items.