Sneak Peek of UI for UZM

Hey ZMers!

Below you will find the Secret to the Universe! Well maybe not, but def a sneak peek at the UI for the upcoming update to ZM.  It’s not that different – we didn’t want to create a shock situation, just clarity.  You’ll notice some small animations in the background…well not here, this is just static, but when it goes live.

So stay awhile, and look!

zm3_0_WIP_20140723

ZM Squad Chat Spikes Wars – Player Activity Up!

Hey Space Marines,

The transition of World Chat to Squad Chat was an abrupt one.  Our apologies there.  But it has had a good effect on players engagement and numbers. Across the board, there are  more players playing on a daily basis, in pretty much every activity range.

You may not see that as clearly as overall game transparency is obviously hurt, as is finding allies efficiently.  Those are definitely the drawbacks.  So let me give the update on what else is happening due to the changes.

Wars are a LOT more active.  The competition is fierce.  That is pretty transparent actually for anyone who clicks the “Squads” tab — the war score is listed beside each squad name. It’s the number after the tiny shield.  We know Squad chat is helping with war prep; which is cool to see.

As a company we have been able to take those 4 hours a day we were involved in managing and are using them to build a better ZM.  Follow the Zombie Moon Dev Blog here, to get twice weekly updates.  It’s a new part of the SHG site, but you’ll see new visual timbits there twice a week (at least).

We’ve also hired on 2 folks starting July 21st, to work on ZM. That’s a huge win by itself.  We will feature them later, so stay tuned.

Now, what we’re missing are some more social features.  This is especially true for new players. To be fair to ourselves, we’ve added in a prototype of the new player ally and squad matching service.  But it’s not enough for new players, although it’s a reasonable bridge for  new players…at least for the next few weeks until the new ZM is launched.

We also need to add in more social features for experienced players — Do we create “Squad Families” where the squad chat of 3 different but allied squads are merged into one?  Do we enable Level 400 players to start their own chat inviting 20 or so players max, and moderate it as they like (desired by some, but huge red flags to review there)?  Do we do a dozen other creative ideas that we have for socialisation?

Well we do know that we’ll be adding much better ways to find allies (auto suggested allies, and more), plus a great new social intro for new players with or without a new player chat.  And a lot of other non-social features too…such as squads and entire game vs. Boss NPCs etc.

One interesting outcome of these changes is that the game will be able to be localised in the fall. Without World Chat to regulate, we can actually get ZM into the hands of many more, from many more places.

ZM Updates in the Mix

Howdy-ho, our lovely players!

We just wanted to show loyal ZM Players another snippet from the upgraded game. This is a small, subtle change but one we like. Notice how the progress bars for drops are now segmented?  That way you can tell what remains, and what’s to come. A small but cool little feature.

More to come, with one more visual tapas up here for the end of the week.

ZM mk 2 screen

2165: Spy Battle – Visual Inventory

2165VisualInventoryDisplay

Inventory within 2165: Spy Battle now has a visual display element illustrating items equipped. Not all items will be visible (e.g. UC – specific items and Ascension specific items such as Nanoglyphs) but this should help to provide an at-a-glance visual of what you are using.

New Agent Classes!: new agent classes have been added – check ‘em out!

Sneak Peek of Zombie Moon 3.0 Items

Zombie Moon version 3.0 is a big step forward in terms of the underlying engine. In fact, it’s a ground up rewrite using new technology. That opens up a LOT of opportunities for us which the current engine just can’t deliver.

A new tab on the allies game area showing players looking for allies and an option to “[√] Auto Ally”. More animations in combat. Superior sound handling. Squad specific missions. Squad alliances. Social media if you’d like to brag – or to invite friends really easily for referring. Major performance boosts. A revamped new player tutorial (using the chat area to guide players as to the next recommend activity until they level up enough to join that first squad).

Enhanced item displays. We’ll be able to provide a lot more detail with found items – for example, when opening a supply drop the items will show in 3D. Here’s an example (see if you can identify all the items!)

Zombie Moon Rules Streamlined

World chat has been permanently replaced by Squad Chats, the contents of which are no longer moderated by representatives of Snakehead Games Inc. We are working aggressively on the new Zombie Moon 3.0 and its enhanced engine. The current engine has reached its performance and capacity limits which is now bottlenecking new feature rollout.

You’ll soon see some of the higher graphic enhancements the new 3.0 engine provides. The new engine enables (among other things) a new “Looking for Allies” game area and a significantly improved introduction experience for new players (which uses the “chat” area for new players without a squad to have a continual in-game “next action” AI Advice).

As such, the roles of Moderator and Greeter have been made redundant. We would like to ensure that our sincere and deep gratitude to those volunteers is known however at this time we have removed all roles other than Administrator and Player from the game.

The Zombie Moon rules have been updated to reflect these changes – please review them at your earliest opportunity.

World Chat on Zombie Moon is now Squad Chat

Zombie Moon (www.zombiemoongame.com), is a Mobile Social RPG by Snakehead Games.  Well you already knew that right? :P

Zombie Moon was the mobile evolution of StarPirates.net (and it’s sister games) onto the Mobile Platform.  Most things we’ve gotten right.  The game is fun, has lots of players, some of whom support the game financially.

One area we totally messed up in tho is trying to transport the World Chat concept directly from Star Pirates without also having the forum.  The World Chat is too thin.   It’s hard for us to communicate to players that there are rules in place, and unlike the web Moderators are not able to send links to the players with the rules, and examples.

This means Moderators who are doing their job of enforcing the rules, are being seen as pushy. This has turned into a couple of dust ups, with ill feelings.  Not fun. Not good.

It also  means lots of time for the development team away from making a better game.  Our best estimate is that 3 hours a day of the teams time is spend on Zombie Moon chat — that’s 10% of our entire teams work hours devoted just to chat.  Chat itself generates zero revenue, so it’s a huge drain on growing the games.

Chat as it is has to go.  World Chat had its time in the sun (or at least on Callisto!) and it is permanently gone. That conversation is done.

So we’re learning and evolving. Chat is now down for maintenance.  The World Chat is now done.
We will replace it with a Squad Level chat.

UPDATE: The first version of Squad Chat is now live using the existing system and it replaces World Chat. Squad Chat is not as complete as the final version will be however that must wait for Zombie Moon version 3+

The Squad leaders (& team) are now responsible for enforcing the official ZM chat rules, and whatever other rules they add.  If players don’t like the rules they can leave that squad and join another (which is not an option with the World Chat – there was only one). If squad leaders find someone not following their rules, they can kick them from the squad.

This will change the focus of community from being a game wide community to more of a Squad level, which has pros and cons, but I think overall is a good thing.  Players want to talk strategy and things with those closest to them.  The main problem there is that Squads are a bit too small for critical mass of chat, so we’ll look at somehow Enhancing that…a bunch of things are on the table, but we’ll create a form of Enhanced Squad Chat.

SHG is working on a big back-end update for Zombie Moon (a brand new ground up rebuild using a completely new more powerful game engine – version 3). This will allow us to add a LOT of new features, but for now we can’t release an unfinished work. So the final (full-feature) version of squad chat will have to take come with the new game engine or in a subsequent release maybe in late August. Maybe we can sneak it earlier, maybe it’ll be later.

Sorry to those who loved, enjoyed and got a lot of out World Chat. 

Squad Level chat is here to stay. Wait for the TONNE of new features that are coming to the game later this year!!

Spies Uncover the Easter Egg in 2165

Working together, spies have found the hidden Easter Egg in Spy Battle: 2165!

Well done!

If you’d like to try to find it, remember spies work together. Here’s the hint – use your spy prowess and uncover it:

Day started the same.

It sucked. My eyes hurt and so did just about everything else. All my joints felt like someone stuffed sand in them. Whatever. Maybe they did.

I dunno. I remember the muzzle flash. Guess I shot my mouth off and the clown did too. Literally.

The clown. I grunted and sat up. My first mistake of the day. I grabbed onto the nearest thing I could find and fell over with the clatter of the tray and surgical gear pinging off the ground letting anyone within earshot – either real or electronic – know that I was no longer dead.

Great. Blinking away the haze and gritting my teeth against the severe throbbing in my head I took a cautious look around. Wow what a dump. My faction always was cheap – they said frugal – but this really was a low even for them. I must have really made somebody mad.

So what was up with this clown? My loose teeth told me that my watch shrilled. I grabbed it fast.

“What.”
“You moron. What were you thinking? You blew the sbo.”
“The clown messed it up.”
“What are you talking about? You got a job – do it!”
“Sorry, I’m running late. Death does that.”
“Get it done!! We’re tired of paying your patch ups.”
“Yeah yeah.”

I thumbed it off and set it to silent. The incoming call light lit within seconds. Screw that. I shrugged it off and hit it with my walking stick. Instantly the end of the “stick” glowed and neutron hell erupted. The self contained flame thrower turned it to slag. Good for parts when it cooled but I wasn’t going to stick around for it.

Now. The clown. Two can play with costumes.

I smiled. Fried clown. My favorite.

Zombie Moon: 125,000 Android Installs!


AMAZING! 125, 000 Android users have installed Zombie Moon!

THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  For your support, faith and friendship!!

We are hard at work on the final chapters of the amazing story of Zombie Moon!

Revealed: how are the Pacifists involved? What is the source of the contagion? Vampires! Zombies! INCREDIBLE technology! Amazing revelations about the SHG Starcrash universe!

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