7 Days to Die

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7 Days to Die
7 Days To Die cover art.jpg
Developer(s)The Fun Pimps
Publisher(s)The Fun Pimps
EngineUnity
Platform(s)Linux
Microsoft Windows
Mac OS X
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release
  • Microsoft Windows, OS X
  • December 13, 2013
  • Linux
  • November 22, 2014
  • PlayStation 4, Xbox One
    • NA: June 28, 2016
    • EU: July 1, 2016
    • AU: July 8, 2016
Genre(s)Survival horror
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

7 Days to Die is an early access survival horror video game set in an open world developed by The Fun Pimps. It was released through Early Access on Steam for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X on December 13, 2013,[1] and for Linux on November 22, 2014.[2] Versions for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were released in 2016 through Telltale Publishing,[3] but are no longer being developed.[4]

Story[edit]

The game's events happen during aftermath of a nuclear Third World War that destroyed an extremely large part of the world, except for some areas such as the fictional county of Navezgane, Arizona. The player is a survivor of the war who must survive by finding shelter, food and water, as well as scavenging supplies to fend off the numerous zombies (hinted to be the consequence of nuclear fallout, a new strain of flu, or both) that populate Navezgane. Though there is no real objective except surviving at this moment, the developers promised a dynamic storyline in the Kickstarter and stretch goals. The video with more explanation has since been removed by the developer.[5]

Gameplay[edit]

In 7 Days to Die, the player spawns into a randomly-generated world or the preset world of Navezgane, Arizona, with the objective of surviving for as long as possible against the elements and the zombie hordes. As a survival game, the player character is in constant need of water and food for sustenance, as well as being vulnerable to injury and illness. The game is voxel-based (similar in some aspects to Minecraft, but with smooth terrain), allowing for simple building and destruction of objects in a physics-simulated environment (for example, building a structure with no support such as pillars and walls can lead to its collapse).[6][7] Objects in the world degrade through use, so the player has to search for or make new tools as the game progresses. The player can also gather and create materials—from nature and the remnants of human civilization—to construct these necessary items.[8][9]

While the game includes wildlife that can be hunted for food or will hunt the player, the main hazard is zombies, which are affected by the game's day/night cycle—during the day they are relatively slow-moving and easy targets that can only detect the player at relatively close ranges, but at night they become feral, which makes them move much faster and thus greatly increases their threat. As the in-game days progress, tougher and more aggressive variants begin to appear.[10] Stealth and distraction can be used to avoid unnecessary conflict. They are also drawn to areas of human (i.e. player) activity, and will relentlessly attack anything that impedes their movement until they are killed or the obstacle is destroyed, including player-built fortifications. Should they detect the player, zombies will apply the same single-minded pursuit until the player is either dead, or leaves the immediate area.

The game's title is a reference to an important Blood Moon event that occurs every seventh day of in-game time, whereby hordes of zombies and wild infected animals attack the player's current location en masse. Unless sufficient preparation has been made and defenses constructed, the player will quickly be overwhelmed.

The world of Navezgane is composed of multiple biomes, or geographic areas. These include dry deserts, temperate forests, snowy fields, as well as a scorched wasteland. Each biome has unique resources that can be obtained, thus encouraging exploration across the map by players.

Multiplayer[edit]

Multiplayer is available through player-hosted servers and enables multiple players to interact and communicate with each other on a single world. Interactions can be cooperative or hostile depending on the used server options. Players can run their own servers or use a hosting provider.[11] Single player worlds have local area network support, allowing players to join worlds on locally interconnected computers without a server setup. Players are also able to provide Wide Area Network support via single player worlds. 7 Days to Die servers can run on consoles, Windows and Linux.[12] There are two supported game modes for multiplayer: Survival (both randomly generated and standard) and Creative. The console version of the game supported split screen cooperative multiplayer.

Development[edit]

The Windows alpha version of the game was released on August 16, 2013, for people who pre-ordered the game on either Kickstarter or PayPal. As of August 11, 2013, development of the game is ongoing with a Kickstarter campaign ending on August 15.[13] The estimated release date was May 2014 for Microsoft Windows; Macintosh and Linux versions were planned for later in the year.[14]

The game was also greenlight on Steam[15] after 23 days getting over 75,000 yes votes, 8,340 followers, and 8,700 favorites. It was number one on Steam Greenlight, after only 16 days with over 56,000 votes.[16] The Mac version was released on September 13, 2013, at the same time as update Alpha 1.1.[17]

The game is still in its alpha state of the game,[18] its current version being Alpha 20.6.

On September 15, 2021, developers Fun Pimps announced a development stream hosted on Twitch offering a look at what's to come for Alpha 20 and exclusive insider news.[19]

PC[edit]

7 Days To Die was released to the public on Alpha 1.0. Only users who had backed the game via the Kickstarter Campaign or who bought it via PayPal had access to the Alpha until Alpha 5.0, which was released on Steam as an Early Access game on December 13, 2013.[20]

Since the Alpha release of 7 Days To Die, there have been multiple major updates containing features such as a new snow biome, forging systems, new weapons, general graphical changes and smoother terrains.

Alpha 7.8 was released on April 4, 2014, followed by Alpha 7.9 on April 8,[1] and Alpha 7.10 April 19. Alpha 8 was released on May 7, 2014, which updated the visuals for zombie animations and smoothed the terrain for a final time.[21] Alpha 9 was released on August 19, 2014, and added random generated worlds, new injuries, new light effects, and new graphics.[citation needed] Alpha Version 10 was released on November 22, 2014, and added a new character creation system with face/body morphing and visible clothing, a new zombie horde world heat map system and a new wellness system.[2]

Alpha Version 11 was released on April 2, 2015, where the developers updated to Unity 5, which includes many graphical improvements, a new quality range system for guns, weapons, tools and armor and a new Zombie called "Feral".[22] Alpha 12 was released on July 3, 2015, and added a new vehicle system with a Mini Bike, first weather system, new sound and physic systems, among other fixes and additions.[23] Alpha 13 was released on December 10, 2015, adding temperature survival elements, a skill system, and a redesigned crafting system.[24] The difficulty of the game has increased, but it continues to be popular.[25]

Alpha 14 was released on March 26, 2016, with further improvements and more features, a lot of bug fixes, as well as some performance and graphic optimizations.[26] Alpha 15 was then released on October 5, 2016, with major improvements to random generated maps, a trader system, a new difficulty scaling and several more features. The UMA-Zombies that were introduced in this Alpha would be removed in Alpha 16.[27]

On June 6, 2017, Alpha 16 was released.[28] This release added electricity to the game for the first time and introduced various traps including electric fences and spinning blades. On November 19, 2018, Alpha 17 was formally released[29] which added a quest system as well as new vehicles and numerous system overhauls. This build also featured new main menu music, marking the beginning of a large audio overhaul. The new music and sound design from Alpha 17 onwards would be produced by Native Darkness Productions.[30] On October 2, 2019, Alpha 18 was released, which optimized and balanced the changes from Alpha 17, and also added new things to the game (Improved Random World Gen, new infection system, weapons and schematics, locations and POIs, zombie enrage mode etc.). This build also introduced what would be called the Dynamic Music System (abbreviated as DMS). On June 27, 2020, Alpha 19 was released, which added a new loot system, new weapons and tools, candy, a new critical hit system, new POIs and new texture overhauls for the zombies.[31]

On December 1, 2021, Alpha 20 was released. The devs referred to this update as "by far the largest content drop" they had ever released for the game. Features included, but were not limited to: overhauling the random world generation feature, adding large numbers of new POIs, and giving items, objects, and enemies higher quality 3D models. The blunderbuss, which was the only firearm available to the player in prior versions, was replaced with a new lineup of makeshift pipe weapons.[32]Though the update added a lot of new content, there was some criticism levied against the developers for the game remaining in the Alpha stage almost a decade after its launch.[33]

February 1, 2022 saw the release of Alpha 20.1. With the previously mentioned release of Alpha 20 came new bugs, updates, and exploits. Alpha 20.1 saw many of these resolved. Most notably, there were fixes done to a number of POIs, a fix for several duplication glitches, and a fix for achievements. Additionally, there were a number of balance changes made based on player's feedback.

Console[edit]

In April 2016, the game was announced for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It was published by Telltale Publishing and released in June and July 2016.[3]

The most recent update for the console versions, Patch 13, was released on December 13, 2017. This patch updates the PlayStation 4 version of the game to version 1.18, and the Xbox One version of the game to version 1.0.18.0.(alpha 18) [34]

Telltale's Closure[edit]

On September 21, 2018, Telltale Games abruptly laid off most of its staff due to financial problems,[35][36] and on October 11, 2018, began liquidating its assets through Sherwood Partners.[37][38] A statement by The Fun Pimps on November 13, 2018, via their official online forum stated “upon hearing the news, The Fun Pimps immediately terminated its license agreement with Telltale, which only allowed publishing rights on the console ports of the 7 Days to Die game.” They went on to say that this “also severed Telltale's rights to any future updates or sequels of the 7 Days to Die franchise.”[39]

The Fun Pimps released a statement on 16 October 2019, stating that the developer had re-acquired the publishing rights to the game. The future of the console ports, which has not been updated since 2017, is not entirely clear. There is no active development happening.[4]

Reception[edit]

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of 7 Days to Die received "unfavorable" reviews according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[47][48]

As of May 2021, the game is rated "very positive" overall by over 118,000 reviews on Steam,[49] and was one of the "Top 100 Selling games of 2017" on Steam, despite still being in alpha stage development.[50]

One reviewer, however, criticised the length of time that the game had spent in an alpha state.[51]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Alpha 7.9". Envul. Archived from the original on 2017-08-08. Retrieved 2015-10-24.
  2. ^ a b rhuenink (November 22, 2014). "Alpha 10 Apocalypse Release Is Out!". 7 Days to Die.
  3. ^ a b Matulef, Jeffrey (April 7, 2016). "Telltale to publish open-world survival game 7 Days to Die on consoles". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Console News | 7 Days to Die". 7daystodie.com. Retrieved 2020-09-24.
  5. ^ "7 Days to Die - Zombie Survival Game". Kickstarter. May 15, 2020. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  6. ^ Vandell, Perry (May 29, 2013). "7 Days to Die adds crafting and voxels to your post-apocalyptic sandbox". PC Gamer. Future plc. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  7. ^ Matulef, Jeffery (August 16, 2016). "7 Days to Die combines a voxel-based sandbox with zombies". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  8. ^ Barnett, Ben (April 2, 2014). "Impressions: 7 Days To Die". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Gamer Network. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  9. ^ Coldwell, Brendon (November 27, 2014). "Diary: Seven Days Of Dying In 7 Days To Die". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Gamer Network. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  10. ^ Whitehead, Dan (January 28, 2016). "7 Days to Die alpha review". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  11. ^ "Create a 7 Days to Die server: Hosting, installation, and configuration". IONOS Digitalguide. Retrieved 2022-06-13.
  12. ^ Nox (July 22, 2014). "7 Days to Die Server Setup". Game Server Setup.
  13. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (August 16, 2013). "7 Days to Die combines a voxel-based sandbox with zombies". Eurogamer.
  14. ^ Schulenberg, Thomas (July 27, 2013). "7 Days to Die smells blood, rushes to Kickstarter". Engadget (Joystiq). Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  15. ^ Kubba, Sinan (August 9, 2013). "Steam gives Satellite Reign, 7 Days to Die and others the Greenlight". Engadget (Joystiq). Oath Inc. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  16. ^ rhuenink (August 2, 2013). "We're number one on Steam Greenlight!". 7 Days to Die.
  17. ^ rhuenink (September 8, 2013). "Alpha1.1a Security Update is out!". 7 Days to Die.
  18. ^ "Why Is 7 Days To Die Still In Alpha?". The Gamers Mind. 2021-09-08. Retrieved 2021-09-09.
  19. ^ "A20 Dev Stream Series". Twitter. September 3, 2021. Archived from the original on 2021-09-03. Retrieved 2021-09-20.
  20. ^ "Alpha 5". Envul. Archived from the original on 2017-08-08. Retrieved 2015-10-24.
  21. ^ "Alpha 8 Patch Notes". Envul. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  22. ^ rhuenink (April 2, 2015). "Alpha 11 Annihilation Release Is Out!". 7 Days to Die.
  23. ^ rhuenink (July 3, 2015). "Mini Bikes & Physics & Bears A12!". 7 Days to Die.
  24. ^ rhuenink (December 10, 2015). "Alpha 13 Status And Release Notes!". 7 Days to Die.
  25. ^ Jeffreys, Steve (December 5, 2015). "7 Days to Die Waiting for Alpha 13: The Struggle is Real". PowerLeveled. Nerd Interests LLC. Archived from the original on May 22, 2017. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  26. ^ rhuenink (March 26, 2016). "Alpha 14 Hits The Streets!". 7 Days to Die.
  27. ^ rhuenink (October 5, 2016). "Alpha 15 Release Notes". 7 Days to Die.
  28. ^ rhuenink (June 6, 2017). "Alpha 16 Is Out". 7 Days to Die.
  29. ^ "The Official A17 Developer's Diary for Developers". 7daystodie.com. Archived from the original on 6 January 2019. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  30. ^ rhuenink (October 2, 2019). "A18 Official Release Notes". 7 Days to Die.
  31. ^ rhuenink (June 25, 2020). "A19 Official Release Notes". 7 Days to Die.
  32. ^ "Alpha 20 Release Notes". 7daystodie.com. The Fun Pimps.
  33. ^ "Why Is 7 Days To Die Still In Alpha?". The Gamers Mind. 2021-09-08. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  34. ^ Clare (December 13, 2017). "[12/13] Message from the Team - Patch 13 LIVE at 01:00 UTC!". 7 Days to Die Forum. Retrieved June 28, 2019.[permanent dead link]
  35. ^ Farokhmanesh, Megan (September 21, 2018). "The Walking Dead studio Telltale hit with layoffs". The Verge. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  36. ^ Bailey, Justin (September 24, 2018). "Telltale, Acclaimed Maker of Story-Based Video Games, Lays Off Most of Its Staff". The New York Times. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  37. ^ Crecente, Brian (November 14, 2018). "Telltale Begins Liquidation, Pulling Games From Steam". Variety.
  38. ^ Favis, Elise (April 9, 2019). "The Rise And Fall Of Telltale Games". Game Informer. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  39. ^ The Fun Pimp (November 3, 2018). "Telltale Update". 7 Days to Die Forum. Archived from the original on May 6, 2019. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  40. ^ Devore, Jordan (July 11, 2016). "Review: 7 Days to Die (XOne)". Destructoid. Enthusiast Gaming. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  41. ^ "7 Days to Die (PS4)". GamesMaster. Future plc. September 2016. p. 74.
  42. ^ Gilroy, Joab (July 7, 2016). "7 Days to Die Review (XOne)". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
  43. ^ Johnson, Leif (July 13, 2016). "7 Days to Die Review (Xbox One)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  44. ^ "7 Days to Die". PlayStation Official Magazine – UK. Future plc. September 2016. p. 103.
  45. ^ Taylor, Peter (July 19, 2016). "7 Days to Die Review (XOne)". The Digital Fix. Poisonous Monkey. Archived from the original on July 22, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  46. ^ "7 Days To Die review - undead on arrival (XOne)". Metro. DMG Media. July 5, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  47. ^ a b "7 Days to Die for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  48. ^ a b "7 Days to Die for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  49. ^ "7 Days to Die". Steam. Valve.
  50. ^ Meer, Alec (January 2, 2018). "These are the top 100 Steam games of 2017". Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  51. ^ Nielsen, Holly (2016-09-08). "After years in Early Access, 7 Days to Die continues to waste its potential". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2020-05-15.

External links[edit]