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December 30

  • Blocked escalators and corridors have been cleared - it's now possible to walk around inside shopping malls and other large buildings. (Any such buildings that weren't zombie-controlled have had their loose corners automatically barricaded up to full.)

December 22

  • Low and unsettling groans drift through the empty winter streets, as the undead begin to call to one another...

December 21

  • The unprecedented and conversational gathering in Whetcombe Park has thrown up some serious server load issues we've never met before; this is why the game's been lagging so badly over the past day or so. There are now a couple of restrictions if you're in a block with more than fifty citizens - you won't see all of their names (or be able to interact with them all) without clicking "list names" first, and if you speak, your words will only be audible to the "nearest" fifty players, meaning the fifty most recently active ones.

December 20

Unofficial Notes
  • Buildings now tell the number or survivors and/or zombies inside, and instead of showing the list of those present, it allows you to see the list when you wish, instead of having to scroll down the list when scrounging for supplies.

December 19

  • It might be a further level of decomposition, it might just be the effects of the colder weather, but zombies seem to be reacting differently to Headshot as the snow begins to fall - their brains and memories remain intact, but their nervous system becomes frayed and slowed, taking them longer to stand up after a blow to the skull.
  • Black military helicopters have been sighted in the grey skies above Malton this week, airdropping occasional supply crates into the empty streets for the coldest days of winter.

December 18

Unofficial Notes
  • When buildings are heavily barricaded it says that you see no way to enter. "The building has been heavily barricaded - you can see no way to enter."

November 22

  • The military have switched the local mobile phone network back on, after a blanket shutdown during the first months of quarantine. The reception quality is only good enough for text messages, however, and you'll need a powered phone mast in your suburb to get a signal.

November 18

  • Electricity returns to Malton. The Krinks and Tolman power stations are still out of action, but a number of survivors have been seen carrying small petrol-powered generators through the ruined streets. Doctors with appropriate training are now able to take advantage of temporary hospital lighting and equipment.
Unofficial Notes
  • When Barricading a building, it will inform you if your building is about to become too heavily barricaded. The message: 'Using (an object), you reinforce the barricade. It's looking very strong, now - any further barricading will prevent survivors from climbing in' will appear.

November 13

  • NecroTech memo: To ensure full-time employment for staff on all shifts, the DNA-extractor uplink coordination has finally been changed to be time unspecific. Employees are advised to seek and scan active specimens.
  • Group affiliations are now ranked in the game statistics.

November 4

  • Character profiles can now be edited to include a description that's visible to others, and group affiliation (which I'll start pulling out into stats when the data's there).

October 27

  • For those wondering how the living are matching up to the dead in terms of sheer numbers, some game statistics are now available.

October 21

  • Follow the music - there's now an Urban Dead Mall at Cafepress, if anyone wants an official T-shirt or mug or badge.

October 18

  • We're having the Urban Dead server upgraded again, today; it'll be offline for an unspecified amount of time, sometime this afternoon (GMT) Update: It's done. The game should be a bit healthier now.

October 11

  • A lot of boring back-end stuff and server-upgrading, over the past week; the game should be running more smoothly now.
  • Players are given some tips for their first day in Malton when they sign up, now.
Unofficial Notes
  • Players are no longer given the map or the list of players (and events?) when they are out of AP. They are now given a messages stating 'You are asleep' or 'You can no longer think'

September 29

  • The unnoticed bodies that litter Malton, yet to stand up for the first time, continue to stiffen and degrade. Headshot now does 10XP damage for each level a zombie has beyond the first.
  • New zombie skill: Ankle Grab. Watch your step.

September 24

  • Something pestilential is spreading and mutating in the blood and guts of the undead - NecroTech DNA scans are beginning to pick up a number of specimens who are host to an unknown pathogen. Any survivors who suffer an Infectious Bite should seek immediate medical attention.

September 16

  • Cranial decomposition is setting in. Headshots now only knock off 10XP for each level of the zombie, rather than reducing them to zero every time - higher-level zombies have a greater proportion of active grey cells, and more to lose when the bullets go in.

September 14

  • Nightly database resets were a bit late last night due to the server being overloaded at the time when the maintenance is set to happen. We've fixed things to stop it happening again; apologies for any confusion this caused.

September 10

  • There may be some server downtime tomorrow while Urban Dead is transferred to a new machine; it shouldn't last long, but bear with us when it happens.

September 8

  • Advance warning: The large building functionality is due to be reworked soon, so that if you're inside one corner of a mall (or cathedral, mansion, stadium or power station) and move to a different one, you remain inside. But it'd obviously be horrific to suddenly enact this overnight - if any teams of survivors are currently using a corner of a large building as their base, they've got at least a couple of days to either relocate to a smaller local safehouse, or reinforce the other entrances.
  • A new feature for the Contacts List: If a someone on your list has died and later turns up again in a pile of bodies or crowd of zombies, you'll be able to recognise them.

September 7

  • There's now a Wiki running on the server - there are a few disparate guides and analyses on the mailing lists and forums and other random pages around the web; having an official Wiki for this sort of thing might help coordinate it and make it easier for everyone to find.

September 6

  • The FAQ's been updated, if anyone's in need of a frequently-given answer.

September 3

  • It looks like the NecroTech helicopters were spraying something they hadn't told the military about, or leaking it... a few revivified survivors will notice darker patches of cortex having healed up, a few zombies will have forgotten some distant life skills. (This was a bug rather than a feature; the effect is permanent, but won't happen again.)
  • NecroTech memo: In light of the wasteful re-deaths of patients undergoing post-revivification recovery in such an unexpectedly dangerous environment, re-engineered syringe stock has been airdropped to all NecroTech buildings.

August 20

  • Everyone now has a Contacts List that they can add other characters to; it's very skeletal at the moment, but will blossom out into reciprocal listing, attitude-flagging, mobile phoning, linked-GPS feedback and all sorts of things, in the future. To add people to it, just click the "add" link at the bottom of their profile.

August 15

  • And zombies with battle-calloused fingertips can hone the art of Rend Flesh for increased combat damage.
  • Survivors with itchy trigger fingers can now spend their time developing Advanced Training skills, for the pistol and the shotgun.

August 14

  • Either the zombies are weakening, the survivors are learning where to hit them, or there's something in the air... it now takes 10AP for a zombie to stand up after being killed. As ever, safety in numbers is the key to not being killed in the first place.

August 13

  • Server now optimised! The game should be even faster than it was in the early days, now. We've rewritten huge swathes of the game to speed it up, so there might be a few bugs or quirks that we hadn't caught during local testing - post them to the NecroTech dev list if you see any, and we'll get onto them.

Thanks again to everyone who's helped to support the game during the last couple of weeks.

August 12

  • Just to let people know; the optimised version of the site is looking good, a lot faster and kinder to the server, and should be in place over the weekend, if all the testing goes well. We're also looking at getting a dedicated server sorted out, which should help keep things running even if we're hit by heavier traffic. Finally we'll be able to go back to spending development hours implementing fun things, after weeks of not having time to. Thanks for your patience and support.

August 8

  • We're still in the process of overhauling the scripts and the server, but as a temporary gesture to those who've donated to support the game, they can have access to a game view with a higher load cap, which shouldn't overload so often.

August 7

  • Tagging Mission Over. The streets of Malton had twenty instances of "an eye", thirteen identical comments about "ME" smelling, and twelve of "BAD WOLF". The eyes have it, and tagger Ben gets 200XP.
  • Weather warning: Heavy storms are currently sweeping the Malton area - citizens are strongly advised to remain indoors until the storm conditions pass, to avoid being trapped on the streets in poor visibility. (Server load has been getting worse, again, recently, with early-morning and mid-evening EST seeming particularly bad. Survivor-players are probably better off sitting tight in a safehouse until things calm down, rather than risking being stuck outside and getting a couple of minutes of "server overloaded" errors in the middle of a zombie horde.)

August 5

  • Tagging Mission: Whichever piece of graffiti is most prevalent on the outsides of buildings across the city at an arbitrary tallying-up time on Sunday night will earn its tagger a one-off 200XP respect bonus. (If several people used the same graffiti, the most prolific tagger gets it. And multi-character abuse rules still apply, obviously.)

August 1

  • Urban Dead was linked on Metafilter today, so bear with us if the server starts to creak under the load and slow the game down, over the next couple of days (or longer if there's, you know, a spreading infection pattern). Any full-blown outages should only be temporary - it's up to you whether to fight it out or just lie low in a safehouse until the streets are cleared and the sun breaks through.

(Development time is being sunk into boring optimisation stuff, to save the server. Won't be any new in-game features for a while.)

July 30

  • Citizens with the new Construction skill are now able to barricade buildings from the inside.
  • NecroTech memo: Some of the specimens are now reaching an advanced stage of decomposition - revivification techniques don't appear to work on those with Brain Rot, and your DNA extractors may have trouble reading their genetic signature.

July 29

  • Game messages are now timestamped, after a few requests for this.
  • The IP limit's gone back down to the original 160; we've been getting a lot of multiple characters exploiting the temporary 500 range, and the server load's been generally higher today. The FAQ's been fleshed out a bit with guidelines for AOL users. Players who have donated are unaffected.

July 27

  • The Zombie Hunters are coming. Check the Skills Tree.
  • Some zombies have been observed using a primitive Death Rattle ability to communicate more complex noises than their earlier groaning.

July 26

  • A new civilian skill - Tagging - gives XP bonuses for spraypainting certain buildings.
  • As a thankyou to the players who've donated to support the site, they've had the hit-limit lifted to a sufficiently high number, for the character that they specified with the donation. I'll be doing the same for any future donations above $5.

July 25

  • Dead bodies can now be dragged out of buildings if you're worried about them reanimating.
  • Hm, I've upped the access limit to 500, for today, while I sort out the problems with shared ISPs. It'll be going back down to 160, afterwards.

July 24

  • Spray Paint can now be found in buildings you'd expect to find it in, and can be used to leave messages on walls.
  • The site now has an access limit. In order to keep the server running smoothly and to prevent people from single-handedly controlling large hordes of zombies or player-killers, players are now only allowed to hit the site 160 times from a single machine, per day. This is enough to maintain three characters if you don't reload the page; if you've been running more than three, you might want to move the others into safe buildings and let them go idle, to resume play with them later on.

(There's more about this in the FAQ.)

July 23

  • Zombies are now able to develop the Scent Trail skill, which allows them to sense the locations of survivors who have attacked or otherwise come into contact with them since their last turn.
  • A change to the Consumer class - the Shopping skill now lets customers choose which of several stores to loot, when searching a mall. The search-bonus has been moved to Bargain Hunting.

July 21

  • The undead have also slowed to lurching - it now takes 2AP for a zombie to walk to an adjacent block.
  • Something in the air is stupefying the zombies. They can no longer open doors to enter buildings unless they have the new Memories of Life skill. Citizens are advised to lock their doors.

July 20

  • Unwanted items can now be dropped. This doesn't mean that other people in the same block can pick them up, though.

July 19

  • New players of the game may select the Corpse character class, to sidestep all that tedious suicide business.
  • Memo to NecroTech staff: reports are coming in that infected subjects are beginning to develop significant phenotypic differences, over time - please start filing daily DNA samples so that the situation can be better monitored.
  • To clear up the map, any player who hasn't logged in for five days now becomes hidden (considered to have spent a solid five days doing nothing except securing a shelter), which effectively removes them from the game. They'll reappear in their previous location whenever they log back in.

July 17

  • In response to the spreading infection, NecroTech have issued all staff with DNA Extractors and are requesting that infected specimens be located and logged.
  • A new Miscellaneous-class skill is available: Body Building.
  • NecroTech staff with the Lab Experience skill will now be able to use a newly-added item of zombie-related equipment. It can be found in NecroTech buildings. (Untrained citizens won't be able to operate it.)

July 16

  • Forgotten passwords can now be automatically retrieved through email.

July 14

  • First-Aid Kits can now be used on other players.
  • Hit points are no longer displayed in user profiles.
  • The Scent Fear skill has been tweaked to show wounded survivors in nearby blocks.

July 13

  • Citizens' date-of-death is now tracked.
  • Flare Guns can now be used as inaccurate but powerful weapons.

July 12

  • There are a couple of new combat skills in the Zombie Skills Tree.

July 11

  • To discourage in-fighting, survivors now get only half combat XP if they're attacking another survivor; zombies get half XP if they're attacking another zombie.

July 10

  • A few zombie skills have been added.
  • Skill purchase has been implemented - characters can spend 100XP to buy a skill from the new skills tree, with cost modifiers for the Military and Science classes.

July 9

  • Players who are tired of life are now able to jump from the windows of tall buildings.
  • Players caught creating multiple characters for game-abusive purposes are now having those accounts disabled semi-automatically.

July 7

  • Wirecutters now have a use.

July 6

  • Zombies are now able to make zombie noises, to communicate with one another or to threaten the living.
  • Two new mailing lists now exist: urbandeadzombies as a support group for the recently deceased, and necrotech for analysis of the game's structure, and for bug reporting.

July 5

  • There's now a urbandead-ic mailing list, for players who want to discuss the game in-character.

(2018 note: The linked group remains up, but is now inactive and therefore all recent content is spam. Here there be dragons.)

July 4

  • Added a 'Speak' button, allowing survivors to communicate with others in the same block.

July 3

  • Urban Dead goes live.