Deadbury Academy (WIP), new zombie-survival game from Mia and JimD - updated 1/2/24 - 70,000 words

What happens when the zombie outbreak starts outside of an elite boarding school? Take the role of a student at the prestigious Steadbury Academy in an all-new survival horror choice game.

Deadbury Academy is a thrilling interactive survival-horror story by @Lys and @JimD where your choices control the story.

Customize your character in Deadbury Academy by embracing the dynamics of school cliques such as geeks, jocks, and cheerleaders to navigate the treacherous zombie outbreak that has besieged the prestigious boarding school. Will you unite with your fellow geeks, utilizing your intellect and technological expertise to devise survival strategies? Or perhaps you’ll join forces with the athletic jocks, relying on your physical prowess and teamwork to fend off the undead? Maybe you’ll team up with the influential cheerleaders, using your charm and charisma to rally survivors and maintain morale. The choice is yours as you define your character within the complex social fabric of the academy.

  • Play as male, female or nonbinary, gay, straight, bi, or asexual.
  • Ten activities or clubs including Junior ROTC, Wilderness Scout, Athlete, Artist, and Scholar. Or create your own custom activity or club.
  • Choose your skill levels in seventeen different apocalyptic skills such as Stealth, Ranged Weapons, Scavenging, and Crafting. Level up your skills and choose from hobbies to round out your character.
  • Select optional challenges for your survivor. Take care of a sibling, deal with addiction, handle teen pregnancy, or even be haunted.
  • Meet other students survivors each with their own personalities, motivations, desires, and flaws. Even form romantic relationships with your classmates.

This is the discussion thread for Deadbury Academy, a zombie-survival game. Please ask questions, leave comments/reviews, report bugs or errors, and suggest additions to the game in this thread.

Deadbury Academy is not connected to Zombie Exodus. This is an all-new story in the modern day with new zombie mechanics.

Deadbury Academy Link


Facebook Group


You have piqued my interest. I shall try this game and give a feedback.


I had a chance to play an early draft of this game, and although there isn’t much to it yet, what there is, is a lot of fun. I’m a huge fan of school stories, and I’ve been a Zombie Exodus fan for over a decade, so there’s no way I wouldn’t be excited to read a zombie story co-authored by Jim Dattilo and set in a boarding school. There are some funny moments, and some gruesome ones, and a cast of fellow students who are already a little more complex than the high school social-group stereotypes they fall into. I’m definitely intrigued to see where this goes.


wow, this sound wonderful


If the ace option is supposed to indicate “not attracted to anyone” (seems that way, judging from the flight attendant moment and the “no one” photo option later), could you maybe change the wording to ace-aro?

When a game advertises an ace option, I usually expect a romance without (or with optional) sex. Ace-aro would make it clear that the MC feels neither romantic nor sexual attraction to anyone.


That was an issue for me as well.

Would the following be good:

Glancing at the images, you feel no romantic or sexual interest with any of the young people

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I think it needs to be clear when you make the actual choice. I wouldn’t appreciate getting to choose to be asexual, only to discover afterwards that I’ve shut myself out of romance.

So in practice, change the last option of the sexual orientation choice from “No one” to “No one - I’m aro-ace” or “No one - I’m not interested in sex or romance.”


So far this is pretty good I can’t wait to try out being a nice, helpful jock instead of the stereotypical asshole


Very interesting start.

The only points I’m wary of are the ‘Younger sibling’ and ‘fathered a child’ weakness and how they’ll be implemented because they sound like the kind of things that are hard to handle when the game isn’t built around them.

Also there are a LOT of skills and it will probably hard to keep them all useful as the game gets bigger.


should probably be ‘spell’. Haven’t played much yet, just doing the prologue rn but the atmosphere is definitely interesting so far

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Although Deadbury Academy isn’t part of the Zombie Exodus franchise, it uses basically the same character-creation setup and skills. The pet and dependent-nephew weaknesses are well-integrated in Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven, so I trust something similar can be implemented here with the younger-sibling and teen-parent weaknesses.

I do wonder if maybe some of the stats should be cut out, replaced, or even just renamed, to make them fit better with this particular game and the skill sets a bunch of elite boarding school teens would be likely to actually have. Since this isn’t a Zombie Exodus game, I think it’s worth putting in some effort to make sure it doesn’t look and feel exactly like one, even it draws on what Jim Dattilo has already found works well in zombie games.


I really like it so far! For the pregnancy weakness, I hope the father (or mother, if that’s an option for the guys) isn’t a mystery, or not involved in the story. That would be a bit weird, in my opinion. Obviously, it’s too soon to know what’s going on with that. I just thought I’d bring it up before you got too far


Obviously it CAN be done well, I’m just pointing out how it can be hard to handle and how said difficulty should be kept in mind.


My point wasn’t just that it can be done well, but that one of the authors of this game has a history of doing it extremely well. I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear.


Anyone knows how to save the game? I keep getting a save failed error. (and yes, I’m logged into moody)

I get the following error when I want to select the Gamemaster Mode option: “Cannot read properties of undefined (reading ‘line’)”. It’s the first time this has happened to me (sorry for the English, it’s not my first language :innocent:)


Yay, GM Mode!

That comma should be after “contingent” instead; otherwise, it’s the military contingent that shrugs and goes to help the other passenger.


The choices made during the Prologue affect the stats of your “main” character. Feels weird, considering they’re different characters.

That’s all I have time for today. Tomorrow, chapter 1!

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Congrats to @JimD and @Lys both on reaching this stage! :revolving_hearts:

Both of these authors have published games that I love, and both of them have pulled together deep and interlocking mechanics in these games, so I have full faith that this story will be handled well.

There may need to be adjustments and changes to be made, but they both know how to listen to feedback and to respond to what is given to them from that feedback.

I’m very excited for them both with this project.


Looking forward to this down the foreseeable future.