Zombie Exodus: Stronghold (Chapters 1-3 test version)

JFC… Why can’t we get Safe Haven finished first before another epic ZE game!!!

-Asking rather politely, mind you.

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This one has more or less been written already, it’s just being ported over to CS and added to a little; I’m not too worried about ZESH, it’s still set to be sent in for publishing early next year


I must say I love the premise so far. The perks and flaws look especially interesting. I always wanted to have a MC that is at a significant physical disadvantage, so I was delighted to find chronic illness flaw there. I wonder does the perks and flaws change the way story progress and how characters interact with you? I’m wondering does chronic illness or PTSD flaw, for example, would make characters more worry about MC?

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As @Sujan_Dhakal mentioned, this one is mostly written. I receive at least 2 messages a week asking how to play Stronghold.

Also, I find that writing 20,000-25,000 words per month of a game is the maximum amount I can produce before I feel burnt out.

Yes, some more than others, though. For example, something like Rapid Learner won’t have as much impact on the text. It comes to play when you level up your character’s skills. Something like Moral Qualms will have more impact if you are faced with combat often. It can make for some really great, challenging characters. Imagine a soldier with Moral Qualms and Traumatic Flashbacks.


I am so happy Stronghold came to Hosted Games. Stronghold can now be read at its full potential because Storyloom’s limitations are not here.


That sounds amazing!! I can’t wait to read it :face_holding_back_tears: I really do hope we get more RO interactions tho. I feel ZESH has so many RO which made it difficult to write a lot of romance interactions, but this one isn’t as much. (You still did an amazing job with the RO tho in ZESH, I actually especially loved when a sudden romantic line appeared in a normal scene, such as while eating with Jamie he wiped MC’s mouth with his finger. Those lines are like surprise little gifts! :smiling_face:)


This is awesome! I played the original before the company went under and having it expanded is gonna be such a GREAT thing. Anything zombie exodus is always great.

Cannot wait to see what you add/change from the original! Best of luck!


Chapter 2 has been added to the test version. A change log has been added, which shows more major updates. However, a few choice options were added in chapter 1.

For those asking about the plot of the game, your character always becomes infected at the end of chapter 1. The priority, at least at this stage, is to see how long you can outlast the virus.


is it necessary to play the other zombie exodus games before playing this one?

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No but this is one of the first shelters set up by government that is still standing for now. This just takes place 1 year after the zombie outbreak. MC was lucky they got in before it was too late

The shelter wasn’t set up by the government. This is a luxury shelter set up by a private company.


Well it is still one of the first places set up to survive even if that not its original purpose by the owners

So ive read through most of this story while it was on Storyloom. Even so, there are new elements to it and I feel like the story is brought to life in a whole new way. I appreciate it. I know you have a lot of stories to write on your plate, but take all the time you need for the quality work you bring to the table. Thanks!


sister i didn’t understand anything that you said

This is pretty neat!

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Can you smell what The Jim’s cooking?

Hi @JimD It feels like coming home when I get sucked into your work. I really liked this. It is 1:40am as I write this.

The fast pace will take some getting used to. The steady pace of ZESH gave me enough time to settle into my character, visualise the world and get full impressions of the rest of the cast. That said, Stronghold really grabs you by throat through the screen.

I enjoyed the classist system in the Stronghold. It opens the game up to fun politics and intrigue.

Seeing the Zeta virus from the other end — it’s a strange and captivating experience, when I’ve been so used to being the zombie exterminator in ZESH. I hadn’t realised how terrifying the transformation would be. I just hope it plays well. I’d hate to get a “Game Over” because one day I just woke up as a full-blown zombie.

Speaking of zombies…

From what we know, the virus takes over within hours. Characters are the most important thing in a game for me. ZESH and AWuOT did it well.

How much character development can we get in a matter of hours? How can we expect to form relationships with these characters that feel meaningful?

I get that some of the characters we’ve seen so far are our established friends but we still need time to get to know them, connect with them, maybe love them. And time is something we actually do not have in this game.

Jaime, for example, was introduced to us as our best friend from the start but it was with time that he “earned” that title. From the talks on the phone before and after the apocalypse, saving him, getting a gift from him and hugging, kissing and all that. I really want to have that with the Stronghold cast — especially (after my first blind playthrough) Sienna. Her reaction to what happened to my MC was very touching. Please protect me Sienna.

The perk/flaw system is refreshing and cleverly executed. It adds a heightened degree of difficulty to the game when you fill all the slots. That makes the game more engaging and allows you build a character in a more intuitive way. Three strengths, three weaknesses. Simple yet effective. There’s a lot character variations you can get out of that system by itself.

I like that you made assigning skill points a snap. You get five points, raising a skill takes one point. Quick and easy.

I’ve only done one run so far so I can’t go on and on about the game and its inner workings. How do we peek at the code now that it’s on Moody.ink? Been away from the community for a while.

How many chapters do you see for this project? Are they going to be roughly the same length as the first two or will there be much longer ones?

In terms of scale and scope, how does this game look? Do you expect it to match up with A Wise Use of Time? The first ZE?

What’s on your wish list of additions for this game? Wouldn’t mind an exhaustive list.

What sort of feedback is most important to you at this stage? We’ve only got 2 chapters. I’m not sure if the rest of the game is as malleable as ZESH was when we only had Part 1 or if you’ve got most of it set in stone already. I still remember when Keith was killable in Part 2.

Keep it coming @JimD

Your work and work ethic continues to inspire me.


It’s great to see you in this thread!

Yes, this is going to be a much faster pace game. You will not have much downtime, and your goals are fairly well grounded.

I believe this is a natural system that would develop in such an environment.

It’s definitely possible, but at least we have checkpoints now :slight_smile:

That is a tough one. The game is going to be almost real time (at least, most of the action is going to take place within twenty-four hours). There won’t be a lot of time for deep dives into back stories, but you will still have those opportunities as you travel through Stronghold. There were also not be time for intimacy with romantic interests, but there will be romance and a different feeling of intimacy.

Yes, I am trying to keep this game simpler in terms of character creation, but the game will still be very reactive. For example, every profession has a mentor/supervisor, who will treat you differently. The game will also play very differently for those professions. A priest may be able to get through a barricade with simply a nod, while a soldier will have to fight their way through.

Yes, I want people to get through character creation quickly and not get bogged down in doing math. But if you want to be a min-maxer, you still have those opportunities.


Roughly 25 chapters. Some will be longer than others. I am trying to make each chapter 20-40k words. Some chapters have lots of depth to them. For example, chapter 4 is extremely long because there are many paths that can be taken.

As of right now, I am predicting 500,000 words with about 10 images of the important characters.

This is a different game for me, because the first draft is already written. I wrote this last year for a different company that went under. I am now able to bring it to Hosted Games. So, I don’t have a wish list. Instead, I am seeking feedback from others on what they would like to see.

Even though most of the game is written, I can still make changes. Big changes if necessary. I had almost no feedback when this game was originally published on StoryLoom (which is strange, because roughly 10,000 people played it for free). That company had no real feedback system for authors. As you know from my other games, I’m very willing to listen to feedback and make changes or additions.

The best feedback is very simple – what do you like and not like. If you like a certain character, I would like to know about it. If you hate a character, I want to know why. If you want to add an option to a choice, because none of the current choices represent your character, I would love to hear it. Even if you think about an entirely new scene that would be interesting in this style of game, I want to hear it.

Thank you! Your feedback has always been greatly appreciated and has helped improved my writing and my games.


Can we romance the actress this time around? I think her name was Kingston. Blonde.

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There’s a good possibility of that happening.