The primary inspiration for this was the archery game in Valve's The Lab.

What it does

Players attempt to survive and hold off the zombies using weaponry at their disposal as hordes of blocky zombies advance either on their own position in an attempt to eat them, or to attack some object that requires protection. I am trying to implement cooperative multiplayer as well.

How I built it

C#, Unity

Challenges I ran into

Getting the behavior and feel of the bow and arrows just right. Getting the multiplayer networking working as it should, and getting expected behavior on both ends of the connection.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Successful multiplayer state synchronization!

What I learned

Level layout is extremely important! Network state syncing is hard.

What's next for The Blocky Dead

Cooperative networked multiplayer! (Done!) Possible competitive "Zombie Ball" sport mode (like American football, but with zombies).

Milestone 2 Update

After finally getting multiplayer working, I've been experimenting with a competitive sport mode I'm tentatively calling "Zombie Ball" (American football but with zombies). But I'm having issues with too many networked entities and too much network traffic keeping everything synced. So I'm working on optimizing that, but may have to shelve the mode for the final jam submission.

Final update

I didn't have time to include all the modes I've been experimenting with, but I'm happy with the result I was able to deliver for the jam. Lesson learned: networking is hard!


The farm hands of Blocky Farms are having an ill-advised hootenanny! While they're caught up all a gyratin', the undead are fixin' to eat their brains! It's your job to keep 'em dancing for as long as you can!

Multiplayer is optional on this game, but you can survive a lot longer with the help of another player. In fact, it currently supports THREE players! And there isn't much in the way of a technical barrier to allowing many more than that. If I'd included enough bows, you could theoretically have as many players as you wanted, and still can, they'll just be unarmed. But to start the game either as the host or just playing by yourself, you'll need to launch the game and click the LAN host button, or else click Enable Matchmaker and then create a match if you're going to play with someone over the internet. Here's a little secret: if you hold down the left shift key when you actually join in a game, you'll be spawned with an FPS controller rather than in VR. You can't fight, but you can run around the environment if you want to look at it without VR gear.

If you want to join a game hosted by someone else, click LAN Client, or if playing over the internet, click Enable Match Maker and select Find Internet Match, and join the match with the name your buddy gave to the match/room.

Once in the game, look in your immediate surroundings and you should find a bow which you can pick up using the trigger on your Vive controller. Just click it to pick it up and then release the trigger. You don't have to hold it down. And if you click it again, it will drop the bow in case you want to switch hands or something. Once you're holding the bow, just move the hand with the arrow in it near where you will draw the string. When you're in place to begin drawing the bow, you'll feel a little haptic thump. Then just pull the trigger finger on the hand holding the arrow to grab the string and pull it back to start drawing and aiming your shot. Release the trigger to fire.

Also, it's more of a developer feature than something that's useful or suited to the game, but you can use the touchpad on the left hand controller to move around. You'll wind up floating or going through stuff, but, hey...

Have fun!

Known Issues

  • Sometimes the zombie reactions to being hit aren't the same between multiple players, so that a client player may see a zombie get hit but not go down, and then suddenly disappear. They're still dead like they should be, but for some reason the animation and reaction doesn't come through. It was all working perfectly literally right up until a few hours before submission! I'll get it working again, I promise. :-)

  • Once the game is over, the game won't restart. You'll just have to quit out and restart at the moment. Sorry. I'm going to have a fully VR "menu" soon though, with multiple game modes, etc, so just be patient. :-)

  • (FIXED - see "Try it out" link for working internet multiplayer) For some reason using the internet matchmaker causes all the farmers to die at the start of the game. For now, the only way to play multiplayer as it was intended is over a LAN.

  • Matchmaker play may drop clients after a few minutes of play due to Unity's matchmaker server bandwidth limits. LAN games do not suffer from this.

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