"Is this some kind of elaborate hoax? No it's not," an excited post on The Indie Stone's blog begins, before exclaiming, "Online multiplayer with persistent player run servers! Yes!" The developer won't commit to a timeframe for the additional feature, but promises it won't be next year, as some in its community have postulated.
"Though 'not far off' doesn't necessarily mean this week, or next week. But then again that's in the realm of remote possibility none-the-less," the post noted. "It all really depends on how well future tests go and what new issues crop up, but it's certainly not months away – or 'next year' as per previous community estimates." The final version will allow anyone with a copy of the game to launch their own moddable, dedicated server.
The Indie Stone has yet to etch the finer details for the mode, saying that it's still unclear on a maximum player count. "Bugs aside, it managed 10-12 or so on a domestic cable connection pretty effortlessly though, and could probably have gone higher and whatever the limit can definitely be optimized further." The current development plan also calls for a splitscreen mode to be added, possibility allowing for up to four players on a single machine.
Project Zomboid's development has been a grueling one, suffering code loss at the hands of thieves in 2011. The game, which allows players to explore a massive city in search of shelter and supplies while fending off hordes of zombies and other scavengers, is currently available on Steam in Early Access for $14.99.