Rebuild 2: Free at last

I was so busy enduring (or more like enjoying) typhoons in Japan and the Philippines, I nearly forgot to report on Rebuild 2 being live and in the wild! It’s now playing at at portals near you including Armor Games, Newgrounds (where it’s featured!), and Kongregate!

Feedback has been mostly positive, though some fans are disappointed that it wasn’t more different than the original game. I’m with you – I should have focused on adding more crazy new stuff rather than trying to improve what was already there. I suppose I saw all the flaws in Rebuild 1 very clearly and wanted to fix them all and make Rebuild 2 better in all ways. Turns out that’s incredibly time consuming, and believe it or not, Rebuild 2 took me (not to mention EvilKris who did much of the new art) longer to write than the original game. I get the anti-franchise sentiment and I totally agree that originality is one of the most important aspects of good Flash games. On the other hand, I feel all good inside knowing that Rebuild 2 is the lean, mean, post-apocalyptic city building game it was always meant to be.

EvilKris put together a video of his ending animations in their glorious full form, for those who want to revel in their un-cut awesomeness. Spoiler alert – here it is. The game’s already been mentioned around the web, including a review on JayIsGames and a game pick on the Indie Games Blog. Let me know if you see or write a review, I’ll collect them all in one place.

Finally, Rebuild 2 is going to be played in HorribleNight’s 24 hour gaming marathon benefiting Child’s Play. The guys need your donations to keep them playing games like Rebuild 2 ALL NIGHT LONG (and the next day) this Friday the 14th.

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24 thoughts on “Rebuild 2: Free at last

  1. Loving Rebuild 2. Could use a few more random events, but that is a very small knock on an overall excellent game 9.5 / 10 all the way.

    I’m sure it has been said before, but have you thought of doing a Rebuild-esq game for humans surviving an alien invasion? I don’t mind franchises, but a little variety in the bad guys could be good.

    “Rebuild 3: Alien Invasion” anyone?

  2. It’s a great game. I really like how there so much depth to the level itself. What I mean by that is when you compare it to something like civilization, there’s a much larger variety of tiles that you can build on. When you’re building your base you really have to pay attention to where you’re heading, at least on impossible mode anyway.
    My main criticisms:
    Zombie threat should be more influenced by the size of your perimeter.
    Offence is location-specific but defense is not. It would be nice if threats were location specific too, so you might be forced to let useless land go if you’re attacked on too many fronts.
    Once people are unhappy it’s very hard to make a come back, but when people are happy it’s too easy to keep them happy.
    Weapons should provide a bonus separate from the skill cap.
    The new elements (ui, characters) don’t really match some of the older elements (the building designs).
    I’m not sure if I missed it, but it would be nice to be able to actually choose your face / hair / shades.

  3. Love the game, the simplicity and depth.
    The comments you read in the daily reports are cracking, and the random events, love them. Had that lunatic of a book writer loose, ended up loosing men for several days. Loved it.

    A few suggestions I’ve been thinking about.
    A few new resources, like wood, salvageable from mostly any place, and possible a small supply from forests, used to rebuild places, and to expand your walls around new buildings.
    A workshop, where a skilled worker(s) can craft equipment.
    The ability to upgrade houses to house more people.

    I’m looking forward to spend a weekend with this game, seeing the different ways to win.
    Thanks a lot for a well made sequel to rebuild.

  4. I’m really enjoying this game! It has yet to not be challenging in some aspect. A problem I have is with the cure for Zombiesm. Was it intended that after it’s cured, Zombie’s still attack the city?

  5. I love the new cult/church thingy, i escaped from it a bit late, but only two people died :)

    also make lots of farms and keep on hiring un-needed army people as farmers, i have like +30 food a day and am starting from the chopper in a new giant city :D

  6. I just stopped by to tell you how great your games are. When I noticed Rebuild 2 being out I spent a whole night (played till 4 am) to finish it and save my city. I just couldn’t stop, and so I cannot complain about anything in this sequel. It got me again and of course I have to beat all difficulty levels now.

    Most people don’t put so much work into detail. And the whole idea behind Rebuild is so fresh and yet it works so well. Even the difficulty is perfectly balanced and the additions in the sequel all make sense. I especially like how everybody improves his skills by working.

    I am far from being a “real” coder, but I enjoy making Flash stuff too and so I can at least imagine how much work ist must have been for you. Keep it up, I am looking forward to whatever you do next!

  7. I liked Rebuild 2 a lot, though I’ve been playing it with the music from Rebuild in the background instead. I think the additions of skills, equipment, and a lot more story- and character-related elements are great.

    My biggest gripe is actually something I think could be fixed very easily: low living space. I’ve always disdained population limits in strategy games, and I remember thinking in Rebuild how suburbs, with their 8 living spaces, and apartments, with 10 I think it was, was just too low. And now, in Rebuild 2, you’ve made it even worse. Following a major apocalypse like this, I think that people would be pretty willing to tolerate cramped living conditions. I think that those building types ought to be able to house at least twice as many people, which I presume would just take a small tweak to the numbers. As it is, constantly having the game tell me I can’t recruit new people because of a lack of living space just gets me livid.

  8. i absoluty love this game its awesome spent hours to finish it.

    could you please make it as an iphone/ipod app

    it would be awesome to play it on my ipod

  9. I had a lot of fun with it. I beat it twice but kept going both times to see what was going to happen.

    However, I then ran into the cult… unfortunately I had no idea that not overthrowing the cult was going to end my game, especially in such a slow and excruciating way.

    I think it was a good concept but to be honest in a game where you can’t save having something that just ends the game b/c you clicked ‘no’ instead of ‘yes’ is a bit frustrating. I wanted to keep playing and find some other stuff, but now I feel like I just wasted the several hours it took to get where I was.

    Was there some way to stop the cult after I chose not to overthrow it or something?

  10. Very good game. Very addicting. It’s my favorite zombie game.

    I can’t wait to see what additions you will make in Rebuild 3!

  11. I loved rebuild 2! There weren’t any bugs, and I loved that. The gameplay was better than the last, and I understand that that’s what you focused on.
    But, I do think the story needed to be largely expanded on. There needed to be more endings… And science like electricity should have influence on the story.
    I myself am the sort of player who plays for an interactive story. Others like playing the game for the gameplay but with a good story on the side – and I think that this needs a little more in depth a story.
    I also think it’d be a good idea giving the game phases – The initial infection, the slow and painstaking establishment of an area and then city free of zombies, and then a phase where you take back your country and then the world. It’d be hard to make I understand – like making 2 more games – but it would be pretty amazing. Not realistic I know, but still… I think the phases idea is good.
    I also reckon you should bring back the ‘cure’ ending. And there should be a science ‘tree’. I think a lot of players would love that.
    Also, i noticed that if you finish the game, you get the ability to send people away to start a new game in a big or huge city. And then exactly the same endings follow. You’d think the original 5 people who remember the cult in the first city would say something about that – or a last judgement gang in the last place, etc. And the trader is the same guy in every city! Also, there should be an ending for taking back the whole city, a greater variety of cuildings, and more ‘unique’ building like the town hall, such as an airport, a gym, an army base, etc. The ability to craft weapons out of non-essential resources would be good, as well
    the addition of materials as well as food would be good. The idea of constructing a suburb out of a bit of rubble with no resources is insane.
    These are just my ideas. I mean, it’s you game, I love the concept.
    A guy earlier mentioned making a game for an alien invasion. What about a game like rebuild where the problem is not a zombie invasion, but a ‘magic’ disappearance of all people over the age of 15?
    I also think this game could be really built up in a psychological way. Imagine if a zombie outbreak actually happened. How would people react? etc

  12. Well just a FYI. On kongregate – the gaming site that is my guilty pleasure rebuild 2 is currently the second highest rated game ever, while rebuild 1 has dropped seventh.

  13. This is the best indie zombie game I’ve played and the 4 possible endings are nice. Great job and I look forward to Rebuild 3 :-)

  14. I’d also like to add suggestions.

    1. I think a mini map feature in the corner or a zoom in/out feature would make controls easier, especially when playing in the huge city.

    2. A selecting/deselecting function would be useful if I wanted to complete a mission on a group of zombie-owned squares.

    3. I thought the cutscenes were kind of cool at first but I quickly wanted to only find out the results of the battle. I didn’t like double-clicking every cutscene to skip so adding a “skip zombie attack cutscenes” as one of the configuration options would decrease the risk for carpal tunnel ^_^.

    4. The items found from scavenging were nice but they made the game easier to beat. I think it could be improved somehow. Maybe people can only do their work with the items they possess (e.g., weapons to attack/defend, tools to construct, chemistry sets for research, etc.). That would make scavenging even more worthwhile to use since missions would depend on the availability of items. If you wanted to attack with a person who has a science book but no weapons, then the option to attack wouldn’t be available. I always wondered how the humans were able to kill the zombies without any weapons.

    5. You could include the option of attacking other people and add more to the recruiting feature too. Being able to attack the Last Judgement gang was great but I wished that other gangs were available to attack too (maybe even corrupt military groups or mercenaries). Also, maybe the survivors who you’re trying to recruit are actually criminals, crazy, lazy, etc. Like when you first meet Dr. Bryukhonenko, you’ll be given a small description of the survivor/s. The skills of the recruits can be shown too so while a criminal might have an undesirable description, he/she can have a desirable high attack skill. Recruits deemed to be undesirable to your population can cause happiness to go down and random events can appear so that you can choose whether to kill, kick out, or keep the recruit (maybe torture or brainwash too).

    6. Ideas for kicks:
    -Include children and elderly characters
    -Unlockable George Romero character
    -Research odorless human spray

  15. I’d also like to add some suggestions. First and most important is to understand whats great about the game, and what’s great is the concept! Taking back zombie infested territory for the human race!

    So to run with this this concept should both be expanded upon and shrunk down!

    For example, instead of starting with a single block under your control, design a shorter segment where you only start with a group of survivors in a single house! You are tasked with taking back the houses in the ‘neighborhood’ to gain control of the neighborhood block. You are then tasked with taking control of the farm, a random building (can’t remember the third building it starts with), and then the final task is to take the police station, floor by floor.

    These could essentially be mini versions of rebuild, presumably lasting no more than 10-20 turns each depending on how long it takes to secure areas and how much initiative the player has. After securing these 4 buildings the player is brought to the current rebuild map and the current version of the game begins from there

    To move on to the expansion of the game, a larger macro segment of the game could be designed. Move the ‘research zombie cure’ to late game of that segment. This segment would have your starting area as your free’d city (this would necessitate a default city or choice of cities instead of freetyping, as it should be roughly ‘geographically accurate’ on the map. This city would be the initial base to recon and take back pieces of a ‘country’ decided upon when deciding the city you start in. These ‘pieces’ would not be limited to the city, but would in fact include the surrounding countryside, small towns, and perhaps wilderness (the macro version of graveyards and parks). There are numerous areas of expansion possible in terms of events and interactions with other ‘survivor groups’.

    In short-
    Scale the game down to taking a neighborhood and related beginner buildings sector by sector

    Scale the game up by adding a larger country segment after the current ‘city’ segment

    This sort of development would be worth be a purchase-worthy game imo

    This is a concept I love, and thinking of the more macro and micro applications of the current version would be worthwhile imo.

  16. First thing : thank you for your work and giving us such addictive games.

    Personally I do not see where this anti-franchise thing is coming from. I do not mind having a superior game mechanic improved in sequels instead of throwing out something ‘completely new’. Some of the ‘big’ names like ‘Civilization’ or ‘HoMM’ were doing quite good with about the same concept.

    I have a quite long gaming career, yet just a few games did captivate me over an extended period of time. Your games are among them. You just managed to get this ‘Just one more turn. Ohh I think I’ll play a few ingame-days and then I am off…..OH my god! is that the sun rising outside??’ loop starting.

    So keep up your good work (extremely selfish ‘I would love to play new games’-sentiment disguised as compliment :D )

  17. Originality is overrated. While it might have been more appropriate to call this Rebuild Plus, your game has such solid fundamentals that it would be wrong to mess with them too much.

  18. this game needs kids and elderly and when you travel to a new city be able to go back to a prevouis city make a cure for zombies and when you reasearch get cars and actually do the mission with the group you select to be more hard

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