The Indie Stone

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The Indie StoneThe Indie Stone
The Indie Stone
The Indie Stone
The Indie Stone current logo (2018)
Video games
2009 (incorporated 2013)

The Indie Stone[1] is a small independent developer responsible for the creation of Project Zomboid. Chris "Lemmy" Simpson, Andy "Binky" Hodgetts and Marina "MashPotato" Siu-Chong established The Indie Stone in 2009, later joined by Nick "Nickenstein" Cowen in 2011. The company first began working together on small projects in their spare time, developing mods for The Sims 3 and Civilization 5, most notably the Indie Stone Story Progression Mod for The Sims 3.[2] Project Zomboid is The Indie Stone's first commercially released game.[3] The studio has recruited more members over the years, especially following the release of build 41.

The Indie Stone has also enlisted the help of Formosa Interactive, General Arcade, The Eccentric Ape and previously Tanglewood Games to assist with development of the game.


Former members


The Indie Stone have been notably plagued with problems while creating Project Zomboid.[4]

Funds frozen by PayPal and Google Checkout

After The Indie Stone's PayPal account was 'limited' briefly, before the decision was ultimately reversed, the team became "wary" of PayPal and opened a Google Checkout account, which proved to be a much more popular purchase method than PayPal. In April 2011, a month after the account was opened, Google Checkout took issue with The Indie Stone selling "donations," blocking new transactions and removing access to the funds in the account, which comprised 80% of their income to date. Asking Google Checkout for clarification, the team received only an irrelevant stock reply.[5][6] A day later, The Indie Stone were contacted by someone from Google Checkout stating that their funds would be available "soon" and clarifying that Google Checkout offered a "pay what you like" feature.[7]

In May 2011,[8] PayPal placed their account "in a permanent limitation" with a held balance of £4,454.47.[9] Developers Chris Simpson and Andy Hodgetts later explained how they "didn't pay close attention to terms and conditions in PayPal or Google Checkout," and that "the problem was selling a product that didn't currently exist," leading The Indie Stone to instead sell "the world's worst games" with the Project Zomboid Alpha advertised as a free bonus.[10]

Leak to public distribution

In June 2011, soon after the public release of Project Zomboid as a paid pre-alpha tech demo, the game was leaked, and unauthorized copies spread to many other websites.[11] The unauthorized version of the game enabled downloading from the Project Zomboid's servers with the press of an 'update now' button, regardless of whether the user already had the latest version. In order to avoid paying for these downloads, The Indie Stone took the customer-only paid version offline,[12] and instead, released a free "public tech-demo" for download the next day.[13]

Theft of developers' laptops with source code

On October 15, 2011, the flat of two developers of Project Zomboid was broken into. Two laptops were stolen from the flat, containing large amounts of the initial game code which had not been backed up externally for several months.[14] This resulted in severe delays to the game development.[15][16] Due to this setback, they gave a presentation at Rezzed entitled "How (not) to make a video game", going over some of the lessons they have learned since starting the project.[17]


External links


  1. Project Zomboid - About Us. Retrieved 11th May 2018.
  2. Indie Stone Story Progression Mod modthesims. 18th Jul 2009. Archived from the original 11 May 2018.
  3. "Games released by The Indie Stone on their IndieDB profile". Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  4. "Game Developers Who Don't Hate Piracy Get Screwed By… Piracy". Kotaku. 20 June 2011. 15 May 2013.
  5. Google Checkout Woes. Project Zomboid. 25 April 2011. Archived from the original on 2013-04-05.
  6. Walker, John (2011-04-26). Google, Can Indie Stone Have Their Money?. Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  7. Happy Days! Project Zomboid. 26 April 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-12-18.
  8. Good, Owen (9 October 2011). Frozen Account Further Sours PayPal’s Terrible Reputation with Indie Devs. Kotaku. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  9. Simpson, Chris (2011-05-23). ":(" the Indie Stone Community Forums. Archived from the original on 2011-10-12. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  10. Tom Senior (25 July 2011). . "Project Zomboid's eureka moment: "we started selling the world's worst games". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  11. Wesley Yin-Poole (20 June 2011). "Pirates force Project Zomboid offline". Eurogamer. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  12. Sorry we’ve had to take the game down for the day. 2011-06-18. Archived from the original on 2013-02-14.
  13. FREE PUBLIC TECH-DEMO RELEASED!. 2011-06-19. Archived from the original on 2012-03-26.
  14. Project Zomboid Burglary: Statement. Archived from the original on 2013-03-18.
  15. Good, Owen (16 October 2011). "Burglary Delivers Huge Setback to Indie Game Project Zomboid" Kotaku. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  16. Conditt, Jessica (16 October 2011). The Indie Stone is burgled, loses code for latest Project Zomboid update. Joystiq. Archived from the original on 2015-01-31. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  17. Project Zomboid Rezzed Session - How NOT to make a game!. YouTube. 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2013-05-15.