Apocalypse Rising

Spotlight: Gusmanak Returns to ROBLOX With Apocalypse Rising

Apocalypse Rising 17-year-old Gus Dubetz, or Gusmanak, started using ROBLOX in 2008, due primarily to a life-long fascination with physics. By 2010, Dubetz decided to take a short break to focus on clay and wood sculpting.

It wasn’t until two years later, shortly after the release of Day Z, a hugely popular add-on to ArmA 2, that Dubetz, with long-time friend and scripter Ethan Witt (aka ZolarKeth) asked, “what if we went back?”

That question lead to the birth of an idea—Dubetz and Witt didn’t just want to make another “generic shooter”, they wanted to make a full blown game—something with ambition, scope, replayability, and, most importantly, zombies. That idea became Apocalypse Rising.

“What makes our game unique is that it’s different every time you play it. There are different perks, people to play with, places to explore—half the game is randomized,” says Dubetz.

Dubetz was able to do this by organizing items into different types of “spawners”—general loot, general weapons, military general, military weapons, and medical were categories taken into consideration.

“Each spawner is a brick,” explains Dubetz. “With this system, it’s possible for one ‘loot brick’ to spawn nothing at all, or even two of the same item. General item spawners can spawn zero to four items,  whereas weapon spawners can spawn nothing, or a weapon with one to three magazines.”

Apocalypse Rising

One zombie? Not so bad. A group? That's when it gets a little freaky.

Outside of the random nature of the worlds, the gaming system itself is quite deep. You can choose from one of four classes, each accentuating one skill (i.e. the Ninja perk makes you quieter, the adrenaline perk refills your health, etc.), and find a myriad of weapons throughout the world, from pistols and pipes, to shotguns and rifles.

Much like Day Z, rationing supplies is a big part of staying alive. Bullets are scarce, so lining up headshots is extremely important, especially after surviving a few “days,” when zombies begin attacking more frequently and in larger groups. You also have the option of joining up with fellow players to face the undead as a team, but keep in mind, not all players will see you as an ally and may even kill you to take your items.

Headshots become important as the days go on.

ROBLOX Creative Director John Shedletsky got to spend some time playing Apocalypse Rising, and found the group aspect to be one of the most interesting parts of the game.

“You never know when one player will decide he is desperate enough for supplies and will try attacking and robbing you of all your loot,” says Shedletsky. “It creates a really interesting tension. I killed a man for a can of beans.”

To address this danger, Dubetz came up with the “Bandit System”, which essentially marks people with bandanas who have killed three or more survivors intentionally. There is an important distinction between bandits and those forced to kill in defense, so the basic rule is this: if you come under fire and kill your attacker, you won’t become a bandit.

Dubetz and Witt spent months planning, then finely crafting, every aspect of the game. The idea was simple: to recreate Day Z, their favorite PC game, in the world of ROBLOX.

Apocalypse Rising Pull Quote

“We were inspired most by the idea that we could take a really great game, and challenge ourselves to recreate it in ROBLOX,” recalls Dubetz. “This was something nobody had ever done before. This was our new challenge”.

Dubetz was concerned that the ROBLOX engine wouldn’t be able to handle a game of such scope, and figured that if the ROBLOX engine wouldn’t be able to handle his vision, then that vision wasn’t worth pursuing.

“The more things we added, the more lag we started to notice,” says Dubetz. “Over time, we just had to figure out our limits, and just how far we could go within the engine.”

Eventually, Dubetz and Witt settled on a look and aesthetic they were happy with, and it’s a good look indeed. What strikes you immediately upon starting up Apocalypse Rising is the eerie atmosphere. When day turns to night, an unsettling fog blankets the bleak environment, obscuring your vision. You’ll want to see as far ahead as you can, so playing in first-person mode is the way to go. The massive level makes you feel like one of the few remaining humans on earth, and finding scattered journals adds small, creepy bits to the story.

Less than 15 hours after releasing the title, Apocalypse Rising had hit the front page. At the time of this writing, Apocalypse Rising has been played 953,869 times.

“I think we have a very unique game,” says Dubetz. “More than anything, that’s what we were aiming for.”

About Alan "JacksSmirkingRevenge" Fackler

Communications Specialist at ROBLOX. JacksSmirkingRevenge on ROBLOX; @JacksColdSweatX on Twitter.

337 thoughts on “Spotlight: Gusmanak Returns to ROBLOX With Apocalypse Rising

  1. soccerboylolzz

    Its a great game, but I honestly think that he should hold off the updates till rob lox makes the 500k update. My 120 GB computer can handle it just fine with the bar at full, but my team-mates get overrun with zombies because of massive lag.

  2. waffle224alt1

    this game basically makes me feel happy, not just becuz theres shooting, but becuz i dont have the real dayZ. also becuz bandits are funny to kill and theres a little scary thing in the game…..PATIENCE ZERO

  3. JoshuaGuard123

    Although, I think the hatched is a bit overpowered and guns are WAY under powered. It shouldn’t take my entire magazine of the M4a1 to kill a player (although I didn’t even pull that off with this guy because he had a hatchet)

  4. JoshuaGuard123

    BEST. ROBLOX. GAME. EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    For some reason, your roblox name reminds me of Gump-n-Stein…

  5. loljustlol

    I LOVE IT! This is an amazing game. I remember back when a bunch of bandits attacked me. I held my ground,and didn’t regret it,I feasted on beans that night. And also got a cool machine gun.

  6. hubersnicker123

    I think this is the best game ever and mostly only one worth playing(survival303 is good too)but u need to add a clan/group gui so you dont get back stabbed by team mates like you ad names of team and players in group that u what with you(they can deny or accept the request) when the are in your group friendly fire turns off for those people/that person i would like to see this in the game

  7. Llendlar

    It’s not like he is the first person to take inspiration from other games. I have ideas, good ideas for over 10 games, but not the ability to make them without excessive use of free models.

  8. SherriffBloxer

    I absolutely thoroughly enjoy this game. I can roleplay, fight zombies, team up, and did I mention roleplay? It’s still a little hard for me to survive, especially when safe-chatters won’t stop killing you. However, if you can team up with some allies, you can turn one large zombie infested city, into an inhabital base that’s a safe haven for travelers. I really have a problem with those who cannot communicate except through safechat, partially because One minute, I find an awesome gun, and I’m thriving, then, a guest appears, and while I’m eating a nice can of spam, a guest with a hatchet appears. before I can escape my inventory, however, the deed is done. I then have to start over again which makes me mad. It also worries me that a guest is out there with an ak47…

  9. Elroe

    I mean I love Apoc Rising but I am one of those people who like being bandits but if my friend is with me I will NOT kill him I will help him (I spawnkilled a guest 3 times)

      1. waffle224alt1

        spawnkilling….fun. i’ve once spawn killed 5 people. one of which was a guest. THANK GOD FOR MY DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN

  10. AgentCamtho

    Im addicted to Apoc rising, I keep having to play it, one reason it has so many plays so fast is that you usually ragequit the server once you die, then you go and join another server, A quick hint for some of you: Join the emptiest server, you will get less trouble and be able to grab loot quickly before it fills up. that method got me an MK48 (Which I still have at the time of writing)

    1. AgentCamtho

      Btw this is and base wars are the only two games on the front page right now that I think are worth playing

  11. Slyn

    I hate when people team with u then *Gun Shot* On all my team ( Except 1 ) and take all our stuff ( Not all) u should add a no friendly Fire Script and put it to Starter Gear or Workspace :3 Pls do it i hate bandit too

  12. cheeseyguymark2

    This is the best zombie game I have ever played. Also its the best survival game iv ever played. I prefer to work on my own. i live in the church and see how long i can survive 4, killing anyone who passes to get their stuff :D

  13. stalxthepanther17

    Love this game. It kinda reminds me of the Hardcore Mode on Fallout: New Vegas, but there’s only zombies and other players here, not assorted baddies and mutated freaks.

  14. tlvf

    Cool game, but the problm with allys, is that sometimes just when you think that you have just made a new friend…BAM!!! They kill you and take your stuff.

    1. XSpwX

      Agreed, there should be no friendly fire, Most of the time I play I don’t get killed by a zombie, I get killed by another player

      1. Dearywolf

        Lol. Liste read the rules. Some pepoil may not be freindly. Some may be or some may not be. Thats what make sthe game fun. :D

      2. JoshuaGuard123

        If there is no freindly fire, what would be the point of playing after 10 hours? When you have a machine gun with 5 clips and an m9 Suppresed with 6 clips, best backpack, all utilities, (watch, map, etc) and an enormous assortment of food, the game is more interesting with being able to shoot an actual player.

    2. cheeseyguymark2

      Thats part of what makes this game so good though. You have to be carefull with everything. you dont know when theyre gunnu backstab you, or if they are gunnu backstab you. you dont know where everyone is, and if somones gunnu come round the corner and kill you.

    1. ID970

      Probably. I’ve never seen a game hit 1 million visits so fast. Nor have I ever seen a game that stayed the #1 game for how long it did.

    1. HardWarAttackr1000

      yes i agree it’s a good game but i don’t get why you have to collect stuff and like your not aloud to zoo out in other games you can don that
      and mostly in games you GET stuff not COLLECT agree with me

      1. cheeseyguymark2

        I disagree. I think its part of what makes the game so awsome, that you have to collect stuff to survive, and you dont get given it.

        Think about it, in real life if there was zombie apocolipse, you wouldnt get given a m16 would you? and if that really happened, there would be no challenge to the game. it would just be everyone shooting eachother.

  15. Swifterz

    Also with the bandit system if you kill 2 survivors in 15 seconds after the first one’s death

  16. bobmcbob49

    I know that allowing players to kill each other seems sensible, but remember that we have probably the most immature community in games (in other games, people still will kill you if they get the chance, but only if it profits them.)

    1. cheeseyguymark2

      I sort of agree with you. I have to admit, we do have a very slightly immature comunity on roblox…

      But i have never been killed on that game for no reason. Iv been killed randomly, but thats only if the guy saw i had no good wepeons but i had good food and ammo and things like that that he could take.

    2. ChaosCrisis

      I agree. There are many people that will try to kill you on any game for no reason. Even on games that have anti team kill scripts, people still stand there and shoot at me. One person did this for 5 minutes. ( I tricked him into going into a killing VIP door as revenge).

    3. ID970

      True, but I’ve NEVER seen a game where you can kill each other but it being so rare for people to kill each other. I’ve never seen this kind of trust just to survive in a game.

  17. anewplayer

    This is the only game I play that’s on the front page. Everything else is mostly garbage.

    1. cheeseyguymark2

      I agree. Some of whats on the front page your just thinking, – How on earth did this get here??? Some of its just been copied, and i suppose the rest is good lol

  18. david89091

    The thing is many newbies could make games as good as this if roblox studio wasn’t so bulky and hard to use.

  19. 213callofduty

    Apocablypse Rising is the best thing i ever played.But People killing other people for things that are Rare(M4A1,food,soda,Etc)Is i guess Okay,I had to Kill 3 bandits with Heavy Machine guns(True story)

    1. Spikexplosion

      The game sounds fun, but i’m really just confused from roblox studio! Could you help me by any chance?

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