State of Decay 2 developer immortalizes a player's late dad as an in-game playable survivor: "My heart skipped a beat when I saw his name"

Rare wholesome news, folks. State of Decay 2 developer Undead Labs has memorialized a community member's late father as an in-game character.

Redditor EmbarrassedBudget shared the wholesome story earlier this week, explaining that he sent a message to Undead Labs three years ago, shortly after his dad's death. "They did what they could, which means just adding his name to random survivors," the player continued. "3 years later and I found him. Not just his name, but his traits, everything about him. This will always be my forever community."

The accompanying screenshot shows a playable character called Bruce Allen Buncombe who, according to his in-game traits, ran a medical office before the zombie apocalypse, led a quiet life, and is "old and tired" - all qualities that were supposedly shared with his real-world counterpart.

My dad passed away 3 years ago. Found him in the game. from r/StateOfDecay

In a follow-up comment, the player thanked the studio now "that my dad's immortal" - "We may get older and forget this game (highly doubt it), but no matter what, he'll always be a part of it."

"I'm not crying you're crying," the studio tweeted shortly after, "we're glad you found him."

The State of Decay series might have festered a large following for its fun base building, community management, and zombie brain-bashing, but they've always struck me as oddly sad games. Melancholy guitar strings play over strolls through abandoned towns. Sorrowful backstories get revealed in quite drive alongs. Permadeath hangs over your community brighter than the sun. In that sense, State of Decay is a series about persevering, holding onto hope, despite life's impermanence - and Undead Labs only reinforced that with the above story. 

For more, check out everything we know about State of Decay 3.

Freelance contributor

Kaan freelances for various websites including Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and this one, Gamesradar. He particularly enjoys writing about spooky indies, throwback RPGs, and anything that's vaguely silly. Also has an English Literature and Film Studies degree that he'll soon forget.