0.9 Closed Alpha Update Announcement


Hey Survivors,

We have some exciting news to share with you today. On August 29th, 2022, our Closed Alpha testers will be able to test the 0.9 version of Dead Matter.

To address the biggest question, will 0.9 be the Closed Alpha update where Dead Matter finally becomes a fully playable game? The answer is no, but that doesn’t mean we don’t think 0.9 is a good update. 0.9 brings lots of improvements and changes to the project, but it is still far from what could be considered a fully playable game.

The point at which Dead Matter becomes a “game” should begin to emerge over the next couple of updates, but our testers' concerns offer an opportunity to discuss our goals for Dead Matter's early access launch. Right now, we are laser-focused on making the title a fun and unique zombie survival game, which means we need to improve three core gameplay aspects for a successful early access launch.

Our Goals For Early Access​

One: We need the Infected to be an intriguing and challenging opponent for the player. Our Closed Alpha testers know well that our Infected are not there yet, but we have a dedicated programmer working on improving their spawning and AI. Moreover, our technical artists are in the process of redesigning our Infected to make them more distinguishable and have higher fidelity character models. These implementations will begin to appear in 0.10.

Two: We need to improve our looting system. In 0.9, we are taking our first steps of many to improve this system. The looting experience will continue to be tweaked by our designers and is something we're focusing heavily on in our playtesting. We need this to be an engaging loop in order for Dead Matter to be a successful survival game.

Three: We need to improve combat. Combat has several components that we're thinking about improving, including guns, unarmed combat/melee, and performance. We have started making changes to combat in 0.9, but like looting, combat will also see continued changes as we progress into 0.10.

Once we feel like we have these core elements down and have a solid single and multiplayer experience ready, we will move into our early access phase. After early access launches, we will continue to add features and expand the game.
So why release 0.9? Why not wait until everything is finished before you share an update?

Well, we want to release 0.9 for feedback purposes. Our closed alpha testers can stress test the game in a much more drastic way than we could as a studio. Moreover, they can break the game in ways we could not even imagine. It sounds messy, but it is all part of the beautiful process of making a game like Dead Matter on our budget. Moreover, it gives our Closed Alpha testers, who backed the game early in development, a chance to peek behind the curtain and see the progress we are making.0.9 also contains the first steps for many changes coming in 0.10. Which means that this is is a pivotal time for us to gather some feedback. You’ll notice that under each “Key Features and Changes” category that I’ve included some prompt questions for feedback. If you decide to test the 0.9 Closed Alpha build, answering some of these prompts on our Dead Matter Forums will be very helpful for our next update.

0.9 Key Features and Changes​

Unreal Engine 5 Migration​


Trans Canada Highway - Work In Progress Image​

The largest change made in 0.9 is that Dead Matter now runs on Unreal Engine 5. In this update, we are using Lumen and World Partition. These two features are helping us build and render the Rocky Mountain area that makes up Dead Matter’s setting. If you want to learn more about Dead Matter’s use of Unreal Engine 5, please read our July blog post.
The short version of the blog is that UE5 gives the development team an improved system for building this open-world game. Lumen, for instance, is a much more dynamic and better lighting system for a massive open world like Dead Matter. Additionally, World Partition makes our level designers' lives a little bit easier by giving them a more efficient system for level design. Moreover, as we optimise the open world, aspects like loading in assets will become smoother.

Unreal Engine 5 also gives us access to new features like MetaHumans, which should come down the pipeline in 0.10.

In a broader sense, switching to Unreal Engine 5 also makes supporting Dead Matter easier well into the future.

Improving Weapons and Combat Part I​

Work in Progress (0.9) - Demo
One of the steps we’ve taken for this update is further improving our weapons. We’ve added weapon sway and focus, which adds further depth and realism to using guns in-game. As we progress through our next few updates, our designers will tailor the weapon sway and focus system for different gun types and modifications.

You should also notice an improvement in performance in 0.9. Performance is a major factor that can seriously hamper a good combat experience in games. Since we began the process of rebuilding Dead Matter after our initial closed alpha launch, performance has taken an integral position in every step we have taken.

When paired with our further improvements to melee combat and Infected coming in 0.10, we should begin to create a much more enjoyable gameplay experience worthy of an Early Access launch.

What we are Looking for From Testers.​

If you decide to playtest 0.9, we want to know your first impressions with sway and focus. How would you like these values to be tweaked on the weapons you find? Do they feel too intense? Or not intense enough? Did you experience any bugs while using weapons? You can share your thoughts on these changes on our Forums so our designers can read through your feedback.

Beginning to Refine The Looting Process And The Eagle Eye Perk​

Finding loot should feel like a high-priority task. Your character should fear starvation if you do not look for food. Your character should also worry about death if you cannot find potable water. And your character should feel like they’re in danger if they cannot find a weapon to defend themselves.

Getting looting right is essential to the core gameplay experience. We’re in the early stages of optimising our looting system to address these concerns. This optimization process includes how loot and loot containers are placed throughout the open world. Additionally, what kind of loot is spawning in containers depending on their location. Also, finally nailing down the in-game pressure to search for various loot items like food.

One last thing, we have added an “Eagle Eyed” perk. This perk will highlight loot in the game, making it easier to find. If you’re anything like me, this perk is a life changer and makes finding loot easier.

What we are Looking for From Testers.​

For our Closed Alpha testers, think about why you want to find loot in Dead Matter. Is the game pushing you enough to explore areas to find loot? Is that loot rewarding enough? Does finding loot feel annoying? Your feedback on this particular experience is integral to our next update.

These loot changes will be a gradual process and will undergo heavy playtesting to get the right balance. As we develop 0.10, these questions will influence our gameplay and level design. Please share your feedback with us on our Forums.

Medical System Update Part I​

We're improving our medical system in preparation for a major UI overhaul in 0.10. In Closed Alpha Update 0.9, we have taken the first steps in preparing for this update by improving how and where medical items spawn. It is a relatively minor change for Update 0.9, but it will play an essential role once we implement our new UI elements and how players apply these items in game.

What we are Looking for From Testers.​

Do medical items work as intended? Do you notice your character healing when you use these items? Moreover, are there any bugs preventing you from using these items? Please share your experience on the Forums.

Various Environmental Changes​

BayMag Exshaw

BayMag Exshaw

Mineral Processing Facility, Currently in an Early Stage of Development, and Needs an Additional Art Pass + Level Design Pass - Work in Progress Image (0.9)

Bunker Cave Near Exshaw

Bunker Cave Near Exshaw

Based on the Heart Creek Bunker(An Abandoned Fallout Shelter Project by the USA) - Not Finished - Work in Progress Image (0.9)

Our environmental art team and level designers have been plucking away at several areas of the game. Some new spots the team has introduced in 0.9 are several industrial cement manufacturing buildings. These are based on a few real-world locations in the area. We’ve also done some preliminary work on a Bunker Cave based on the Heart Creek Bunker.

In 0.9, these buildings and areas are still a work in progress, and significant changes are still likely to occur. That said, you can find these buildings near the existing towns and get a peak at these massive landmarks. The intention with these buildings (on top of being locations for loot) is to serve as visual markers to help you find your way around the area.

Trans Canada Highway Near Exshaw

TransCanada Highway Near Exshaw

Abandoned Military Convoy Located on the Highway - Work in Progress Image (0.9)

Elk Pass Motel in Dead Man's Flats

Elk Pass Motel in Dead Man’s Flats

Reworked for Gameplay - Work in Progress Image (0.9)

Alley in Dead Man's Flats

Alley in Dead Man's Flats

Reworked for Gameplay - Work in Progress Image (0.9)

In addition to some new areas, our team has continued to retouch and design existing locations. One of these areas is the Trans Canada Highway. As I’ve mentioned before, this road is the main artery of the Rocky Mountains west of Calgary. Following this road will take you to every major town in the area. We’ve added more points of interest along this highway and added loot to find as you wander between towns.

Outskirts of Dead Man’s Flats

Outskirts of Dead Man’s Flats

View of Dead Man’s Flats Water Tower in the Distance - Work in Progress Image (0.9)

Outskirts of Dead Man’s Flats

Outskirts of Dead Man’s Flats

Dead Man’s Flat’s Water Tower in the Distance - Work in Progress Image (0.9)

Aerial Shot of Dead Man’s Flats

Aerial Shot of Dead Man’s Flats

Entire Town, Bow River, and Trans Canada Highway in the Distance - Work in Progress Image (0.9)

Outskirts of Baymag Plant

Outskirts of Baymag Plant

View of the Bow River in the Distance - Work in Progress Image (0.9)

We’ve also done some more polish on Dead Man’s Flats. When the art team retouches an area, they’re taking further consideration of gameplay. That means cleaning up many areas from the clutter that would interfere with player/infected movement. Their design philosophy prioritises gameplay, the flow of movement and visuals, in that order.

What we are Looking for From Testers.​

The biggest concern with locations in the game is performance and visual bugs. If you experience any of these issues at a specific location, send us a bug report on our Forums with a detailed description and the exact location. Screenshots are also vital to helping us find and/or recreate these bugs.

Converting Audio To Wwise​

One of the other aspects we’re addressing in 0.9 is correcting our audio system. When we converted to Unreal Engine 5, we elected to use Wwise for our audio system. The benefit of using Wwise over other audio systems is it allows us to make complex audio and design changes without relying too much on our coders for implementation. Once this system is fully operational, we can save our programmers time on implementing audio changes.

What we are Looking for From Testers.​

We used automation to convert our previous audio systems, so expect a few audio bugs in this 0.9 alpha update. Since audio is an expected area for bugs, we will create a dedicated forums page to help our programmers squash these audio bugs when Closed Alpha Update 0.9 releases. Please send your bug reports there.

Squashing Bugs​

As with all of our updates, we want the overall stability of Dead Matter to improve. Unlike our previous update, we have dedicated one month to polishing 0.9 before release. We want a smoother player experience in 0.9, but keep in mind that it will still feel like an alpha.

More importantly, we have rebuilt our backend bug reporter and crash reporter, so the information our programmers need to fix these bugs is easily accessible. When 0.9 releases and our closed alpha testers experience bugs and crashes, our backend systems will be integral to our programmers as they work on hotfixes and iron out bugs for 0.10.

It is important to note: While some developers work on polishing the 0.9 build, other developers at QI Games not involved in the polishing process will begin work on update 0.10.

What we are Looking for From Testers.​

If the game crashes, submit the crash report that pops up after Dead Matter closes. Please fill out the description box as well as assist our programmers in recreating the bug.


That’s it for now. 0.9 will be available through a Steam update for our Closed Alpha testers on August 29th, 2022.

Our regular monthly blog will also be released on August 29th. This blog will primarily feature a complete changelog for 0.9.

Our next update will be 0.10 and will be released later this fall.

Enjoy your week and keep it crispy,


Anton | Community Rep

Active member
Staff member
Community Rep
Apr 5, 2022
How do we become closed alpha testers?
Closed Alpha testing is limited to our crowdfunding backers right now. The next opportunity to play Dead Matter will be when it hits early access and becomes publicly available :)


New member
Aug 23, 2022
Closed Alpha testing is limited to our crowdfunding backers right now. The next opportunity to play Dead Matter will be when it hits early access and becomes publicly available :)
Just the answer I was looking for. I remember when this game was supposed to release a long time ago. Found it again recently and am still hyped. Keeping my eye on this again and liking the updates I'm seeing so far.


New member
Aug 29, 2022
So it's Aug 29th, No 0.9 in steam. How can I update and play/test (yes i'm a backer).