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Humans vs Zombies

This is the website that the Rochester Institute of Technology's Humans vs Zombies club uses to run weeklong games of Humans vs Zombies.


This website echews most best practices of ember, dear god do not use it as a model for how to make a website. It works and it works well, that doesn't mean the code is pretty.


The website is powered by NodeJS and requires both node and npm to be installed.

The following packages should be installed with npm install -g <package>:

  • sails
  • bower
  • ember-cli

Once global packages are installed, run the following to install dependencies:

cd ./server
npm install
cd ../client
npm install
bower install

To configure the website, copy server/config/local.js.dist to server/config/local.js. Edit this file, and add any additional settings you may need to it. You can also edit other files in the config directory, but note that all options are overridden by entries in local.js.

For development purposes, the "localDiskDb" connection is probably good enough (it saves to a json file in .tmp). For production purposes, you should setup a connection to a database such as MySQL, MongoDB, etc...

Additionally, you will have to copy client/config/environment.js.dist to client/config/environment.js and edit to your liking.

Push Notification Support

We use OneSignal for web-push notifications. hvzsite will prompt users to enable notifications if you want (and it will set the user's team tag in OneSignal).

We use this to quickly disseminate emergency information or changes to missions. If you want to use it, copy client/public/manifest.json.dist to client/public/manifest.json and edit according to the docs here. You can then change the OneSignal settings in client/config/environment.js.

Other uses of notifications include:

  • Notifying a player when they are infected or healed
  • Notifying a player when someone they follow is infected or healed

There's also a built-in notification/feed system which is used whether or not you enable OneSignal - this is also used for some other notifications like receiving a badge.


For the purposes of development, you will need to launch both the api server and also an ember-cli server. To do so, run the following in two different terminals:

cd server
sails lift


cd client
ember server

This will launch the api server on and the ember development server on

Do not use ember server for production environments, see the "Building the Client" section below for information on how to build the client.

Building the Client

Run the following command to build the client:

ember build --environment=production --output-path=../server/assets

Make sure to run this whenever the client changes!

Serve the generated files (which are generated in the output-path directory) as static files with whatever web server you prefer.

User Accounts

In order to create the initial superadmin account, open up the sails console with

sails console

within the server directory. Run the following command:

AuthService.createSuperAdmin('Your Name', 'Your Email');

You may also create additional accounts with any of the following commands:

AuthService.createUser('Your Name', 'Your Email'); // creates an inactive user, same as registering a new user account
AuthService.createActiveUser('Your Name', 'Your Email'); // creates an active user

Running the Website

To run the website, run the following command:

sails lift

If successful, the website should start on port 1337.

Running in Production

For running in production, we use PM2, configured to run app.js.

Some Notes

The frontend is a bit hastily thrown together in Ember, and doesn't really follow all conventions thoroughly. It doesn't make use of Ember's model system or components very well, but there are plans to slowly clean it up.

If the database model changes in sails, running in production will not automatically apply the changes. You will have to either manually apply changes or let sails try to alter it (possibly destroying data!!!) by running the server in development mode briefly.

Additional Credits


Next generation website for RIT Humans vs Zombies







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