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Any room for ANOTHER zombie game?

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silasmolino
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I have an idea for a co-op zombie game in which the team is trying to prevent infection and mutation into zombies. The twist is that as your team turns into zombies they start attacking those that hav'nt.

Anymore room for a Zombie theme?

BTW, I have no mechanic outlined for this idea yet. I think the twist is fun though.

Thanks for your response.

Tbone
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I mean I guess

Is it just survival or is there an objective? Like finding a cure or getting to a safe haven? Or just kill off the horde without having your whole team killed?

GrimFinger
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There's always room for more

There's always room for more zombies games.

silasmolino
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Not that far yet

The premise is a group of players (3+ [to infinity for now]) are surviving a zombie hoard. Players can become infected. Through effective team work symptoms individual players acquire can be managed but never cured. The goal of the game on the outset is to survive an unspecified number of rounds with as many players alive. Throughout the game players may become zombies! Their goal is now to get as many players zombified before the end of the unspecified number of rounds.

The Title of the game is: We Were Human Once...

Tbone
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Are you incorporating weapons

Are you incorporating weapons or maybe cards that give your players abilities and perks?

Stormyknight1976
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Its like Zombie Tag

But in a board or card game version. Areas, hiding spots, gear, vehicles (optional), weapons and items may be required in your version.

Dralius
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Only if you can differentiate

Only if you can differentiate it from the mob of other zombie games out there. Then again that is true for any well used theme; Haunted Houses, Pirates, Medieval Merchants, etc...

silasmolino
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no/minimal weapons

I was thinking no weapons. Understandable that zombies and weapons go together, but the omission of weapons may provide great tension in the game.

Regarding mechanics, I was thinking something along the lines of chit-pull system (no, this is not a war game) which may impose bad status effects (severity of which may be categorized by colors) on the players along with cures/medicine for said effects. Red cure reduces red symptoms, blue cure reduces blue symptoms, etc.

How a player is struck with infection or acquires a cure/medicine is unknown at the moment.

My goal is to go for something different. The majority of Zombie games/movies/board games revolve around action. I am looking for something less "thrilling" and more "suspenseful".

BTW. Any recommendations on board games which have successfully accomplished suspense?

GrimFinger
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silasmolino wrote:I was

silasmolino wrote:
I was thinking no weapons. Understandable that zombies and weapons go together, but the omission of weapons may provide great tension in the game.

Zombies and weapons go together for a reason, I suspect.

As previously stated, "The premise is a group of players (3+ [to infinity for now]) are surviving a zombie hoard. "

In the same paragraph, you stated, "The goal of the game on the outset is to survive an unspecified number of rounds with as many players alive. Throughout the game players may become zombies! Their goal is now to get as many players zombified before the end of the unspecified number of rounds."

So, you want survival, but no weapons? Perhaps the game will take a more sterile approach, and focus only on the medical aspect of determining if it is a disease (as in a pandemic - Pandemic also being a zombie game, if memory serves me correctly), and working towards a cure for it? Anyone know how to best inoculate on a horde-level scale?

Why would a medical facility working towards a cure for a zombie disease, one that reanimates the dead and sends them on deadly rampages without end, be weapon-free? The zombie aspect seems to me to promote the concept of weapons in the game's setting, but certainly, you can fore go them. A non-thrilling zombie game, huh? Suspenseful, yet non-thrilling? Good luck with that.

Even still, perhaps one thing that you could look at would be cures that are only temporary in nature. Thus, perhaps an element of suspense could be built around continually suppressing localized threats, before the zombie horde overwhelms the place. Some initial success might lull players into a false sense of security, and a sudden re-eruption of outbreak could cause players to face how to best reallocate resources off-the-cuff. Perhaps you seek a generic security presence to buy the players some time. I don't know. I am just trying to come up with something off the top of my head.

silasmolino
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Weapons vs no weapons

I suppose your right; thrilling and suspense cannot be mutually exclusive. The point I was trying to make was to make a game that focuses more on suspense, i.e. the unknown and "hey, we cant gun our way through this wall of zombies so lets find another way out" vs thrill, i.e. "hey, i have some napalm and a few rocket grenades in the duffel bag so lets gun our way through this wall of zombies". Not sure if that makes sense.

The reason for no weapons is perhaps to shy away from what has already been done before. Upon encountering a hoard or individual zombies, options would be to either stun (redirection of attention), run away, or hide. Actions such as hitting, pushing, kicking may be available.

The question I should be answering is: A. How do you make a survival horror game with zombies different than all the other survival horror games with zombies? B. How do you make a zombie board game retain the social/strategic aspects which make it fun before it feels more like a video game (ala left 4 dead). C. What mechanics make A and B possible?

I like were this discussion is headed. Collectively we could create something very different, and thus refreshing, to a overcrowded theme.

Tbone
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A straight up survival zombie

A straight up survival zombie game would be sorta cool. But you would have to create difficulties: smaller board to play with, stronger zombies. It would also be interesting to make different types of zombies!

heruca
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silasmolino wrote:The

silasmolino wrote:
The question I should be answering is: A. How do you make a survival horror game with zombies different than all the other survival horror games with zombies? B. How do you make a zombie board game retain the social/strategic aspects which make it fun before it feels more like a video game (ala left 4 dead). C. What mechanics make A and B possible?

Perhaps you should take a look at the Attack of the Mutants game, which I believe takes a similar approach to what you are going after.

GrimFinger
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silasmolino wrote:I suppose

silasmolino wrote:
I suppose your right; thrilling and suspense cannot be mutually exclusive. The point I was trying to make was to make a game that focuses more on suspense, i.e. the unknown and "hey, we cant gun our way through this wall of zombies so lets find another way out" vs thrill, i.e. "hey, i have some napalm and a few rocket grenades in the duffel bag so lets gun our way through this wall of zombies". Not sure if that makes sense.

The reason for no weapons is perhaps to shy away from what has already been done before. Upon encountering a hoard or individual zombies, options would be to either stun (redirection of attention), run away, or hide. Actions such as hitting, pushing, kicking may be available.

The question I should be answering is: A. How do you make a survival horror game with zombies different than all the other survival horror games with zombies? B. How do you make a zombie board game retain the social/strategic aspects which make it fun before it feels more like a video game (ala left 4 dead). C. What mechanics make A and B possible?

I like were this discussion is headed. Collectively we could create something very different, and thus refreshing, to a overcrowded theme.

After posting and mentioning Pandemic, I got to thinking later on that Pandemic, while it dealt with viruses I don't think that it was actually a zombie game. My mistake on that one. I haven't played it, but it was what popped into my head earlier, today. My apologies for the error.

You previously said, "Through effective team work symptoms individual players acquire can be managed but never cured." OK, so you don't want an actual cure.

With regard to goals, you said, "The goal of the game on the outset is to survive an unspecified number of rounds with as many players alive. Throughout the game players may become zombies! Their goal is now to get as many players zombified before the end of the unspecified number of rounds."

But, you also said, "The premise is a group of players (3+ [to infinity for now]) are surviving a zombie hoard. Players can become infected."

I understand the part where players can end up becoming part of the zombie horde. I think that that's a fine aspect to incorporate into the game. However, are the players, themselves. the ones working on a cure? Or, are they just controlling individuals or groups (or both) that are trying to flee or to steer clear of the roving zombies?

If you're shooting for a three player game, then once one player tilts, and becomes zombified (to borrow your characterization from before), a bit of desperation should probably set in. Then, once the next player becomes zombified, the remaining non-zombie player should find themselves up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

I do understand your distinction between suspenseful and thrilling. Less can certainly end up being more, where a board game is concerned, but it's not an automatic thing. You have to guard against the game coming across as bland or boring, if you intend to intentionally tone down the thrilling aspect if your game.

Until a player's characters or groups become zombies, what mechanism(s) are in place to dictate what the zombies do? Are the zombies actually to be portrayed on the game board, itself? Or is this just abstract zombies that you have envisioned? For instance, will the zombie horde be represented by tokens, or by simple numbers, similar to how the national debt clock works?

What is the setting? A facility? A town? A school? New York City?

Is the scale strategic? Tactical? Something else?

I'll tell you one thing that I thought of, just now. If you intend to go the strategic route, on the scale of nations (or just a particular nation, should as the United States of America), then perhaps part of the suspense would come from the players being more successful in some countries or states, than in others. Or, you could use the population total of a town or a school.

What if some turn the tide, but others don't? Are some areas irretrievably lost? Can the situation be turned around in other places? For suspense's sake, it seems to me that you would want there to be ebb and flow, a back and forth kind of thing. That way, no one knows for sure just how things are going to turn out. Having no idea what the board looks like, or what you have in mind, I am only speculating, mind you.

When I think of a zombie horde, I think in terms of sheer numbers. An overwhelming amount. It doesn't have to start out that way, though. At some point, though, it needs to become that way. Otherwise, why call it a zombie horde?

In a way, it's like dealing with water, such as in a flood situation. What's the tipping point when it actually turns into a flood of zombies, and the dam breaks (all hope seems to be lost)?

If the players begin the game by all cooperating and being on the same side, it seems to me that they will all try to stay on top of the situation. You want suspense, so how better to achieve that than by overwhelming them with choices? At the beginning of a zombie outbreak (or whatever you want to call it), the problem will not likely be overwhelming. Accordingly, the number of resources allocated by governments to deal with it will be minimal. As things escalate, the scenario worsens, and governments would up the ante on resource allocation.

But, if your some poor schmuck in a rural area, you are not going to be high on the priority list for resources. To increase the tension, and by extension the suspense, there should never be enough resources to contain the problem. You have to decide whether you want the ship (society) to sink or not.

You mention a survival horror game with zombies. So, do you envision it as simply a survival situation/scenario, except with a zombie element included? Or, are the zombies, themselves, the reason for the survival game to be equated with horror?

Anyway, just some additional feedback.

abdantas
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Being an avid fan of

Being an avid fan of zombie-anything I figured I'd lend this discussion my "expertise"

I think that if you are making a zombie game weapons are necessary, for weapons and zombies like someone else said on here are not mutually exclusive. Yet, one thing that I think most games/movies do wrong, is that as soon as someone touches a weapon in a zombie movie, they become bruce lee. I think making the zombies hard to hit, as well as the weapons difficult to use could go a long way on pushing the survivors to just avoid combat.

To borrow from a previous idea, I was working on a survival game about a regular family who becomes stranded in a dense jungle. Depending on where they were they would encounter things like munitions (actual weapons like shotguns and swords and ammunition), items (like everyday items such as wood, rocks, cloth) that could be mixed and matched to produce crafted items, (wood+rock=spear) but the spear breaks on a roll of 1, and you need a 4+ just to hit melee, if you wanna throw it bump i up to a 5, there were also encounters the players would come across, (jungle animals or the pirates that were coming after the players). Once a player rolled a hit on the first dice, they had to roll a target dice to see waht they hit,(1 was head, 2 and 3 were body, 4 was arms, 5 was legs and 6 was a miss) If you hit someone on the head it would be a critical strike and game over, but hitting someone on the body would not kill first shot (unless stated by the weapon) Combat was so difficult, and ammunition for the actual good weapons was so scarce, that fights were avoided at ALL costs. I don't remember playing a game where I avoided as much conflict as I did on that one. unless we were ganging up like 4 people on 1 pirate, we didn't even try, since all the pirate had to roll was where he hit you.

Maybe that's an idea you might want to pursue for the combat side of things.
just a thought

GrimFinger
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abdantas wrote:I think making

abdantas wrote:
I think making the zombies hard to hit, as well as the weapons difficult to use could go a long way on pushing the survivors to just avoid combat.

If the zombies are coming after you, pursuing you, and doing so continuously and without end, why would it be hard to hit them? Sure, you could chalk it up to fear, or even clumsiness, but maybe it's the killing head shot that is hard top pull off, rather than just a hit, itself.

The entire game could certainly be about fleeing and avoidance. Nothing wrong with that. Is that what the average fan of the zombie genre is after? Maybe it's the niche fans, the ones who only dream of fleeing from zombies or avoiding them, that is the target base for this game?

From my perspective, doing away with or watering down the combat aspect would be counter-productive to retaining and to growing player interest. Is the goal simply to survive? What about the horror aspect that he was talking about? Is that going to be accomplished without the zombies attacking the humans? If the zombies can attack the humans, but the humans can't attack the zombies, it's still combat - only a bit one-sided combat.

abdantas
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this is true.one of the main

this is true.

one of the main things i remember about the game zombicide on my limited playtime with it is that when i saw the sheer number of zombie minis on the board my first reaction was just, uh oh time to run.

but i meant hard combat to reflect the unskillfullness of the player character. odds of hitting are much higher with something like a melee weapon. and you can give better odds of those kind of weapons to get a headshot on the card.

silasmolino
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Game outline, story, and possible mechanics

A copy/paste of something I threw together which outlines the game I envision. Notice that the only weapon is a pistol. Notice that their attention can be drawn away. Notice that there is a lab rat (not sure how to use it but it sounded fun).

WE WERE HUMAN ONCE…

A terrible virus has spread across the state of California rendering its victims into a status of undead. This terrible virus has mutated into four different pathogens capable of infecting its victims through four different infections. There are no known cures. Despite the inevitable, methods have been developed to suppress symptoms and prolong the life of a victim; hopefully until a cure is discovered.

A small team of doctors are trapped inside the local hospital full of undead. Armed with only one pistol, 16 bullets, one vial of medicine with 4 life sustaining pills, 3 flares, and a lab rat; the team sets out to find survivors, a vehicle, and a way out of town.

We Were Human Once is a semi-cooperative survival horror game for 3 to 4 players. The game is played in four chapters which follow our hero’s through four modular settings composed of tiles as they make their way out of town. Each tile will contain a grid, each square representing a inhabitable space. During a chapter, players will draw tiles which may contain undead or resources. These variables will be pulled randomly from a bag and placed on the board per a predetermined (yet unknown) rule set. Players, upon entry of a tile, must do three things: avoid the undead (and thus infection), find resources (bullets, medicine, flares, etc), and make their way to the next tile in hopes to of finding the exit.

***Notice I couldn't abandon weapons altogether.***

Opinions?

abdantas
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If they are doctors in a

If they are doctors in a hospital, starting with a handgun seems very weird to me personally.

I think, especially in a survival game, salvaged and improvised weapons add to the realism. A set of crutches could be used as a blunt melee weapon, as could a wooden cane. You could get a fireaxe. maybe if you kill a reanimated police officer you could find some firearms and weapons on him. If you want a campaign scenario you could write up a story that follows the game (a la Mice And Mystics) and place scripted events into the game.

all in all though it sounds like something that'd be fun to play.

silasmolino
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Mechanics that fit the story

You are right. How did that doctor get a hand gun!?

IF the mechanic were to allow spending 1 energy token on swinging your crutch, pushing the zombie back one square, that could work. Perhaps there is NO way to kill the zombie (which is what I want). Only move them out of the way to provide a little breathing room.

I do like the idea of finding an undead cop and stealing its pistol. I wonder if that could be a fair trade off, chance of infection for a decent weapon.

More on improvised weapons, If playing a chapter in a hospital, you can find: crutch, fire extinguisher, IV carrier-turned- melee weapon, fax machine, computer monitor, etc.

IF weapons being unavoidable, what items could be found in a hospital to assist in an encounter with a zombie?

Keep in mind that these are doctors and they have no stomach to really fight a zombie if it can be avoided.

Also, I see the Mice and Mystics comparison; modular, space-to-space movement. I have not though of and don't plan to use scripted events. This does sound neat though and may work for some.

abdantas
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I think you should be able to

I think you should be able to kill the zombies, but it shouldnt be easy. The amount of head trauma someone can take is pretty ridiculous. Anything could be used. Chairs, crutches, hammers, fire axes, those rolling beds, wheelchairs,

and as you move from one place to the other. Maybe if you make it so not all of them are doctors they could have specific skills. Where as a doctor could maybe use a medical item twice, a janitor might be better at swinging something adn really putting a huurting on someone.

also, i think someone who's consistently around blood and death would have no problem putting down someone who they think is already dead.
personally.

silasmolino
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Don't want to stray too far into familiar territory...

I love those ideas.

I have never played a zombie board game and so I am hoping this isn't straying too far into what has already been done before. I want original and fun. I will need to read the rules/stories/premise for other zombie games along with the suggestion another poster gave me.

The reason I went with all doctors was because they were the most able to use medication for individuals. Roles would bring variety into the game along with strengths and weakness. A doctor would be better at medicating, a janitor at swinging, a detective (its a real profession right?) at finding resources or a way out, Perhaps a maintenance worker at opening door, running elevators, turning on lights, etc.

Again, I want to shy away from killing zombies. IF zombies were real, and because I am a regular upright citizen trapped in an infested hospital with undead wanting to infect me, I would probably hide in a closet and cry. At the most I would run toward an exit through the path of least resistance. I believe these characters would do the same. Flight instead of fight. I would need to create a mechanic that would provide insensitive for running away, around and not so much through unless there was little/no other choice. What would the probability be of killing one? How could it be done? How often would I get the chance to hit the same zombie over and over? What is the likely hood that I get infected due to proximity?

Another question: Would sticking to the tried and true miniatures with map be a direction to head in? Make it card driven? Or something more abstract using cards and an imagination?

I need to establish a premise upon which to framework ideas. Until then, I love thinking outside of the box.

GrimFinger
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I'm not a fan of shying away

I'm not a fan of shying away from killing zombies, probably because I think that the act of doing so in a game is akin to injecting adrenaline into the fun factor. But, that's just me.

That said, since you prefer and desire to shy away from killing zombies, one way to effectuate such is by ensuring that the zombies are not portrayed as individual zombies. In essence, there's never "just one" of them around. Thinking of them in "The Walking Dead" television series terms, perhaps your zombie game focuses upon humans trying to deal with zombies as herds.

We can even call them zerds, if you like.

zerd (zîrd)
n. pl. zerds
1. A group or herd of zombies.
2. The name of board game with a zombie apocalypse theme.
3. An impromptu group of board game designers that combine an affinity for zombie apocalypse themes with no idea of where to even begin, in a desperate ploy to create a new board game from scratch in an off-the-cuff manner.

Of course, if the situation has deteriorated to herd-level-only zombie activity, one might be dubious about the prospects of finding a cure. But, you're not interested in a cure, for game purposes. At most, you seek to simply buy time, if I comprehend your views correctly on this subject.

If players never encounter zombies in singular form, then the prospect of standing up to them suddenly becomes all the more daunting, I think. Prospective players go into the game looking to kick zombie butt, but their well-thought-out plans go astray, when they grasp that the zombies are always present in herd form. The numbers, being always stacked against the humans, survival mode becomes the default.

For game balance purposes, though, what if players decide to suicide, by targeting the herds for attack, anyway?

You can always utilize incentive and disincentive to prod players to do, or to avoid, as the respective case may be, certain things. Thus, if you want players to flee, provide them incentive(s) to flee from the very thing that common sense dictates that they should be fleeing, if the situation were actual reality. If they seek to do things that you don't want them to do, then whack them in the eye with the sharp stick of disincentive.

emanoelmelo
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I say: Go for it! No weapons

I say: Go for it! No weapons on a zombie game? That's different! If you do that to achieve more tension, GREAT! The market is filled with zombie games, shotguns and chainsaws, but only a few takes so far on the SURVIVAL part!

silasmolino
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Premise

Great Feedback.

I'll be post a new thread once I write up a premise, some mechanics and a victory condition.

If anyone else has any great ideas on how to transform the Zombie Board Game Genre, post it. I will frequent this thread to solidify my ideas.

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