Skip to Content

Survival Horror Board Game Story Ending Cliche

7 replies [Last post]
Joined: 04/08/2012

I have been having a very difficult time coming up with an ending that doesn't seem to much of a cliche for my survival horror board game story ending ever since 1999. The story line and game mechanics is that of zombies, paranormal encounters from real life experiences and my love for zombie movies and video games and paranormal investigations.

The game includes 9 continents. 100 different occupational premade characters that involve the citizens of the storyline. 400 real world weapons, items, accessories, transportations at the time of 1999 and through out 2001. I have done my research for each equipment. An A to Z monster list that has 30 monsters each. When I had discribed it to game players back in the day, they were interested in the storyline and game mechanics even for mentioning "Survival Horror Board Game".

So my question is with such a great beginning to a story line, I have been having such a huge difficulty trying to find a new ending of the game that isn't cliche or seems cliche. Any ideas or suggestions on going with this dilemma? Or just keep working on the board game and the prototyping phase and when the end story comes to mind just write it down?

Its a very large game that its like a D&D game but in a modern setting. The story starts in the 60's and ends up in present time of the 99's to 2000's. Do any of you think that game is an over kill of wasting so much time trying to come up with an interesting main game ending? Its not critical to finish the game in no set decade. (lol)

The first main area does start out on an island and then ventures out to the other 8 continents. Remember this was way before the game Dead Island Game franchise.

I will probably but not sure if I will do a game journal to show everyone how the game starts out. Remember it was written in 99. So some major editing is required before I put it up on the forum.

Has any one have or had this problem where they have a great idea but haven't come up with a great game ending? This is why I have moved onto my other current game projects.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post.


JustActCasual's picture
Joined: 11/20/2012

It seems this isn't a board game so much as it is a game system with a fairly detailed setting.

What is the story of this game? You say that it has a great beginning but don't tell us what that is.

What are the mechanics in this game? How do players experience this world? You seem to favour simulationist play: are there different mechanics to handle different situations (similar to D&D) or are there more streamlined mechanics to determine success/failure (more of a karma or scene resolution system) that emphasizes the narrative aspects?

Also, how are you dealing with player choice if there's going to be one big ending? Is there some kind of mechanic to railroad them into this?

What is the timeframe for this game? If you're including over a thousand premade elements is that for replay value or is this supposed to be a full campaign? What kind of investment is required in money and time before people start playing?

Joined: 04/08/2012
Here is what I have so far

Sorry for taking so long to respond

Q1: What is the story of this game?
A1: Professor losing his wife from a rare disease so he decides to freeze her to find a cure. During the years; the professor and his team work around the clock, but finding the cure and porjects were mismanaged, storaged wrong, thrown out, dumped in the ground in the mountains and surrounding districts on the island. It causes the dead to rise. The government does their best to clear out the island for the safety of the citizens, but 100 of them stay. These 100 citizens have their own stories that tie into the professor and the team and some don't. (Yes I was concidering this as a cliche storyline from Mr. Freeze in the Batman Stories. Which i Liked but I went with for the time being or meaning way to similar)

Q2: What are the mechanics in this game?
A2: Players use dice and campaign booklets.

Q3: How do players experience this world?
A3: Players will use pewter figurines on the world map and their upclose building maps and other locales as the story progresses. There will also be a storyteller or narrator to help the players discover the world? (This is what I had thought of back in 99 Similar to what D&D has as a DM)

Q4: You seem to favour simulationist play: are there different mechanics to handle different situations (similar to D&D) or are there more streamlined mechanics to determine success/failure (more of a karma or scene resolution system) that emphasizes the narrative aspects?

A4: Audio Sound and Dice System.

Q5: how are you dealing with player choice if there's going to be one big ending? Is there some kind of mechanic to railroad them into this?
A5: This is my current problem in the game.

Q6: What is the time frame for the game.

Q7: If you're including over a thousand premade elements is that for replay value or is this supposed to be a full campaign?
A7: Full campaign

Q8: What kind of investment is required in money and time before people start playing?
A8: Price to pay for the game is $40 to $50 dollars. About the same price of a D&D campaign booklet.

For the board itself: When I drew the first area out it became as large as 10 pages across and 6 pages down (6 rows) 60 pages for the city scape and 60 pages under neath for the sewer system in the city areas, subway system, and hidden areas. In the mountain in the middle of the map, there are caves and caverns and hidden cemeteries and etc. There is a railroad system that traverses. When buying the board game part itself, it will be sold in 6 parts.

And yes this game may never be made due to the shear size of the board but the experience of coming up with the game since 1999 is still there. I might just play it as a filler, um well, when ever it gets completed. haha.

The monsters will have a point sheet for players to roll dice attack.
See this game is such a mess. But I really never have played D&D back in the day. So I was going from what I liked in the zombie movie franchises and paranormal experiences and being a security officer where my posts were two different cemetery locations.

Joined: 10/13/2011

Assuming the government doesn't just saturation bomb the professor into a pile of primordial goo, it seems like the 100 citizens would either fall victim to the undead, purge the island of undead, or would reach a level of co-existence/warfare. Either way, I would expect that the government would quarantine the island and the 100 citizens aren't leaving.

Maybe the government quarantines them in 1960 and they are "rediscovered" in 1999?

Sooooo...Lost+Gilligan's Island+Escape from New York+Night of the Living Dead

Sounds like fun to me... :)

Joined: 04/08/2012
My first ending cliche

Interesting analogy Orangebeard. I laughed, never thought of it that way. I do have one ending that does incorporate a bomb to the main land (not the ending to the first island. That ends up on a vessel). The ending to the conclusion is the Raptor Project.

JustActCasual's picture
Joined: 11/20/2012
Honestly I wouldn't worry too

Honestly I wouldn't worry too much about not having played D&D: it might even play to your advantage, as you end up with mechanics appropriate to your setting rather than displaced Chainmail ones. And don't stress out that the storyline is "cliche": sure, it has Mr Freeze similarities, but you're not running around steeling diamonds in a dark deco/gothic city with an ice gun. Everything's been done: it's how YOU use it, and how you combine it with other things, that counts.

You could always let your game runner come up with an ending on their own, but if you want a mechanic for it you could put multiple endings in: mark a few of the locations as "critical locations" or the like, and then have the GM follow a quick supplement for how the story continues. For example, if the first Critical Location the PCs come across is the abandoned hospital maybe they find some experimentation records there. The game runner looks up the hospital page in the book, and it gives him a few hooks to scatter in as well as a resolution: for the hospital maybe it details a few scraps of research that will now pop up in other locations, a "medical zombie" variant that appears at locations where more research can be found, a PC tie-in, a boss character, and a quick ending. You could even layer a few of these scenarios so the PCs could be on the tracks of the medical zombies and the undersea cephalopod alien conspiracy at the same time. Maybe give the plots weights with a cap so it doesn't get out of hand: so the medical zombies mission might be worth 4/10 plot points etc. Another way to cap complexity would be to get a PC to 'lead' a mission once it is discovered: this invests the players in the game, and limits the missions to 1/player while also creating interesting tension between player goals. A third way would be to use the mission system based on which characters were playing: so each of the 100 characters comes with a mission sheet just for their story. You could even call the game "The 100" or somesuch (blatantly ripping off "The 4400" :P ) This system seems to play well to your games strengths of quick exploration scenarios spread over a long period of time.

I think for this game you don't really need an ending as much as you need a sense of resolution and accomplishment for each play session. A lot of the strength of your game seems to be its depth & detail, and by giving players smaller overlapping stories within the world you will be able to show them more of it.

Joined: 04/08/2012
Chapter game mechanic

I had this idea when I started designing the game is to have a night and day dice mechanic. Players would start for example the first chapter by rolling the sun and moon dice (which I protoytyped with a small piece of cardboard and added 3 suns and 3 moons). First example:

Narrator rolls the sun / moon dice. The Die lands on a sun marker.
Narrator rolls the 1d12 white. This die is the hours within a day. The white 1d12 lands on a 3. This means that the first chapter starts at 3pm. This function also happens if the sun / moon die lands on a moon and the narrator rolls the 1d12 black for the night time hours.

I am using this feature to reinforce that in this game world that the narrator doesn't have to tell or explain the start of the game is 3 pm or 3 am and the players have to think or imagine those hours. The dice shows them that certain details arrive during at these hours.

Anything can be a weapon, items can be used by any character and also accessories and transportations can be driven by any character. All locations in the game have access points, some locked, some have to be broken into or places needs keycards or keys or climbed into or through.

Mechanics / electricians have the keys to certain locations. Police officers can access the weapon storage area at the police station. These are just small examples what each player character can do within the survival horror board game. There are doctors players can choose from. Pilots, Martial Artists, Ex military, Military Officers, Construction workers. Students, teachers, lawyers, and many other occupations that are found in the real world can be found in the game also have their own attributes and storyline. Oh and security officers have keys. Blue collar and white collar workers have tasks and objectives within the storyline to gain a promotion and aquire new skills and equipment to access new areas.

Joined: 04/08/2012
That is what I was going for Just

Thanks Justactcasual. This is what I was aiming for all these years and have considered it to go this direction and then the story lines which tie into the game. Thank you. So This game can work. Very cool. Well, I always knew it would work just getting passed this minor set back all these years. In the game there is also a Super boss missions. The narator can roll the d20 and what ever number shows up, the narrator can look at the Super boss chart and see where these Super Bosses show up within the timeframe in their game. After defeating the Superboss, players gain new equipment, information, transportation to a new location, a bio suit to a lab and other neat gadgets and items. Okay sweet. This part has been plauging me for so long. Its nice to share ideas with people who know what is going on. :)

Syndicate content

forum | by Dr. Radut