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Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

Greetings,

It is closing in on Halloween and I was considering putting together a quick Zombie game for my family and friends to play this year. I was planning on each player taking a "character" and then playing against certain mission objectives where they could co-op or not. I would run the Z's.

I have limited experience with this genre, only having played Last NIght on Planet Earth and Walking Dead: All Out War.

Looking at the genre, here are some things that need to be there:
Zombie movement that is somewhat predictable so you can plan how to avoid, corral, or railroad the Zeds
Some sort of searching option to find better stuff
A mechanic for attracting Walkers
Zombies can be defeated one-on-one, but as more arrive it gets harder and harder
Attrition on the characters
Getting "Bitten"
So, what are essential elements in your mind for a multi-player game of this type? What are some really good ones you have played?

Thanks!

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Made in gb
Dakka Veteran






I've not played any zombie games but I have done some brainstorming on it;

There should be a line-of-sight element to it - you don't know how many zombies there are in a building, round a corner etc.

Actions should cause noise, so riding a motorbike whilst wielding a chainsaw will draw more attention than sneaking around with a crossbow. quiet weapons should be the ones most sought after. Ammo will be crucial, just having a crossbow that lasts all game would remove the cost-benefit of limited quiet ammo to readily available shotgun ammo.

depending on the timeframe of the game (are you running to escape, is it a single game or a series of games representing the elements of surviving) you could add laying traps etc. Depending on the number of players you could have 2 factions fighting over resources, doing several missions on the same cityscape board. that way you (as the game-master) know where traps were put and can inform people when they fall into them.

If you fancy a bit of scriptwriting you could even have them discovering the sinister backstory. If you want it more creepy you could add a fog element, so you can only see so far. perhaps only for one mission.

4th Edition Orks in 7th, W/D/L 5/0/0 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Zombicide Rue Morgue is close to being best of breed, with a very clean resolution system, etc etc. It's the only Zcide game that I have kept, having sold off the other pieces. Download the rulebook and give it a read.

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Made in us
[DCM]
Infiltrating Prowler





Portland, OR

 JohnHwangDD wrote:
Zombicide Rue Morgue is close to being best of breed, with a very clean resolution system, etc etc. It's the only Zcide game that I have kept, having sold off the other pieces. Download the rulebook and give it a read.
I have to say Rue Morgue is my favorite so far out of all of them as well. I haven't played Black Plague though, it is still sitting in a box on the shelf.
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

 Dark Severance wrote:
 JohnHwangDD wrote:
Zombicide Rue Morgue is close to being best of breed, with a very clean resolution system, etc etc. It's the only Zcide game that I have kept, having sold off the other pieces. Download the rulebook and give it a read.
I have to say Rue Morgue is my favorite so far out of all of them as well. I haven't played Black Plague though, it is still sitting in a box on the shelf.


I haven't played BP/GH, either, just moderncide. While I understand the attraction of medieval fantasy, somehow zombicide just didn't translate over quite the way I would have hoped.

JHDD's Grand Hobby Ominbus
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Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

So, a related question. What do you think is good starting gear for these types of games? I have seen it run the gamut from full on military grade weaponry available to just a model's bare hands.

The tough part is balancing the hopelessness of the genre without disenfranchising the players.

Your thoughts?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/09/25 21:34:27


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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

I think that depends on what sort of "level" the players are supposed to be, how experienced they are. If it's first night, kitchen knife, baseball bat and tire iron. Yard implements like machete & shovel. Sporting gear for kneepads, elbow pads, leather jackets.

At some point, survivors are going to get better stuff, but they will be against many more / tougher zombies.

What movie are you thinking to play? NotLD? Resident Evil?

JHDD's Grand Hobby Ominbus
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Made in us
Horrific Hive Tyrant






There is a game called All Flesh Must Be Eaten that is a zombie game. It's setting neutral and the core book comes with a number of "Dead Worlds" which gives various reasons and themes for the zombies.

The game also comes with a number of "Archetypes" which are pre-made characters based on what amounts to stereotypes.

It's OOP but PDFs can be purchased from drive through RPG and it's not hard to find hosted pdfs with a bit of googling. Not like the your stealing from the company if the company doesn't really exist anymore.

Pretty simple mechanically and easy to run as a DM, (Or ZM as this game calls it)


These are my opinions. This is how I feel. Others may feel differently. This needs to be stated for some reason.
My P&M Blog - Building My Nid Army - Kitbashes and Magnetization

 
   
Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

I was reminded of this previous Dakka Dakka thread and that may be relevant for this discussion.

https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/732287.page#9630691

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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

I think that there is a lot of overlap between "classic" zombie and horror genres, but I'm not sure that zombie is as much about primal fear and terror, as it is about survival.

Both are root instincts, but zombie has an instinctual pack/horde flavor, whereas horror seems to be more singular intelligence - a mummy, a vampire (coven), an unkillable killer.

JHDD's Grand Hobby Ominbus
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Made in us
Horrific Hive Tyrant






 JohnHwangDD wrote:
I think that there is a lot of overlap between "classic" zombie and horror genres, but I'm not sure that zombie is as much about primal fear and terror, as it is about survival.

Both are root instincts, but zombie has an instinctual pack/horde flavor, whereas horror seems to be more singular intelligence - a mummy, a vampire (coven), an unkillable killer.


I disagree that zombie is about survival. All the best zombie things arnt really about the zombies or the act of surviving. They are comentary about us, now, today. Our societal fears. Our societal instincts. Whats our species does to itself and our environment. Zombie done right has something to say that has nothing to do with the undead.


These are my opinions. This is how I feel. Others may feel differently. This needs to be stated for some reason.
My P&M Blog - Building My Nid Army - Kitbashes and Magnetization

 
   
Made in ca
God-like Imperator Titan Commander





Halifax

There's a concept in the current Philosophy of Mind by one David Chalmers called the 'philosophical zombie' whereby there's people out there to all appearances conscious but completely lacking in subjectivity. It's a stupid counter-argument to an even dumber line of reasoning about the nature of minds, but it's the reverse of a certain horror in zombie movies that maybe there's a person trapped inside of that walking corpse.

Something I think would be funny would be the existence of a pacifism virus, spread by touch, so that instead of zombies the plucky (and violent!) survivalists are constantly assailed by zombies trying to touch them, infect them, and prevent them from killing people.

   
Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

It sounds a bit like the Omega Man. Plus, let's keep in on the wargaming table top. Unless you can think of how these concepts about the nature of zombies translates to the table..... which would be fascinating.

Some mechanics I was pondering....

1. A test in order to try to engage in H2H with a zombie, basically a fear test. I think they have a test like this in Badgers and Burrows. Considering a zombie may have a living person inside trying to get out, it could apply to shooting too.

2. The psychological damage that occurs to characters in Strange Aeons from witnessing horrible stuff. Essentially, as a model goes, they gain experience and skills like normal campaign games, but they also gain physical and mental damage thereby countering the gains from experience. The players never really "get better" in the game, and can actually degrade over time.

Probably too much for a one-off, but seems like a good fit of a horror survival game.

3. Weapons are more effective on fellow humans than on Zombies. Zeds are not effected by suppression from firearms, but humans are effected by it; for example.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/10/10 16:56:52


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Halifax

Tests to see if you can do something or do nothing aren't great for players. It's your turn, and you do nothing! Yay...

It might be something to just give each 'survivor' some scores related to how many zombies they can have in base contact before they're replaced by a zombie, and how many zombies they can affect at range.

   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

 Nurglitch wrote:
Tests to see if you can do something or do nothing aren't great for players. It's your turn, and you do nothing! Yay...


Indeed, except, if you FAIL, you run away and take compulsory Psychology tests until you recover...

If you run off the board, you die.

Yay!

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Made in ca
God-like Imperator Titan Commander





Halifax

Presumably that's fun for some people.

   
Made in gb
Dakka Veteran






I've been mucking around with a zombie game, the best I've come up with is a system where the players panic level increases with certain results and zombie proximity, and can lead to them exceeding their "panic threshold" and either running away or starting shooting - which will attract zombies.

I'm going to have a mechanic where players can try to calm down other players - so if you're on your own, you're more likely to panic than when you're with someone else, which is fairly realistic I think.

4th Edition Orks in 7th, W/D/L 5/0/0 
   
Made in ca
God-like Imperator Titan Commander





Halifax

That's pretty cool.

Something else to think about might be how to do swarming activity with zombies.

One of the few redeeming features of the HH novel "Furious Abyss" was the TS Librarian guy looking at the zombies through his psychic senses and seeing them being puppeted by a vast daemonic entity. So there's one option for PvP and stuff which is the zombie player just does whatever with their zombies pending whatever movement rules are in play.

Then there's swarming, so like zombies get their actions chained, so either in PvP the zombie player only has to consider certain key zombie pieces, or as an AI maybe doing different stuff depending on the concentration of models.

   
Made in us
Legendary Master of the Chapter






 Nurglitch wrote:
Tests to see if you can do something or do nothing aren't great for players. It's your turn, and you do nothing! Yay...

It might be something to just give each 'survivor' some scores related to how many zombies they can have in base contact before they're replaced by a zombie, and how many zombies they can affect at range.


Failing and not getting to do something is pretty lame.
would be better if you get penalties to like shooting melee or even basic actions like undoing a locked fence if you are in range or vision of a zombino. like oh god i need to undo this to get out. or oh god they are coming right at me (taking a panic shot)

but as a mechanic for a campaign type game it would be cool to gain a better moral stat as you go along and kill more of them.

as for the core concept of a zombie game... well classical zombies would be more akin to defeating the minions of a great evil like the evil dead. but recent media as turned that into a commentary of the human condition. its harder to do that later in miniature game form.


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
 Scott-S6 wrote:
And yet another thread is hijacked for Unit to ask for the same advice, receive the same answers and make the same excuses.

Oh my god I'm becoming martel.
Send help!

 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Nah, simplify it:. Roll a d6 at the start of the turn. On a 1, you lose.

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Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

1? This is a horror game! On a 1-5 you lose, and in a 6 you survive but are psychologically scarred for life..... oh, and it's not over!

I like the idea of failing a horror check just limits your actions, and not eliminates it. For example, you can't charge the Zs but you can still move away, run, shoot, try to search, etc. Or if you can get into hand-to-hand you do not have a charge bonus.

I also really like the idea that fellow humans nearby can "boost" your psychology check. It forces a decision, do you bunch up to stay cool or spread out to cover more ground?

Also, in a Zombie game I don't really imagine a "Zombie Player". I imaging more of a Gamemaster arbitrating the game (i.e. handing out target numbers, who is in LOS, and movement penalties for terrain) and following basic Zombie AI, while the players all control a character, a model or two, or a faction. This would be more of a cooperative game in my mind.

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Made in gb
Dakka Veteran






has anyone seen a game with a "Zombie Team", where players join the zombie team when they're killed? In a similar manner to the zombie games in Halo?

I'm planning on players becoming zombies if they are killed and infected (infection is very likely unless they are killed by another player without ever being attacked by a zombie). Simply plan on having the players card flip over and have a zombie profile, so people can continue the game but are now working against players. allows an element of revenge if anyone feels that their death is someone else's fault. also makes the game progressively more difficult for survivors and stops people being left out for dying early, unless they die twice!

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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Zombicide does that with Zombivors, but I think that getting a 2nd chance kinda defeats the point of trying to survive.

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Made in gb
Dakka Veteran






hmm, that is a good point. Perhaps seeing your character being used by the zombie player would be a suitable punishment for dying, instead...

I have been toying with the idea of a slightly similar theme, but with some sort of infection similar to werewolves, where as the players become more infected they gain abilities, but have to try to conceal it from their teammates. Kind of like in Van Helsing where he starts getting abilities as he becomes a werewolf, so becomes stronger and faster, but if it gets too much, he becomes a threat to other players.

I suppose keeping infection secret from other players would be a good element to the game, if there is a cure within the game but you still need peoples help to get it.

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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

If you're doing it at all, infection / cure is a campaign thing.

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Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

I was also thinking a bit more about the campaign elements to these types of games, and I can;t wrap my head around how to do Out-Of-Action situations, especially against zombies?

Any many of these skirmish games, a model taken Out-Of-Action or removed from the board then has to make a serious injury roll. That makes sense when you are being shot at or knocked down by a human combatant who is more interested in surviving themselves then hanging around and killing you off.

However, in a Zombie game if you go down.... they are going to stand around and eat you. You are not coming back from that with a limp, fearsome scars, or whatever serious injury table results you can think of. You should be grade A dead.

The only thing I can think of is if you go down, you can be saved by a friendly model clearing out the zombies, and dragging you off as loot. Anyone else got any idea?


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Made in us
Legendary Master of the Chapter






The few ways i see some one getting even hurt in a zombie game would be if they failed some sort of athletics check trying to jump a gap or climb up a tree for high ground. 90% of those resulting in a simple glimpped leg or arm or even a concussion which can be accounted for pretty quickly in game with varying levels of hurt (like broken vs sprained, concussed vs knocked the fethed out oh god why). the other time some one could be hurt is during human on human violence which could be an interesting aspect of a game where the zambis act more like moving lethal terrain pieces while two players fight each other in a skirmish fashion.



This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/10/20 00:58:17


 Unit1126PLL wrote:
 Scott-S6 wrote:
And yet another thread is hijacked for Unit to ask for the same advice, receive the same answers and make the same excuses.

Oh my god I'm becoming martel.
Send help!

 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

There are a number of scenarios, that could be possible. Does infection require a bite? Do all bites infect? Someone could be injured, but not bitten.

If overrun, how long does it take to be eaten? Maybe there's time.

Is there a door? Maybe get bitten while closing?

If infected, how long to turn?

It's a question of how much detail you want

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Made in gb
Dakka Veteran






The system I am using has infection counters dished out with zombie attacks. If you have more infection counters than your stat card allows (your resistance) then they start to kill you. if you die, you become a zombie.
The plan is that your resistance weakens as you lose health - so a player with 10 health has resistance 5, a player with 3 health has only resistance 1, so the first needs 5 infection counters to be affected, the second only one. This way you can stave off infection by healing, but never cure it (unless you find the cure, of course!).

I'm avoiding the nitty gritty details of specific damage like broken limbs etc, as I'm concerned about excessive bookkeeping and people forgetting things slowing the game down, I'm keeping it basic as damaged caused, and zombies are bad. It's an exercise in tactical movement as much as outright attack.

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Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut






 Easy E wrote:
I was also thinking a bit more about the campaign elements to these types of games, and I can;t wrap my head around how to do Out-Of-Action situations, especially against zombies?


If your game is alternate activation, then how about the following: If a model is taken OOA by a zombie, leave that model and the zombie in place until the end of the turn. If the zombie is still there, at the end of the turn, it's had enough time to consume the brain of the unfortunate victim (perhaps replace them with another zombie). If you manage to kill the zombie, then you have a chance to try to rescue your fallen model - there should be a chance that they are dead, infected or simply wounded (to greater or lesser degree). Don't make that roll until you get another model in base contact to check them.

If your setting is such that the dead rise immediately, replace dead models with zombies - if this results in a friendly model having to destroy that zombie, I'd say that should have a greater morale penalty than killing anonymous zombies, or even just watching allies die.

OOA models should be targets for nearby zombies using whatever attraction rules (noise, etc) your game uses. If a second zombie joins the first, the unfortunate victim dies immediately. Likewise if the model survives to the end of the turn and is attacked by another zombie in the next turn before being rescued.

OOA models that are not dead or rescued will inflict morale penatlies on all friendlies with LOS to the OOA model; their comrades should want to rescue them, after all, not leave 'em lying in the open.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/10/25 12:37:00


 
   
 
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