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Zombie overlord in a boardgame?


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#1 suliman   Members   -  Reputation: 552

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 01:32 PM

Hi

Im planning a co-op boardgame about surviving the zombies and holding out until help arrives. But i want one player to be secretly against the others and mess up the plans just enough to not be exposed. Problem is it doesnt really fit with the zombie setting. Could there be a zombie overlord that secretly controls the zombies and want them to fail (so his/her zombie minions can feast on some nice brain).

 

Or any other solution to this?

Thanks 
Erik



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#2 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3543

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 01:40 PM

Maybe ask on the Writing subboard? They might be able to help you more I think.

 

 

If it was me, I would just retheme (I know, not very helpful :D).


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#3 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1987

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 06:03 PM

It's your game you can have whatever you want, really. But I believe a zombie overlord would be more conventionally known as a necromancer. It kinda sounds like you might be looking for some sort of motivation for such a player. Simple survival makes sense as presumably the other players would kill the necromancer as soon as he's discovered.

Probably your biggest challenge will be finding a way for the necromancer to do things in secret.



#4 powerneg   Members   -  Reputation: 1444

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 06:25 PM

It could also be a (mad?) scientist who wants a few zombies to survive so he can experiment on them.

 


Probably your biggest challenge will be finding a way for the necromancer to do things in secret.

 

Just design actions/choices that can have hard-predict(wrong/right) results.



#5 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7512

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 07:25 AM

As stated above...

Mad scientists work well in a number of themes where zombies are involved.

Necromancers fit best in retro-fantasy settings.

You can mix and match the two and make your brand about this:

 

"The Mad Necromancer" - a brand is born!



#6 powerneg   Members   -  Reputation: 1444

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 11:14 AM

Ooh, or a mad scientist who wants to inject himself with zombie-blood or something to become a necromancer.



#7 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 966

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 04:09 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thing_(1982_film) biggrin.png

#8 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9433

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 11:06 PM

The zombies don't have to fall neatly into the existing zombie canon - you can come up with your own canon, which includes how they become zombielike, and why.

I agree that this probably should be in Writing, so I'll move it there.
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Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#9 suliman   Members   -  Reputation: 552

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 09:21 AM

Im thinking a human has been possessed by the "overmind" who secretly controls a single player. The longer the game continues without that possessed player being exposed (and then killed) the more power the overmind collects from the survivors, which is released in the form of more trouble for the "real" survivors at the point of exposure (the players can try to expose a suspect by using torture, but if they torture a non-overmind player they loose "hope", a resource). The possessed player must try to act not too suspicious but also not help too much.

 

The overlord player later (after loosing the human body) goes to openly direct the undead forces on the board (different set of rules for that player at that point) and is no longer present at the "barricaded church" where the survivors are holding up.

 

Does this sound like something you would accept as an scenario idea? Or plz comment/modify it.



#10 LorenzoGatti   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2660

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 10:58 AM

I suggest, rather than a secret traitor, game mechanics that allow a player to save his character at the expense of other characters.

For example, repelling zombies (unavoidably, towards someone else) and hoarding pickup items like weapons.

 

Alternatively, every player might control both a necromancer, scoring points for map control, number of controlled zombies, casualties and other measures of effective zombie invasion, and an heroic survivor, scoring points for survival, defeated zombies and necromancers, calling for help, saving "civilians" and other heroic feats.


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#11 TechnoGoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2676

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 11:06 AM

What about an infected mechanic?

 

Who is infected and when is kept secret but once you are are infected you have so many rounds before you turn.  Once infected you get two options search for a cure gaining bonus points and immunity in the future from infection.  Or you can try and infect other players. and start sabotaging the team getting a bonus for each person you cause to die.


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#12 ShiftyCake   Members   -  Reputation: 519

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 07:42 AM

is this an online board game? The answer to that question hugely impacts your choices when it comes to such factors as alternate goals within a game.

 

In an online environment, a full view of the game cannot be iterated, thereby allowing the implementation of any number of secretive tricks. I'll call this one a 'grace period'. This grace period will, to put it simply, create a 10-15s window after a player makes a move in order to allow the 'necromancer' to counteract that move or make one of its own. For example, you have 4 players. no-one knows who's turn it is except the person taking it. The necromancer doesn't have a turn, instead he has the grace period where once a player makes a move, he has a 10-15s window where he can play his own move (the necromancer will hold the same rules applied to the players turn, so if the player has a limited amount of actions so will the necromancer).

 

This would be an interesting factor, as it would lead to dissension within a group. not knowing who's turn it is would, in fact, lead to a lot of suspicion of each member. Sure, they can 'claim' that they are no the necromancer, but you don't know who's turn it is.

A counteract to such an event would be that the person playing could tell everyone his next move, thereby alleviating him of any suspicion. To stop this, you'd have to implement a chat off time, where the chat to discuss strategy's among other things can only be accessed at the end of a turn, not the start.

 

However, I digress too much. If this is not an online board game, you start to run into troubles. First of all, not many people hold well under pressure. You'll find that quite a lot of the time, the necromancer will reveal himself simply through facial expressions. While this is effectively another tactic within games such as poker, a game that has one of its core components being revealed so easily would cause a lack of entertainment. Another problem is the simple fact that communication has to be implemented whenever a move is made. As the board is known to everyone, any moves will be known as well. So if the necromancer makes a move, they will be found out immediately.

 

Well, as I reread your comment, I've come to the realisation that much of what I've said is effectively irrelevant. Ah well, perhaps some of what I said will help you. To answer your original question, the fact of the matter is that zombies is simply a term to describe dead who have risen and, in some form or function, live. This subject is a lot more broad then people realise, just as commonly people mistake an infection type to be the only zombies. But I digress, the answer is that next to nothing you pick will dissuade your zombie theme, as zombies are quite broad (as I said). Hell, you could decide that Nikola Tesla was running electricity tests and accidentally created a zombie army through gods knows what reason, and is now undercover within a group of highly skilled scientists who are working on a cure in order to eliminate them one by one.

or be generic and say they're infected. But that's no fun, is it.


Edited by ShiftyCake, 27 February 2014 - 07:44 AM.

If, at any point, what I post is hard to understand, tell me. I am bad at projecting my thoughts into real words, so I appreciate the knowledge that I need to edit my post.

 

I am not a professional writer, nor a professional game designer. Please, understand that everything you read is simply an opinion of mind and should not, at any point in time, be taken as a credible answer unless validated by others.

 

I do take brief bouts of disappearance so don't worry if I either don't reply to you or miss certain things. I am quite a lazy fellow.


#13 suliman   Members   -  Reputation: 552

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 10:30 AM

Physical board game, not a computer game.

 

The idea comes from the board game Battlestar Galactica. The secret player ("traitor", in that game an Alien trying to stop the humans to get to Earth with their convoy) try to effect the others by voting with cards. All vote-cards are played in secret so the others will try to find out which players put which cards (cards can help or work against the group depending on how they are played) and thereby find out who is the "traitor".






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