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Survival Horror...yet another zombie game.

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The opening cutscene: BAM! You are jolted awake from a deep slumber. "Get up!" someone yells, as two large figures grab at you. It's loud, dark, and in a maze of confusion the two figures quickly lift and drag you along. You are deposited in a dark little metal alcove, the constant drumming sounds of engines reverberateing around you. A pair of gruff military personnel step from the darkness to size you up. "Are you Rickter?" the more stern sargent asks. Words come slow in your sleep deprived delerium. But you manage to mumble out a sharp "Yes sir!". "You have quite the record here...30 years was far to leniant." the sargent scoffs while pageing through some paperwork. Slowly you realise that you are still in the standard issue prison orange jumpsuit, complete with cuffs holding your hands behind your back, and through a small dorway you can sense other prisoners sleeping in uncomfortable chairs. "I'm gonna cut to the chase." the sargent begins in even more serious tones. "The President is offering you a complete pardon in return for completeing a little job for your country." "Yeah, what..." you mumble. The sargent steps right into your face, you can smell the aftertaste of military rations on his breath. "We are green for go!" someone says from the darkness. Slightly iritated by the distraction, the sargent takes a breath before continueing. "We don't have time for pissing matches, kid!" He scratches something off on the paperwork, and turns to the darkness, yelling "Rickter is in, get a move on!" More military personnel enter the little metal room, carrying equipment. "Look kid, seems there is some sort of national biological infestation. your task is to round up as many survivors as you can." The sargent begins. "Once you do, head for the high ground, then activate this GPS transmitter." A military figure from the darkness shows you the little black gizmo, then straps it to your side. "The transmitter only has a few hours of battery life, so be sure to use it wisely! Once we pick up the signal, a evac team will fly to your location." That droneing engine sound, and whirlwind of activity, makes it hard to concentrait. "This ain't going to be easy, kid. So pay attention!" The sargent barks. "This here is the countdown timer." He continues as another figure steps from the darkness with what looks to be a digital wristwatch. Your hands are uncuffed, and you vaugely think of putting up a fight. But those thoughts are quickly filed away as the sargent steps back into your face. "Keep track of the time, you only have 48 hours!" "48 hours till what?" you manage to spit out despite gaging on the sargents breath. The sargent briefly ignores your question. "This here is your weapon, can't say it will do you much good..." Another figure steps forward and straps what looks like a 9mm semi-auto pistol around your ankle. Your hands are free, you now have a weapon, the thoughts of fighting are even more tempting. but the question remains. "48 hours till what?" The sargent nods to the men in the darkness. With the sudden deafning howl of wind, and blinding of light, a door is opened behind you. The sargent, as calm as can be, replies. "Kid, in 48 hours the President hopes to stop the biological threat in the contaminated areas through a nuclear means." Before you can contemplate what was said, a bag is thrown out the doorway. "Now fetch!" the sargent barks pushing you out after it. In the whirlwind that follows, the roar of the wind, your eyes becomeing accustomed to the blinding light. You now realise that you are some 20,000 feet up, and falling fast. The sargent, still in that little metal room, containted in the airplane that is quickly flying away. You scream out obsenities at the top of your lungs, no one hears you as you fall to certain death. with your mind raceing, you remember the bag that was thrown out before you. scanning the rapidly approching ground, you see it falling not to far off. Acting quickly you manuver for it, as best you can. Somehow you reach it, grab it, and strap it on. Without deley, you pull the rip cord, praying the parachute works. You are violently jerked, as the 'cute flowers out slowing your desent. Moments later you land with a jolt in the middle of a cornfield. Still a bit shakey, you quickly reach for the gun. Only to find that it isn't loaded, in fact it's missing a clip. "Damn!" You mutter underbreath. You unstrap the 'cute and proceed to figure out just where in B.F.E. you really are. Begin game: This is survival horror of the most disturbed kind. Obviously there are multitudes of the undead to contend with. But this isn't your wimpy father's Resident Evil. The undead may still be slow and stupid, but they also can't be killed. Sure, you can blow them to bits, but then the bits keep comeing after you. It also isn't a good sign that this biological threat powering the zombies can also mutate them into larger more deadly combinations. Worse yet, you have a plethora of surivors to rescue, and some won't take kindly to your orange jumpsuited background. And with all of that on your shoulders, the potential threat of nuclear bombs dropping in 48 hours pretty much seals your fate...or does it?

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nice intro.

Although a few things come to mind. It would seem that your task is just to round up survivors and call the calvalry, not stop the biological infestation.
Being a convict, with "quite the record" I would assume that the character is a more physical type and unlikely to be a biological scientist.

Why send a few convicts to get survivors? wouldn't the army be better, if it was just to round up survivors?

What is stopping the character from using the GPS transmitter even if there were no survivors (or don't even bother looking)?

I understand that that nobody would care for the lives of a few convicts but as it seems primarily a rescue mission, a better equiped, informed team would be more productive than sending a few poorly armed persons and hope they round up enough survivors.

the main thing that sticks to my mind is the 48 hour limit. you are completely safe (except from zombies) for the 48 hours. if you can keep the gouls out, you are not going to die. maybe removing the 48 hour safe limit? how about the vote to nuke is ongoing right now and the likely outcome is to nuke the area. the convicts are the last hope for the survivors. if you can round up enough survivors, you can call the army, send a few photos for the press to hopefully cancel the vote. add a radio or something so you can try to guess how much time you still have before the final votes are cast.

What I am trying to say is there is no safe limit for the player. the player is basically dead unless he finds a good enough reason to stop the nuke vote. This might give a more urgent feel to the story/game.

sarge : We don't want to nuke this place as much as anybody but it seems we have no choice. They are having a conference right now and I don't know how long it would take, several hours, a day perhaps. we need something to stop the vote, the lab guys are working on the cure for this thing and they should be finishing it within a week or so. Nuking the place might just spread the contamination further. we need time, and you have to find what it takes to give it to us.

rickter: "let me get this straight. you're gonna drop me in a hellhole full of things that may or may not be killed AND I have no guarantee that the next plane I see is not on its way to nuke my ass! what do I get out of this?"

sarge: "look, you're on death row anyway. nothing to lose, everything to gain. if you round up enough survivors and stop the vote, you go free, be a hero. If not, well.. at least you die outside of prison."

meh! can't really write tough army guy characters :P


*maybe have a radio in place of the timer. the radio gives updates and news about the status of the votes. maybe broadcast it would seem that everybody is agreeing to the nuke vote, then a slight disagreement to extend the time. or the radio broadcasts give clues about the biological infestations (scientific reports to the voting council) which the player can use somehow.

having the uncertainty of the nuke may be the plausible reason why poorly armed, disposable men are sent in instead of the army. the army wont risk sending teams down there if they are not sure about survivors and the possibility that the mission will be aborted is very high.

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Two thoughts.
One - OMG its teh tripple X! Or a reasonable facsimile thereof. With zombies. And hence much cooler.

Two - I think your 48-hour countdown timer idea is fine. Mounting levels and numbers of zombies should be sufficient to keep the player on edge, and probably more, umm, 'immediate' than some far-off threat of nuclear action. One way it could work, though, is if you have to save each civilian within a certain time of the last one, otherwise you get nuked. That would pace the game somewhat more... keep turning up results and they don't nuke you.

Three - Don't make the zombies completely unkillable, otherwise you have no option but to run away from them. Make them tough though, to the point where simply blocking them off and finding a new hideout is the most feasible plan rather than running through shooting them. Alternatively, let them be easily killed with your gun/flamethrower/whatever but strictly limit ammo.

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yapposai - a couple of things - most of which become revieled during the corse of the game:

1) The world has been thrown into chaos by the infestation. There is no electricity (no one to man the powerplants), or running water in the contaminated areas. What is left of the military has its hands full trying to prevent the biological threat from spreading. The prisoners are used to find survivors because of the huge risk involved. Its completely unknown how many survivors there are, where they are located, how they are holding out. Sending in squads of trained professionals means pulling them from guarding the boarders, potentialy allowing the contamination to spread further.

2) The 48hour time limit is set, the desicion to drop the bombs has been made before the game even starts...However, the evac team never comes, and the bombs never drop. Which would eventialy lead the survivors to believe that even Washington has fallen to the biological threat.

3) The biological threat is airborn. One of the big clues in that intro is the remark by the sarge about "getting to the high ground". The player, by the time he lands in the cornfield, and all the survivors are contaminated...As long as the characters are breathing the infection lays dormant, its the loss of oxygen through the blood stream that causes it to become active. There are supposedly vaccines in Washington that can flush it out of the host while in its dormant state, but not once active.

4) The zombies can't be killed. Blowing thier heads off won't stop them, cutting them in half won't stop them. Only the ultra high temps of a nuclear blast is thought to wipe both them and the airborn virus out.

5) The whole point of the game is to put players into a hopeless no-win situation and see how long they last...its like a more elaborite version of Robotron, there is no end to the game. the intro is just the story "hook"...the real story is what the player does despite haveing nearly everything outside his control working aganst him...

Quote:

One - OMG its teh tripple X! Or a reasonable facsimile thereof. With zombies. And hence much cooler.


*cough* erm, no. My above game intro is inspired by and even subtly pays tribute to a much older and better film...Escape from New York

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How about a 2 player option? I can picture one guy trying to blow through a door, while the
other guy is holding off the zombies. I remember playing a durassic park game(how do you spell it?)
with my friend and it was probably the most fun I've had playing a game.

just my free advice

ps: will the game be platform? isometric? 3d?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Let me see... Convicts? check. Military types? check. Suicide mission? check.
Am I alone in thinking that it reminds an awful lot of The Dirty Dozen? (As for a fact, Carpenter admitted getting inspiration from the D12 for NY97...) With a slight twist of 28 Days Later?
Or even to some extent the Inferno Hellbound comic book by TopCow, where military convicts are sent into hell to recover the key to the door to Hell which has been accidentaly opened, and the key accidentaly thrown inside. they have to fend off zillions of demons in order to survive, many do die anyway, and most of the military types that have been previously sent into hell died instantly because they were too pure at heart (sic) to enter Hell.

Don't you find echoes yet?

Yours faithfully,
Nicolas FOURNIALS

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Gosh, isn't idea X a lot like novel/movie/comic book Y?

Yours faithfully,
Nicolas FOURNIALS

So?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Well, I have gathered from most of the threads in this forum that over-abused themes tend to get boring for the players. All I am saying is that this particular theme has been seen in many different medias, in many different occasions, with almost always the same effects and plot devices. If MSW wants to tell a story that uses the same theme, he's got to be damn inventive because most of what he is likely to tell has already been told elsewhere. that's all i am saying...

Yours faithfully,
Nicolas FOURNIALS

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Make the Zombies slow(Like the original Night, Day, and Dawn of the dead), nothing worse than fast zombies(like in the new Dawn of the Dead and 28 Days Later), also make a whole sheeit load of zombies. Make the zombie only die if shot in the head, should work fine since they are slow. Make it very violent, plenty of zombies eating bowels and stuff. Also watch Day of the Dead, thats DAY of the dead. Those are my tips. The game will rock no matter what though, zombies attract the best features of video games, violence, chaos, and action.

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