Monday, November 4

NaGa DeMon 2: The Premise

As I mentioned last week, and in Saturday's post, this year I'm going to try to take part in NaGa DeMon. Last year I thought about doing a game themed on the old Populous computer game, but gave that up as soon as I heard they were try to make a new Populous via KickStarter. I've decided to go zombie science, with a working title of Zombology: The Science of the Zombie Apocalypse. So here's the premise:


I feel the Zombie genre tends to focus too much on the survivalist with a shotgun (or axe or chainsaw). As I'm sure you're aware, the real heroes of any zombie apocalypse will be the scientists who slave day and night over a lukewarm microscope, trying to discover a cure to this dreadful plague. But the poor scientist doesn't get any love, no - no shotgun, no genre representation. So I've decided to redress the balance and come up with a game about the science of the zombie apocalypse.


Scientists are a competitive bunch, and come the zombie apocalypse, their preferred yardstick (peer-reviewed publications) will have disappeared - it's hard enough to get a decent review from an unpaid scientist who considers the work he's reviewing direct competition, so imagine how hard it'll be when the only thing the editor, reviewer, typesetter and printer care about is where their next brains are coming from. In the absence of publishing, there's only one way to prove yourself the best scientist: cure the plague! Ideally, before you run out of test subjects.


I'm aiming for a 6 Nimmt!-like experience: a short game (under 20 minutes) for up to ten players with lots of shafting each other and getting hosed.


Here's the exposition as it stands now:


It finally happened. The Zombie Plague has arrived, decimating entire continents and turning the masses into drooling, stumbling, brain-munching hordes. You're not that bothered though, you live and work in a high security government facility, and for you the plague is an opportunity. It's your chance to finally prove that you're a world-class genius in the field of curing diseases, not like that chump Dr. Gimlet at the CDC, what a tool! Seriously, the guy's an absolute idiot, as if DNA retroviruses are a credible cure for anything.
You've got a few weeks to come up with a cure before you run out of the test subjects you need to show that your cure is the best. Back a method or a few different ones and then quickly gather the evidence you need to prove your genius.

This is actually based on Codename: Proteome, but since the theme has changed beyond recognition and the mechanics are also totally different, I figure I can count it as a new game, which I started making on the weekend - safely within the November window. I've got a copy ready to take to the Newcastle Playtest session at The Bridge Hotel this Tuesday for its inaugural outing. Once I've tried it out I'll post the rules and a P&P download so you can start trying it out yourselves and earning some playtest PIPs.


I'll keep you posted about how it's going, in the meantime, any feedback on how to make the exposition more enticing? There's PIPs available...

9 comments:

Tiffany Ralph said...

The hook is good (minus the typos and grammar mistakes in the 2nd paragraph), but I would be more interested to know something of the mechanic type in the hook? "backing" and then "watching" are too vague to tell me what I'll be doing exactly.

Jack said...

Hiya Tiffany,

Thanks for the feedback, what are the typos and grammar mistakes you're referring to?

Good point about the backing and watching. I'll try to come up with something more exciting and descriptive.

Cheers,

Jack

Jack said...

Hiya Tiffany,

How about:

'Each round you can either perform some research into a possible cure or attack an opponent's science to discredit them - aim to be to world expert in the most successful cures by the end of the game.'

Cheers,

Jack

Jack said...

Found one of the typos typsetter -> typesetter.

Cheers,

Jack

Jack said...

And another: luke-warm -> lukewarm.

Cheers,

Jack

Tiffany Ralph said...

Sorry for the delayed, I wasn't notified of replies. The rewording works, as the original choice of "back" was a bit odd to me. It was more like you're backing on Kickstarter, not helping advance the research. It made the game seem to be more about being a mega-corp backing different scientists while at the same time trying to discredit the scientists your competitors are using. This rewording makes it much more clear that you're the scientist.

Jack said...

Hiya Tiffany,

Excellent - thanks for the clarification. Two PIPs for dedication. At this rate you'll have tenure in no time...

Cheers,

Jack

Tiffany Ralph said...

Grammer point out! "You've got a few weeks to come up with a cure before you run out of the test subjects you need to show that your cure is the best." reads odd. Should be "You've got a few weeks to come up with a cure before you run out of test subjects and show that your cure is the best!" (there were a few extra words and a few missing ones).

Jack said...

Hiya Tiffany,

What I was trying to get across in that sentence was that you only care about the masses because without them you can't prove you're the smartest. While your sentence is better written, it doesn't get that across any more. I'll see what I can come up with.

Cheers,

Jack

P.S. There's another PIP right there, which I think (my records are at home so I'll have to check) means you've unlocked the MSc achievement! Remember, no one takes you seriously unless you've got a PhD...