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...