Monday, September 15

Zombology: Evolution

As most of you know, Zombology started life as my attempt to do a NaGa DeMon game. In November last year I set myself the goal of designing a game in a month!

Of course, I knew it wouldn't be finished by the end of November, but I wanted to make something playable in that time. I decided on a quick card game as that would be the easiest thing to make. With only a month I wanted something that I could iterate quickly: both the rules and the components, posting new versions of the rules, playtesting the game frequently and incorporating the feedback quickly into new versions that could then be tested too.

By the end of the month I'd been through five versions of the rule book and I'd played it sixteen times. And, as a bonus, it kind of worked as a game. But that's not the end of it. In the following ten months I've played it another sixty odd times, there have been another five major updates to the rules and the components have gone from incredibly basic to slightly more polished (with basic art and everything!).

The games has morphed from an every-man-for-himself drafting game for 3-10 players to a semi-co-op drafting game for 3-8 players. It's morphed from sensible science to ridiculous science (Vegan Diet as a potential cure for Zombies!?). But at its heart it's still the same game - a quick, silly, science-themed drafting game with some take that and some collective suit building.

It's now at the point where I've got to make a decision what to do with it. I think it's a fun little game for playing at the beginning or end of a night - perfect filler material. The options I'm considering at this point are:
  • approach one of the publishers I know from my Reiver Games days
  • or, make it available print on demand through Drive Thru Cards or the Gamecrafter

There's a few publishers that I'm comfortable approaching, though I've no idea whether it's the sort of thing they are interested in. Perhaps that needs to be my first step.

On a related note, before I sent my new phone off for repair (the camera stopped working when I upgraded to Windows 8.1), I starting working on another app for my phone. This one is for personal use: it's to record games I've played of Zombology and the win-loss ratios by number of players. Now the game is settling down I need to get a better idea of how well balanced it is. I've also invested in a Windows 8 laptop to replace our archaic, glacially-slow one. This means that I can now do Windows Phone app development at home, rather than just during my lunch breaks.

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