Anyone know how many zombies Rick has killed in the definitive zombie series, Walking Dead? How about Tallahassee in Zombieland? Shaun in Shaun of the Dead? I know I couldn't tell you. That's because a great zombie movie isn't about killing zombies; it's about the story.
Same with a great zombie game. All Things Zombie, from the original version that won the Origins Award for Best Miniatures Game in 2006, to the upcoming All Things Zombie Reloaded is built around the story, your story. Instead of just killing zombies (oh they're still there) you have to interact with other humans. Maybe you'll recruit some to your group or maybe barter goods with them, that much needed food, or an assault weapon, but more than likely you'll have to fight them.
I've run loads of ATZ convention games with literally hundreds of players over the years and when I see them they always remember the interaction between players, never the zombies. That's what we've captured in ATZ Reloaded, the human element. Not just between players but the Non-Player Characters generated and run by the game mechanics. It adds a whole new spin to playing the game.
But don't worry. There's still zombies, lots of them if you're not careful.
So how do the humans work in Reloaded? When you enter a map you generate zombies by flipping 1 or more Event Cards per character. This tells you how many zeds you have met. Once these are placed on the map the game begins in earnest.
When you enter a building or roll doubles at the start of the turn, you draw an Event Card. This tells you how many zeds there could be but also how many humans, if any you have met. More importantly it tells you their Class. There are 3 Classes - Survivors, Gangers, and Militia. Each has their own objectives to succeed in the game and each differs in how they interact with the other Classes. Let's just say the Gangers where the black hats, the Militia the white, and the Survivors the gray. You can choose your Class.
Once you come into sight of the Non-Player Characters the Friend or Foe Test is taken. This can result in a Talk the Talk - where they approach you and you interact with them, hopefully to recruit or barter with them - or a Walk the Walk - where they open fire. In any case, the game mechanics run the Non-Players and there's enough variance to insure that each encounter is unique.
I've added a link to a demo of the Chillin' Encounter in Reloaded. It shows you how this works.
More later.Here's a peak at the new Chillin' Encounter for All Things Zombie -Reloaded
What Makes a Great Zombie Game?
The designer of the Origins Award-winning miniatures game All things Zombie tells you what makes a great zombie book, movie, or in this case game.