Tag Archive for zombies

The Ultimate MMO Launch

What if you built an MMO that had everything at launch?

I don’t mean every feature, expansion, class, land, etc… I mean literally, it had everything it was ever going to have. Not one thing would be added to the game (except possibly as a resolution to game bugs/problems). What if you built a game world as big as the world and filled it with all of the things?

What would you do with that world?

Personally, I’d fill it with zombies. Seven billion or so of them, scattered around the world based on population data. Then I’d build the most “real” zombie survival game ever. Players would join the game crawling out of their hiding place where they’ve just begun to run low on supplies. Randomly assigned they would be in abandoned fallout shelters or other cramped holes where they gone to ride out the chaos of the apocalypse. That would be there home to start, and they would need to go back there and lock the door when they logged off. They would need to search for food and supplies, and they would need to fight off zombies when they ran into them. The slow kind, walkers, who alone are easily handled but in groups they can overwhelm you faster than you can scream.

Players could choose to move to new locations, either new single survivor hiding spots, or more spacious group homes. And while there is safety in numbers, there is danger in responsibility. Whose turn was it to get food? Why are we out of food?

And with industry gone, so too would be the endless supply of goods. Once the stores and cupboards are bare, you better have secured some land with a fence and started farming. Things don’t respawn. Neither would you, by the way. You get dead, you stay dead. You can roll up a new character, even make it a clone of your original and keep your friend list, but your gear is gone… or rather, it’s on your body, which hopefully your friends have looted or maybe your old character is still carrying it, shambling around the wastes. And your new character might start on another continent, and you’ll need to travel if you want to meet up with your friends again – or just make new friends closer.

Then, someday down the road, when the bulk of the zombies have been laid to rest and the players have made the world a “safe” place again… you reset the server and start all over.

Is It Zafe?

The name makes me want to gently rest my face in the palm of my hand. Really? “Zafehouse”? But then I went on to read the features, look at the screenshots and watch the video. Annoying name aside, I’m in.

In the Zafehouse: Diaries you control the fates of people picked to live in a house during the zombie apocalypse to see what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. Real World: Zombie Apocalypse! Hmm.. I just thought of a worse name than Zafehouse. Anyway, you start with your people, and you assign them tasks, and then they do them. A turn is an hour, and how successful they are depends on their own skill and their relationships with the rest of the people. When you finish, you get a nice AAR of the whole ordeal to share with your friends.

It’s available for sale now, but I’m on holiday lockdown – no buying anything for myself until the new year. I look forward to being able to give this a try, even more so if they manage to get approved for Steam, because I love having all my games in Steam.

In the meantime, seeing this reminds me that I have that pack of screenshots from Rebuild lying around that I need to do the writing for…

They’re Coming to Get You, Barbara

In my new resolve to post more often, I’m going to attempt to also revive my old habit of posting zombie related things on Wednesdays. So, for this, the first of the All New Same As It Ever Was Zombie Wednesday, watch this music video.

I just love No More Kings. There are one of the very few bands who, in my opinion, have no bad songs.

SHOCKtober 2012 – Day 6: Slither (2006)

There is a long tradition in horror films of things falling to Earth from space and unleashing monsters upon the populace. In Slither, it’s a meteor. The monster inside gets into a local who then proceeds to kill a bunch of small animals, impregnates a lady who isn’t his wife and moves up to killing livestock to keep her fed, all while slowly turning into a giant slug. The pregnant lady… um… gives birth, in a manner of speaking, and her little slug babies head into town to begin taking over hosts.

At this point, the movie becomes a sort of pseudo-zombie movie as the infected… infested people stumble around town trying to get everyone else, either to put a slug in them or to eat them. The town sheriff, played by Nathan Fillion, and a few survivors fight to save humanity.

Like all movies of this sort, it’s a fun romp and a little gross, but it’s not torture and it’s not happening to me. Besides, I like to imagine that I would be on the side of the survivors, not the slugs. I mean, nobody wants to be a slug, but in order for me to be a hero some of you are just going to have to be slugs. I’m sorry.

Is it wrong for me to say that I’ve seen enough movies that I feel like in real life if a friend or family member were to have, for example, just had a slug enter their mouth and now they are acting a little weird, I’m pretty sure there would be little to no hesitation from me in going on the offensive? I’ve tried to explain to people I know, “Hey, look, if the zombie apocalypse comes, you don’t have to worry that you’ll be shambling around for all eternity, because if you turn anywhere near me, I’ll put you down.” They seem to take it wrong, like I want to kill them or something, they get upset and say things like “But what if it’s curable?” And I’m like, “It’s never curable.” “But what if it was?” I’ll put a hand on their shoulder, give in a comforting squeeze and say, “Well, sometimes, some people just have to take one for the team, you know, just to be safe.”

I think I understand why it is that I don’t have more friends…

Be sure to keep an eye on Final Girl and the rest of SHOCKtober.

UPDATE: Check out other participants – Blog @ Rotten Cotton, Life Between Frames, Money and a Half, nijomu, Final Girl

Day by Day Armageddon

Day by Day ArmageddonI owned J.L. Bourne’s Day by Day Armageddon for quite a while before I read it.  In addition to being a slow(ish) reader, I have a pile of books, a three shelf bookcase actually, of books waiting to be read, so sometimes books wait.  After plowing through DBDA in March of this year, I picked up the sequel, Beyond Exile, which I just finished last night.

Both of these books are excellent.  Written in the style of a personal journal, we follow the story of an unnamed Naval Officer as he notes his thoughts and experiences in a world quickly becoming overrun by zombies.  Personally, I thought the journal style worked very well, the only drawback being that since things are always written after the fact, you know that no matter what is being written about the author has to survive or else he wouldn’t have written it down.  This journal style, however, is also one of the complaints many people have about the books, so you have to know about it going in.  They claim things like “I just read a guy’s personal diary and I didn’t learn anything about them.”  I have to wonder if they’ve ever read anyone’s personal journals that weren’t fictionalized.  Most journals, especially those started by men later in life (not as kids) tend more toward facts and what happened, and are not full of emotions and internal dialog about how they feel.  Think of it less as a diary and more of an After Action Report by a military officer and it’ll probably work better for you.

Another common complaint on zombie stories is they seem to have a “right wing slant”.  And while these critics might have a point, when flesh eating zombies spring up, who is more likely to have a gun ready to shoot them in the head, an NRA member with a right leaning political view or a liberal gun control supporter?  Similarly, why are the survivors always military or people with training?  I think that’s a question that answers itself.  I mean, I go to Dragon*Con every year, and when I go to panels about apocalyptic themes I know every person in that room thinks they are going to be victorious if the zeds should ever start walking, but realistically most of them wouldn’t last a week, and probably not more than a day.

Anyway… back to the tales at hand.  I found both stories to be very entertaining and engaging.  I especially enjoyed the use of slower shambling zombies and opposed to having them all running and jumping and stuff.  I highly recommend both books, and I believe there will be a third next year.  The second book takes a turn at the end that I’m interested to see where J.L. Bourne goes with it.

Space Pirates And Zombies

And that isn’t just the title of this blog entry, that’s also the name of this game.  Space Pirates And Zombies (S.P.A.Z. for short) is a top down shooter.  It isn’t your traditional zombies, but hey, it looks fun.

Right now you can only buy it from Impulse, but hopefully there will be other options (like Steam!) at a later date.

Losing With Style

Lately I’ve been getting a bit of traffic on the site, mostly because of the Urban Dead post I made over 3 years ago.  So, I decided to take another look at the game… which lasted about ten minutes before I remembered exactly why I left.

The main crux of that old post, and the reason I quit the game, and the reason my return was so brief is that I have no desire to play a zombie.  On the whole, I tend to find stories about zombies to be boring.  Stories about survivors in a world of zombies on the other hand are awesome.  Even when the survivors don’t win and they all die, because a good zombie story is about humans, and what we will do to and for each other to survive.

Imagine this: you are playing a game where you are a cop hunting down rapists.  You find clues, perform interviews, gather evidence and eventually, if you are lucky, you get to shoot them.  Now imagine if in this game, when you fail to catch a rapist you are forced to be a rapist until you can be turned back into a cop.  Totally unappealing, right?  I mean, I hope that is unappealing, because if you want to play a rapist in a video game you need to stop reading and seek help.  Now.

I don’t want to be a zombie.  I don’t want to eat people. That game just isn’t fun for me at all to play.

What would make Urban Dead worth playing for me?

First, a simple “reset” button.  When I die, rather than be a zombie, I’d like to be able to just start over without having to create a new account.  I don’t mind losing experience and skills or having to wait a period of days, I just don’t want to be undead.

Second, a world reset event.  If all the world is undead, if no survivors remain, wipe the slate clean and start over.  If you let people pick zombie or survivor from the start, had levels and skills with the personal reset button causing some skill loss and a waiting period (24 to 72 hours), then you create a true “us versus them” style of PvP, and at that point you can define a win condition.  If all the survivors are dead or all the zombies are dead, the server declares that side the winner and the entire game resets.  When the world resets, everyone starts off human, but people who pick the zombie side start infected and in X days they’ll all die and be able to stand up as zombies.

I think that would be a great game.

Aaah! Zombies!!

In my quest to fill time on the odd occasion the wife has to work on the weekend, I browse Netflix in search of movies that I know she has no interest in watching.  This past weekend I stumbled on Aaah! Zombies!!  Take a look…

As you can see in the trailer, the movie takes a unique approach to the genre.  When the film is in color the main characters appear alive and everyone around them is infected by something that makes them act funny and move rapidly.  When the film goes black & white we see things as they really are with the characters being zombies that are moving slowly while everyone else moves at a normal pace.

Overall the movie isn’t great, but it was good enough.  I enjoyed the hour and a half I spent watching it.  It’s available on Netflix Instant, so if you have the time and the inclination, check it out.

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire HunterSeth Grahame-Smith exploded onto the scene last year (after having several other books published) with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a book I still haven’t read.  It was so successful that the “classic text mash-up” genre now practically has its own aisle at the bookstore.  Taking a slightly different approach in his next endeavor, Grahame-Smith wrote Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.  Rather than taking an old text and playing with it, instead he’s taking history and filling in the gaps with his own crafted tale.

The story follows old Honest Abe from his childhood through his Presidency and weaves around it a tale of revenge and vampires and a country nearly brought to its knees.  I was skeptical as hell going in.  That same skepticism is what has kept me from reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  A tale like this is either going to be a monumental waste of time, or a masterpiece.  Based on my reading of this book, I’m now more interested to go read P&P&Z.

I’m not a history buff, and I’m not familiar with the true story of Abraham Lincoln other than what they taught me in school.  But the tale told here steps in and out and around his life in such a fashion that it is so easy to believe that it just might be true.  It isn’t true, right?  Vampires don’t really exist… right?

Anyway, I would gladly recommend this book to just about anyone with the only caveat being that some of the early book can be slow, but sticking with it is totally and completely worth it.  I haven’t read a book that ended this well in a very long time.

Frostbite

I’m really enjoying David Wellington’s work.  From his Zombie Island to his 13 Bullets, he’s tackled zombies and vampires in a way I have found refreshing.  With Frostbite, he does the same for werewolves.

Probably not his best work to date, but a solid effort none the less, this is the story of a girl who goes out into the wilderness to find the werewolf that killed her father only to wind up becoming one herself.  I’m eager to see where he takes this when the sequel comes out toward the end of the year.