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Wow! First let me say I have been an advid zombie fan for years, keeping up with most of the good books in the genre, and movies. I read it, loved it, and agreed wtih what you were saying. But at the end, when you started discussing what would "make" a good zombie mmo, the features of it all.. well thats where my eyes lit up, i couldnt agree more. If it were designed like that i'd play FOREVER.
I immediately started thinking about how you said "make the players learn something." That thought turned in to, "well hey maybe i'd learn to make an escape car" i'd essentially never leave my starter town until i made this vehicle, then it'd be open roads and free roaming/zombie roadkill. Thanks for this thought, its made my day a little better
Justin is correct; a zombie MMO designed to the traditional MMO template is a non-starter.
Great discussion, folks. There are some fantastic ideas in this thread. I'm thrilled to see the passion here, and you can bet those of us at Undead Labs are reading every post carefully.
Originally posted by ZedJeff Justin is correct; a zombie MMO designed to the traditional MMO template is a non-starter.Great discussion, folks. There are some fantastic ideas in this thread. I'm thrilled to see the passion here, and you can bet those of us at Undead Labs are reading every post carefully.Jeff
i wanna be a zombie for life!
I was never aware of the "angels vs demons" inside joke on bad designers... but now that I think about it, one of my very first ideas was pretty close (9+ years ago), and I have since scrapped it and *tried* to forget it, and yet tons of other wannabe designers seem to keep bringing the idea up here. I'm thinking it's prolly just the easiest idea to come up with since we all have some experience with christian theology, at least enough to pen a simple good vs evil story that won't get anywhere.
Writer / Musician / Game Designer
Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture
Glad to see there is hope for an MMO such as this!
More thoughts; "End game goals" could be capturing, securing and holding a city. While we all groan when WARHAMMER ONLINE is spoken. The concept of taking a city, unlocking content is still intriguing to me. A city has more resources, technology and lots more strategic opportunities. The game could give the players a few days to explore and reinforce their captured city. This could be more traditional in the MMO style. Then the zombie hordes come in waves, larger each time until retreat (and reset) is the final outcome (a cut scene of your toon retreating as the city falls into ruin.. Maybe some humorous zombie arse whooping as a consolation prize.)
temporary mounts like a pickup truck - yee haw!
Zombie end game goals obviously are less defined but climbing the mutation ladder are good ideas. Perhaps controlling zombie pets and establishing a lair of sorts. Human trophy remains are always good. Who wouldn't want a throne of ribs, femurs and skulls? A gigantic bile of bones to demonstrate your dominance? Immortalize your name as a zombie warlord of sorts. (Didn't Evil Dead or one of those movies have some influential zombie lords?)
M rating - yes?
Shaun of the Dead humor too?
Destructible environments. Pickup anything to whack off the hordes. A shovel, a mailbox, a friends leg, shoot a gas can for AOE explosions, etc.
Finally - Best site for Chuck Norrishttp://www.chucknorrisfacts.com/
the Angel vs Demons reference the OP made wasnt meant to be taken literally. He meant that all MMO's being designed are following this ridiculous "Good Team vs Bad Team" mechanic, like WoW, like EQ, Iike CoH, like Aion etc etc. it means you cant mechanically design a two faction Zombies vs Humans MMO. and this is 100% true for a number of reasons.
A Zombie game could not follow the same theme, as it is impossible to creation a realistic Zombie faction, that A: captures any essence of what its like to be a zombie, and B: could serve as a potential equal adversary to a human faction.
The strength of human survivors, in zombie horror, is intelligence, preperartion, organization.
Zombies are the ultimate mindless zerg. as soon as you let zombies organize under a human awarness, THEY STOP BEING ZOMBIES AND START BEING NOTHING MORE THAN UGLY MELEE HUMANS. Im surprised by the number of posts here that dont seem to realize this. You cant expect a PvP game to survive, when one of the side entirely force is made up of disposable, easily killed automatons.
Zombies gaining strength, via leveling, or some other system is equally problematic, as once again, once zombies stop fufilling role of staggaring mindless undead, they again STOP BEING ZOMBIES.
It's gotta be theme, with Survivor human vs Survivor Human. otherwise, it would have no substance, get boring, and just be another clone of the "Angel vs Demon" template the OP is warning against.
for a two faction PvP game to work, the factions must be equally appealling, otherwise, gamestopping imbalance occurs. the fun and tension of zombie stories is created by the humans being totally overwhelmed in numbers, and having to use wits and teamwork to survive.
If zombie toons are equal in power to human toons, any difference in faction size would cause the smaller team to to be wipe out, every time.
if you tried to make zombie players be weaker than human players, it wouldnt be fun to play them, and then the human would outnumber the zombie, which would be stupid and pointless.
therefore, this must be a Human vs Human game, with zombies existing on the outside as an NPC challenge to all players.
Yes, now I understand where you guys are coming from. You don't want/feel a zombie MMO should have the smart athletic zombies like in I am Legend , but Survival Horror.
I thought if peeps wanted PvP that could be a direction. However, it could still be a great PvE MMO. I just can't imagine why living people would compete with other living people against a zombie dominated world. Instincts to me, would be to get strength in numbers to survive.
Playing as a zombie would be just a pvp mechanic and prolong the gaming life. No need to give the player zombie the same advantages like chat, grouping, etc. The zombie player would be a timer and eventually you return to playing as a human again. However, you should want to play a zombie for the pac man factor ( leaderboards for accomplishments and such). Just thoughts on how to make it work.
I am sure it could still be a great PvE MMO though.
I think a Zombie MMO can be easily made if it were more of a resources game. Forage for guns and supplies, require some form of survival outside of zombies (like hunger, require eating or suffer penalties that start light but get heavier over time perhaps eventually to death), perhaps even incorporate permanent death or maybe a limited number of lives (which can be "collected" in various ways i.e. Antidotes etc. at least death from zombies). Require players to maintain a fortified camps for longer periods of survival and prevent zombie gatherings from slowly taking over (maybe this'll be a good way to bring an international aspect to an MMORPG which is nonexistent these days other than EVE Online in certain aspects.).
Emphasis on survival and perhaps make it so if you die, that its not that big of a deal (but big enough to warrant you to care about dying at the very least). The whole point of the game could revolve around resources and wanting to retain it, but at the same time, you'll have to constantly consume for survival so in case of death, it'll just be a start over on the resources gathered. Rare items like an AK-47 can be ultimate zombie death machines but at the same time, if you can't find the bullets, it could be rendered useless as well. Some form of economics can also be included in this type of game, because it'll carry some value to some people especially for those that don't feel like spending the time to establish themselves better.
These are all just some of the ideas that come to mind, but I think as a survival-resources game, a Zombie MMORPG definitely should be feasible given the right implementations. I do agree, players will need to have something to do and goals to meet but that is left up to the designers to figure out. I think it could be multifaceted in that regard just look at EVE Online, same sort of thing.
EDIT: another idea for death penalty, require players to play as zombies for a period of time 5-10 minutes then have their characters wake up in the middle of nowhere and maybe let them retain half of their inventory etc. Again just random ideas.
Originally posted by Hathi Yes, now I understand where you guys are coming from. You don't want/feel a zombie MMO should have the smart athletic zombies like in I am Legend , but Survival Horror. I thought if peeps wanted PvP that could be a direction. However, it could still be a great PvE MMO. I just can't imagine why living people would compete with other living people against a zombie dominated world. Instincts to me, would be to get strength in numbers to survive. Playing as a zombie would be just a pvp mechanic and prolong the gaming life. No need to give the player zombie the same advantages like chat, grouping, etc. The zombie player would be a timer and eventually you return to playing as a human again. However, you should want to play a zombie for the pac man factor ( leaderboards for accomplishments and such). Just thoughts on how to make it work. I am sure it could still be a great PvE MMO though.
you must think of the game play like a movie. i like the idea of a cycle that, maybe once a week/month/whatever, totally starts over. If the ammount of Zombies is always increasing, and if zombies are mass aggroed to the closest largest group of players, then clouds of zombies would start to build up and surround the humans.
The humans would spend their time searching through the city, looking for randomly spawning "crates" of supplies (food, medicine, weapons ammo, etc) each "week" or period of gameplay, the survivors have to search for fresh ammounts of supplies to survive the "end" of the cycle, at which time, there are more zombies than ever, closer to wherever the humans are hiding/defending.
This would make the human have to team up with some others, but fight most others, as other teams will need the limited supplies to survive themselves. there should never be enough to go around. this will make the other teams the prime threat, with armies of zombies building up to make the wargame get harder and harder.
if players die, they get erased. if they live, they can be the same toon in the cycle, which is now back to day one. maybe they get to keep certain items, but not enough to let the winners dominate, over and over again.
in this type of game, you would have to struggle to A: keep your own team together and organized, B: survive/destroy other human teams, and C: survive a growing zombie invasion.
Originally posted by Hathi I thought if peeps wanted PvP that could be a direction. However, it could still be a great PvE MMO. I just can't imagine why living people would compete with other living people against a zombie dominated world. Instincts to me, would be to get strength in numbers to survive.
a zombie mmo would benefit to some extent from full loot, and free pvp, due to humans nature to kill and take what they want. humans are for lack of a better term, bastards. self serving bastards, that prefer to only look out for number 1. so it very well might need full loot, to make the game feel more tense. imagine, you team up with some people, go scrounging for supplies. you find a box of shot gun shells, then you hear BANG, and the lights go out. the person next to you, shoots you in the back of the head, picks up your ammo, and leaves your corpse to distract an oncoming horde... could be fun haha. though, i agree a zombie mmo should have perma-death, but perhaps not from pvp, only if your taken down by the horde.
Its not that hard to think of MMO ideas for a zombie game. you can start off as a normal kid in the country (instanced at first like in AoC) then you attack animals while hunting to level up, sort of like a training ground per say. But soon a zombie appears after a couple of level, then the goal is to team up with survivors and make it to this so called "Safe Haven" which is a city, and raids and missions can help you get there. A raid in this kind of game can be different. Assault this building, and maybe hold off while a teammate puts a beacon up on the tower to get radio contact or something like that. This requires teamwork and with teamwork come classes. Assault class, explosives class, medic class, and even a scout class. Each with upgrades like maybe one that makes you sprint x% faster, which will help. or maybe x% more splash damage or x% more bullets in a clip. New guns can be unlocks, and endgame can be the fight for survival to the safe haven. but they will have to plan this story out well in order to have further expansions or updates. You cant just make it safely at first, otherwise there is going to be a hell of alot of thinking going into a story that could turn out somewhat, retarted maybe?
These are my ideas I thought of while typing. feel free to bash at it and correct if needed :]
PEPSI!!!!!Get out of your box already...
The problem with MMOs is you have the same people, primarily guys, making the games, thinking up the games, playing the games and judging the games which is why we get so many articles that are of the this will never work for xyz reason. Fresh blood, fresh ideas break the mold.
All this article does is look at current horror FPS games (and movies and other media) and tries to take specific elements from them and explain why it won't work in an MMO setting. Remember when people said the "west" wouldn't be interested in F2P? There are always naysayers right before someon comes up with something interesting and makes it work. In order to make something like this work, you'd actually have to do something gaming studios despise doing... hire writers, real writers to mke the world plausable, real. I believe an FPS/MMO hybrid is doable, but probably not by the same guys who think its impossible.
parrotpholk-Because we all know the miracle patch fairy shows up the night before release and sprinkles magic dust on the server to make it allllll better.
Originally posted by Doomsayer Wow, the article reads as a total lack of imagination. There are so many ways to get around the so called "limits" the author suggests. In fact, much of what the author assumes is incorrect anyway. I would go on, but its not even worth it. Just pathetic...
do you even understand what you're talking about
Originally posted by JJOneway To perhaps run contrary to the general feel of the article, I think there are many ways that a Zombie MMO could be made engaging and fun to play. Just some ideas off the top of my head.3 faction style game, with human survivors, human reavers, and the undead. Survivors would find their location (staking out a claim to build their outpost in a resource rich and defensible location), while human reavers are like the Mad Max gangs, unable or unwilling to build, and just out to take.Reavers would be unable to build their own outposts past a most basic level, and when taking over a survivors outpost, it would slowly degrade as they rob it of resources before moving onto their next victims. For a time, they'd have access to whatever the survivors had built, but in time it would all decay.The Zombies, of course, would be out to get everyone, and perhaps they could figure in some sort of undead evolution, similar to what was touched on in Land of the Dead, where the Zombies slowly become more self aware/intelligent/mutated or whatever, and therefore more dangerous?
That's a terrible system, the survivors build while the reavers destroy everything and the zombies aren't really too appealing. The system depends on players balancing themselves between all 3 classes, but everyone will inevitably want to be reavers. And, if they are randomly assigned their roles, all the survivors would leave and the reavers won't have the resources to survive, then they will be endlessly swarmed by the zombies and they would leave, the zombies would be left with nothing to do and hence would leave also. You can't make it work.
Originally posted by Jason Webb
If they can run, then there's no way you can get away, no way to be clever. You're just going to die. However, you can be clever and sneaky against Romero zombies.
So you feel smart when you compare yourself to snails... thats probably the only thing you can outsmart on this planet. Jason Webb, you are so short sighted and unimigative, you articles are as empty as shell, its no surprise you failed in the MMO industry.
Its not because you cant imagine a working zombie MMO that it cant be done, but a lot of people in this thread already demonstrated that. You are so stuck into your pre-concieved vision of how MMO work that you cant imagine anything else.
Lets take the MMORPG therme, and read it, together. Massively, multiplayer, online, role, playing, game. Now, where do you see ''level'' in that, or a ''need for achievement'', or ''carrot on a stick''... Nowhere, you know why, because its not about that, its about playing a game with a lot of people, online, and playing a role.
Your stupid articles are only injecting poison in the MMO industry, yeah man, lets go, lets bring down those who try something new than the cloned orc/elf/dwarf/human piece of shit that we see everywhere.
Before: developers loved games and made money.
Now: developers love money and make games.
Originally posted by pepsi1028 Its not that hard to think of MMO ideas for a zombie game. you can start off as a normal kid in the country (instanced at first like in AoC) then you attack animals while hunting to level up, sort of like a training ground per say. But soon a zombie appears after a couple of level, then the goal is to team up with survivors and make it to this so called "Safe Haven" which is a city, and raids and missions can help you get there. A raid in this kind of game can be different. Assault this building, and maybe hold off while a teammate puts a beacon up on the tower to get radio contact or something like that. This requires teamwork and with teamwork come classes. Assault class, explosives class, medic class, and even a scout class. Each with upgrades like maybe one that makes you sprint x% faster, which will help. or maybe x% more splash damage or x% more bullets in a clip. New guns can be unlocks, and endgame can be the fight for survival to the safe haven. but they will have to plan this story out well in order to have further expansions or updates. You cant just make it safely at first, otherwise there is going to be a hell of alot of thinking going into a story that could turn out somewhat, retarted maybe? These are my ideas I thought of while typing. feel free to bash at it and correct if needed :]
and you call me unoriginal
Originally posted by Daedrick Originally posted by Jason Webb
I think maybe you should double back and read his article for real this time around. He was merely trying to utilize a "traditional" fantasy MMO such as a WoW-type game, and replace the whole setting with zombies while still trying to retain the traditional MMO system.
He was pointing out the conflicts within it and exemplifies that you're going to have to give up one side (parts of traditional zombie aspects) to have the other side (a traditional MMO, the ones we already know and love). This ultimately is the whole point of the article which he laid out in the beginning of the whole thing (I believe the 2nd paragraph). Then, in the last several paragraphs, he lays out his expectations on what would be needed to pull off a successful zombie MMO, which he believes has to be something outside of the norm within the traditional MMO's that we have known and loved up to this point.
Then, he lays out his own random ideas on what could be included just like most of us in this thread, which are outside of the traditional realm. I think when people have anything negative to post about these articles, I suggest to re-read the article and look at your response and make sure you don't sound like a fool. I guess again, the article can defend itself as I have pointed out.
Maybe I should leave it on this quote, which I can be applied to typing as well, doubly so since you can proofread and review before you actually post:
'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.
Darkb457, I am sorry that it was beyond you. But, ill take the remark as you trying to get your post count up as I see you spamming the thread.
Everything born must die. All that is, will come to ruin. This is the essence of Doom. So sayeth the Doomsayer.
Going back to the article: looking at Romero's zombie films post "Night of the Living Dead", characters do learn things and advance themselves if given time. In "Dawn of the Dead" the characters train themselves in how to fire weapons more effectively and even learn how to fly a helicopter. Over time the human characters improve themselves (and "Land of the Dead" suggests that zombies can also learn). And that's just Romero's work - other films involving zombies show a variety of other progressions in their characters if given time (and if the film isn't an excuse just to slaughter their characters).
Regarding MMOs, Exanimus has been mentioned but I didn't see any reference to Urban Dead - it's been running long enough that a lot of the issues you've discussed are there on show. What happens if you can easily flip from human to zombie and back again? Are perma-zombie rules a good idea? What happens if you put PvP in-game (which includes survivor vs survivor as well as zombie vs survivor and zombie vs zombie)?
Although I think a zombie MMO is an interesting idea, it does have some big issues to cover to keep people playing and having fun. Getting shot in the back by another survivor and left as zombie bait isn't necessarily something I'd want to pay $15 a month for (unless death is so trivial as to be meaningless) nor does spending all my time just scraping by in order to survive.
Fallen Earth strikes me as one example that could very easily be used as a template for a zombie MMO... but again, I don't find that game much fun.
There is a running joke among designers that every bad designer has an Angels vs Demons MMO design that they would make if they ran a studio. And that an Angels vs Demons MMO would be a terrible terrible idea. I know a couple of devs who would also add a zombie MMO to that list of bad ideas. I'm not sure I totally disagree. A zombie MMO is a fantastic premise, but you have to realize what the zombie genre is, and what it is not. And zombies come with a lot of problems.I have a little issue with this part. As many members have shown in this thread, it is possible to make a Zombie MMO. So I'm left wondering.....are zombie MMOs "a running joke" because the developers are unable to imagine anything that strays from the mass-market model? Clearly, there is a market for the MMOZ genre and a niche that catters to a certain audience. Based on how the game is handled, it could become a very popular game. Of course it would never have over 50k subs but hey, so what? Who said they wanted to make the next big WoW? Just my 2 cents
I see we're all dividing into 2 or 3 camps, depending on what our preferred image of the 'best' zombie movie style is. Anyone here seen Autumn, or Carriers, or Doomsday as examples of alternative Z-type movies? As much as a Resident Evil type zombie movie is the most adrenaline-filled, as much as Zombieland is the most 'entertaining', can these be transcribed into a MMOZ easily & effectively? I think the comments about zombies staying zombies, rather than being transformed into something more/else, are quite valid. Clearly, a post-holocaust mmoz with multiple factions vying for power would make the most sense. Zombies as PCs are just wrong, on so many levels, unless you're doing a faithful "I Am Legend" style mmoz. But those weren't really zombies per se, more mutated super-humans of some sort.
I guess I'd like to see a MMOZ, but how many zombies could you kill before getting bored, even if it was a pure PvE mmo ala LOTRO say...? Can co-op killing, even with a great world/story, keep player attention & interests for very long if the mobs are same old same old, just the numbers get bigger & bigger? I think there really has to be justification for other critters of the night & there has to be motivation beyond just survival to make a MMOZ work. Otherwise it's just a L4DMMO with persistent stats, equipment & some filler skills to help you kill the same undead over & over & over.
They say that right before you die, your life flashes before your eyes. That's true, even for a blind man. ^DareDevil^
is it me or does this guy know absolutely nothing about what he is talking about.
Originally posted by Doomsayer Darkb457, I am sorry that it was beyond you. But, ill take the remark as you trying to get your post count up as I see you spamming the thread.
and that's why I hate Gen-X
I think a zombie MMO would be cool if there were hardcore servers, permadeath?!?! tho knowing me i'd play 3-5 characters die a bunch get pissed and quit playin. which is why i dont think its a feasible idea, however thats the only way i could see a zombie mmo being considered good or cool. cuz then the motivation of survival does exist :P
Thinking about it some more, I don't thing the "death" issue is a tough as he, or others, make it out to be in a zombie game. It just needs some outside the box thinking, and maybe some choices ( i know, I know, mmo designers seem to HATE giving players choice).
Just some thoughts on "death" in a zombie mmo:
1) "Last Minute Save" - as in many zombie/horror/action movies, the hero is subdued, but, right before they are killed, there's the "miraculous save" by a friend, teammate, or even random stranger. The hero is pulled out, and needs time to recover somewhere. The "punishment" part of the defeat comes during the recovery time, when resources, friends, and even gear are lost becasue you are unconscious and recovering.
In a "zombie" mmo, perhaps your character get's knocked out, but "saved" before being bitten. The "awaken" partially recovered, have suffered a "death penalty" similar to many fantasy mmos.
2) "The Red Shirt Dies" - In zombie movies, its always the friends of the hero who go first. Going with the idea that leveling doesn't bring you skills, but instead, brings you more NPC's to protect, then the sting of death shouldn't be applied to the main character...it should be applied to the NPC's that really are standing in for skills. Go a step further: Give players the choice of which NPC's they want to help them in a mission, and, in essence, you've given them the choice of which characters they watn to risk losing forever. After all, watching well developed "teammate" characters getting slaughtered due to your incompetence, never to return, is probably more painful than the xp restriction or lost trinket some games have. Plus, it opens up new gameplay possibilities (hey, my best friend NPC who I worked with for 6 months is now a zombie nemesis trying to kill me!)
In a "zombie" mmo, perhaps your NPC partners have health, and you don't. When all of them go down, you are forced to "flee" without them..and they never return. Or your base suffers a breach, and you awake to find many souls lost. Perhaps even members of your family (gasp)
3) "Quarantine...or, Permadeath By Choice" - In horror movies, those suspected of being newly evil, but still friends with the characters, often get quarantined by their friends...until their true nature/intent can be fully determined. Usually, the character IS newly evil, at which point the rest of the characters have to wrestle with the decision to kill their old friend or not (it's not him anymore...it's something else...the person we knew died long ago!).
In a zombie mmo, perhaps the ko leads to you awakening in "Quarantine", back at your "hidey-hole". During the unconscious period, your hero MAY have been bitten, or may have been rescued in time. The choice, actually, is UP TO YOU. Choose the Permadeath option, and your hero WAS bitten, transforms into a zombie, and gets to escape "Quarantine" for a timed destruction of your old base...and old NPC teammates. You get to destroy all that you earned, literally...and you have some fun doing it.
Or, choose "regeneration". Your hero was not bitten, but was instead, saved in the nick of time. You are presented with a little mini-game to prove to your NPC allies that you are NOT, in fact, a budding Zombie, and are released. Of course, while you were out, your group was leaderless, an therefore suffered some losses (people and objects), but, now that you're back, I'm sure all will be well.
Really, all the issues raised, including death in a zombie mmo, CAN be handled, with just a little imagination. Which is what MOST of the posters here are saying, in one way or another. Which is why I'm pretty much turned off by any of Mr. Webb's potential games now...in two of his three articles, he's demonstrated a real LACK of imagination. And to me, that's a key ingredient in mmo's as they move forward. If you give me some hope that you can IMAGINE a new way of playing, I'll give you the opportunity to impress me with your product. But, if your just going to give in and say "I CAN'T see how this would happen", then there's no need for me to check out your products...they'll just be knockoffs of what HAS been done...and I don't need 'em.