What if there was a zombie game...with no zombies?

Posted by MooseyMcMan (9738 posts) -

Okay, so today I was watching the ARMA II: Day Z mod live Quick Look thing GB was doing, and I found it very intriguing.

For those who don't know, it takes the base of ARMA II, which is an extremely realistic military shooter, and drops players in a giant environment with other players and AI controlled zombies. There isn't much in the way of supplies, and death comes quickly.

But watching Vinny and Drew interact with other players in the game got me thinking...What if this game didn't have the zombies? What if everyone thought that the game had zombies, but they weren't really there? Am I sounding like Peter Molydeux now?

I think it'd be brilliant. People would be killing other players over nothing. Over the simple threat that death may be coming from zombies, and that you need to kill the other players and steal their supplies.

But, as I said, this would only work if people thought there were zombies in the game. So, perhaps the way to do it would be to make zombies extremely rare, but common enough that players actually see one every other match or something.

Am I crazy for thinking this, or does anyone else think this might be cool? Or would it only be cool until people realized that there aren't zombies? Oh well! I know I'm going to start thinking of ways to trick people into thinking there are zombies in a game when there really aren't zombies in the game.

Why is there a picture of young Nolan North? It's a mystery!

Edit: As people have suggested (and I kinda thought to begin with), it would fall apart as soon as people realized there weren't any zombies, and the better approach would be to have it be a random chance for zero zombies. I still think the idea of tricking the players into thinking something that is really a non-threat is a threat is an idea that I would love to see expanded and done by people who know more about making games than I do. The real monster is man!

#1 Edited by MooseyMcMan (9738 posts) -

Okay, so today I was watching the ARMA II: Day Z mod live Quick Look thing GB was doing, and I found it very intriguing.

For those who don't know, it takes the base of ARMA II, which is an extremely realistic military shooter, and drops players in a giant environment with other players and AI controlled zombies. There isn't much in the way of supplies, and death comes quickly.

But watching Vinny and Drew interact with other players in the game got me thinking...What if this game didn't have the zombies? What if everyone thought that the game had zombies, but they weren't really there? Am I sounding like Peter Molydeux now?

I think it'd be brilliant. People would be killing other players over nothing. Over the simple threat that death may be coming from zombies, and that you need to kill the other players and steal their supplies.

But, as I said, this would only work if people thought there were zombies in the game. So, perhaps the way to do it would be to make zombies extremely rare, but common enough that players actually see one every other match or something.

Am I crazy for thinking this, or does anyone else think this might be cool? Or would it only be cool until people realized that there aren't zombies? Oh well! I know I'm going to start thinking of ways to trick people into thinking there are zombies in a game when there really aren't zombies in the game.

Why is there a picture of young Nolan North? It's a mystery!

Edit: As people have suggested (and I kinda thought to begin with), it would fall apart as soon as people realized there weren't any zombies, and the better approach would be to have it be a random chance for zero zombies. I still think the idea of tricking the players into thinking something that is really a non-threat is a threat is an idea that I would love to see expanded and done by people who know more about making games than I do. The real monster is man!

#2 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

Its a interesting concept but it just won't hold up, people will find out too soon there's no real threat and the game would just be reduced to open world pvping.

#3 Posted by Rohok (550 posts) -

Wouldn't last long but initially it'd be a cool experiment.

#4 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

The correct way to do it is so there is a very rare chance of no zombies spawning in a given session.
 
It's an interesting concept but it won't work unless people are conditioned for it, so it can't hold up an entire game on its own.

#5 Posted by Hero_Swe (1079 posts) -

That's already happened in DayZ itself Moosey, occasionally servers bugs out and the zombie spawner breaks, which ends up there being 0 zombies in the servers. But the player danger is still there :P.

So yeah, short version. Already happened in DayZ :P

#6 Posted by MooseyMcMan (9738 posts) -

@Hero_Swe said:

That's already happened in DayZ itself Moosey, occasionally servers bugs out and the zombie spawner breaks, which ends up there being 0 zombies in the servers. But the player danger is still there :P.

So yeah, short version. Already happened in DayZ :P

Great! I approve. I think they should make that a feature.

#7 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

So, The Village meets Dawn of the Dead?

#8 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6788 posts) -

The mod is close to what I've wanted out of a zombie game for a long time and I can't wait for it to get better. Also I absolutely must buy ARMA 2/Op Arrowhead now; I've been meaning to do so for a long time anyways since I adore the demos.

Like the others said, it would be a cool feature to have randomly happen in some sessions but if the games were always like that it would get a bit dull after a while I think.

#9 Posted by ShaggE (5982 posts) -

I think you'd need something more threatening than zombies, like a slasher-esque supernatural killer that can be plenty deadly as a single entity. Unfortunately, the nature of video games still makes that a hard sell.

#10 Posted by wemibelec90 (1280 posts) -

I only came in here to compare this topic post to a game idea from Molydeux and you already took care of that comparison. I'm done.

#11 Posted by TruthTellah (7641 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan:

Makes me think of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. For a big part of the game, you expect monsters, but there are none, and even once there -is- a monster, it's invisible. So, you always have the feeling that a monster -may- be there, but you just can't tell. And the game plays with that by having long stretches with no monster. Yet, it feels like there may be one all of the time. It manipulates that tension in a beautiful way.

So, for a zombie game with no zombies, I'd say only having a very rare zombie could work. That way, people will still have those interactions but there will never be a moment where they figure out that there are no zombies, as there actually -are- zombies. Even a momentary glimpse of a zombie, perhaps from afar, and then the game indicating ways to avoid and fight enemies without really needing to use that info for hours could really build that tension and make someone suspicious of everything and everyone.

#12 Posted by MooseyMcMan (9738 posts) -

@TruthTellah: Yes, that sounds like it might work.

Now I just need to wait about five years until everyone has forgotten about this thread, then I can put out my "zombie" game...

#13 Posted by ShaggE (5982 posts) -

@wemibelec90 said:

I only came in here to compare this topic post to a game idea from Molydeux and you already took care of that comparison. I'm done.

What if there were a zombie game... with no game?

#14 Posted by Commisar123 (1786 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan: NEVER FORGET!!!

#15 Posted by Totori (559 posts) -

So it's kinda what dead island should have been?

#16 Posted by benspyda (1896 posts) -

It would work if the internet didn't exist. Apart from the fact that it wouldn't.

Online
#17 Posted by TruthTellah (7641 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan: ha. Well, the beauty of that technique is that it works even if people know about it. All you have to do is add some slight randomness to when exactly a zombie actually pops up. Then, instantly, there really is -perceived- danger all of the time.

So, someone can know that there are sparing zombies, but the threat of one coming at any time would make the entire game have that tension. Then, as they just keep going along, the tension gets worse; they just -know- a zombie is going to eventually come. What's worse than knowing you're about to be attacked? Knowing that you will eventually be attacked, maybe now or maybe in many hours from now. The uncertainty and mere threat of it is enough.

And hey, for good measure, maybe put in some Dark Souls mechanics. Saves are sparing and sometimes hidden, and you perhaps have a zombification mechanic similar to the humanity mechanic, where you're always trying to manage keeping yourself from turning into a zombie. You lose all of your resistance to zombification when you die, but items like zombie vaccines stick around. So, then, you're hording items in case you ever get attacked and get put in a real world of hurt. Big consequences could make even the very rare zombie attack have a greater impact, making you extra cautious.

#18 Posted by JasonR86 (9374 posts) -

What if this isn't the real world and like...you know, the world itself is like a play and and we're all actors. Man.

#19 Posted by ShadowConqueror (2993 posts) -

There is a video series online of a large group of a clan playing an Arma 2 zombie mod (a different one), but there weren't actually zombies. In the end, they ran for a few hours to an airport where the plane automatically exploded when they tried to take off.

#20 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5750 posts) -

what if you were the zombie all along???

#21 Posted by Redbullet685 (5980 posts) -

@TaliciaDragonsong said:

Its a interesting concept but it just won't hold up, people will find out too soon there's no real threat and the game would just be reduced to open world pvping.

Exactly what I would've posted but you already have.

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