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Subject: Randomized Spawn Mechanic...help? rss

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Chris Shreve
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I'm in the last stages of a co operative zombie apocalypse stlye board game (think Left 4 Dead meets Aliens: The Board Game), and I'm having trouble figuring a good way to spawn Zombies on the map.

The game operates off of scenarios that feature static maps and goals, but randomized zombie and item spawns. Anyone have any ideas as to how to accomplish this effectively? Thanks in advance.
 
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Jim Cote
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Put colored icons on the board spaces. To spawn, roll a die with colored faces and add zombies to spaces with that colored icon that are adjacent to existing zombies. This way, some maps could have, for example, a clumped blue section. No zombies spawn on blue until a zombie reaches that area, then a lot of them spawn at once.
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Henry
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I think Jim's solution (or some derivative thereof) is probably best, but here's a silly alternative: Make some number of little chits out of a 3x5 card and have a player drop them onto the board all at once from a height of at least three feet. (There was a Magic card in the Unglued set that worked kind of like this; Chaos Confetti, IIRC.)

Another alternative: Have a deck of large "pattern cards" that indicate where to place new zombies at various points (every X turns, whenever some card type is drawn, etc.). The pattern cards would have pictures of the map in miniature with marks showing where to place zombies. Downside is you'd have to make up a lot of these for it to feel really random. But it'd allow for more logical, easily-designed scenarios (chainsaws in the hardware store, no grenades appearing in the library, etc.).
 
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Henry
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Koldfoot wrote:
Use the "air drop" mechanic

First the porn industry thread, then the BGG-related disappointment thread, now this...
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Chris Shreve
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Good ideas, guys. The dropping wont work, as the board will be literally choked with zombies.

I'd like to have it be to where each room has a number of zombies that are lurking there, along with a few more that spawn each turn (these are assumed to be in the area and attracted by the player's gunfire). The biggest problem is figuring how to make it appear as if the spawns were coming from elsewhere, instead of just appearing out of thin air.
 
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Mark Wright
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If you want to get Zombies to not appear out of thin air then you could utilise a mechanic such as

All spawn points that are not in line of sight of a player spawn a zombie.

Place the spawn points around corners and out of the way places such as alleys and rooms etc. Thus the players can decide to stick together and not cover the spawn points creating more zombies or thin out to watch more spawn points and risk being over run.

Using this mechanic Zombies always will appear from around a corner never in thin air.

To control the total number of spawns only have areas / zones on the board in which there is a player character actually spawning.

For added reality in each zone have a disturbance level maintained, as players fire guns this rises. Each spawn point has a disturbance level which means the zone has to equal or exceed this before it starts to spawn. Thus offering the option to players of sneaking into an area without getting the zombie residence all excited. Of course by having a couple of howling zombies who might see the players this will then wake everyone in the zone by adding to the disturbance level.

If players are trying to manage disturbance levels in order to get through areas it will make them think twice about using the gun perhaps as oopose to using the axe which is alot quieter, but more risky.

With disturbance levels there needs to be some run off from zone to zone as you can't go blowing things up in one street and expect the next street not to notice, or maybe you do as this is what happens in the movies.

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August Larson
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One idea that might be fun is to have dead human bodies randomly scattered about the board. During the spawning phase, those dead bodies in a certain area will rise up. As players, you could take your time to FULLY KILL the dead, at the risk of causing a disturbance (really liked Mark's idea above) or just wasting time in the event that that body never would have risen.
 
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Chris Shreve
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Good ideas, everyone. I don't think the idea of disturbance will work effectively, as the game is on a smaller scale level, as in room by room of a building rather than street by street. That, and the less calculations, the better. This game is designed to be fast and tense.

And the whole idea of putting down dead bodies for good is great, but alas, these aren't actually "zombies" I'm using, but rather humans infected with a rabies-like virus. Think 28 Days Later or Quarantine.

I had run into the issue of infected spawning out of rooms that the group have already been through and cleared, with no feasible way for more to get into that room. i.e. They clear a room, leave by the only exit, and infected start to pour from the room behind them. So I decided that certain areas can be "cleared", which requires there to be no infected in the room, either spawned or lurking. A token is placed in that area, and nothing can spawn from it or any area behind it. You can clear a building, but not a street.
 
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August Larson
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omni_mech wrote:
Good ideas, everyone. I don't think the idea of disturbance will work effectively, as the game is on a smaller scale level, as in room by room of a building rather than street by street. That, and the less calculations, the better. This game is designed to be fast and tense.

And the whole idea of putting down dead bodies for good is great, but alas, these aren't actually "zombies" I'm using, but rather humans infected with a rabies-like virus. Think 28 Days Later or Quarantine.

I had run into the issue of infected spawning out of rooms that the group have already been through and cleared, with no feasible way for more to get into that room. i.e. They clear a room, leave by the only exit, and infected start to pour from the room behind them. So I decided that certain areas can be "cleared", which requires there to be no infected in the room, either spawned or lurking. A token is placed in that area, and nothing can spawn from it or any area behind it. You can clear a building, but not a street.


That's perfectly fine if you wish not to use my idea. I decided I really wanted to use it myself anyways.

Thematically, what is stopping zombies, er, infected from ever coming out of that room again? Do you close the doors and they just can't operate the complex mechanism of a doorknob? Or do players throw some sort of anti-infected chemical into the room, warding away infected from ever going in that room again?
 
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Chris Shreve
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colmustard21 wrote:
omni_mech wrote:
Good ideas, everyone. I don't think the idea of disturbance will work effectively, as the game is on a smaller scale level, as in room by room of a building rather than street by street. That, and the less calculations, the better. This game is designed to be fast and tense.

And the whole idea of putting down dead bodies for good is great, but alas, these aren't actually "zombies" I'm using, but rather humans infected with a rabies-like virus. Think 28 Days Later or Quarantine.

I had run into the issue of infected spawning out of rooms that the group have already been through and cleared, with no feasible way for more to get into that room. i.e. They clear a room, leave by the only exit, and infected start to pour from the room behind them. So I decided that certain areas can be "cleared", which requires there to be no infected in the room, either spawned or lurking. A token is placed in that area, and nothing can spawn from it or any area behind it. You can clear a building, but not a street.


That's perfectly fine if you wish not to use my idea. I decided I really wanted to use it myself anyways.

Thematically, what is stopping zombies, er, infected from ever coming out of that room again? Do you close the doors and they just can't operate the complex mechanism of a doorknob? Or do players throw some sort of anti-infected chemical into the room, warding away infected from ever going in that room again?


The situation I meant was this. The players start in a room, for example, with one exit leading down a hall to another room. They leave the initial room, go down the hall, and enter the second area, only to have zombies spawn out of the room they just left. Situations like that. Or the players clear out the thrid floor of an aprtment bulding only to have more zombies come rushing down the stairs when they move down to the second floor.
 
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August Larson
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omni_mech wrote:
colmustard21 wrote:
omni_mech wrote:
Good ideas, everyone. I don't think the idea of disturbance will work effectively, as the game is on a smaller scale level, as in room by room of a building rather than street by street. That, and the less calculations, the better. This game is designed to be fast and tense.

And the whole idea of putting down dead bodies for good is great, but alas, these aren't actually "zombies" I'm using, but rather humans infected with a rabies-like virus. Think 28 Days Later or Quarantine.

I had run into the issue of infected spawning out of rooms that the group have already been through and cleared, with no feasible way for more to get into that room. i.e. They clear a room, leave by the only exit, and infected start to pour from the room behind them. So I decided that certain areas can be "cleared", which requires there to be no infected in the room, either spawned or lurking. A token is placed in that area, and nothing can spawn from it or any area behind it. You can clear a building, but not a street.


That's perfectly fine if you wish not to use my idea. I decided I really wanted to use it myself anyways.

Thematically, what is stopping zombies, er, infected from ever coming out of that room again? Do you close the doors and they just can't operate the complex mechanism of a doorknob? Or do players throw some sort of anti-infected chemical into the room, warding away infected from ever going in that room again?


The situation I meant was this. The players start in a room, for example, with one exit leading down a hall to another room. They leave the initial room, go down the hall, and enter the second area, only to have zombies spawn out of the room they just left. Situations like that. Or the players clear out the thrid floor of an aprtment bulding only to have more zombies come rushing down the stairs when they move down to the second floor.


No, I understand WHY you don't have infected spawning from already-cleared rooms, but I'm asking is there any theme behind it? There doesn't have to be, like in Left 4 Dead, it just doesn't happen. I was just curious.
 
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Daniel Winterhalter
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There's always the Pandemic style spawning method; draw cards with the different areas to have zombies spawn.
 
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Matt Kruczek
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Let's assume for a moment that there are up to 50 zombies to be faced during the course of the game. Have two sets of 50 zombie chits, each numbered 1-50. One set is placed into a cup and randomized, and the other set is distributed number-side up throughout the play area. Whenever you want a zombie to spawn, draw a chit from the cup and the corresponding zombie on the board becomes "live", unless it's in a cleared area.

How you distribute the chits depends on how you have arranged the board. You could have pre-set spaces that the chits are placed onto, or each room/area has a designated number of chits assigned to it that can be placed at random.
 
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August Larson
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matt_k wrote:
Let's assume for a moment that there are up to 50 zombies to be faced during the course of the game. Have two sets of 50 zombie chits, each numbered 1-50. One set is placed into a cup and randomized, and the other set is distributed number-side up throughout the play area. Whenever you want a zombie to spawn, draw a chit from the cup and the corresponding zombie on the board becomes "live", unless it's in a cleared area.

How you distribute the chits depends on how you have arranged the board. You could have pre-set spaces that the chits are placed onto, or each room/area has a designated number of chits assigned to it that can be placed at random.


That willk work great with my previous idea of dead humans having the possibility of coming alive as zombies. Thank you!

Edited for grammar
 
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Chris Shreve
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I love this thread, because it spawns a lot of great ideas, even for other people!

I figured it out, I think. I'll have a deck of cards with a certain number of zombies listed on them, along with a number. The zombies on the card are spawned, and must be within a number of spaces listed on the card. Players choose where to spawn them, as long as they spawn out of line of site and within the number. (Note that this is a co op game with no 'game master' player. You play against the game.)

For lurking zombies, I'll just have to set them up based on the scenario and play testing. I'm thinking that zombies will not react to the players unless they meet one or more of these conditions:

1.They are card spawned zombies. These represent zombies that come running due to the sound of the player's gunfire and/or the screeches of nearby zombies.

2. A player moves within 10 squares in line of site, or 5 squares without (a zombie sees you from 10 squares, hears you within 5).

3. A card spawned zombie passes adjacent to it, basically going 'hey, cmon! Meat!'
 
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Mark Hadley
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It would help to know how the map is laid out exactly. Are there separate squares for movement, like in Zombies!!, or is each area a separate room, like Betrayal at House on the Hill, where the entire area is a single "space"?

In any case, the best spawn points would be the entrances or exits to different areas. Then what you could do is define the number of zombies necessary for a zone to be "empty", "light", and "heavy". For example, zero zombies means it is "empty". 1 to 4 zombies means it is "light". 5 or more means it is "heavy".

Once this is defined, you check for any "empty" or "light" zones that are connected to a "heavy" zone. Then, randomly determine which of these connections spawn zombies. The end result is that zombies will slowly infest a zone until it becomes "heavy", at which point they stop getting more zombies, and any zonnected zones will start getting spawns as well. For the purposes of keeping spawns constant, just make any street areas always count as a "heavy" zone.
 
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This Guy
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A little late, but here's an idea.

* There are windows, doors, and gaps. Collectively considered openings for this idea. Openings are where zombies appear (spawn).
* Any opening which players either (A) have line of sight on both sides, or (B) is connected to a cleared room, is Controlled; zombies cannot spawn there. For instance, if player 1 has line of sight on the interior of a window and player 2 has line of sight on the exterior of that window, then the window cannot spawn a zombie.
* Areas with openings on the edge of the board can never be cleared (thematically makes sense and fits line of sight rule).
* The infection intensity is represented by a d6. Higher is worse.
* During a spawn phase or event, roll a d6 for each designated area. If the roll is lower than the intensity, up to X zombies appear (X=Intensity minus roll, max 5). Place 1 at each uncontrolled opening.
* You cannot place more zombies than legal openings for an area.
 
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