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Subject: Did this really just happen?? rss

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Daniel Rocchi
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So, based on an idea I had about five years ago, I've spent the last year working dilligently on a game design.

My game, Zombie Dash is a fast and fun race around a graveyard, dodging and killing zombies while stealing treasures from under other players' noses. Based on Ave Caesar and Robo Rally, it uses hand management and a bit of programmed movement to get around. After a bunch of playtesting, I have two working prototypes in good shape, and am trying it out with other designers at Protospeil North at HammerCon in Hamilton next week. I was going to wait til after the Con and a little more input, to post my rules and files on the Geek.

Then, last week in Essen, out of nowhere, Inner Kingdom Games released Zombie Dash. It is described thus:

Zombie Dash is a light strategy, zombie apocalypse party game. Players move their Human Tokens along a city street with each human being pursued by a single zombie. The last surviving player, or the first player to reach the safe zone, wins the game. Players are eliminated from the round if their Human is caught by the pursuing Zombie.

Movement is managed through a shared deck of movement cards that combines Human Run cards and Zombie Chase cards. Each turn, each player is dealt two cards and plays both cards on any player. Each player can have only two cards played on them each turn. The strategy element of the game is seen in the choice of what cards to play on what player in what order.


Verrrrrry similar to my game.

At the very least, it seems a name change is in order.(officially open to suggestions..) But what else? Totally retheme it? (again open to suggestions..) Totally rework it? Totally scrap it? Or is there room for yet another Zombie race game?

Let me know your thoughts..

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Darrell Hanning
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My thought is that zombie games reached excess a year ago.

I recommend you re-theme it.
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Shayne Gray
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I think your game has significant enough differences than the one just released that you can just go with a different name.

Perhaps call it Graveyard Dash, Or simply Graveyard.

Well just checked and there is a Graveyard Dash on BGG. You might want to take a look at that game as well.
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Ian Toltz
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I can empathize with you. I was working on a light card game where you build a dungeon to kill heroes and take their equipment. It had heroes forming in a line, certain heroes moving up to the center, and the order you played your cards was of tantamount importance...

And then Dungeon Lords came out. Much bigger, heavier game, but the combat in it has a very similar feel to the combat in the game I was developing.

C'est la vie.
 
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Eric Etkin
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Zombies = more played out than moody vampires at a 11th grade sleepover. If there is one theme in pop culture I loathe more than vampires, it's zombies. Please just die. Die zombies. Die. Leave my television. Leave my books. Let my horror movies go in peace. Take Mr. Romero back to the one-trick horse farm he spawned from.




Re-theme it. It's extremely doubtful your mechanic execution is remotely similar.

May I suggest:

An archeological dig in a haunted excavation spot?

Racoons at a picnic or campsite stealing food?

A robot graveyard where you salvage parts to upgrade yourself?
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Liam
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MOTHDevil wrote:
May I suggest:
Racoons at a picnic or campsite stealing food?


Eric, I now have a special place in my heart for you.

Yes I would re-theme it. While this is no doubt very irritating, you seem to be taking it well, good games can stand on their mechanics alone, so you have not lost anything of great value.
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Captain Spaulding
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Yours sounds like something I'd try. The other sounds like something I'd never want to play - play two random cards every round and possibly be eliminated? Ick. I'd just re-name yours.
 
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Herc du Preez
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MOTHDevil wrote:
Die zombies. Die.

But zombies are dead. That's their ..er.. charm? zombie

But anyways, I would suggest a re-theme if possible. But if there are significant enough differences then a name change should be enough.
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John "Omega" Williams
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Well at least the look-alike game wasn't put out by a company that you had shown your WIP to once.

And I agree. Please God no more @#$%^&*ing Zombies!
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fightcitymayor
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There is only one solution:
Take Richard Hamblen to court over it.


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Chris Ferejohn
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I still like zombies. Point being that the retheming decision (or not) probably shouldn't be based on comments in a BGG thread...
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Help me to help you! Help me to help you!
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cferejohn wrote:
I still like zombies. Point being that the retheming decision (or not) probably shouldn't be based on comments in a BGG thread...

Me too.
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Daniel Rocchi
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I have to say, that in no way could anyone have seen or been influenced by my design. It has existed only in my notebook untill the prototypes were made this summer. It is just some crazy coincidence.

I also had thoughts a while ago about rethemeing it. I read a geeklist last year about how zombies are an overdone theme. I did think of archeologists running through a buried temple being chased by ..i don't know.. mummies or something. Another thought was to have space ships careening through space, landing on planets to gather resources while avoiding alien spacecraft. Though I have to admit, I DO like the ideas of racoons in the garbage..

However, Zombie games keep coming out and selling (TWO Walking Dead board games this summer alone!) A newspaper article last week stated that zombies are the new vampires. The whole genre is getting some reanimation, if you will, to rise to the forefront of popular culture.

I definitely appreciate all your thoughts and suggestions, because at this point, it just feels like I've ben punched in the stomach.
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Eric Etkin
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DarkCelt wrote:
I have to say, that in no way could anyone have seen or been influenced by my design. It has existed only in my notebook untill the prototypes were made this summer. It is just some crazy coincidence.


If it makes you feel any better, Ron Moore (the BSG guy) seems to have a private ethereal viewing window into my fiction notebook and computer harddrive, and has been watching me for the last 20 years.


DarkCelt wrote:
However, Zombie games keep coming out and selling (TWO Walking Dead board games this summer alone!) A newspaper article last week stated that zombies are the new vampires. The whole genre is getting some reanimation, if you will, to rise to the forefront of popular culture.


But what's your plan with the game? Because if you're punting it to a publisher, you won't see said game hitting the shelves for probably a minnimum of 1-2 years. Likely longer. Any decent zombie game out there has probably been in the hopper for awhile now. DOn't jump on the zombie theme because it looks hot. IMO, this thing will be hitting cultural fatigue shortly after World War Z is released.

If you MUST use zombies (but please... don't) - is there any way to merge it with something else? Zombie raccoons, perhaps?

DarkCelt wrote:
I definitely appreciate all your thoughts and suggestions, because at this point, it just feels like I've ben punched in the stomach.


This is nothing, kid. You'll get over it. Dust off and be on your way. If the mechanics are fun, theme is the least of your concerns, IMO.
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Jon Kolman
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MOTHDevil wrote:

Zombies = more played out than moody vampires at a 11th grade sleepover. If there is one theme in pop culture I loathe more than vampires, it's zombies. Please just die. Die zombies. Die. Leave my television. Leave my books. Let my horror movies go in peace. Take Mr. Romero back to the one-trick horse farm he spawned from.


As they say, if you don't like it, don't buy/play it. It's not like out of the hundreds of games coming out each year, 95% of them are zombie games. If that was the case, I would completely agree with you. But it's only a small fraction, and if you cannot find anything else that grabs your interest out of all games being released, then you have much bigger issues and board games shouldn't be a priority.

For me...I love zombies and think that there can never be enough.
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Eric Etkin
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RoC1909 wrote:

For me...I love zombies and think that there can never be enough.


The same thing has been said about western movies, silli bands, and the califonia raisins. I'm just trying to help allievate the OP's pain and point him towards a potentially longer-lived solution.

You might like 'em, but zombies ain't forever. Corpses eventually rot too much to stay together. IMO, there's not enough substance in the concept to support it long term. My suggestions only partially have to do with my complete shrug directed toward the "genre." I'm pretty good at pegging a fad versus a niche... and zombies Sir, like 'em or hate 'em, are a fad.

You may say I'll be eating crow in a couple years (or brains), but I've got my calendar marked...


 
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Dennis Ku
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Dark Celt - I happen to know you LOVE raccoons more than you love whiskey, so I like the suggestion to re-work it to involve raccoons.
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Subhan Michael Tindall
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MOTHDevil wrote:

Die zombies. Die.


It's German for "The Zombies. The."
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Tim
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The designer of Zombie Dash is from San Antonio. I can tell you that I first playtested his game back... in May, maybe June of 2010... It definitely didn't come out of "nowhere".

Zombies are the new vampires. *shrug*

And for the record, I recommended a re-theme the first time I played his game... My idea was obviously not taken under advisement
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James Hutchings
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Is there any reason that the pursuing monsters have to be zombies? There are lots of scenarios in which humans are chased by some other creatures (or by other humans).
 
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Ben Pinchback
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Ya keep working your mechanics and playtesting. Themes come and go. U can adjust in the fly. The mechanics are the game.
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John "Omega" Williams
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Rats... Nothing scarier than being chased by rats, especially the big black ones.

Sheep... Nothing scarier, and more perturbing, than being chased by sheep... (We had a local factory my brother worked at that used sheep instead of guard dogs. They had two big muscle guys cornered for an hour once who'd wandered into the restricted section by accident. Scary things sheep, and rams...)

Raccoons... Nothing scarier, and more sneaky, than a raccoon after your picnic basket... er... wait a minute... whistle

apeloverage wrote:
Is there any reason that the pursuing monsters have to be zombies? There are lots of scenarios in which humans are chased by some other creatures (or by other humans).
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Ben Pinchback
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What about zombies being chased by humans? What a bad day. You're already dead and now you got these humans chasing you. I bet some clever strategy could help me escape.....
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Joe Mucchiello
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MOTHDevil wrote:
You might like 'em, but zombies ain't forever. Corpses eventually rot too much to stay together. IMO, there's not enough substance in the concept to support it long term. My suggestions only partially have to do with my complete shrug directed toward the "genre." I'm pretty good at pegging a fad versus a niche... and zombies Sir, like 'em or hate 'em, are a fad.

Only true if you also think vampires are just a fad. Zombies have been going strongly for at least a decade (28 Days Later came out in 2002 and is the leading edge of the current zombie "fad") without any sign they are relenting. (THEY JUST KEEP COMING!!) Fads don't last a whole decade. They usually fade much faster than that.

Otherwise I agree: no more zombies please.
 
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Robin Goodall
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Space/SciFi seems to be on the rise. Never much of a hit in Germany but possibly changing.

So, players could be humans flying around space, collecting technology? from planets while avoiding those pesky green aliens goo in their saucers until they have enough tech to wipe out the green menace forever!
 
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