Wednesday, December 28, 2005

You're invited to Zombie Village Playtest

You've played Werewolf, or Mafia, or Witchhunt, or one of the many other variations of the classic "Sleep, Accuse, Debate and Lynch" (SADL) circle games. (Yes, I just made up that acronym.)

Now it's time for Zombie Village. What, you ask, is Zombie Village? It's a tournament-style structure for SADL circle games. Because don't you really want to have a formal system for crowning a World Champion of this kind of game? Well, I do. I dream of starting local, say crowning a Bay Area champion, and working our way up to the big global finale. Yes, I'm serious. And you are coming to my apartment to playtest it.

(Never played this type of game before? Worry not. It's simple to learn on the spot. Come play anyway!)

Also, as a design challenge, it's pretty juicy. How do you award points for performance in a game so that no matter what part is randomly assigned to each player, all players have an equal chance of scoring and advancing in the tournament? It's some tricky math, involving lots of fun probabilities and game theory. Way more complicated than Deal or No Deal.

Here, for example, is one potential tournament scoring system. Imagine that multiple games are played simultaneously in different circle; points awarded after each game; and players begin being eliminated after a certain number of games (say, 2 or 3) based on their total points across all games. You work your way up to a final table of Grand Master players, a game everyone will surely want to watch because, DAMN! Those are some wiley werewolf-mafia-vampire-zombie gamers.

Game circles

  • 10 -16 villagers
  • 2-3 zombies
  • 1 caretaker
  • 1 non-playing moderator
  • 1 non-playing scorer

Scoring

Villagers

  • If the villagers win, a dead villager receives 2 points.
  • If the villagers win, a surviving villager receives 5 points.
  • A villager who nominates a zombie, resulting in the zombie’s lynching at the time of the nomination, receives 3 points (points awarded at the conclusion of the game.)
  • A villager who nominates an innocent villager, resulting in the villager’s lynching at the time of the nomination, loses 1 point (points subtracted at the conclusion of the game.

Zombies

  • If the zombies win, a dead zombie receives 2 points.
  • If the zombies win, a surviving zombie receives 5 points.
  • Each time a zombie is nominated and successfully avoids lynching, he or she receives 3 points (points awarded at the conclusion of the game.)

Caretaker

  • The caretaker is scored according to villager point system, plus:
  • The caretaker receives 2 points for each Zombie discovered, denounced to the group and successfully lynched anytime thereafter.
  • The caretaker loses 1 point for each living, undiscovered Zombie at the time of the caretaker’s death.

So, when are you coming to my apartment in Berkeley to playtest Zombie Village? That's a great question. The answer is: As soon as I can get 15 or so other people to my apartment to playtest Zombie Village. Proposed date: Friday, January 13th, evening. ARE YOU GAME?

If you are in the Bay Area and can come to my Berkeley apartment (street parking available, and we are 3 blocks from a BART stop) on the evening of Friday January 13, email me at zombie at avantgame dot com. We're about halfway to a quorum for the 13th, so climb aboard the train to Zombie Village! (OR If you would like to playtest on a DIFFERENT date, let me know. We may do it again, or reschedule as necessary.)

8 comments:

Sir Quady said...

Oooh. I'd love too. Unfortunatley, i live about 2500 Miles away, so the chances of me being able to are, um, shall we say, less than slim. But i'm considering creating another Zombie Village Playtest, on a smaller scale. Sounds Awesome! Oh, and i'll be sure to let you know how it goes, if we do do it.

konamouse said...

I'm actually near the Bay Area this weekend. If something is scheduled for Saturday or Sunday, I am only 45 min away. Never played this or anything like this before.

Ariock said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
GOP Christian said...

The girls at http://www.livejournal.com/community/purgatorium/ might like to play, but if they are zombies you will have to provide barf-bags, because it's a pro-eating-disorder site leading girls to an early grave.

Craig said...

There is a massive game of Werewolf comming up at the O'Reilly e-tech conference in San Diego in a few weeks. We played an informal game at CodeCon using some rule variants that made a much more fun game, I think. Some of these variants were that the seer starts the game with perfect information and the werewolves win when they eliminate the seer. The only problem is that the game is over pretty quickly unless the seer is a very good player, but fun none the lest.

Jane said...

Of course there's a huge game coming up at Etech... and I'm moderating it! (with my partner in crime, Artur Bergman.) See you there?

Jimmy Page said...

Inquiring minds want to know how the play test went?

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