Dystopian:the manhunt: a worker placement game of investigation, murder and mystery, set in the futuristic megapolis of DYSTOPIA
Today's title is taken from a Chevy Chase line in one of his 1980s movies (I don't remember the name of it, though, but he was talking about his mom... if you know it... please, tell me what move it is?!).
But, what does the title imply?
We have already seen how Death Rising (the zombie game Nate and I are designing) is not all about killing zombies, but getting a job done by managing your limited resources, and, eventually, killing zombies that stand in your path (but fear not - or, better, FEAR A LOT - because there will be plenty of zombies that will stand in your way).
Hence, the design has a lot of Ameritrash elements: randomness in the events, randomness in the dice rolling, and the oozing theme that embodies the whole game.
But, as we saw in previous posts, the moving mechanic is more similar to a miniatures game, with no grids, no "areas", no point-to-point movement, that to a boardgame. The freedom given by such movement mechanic is very refreshing: there is very little abstraction in calculating range and movement allowance: you simply put your card on the board, and see how far you can move or shoot.
So, unlike boardgames like Mansions of Madness which introduces a cool "Line of sight" mechanic, where your character can see an enemy in an area, as long as any DOT in your area can "see" any DOT on the target area; which is also similar to what Gears of War: The Board Game (only that here we talk about drawing a straight line between two contours) in Death Rising, Line of Sight, Movement, and Range are "actual", exactly what they are supposes to be... if you know what I mean. No abstraction and no difficult calculations.
This is typical to miniatures game (think Infinity or Necromunda, to name a few.
BUT, with the simplicity and straightforwardness of a boardgame.
Ok, all this has already been talked about in previous posts, but what does the Eurogame has to do with anything?
The fact that the players have to use resources, doesn't make it an eurogame, does it!?
What is borrowed from the Eurogame style is the Pick-up and Deliver mechanic, thanks to which characters will go around the map, pick up resources, and bring them back to the camp, to stock them.
But it's not all (not every pick up and deliver game is necesseraly an eurogame): the player(s) will have to build an engine (this, typical to the Euro style games) in order to survive the zombie horde. They will have to maximize their resources; getting a resource, that will help enhance another resource, that will be part of the task of getting the first resource.
Let me explain this in more depth:
there will be 7 resources:
Instead of re-writing here my notes, here is an image taken from my iPad notepad:
So, as you can see, some resources will go automatically down, every turn, depending on the number of characters still alive (which is thematic, but also a selfbalancing mechanic), like water and food and sleep.
Water and food differ in other things, like the fact that if you kill a zombie, near a water spring, you loose that water resource, as the water becomes contaminated.
Sleep can be gained by not acting per 1 turn. This will result in a red action (so the Doom card will be drawn, and the red action resolved), but will prevent the sleep meter to go down by the number of the non-sleeping characters.
Morale will go up-down, depending on the fact that characters get wounded and healed, or get bit and die, or when new survivors are found.
Ammo will be spent by rolling extra dice when attacking; and will be gained thanks to a search action.
Safety will go up, if barricades are built (and to build barricades you need wood), but will go down if barricades are breached by the Zeds.
So, what characters will have to do, is spread on the map, and gain the resources from certain spots on the map, and bring them back to the camp.
In the meantime, fending off zombies, trying to stay alive.
If any of these resources reaches 0, the game is over, and the humans have lost.
As you can see, you need resources to gain other resources, and balancing out what you need, when you need it is the hardest part.
This is the engine mechanic I was talking about before: if you manage your people well, and organize them in manner, to build your engine, and have it working, by gaining this, that helps that, that also helps this, and finally makes you do that... you have figured out a way to get the job done.
Add in a fighting element (instrumental to the "gain resources" aspect) and some randomness, and you have Death rising.
What I am uncertain, still, and here is where I ask Nate to help me out, is: what can the winning conditions be, for the alive team? getting at the end of the doom deck? staying alive for X number of rounds? accomplishing a certain goal (like retreaving X resources, or building X barricades; or eliminating all zombies on the tile... I'm just making these things up).
What would you like to see as a winning condition?