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Announcing ZED, the new zombie CCG!

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In my view it is less about playing good and bad, more about controlling your own faction. Since this is survival, there's both "good" and "bad" about it - it is inherently about self interest and protecting your own people at the cost of others (think Rick in The Walking Dead). The zombies on the other hand, are more of an automatic force of nature - you only really "play as the zombies" when you choose to put a special zombie into play against your opponent, or decide on which of your opponent's survivors a zombie will bite in a tiebreak situation.

I just want to say I love this concept, and the mechanics are similar to what I incorporate in all of my games (and what are included in most of my favorite commercial CCGs).

I have a little criticism/questions (which may be because I didn't read them carefully enough, so bare with me):

1. The way I read it, zombies only get morale if they were zombies that were formerly survivors. I understand the concept of people getting morale for killing zombies (like, hooray, we're not gonna die!), but they are also essentially getting morale for killing a fallen comrade. That makes less sense. I think players should gain morale for killing zombies regardless (or just not gain morale at all).

2. "However, no two zombies may hit the same survivor, until all survivors have been hit at least once this round." - This is no fun, everyone loves a zombie pile-up! Maybe add that mechanic as an interrupt you can play when your opponent is fighting zombies?

3. When you kill a generic zombie, it flips over and becomes a named (and I'm assuming much more powerful) zombie. This makes it seem like you're being punished for killing generic zombies. Players are going to find a way to stall killing generic zombies because things will get much worse when they become named zombies. I think there should be more incentive for killing generic zombies (like once they die, they die forever), but if you let things get out of hand, they start turning into

4. Is this game quick or long? It seems like it'd be fun as a quick game that you can play several rounds of, but the deck sizes (50 cards + 10 side cards) makes it seem like it might be a longer game. Either way is fine, but I'm wondering how long it's been taking you guys in playtesting.

5. As I understand it, your entire side deck is survivors (or at least can potentially be all survivors). In addition, survivors never appear anywhere else but in your side deck (before being played to a zone). This seems fair, but I think it's going to lead to a majority of the game's strategy being focused on what cards/survivors you choose for your side deck. As time goes on, people will realize there is an absolute combination of survivors that make the ultimate side deck, all other survivor cards will be ignored, and the game will become boring because everyone will essentially have the same deck.

Obviously there are ways to prevent this, but you really want to decide how much of the game is going to be decided before it even starts (like Decipher's Mega Man CCG, nearly all of the strategy is in deckbuilding, rather than the actual gameplay). In a perfect world, everyone would be unique and want to play with different survivors and have a different style of play, but in reality people all gravitate towards the strategies that work the best (even in casual play, sadly).

Anyway good luck, and as for the card artwork, do what I do: Until you are ready for a finished product, assuming you absolutely need artwork for playtesting, just draw some funny pictures in MS Paint. Also, you mentioned the possibility of using photos... are you going to have people dress up as zombies and stuff for your game? That would be totally cool, but sounds expensive ahahha.

EDIT: Also in response to how Trevor said the morale concept is lame, I don't completely agree (I mean, you have to have the will to fight and all that), but I must say that juggling counters that are used as resources becomes very cumbersome and annoying. It's all fun for something easy-to-use like Lackey, but think of people who want to play in real life. I'm not saying ditch the idea, but there are some pretty innovative resource systems out there.

Hm... Expanding Trevor's point: Hot about "dual-turns". During your opponent's turn, you play zombie cards. During your turn you play survivor cards. Each card, like Trevor suggests, can be a vanilla "basic zombie". Perhaps during each zombie-turn a player gets a set number of "zombie-points" to summon/cast zombie stuff. During your survivor turn you can do stuff ("Baiting Trouble", "Hell and Back", etc) to increase the number of zombie-points you'll get.

Yes so in this case zombies are instants, to put it bluntly.


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