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Difference between revisions of "Talk:Outbreak"

Difference between revisions of "Talk:Outbreak"

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A way to run this with less prop expenditure would be to invite players to buy and bring their own Nerf guns if they wanted an edge in the game - these players could be the police or military, or the hardcore survivalists who were prepared for the zombie apocalypse. You could probably get by with just one game-property gun, in case nobody felt like bringing their own.
|date=10:41, 13 October 2008
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|user=[[User:Kevan|Kevan]]
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|comment=A way to run this with less prop expenditure would be to invite players to buy and bring their own Nerf guns if they wanted an edge in the game - these players could be the police or military, or the hardcore survivalists who were prepared for the zombie apocalypse. You could probably get by with just one game-property gun, in case nobody felt like bringing their own.
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(And you could bulk the armoury out with some cheap Shaun of the Dead type weapons, in soft foam rubber - one-shot blunt instruments which you have to drop when you hit a zombie with them.)
 
(And you could bulk the armoury out with some cheap Shaun of the Dead type weapons, in soft foam rubber - one-shot blunt instruments which you have to drop when you hit a zombie with them.)
  
[http://www.hasbro.com/default.cfm?page=browse&product_id=18080 Glow in the dark ammo] might be good for post-game cleanup, and for making hits and misses clearer. I assume you can convert your own ammunition with a bit of phosphorescent paint, though.
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Glow in the dark ammo might be good for post-game cleanup, and for making hits and misses clearer. I assume you can convert your own Nerf ammunition with a bit of phosphorescent paint. --[[User:Kevan|Kevan]] ([[User talk:Kevan|talk]]) 2009-04-16 13:14:49
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{{comment
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When's this being tested? I want to play it! --[[User:benhenley|benhenley]] ([[User talk:benhenley|talk]]) 2009-05-09 09:41:20
|date=11:07, 13 October 2008
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|user=[[User:Kevan|Kevan]]
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Gwyn's off having adventures in some non-London part of the world, so we probably won't run it till he's back - don't know if anyone else will, anywhere. --[[User:Holly|Holly]] ([[User talk:Holly|talk]]) 2009-05-09 22:40:13
|comment=In fact, those glow-in-the-dark Nerf darts are just "eight foam darts and glow-in-the-dark labels", so yes, might as well just make your own.
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}}
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I'd happily run a test of it! --[[User:benhenley|benhenley]] ([[User talk:benhenley|talk]]) 2009-05-10 11:44:25
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I wonder where would be good? I think Gwyn - who I believe is back around the end of the month - was planning to run it as a one-off on Hampstead Heath, which maybe works better than any of the upcoming Sandpit venues. --[[User:Holly|Holly]] ([[User talk:Holly|talk]]) 2009-05-10 16:03:42
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There's a Zombie Picnic at Alexandra Palace on Saturday...
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http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=89692841179&ref=ts
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 +
I can't make it but I know one of the organisers in case anyone else fancies organising a test run at short notice... --[[User:benhenley|benhenley]] ([[User talk:benhenley|talk]]) 2009-05-11 10:23:23
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I'll be back in London on June 10, and looking to run some games more-or-less immediately. I've had experience hand-rolling my own one-shot nerf ammo from A4 paper (you can also make 'shotgun' ammo by putting small paper pellets in the front of the shell casing) - it should be easy to make them glow-in-the-dark. I think the guns should glow, too, to make them look cooler, so that they won't get lost, and to make carrying a gun a tactical choice (zombies eat glowing things).
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Yo, Kevan, is it possible to add "[  ] email me replies to this thread" to the forum? I nearly missed this. --[[User:gwyn|gwyn]] ([[User talk:gwyn|talk]]) 2009-05-17 07:22:58
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Good idea, and no problem. I've added an "email notification" section to the sidebar, which will let you subscribe to whichever discussions you like.
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 +
Look forward to giving this game a go some time. I think we still have a box of glowsticks in the props cupboard... --[[User:Kevan|Kevan]] ([[User talk:Kevan|talk]]) 2009-05-17 12:10:08
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I've been thinking about this a bit more carefully. So, the Director calls "Game Start". You're a player hidden somewhere in the forest. You have a gun. As soon as you hear the lone zombie begin moaning, you run towards it, stand at a safe distance (since you can move faster than it), and shoot it. You and your fellow players, now in a tidy circle, fire another shot every time the lone zombie tries to get up again. Boring.
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Even without this effect, there's no reason not for all the players to immediately group up once they're safe from patient zero. The zombies don't have a chance.
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 +
I can think of a few possible changes:
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 +
* Stealth zombies. Zombies moan only when attacking.
 +
 
 +
* Multiple 'patient zero' zombies.. maybe 1 in 5 of the players.
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 +
* Multiple waves of infection. Most people still get "not a zombie" cards, but the initially-infected players get "Zombie wave 0", "Zombie wave 1", "Zombie wave 2". The director calls out "Wave 1" etc during the game, so the guy standing next to you could turn into a zombie at any time. Since zombie attacks are instant, groups of more than 1-2 standing close together are always at serious risk.
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* Incubation time. If you're touched by a zombie, you will become a zombie the next time the air horn sounds (roughly once every two minutes). This leads to "no, it's okay.. I shot him before he touched me, I'm good, honest" conversations, along with players executing each other if they think they might be infected. --[[User:gwyn|gwyn]] ([[User talk:gwyn|talk]]) 2009-05-19 13:38:15
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All good. Silent stealth zombies certainly fit the genre, if a zombie felt like standing behind a door or slumping against a tree until a flashlight found them. It's up to the zombie player whether they want to risk a few non-combat moans to attract a horde.
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Incubation is great. The airhorn could create some very artificial standoffs, though, with the all nervous executions being efficiently saved up until the next time an airhorn sounded. Maybe being bitten means that you must become a zombie ''between the next two airhorns'', at a dramatic or opportune moment of your choosing. You can still point a gun at a suspect until the all-clear sounds, but you have to be on your guard for a full two minutes, rather than just for a few critical seconds.
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Not sure if the incubation lag would hurt the zombies by slowing their infection rate, though, particularly if every victim gets to spend two minutes shooting back at you before the infection kicks in. Maybe zombies should have an option to "feed" - if they can grab a player for a few seconds and make chewing sounds, that player drops to the floor immediately as if they were a felled zombie, and wakes up undead on the count of fifty? --[[User:Kevan|Kevan]] ([[User talk:Kevan|talk]]) 2009-05-19 14:20:11
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And hmm, if you're now letting survivors kill each other off in the name of quarantine, that opens up a very easy route to the "last man standing" victory condition. --[[User:Kevan|Kevan]] ([[User talk:Kevan|talk]]) 2009-05-19 14:38:23
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I'd like to avoid having an 'elimination' method at all, because standing around in the cold dark in the heath listening to other people have fun would be pretty grim. This is why zombies can't be permanently killed at all. That means, though, that there can't be any survivor-on-survivor fire, unless a fallen survivor rises as a zombie, and then what's the point? Quarantine's limited too, because of the 30-second rule, so if you think someone's infected your best bet is probably to run away.
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I'm trying hard to avoid overcomplicating this, but I do think that incubation time varying between zero and two minutes is a key mechanic, and 'between the next two horns' is the best I can think of too. 'Feeding' sounds like a good addition, although I do want to keep the violence down to a light tap. --[[User:gwyn|gwyn]] ([[User talk:gwyn|talk]]) 2009-05-20 06:27:59
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I would fix the problem identified in comment #9 by making zombies fast from the very beginning, and maybe starting with two zombies. The players might tend to split up to avoid a running zombie, and I imagine it's probably quite hard to hit a running target with a Nerf gun in time. --[[User:benhenley|benhenley]] ([[User talk:benhenley|talk]]) 2009-05-22 11:55:43
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Yeah, I was assuming a zombie virus where shot survivors would also rise back up, as elimination is never fun. If you're convinced someone is infected, though, shooting them before running away would buy you a lot of time - they'd have to wait thirty seconds and then walk slowly after you, rather than running immediately after you to your new hideout, calling "no, honestly, I feel fine..." --[[User:Kevan|Kevan]] ([[User talk:Kevan|talk]]) 2009-05-20 11:29:55
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I originally had the zombies walking because they don't have lights, and I didn't want them running into trees and getting hurt. But then, I suppose we did that in Night Watch and it was fine. Perhaps "enraged zombies will sprint directly at a target they can see"? --[[User:gwyn|gwyn]] ([[User talk:gwyn|talk]]) 2009-05-22 13:27:49
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 +
This was a pretty amazing experience, last night. Crouching against a tree, in the dark, on Hampstead Heath, watching a silhouetted figure lurch arms-outstretched between the trees along the dull orange sky of the horizon. Some outstanding movie moments - I found a discarded shotgun at one point, fired a test shot into the ground, then couldn't work out how to reload it, and wasn't sure if it had another shot in the barrel. After some failed attempts to reload by nervous torchlight, I ended up facing down a slow-moving zombie, and just pointed and hoped. And... click...
 +
 
 +
The game rules seemed pretty tight and effective. It was fine without the complex delayed infection, and "if your phone rings, become a zombie" was a good backup.
 +
 
 +
I'm not sure if the survivors need a tiny bit more of a victory condition, though. "Survive for as long as you can" is the obvious one (and people will assume it even if you don't tell them), but it felt a bit weird in practice. Hiding behind a tree seemed a pretty solid tactic, and I'm sure that actually crouching somewhere in the brambles for twenty minutes would have been foolproof. Not a lot of fun, though, and I could feel the conflicting pressures of "fun" and "goal", before deciding to head out and find a gun, even if guns served no tactical purpose beyond keeping the zombies at bay while I was finding more guns. Maybe it just needs some other stuff to find, to get people out there; a few plastic bags with small survivalist props inside, and whichever survivor has the most when the airhorn goes is the winner. Grabbing a couple and hiding in the darkness is a valid strategy, but there could always be someone out there with one more item.
 +
 
 +
Hope you recovered all the weaponry okay, and I look forward to taking on the undead again some time. (One thing that really struck me is how well the game would translate to other environments - the stairs, corridors and occasional studios of the Cable Street Conundrum would be pretty great for a zombie outbreak...) --[[User:Kevan|Kevan]] ([[User talk:Kevan|talk]]) 2009-08-30 14:42:00
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 +
I got everything but the ammo box and Vulcan ammo belt back.. which is more than I was expecting. I never actually used the call-phone-to-zombify mechanic, and I think I'll remove it since it's a bit.. strange. Instead I just started sprinting so that I could infect more people personally.
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The problem with the CSC venue is that it's full of civilians. That means that we can't run, and it might be difficult to get permission to bring the guns.. --[[User:gwyn|gwyn]] ([[User talk:gwyn|talk]]) 2009-09-01 11:02:19
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 +
Yeah, the phone thing did feel a little weird. And does open up the annoying joke of a player phoning their friend to kill them.
 +
 
 +
Maybe it's worth just having an agreement with a few accomplices that if they think the game has ever gotten "too quiet" - or if the survivors have surrounded the only zombies and are keeping them down - they should shuffle off and zombify themselves. (For bonus narrative, perhaps tell players that there may or may not be a few infected among them, and give your accomplices red-felt-tip arm scratches which they can pick at anxiously when the time is near.)
 +
 
 +
The Cable Street venue didn't seem too crowded for our run - just a few confused art students heading in and out of their studios. If you gave everyone clear identity markers and told them to ignore (or recruit!) civilians, it should be okay. Might be worth talking to them to see what they reckon. (I particularly like the idea of putting actors in the studio spaces, in the same way as the Conundrum, and giving the survivors the mission of making it from pillar to post - an improvised medical station, a food storeroom, a radio transmitter...) --[[User:Kevan|Kevan]] ([[User talk:Kevan|talk]]) 2009-09-01 11:45:13
 +
 
 +
I think I'm going to do discounted tickets for repeat players ("veterans") of the same general-game-format, and use them as my "pace control". Having a core of people who've done it before and know how it works is probably a good idea.
 +
 
 +
I'll give cable street a go - it _would_ be pretty awesome. Who's the best person to talk to about this? --[[User:gwyn|gwyn]] ([[User talk:gwyn|talk]]) 2009-09-01 11:47:45

Latest revision as of 14:11, 24 April 2015

Old forum comments

(The Ludocity website previously had integrated forums, but they fell into spam-covered decline and were shut down in 2015. The comments in this section have been automatically converted from that forum.)

A way to run this with less prop expenditure would be to invite players to buy and bring their own Nerf guns if they wanted an edge in the game - these players could be the police or military, or the hardcore survivalists who were prepared for the zombie apocalypse. You could probably get by with just one game-property gun, in case nobody felt like bringing their own.

(And you could bulk the armoury out with some cheap Shaun of the Dead type weapons, in soft foam rubber - one-shot blunt instruments which you have to drop when you hit a zombie with them.)

Glow in the dark ammo might be good for post-game cleanup, and for making hits and misses clearer. I assume you can convert your own Nerf ammunition with a bit of phosphorescent paint. --Kevan (talk) 2009-04-16 13:14:49

When's this being tested? I want to play it! --benhenley (talk) 2009-05-09 09:41:20

Gwyn's off having adventures in some non-London part of the world, so we probably won't run it till he's back - don't know if anyone else will, anywhere. --Holly (talk) 2009-05-09 22:40:13

I'd happily run a test of it! --benhenley (talk) 2009-05-10 11:44:25

I wonder where would be good? I think Gwyn - who I believe is back around the end of the month - was planning to run it as a one-off on Hampstead Heath, which maybe works better than any of the upcoming Sandpit venues. --Holly (talk) 2009-05-10 16:03:42

There's a Zombie Picnic at Alexandra Palace on Saturday...

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=89692841179&ref=ts

I can't make it but I know one of the organisers in case anyone else fancies organising a test run at short notice... --benhenley (talk) 2009-05-11 10:23:23

I'll be back in London on June 10, and looking to run some games more-or-less immediately. I've had experience hand-rolling my own one-shot nerf ammo from A4 paper (you can also make 'shotgun' ammo by putting small paper pellets in the front of the shell casing) - it should be easy to make them glow-in-the-dark. I think the guns should glow, too, to make them look cooler, so that they won't get lost, and to make carrying a gun a tactical choice (zombies eat glowing things).

Yo, Kevan, is it possible to add "[ ] email me replies to this thread" to the forum? I nearly missed this. --gwyn (talk) 2009-05-17 07:22:58

Good idea, and no problem. I've added an "email notification" section to the sidebar, which will let you subscribe to whichever discussions you like.

Look forward to giving this game a go some time. I think we still have a box of glowsticks in the props cupboard... --Kevan (talk) 2009-05-17 12:10:08

I've been thinking about this a bit more carefully. So, the Director calls "Game Start". You're a player hidden somewhere in the forest. You have a gun. As soon as you hear the lone zombie begin moaning, you run towards it, stand at a safe distance (since you can move faster than it), and shoot it. You and your fellow players, now in a tidy circle, fire another shot every time the lone zombie tries to get up again. Boring.

Even without this effect, there's no reason not for all the players to immediately group up once they're safe from patient zero. The zombies don't have a chance.

I can think of a few possible changes:

  • Stealth zombies. Zombies moan only when attacking.
  • Multiple 'patient zero' zombies.. maybe 1 in 5 of the players.
  • Multiple waves of infection. Most people still get "not a zombie" cards, but the initially-infected players get "Zombie wave 0", "Zombie wave 1", "Zombie wave 2". The director calls out "Wave 1" etc during the game, so the guy standing next to you could turn into a zombie at any time. Since zombie attacks are instant, groups of more than 1-2 standing close together are always at serious risk.
  • Incubation time. If you're touched by a zombie, you will become a zombie the next time the air horn sounds (roughly once every two minutes). This leads to "no, it's okay.. I shot him before he touched me, I'm good, honest" conversations, along with players executing each other if they think they might be infected. --gwyn (talk) 2009-05-19 13:38:15

All good. Silent stealth zombies certainly fit the genre, if a zombie felt like standing behind a door or slumping against a tree until a flashlight found them. It's up to the zombie player whether they want to risk a few non-combat moans to attract a horde.

Incubation is great. The airhorn could create some very artificial standoffs, though, with the all nervous executions being efficiently saved up until the next time an airhorn sounded. Maybe being bitten means that you must become a zombie between the next two airhorns, at a dramatic or opportune moment of your choosing. You can still point a gun at a suspect until the all-clear sounds, but you have to be on your guard for a full two minutes, rather than just for a few critical seconds.

Not sure if the incubation lag would hurt the zombies by slowing their infection rate, though, particularly if every victim gets to spend two minutes shooting back at you before the infection kicks in. Maybe zombies should have an option to "feed" - if they can grab a player for a few seconds and make chewing sounds, that player drops to the floor immediately as if they were a felled zombie, and wakes up undead on the count of fifty? --Kevan (talk) 2009-05-19 14:20:11

And hmm, if you're now letting survivors kill each other off in the name of quarantine, that opens up a very easy route to the "last man standing" victory condition. --Kevan (talk) 2009-05-19 14:38:23

I'd like to avoid having an 'elimination' method at all, because standing around in the cold dark in the heath listening to other people have fun would be pretty grim. This is why zombies can't be permanently killed at all. That means, though, that there can't be any survivor-on-survivor fire, unless a fallen survivor rises as a zombie, and then what's the point? Quarantine's limited too, because of the 30-second rule, so if you think someone's infected your best bet is probably to run away.

I'm trying hard to avoid overcomplicating this, but I do think that incubation time varying between zero and two minutes is a key mechanic, and 'between the next two horns' is the best I can think of too. 'Feeding' sounds like a good addition, although I do want to keep the violence down to a light tap. --gwyn (talk) 2009-05-20 06:27:59

I would fix the problem identified in comment #9 by making zombies fast from the very beginning, and maybe starting with two zombies. The players might tend to split up to avoid a running zombie, and I imagine it's probably quite hard to hit a running target with a Nerf gun in time. --benhenley (talk) 2009-05-22 11:55:43

Yeah, I was assuming a zombie virus where shot survivors would also rise back up, as elimination is never fun. If you're convinced someone is infected, though, shooting them before running away would buy you a lot of time - they'd have to wait thirty seconds and then walk slowly after you, rather than running immediately after you to your new hideout, calling "no, honestly, I feel fine..." --Kevan (talk) 2009-05-20 11:29:55

I originally had the zombies walking because they don't have lights, and I didn't want them running into trees and getting hurt. But then, I suppose we did that in Night Watch and it was fine. Perhaps "enraged zombies will sprint directly at a target they can see"? --gwyn (talk) 2009-05-22 13:27:49

This was a pretty amazing experience, last night. Crouching against a tree, in the dark, on Hampstead Heath, watching a silhouetted figure lurch arms-outstretched between the trees along the dull orange sky of the horizon. Some outstanding movie moments - I found a discarded shotgun at one point, fired a test shot into the ground, then couldn't work out how to reload it, and wasn't sure if it had another shot in the barrel. After some failed attempts to reload by nervous torchlight, I ended up facing down a slow-moving zombie, and just pointed and hoped. And... click...

The game rules seemed pretty tight and effective. It was fine without the complex delayed infection, and "if your phone rings, become a zombie" was a good backup.

I'm not sure if the survivors need a tiny bit more of a victory condition, though. "Survive for as long as you can" is the obvious one (and people will assume it even if you don't tell them), but it felt a bit weird in practice. Hiding behind a tree seemed a pretty solid tactic, and I'm sure that actually crouching somewhere in the brambles for twenty minutes would have been foolproof. Not a lot of fun, though, and I could feel the conflicting pressures of "fun" and "goal", before deciding to head out and find a gun, even if guns served no tactical purpose beyond keeping the zombies at bay while I was finding more guns. Maybe it just needs some other stuff to find, to get people out there; a few plastic bags with small survivalist props inside, and whichever survivor has the most when the airhorn goes is the winner. Grabbing a couple and hiding in the darkness is a valid strategy, but there could always be someone out there with one more item.

Hope you recovered all the weaponry okay, and I look forward to taking on the undead again some time. (One thing that really struck me is how well the game would translate to other environments - the stairs, corridors and occasional studios of the Cable Street Conundrum would be pretty great for a zombie outbreak...) --Kevan (talk) 2009-08-30 14:42:00

I got everything but the ammo box and Vulcan ammo belt back.. which is more than I was expecting. I never actually used the call-phone-to-zombify mechanic, and I think I'll remove it since it's a bit.. strange. Instead I just started sprinting so that I could infect more people personally.

The problem with the CSC venue is that it's full of civilians. That means that we can't run, and it might be difficult to get permission to bring the guns.. --gwyn (talk) 2009-09-01 11:02:19

Yeah, the phone thing did feel a little weird. And does open up the annoying joke of a player phoning their friend to kill them.

Maybe it's worth just having an agreement with a few accomplices that if they think the game has ever gotten "too quiet" - or if the survivors have surrounded the only zombies and are keeping them down - they should shuffle off and zombify themselves. (For bonus narrative, perhaps tell players that there may or may not be a few infected among them, and give your accomplices red-felt-tip arm scratches which they can pick at anxiously when the time is near.)

The Cable Street venue didn't seem too crowded for our run - just a few confused art students heading in and out of their studios. If you gave everyone clear identity markers and told them to ignore (or recruit!) civilians, it should be okay. Might be worth talking to them to see what they reckon. (I particularly like the idea of putting actors in the studio spaces, in the same way as the Conundrum, and giving the survivors the mission of making it from pillar to post - an improvised medical station, a food storeroom, a radio transmitter...) --Kevan (talk) 2009-09-01 11:45:13

I think I'm going to do discounted tickets for repeat players ("veterans") of the same general-game-format, and use them as my "pace control". Having a core of people who've done it before and know how it works is probably a good idea.

I'll give cable street a go - it _would_ be pretty awesome. Who's the best person to talk to about this? --gwyn (talk) 2009-09-01 11:47:45