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General Forge Forums => Actual Play => Topic started by: Callan S. on September 12, 2005, 10:31:47 PM

Title: [online game: Urban Dead] Wanting end game.
Post by: Callan S. on September 12, 2005, 10:31:47 PM
Okay, just a short one. I was playing an online game recently called urban dead. It's about zombies and has the rather interesting technique in play that death leads only to a thematic penalty. You get turned into a zombie (you still get interesting play as a zombie now). You can be brought back to life, but regardless, it works really well. Who wants to be a zombie, eh?

So recently, my mid level doctor was hiding out in yet another fortified safehouse with a bunch of other people. He'd actually been killed before and then returned to the living and now I was going through a cool 'be a reviver myself' theme of play. But I log on the next day and he's been killed and naturally, zombiefied.

And I just sort of click. I realise that continuing to play is losing. Further play will simply earn more of this thematic penalty. The real way to win, to evade the penalty, is to just stop playing.

If there was an end game I could still get rewards like seeing how few times I could die before getting to the end game. But this game keeps going on as long as you keep playing it. If I have nothing to gain and can only take penalties, then further play is a bad choice.

Okay, to be fair there were a few little things that interested me and I could gain...but the thematic penalty far outweighed my interest in them.

I think I've noticed this in D&D play as well, as the value of the PC grows, the risk of loosing X amount of levels just to gain one more level is NOT worth it. So player interest drops.

Actually, part of Urban Dead's design might be there to address that (I found it curious before but now might see it's place). But I'll pause for now and give feedback a chance.

Title: Re: [online game: Urban Dead] Wanting end game.
Post by: Jason Morningstar on September 13, 2005, 09:12:34 AM
I'm way into Urban Dead (come 'round the Treweeke Mall in Dulston and say hey) and I disagree about the end-state.

I think the static situation works well to reinforce the theme.  Kevan, the developer, has also steadily modified the game to maintain some semblance of balance between living and dead. 

For my part, I'm having a grand time strategizing with other survivors, organizing scouting and punitive missions, and barracading safe houses around our base.  The game really blossoms when you gain some level of competence and reach out to a dependable group of fellow players.  Again, join us in Dulston and see - PM me for specifics.


Title: Re: [online game: Urban Dead] Wanting end game.
Post by: chadu on September 13, 2005, 01:04:30 PM
I've stopped playing after my characters -- both of them -- were killed in different safe houses by other humans. . . TWICE.

Yes, 4 different groups of humans, in different neighborhoods, made my characters into zombies without a word.

And -- the kicker -- this is after I spent my last few actions each time doing First Aid on some of them.

Screw it. I won't play a game with assholes.


Title: Re: [online game: Urban Dead] Wanting end game.
Post by: Callan S. on September 14, 2005, 12:48:26 AM
Hi Jason,

Basically what your presenting there is a new reward and pretty much the shinyest one of all, that of peers to work with and get approval from. It doesn't change the end game thing, so much as outshine the penalty for death with a great reward to keep on keepin' on.

I'm in two minds about that. It's not really a reward the game creates, it comes from the players. And it comes from players usually because they stick around long enough to enjoy the game presented goodies. However there can be a sort of lapse, where the player runs out of game rewards before he get's to the point where he can recieve or present peer rewards. That's what my account describes.

That said: If I shamble over as a zombie, you guys will just kill me. Got a revive point yet? :)

Hi Chad,

That's an example of social contract issues, which isn't really on topic for this thread. But I sympathise with you about your treatment, it is the suck.

Title: Re: [online game: Urban Dead] Wanting end game.
Post by: Jason Morningstar on September 14, 2005, 03:52:56 AM
The parallel to table-top gaming is valid, I think - there is a significant barrier to entry that can be overcome with luck or assistance, and some people have neither but keep plugging along and enjoying whatever scraps they have.  Others get disgusted and leave.  Can you really define an end-state in a typical D&D campaign?  Probably depends, I guess. 

That said, yes, I have three 20th level guys and plenty of revives, as well as a secure and defensible base.  So PM me when you get near south Dulston and I'll set you up!  That goes for you, too, Chad, if you want to try again...


Title: Re: [online game: Urban Dead] Wanting end game.
Post by: chadu on September 14, 2005, 03:15:55 PM
Thanks for the offer; it's very kind.

Unfortunately, I think I'm done for awhile.

digust + time/attention suck = bad for chad's headguts

If the sitch changes, I'll let you know.