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[Zombie Cinema] on Actual People, Actual Play

Started by WillH, April 04, 2010, 05:22:40 PM

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I thought you might be interested in knowing this. On Episode 14 of my podcast, Actual People, Actual Play, we discuss Zombie Cinema. Check it out at

Eero Tuovinen

I like it! That's a pretty unique format you have there - eight minutes of narrated fiction followed by in-depth discussion. I like the classic "my character becomes a zombie" turn in the midst of all the musketeer action. I don't remember having enjoyed a podcast centered on my work this much, ever ;)

A three-player game can be difficult because you need everybody to carry their weight, dramatically speaking. It's good to hear that you took to it with flair. An action game is a good idea, it gives you plenty of conflict for the game to begin with. Survival is a bitch with three players, as you have less control over the outcome of conflicts and the margin of positional profit is small even if the majority wins. Pretty likely that everybody dies with that small a cast, but at least it's quick, savage and often both comedic and humane.

I've had games where the zombies are really just an afterthought. It's not a problem for me, basically you're choosing between slow build-up by tying the zombie thing into the story and existentialistic storytelling where zombies come out "just because". Works either way, really, especially when the whole concept of zombie can be twisted a lot by whoever ends up introducing them. I remember one game that was like French cinema, with some sort of nuclear alien zombies that were never seen up close because they shone like stars and killed from a distance.

The best I've ever managed in terms of living characters is three live ones against two dead in a five player game. Four to five is amazing, it's almost a happy story at that point.

I like your point about top-down genre emulation. That's a big thing for my game design, I don't like it when designers try to analyze a genre and then force that genre down your throat by prescriptive rules. The idea that the game doesn't prescript quotas for dying or prescribe who will live and who will die is definitely a part that is important to me personally in Zombie Cinema.

Finally: that idea about French Revolution Zombie Cinema is brilliant! What do you need zombies for when you can have dirty commoners? I'll have to make a variant board for that one.
Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.