Disease phase 1 quarantine

The personal of the research base upon arrival

The game was set to near future on the research base owned by Odagra corp. located near the city of Elefantra. It is set to our world in the near future exactly year 2029.

Two days ago something failed in one of the laboratory experiment on the base and research subjects got out. On their way out they killed or at least injured most of the personnels on the base. Those who survived that first wave of craziness barricaded themselves in one of the laboratories.

After approximately 12 hours their dead colleagues started getting up and behaving strange and attacking them on sight. Something strange was happening, though the help should arrive soon.

Meanwhile in Elefantra crisis managers in Odagra had to meet as contact with the research base was lost. First military unit was sent to the base, but it was also lost and this is when the military squad played by players comes onto scene. Together with 5 specialists they arrive to the area to find out what happened on the base.

For most of the day the group formed from the military team, survivors from the base and some other survivors from the area was trying to understand what was going on and survive the attacks of the diseased from the area.

On the midnight one of the nonmilitary personnel sent with the unit decided who, it is safe enough to take into the civilization and who will remain there while the whole are will be destroyed.

Mechanics

The characters were mainly written by the team of organizers. The players got them approximately two months before game with option to add or clarify anything that is important to them. Only three players used this option though. Character sheets were distributed based on the short reviews of the characters with players choosing three favorable options and 1 unfavorable. The characters were divided in three groups: surviving staff of the research base, military rescue unit and survivors from the area.

The game was held on the late military building on Šumava near the border of Czech republic and Germany. Attendants were solely from Czech Republic. There were 25 characters and 6 NPCs together with 4 organizers. Only 16 people in the end came to the event.

Duration of the game was approximately 13 hours and it started on the saturday morning and ended in the midnight.

We decided to use NERF weapons and foam weapons for combat. The players also had kind of shortage of ammo to the NERF weapons. Players had to bring their own costumes and weapons, but the price was only 9€ per person and food for the game time was provided.

On the research base there was a computer with AI created by one of the organizers, through which the players communicated with the base itself and therefore with organizers in-game. There was also radio on the location, which the players had to fix and afterwards they were able to talk with the people at the Odagra corporation.

There were three laboratories in the area with different access rights containing documents about the experiments, which were held there. Also every laboratory contained some subjects of the experiments played by the NPCs and was in the contaminated area, where players had to wear gas mask at least for some time.

The disease was modelled using UV active chemicals and players in one of the laboratories had the UV light to be able to indicate the disease. The cure for the disease was created mixing the ingredients available in the three laboratories.

The game contained lots of external events provided by NPCs, which were moving partially plot and partially were friends or more of some of the characters or another enemies. Enemies were mainly the diseased from the base and the surrounding area. Through the day the diseased were getting stronger and their attacks were more frequent culminating 15 minutes before midnight.

Last mechanic was our decision that only some of the characters will be evacuated. One of the players decided who was going to be left behind.

Issues

First issue was with our underestimation of the power of the army, which effectively kept the research staff from doing their job e.g. trying to understand what happened and trying to find cure.

The way used to choose characters for the players also didn’t work particularly great. Some of the players played roles, which either weren’t much interesting to them or were unable to play good enough to keep power balance.

As we didn’t have any insider among players and we didn’t have any other means how to find out what was going on among players, sometimes we were a bit lost about whether game runs smoothly for all players.

We didn’t spend enough time communicating with players before the game and was a bit surprised by absence of 7 players on the event, where 4 of them even already payed for the game, but without notice didn’t come.

The UV materials we used proved to be ineffective during the day and only partially during the night even though as a mechanic it worked. It was an unobtrusive ingame way to transmit disease without players knowing anything upfront.

Conclusion

We ran the game and even though there were only 2/3rd of players the game ended well. Most of the time most of the players had enough content to enjoy themselves, though there were approx. 2 hours when the game didn’t work as smoothly as expected.

We had to shorten the game a bit and also move some of the external events to different times in order to ensure there is enough content.

The gradation of the stress and a bit of fear through stronger and more frequent attacks worked well and the final scene was relatively strong for most of the surviving players.

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I always try to find answers to the complex questions. Now exploring the world of Mainframes in the Broadcom inc.

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Jakub Balhar

Jakub Balhar

I always try to find answers to the complex questions. Now exploring the world of Mainframes in the Broadcom inc.

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