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1  General / HvZ General / Re: Rules Philosophy Question on: April 02, 2012, 12:24:01 AM
Potential additional reason for the 1 hour incubation: it gives time for the zombie that made the tag to report it online. Otherwise you can end up with really awkward incomplete chains of kills that can't be reported. We also used to have a rule at Truman (not sure if you guys still have it) that if a kill wasn't reported within a certain time frame that it would be invalidated with exceptions if the zombie contacted the mods because they couldn't read the ID code or something of the like.
2  Organizing / Organizing & Starting Games / Re: Mom starting a game for her son's birthday. on: January 15, 2012, 08:26:24 PM
To quote Eisenhower, "Plans are worthless, but planning is everything."
3  Organizing / Organizing & Starting Games / Re: Mom starting a game for her son's birthday. on: January 14, 2012, 03:58:11 PM
You can also run zombie missions similar to the human missions in the sense of their objective not being just to kill humans. Like you have the human "go collect special rocks" you could have zombie "go find special human rocks." The more human rocks the zombies found, the more zombie rocks that would be placed on the ground for the humans to find.

Zombies can also have puzzle missions. Hypothetical concept: have 3 puzzle locations around the park. If the zombies can find them and solve them before a certain time, then for each one they solve they can use that location as a respawn point (instead of counting to 120). It doesn't unbalance the game, but it does make certain areas in the park much more deadly for humans since the zombies will respawn much more quickly in that area.

Anyway, just some thoughts!
4  General / HvZ General / Re: Breaking the Mold of Conventional Plotlines on: June 28, 2011, 11:32:37 PM
haha, as a former mod that loves interesting/intricate plots, I give this an A++ rating (would read again). The general premise of shaking up the tried and true storylines, is one that I wholeheartedly support.

I did want to mention something semi-related. Specifically, matching plots with the school it is being played at. This goes both for how intricate a plot should be and the genre's from which it can pull. The geekier the general population of the school, the more appropriate the "video game characters crossing over into real life" or similar story becomes. Such a plot relies heavily on preexisting understanding of the gaming universe. If you go to a less geeky school or one where the player base extends beyond the geek subculture, such plots can actually isolate current players and inhibit the growth of the game beyond the niche group (I'll leave the debate over the optimal game size for another thread). I think this can also be used to explain why some schools naturally evolve into having complex plots, while others stick with no plot or incredibly simplistic ones.


HvH(vZ) has been done before, but it is pretty rare. I've seen two different varieties. That involving human combat, and that involving a battle of objectives (but no combat). I won't talk about the second as having defined human groups competing for objectives is pretty straightforward (either through individual rewards or breaking up human groups into competing teams). However, I will touch on the combat component. While Truman never had HvHvZ combat during an actual game, we did run several Abridged afternoon games where we  tried out HvHvZ CTF. Each human team had a safezone/base/respawn with their flag set some distance (20m or so) from it. When a player was hit by a sock or dart they would have to return to their base to respawn (pretty typical Nerf CTF). We then started with a single zombie that was allowed to go after any non-stunned humans. The zombie was given a multitude of respawn points along the perimeter of play. The first half of the rounds were mostly pure-CTF, but then the zombie numbers would start to grow, and things got a lot more interesting.

Disclaimer: We only ever tested this on short (30min to an hour or so) rounds. Awesome mechanics in Abridged-style games do not necessarily translate perfectly over to week long games for all the obvious reasons.
5  Organizing / Organizing & Starting Games / Re: HvZ Kansas City on: May 06, 2011, 07:36:33 PM
Excellent... *laughs maniacally*
6  General / HvZ General / Re: Campus Radio and HVZ on: January 29, 2011, 09:10:50 PM
In Fall '07 we ended our game with dual missions. The first was a "contact the outside world" mission where the humans maintained/defended several transmissions stations. After the mission they were rewarded with a frequency and a time. The frequency, of course, was the campus radio station, and the time was just a couple hours later. At the marked time, a military commander "cut" into the radio station's broadcast and announced that they had received the survivors' call for help and that a helicopter was inbound. It would arrive in 10 minutes at a given location and stay for another 10 or 15 before calling the rescue mission off. One of my favorite moments of the game is still watching as humans and zombies alike poured out of buildings across campus - aiming for the extraction point.

The next day the military was to send a second helicopter, but as only one human made it to the extraction point it became our first "last stand."

The following Spring we also used the campus radio station to start off the game. A week or so before the game the players had "hacked" a site being used by an underground cell attempting to uncover the truth behind a government conspiracy. The group "poorly" decided to use the same frequency as the radio station for their communications during an infiltration op that coincided with the start of the game. Thus, the players were able to listen in as every few minutes the normal radio broadcast would go to static and would be replaced with the comm chatter of a mission gone horribly awry.

If people are interested I could look to see if I can find the audio recordings we used for that. It isn't exactly the best quality, but that's what we get for going from script to recording to learning how to use audio software to broadcast in half a day. Smiley
7  Organizing / Invitationals and Regional Games / Re: UMBC Invitational!!! on: December 06, 2010, 01:36:51 PM
And that's why they invented transporters...
8  Organizing / Invitationals and Regional Games / Re: Truman State University Spring Invitational on: November 24, 2010, 06:26:19 PM
I'd actually recommend that the organizers/mods for an invitational not be the same as for the full game. The amount of time necessary to run either is immense and I can't imagine trying to do so in a single semester.
9  Organizing / Organizing & Starting Games / Re: Trying to Start a game of HvZ at George Washington University on: November 17, 2010, 12:23:29 AM
Interesting, GW accepted me for grad school after I had already accepted elsewhere.

First off, I wouldn't recommend bringing a reporter with you to your first real meeting. However, I would suggest getting in contact with anyone you know in your school's student government. They tend to have better access to university officials. Specifically, check to see if there is a Student Affairs Committee within your student government.

Second, you don't need their permission unless the existence of the game violates some school policy (I'd start looking into that). Reaching out to work with the administration is very important for the continued survival of the game, but you're not asking for permission, you're asking for assistance in making sure the game meshes with current school policies. Actually, in some cases, it is better if the school doesn't officially approve of the game as they are then able to avoid some of the liability (initially) as they never sanctioned the game. The game can easily be run without school funding, as long as the moderators are willing to put some cash in for bare necessities. Are you foreseeing any big ticket expenditures being required?

Who is your liaison/have you considered just working with him to address any issues that would come up IF you were to meet with the dean? If he would like, I'd be happy to speak with him about how the game has been successfully played/issues have been dealt with in the past. I served on Truman's Board of Governors (equivalent to GW's Board of Trustees) and had the opportunity to look at these types of issues (not just HvZ) from both sides.

Finally, what time frame are you looking at? I'm assuming that you are planning this game for next semester? It seems quite late in the year to try to pull anything off before winter really sets in/everyone goes home for break. If you aim for spring you should have plenty of time to sort all this out.

If you have any other questions, let us know.
10  Organizing / Organizing & Starting Games / Re: Help here on: November 15, 2010, 01:26:41 AM
I'm going to predict that a half-day to two-day game is going to be more effective with what you are describing. "Regular" games, if you can call them that, last for a week or so, in part, because you are doing more than just HvZ. Not to mention that the vast majority people already live there so housing really isn't an issue. If all players' focus is on the game then it's going to take a lot of effort to keep it fun and engaging for such a large time-frame without exhausting people. And, as you add more and more missions or other activities to keep the game going/keep people engaged you will simultaneously be accelerating the course of the game.

I'd plan for a shorter game or figure out something else for people to do while playing.
11  General / Multimedia / Re: Grant Imahara Plugs HvZ on: November 14, 2010, 11:51:55 PM
I'm waiting patiently for Google Analytics to update for today, and reveal the full extent of Grant's influence (at least on people clicking links in tweets).
12  Organizing / Organizing & Starting Games / Re: Fundraising HvZ on: November 14, 2010, 01:53:20 PM
HvZ seems like a massive undertaking for a fundraiser (it is a LOT of work to run). Per unit of labor you're probably going to get more buck for your effort with something more traditional (yay bake sales!?). Don't get me wrong, it is awesome and well worth the time and energy... just as long as money isn't the primary motive.

As for the Terms of Service. There seem to be some very legitimate ways to work within the system and still bring in money.

Couple examples off the top of my head:
Playing is free, but if you want to be in the running for any of the fabulous prizes, you have to pay.
Selling bandannas, but not requiring them to be purchased from you.
If HvZ is an organization, charge dues to be in the org. However, open up the game to those who are not members (members get cool hats and a puppy or kitten of their choice).

You get the idea.
13  General / Multimedia / Re: We're having problems with kill reporting. on: October 29, 2010, 12:18:51 AM
I'd let them stay human and send out an email to all the players letting them know that if kills aren't reported within 3 hours, they are null, and if the zombie can't make out the id/it doesn't work they should contact a moderator as quickly as possible.
14  General / Multimedia / Re: We Made the Yahoo Front Page! on: October 28, 2010, 10:17:07 AM
Final thoughts: Nerf Guns? NERF GUNS??!?! THEY'RE NERF FOAM DART BLASTERS, NOT GUNS!!! HULK SMASH!!!! [/rant]

I know, I know. But 99% of the population knows them as nerf guns, not nerf blasters. The reason we, as a community, began referring to them as blasters is simply as a means to lessen the negative connotation that guns might leave school administrators. Frankly, it is somewhat irritating that taking such a measure is even necessary.

Overall, cool story. At this point, any mainstream reporting of the game is almost required to mention the couple negative incidents we've had over the years. The hope is that we can keep HvZ awesome enough that those schools that ban the game just look silly.
15  General / HvZ General / Re: Scooters as vehicles on: October 26, 2010, 04:34:59 PM
I don't think boards and bikes are allowed at some games.

This. You want to limit on-campus vehicular travel (of any form) as much as possible (disclaimer: personal opinion). If you're using a bike (or scooter) to get around campus to avoid playing the game you signed up to play then you're doing it wrong. Back in my moderating days (I can say that now), we did have exceptions to this rule. But those were special situations. Example: people had back to back classes across campus and could not physically get between them, in time, without a bike.

gist: Yeah, scooters fit under the category of boards and bikes, but you probably want to limit their use during the game anyway.
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HVZ SOURCE is a project created by Chris Weed (Dreamer of Dreams), Brad Sappington, Joe Sklover, Justin Quick,
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