Zombie Apocalypse, Location gaming…

September 17 2010, 7pm:  Zombies are running amok in Bristol at the Igfest (http://igfest.org/). 200 players run around Bristol to 5 staged zombie areas, avoiding the Zombies. Caution these Zombies don’t just lumber around but run bloody fast at you.

It was a great night, though I moaned (continually) about being exhausted, the staged areas had actors in them to pass on the next safe location that you had to reach. 1st up was an abondoned convenience store, then a multi storey car park, freekily scary as we run round in loops before finding a safe stairwell. We then had a quick break in a sports bar, my friend Jon wisely had an energy drink, i had beer.

In the, usually closed, victorian public toilets at the end of Lower Park Row, the actors clad in medical gowns, blood splatter and a mental shouty nature. The next location was an unused police station, where in the cells down in the basement there was a zombie cop chained up and a map on the wall showing the next location.  As more baffled players turned up and didn’t get the clue, the zombie was bashing the map and groaning, kinda like when you’re suggesting a friend is stupid. (note; gameplayers are, occasionally thick)

Winning at 2.8 Hours later, 17/9/10

After a lung collapsing sprint up Unity Street with a 20 year old (?) nurse zombie chasing me and Jon, we found the safety of the winning line, were cleared as not being touched by zombies and had our win shot taken. The actors were great and realy helped with the immersion into the game.

Jon & I did a location based spy-game at university in Caerleon in 2009,  “Secret Agent Man” (see Jon’s write up of it at http://kablamo.co.uk/sam/ and there’s even a 20 minute documentary) using the bluetooth proximity recognition and clues. It also had 3 possible endings, when you get past the puzzles you are given the question that will decide if you kill the computer, the mad scientist Mada Nitram, or yourself if you are a fool.

Costumes were central to immersion into the game, the tux jacket, the coat of code and even t-shirts all helped, a bit, to suspend disbelief and make the game experience good.

So possible Final Major Project idea: Location game around the new City Centre campus in Newport, at the Nexus conference it was compared to a medieval castle with its tiers of access, ground floor for everyone, 1st floor for staff and students with the top floor being staff only. Would be able to include the riverfront probably which would extend the game space.  Could use more bits of Newport but would need to careful with players safety.

Igfest used maps, bits of paper, the poster etc to pass on instructions/clues. In SAM we used clues on the game phone and paper stashed in a book in the library. Moo.com have the ability to print 100 minicards with different backs, could use these as clues? maybe get 6 cards together to form a treasure map, or completion of a narrative, etc.

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  1. could also use gps enabled AR?

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