Rest or loot? Left or right? Dead End is a strategy game of choice and consequence. With Zombies.
The End is Nigh...
Zombies. The Sci-Fi nightmare that has been a staple in cult-horror films, games, and music for generations, has always been a favorite of ours. The thought of trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world swarming with undead is both terrifying and exhilarating. At Kazoodoo Games, we want to bring our take on this most-beloved genre to your living room. Through teamwork, strategic gameplay, and a little luck, you may just survive the infected streets of Dead End.
What is Dead End?
Dead End is survival-horror strategy game which pits survivors against zombies in a city-scape scenario. The world has succumbed to a laboratory-engineered super virus, bringing humanity to the brink of extinction (damn scientists and their blatant disregard for humanity's safety). To make matters worse, not only is the virus 99% lethal, it infects the nervous systems of their dead hosts, causing them to rise again and seek out living flesh to feast upon. The few who remain alive spend their days seeking out fellow survivors to help improve their chances for survival. It is a constant struggle to find sufficient food, tools, and--relatively safe--shelter.
Your story begins with your vehicle having just broken down in the middle of Sanctuary City. Once thought of as the last bastion of civilization, it quickly became obvious that this city is no different than any of the other dozen your small group has driven through. With zero chance of survival staying put, you must now wander the streets looking for replacement parts to repair your vehicle and trudge on--the last glimmers of hope fading on the horizon.
During your trek, you will encounter roadblocks, lootable buildings, and countless zombie hordes. As you progress, your team will be faced with game-changing choices: does your team stop to rest and recuperate, risking the chance of a zombie attack, or move on? Do you split off from your group to check out that side-street, or stick together to better your survival odds?
It is these decisions that make up the foundation of Dead End. It is a game of choices and consequences--where one wrong move could spell disaster for the survivors. Additionally, players can take control of the zombies--setting up roadblocks, zombie hordes and more--to make a winding maze of death and despair.
What sets Dead End apart?
We had two main goals when developing Dead End: Depth and Playability. There are many great games out there which provide profound depth. The variety of games like Axis and Allies, D&D, Magic: the Gathering, and many more, provide gamers with unprecedented flexibility and options. We wanted to mimic these prime examples of in-depth gameplay. Dead End utilizes unique characters with specialized skill sets, a wide-range of melee and ranged weaponry, and essential tools to help with exploration and survivability.
However, just as Uncle Ben [most likely] cautioned: With In-depth Gameplay, comes In-depth Frustration. Even the masterpieces mentioned above are prone to this conundrum. We've had Axis and Allies games last close to 10 hours. D&D's 4th edition "Quickstart" rulebook comes in at 27 pages. And there are more Magic: the Gathering cards than there are tentacles on Cthulu's face.
Enter our second goal: playability. A game that is often-times overlooked as a strategy (if somewhat simplistic) game is the Game of Life. We know, it sounds crazy to call LIFE a strategy game. And while we admit most of the game mechanic revolves around chance, hear us out. Players have to decide whether to attend college, choose a career, select a house--even decide if auto insurance or investing in stocks will be cost-effective. What's most amazing about all of this? You've probably been playing it since you were seven years old.
We wanted to make sure Dead End fulfilled our needs as nerdy strategy fanatics, while still having it accessible to gamers of all ages. For this, we created a revolutionary dice rolling system that isn't bogged down in rules and exceptions. Of course, with dice added to any game, there is a luck factor that must be taken into consideration. However, Dead End will be won or lost more often on the choices made of when to loot or where to go, versus rolling “snake-eyes” or not.
Start-ups are no easy feat. Couple that with the competitive nature of the boardgame industry, and you have ungodly fusion of stress, long-hours, and shattered dreams. However, Kickstarter has provided hope to these dreamers. Now, entrepreneurs worldwide have a place to connect, have their ideas presented and receive much needed emotional and financial support.
We LOVE the Kickstarter community. We’ve spent hours looking through projects from all categories: starring ones that piqued our interests, and backed several that we really wanted to see make it. If we had to sum up Kickstarter in one phrase, it is a marketplace of ideas.
To get Dead End manufactured to the quality standards we demand of ourselves, it’ll take thousands of dollars up front before the printing presses will even churn out the first punch-boards. This doesn’t even factor in marketing and future development costs. For many small indie companies, like Kazoodoo Games, it is often too large of a bullet to bite. With your help, however, our dream of a zombie apocalypse (yes, we dream of zombie apocalypses…at least in entertainment form) can become a reality. Our funding goal will cover the manufacturing costs of the first edition run of Dead End, bonus reward items, and hopefully have a little bit left over for marketing efforts (Essen 2013, perhaps?). Just as in pretty much anything manufacturing, boardgames benefit from economies of scale—the more backers we get, the more games we need printed, which in turn lowers our cost per unit and opens up more funds for marketing and development (read: Stretch Goal Bonuses). If you are a bit of a number-nerd like us, or just interested in where the money goes when making a board game, we have some in-depth cost projections in our backers discussion tab.
On behalf of all of us here at Kazoodoo Games, thank you so much for reviewing and backing our project. Please be sure to spread the word with your friends and check back often for many updates to come, as we want all of you to feel a part of the Kazoodoo Team. Because without your support, we wouldn’t exist. Well, we would exist, but we wouldn’t know you, and what kind of existence would that be?
But Wait! There's More...
During the course of the project, we hope to get to know each of you quite well. Perhaps not slumber-party or foot-massage well, but well enough that long after this project funds and we've all had our share of joyous Dead End experiences, we will still occasionally message a friendly "hello." to each other.
What better way to establish these lasting bonds of comradery than challenging each other to ONLINE GAMING PWNAGE!!!
ZOMBIE SURVIVAL SHOWDOWN -
Any backer of the Kickstarter Special Edition of the game can challenge the Kazoodoo Team to a Left4Dead 2 Battle Royale (PC only...sorry XBox). Get 3 of your backer friends together and see if you have what it takes in a 4vs4 single campaign grunge-match. If successful, each player on the team will receive a signed poster added to their current backer level, FREE! Plus, get your names posted on the site's Hall-of-Game. If you lose, we don't take your first-born or anything, you just get mocked by the Kazoodoo Team, their spouses, your posterity and will be forever disgraced on the Wall-of-Shame.
All you need to do to be eligible is round up 3 of your buddies and make sure they are all backers of at least the Kickstarter Special Edition tier. Then contact us to schedule a time. Good luck--you'll need it :)
UPDATE #1: Gameplay Video Released!
Good-day Kickstarters and zombie lovers. This update dives a bit more into the gameplay of Dead End. And nothing showcases gameplay better than a gameplay video. We hope you enjoy it. Please note that the pieces we use in the demo are still in their design stage and aren't reflective of the final product.
The objective when playing Dead End as the survivors is simple: locate the necessary parts to repair your broken down vehicle, loot for items and weapons to help you along your journey, and slay any zombies that stand in your way. For the zombie player, it is even easier: set up roadblocks, horde nests, and make sure no one makes it back to the vehicle alive.
Gameplay in Dead End is conducted through a series of rounds. For each round, a player can perform one action (attack, loot, rest, use an item, etc.). Some actions can only be performed in certain scenarios--for example, a survivor can only rest when on a safehouse token, or, if the player deploys a tent on a vacant tile. Many actions require players to land successful rolls using standard six-sided dice. This adds an element of chance and makes for exciting results.
One of our favorite features in Dead End is survivors have the opportunity to stick together as a team to improve their odds in combat, or split off and cover more ground, improving their chances to find the vehicle parts they need.
Combat works on a simple dice mechanic. The number of dice rolled is equal to the "targets" allowed on the weapon card and the "hits on" corresponds to the face value of each individual die that must be rolled. Zombies have a standard hit mechanic, but can be augmented for a round through the use of enhancement cards earned throughout the game.
As survivor players take damage, they may be required to lay low and recuperate some of their lost health. Safehouses provide this opportunity. While resting, a player regenerates some of their health each round.
Alternatively, players may also take advantage of safehouses to search for loot. A player draws a loot card on a successful loot roll. Some characters and items help enhance looting. Each player has a total of five inventory slots, with some larger items requiring several of these slots. Backpack cards provide players with extra inventory slots.
While resting and looting is all fun and good, don't think the zombie player has forgotten about you. For every round a player stays put in a safehouse, the zombie player gets to roll for a surprise attack. The odds of landing a successful roll are increased for each subsequent round while the survivors remain on the tile.
The staple of the zombie player's strategy, roadblocks make certain paths unpassable, and will require the survivors to go back the way they came. This provides the zombie player with fantastic opportunities to strategically place zombie nests near roadblocks to provide an extra challenge.
Vehicle Parts When a survivor lands on a vehicle part token, the player will then see if it matches one of the parts they need for their scenario. If so, the player can then choose to pick the item up and add it to their inventory.
What's interesting about vehicle parts is each has it's own unique set of rules/abilities. For example, the engine uses up all inventory slots. And while it does provide a basic level of defence, this makes the carrier very vulnerable to attacks. Other cards, like the fuel can, provide bonuses to specific weapons; in this case, an increase to targets while using the chainsaw.
Dead End is an in-depth strategy game with a simplified game mechanic using a turn-based system and standard dice rolls. With a customizable board of tiles, not to mention the variety of survivors, loot items, and weapons, Dead End will be a completely different experience each and every time it is played.
We know zombie game fans of all ages will love playing this game. So, if you haven't already, check out our videos and make a pledge. Thank you for your support!
Could you describe more what are the major differences between the Standard Edition and the Limited Edition?
First off, the Limited Edition of Dead End is signed by the Kazoodoo Team. It's our way to personalize each box and give our higher backer levels something special as a token of our appreciation.
Second, the Limted Edition comes with custom made pewter 28mm miniatures. The Standard Edition uses simple, albeit quality, wooden Meeple tokens. We're working with Stonehaven Miniatures to design and produce these minis. You can see the quality and style of their work here: http://kck.st/QLMTuh
Lastly, to encourage backers of the Limited Edition, we have our Zombie Survival Showdown competition, with plans to launch additional fun add-ons and stretch goal opportunities as the project gains popularity.
I'm having a hard time visualizing the game mechanics. Will we be seeing gameplay footage in the near future to help me out?
Absolutely! We've realized that many potential backers want specifics into the game mechanic. Unfortunately, we recently learned from ITT Tech that we cannot transfer our own testing gameplay experiences into the minds of our backers (not without Jim Carrey in a green spandex jumpsuit, anyway). Our plans are to shoot some gameplay footage this week and get it posted ASAP.
Keep in mind the mechanics of the game are [mostly] finalized, whereas the pieces are not. We thank our backers in advance for not making too much fun of our paper printer cut-outs and Axis and Allies token representations.
You betcha! Simply calculate the total of the rewards you wish to claim and pledge that amount. You will be able to specify the reward breakdown when the surveys go out at the end of the funding period.
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Operation SushiFund - Sushi is the food that fuels our creative genius. Help ensure we have sufficient stockpiles for long development sessions and join the exclusive backer discussion on your favorite sushi rolls and locales.Estimated delivery:
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A thank you email, your name (or pseudonym, if you prefer) added to our site's "Contributors" page and a DIY Pat-on-the-Back. Because, after all, you deserve it.Estimated delivery:
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Dead End Mystery SWAG! That's right folks, get your very own piece of Dead End memorabilia. What will our warehouse trolls find lurking in a dusty corner to send as a token of our appreciation? It could be anything from a patch, button, decal, mug, or more! (International, add $10 for shipping)Estimated delivery:
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59 backers Limited (41 left of 100)
Early Bird Backers! First Edition of Dead End, shipped anywhere in the US. (International, add $20)Estimated delivery:
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First Edition of Dead End, shipped anywhere in the US. (International, add $20)Estimated delivery:
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8 backers Limited (242 left of 250)
Limited Dead End Kickstarter Edition, signed by the Kazoodoo Team. Comes with pewter-sculpted player tokens, designed by fellow Kickstarter Stonehaven Miniatures. (International, add $20)Estimated delivery:
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Dead End Collector's Bundle. Signed limited edition poster of the game, designed by game artist Kyle Fordrung, plus Dead End Kickstarter Edition. (International, add $25)Estimated delivery:
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1 backer Limited (99 left of 100)
Dead End Survivalist Pack. Get a Dead End logo'd backpack complete with Dead End Kickstarter Edition, signed poster, and other survival "essentials". (International, add $30)Estimated delivery:
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0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)
Design-A-Survivor. Got an idea for a fun and interesting survivor? Work directly with the Kazoodoo Team to create a survivor character: complete with sculpt, art, and backstory. Backers of this tier will receive a complementary set of all the characters designed for this reward-tier. Also includes Survivalist Pack.Estimated delivery:
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Burger and a [Hand]Shake. Dead End creator Justin Potter will personally fly out to your hometown and buy you lunch at your favorite eatery. Talk about Dead End, your favorite football team, formatting hard drives--pretty much anything you want. Also includes Survivalist Pack. (Most likely US locations only, but we'd love to visit backers worldwide if the costs for travel/documentation don't impede.)Estimated delivery:
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Dead End Excursion. Don't just play Dead End, experience it! Spend time at Kazoodoo HQ and be part of an official Dead End promo video that will be broadcast on the interwebs. Mingle with the Kazoodoo Team over dinner and see the inner-workings of Kazoodoo Games. Includes airfare and lodging for 3 days, 2 nights. Also includes Survivalist Pack. (International backers may be eligible. We'll just have to look at the logistics behind each scenario.)Estimated delivery:
- (29 days)