Search and Survive
Search and Survive
A cooperative, deck building game in a zombie infested world featuring dice rolling, card movement, and a single currency - combat!
A cooperative, deck building game in a zombie infested world featuring dice rolling, card movement, and a single currency - combat! Read more
About this project
Search and Survive is a cooperative, deck building game set in a zombie-infested world called The Wasteland where survivors cling to life and scavenge what they need from the ruins of the world. Players take on unique roles, grab their dice, and try to complete their objective, whether it be finding food, completing research, or gathering weapons.
The game has several features unusual to the popular deck building genre, namely dice rolling for attacks, line of sight, the use of only 1 currency (combat), and different abilities for each player through individual player mats. For example, the Medic can sustain more damage while the Scrapper excels at melee combat.
Players must plan ahead for future turns, work together to rescue survivors, keep one another alive long enough to survive the zombie advancements, and achieve the group's goals. Speaking of goals, the game has multiple objectives to choose from at the start of a session. Some involve finding certain equipment or supplies, and others directly involve achieving combat oriented accomplishments.
Search and Survive uses a combination of card values and dice rolls in combat in contrast to the standard deck building game. The luck factor of the dice makes attacking exciting, but risky. Players take damage card(s) if they fail an attack, and damage cards are a finite resource. Each player begins the game with 10 damage cards and if any player takes their last damage card the game ends in defeat.
The dangers of attacking can be mitigated by rescuing survivors and finding locations. Locations and survivors are permanents that enhance the players' ability to survive in The Wasteland. These powerful cards can allow players to reroll dice, draw additional cards, or even sacrifice their turn to heal themselves.
When players fail an attack they take damage cards from their personal damage supply and add them to their discard pile. Damage cards not only serve as life counters, but are also incorporated into players' decks when their decks are shuffled. They normally serve as dead weight in a player's hand, but when a player has 3 at a time they can be discarded to gain a Surge Token. Surge Tokens can be used to prevent a player's final point of damage, to reroll an attack, or to save a survivor/location from a negative event.
Unfortunately the most prevalent inhabitants of The Wasteland are the zombies. Players must make attacks against them, suffer their abilities, and weather the harsh effects of special Event Walkers. These powerful, and sometimes helpful, zombies spawn randomly and are either resolved when they first spawn or when they are killed. Defeating the zombie horde will be no easy feat.
6 Things that Set Search and Survive Apart from Other Deck Builders:
- The dice! Dice are used primarily for attacking, but are also used to resolve events, resolve card effects, and determine which zombies will advance.
- Advancement! Instead of having multiple currencies, Search and Survive only has one, and that's combat. Every new card has to be found and fought for before being added to a player's deck.
- Player boards! Players begin the game with character boards that give them unique abilities.
- The Wasteland! The play area is populated with zombies and survivors. The cards interact with one another and zombies are always trying to advance to damage the players.
- Objectives! At the beginning of a game of Search and Survive players must choose an objective. The different objectives combined with random player boards and the millions of combinations of cards possible in The Wasteland add a lot of replay ability.
- The Cards! Not only are the cards beautiful in a creepy sort of way, but their colored backgrounds also serve a purpose. Each type of card has a unique color to make cards in The Wasteland and in hand easily distinguishable.
Component List (before Stretch Goals):
- 270 - standard-sized cards
- 8 - D6 dice
- 4 - player mats
- 1 - first player token
- 3 - targeting tokens
- 8 - surge tokens
- 1 - rulebook
*This video is an introduction of game play showing examples of attacking, taking damage, the different types of cards in the game, zombie movement, and zombie abilities.
*This video is a game play example showcasing The Wasteland, ranged combat, acquiring resources, and the Horde Phase.
The game is setup with 3 rows of cards in a set number of columns for the number of players. For example, in a 2 player game there are 5 columns. There's a Resource Row where items, weapons, and locations spawn in the rear of the play area. In front of the Resource Row are the 2 rows for zombies and survivors, called the Back Row and the Front Row.
In Search and Survive there are 4 player turns divided amongst the players. In a 1 player game the lone player takes all four turns, while in a 4 player game each player gets a single turn. No matter how many players, there's always 4 player turns.
Successful attacks against zombies in the back row will reveal a resource(s) on the Resource Row. When a player exposes a resource through combat that resource card is added to the player's discard pile. This is yet another way that Search and Survive distinguishes itself from other deck builders. There is no currency in the game except for combat. New resources must be fought for.
After the player turns is the Horde Phase. During the Horde Phase the zombies in The Wasteland activate their abilities and have a chance to advance. If the zombies advance past the Front Row of The Wasteland then they pass off of the play area, go to the zombie discard pile, and deal damage to the players.
I asked playtesters for Search and Survive to send me their thoughts on the game. Here are their unedited responses.
1. Search and Survive - With this level you will get 1 production copy of Search and Survive with all unlocked Stretch Goals! You can have this tier shipped to you or it can be picked up locally in Grand Junction, CO!
2. Search and Survive - Producer Level - The Producer Level tier will get you 1 production copy of Search and Survive with all unlocked Stretch Goals. This limited package will also get your name in the rule book for Search and Survive as a producer. As the campaign unfolds some more goodies might even be added to this level. This is for those who want to support the production of the game in a big way and get some bragging rights out of the deal!
3. Search and Survive - FLGS Level - Local game stores are near and dear to my heart, and as such I have worked closely with my wonderful local board game store, The Jester's Court, to come up with a commercially viable package for store owners. Kickstarter, while wonderful in assisting game developers, can take away some of the income of FLGSs. Local stores are a vital part of the board game community and as such should be passionately supported. I wanted to attempt to alleviate the problem by having this option open for them. While anyone can purchase from this limited tier, it was designed specifically for FLGSs. This package includes 5 copies of Search and Survive and all unlocked Stretch Goals!
- If you live somewhere that is not currently supported by this campaign, please let me know and I will get a shipping quote and get that fixed ASAP!
- I realize that my Kickstarter profile has "0 Backed", and that is because I created a new profile to make this Kickstarter. In hindsight that was a poor move, but here is a link to my personal profile where I have backed projects in the past: https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/461963597
- Due to the dimensions of the box for Search and Survive, certain shipping rates were astronomical. I tried to make all shipping prices as fair as I could.
- The game is finished but certain components might go through minor aesthetic changes between now and printing.
- Shipping will be fulfilled using the USPS.
- Stretch Goal components have been tested already, but will go through a final test period before being added to the game. The artwork for the stretch goals will have to be completed as well.
- Once the campaign ends a final, all-inclusive testing phase will take place in order to ensure the highest quality gaming experience we can offer. This will include any unlocked Stretch Goal components.
- Though we are anticipating fulfillment of the game in late Q1 of 2017, we are hoping for an earlier finish. We'd rather under-promise and over-deliver than vice versa.
- The black borders around the cards in the above images are there simply for contrast and are not present on the finished products (see game play video). The cards are borderless.
- The Stretch Goal components, if not successfully funded in this campaign, will be added to a future expansion for Search and Survive.
- In the introduction video I said that every card has a secondary ability, but what I should have said is "every situational card (cards that can be sacrificed for a powerful effect) has a secondary ability". Cards that a player might not want to use right away have the ability to be discarded (and remain in the deck) to draw a new card, thus attempting to eliminate dead weight cards.
- Search and Survive has 1 card with a drug reference. While neither the name or ability is overly explicit, parents might want to take this into consideration.
*This was the first version of the Kickstarter video. I liked it but I used a camera I wasn't familiar with and the sound quality is way off. If you're interested in more videos though, here's one!
*These are images from our fantastic FLGS here in Grand Junction, Co, The Jester's Court! And if anyone asks I totally didn't get red paint on their garage door and then accidentally take the door's base paint off while trying to clean it. It was Zane.
Risks and challenges
As with any project, this one is subject to potential obstacles. Here's what I think the potential obstacles are and what I've done to mitigate them.
Challenge 1: Being a New Designer - This is my first game going into production. As I'm sure any first time designer will attest (and they have to me multiple times) it isn't an easy process. There's a lot to consider and many choices to make. Luckily, I have friends who have attempted (both successfully and unsuccessfully) and who were more than happy to lend guidance. From books to mentors who have completed the process themselves, I have sought out help at every step of the way in order to prepare myself for a successful campaign.
Challenge 2: Adequate Funding - I have worked with the wonderful people at QPC Games for over a year to come up with a realistic plan for producing Search and Survive. I have accurate figures for the printing of the game, but I also have a comfortable "unforeseen problems" cushion built into the budget.
If the game successfully funds at the level I have set for this Kickstarter campaign we'll be able to do a large print run and have some to spare. So what happens to the "cushion money" if there are no problems, you might ask. Simple, if everything goes off without a hitch then Search and Survive will simply have a larger print run ordered, however the money is there to take care of any problems that could pop up should the opposite happen.
Challenge 3: Shipping Costs - Since shipping costs have to be set by country, calculating accurate shipping costs was quite difficult. No mater how much research I did it seemed that the best answer anyone could provide was *shrug*. After extensive research I have set prices for shipping based on my multiple trips to the USPS locally and hours on their website. Since shipping boxes will also have to be made for the game I have a feeling that a portion of shipping is going to come out of pocket no matter what. I'm ok with that as long as everyone gets their game!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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