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DreadBall – The Futuristic Sports Game - fantastic miniatures, great game mechanics and amazing sci-fi imagery - it ends today!
DreadBall – The Futuristic Sports Game - fantastic miniatures, great game mechanics and amazing sci-fi imagery - it ends today!
2,539 backers pledged $728,985 to help bring this project to life.


Z'zor are still a relatively new concept and we had a few different bits of art done to see what they'd look like. Since we're currently hunting them down as our $265,000 stretch goal, we thought we'd explore a little bit more about them.

First up, early Z'zor MVP concept art - we want to know what you think!

Z'zor MVP - fondly known as Ludwig in the office but name is subject to change. Have a preference? Let us know in the comments!

“Wild” Z’zor are ruthless and mindlessly violent – with the Z’zor it is kill or be killed. Fortunately the sport was’t stupid enough to put DreadBall stars in that much danger, instead employing the use of genetically modified, mind-controlled drones specially bred to suit DreadBall play... Well, that's how the story goes.

Z'zor Team Concepts - Striker, Guard and Jack

Z’zor Drones are multi-limbed and unpredictable, with a naturally hardened exoskeleton preventing the need for DreadBall armour. Drones that take up the Striker role have scoop-like appendages to catch and throw the ball whilst Guards retain the size of some of the more “natural” creatures back on the Z’zor homeworlds, and nearly all of their temperament. Despite advancements in mind-control it is not uncommon for a Z’zor Guard to see red and charge an opposing player, the result of which is normally deep gashes, slashed armour and crushed limbs.

Despite this the Z’zor are great for entertainment purposes and hence these insectoid teams are allowed to continue playing. Between the alien “ZZZ-ZZZ” the Z’zor emit as they pass the ball and their sudden outbursts of violent play, Z’zor are portrayed as the natural enemy – skeptics claim primarily as a form of propaganda for the war - and stadiums are consistently sold-out whenever there is a team playing.

Early Z'zor Striker concept art

$265,000 – The Z’zor, Season 2 Insectoid Team

The Z'zor team are our next stretch goal and if we hit it we will produce a team for this furious insectoid race. If we hit this goal we will add 1 Z’zor Player to Jack, add 2 Z’zor Players to Striker and add the Z’zor team to our list of our Season 2 Buy One Get One Free Teams!


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    1. Missing avatar

      Daniel Sturgiss on September 19, 2012

      I guess I'm a bit late to the party, but if you're still reading this, here's my oppinion:
      I really like the MVP concept. I'm not sure if that's just because he's larger scale and more detailed, but he's my favourite one. I like his wings, and I like the way his second set of limbs seem folded away while not in use. My least favoutite part of him however are his feet. I think the "toes" look a bit too well defined and thus mamalian, rather than alien or insect like. For feet I prefer the guard or striker concepts, for their simetry and singularity.
      Heads-wise, I don't like the jack's, in my oppinion a syphon like set up seems too simple to me. If you watch a mosquito eat it seems very straight forward and thus "normal". If you watch a crab eat however, it seems tremendously complicated and alien. Their mouths seem to have sets of limbs all their own, with separate sets fanning the water past, plucking food stuffs out, cutting and tearing them down to size and finally putting the little bits into it's gullet. For that reason, I really love the multiple mandibles on the MVP.
      I'm also quite a fan of the background snippets. In sports games, I've always wondered why the races remain so separate. Surely a team would do best by picking Orx Guards and Judwan strikers for example, but the story for the Z'zor seems to suggest that the team would be sponsorred by a biotech firm, more concerned with selling their specimens and related technologies than winning a league at any cost, which kind of answers my question. As the team would then be run by human management, communicating with the players through complex pheramones and cranial implants, I think the name for the MVP should remain a human one, as I doubt the marketing department would be too pleased about naming the company's crowning acheivement something utterly unpronouncable. Just look at the difference between the chemical name of a substance, and the name it's marketted under.

      Anyway, sorry about the long post.

    2. Tristan Coulson on September 18, 2012

      I like the Striker Concept art B.

    3. Michele Maritan on September 18, 2012

      I really like the characterization of the heads of Guard (horned beetle like? maybe add some other horns or huge mandible) and especially Jack (Mosquito/sap sucking insect like? Nice!). Striker's head is maybe a bit generic and small as it is, i like the C version more ( more Ant/termite like?). For Keeper , personally i would go with spider (several eyes, vertical Chelicerae as in tarantulas/jumping spiders/wolf spiders). Great MVP (very wasp-like, very fitting, maybe add a scorpion tail?).

    4. Brent Barber on September 18, 2012

      What about leaving the striker as is and giving the Jack the head from Striker B?

    5. Missing avatar

      Lachlan on September 17, 2012

      Go Striker B! Anyplans for a Zzor Keeper? Maybe a spider/scorpion?

    6. Brent Barber on September 17, 2012

      I love the Z'zor MVP, there is just one thing I would change, curve his antennae the other way so they look like devil horns!

    7. Scott "KillaMini's" Myers
      on September 17, 2012

      I'm sure the numbers will stick with some insectoid secretions....yuck

    8. Commander Cain on September 17, 2012

      The newer concepts (the MPV and striker "B") are much improved in my opinion. They are much more insectoid and have a more menacing posture. Thanks for listening to all the suggestions we have been putting your way, I can see it resulting in a far superior team in the end!

    9. Robert Wheeler on September 17, 2012

      Paint the numbers on the exoskeleton. A Z'zor tatoo if you will. Who knows maybe the Z'zor are into ink. Hive identification tatoos. :)

    10. Martin Dickson
      on September 17, 2012

      @cheetor: :) I can imagine the conversation...

      Z'zor: Bzzz'zzzt rrrzzzz'zztt bzz'zzt bz'zzt r'zzt.
      Dreadball official: Yes, yes, that's all very well, you have armoured exo-skeletons and don't need armour, but rules are rules and you still have to display offical Dreadball player numbers on the field!
      Z'zor: Bz'zzzt rrrzz'zztt bz'zzt?
      Dreadball official: I don't know! Glue? Rivets? Some sort of harness? However you fix them on there you still have to wear the numbers!

    11. troy on September 17, 2012

      they should be wearing dreadball armor. isn't that part of the rules of the game?

    12. Paul Shorten on September 17, 2012

      I like the Zzor look overall, but I would prefer them if they were wearing some form of armour or sports kit. I want them to look like a team regardless of how and why they are justified in the game background.

      Why should the bugs be the only naked team? Other than needing armour or clothes or somthing sporty so that they dont just look like a bunch if monsters dumped on the pitch, they are cool looking. The MVP us particularly nice.

    13. Morgan Kollin on September 17, 2012

      Love the MVP, it looks great. As for the Striker, I'm definitely liking the head of B from the concept art. Other than that, I'd like to see the Jack's head replaced with A/current Striker head.

      My big question now, how would one integrate a disk for player number?

    14. Mike Youtz
      on September 17, 2012

      Thumbs up on the MVP, thumbs (or proboscis) down on the "jack" Z'zor? Maybe base this model more on a yellowjacket?

    15. Missing avatar

      Jack Davenport on September 17, 2012

      I signed up purely for the Z'zor, they look really good. Ludwig is a pretty good name for their MVP, it doesn't gel with the image, which makes me wonder how he got it, which is what I like.

    16. Jonathan Haythornthwaite on September 17, 2012

      Ah, it's a shame these guys are just the 'usual' vicious alien killing machines under mind control, was hoping for an intelligent race of space bugs for a change!

      Not that this will stop me getting my hands on a team of course, they look like they will be great models to paint! :-)
      Ludwig is looking suitably vicious, and are those wings I see on him!? I too would like to see the other Z'zor take their design cues from him, especially his head. J.

    17. Martin Dickson
      on September 17, 2012

      Like the MVP a lot!

      My only (slightly) negative feedback is that I feel the Jack is insufficiently distinct from the Striker. Perhaps the Jack could be beefed up a little more - some horned plates on its legs similar to the Guard (but keeping it bipedal?). A little more armour / weight on the upper limbs?

      What I would suggest is considering making the lower pair of upper limbs less vestigial; more designed for some hack and slash.

    18. Jason Newell on September 17, 2012

      Call the mvp Gregor. That'd be a cool literary reference.

    19. euansmith
      on September 17, 2012

      Personally I prefer the look of the MVP figure with its more angular lines to the "team" figures.

    20. Octavio Arango on September 17, 2012

      My impression is that one of their hands is large and cupped, which is how they would hold the ball. The guards, meanwhile, have pincers.

    21. Robert Wheeler on September 17, 2012

      The more I look at this team the more I like it. I can't wait to see the keeper version of these bad boys.

    22. Tim Richter on September 17, 2012

      I'll admit to not reading all the details so sorry if this has been covered, how do they hold the ball? I recommend sculpting some sort of appendage specifically grown to handle that, or make them biomechanical insects with cybernetic implants for such.

    23. Matt Houghton on September 17, 2012

      love the idea of insects :) can see these being used for so much more as well... :)

    24. Missing avatar

      Don Tornquist on September 17, 2012

      MVP is very good and of the rest I like C the best. Perhaps Ludwig could be upgraded to Zudwig.:)

    25. Jim Jacobson on September 17, 2012

      I'm not excited about insects and don't understand the attraction, but they look like they will be super fun to paint and can be enjoyed by those who like bug men.

    26. Robert Wheeler on September 17, 2012

      I'm going to go with c. It's the only one with an insect build of a head, a thorax, and an abdomen. Also it's the only one that looks like it could have evolved from a wasp/hornet. Great job with MVP! Keep up the good work.

    27. William Charles Wilson on September 17, 2012

      M.V.P is perfect. Even like the name ludwig for him! Not sure about the head on the striker?? I love the guard and the jack though :)

    28. Missing avatar

      Christopher Wood on September 17, 2012

      The Zz'or MVP is the definite direction I would like to see the team move towards. He's the best looking of them all so far.

    29. John Paul Messerly
      on September 17, 2012

      I prefer the head style on the MVP and sketch B. The eyes are so much more expressive and menacing. They also remind me of Zorak from Space Ghost which helps give them more personality. The Guard and Jack heads are also quite distinctive and memorable.

    30. Missing avatar

      Chris O on September 17, 2012

      I like the MVP. Good look & proportions. Maybe the other looking similar (ish but I appreciate they need to look different). I don't fancy really lanky supersized insects as a team...

      How would you paint them as a team: a team hive producing a unique carapace colouring, or splashing of blood/goo to differentiate them from other teams? I'm still trying to visualise them on a DB pitch...

    31. Kaiser Kailer on September 17, 2012

      His name is Ma'ik T'Zzn and he is a beast ;)

    32. Bobby4th on September 17, 2012

      I like the explanation for how the Z'zor are able to be a team. The MVP is nice and I hope we get to the robots soon.

    33. Mystic Weasel on September 17, 2012

      Happy with the concept team and MVP as they are, even the jacks head is growing on me (slowly). Ludwig looks how a Zzor MVP should, Like the normal players but alot more vicious.
      To join the debate of heads, B should be considered for the jacks head not the strikers. The striker is near perfect, and the Jack could use toughening up to be meaner than the striker. That said, head B is the marmite head, you either love it or you hate it (hate it personally).

    34. Missing avatar

      Omphalos on September 17, 2012

      The Z'zor MVP is fantastic. I'm not completly fine with the Z'zor team concept (see my comment under the previous update message) but here, body, proportions, head everything is perfect.
      Concerning the Z'zor striker : I prefer B (Head, arms, upper body...) except for the legs (A or especially the MVP are much better) and the lower abdomen (I prefer A and especially C for this).

    35. CashWiley on September 17, 2012

      Given the insectoid physiology, maybe they'd grow forms for each position, similar to a drone/worker/soldier hive insect.

      Naming the Z'zor MVP? X'yzzy, clearly.

    36. Missing avatar

      David Fisher
      on September 17, 2012

      I love everything about Striker B. Everything. Make it so.

    37. Missing avatar

      Bill Roy (deleted) on September 17, 2012

      With the Z'zor Striker I do prefer head 'B'. The feet of 'B' also seem more appropriate with them laying flat on the ground. With regard to the torso I think either of 'A' or 'B' is preferable to 'C'.

      My favorite has to be the 'Guard' though, from a painting perspective though an idea might be to make one of the main claws larger than the other, this may give additional power to the Guard but also leave one side on which an opponent might get around easier. But the guard is my favourite by a long way (though I like the others individually).

    38. Missing avatar

      PsychoticStorm on September 17, 2012

      I really like the concepts and the MVP, I also like how the latest concepts evolved from the first ones, I still feel the middle arms could have been 3 claw manipulators, but the single scythe starts to grow on me.