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Z.

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Choose your side and help evolve tabletop gaming with this ambitious and groundbreaking hybrid zombie experience.
Created by

Downward Viral

1,147 backers pledged $124,288 to help bring this project to life.

New Guest Cards - Zombie Tim Schafer and Zombie Ron Gilbert!

by Sebastian Haley, Creative Director

The Z. team is extremely excited to end this week of guest card announcements with a bang: adventure game legends Tim Schafer (Psychonauts, Grim Fandango) and Ron Gilbert (Maniac Mansion, The Cave) have agreed to appear as cards in our game alongside Tex Murphy, Mr. Destructoid, and cosplayer Jessica Nigri.

I was a gamer long before I became a game journalist and game developer, and this just kind of blows my mind. It also astounds and delights me to know that we’re making a zombie card game where an undead Tim Schafer will do battle with the girl who played Juliet in the Lollipop Chainsaw commercials!

Players hoping to pit the longtime friends against each other in a horrific battle to the death should know that Tim and Ron both opted to join the zombie side! Maybe they read about how zombies have Killstreak cards....

Now that the zombie horde has serious star power on its side, we need to beef up the survivors as well. I feel like the only way to fight geek is with geek, so what survivor guest cards would you like to see next? Personally, I’d love to see Felicia Day and her Guild-mates join the fray. I wonder if she has a Google alert set up for her name? Maybe if we all end our Kickstarter comments with “Felicia Day” she will have no choice but to pay attention to us. Is that brilliant or creepy? Let’s find out!

Felicia Day. 


For Charity!
To celebrate the Double Fine duo’s appearance in Z., Downward Viral will be holding a little friendly competition among zombies in the name of charity. When the digital version of Z. launches (ideally in early December), we’ll track the amount of kills that both Zombie Tim Schafer and Zombie Ron Gilbert get in the game. The zombie with the biggest bodycount gets a $2,500 donation* made to the charity of their choice.

*This donation is coming out of our own pockets, so don’t worry about it being taken out of the Kickstarter funds.

Also, because “zombify Tim Schafer” can now be crossed off our bucket lists, we’re upgrading all physical boxed sets to the Deluxe Edition. So where you would have chosen two starters for your box, you’ll now automatically get all six, which is over 350 cards!

And lastly, remember that all guest cards are included at any backer level $15 and up. Guest cards will only appear in the digital version of the game, so you might want to grab an Ultimate All-Digital Bundle while they last!

If you’re just checking out Z. for the first time, I want to take this opportunity to show how we’re not just throwing together a crappy game while trying to capitalize on the zombie craze and guest cards.

More so than anything Z. is designed for entertainment, not for squeezing pennies out of kids through microtransactions and cow clicks. It’s meant to have something for everyone; whether you’re allergic to rulebooks or a longtime hardcore tabletop player, we have a very diverse offering without watering down or breaking the core values of these types of games. 


And the underlying theme of that offering is to just have fun. We’ve taken out all the shitty parts that we don’t like and focused on what we do like. We even Frankensteined in pieces from other genres like RPGs and first-person shooters. Why not, right? Who says you can’t have randomized loot cards or killstreaks in a card game?

But there’s also two extremely important features that will help balance out the game and tie back to being accessible to anyone willing to give it a go:

Intelligent Matchmaking
We have single-player and cooperative modes for those who aren’t into competitive or friendly duels, but for those who are, we want to make sure that you always have a balanced and enjoyable experience.

In Z., the game will rank your deck according to its power, and that ranking will be displayed publicly and used to match you with players of similar skill and deck ranking. It’s a very simple concept, but one that will help create the best possible online community we can hope for.

Auto-Deck Creation
One of the things I hate about card games is getting a booster or a new expansion and then having to go through my entire library to try and create the best possible deck. It’s time-consuming and stressful, and it feels more like work than having fun, especially if you’ve bought as many boosters and card games as I have over the years.

In the digital version of Z., you’ll be able to instantly create custom decks with the push of a button. Simply select which parameters you want, and then click “Create Deck”. That’s it.

So let’s say your friend just started playing and you want to battle them with a low-rank zombie deck that emphasizes Infection. Tell the game that’s what you want, and it will automatically create it for you using the best card configuration possible from your library.

You don’t have to use this feature, of course, but it’s there if you want it.

tl;dr = Z. can be as deep as you want it to be, and everyone who has played it so far has shouted the words, “One more game!” including myself. That has to mean something, right? :)

Comments

    1. Creator Thomas James Egan on June 23, 2012

      Who could battle Zombie Tim and Rob properly. Oh I got it, Gabe Newell and Chet Faliszek.

    2. Creator Stephanie Carmichael on June 22, 2012

      Hey, guys! Here's an official tweet from Double Fine: https://twitter.com/DoubleFine/status/216251810921459713 :)

    3. Creator Michael Polo on June 22, 2012

      Zombie Stephen King would be excellent also. He can even help write an expansion or scenario with you guys!!! There hasnt been enough Stephen King out there lately... Quentin Tarantino looks like a dude who may be interested in being a zombie. Him and Robert Rodriguez could team up.

    4. Creator Michael Polo on June 22, 2012

      Hideo Kojima anyone? Shigeru Miyamoto would be awesome as a zombie also.

    5. Creator Downward Viral on June 22, 2012

      @Alex: We'll have some new cards after Anime Expo to prove it. :)

    6. Creator Alex Earp on June 22, 2012

      This is officially bullshit, you have to be blackmailing these people or something. Every day the guest cards become more and more well known. INB4 Zombie Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day.

    7. Creator Downward Viral on June 22, 2012

      @Adam: Yep! We'll make a note on our end that you'll be receiving both.

    8. Creator Adam Lamb on June 22, 2012

      Wow, that was fast. Cool! one more question. We can add $100 to our pledge on top of the $150 to get the ULTIMATE ALL-DIGITAL BUNDLE still correct?

    9. Creator Downward Viral on June 22, 2012

      @Adam: Yes, that's correct. ALL physical editions have been upgraded, so if you're getting a box, you're getting the deluxe version.
      -
      Kickstarter doesn't allow you to update reward descriptions once someone has pledged to them, so anyone who misses the many announcements about the free upgrade will just be pleasantly surprised in December. :)

    10. Creator Adam Lamb on June 22, 2012

      Could you clarify the statement that "we’re upgrading all physical boxed sets to the Deluxe Edition"? Would that tier now have the "pick a starter deck" removed and "comes with all 6" added? Or is there more? Thanks! Game looks great! Can't wait!

    11. Creator TheChosenOne on June 22, 2012

      Alright looking good.