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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.

Progamer Justin Wong joins the Z. team as gameplay and balance consultant

by Sebastian Haley, Creative Director

Downward Viral is happy to announce that progamer Justin Wong has joined Z. as a design consultant. Justin is best known for conquering the international fighting tournament scene and especially Evo for the past decade. He is largely considered one of the best fighting game players in the world alongside Daigo and a few elite others, and you can see his tournament rankings at the bottom of this post.

Why have a fighting game pro consult on a zombie trading card game?
Part of what makes Z. stand out from similar games is that it’s meant to be playable by anyone, whether they’re a longtime hardcore tabletop gamer or a newcomer to the scene altogether. And we want to do that without dumbing down the rules -- that’s very important to us: maintaining a level of depth where the game can be as deep as you want it to be. We have a diverse selection of unique modes to help you find that perfect balance, and we’ll be detailing all of those next week.

Z. is also about having that same minute-to-minute excitement and zero downtime that you’d find in a fighting game, especially in the classic duel mode -- which is similar to Magic or Yu-Gi-Oh! in that you’re attempting to deplete the other player’s hit points before they do the same to yours. So Justin’s expertise in what works and what doesn’t will be very helpful with playtesting and balancing Z.

And since he knows many popular fighting games inside and out, he can help us make a game that’s immediately accessible to anyone who wants to play it, but also has a long lifespan where you’re constantly learning new tricks and strategies. I first met Justin at last year’s PAX Prime and value his expertise greatly, so I feel very good about the benefits this will have on the fine-tuning of Z.

This weekend I am driving to Los Angeles (from San Francisco) to meet up with the LA crew and shoot some new cards, as well as make some videos breaking down the different modes, rules, and mechanics of Z. That’s something I know you guys have been asking for, and if you’d like to get a headstart on next week, you can already read all about how the zombie and survivor decks work.

As for making our goal or not, part of what Justin is known for is his great comebacks. No matter how bleak the outcome looks or how little life he has left, he keeps playing his hardest and never gives up, and that’s what we’re going to do with this Kickstarter. $35K is a LOT, a success by any other means. And if our game wasn’t so damned ambitious, we’d probably be funded now. I’ve been told repeatedly by those in the know that a lot can happen in 16 days, so the team and I are not giving up. But if one of you guys could get Felicia Day or Wil Wheaton to tweet about Z., that definitely wouldn't hurt. ;)

Justin Wong’s Tournament Rankings

Marvel vs. Capcom 2

Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike

  • Evolution (2005) - 2nd
  • Evolution (2008) - 2nd
  • Evolution (2009) - 1st (2v2 with Issei Suzuki)
  • Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament (2012) - 1st

Capcom vs SNK 2

  • Evolution (2007) - 3rd

Street Fighter IV

  • Evolution (2009) - 2nd
  • Evolution (2009) - 1st (5v5 Team East Coast)

Super Street Fighter IV

  • Canada Cup's Marvel Madness (2011) - 2nd
  • Canada Cup's Marvel Madness (2011) - 1st (3v3 Teams)

Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition

  • Devastation (2011) - 1st
  • Socal Regionals (2011) - 1st
  • Winter Brawl 6 (2012) - 1st
  • Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament (2012) - 1st
  • East Coast Throwdown (2012) - 2nd
  • CEO - Community Effort Orlando (2012) - 1st

Tatsunoko vs Capcom

  • Evolution (2010) - 3rd

Marvel vs Capcom 3

  • Evolution (2011) - 3rd
  • Canada Cup's Marvel Madness (2011) - 1st
  • Canada Cup's Marvel Madness (2011) - 1st (3v3 Teams)
  • Devastation (2011) - 1st
  • Canada Cup (2011) - 2nd

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3

  • Socal Regionals (2011) - 1st
  • Winter Brawl 6 (2012) - 1st
  • Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament (2012) - 5th
  • East Coast Throwdown (2012) - 1st
  • CEO - Community Effort Orlando (2012) - 1st

Mortal Kombat 9

  •'s Mortal Kombat Nationals (2011) - 1st

Street Fighter X Tekken

  • Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament (2012) - 1st
  • East Coast Throwdown (2012) - 1st
  • CEO - Community Effort Orlando (2012) - 3rd


    1. Creator Downward Viral on June 28, 2012

      We told him about the game and then asked if he'd like to be involved, just like everyone else. :)

    2. Creator Alex Earp on June 28, 2012

      How did you get Justin Wong to work with you guys?!