[Custom Map] Break Out - Outbreak!

Discussion in 'Custom Scenarios and Boards' started by Sir Knight, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    Otherwise known as "BOO!"

    . . .

    You are a lowly Man At Arms hired by the Parasol Merchant Guild to guard their facilities. Your job description involves walking up and down winding corridors and keeping out pesky saboteurs. Your job description does NOT involve looking inside any of the rooms, no matter what strange noises you hear therein.

    One day you are dutifully patrolling at your regular pace. You notice that no one else is in the facility today, but that doesn't concern you: fewer weird conversations about things being "itchy" or "tasty." Then you hear a noise of splintering wood and a moaning fills the halls. You have an unpleasant feeling about this. Too bad the nearest exit has that really fiddly latch . . .

    In this single-player map, see if you can make it to the exit before the hordes become unstoppable and/or slaughter enough of the creatures that you can escape more easily. Yes, the Reinforced Doors are on YOUR side.

    Break Out - Outbreak!.jpg

    I could use some help with balance. My mental picture was of a Man At Arms with lots of Parry cards deflecting powerful Zombie attacks and struggling to push through the halls (see screenshot). Unfortunately, the default Man At Arms has very few draws per round.

    Thus I made the file with "(Servants)" in the name. You may have up to three Servants to help with drawing cards (and feeding Zombies). That's fun, but a Servant's Team Shift allows you to move Reinforced Doors, defeating the logic of the scene.

    Then I swapped out the main character completely for Warden Gorald. More draws! That's the regular version you see attached. Still, I could use feedback. If the Zombies catch you, then it's all good and violent. But if you plow through and get on the Victory Square, it's not a "tense countdown" experience so much as a "yay, I'm sitting still and waiting for the enemy" experience.


    Depending on the suggestions, I just might develop . . . BOO! 2!

    Edit: One idea I'm tossing about for BOO! 2! would be to allow the player a party. Unfortunately, using your MP party doesn't work if you want the Reinforced Doors as allies. Thus, the attached file with "(Party)" in the name is a test allowing you a pseudo-party based on single-player campaign enemies. I think it's kinda fun.

    Attached Files:

    Jayce, Fury, Phaselock and 2 others like this.
  2. Pengw1n

    Pengw1n Moderately Informed Staff Member

    Really creative concept with the doors as allies.
  3. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    Why thank you.

    I've now edited the opening post with an example idea to allow the player a "party." Not your multiplayer party, but a "proof of concept" based on single-player enemies. Unfortunately, these enemies have many anti-magic cards which don't belong. Eh, seems to work for the most part.
  4. Farbs

    Farbs Blue Manchu Staff Member

    This sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun! Downloading now.

    To make it a little easier for people to find the right files, you might be better off not uploading the .brds. Players don't actually need them, and if other designers want to check out your maps they can Export them from your .scn files.
  5. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    Editing now!
    Farbs likes this.
  6. shram86

    shram86 Kobold

  7. Farbs

    Farbs Blue Manchu Staff Member

    It's a fun concept, and I think with just a little refinement it could really shine. In my three attempts (using the warden) the reinforced doors all died in either round 1 or round 2, so I had no hope whatsoever of reaching the exit. In my second game the zombies even ran to the exit instead and won by VP! That was cool from a narrative standpoint - I lost because the zombies got out - but given how little hope I seemed to have of getting there first it seemed a bit cheap.

    I think it would really help to slow the imprisoned zombies down a bit.
    For the middle group it would probably be enough to spawn them further to the back of the cell.
    To slow the lower group down even further, you could try adding a 1 square blocking terrain corridor before the cell door, possibly just by making the walls thicker. That would limit the zombies to one attack on the door per round, and should keep them in there for quite a while.
  8. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    Wow, really? Huh. I tried to playtest a bit so that I could experience the highs and the lows, and I WANTED to see the Zombies go to the Victory Square, but it never happened!

    I already moved the Zombies back 1 square as it used to be even nastier than this. Then I didn't want to move them back any more because I playtested and reached the exit without a single Zombie coming after me. I already knew the map was variable, because, of course, Zombies that choose to play Brains! against a door will take forever to smash it (versus Zombie Mob, which is just terrifying). But . . . yeah, I guess the map is more variable than I thought.

    Speaking of which: did you notice that the first Zombie group has a random number appearing inside and outside the cell? Would you say that this impacted your analysis?

    P.S.: If you're struggling like this, after I found it so easy that sitting on the Victory Square is boring, then I feel a little "shine" in my heart already. Aside from test maps, this is the first "videogame level" I've designed in my adult life.
  9. Lance

    Lance Goblin Champion

    My first attempt at this map was great. The size of the map is perfect in my opinion, providing a claustrophobic sensation. I will test more to see the variables that alter the experience.

    I was keeping guard and suddenly I heard a crash and ran to investigate. Much to my surprise I rounded a corner to find a dead man shuffling towards me. It was a horrifying sight and I just reacted lunging with a quick thrust of my blade. I immediately recoiled stunned from his attempt to eat me. I could hear more of them banging and clawing their way out of the rooms. I cut down the first one and ran forward narrowly avoiding the coming hoards. I manage to make my way to the exit only to struggle in vain to jimmy the latch. I frantically sought to make good my escape; but I turned to watch as they rounded the corner. Continuing in my efforts to open the door I steeled myself for what was to come. Just as the first one closed in I parried his attack and countered felling the nightmare before me. I turned once more, as did latch and I ran slamming the door behind me. I dare not look back, but I pray the door holds true!

    Enjoyed it, well done Sir Knight.
  10. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon


    So you weren't bored sitting on the Victory Square? I struggled to keep the amount of Zombies at a level that they WERE menacing, but WEREN'T so many pieces on the board that watching them move was boring.

    I have a related idea for BOO! 2! I'd set up multiple batches of enemies: some in your way, some behind doors, just as before. But behind doors would be only two split Muscular Zombie minions in the same group (or something like that), and they'd be very near the Victory Square. If they got out before you, the "worst of the plague" would be free to "ruin the world." Thus your time pressure would be more complicated.
  11. Lance

    Lance Goblin Champion

    No, with it being my first attempt the suspense keep me in the moment and fearing for my life. In hindsight the shelf life of that suspense is short. Although, I feel that the added ability for the player to forgo escaping and instead fight for survival adds a dynamic quality that keeps you engaged.

    My initial thought when I read BOO 2 was, "2 ways." I rather like the variable nature of different pathways resulting in similar but uniquely different outcomes.
  12. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    Oh? Can you think of any interesting "variant routes" to put in?

    I was thinking of sending players through a network of small rooms, perhaps.
  13. Lance

    Lance Goblin Champion

    I've been thinking about a few different ways to implement "variant routes." Which lead me to steal your concept and place my own signature upon it! :D So far I've developed a map that I feel works. I must admit that creating scenarios using monster is far more challenging than expected. Trying to balance everything has taken a lot of refinement. I have a new found respect for all of the work the devs are doing in order to balance the gameplay. That being said, this is what I've managed to make!

    Additionally, I was really fun trying to make the Zombies go for the Victory locations.

    Attached Files:

  14. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    Great! I've played it and I like what you've done. So the point was to have it be random whether the zombies were or were not sealed behind doors, right? That's a great idea for varying the experience and making the player think.

    With that in mind, it would probably be better if each room had exactly one doorway. Sure, the Zombies might be attracted by the smell of tasty door-brains and pin themselves in their room even if one doorway were open, but it's a matter of game world logic.

    For comparison, I played once with the Men At Arms and once with replacement Wardens, and I feel I was able to do more interesting stuff with the Wardens. Of course, I then was able to just kill lots of Zombies and win early. Do you want the player to spend more time running than fighting? You might search for characters who are particularly fast. (Yeah, I couldn't find any outside of "arena" characters. Hence my thoughts to include an adventuring party.)

    Also, a few notes for polish: I think there's an excess door spot down by the player entrance; there aren't any death markers; beds and such could be Difficult Terrain; and adding the "Lower Doodads" for the board would improve appearance and make the windows look solid.

    So . . . any more zombie books/games/movies we should render in Card Hunter form?

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