1/ Could you give us a quick word about you and how you fell into Zombicide?
A couple of guys at my local club in Cambridge Sons of War, had kickstarted Zombicide from the start and one night I was asked to join in, from the first game I was hooked and never looked back.
2/ How did you worked your Mission out? How did you playtested it?
I am a big fan of the walking dead and was just watching a replay of the episode where they stormed the prison and I wanted to try to design a mission that had that sort of feel from the start. One where you were under pressure and could not hide in a room searching for the best weapons.
I was lucky, Scott a former winner and a close friend was able to take me through some of the play testing stages.
There are two options to play testing to keep it simple and slowly increase the difficulty level, or to go full out and make it as hard as possible and scale it back as you need. It really depends on how aggressive you are with your play style and how much time you have free. I was lucky as Scott prefers the first option while another good mate keith prefers the make it as hard as you can. So I was able to test the mission from both angles depending on who I was playing with at the time. To find the correct balance.
While play testing its also a good idea to use the same team with this mission I used the 4-6 characters that I thought would have the easiest time and then tried it with the characters I thought would have a hard time.
That way when someone is playing my mission regardless of characters chosen the mission is achievable, that being said I do like to chose my characters at random when playing missions.
3/ Could you timeframe the different steps to the publishing?
Designing a working mission took me about two months with play testing at least once a week, either full scale from start to finish or just the first 12 turns, if your played my mission you will know why.
3b/ Did you choose « La Santé »? Why? Scott talked about a famous prisonner, who was it? What else did GG changed?
I wanted to pay homage to guillotine games and set my mission in France. So I needed a famous prison players across the world could relate to.
The Bagne of Toulon made famous by Victor Hugo was closed in 1873.
Almost nothing is left of the Bastille except some remains of its stone foundation.
La Santé Prison is one of Frances most famous prisons thats still operational.
There was no changes to my map, I had anticipated some of the starting zombies being removed.
But that’s the challenge of my mission its stressful, you have two groups of zombies chasing you from two different directions. You need to work as a team, communication and planning is the key. Everyone needs to search every round.
The mission brief was changed it was rather long and I admit parts of it was unnecessary.
La Santé Prison has both a VIP and high security wings. Which made it perfect to have my original idea of nick naming the berserker abomination Carlos after one of the former inmates who returned.
The bereserker adomination is the key to my mission. You need him to help you escape but you have to deal with him sooner than later.
So I liked the idea of giving him a nickname.
4/ So now you won. How does it feel?
I didn’t know if I would win or not, I just wanted to design a mission that was fun and enjoyable to play.
To see your mission printed so others can enjoy is a great feeling.
5/ Are you still motivated to win a second time?
Im currently working on about 2-3 missions and maybe when the time is right I may submit another one.
6/ Tips? Advice?
Work out what you want to accomplish with your mission. Have a clear picture of what you want to achieve.
Keep it simple at first expand it as you progress.
Design the map but don’t be afraid to change it.
Push the envelope if you come up with a new rule, weapon or timing step then you have a good chance of standing out from the other missions.
Play test it and try to break the mission, you know your mission better than anyone else how would you exploit it? If you can exploit it then so can others.
Have fun, if your play testing your mission several times and your not enjoying it then others wont when they play it.
7/ What do you think about previous Missions? Any favourite?
Id probably have played C37 so many times id have to list that not just because its Scotts and I helped play test it 🙂
There are so many good missions, what I look for in general when deciding on what to play is something that is unique and offers replay ability.