1/ Could you give us a quick word about you and how you fell into Zombicide?
I’m a 40 (soon to be 41) year old (currently not working due to illness) Software Engineer, living in Cambridge (England).
And, I stumbled across Zombicide a week or two into the first Kickstarter campaign and was instantly hooked.
2/ How did you worked your Mission out? How did you playtested it?
Like all the scenarios I’ve put together (only two of which I’ve sent into the contest), Defend The Mall – Save The Baby started with an idea – sometimes I start with a mechanic, sometimes a story, sometimes an idea for a map – in this case it was the timing mechanism, that then led to the backstory, the setting, and the map layout.
I would normally recommend play testing with several groups, as well as by one’s self, but in this instance, due to various life constraints, it was mostly done solo, simulating a six-player game, and with one other person.
But, it took a lot of sessions to reach the final version of the scenario – most of this was refining the map layout, and the timing mechanism, in order to get just the right feel, difficulty, and game length.
3/ Could you timeframe the different steps to the publishing?
I submitted the scenario to the contest in early December (2013), heard that it had been picked late January, and then it was published about a week later.
I don’t recall how long I’d been working on it before that, but the first stirrings of the ideas behind it came about whilst waiting for the delivery of my second Kickstarter Wave 1 rewards.
4/ So now you won. The first Audrey. How does it feel?
Well, strictly speaking I’m not the first to win an Audrey. And to be honest, I’d have preferred a Kyoko (so I could then send in more entries for a chance to win Audrey)!
But it feels great! I still keep on grinning to myself every now and then! 😀
5/ Are you still motivated to win a second time?
Hopefully they’ll keep on changing the prize, but, if not, I’d like a second Audrey set so that I can swap her for a Kyoko set!
6/ Tips? Advice?
Don’t give up! I see so many people say something like « I’ve sent stuff in and they’ve never been picked, so I’m not going to bother again » – well, if you don’t send more entries in, then you’ll definitely never have one picked!
Play test, play test, play test! This is probably the second most important thing (I’ll mention the first shortly) – and try not to get stuck playing the scenario one way when you do so – think how someone else might approach it – is there a way to ‘break it’ – can an aspect of the rules be exploited to make it easy – is it impossible if you don’t get the right cards at the right time? You need to ask yourself all these questions, and more, whilst you’re play testing, and then find ways to solve any issues you come across.
Come up with something different! Too many scenarios are ‘go here, find this objective’ and very little else. But a great scenario does something new, something unique, or has a great story around which the game play hangs. The best do both (and more)!
Think of Goldilocks! Just like the temperature of the porridge in the classic fairy tale, the difficulty of a scenario needs to be just right! Too easy and it’s boring. Too hard and it’s just a drag. The players should feel challenged, but not like they’ve been set an impossible task.
And, finally, and this is the most important thing – make it FUN!
7/ What do you think about previous Missions? Any favourite?
To be honest, though I’ve downloaded and read them all, I’ve yet to play any!
I have far too much fun coming up with my own, and nowhere near enough time to play them all – I haven’t even played through all the scenarios in the rule books yet!