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Smart Zombies

The more observant of you may be aware of my unashamed love of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines.  I’ve played through a great many times now — probably one too many, given that the thought of returning to it now doesn’t seem particularly appealing — and while its irritancies remain, I’m always blown away by the quality of the writing, the humanity of the characters and the maturity with which tricky topics are approached.

This is why the existence of new indie studio DoubleBear Productions, and the first game it will be working on, has got me so giddy. DoubleBear is headed up by Brian Mitsoda.  He’s worked for plenty of renowned developers, but is probably most famous for his work on Bloodlines.  His work that involved doing the writing for it.

The game, affectionately codenamed ZRPG, is a turn-based role-player set in the midst of a zombie infestation.  Smartly, it’s not really about the zombies.  It’s about the ways in which humans behave when faced with a crisis.  That already sounds right up my alley, and exactly the sort of clever storytelling you’d expect from Mitsoda.  Over on that forum thread linked up-post, Mitsoda talks about managing a safety commune, distributing food and keeping fellow survivors happy.  That sounds smart as well — only sensible to throw a little resource management into a zombie game.

I’m really excited about this and will be following it eagerly.  Hopefully it won’t be hideously long in the making — though if Bloodlines has taught me anything, it’s not to fucking rush.


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