No Brainer

Project Name: No Brainer

High Concept: A zombie game where YOU are the zombie and must feed! Mmmm... brains...

Player Motivation: Stealth game with a difference, from the zombie perspective - upgrade/evolve your own zombie - create zombie minions.

Genre: A stealth/assassination game with RPG elements.

Target Audience: Male audience – teens to early 20’s and those bored with typical genre games.

Competitor Analysis: Left 4 Dead, Resident Evil, Evil Dead etc, but the twist with this one is that the game is from the *other* perspective, and you play the Zombie anti-hero. In terms of gameplay it is more akin to Hitman – if you run around killing indiscrimately you’ll attract attention and people will put you down – so problem solving must come into the mix to stake out areas, survey, hide, ambush etc.

Design Goals: To tip a genre on its head, and not take itself too seriously!

Story/Setting: The first guy, that slow, ignorant one, that gets bit buy the monkey with the mutating zombie virus… The one you yell at the TV screaming, ‘RUN YOU FOOL!’… That’s you… and your day is only getting worse.

While shopping on the top floor of a large mall you are bitten buy a virus carrying escaped monkey that has taken up residence in the air vents. Feeling poorly, you head to the bathroom convinced it is an evil vindaloo seeking revenge in the worst ways.

You die, vomiting blood, and re-awaken with a ravenous desire for human flesh; jerky, stilted movement; and bad BO. Your bodily organs are rapidly cannibalising themselves – you must consume flesh or perish!

The more prolonged your exposure to the virus, the more powerful a monster you become, with the ultimate goal of breaking out of the mall and unleashing yourself on the world at large!

Gameplay Overview: The camera is set behind and above the person, akin to Hitman.
You start as a relatively weak and slow zombie, whose health diminishes over time. Eating people restores your health.

You start on the top-most level of a 10 storey mall, with people unaware of your condition, and opponents include regular mall-goers and rent-a-cops with batons.

Terrorising the populace overtly will bring guards to your position, so your best bet is to try the tricks from the movies – hide in toilets, closets, vending machines etc, and spring on your unsuspecting victim! When confronted with your monstrosity, people either run, fight, or cower.

Word gets out, and when it is safe to fight you (ie you’ve killed all the people on the level, or they’ve escaped), a true hero steps into the arena. This level boss is reminiscent of a hero you might have been in another game, but here you have to pitt broken nails and rotted teeth against holy water and flamethrowers.

Such end of level bosses could include Ash, Jill Valentine, Van Helsing, that whippy guy from Castelvania, a shiney paladin, all of the stereotypical ‘good’ guys from horror games/films (tweaked to avoid copyright infringments).

Kills garner you mutation points (mps), which can be spent after defeating each level boss on upgrading yourself, ready for the next level.

Single/multiplayer: Single

Characters: You play a classical zombie with a lot of potential!

Weapons: Originally you just start with hands and teeth, although you upgrade as time goes by.

Upgrades include: Increased speed (go from shuffling to sprinting)
Increased strength (to bash down doors and throw things at pesky V. Helsing types)
Increased toughness (eventually shrugging off bullet-wounds)
Enhanced feeding (like less overt fangs or other ways to maximise nourishment)
Wings (for flight)
Claws (for slashing)
Hooks (for running along walls/ceiling)
Normal appearance (to blend in with average joes)
and so on... These elements were what I was thinking about when I mentioned in the genre that it'd be partly RPG.

Mission Types: Typically each level will involve killing all of the ‘normals’, defeat an end of level boss, then progress to the next level.

Each level becomes more difficult. The closer to ground level from the top, the more people there are, and the better armed the guards are. That is why you need to evolve. By the stage you get to the lowest level, the military has been called in, and bring with them some massive firepower. The ultimate goal is to clear all of the levels, then a military barricade surrounding the building, to release yourself onto the unsuspecting populace.

Each level is layed out differently, with opponents located in tougher positions in each lower level, less places to blatantly hide, in an attempt to get the player to be creative in their hunting.

Key Selling Points: The chance to do something new with a genre.
Giving the player ownership of a traditional villain.
Portraying the zombie as a misunderstood victim.
A chance to travel down memory lane with some famous ‘heroes’.
Could have movie tie-ins.
And to have a laugh while you are doing it!

Scalability: Details of models can be scaled as necessary, as well as number of levels, opponents, etc.

Programming Considerations: There shouldn’t be any extra programming considerations with this title than encoutnered with any other zombie/hitman game – although the mutations may change the player’s model which would need to be persistant. Also, in the case of minions, would need a follow/control/order mechanic.

Animation Considerations: It terms of visual style I was thinking of as photo-realistic as possible, but with a relatively low saturation for colours, and a slight washed-out look (overblown lighting etc), to give it a bit more of 'through zombie eyes' feel. Also peripheral blurry spots and deep blood-stained smudges could appear around the periphery of the camera view.


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