Well, hey there.
While I wait for UDK to build my lighting, I thought I’d take a few minutes to actually upkeep this blog. This quarter has been crazy, and with less than two weeks left it’s only getting crazier.
HvZ hit a very, very low note on Day 4. The game ended up called off for the night. Luckily, we came back on the last day for the most epic final stand ever. Humans almost won— we set off the bomb, but we weren’t able to get 10 people to the “helipad” for evacuation. Thus, the game ended up technically a tie.
My “I-really-want-to-be-gameplay-coordinator” feelings came back extra strong afterwards. As of now, I still want to go for it. I think the opportunity to coordinate HvZ my senior year would give me very valuable experience as a game designer. But more on that later.
Otherwise, things have been…going. My C++ class is kicking my butt and my project for Environments & Level Design is driving me crazy, and between these two projects it’ll be a miracle if I get everything done in time. I’m ready for this quarter to be over. But despite how obnoxious this quarter has been academically, I’ve learned a ton. I can’t wait to apply what I’ve learned in my next set of classes.
In the fall I’m taking Fundamentals of Game Design, Modeling for Games, and Intro to Sound— all of which I am very excited for. I’ve found myself leaning very heavily towards level/game design and environment art for my focus. I love both, and I really feel like they go hand-in-hand a lot of times. So for now I’m going to learn everything I can about both areas of study and see where it takes me.
The Third Night.
127 Humans. 215 Zombies. The tables have turned.
The night began with low morale. None of us were looking forward to the mission. We were tasked with the impossible: Infiltrate several “research labs” in a specific order and recover keycards full of important data from zombified scientists. Turner. Weston. Tannex and O-House simultaneously. And finally…Boundary.
Amazingly we managed to survive Turner House with very few casualties. With both key cards acquired, we made our way to the next lab: Weston. Then Tannex and O-House simultaneously. They were all miraculously cleared quickly and with little casualties. But then came Boundary. The final lab was the hardest of them all.
We acquired the second Hunter vest in O-House and the second Engineer in Tannex…
The Hunter wears a vest with an orange flag velcro’d to his back. He can only be killed if a zombie removes the flag.
The Engineer can place a “barrier” on the ground anywhere he pleases. Zombies may not cross the barrier, or tag anyone on the other side of the barrier. Humans may cross the barrier.
…and used both of them to our advantage. A few brave human souls stepped inside a ring made of both Engineers’ barriers and they set out to find the last key cards. The rest of the Resistance tried to enter from the other side, leaving only a handful hanging back to cover the escape routes. Everyone fought valiantly, but overall it was a slaughter.
By some chance, Steven and I both managed to survive the night. We, along with the other battered survivors, mourn our fallen comrades and prepare ourselves to meet them on the field of battle tomorrow night.
Friends, thank you for your sacrifice. We salute you.
The Second Night.
Again, I have survived. Steven as well. But the zombie hoard killed many today, and soon the numbers will be even. 143 Zed to 196 Humans, as of right now.
The mission was to find some of the weird plants that started this whole mess, spray them with some “chemicals” and bring them back to Dyson Courtyard. We needed to find 90% of the flowers to complete the mission. Also, in Dyson Courtyard there were 4 flags we needed to defend. If zombies captured the flags, then the mission was failed.
Now, I am not an endurance runner, so I stayed behind tonight and helped with defense. Miraculously the Resistance was very well-coordinated today and though we lost many, it could have been a lot worse. We did manage to find all of the flowers required as well as keeping 3 out of 4 flags out of zombie hands. Overall, a mission well-done.
But now things get difficult. Tomorrow the numbers will switch, and we will officially be outnumbered. After all, the zombie hoard can only get bigger while humanity’s numbers can only dwindle down to nothingness. I am confident we will not let that happen. This year’s Resistance is a strong bunch. We’ve got this, as long as we don’t get cocky.
Stay Smart. Stay Frosty. Stay Alive.
The First Night.
Tonight, the infection begun. Strange plant life found around Savannah has affected SCAD students— and those affected have attacked. This morning, we began with 400 strong, brave men and women prepared to combat this strange disease.
The mission began at 8PM EST. Humans gathered together at the gates of Turner, prepared to locate supplies necessary for our survival. The catch? Each supply crate was locked down tight, and in order to bypass the security we had to solve some puzzles. None of these puzzles were easy. They ranged from Operation-style challenges to Rubix cubes to Rubix spheres and more. While each of these challenges is daunting on its own, it’s even more difficult when you factor in the pressure of possible death.
We succeeded in securing all 5 caches scattered throughout the main dorm complex, but not without casualties. We lost 60 good people tonight. Many friends, many loved ones. I survived. And luckily, my darling Steven survived the night as well. He even managed to solve the Rubix sphere, when no one else could. It was his actions that unlocked the coveted Vanguard class for the human resistance.
The Vanguard wears a timer on his chest, and at the push of a button a siren will sound for 30 seconds. During these 30 seconds, he/she becomes invulnerable to zombies but may only stun them with a two-hand tag. After the 30 seconds are up, there is a cool-down timer for 30 minutes.
Overall, a successful night. I mostly ran recon with Rouge Squadron— a group of battle-hardened veterans who I met last year during the final days. We managed to stay one step ahead of the main force and secure the next puzzle while the previous one was being solved. At the very least, it definitely helped prevent a massive ambush. I like to think we saved some lives tonight.
Anyway, wish me luck for the next few days! For any others still breathing: Stay smart. Stay frosty. Stay alive.
This is a little instructional video of how we play HvZ here at SCAD. Also included are descriptions of this year’s special classes!
SCAD HvZ 2012
It has begun.
Here’s a game that I keep meaning to write about (for one reason or another I always forget to). It’s called Zombies, RUN! and it’s now available for iOS on the App store for $7.99. The game is an audio adventure made for runners.
You tie your shoes, put on your headphones, take your first steps outside. You’ve barely covered 100 yards when you hear them. They must be close. You can hear every guttural breath, every rattling groan - they’re everywhere. Zombies. There’s only one thing you can do: Run!
You are put in the role of a runner gathering supplies to help rebuild your base after the zombie apocalypse. You gather food, weapons, medicine, and more while out on your run that you can use to level up and reinforce your home base. There’s also a mystery to uncover— Where did the zombies come from? What are the survivors planning?
This game is an awesome motivator to get out there and run. I’ve definitely found how I’m going to be training for this year’s HvZ, haha.
SCAD: Nerf Underground
The post-HvZ blues got us here at SCAD, and it got us bad. So bad, in fact, that we decided to organize a game of Capture the Flag just so we could use our Nerf guns more. And after that ended, people wanted to stick around to play some more. So, we started up a game of Team Deathmatch.
Team Deathmatch turned into Team Deathmatch vs. HvZ, where instead of a respawn like in a normal game, once you are shot you turn into a zombie. So essentially, it’s a game of Humans vs. Humans vs. Zombies.
Then someone said: “Hey, let’s do this every week!”
And so the Nerf Underground was born.
I love this. Definitely a great way to get more use out of our blasters. I swear, Nerf probably makes more off of games of HvZ than it does children… I digress, this is going to be sweet. We’re hoping this will carry into next year, so that all year we’ll be as active as we are during HvZ. We’re even trying to adapt other styles of gameplay to fit our campus (which is awesome because it means I get to think game-design for real life) to mix things up, giving the idea some variety.
I love my college, haha. So much.
The Final Stand: Part Two
Luckily, our Engineer (donning a Santa hat) had thought ahead to use his barrier to block off the largest entrance to the field, accurately funneling all of the zombies across the bridges. However, it wasn’t enough to stop them from swarming. Less than 5 minutes into the siege, we knew all hope was lost.
A handful of surviving humans, unsure of what to do next, decided to implement the exit strategy for escaping the bomb. We retreated towards the Engineer’s barrier and ducked around it— effectively escaping the field. Unfortunately, the zombies caught on really, really quickly and a few left the field to give chase. Right at that moment, we saw one lone Wolf Pack from the reconnaissance team. It was an unspoken understanding that the rest of them were dead, but boy, were we glad to see him.
It seemed silly to do anything. We knew all hope was lost. But, that didn’t stop us from making our way around the side of Dyson (on the same track we’d taken the previous night) and to the safe zone. It was close, because someone shouted “RUN!” once we were in sight of the safe house, and all but 3 of us were tagged. (I was tagged as well, but there was some dispute over whether or not the zombie was shot first. We settled it via Rock, Paper, Scissors, which I miraculously won.)
We sat there, contemplating death in the safe zone, when our Engineer showed up! Despite how wonderful it was to see him alive, there was still no hope for the human resistance. The Wolf Pack slowly assembled beside the 4 remaining humans while we decided what to do.
We decided to go out in style, guns blazing, in a hopefully memorable slice of glory.
Just as we were about to walk in, the Zombified Scientists ran up and told us to wait. They said if we wanted to do this epically, we should do it back in Dyson Field. So, the zombies escorted us over to the field. We huddled in the center as 200 horde surrounded us.
4 of us left. Left 4 Dead.
After a nifty little speech about us being brave for coming out to fight that night, we were rushed and killed. However, it was an awesome death. Death via 200-Zombie group hug!
Afterwards, a big group assembled at iHop for some post-Zombie-Victory pancakes! (Which were absolutely delicious seeing as I hadn’t eaten all that much over the weekend for fear of becoming zombie-chow.)
So, even though humanity lost, it was still a blast. I’m looking forward to the afterparty this Friday, and after that…well, I’m excited for next year’s HvZ.
The Final Stand: Part One
(NOTE: Before we even get to Monday’s event, let me just start by apologizing for being really late on the update. Basically, HvZ ended and schoolwork and errands that I’d neglected due to the zombie apocalypse kind of smacked me in the face. I needed a couple of days to sort it all out. Sorry for the long wait!)
9:00 PM, EST: Ceasefire.
Gameplay paused so humans could assemble the last of their forces in Dyson Field for the Final Stand safely. Based on the statistics of the previous days (humans left vs. humans actually playing), I honestly wasn’t very optimistic about the night’s turnout, but we thankfully we ended up with more people than I expected. The clock was ticking towards the start of the 10 PM mission, when our game Mods reviewed the mission objective.
A bomb, located in the center of Dyson Field, was set to release a highly effective chemical weapon that would destroy the nervous system of any being in the area. Unfortunately, unless we could escape quickly after detonation, it would also kill any surviving humans. In order to detonate the bomb, we had to locate 13 circuit boards and slide them into the slots on the bomb.
After the mission was clear, the field erupted in a clusterfuck of conversation. Talk of strike teams, patrols around the perimeter, triple-man teams watching the bridges—
No, no, no, no, no.
Somehow, I ended up taking command. I tried to explain the situation: Minus a good 15 people who were on recon to find the circuit boards, I talked to everyone on defense from experience of what happened on the previous mission.
We needed to stay close. Stick together. We should put enough space between us so we can hold a decent sized-perimeter, but if we spread ourselves out too thin then we’re dead.
So what did we do? Spread out, set single-man patrols to watch the bushes, and broke into small groups to defend the bridge.
And everyone died.
The end? I think not.