Zombie MMORPG

Y’know what I’d love to see? A zombie MMORPG. Maybe MMORPG is the wrong acronym for it though, maybe it’s more of a virtual world and not a game. You see, in this MMO the object wouldn’t be raiding or roleplaying (well that might fit in at a player’s discretion), the object of the game would be survival. And there would be permadeath.

Imagine a large virtual world, perhaps only a single server ala EVE Online, that’s set in a fictional United States of America, modern time. It’s completely overrun with zombies (dozens of different types of them) and in a severe state of dilapidation and the players are the only inhabitants left on the planet, forming together into small groups or large gangs in order to stake claim to territories and eek out a semblance of normal life.

There would be no levels in this zombie MMO, instead players would earn experience simply by surviving. You’d be able to tell how much of a veteran someone is by how many days they’d survived. There would also be no classes, instead everything is skilled based and learnt from studying books, videos etc found in the world or passed on by another player. Players could learn medical skills to help heal others, mechanical skills to repair cars and electrical generators or combat skills like to marksmanship to make them better at killing those pesky zombies.

A zombie MMO would require a lot of freedom of action. Every vehicle should be driveable (so long as it’s in a state of good repair, has fuel and you have the appropriate skills), every house enterable, every animal, person or thing killable. There would be no auction house or global chat, instead players would need to rely on bartering or in-game phones or walkie-talkies. Oh yes, plus there would be permadeath.

There would need to be some way of letting you transfer some of your skills onto your “family members” (new characters) but ultimately everyone only has one life. There would be no resurrection spells or spawn points, instead if you die, you die. I think this is absolutely necessary in order to create a real feel of survival and fear. Being killed by a zombie has real impact. Being killed by another person maliciously, even more so.

The most interesting thing about this game would be seeing how events unfold. Would players unite together towards the common threat of zombies or would they bicker and fight between themselves in gangs over territory? Would they create states of laws and order or would they succumb to the anarchy? I’d love to known.

So what do you think? Could a game like this work? Would you play it ?

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177 Comments

  1. Azrathahel says:

    Intensifying the zombie raids would be very interesting. It would add a 2nd rush kinda feel, just to know that you need to get the hell out of dodge before the zombies overrun you.

  2. mm04 says:

    lol like said above i would prob be wanna those that gets frustrated with perma death and leave hahahahaha lol im so impatient lol but i also was thinking that i like the idea of finding a cure thing accept everyone finds the cure or you can team it could kinda be the legacy of this game like swg has the legacy having to find the droid parts and the droid it would also help leveling too i also think what would make it even better is if this big massive city and world we all would be playing in since everyone is dead to get wepaons and so fourth we can break into gun shops and stuff to get clothes clothing stores or food also to get a roof over are heads just find abandonded houses aprtments busniess anywhere we can consider safe. that would be cool lol jsut search around for our own saf e houses kinda like survival of the fittiest lol

  3. mm04 says:

    yeah also forgot lol the main purpose is to escape no one knows when we will or how we will we just find our way the best we can may mean death or survival all depends on our own wits

  4. Azrathahel says:

    Exactly. That’s why the start of the game is so essential. If the players don’t have that edge-of-your-seat feeling, then the developers haven’t done a good enough job on the survival feeling. It needs to be different everytime so the replay value is high enough to attract players time and time again.

    • Gordon says:

      I think it should be quite scary too :) Nothing worse than a survival horror game that isn’t actually creepy! Plus I think a bit of fear would really bring players together and invoke a lot of emotion from them.

  5. mm04 says:

    yeah you got that right who w ants to play a survival horrer game and not be scared

  6. mm04 says:

    also i think to keep it going on once your out of the main city sure you escaped it but your not out of the woods yet honestly i mean mmorpgs of course the have a purpose but they have a subscription for a reason you cant end it there lol you jsut keep going on until the cure is actually found completly like diffrent places in the world should hold diffrent ingredents that you can only get in certain places so you travel alot go alone or find a good party to team with or jsut mess around finding survivors and things even doing missions for certain survivors woudl be cool to liek main legacy type story or a bunch of side missions like you could work for the military doing patrols taking out hordes of zombies get rewards and things or you know something liek that hehe and as far as pvp goes say ppl who want to do pvp when your real high level ou can join guilds and things that always fight for turf and stuff liek that like make pvp optinol like they do kinda in swg

    • Gordon says:

      Oooh, I like the idea of working for the military :) We’d definitely need to have NPC factions like that. Maybe miltitary, secret service, government (or what’s left of them all) etc. You could do errands for them and each faction points. Nice idea!

  7. fred Random says:

    sounds like a mad idea, but you’d gt so many ppl just killing other survivors just to piss them of, i know what i’d do if i had a shotgun pointed at someones back while they’ve got a bag loot with them…

  8. mm04 says:

    thats why you need some sort of rule for pvp it should only be availble to those who want to do it like in swg the mmo im playing now when you chose your faction they give you a choice to be special forces or reguler combatant special forces is pvp if you can work it that way the only ones who are inlisted in pvp get killed i think it would be cool and work good

    • Gordon says:

      I was thinking that PvP would be similar to EVE Online in where certain areas were safe but the further away you go from major cities etc and into lawless territory, the less restrictions on FFA PvP there are.

  9. Azrathahel says:

    PvP is always such a dirty topic. Personally, I think there should be SOME safe areas, but lets not be ridiculous like in WoW. I think very limited areas should be safe…it’s all part of surviving.

  10. Liam says:

    Why not have it that if you do die you become a zombie and after like 50 or so kills as a zombie you gain the “ability” to heal your self and become human agin. then you start all over again.

  11. mm04 says:

    unless you run into someone with an antivirues who can reverse the process and change you human again nah that wouldent work i still think the idea of having a life meter then an infection meter then your xp gain meter is a good idea hehe that way kinda like resident evil if you can get your hands on something to prolong the process of the infection level to help you untill you get your antivirus you can last longer jsut spread the herbs or whatever they are all over the game world and find them so you can prolong the infection process once you get the antivirus quest completed you wont have to worr about it no more you have an antivirus making it the main point of the game would be fun that way it could help with your xp gain and raising your levels plus the reard you donthave to worry about turning into the undead after the main quest is complete

  12. mm04 says:

    unless you wanna be one then you dont use your antivirus

  13. mm04 says:

    lol i still think pvp should be optinol though lol cuz perosnally im not a pvper lol im a pver lol

    • Gordon says:

      Yeah… but part of the appeal of the concept is to create a microcosym of reality and see what would happen if human beings really had to exist in a world overrun by zombies. I think PvP is good so long as it’s balanced and not overwhelming and utterly consuming so that will be the key here.

      • john says:

        People will gank. Thats the thing. People will find experienced players who put a lot of time into their character, and gank them for fun so they have to start over again. Its a pretty big flaw.

  14. Thomas says:

    Though not AAA 3D MMORGs there are actually already several browser based zombie MMORPG such as http://www.zombiepandemic.com and http://www.urbandead.com

  15. Bobbybamf says:

    Would be fun. Would be better to be able to freely make whatever you want if you already know how to. Like gas a bottle and a rag makes a Molotov

  16. NoName says:

    It would be amazing in Virtual Reality

  17. w33n says:

    There shouldn’t be permadeath, but rather zombification.
    And then perma-zombification.

    This also adds to a level of immersion, as you have to be careful to what choices you make.

    • Gordon says:

      Hmm, it’s been a big debate :) I would like to see perma-death and zombification as separate mechanics. Maybe being a Zombie is something like LOTRO’s monster play. The problem is that people will want to suicide themselves in order to play zombies :)

  18. random guy says:

    wait, if the world actually got overran by zombies, wouldnt you kill people to get that ak47 he has?
    there should be limits of course, but thats just realistic

  19. vech says:

    You could have safe zones; military run cities… trading posts. A bar, general store, rest zone, repair facility… course you’d have to pay to use them.
    You could have auction houses too… Sorta an Ebay system(called “Deadbay” or something like that) consisting of the “old ‘net”. A independent group could transfer your product from place to place(could be a cool player quest system as well(transfer X products to this city and acquire your cut of the cash).
    You could have “legacy”items; things that automatically transfer down to a new character(“this gun belonged to my grandpa, my dad, my older brother, my older sis and now me!”).
    You limit equipment by weight; you can only carry so much(as specified by your strength rating) and after that, your speed and agility start to go down(unless you get a sweet vehicle or something).
    Maybe anyone can get a bike, a VW bug or a Daewoo but maybe a group of people have to get together to get a van or caravan or something… like “guild”, “gang” or “Unit” vehicles?
    Crafting could be everything from making pipebombs to rebuilding a car engine. This could be alot of fun with minigames actually…
    PVP is always tricky… you could have a few options though. Maybe the “cities” still existing have a sorta “gladiator” system they use for entertainment. Maybe you could fight till you give up or to death, with a prize being a gambled exchange between the two combatants(or more). Players could barter on the matches also. The other PVP could be outside the city walls in “The Wastes” where you fight when you need to. Griefers could be hunted by characters working as bounty hunters and if they become a big enough problem maybe something similar to Grand Theft Auto when the military shows up and pulls out all the stops on you could take place.

    I would love a zombie MMORPG.

    • Gordon says:

      Some pretty awesom ideas there, Vech :) Definitely need safe zones I think and I like the idea of military run cities. Maybe there’s different factions in the game that control different cities and depending on your actions you will be friendly, neutral or KOS (kill on sight :) ). I like the idea of player controlled cities and areas too, giving something for players to fight over. Maybe that would be out in the wastelands though.

  20. Nico says:

    Wow!
    Got my hopes up there kiddo!
    I think I’ve fallen in love with this idea ((:
    Do it mate!

  21. Mishow says:

    I was googling “Zombie MMO” and I found your website, you have some nice ideas, most of them are the same that I thought of but with a different approach.

    I’ve been talking to few friends about how there’s no zombie MMO, a real one that is. The only thing that’s close to a zombie online game is Left 4 Dead series, and it’s not bad it’s actually really fun, but kind of get’s boring after a while, same levels, same objectives, different players.

    And I’ve been thinking alongside with my friends about making a zombie MMO(RPG?), and I have honestly thought about the permadeath option, yeah it gives realism to the game, but honestly that’s punishing for a player, and the player will lose interest in the game quickly if they lose their character, due to zombie panic attack or another player killing them.

    If you played Demon’s Souls on PS3, you’d know how much that system sucks(not the same but almost as punishing.) I was thinking along the lines that you’d get “knocked out” since your character would be “immune” to the disease, like if you get KO’d by zombies or shot by another player, you’ll have like a timer before you get picked up by the people controlling the territory, and transported back to the safe zone, you’d wake up with a penalty to your health for a set amount of time, or could lose cash(I really don’t like that idea tbh but gotta put all ideas down I guess.), or when you’re helped by another played you’ll get back like 25% of your health or something.

    I dunno something along these lines. =)

  22. Mike says:

    I think the name mmoRPG is irrelevant if its going to be skill based it should be an mmofps which adds to the realism and scariness of the game. I think one giant server would be cool but I think the permadeath and the turn into zombies should have its own server

  23. conor says:

    could anybody tell me what the 2 zombie mmo’s that are already out there are like. i cant remember there names. thanks. PS you guys got some really cool ideas.

  24. Steampunker says:

    http://undeadlabs.com/

    They’re making a Zombie MMO for Console (and presumably PC compatible but not sure).

  25. hai says:

    …..go to deadfrontier.com and its the #1 zombie mmo its a huge map and missions,lots of zombies and other kinds ,go to mesterious deathrow and find the legendary behemoth…hes tough i beat him with a ronan pro chainsaw and then a grinder and then a fifty-seven

  26. luvy duvy says:

    u got to think that people are going to spend hours and hours playing this game only to die then start all over rinse wash repeat

    no no no i would not play this game cause whats the sense of playing a game where you know all your work and progress one day will go to shit

    however to rectify this how about if you die you become a zombie and you can be on the zomebie side then when someone kills you you find yourself in the hospital where someone gave you the antidote and your back human again with your stuff damaged and everything you looted gone lol.

    or when your a zombie you can choose to kill other zombies and fight the humans or just kill the humans.

    but the permadeath got to go cause if i play a game for hours and hours and then die lost everything and all i did was gone to crap hell no i wouldnt play it
    dont want to get W.O.F.T. (waste of fucking time)

    • Gordon says:

      I had the idea that when you start a new character you’re able to inherit some of the skills of your previous one and that all of your characters would have the same surname to make them identifiable. There would definitely need to be a lot of balancing and testing to get it right because, as you said, if it’s too harsh then people will just quit. Of course, if we get the fear level just right… it could be amazing :)

  27. luvy duvy says:

    got a idea now make it like winterspring how you get the tokens so you get more stuff make the death permanent but afterword you still got the tokens for your next character to get better stuff

    and people might like the character they make so you might want to give the option that they just remake the same character

  28. Nobillis says:

    These are all interesting idea’s.

    My opinion is that perma death is a must with the inherit system. You get but some but only about a 10-15% stat regain. This will make the game hard and also keep up the fear factor. Replay value will come with the testing a balacing.

    The main thing about a game on this scale is what it will look like. It could not be a fps unless zone loaded. As the ping lag would be through the roof in a persistant world. I personly would love the see a vamped up Fallout tactics style game but where you right click on the objects and it gives you several options. E.g You right click on a Desk. The options would be. Inspect, Open Drawer, Move (Floor would hightlight for avalible placement. Great for barricading). Break down. (If you have an axe of required strength, for future us as Firewood, Barricading materials and such.) It would have to have the point and click firing of Dead Frontier though. This style would allow a very large persitant world and with the right people working on it would give the game a very large amount of options for creating safe houses and would towns out of abandoned towns.

    I would also like to implament a little idea for a comic I read called The Walking Dead. It would be called HERDING. It would b where zombie are of multiple type. I do not mean super zombies but such as a SEEKER( Would be the type of zombie that roams the land.) A Sleeper ( A zombie that sit in a spicific location until distirbed but an outside factor. E.g Sight of food. Sound of possible food. Or alarm sounded but another zombie in range.) This would then create a herd. As a SEEKER sight a human and turns to follow him but he evades the zombie. This zombie continues in the last know direction. Sounding the alarm out in the area of proximity. This alert others and they follow the lead. In the end a huge group gathers. Then bam the unsuspecting group of surviors walk into its path or the moves into the path of a player settled town and huge scale exodus.

    Im not sure how that would be coded but it would be amazing if it could be. I have far to many ideas in my head but not sure how to word them

  29. aspen444 says:

    just a suggestion, but what about instead of a few big cities, you might set in in a countryside-like environment… have several smaller towns, and maybe one central city… people could establish bases where they please (perhaps a random farm or a gas station. Survivors then could head to an established trading center (safe zone) in one of the cities and purchase banners or signs that would prohibit pvp battles in a certain area. For example they purchase a set of signs that prohibit pvp battle around their bases. There might also be pre established safe zones such as places to get supplies or certain areas in the countryside

    • Gordon says:

      Cool idea. I think players would definitely need the ability to create their own towns and ‘own’ areas. I do like the idea of wandering around desolate cities like New York though… would need to find a way to incoporate the two somehow :)

  30. So many good comments here, and such a great idea for a game. I’m with Gordon on the permadeath though – in my mind this is the essence what makes the game different. Who would actually be even a little bit scared if you could respawn immediately (as a zombie or not) without any real penalty?

    Of course, people would bail the game if all their efforts disappeared at the first stumble and imminent zombie-death, so how does one keep the player interested?

    The answer might be, as Gordon has already touched upon, in “generations” of characters which your soul transfers to as you get killed. Instead of building up the life and abilities of you single character, the game revolves around your legacy achievements. Think of a boxer’s track record of X games won X games lost X on KO – here, a players legacy would be X characters X total days of survival X zombies killed and so on. Maybe the bigger goals of the game wouldn’t even be player specific, but communal, such as rebuilding a city or clearing a whole area of zombies. Similar to how your aim is to win the battle (not to keep your character alive) in the Battlefield series, in this Zombie rpg the ultimate aim is the survival of the human race – perhaps even at the self-induced cost of your own character. Ah the self-sacrifice to save the rest of your town, I can see it now…

    I also like the idea of turning into a zombie when you die, but only as a ghost state before you release your soul and enter another (random?) body. As a zombie you can kill humans without penalty, but of course you would be a retarded zombie and probably wouldn’t stand a chance if you tried to exploit this to take revenge of the dude who just killed you for your lovely green zombie-killing lawn mower.

    Back to being scared – what’s the point if you know that you have an unlimited supply of characters available for your soul? Well, that’s where your track record, or legacy, comes in. Far more interesting than achievements of, say WoW, is an irreversible history of a players heroic achievements. No-one wants to be the guy who has 50 survival days spread over 100 characters, and imagine the rep you’d get for boasting 100 survival days on one charater! Not to mention the eternal place on the dead heroes list when you sacrifice yourself after 300 days to save your clan from certain death.

    Bring it!

    • Gordon says:

      Fear is definitely a big point to the game and it would have to be balanced carefully. Like you said, if people just respawned as Zombies they wouldn’t be scared to die (and may even welcome it). Likewise, you want people to be attached to their character so they really fear death but that it’s not damaging enough they would rage quite if (and when) it happened.

      I’m almost tempted to say that players should never get to play as zombies. It maintains a clear separation between “us” and “them” and keeps the horror real.

  31. Anti says:

    to balance the loss to the player by permadeath with the benefit to their community / clan / guild would be a key design goal.

    when a team player sacrificed himself for the benefit of the community they would get a “hand up” from surviving members on the new character.

    notorius Player Killers would have less trust in the community and so if they died it would be a bigger penalty as the community wouldnt be there to get them restarted.

    assuming skills can be player taught the “hand up” could be in the form of easily accessiable weapons, veichle and medic training. the basics required to be a valuable contibuting member of the team. also access to community knowledge stores, books, videos, libraries, computer systems etc. would form a big incentive to remain a part of the group.

  32. [...] permadeath, travel, community, localization, more community, the multicultural aspects of MMORPGs, zombies or how I think MMOs are like women then feel free to utilise any of them. Just send me an email and [...]

  33. gamer_geek says:

    yes!
    great strategies are needed in surviving this game.
    anxiety and thrilling setting pulls the gamer into it plus the fact the you need all the time to protect you self.
    its a great idea though, it spices up the game.

  34. aughtry says:

    its very intersting but i think people would get mad that they couldnt be revived or somthin like that…i mean whats the point of downloading it if u can only play 1 life,true i would want it to be very ”realistic” but i would also like to play it with being revived…maybe a waiting period if u die? also for the pvp there should be a option as in options that players can hurt each other or cant even tho i would always be on pvp some people want to be safe and only kill zombies or be killed,also i think this is a good idea…if a zombie kills you,you could come back to life as a zombie then hunt the humans and if you die as a zombie u have say….a 1 day or something ”hours” waiting period too be turned back into a human then on to playing again.Your idea is good but just remeber,pvp options,and ressurection.

  35. The Necromancer says:

    Actually if you think about it there is a sort of RPG like that it is not the sort of game that would be commercialized. It is okay and the idea behind it is interesting.

    It is “Sonny” and “Sonny 2″ the game is not exactly the best to compare but it has a good story. You are a Zombie in a world of Humans and they will hunt you down and kill you, unless you muster up a rebel force of “free zombies” and destroy the Humans and claim victory.

    Sounds a bit like the forsaken if you ask me.

    Well if you have time on your hands your could always check the game out. It is a free online RPG on http://www.armorgames.com/

  36. Bryce says:

    Yeah the problem with permadeath would be some people would sit around and wait for new people to join just so they can cause their death in one way or another causing many to quit (I know I would quit for that sort of attitude.)

  37. Bruno says:

    It could be really realistic, for example, u have a machete, as long u use it, u have to sharpen it, and about the safe houses? We could start by doing a campsite, creating walls…and going to make a little city, the characters should have a hunger meter, soo we gonna know when they need to eat, if they dont eat, they starve and loose health and stats until they feed again and maybe the people be able to jump over walls, climb trees, cars, everything to survive, and maybe a “marriage system” like the players could have a son/daughter NPC that help in their journey and can die, it grows in a rate that the creators maybe choose…

  38. Bruno says:

    They chars need to be like a real person, need food, water, can get sick, die by a disease,etc. The char creation need to be really customizable, need many skill,like:

    -Driving Ability
    -Stealth ability
    -Resistance to the weather
    -and more things

    It should have some animals that doesnt died, like chickens(lol) rosters(lol) to we have food to gather each day.
    Like I am the Legend ( maybe an animal pet that die like u)

  39. Kevin says:

    I think if your doing this on a console, then mics should play a large role. Having the ability to talk with other players would be neede, but seting a range to how far you can hear others, and volume limits som people are not just shouting to be annoying, and distracting others.

  40. Millen says:

    This is actually a really good idea!

    I bet this mmo would be way more interesting and adrenaline filled than the MMO’s of today.

  41. pats says:

    simple way to avert the perma death is to have a old post office where u leave a will a few items u can store in a PO Box and it has keycode only u know. so if one dies u can always go bak and start with what u have. only way this would work is with a classless environment.

  42. kw says:

    They could easily make it support gamepads too for a more lights off laid back game play. But alas this is a gamers dream that will only exist in Arcadion.

  43. johann says:

    I love the idea of this. The playable area would need to be absolutely huge. Cities, suburbs, and open country land. There would eventually have to be a perimeter. Water or huge mountain ranges. Options to have player built fortresses could be sweet. Perma death sounds good but I think maybe a period of a few hours of safety or a tutorial system. Random start spawning (maybe random apartment buildings or houses, depending if you pick city goer or farmer etc) so PVPers don’t camp newb spawn sites.

  44. Joel says:

    Maybe Adding Not Just the USA But Differnt Servers in Differnt parts of the World, Japan, China, Russia, Mexico, ect.

  45. Joel says:

    OK, I need a Team Of people with Coding skills and everything else that can provide helpful Tips If you Like to try to make this game Ideas Anything, Please Send me a Email at graydonjoel@yahoo.com And Make the Subject of the Mail “Zombie MMORPG,” We can All try to make it. That would be alot of work and I need Commited people to help, Thanks
    ~ Joel Graydon A,

  46. Drufes says:

    See, idk if youv’e talked about this or not, but what about asses that just go around killing the newplayers? They just sit there and spawn kill, it would be annoying, make it so people can turn it on or off, or maybe a west style duel?

  47. Tyler says:

    wouldn’t it be best to have separate characters for a zombie form so you could log in as a zombie or a human. Maybe after your first human dies however strong or whatever score you have will earn you a zombie character so if you died as a noob you would get a noob zombie. But if you died as a vetran then you would get an awsome zombie character.

  48. gregorio says:

    The idea is good, but not easy to implement. You need to think out of the box and come out with an original concept. About finding help for coding, that’s even harder!
    This game SAS Zombie Assault 3 is a co-op zombie game very popular among young players.

  49. Overflow says:

    Borrowing from SWTOR, a companion system combined with a lecagy system would work wonders for this game. Your main character would have 2-3 companion characters to team with. Each companion would have unique combat and crafting abilities. If your main were to die, the companion family members would be your choices for new main characters. They wouldn’t be as advanced/strong as your main, but they wouldn’t be too far behind assuming they hadn’t died during your journey.

    Now, there’s the kicker – your companions can die and you need to have new novice ones join you or you need to have more kids etc. This way dieing is still a huge hit to your progression, but it isn’t game ending and you still have the feeling that you created the lives that you are playing with. Perhaps if your main character dies you can recreate him as your new novice companion and he’ll eventually be your main again (assuming you’re new main char dies).

    Love the game idea though, I’d definitely play it if it were 3D.

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