The city has fallen. The masses have been infected by the Anti-Life Virus… How did we get here?
Michael Shinall here, DCeased designer, and today we’re here to answer just that! Specifically, we’re going to talk about the influences that lead to the creation of DCeased - A Zombicide Game. Yes, I know it can be easy to look at the title and go “Well, the comics…” and yes, that is true. Most all of what you will see in the game is based around the iconic comic line, but, that is not the only place where inspiration was drawn.
Some things to get straight right off the bat (and semi-spoilers for those who haven’t read the DCeased comics, but nothing major I promise), technically the “zombies” in DCeased aren’t “zombies” in the classic sense. No, in this story, everything stems from a universe-wide “outbreak” of the Anti-Life Virus, which turns those infected into bloodthirsty killers whole sole existence is now based around causing as much death and destruction as possible. But they don’t care about eating anyone.
What this means is that, while the infected do have some control over their powers and abilities, their higher cognitive functions are largely gone, save for an overwhelming urge to kill as much as possible. While infected, it also appears most biological processes and states just… stop. So, very “zombie-like” in that manner. But I did feel the need to explain that, technically, the term “zombie” isn’t proper… But they are called zombies in the series and this is Zombicide, so, that’s what we’re calling them here as well!
So, this is just entirely based on the comics then, right? Well, not exactly! While the comics heavily influence everything you’re going to see (some 90%+, I would say), we’re not entirely limiting ourselves to just that medium. One major change that readers/fans will notice immediately is that, in our core box, we have a still-living Batman and an infected Superman, which is essentially the opposite of how it happened in the series.
The reasoning for this kinda plays back into what I mentioned above. When someone is infected, they typically lose most cognitive functions. This means a zombie Batman is really just a super fit zombie, but everything that makes him “Batman” is gone. This is just one example, though. The primary point is that, throughout the entire design process, while DCeased created the base and foundation for the entire project, we did not limit ourselves to just that run!
Even when looking at the core box, you will see little easter eggs and inclusions that, while not present in the DCeased comics, are still iconic to the greater DC Mythos as a whole. Inclusions such as major and minor supporting Superman characters that did not directly feature in the DCeased run, such as Bibbo Bibbowoski, Dan Turpin, and Mercy Graves all make appearances. And you will find a plethora of unique items and equipment throughout the game, such as LexCorp Energy Blasters, LexCorp Personal Forcefields, LexCorp Energy Blades… Notice a theme?
And that’s another important point: theme. We wanted every aspect of this project to bleed the entirety of the DC universe. So, even if you are just a casual fan, you will have those little moments of, “Oh, hey. I recognize that!” or see something that, while not directly taken from the DCeased comics run, feels right at home within the setting.
It was important to take all these aspects and then blend them together with the iconic Zombicide feel to craft something that seemed familiar to both fans of Zombicide as well as DCeased, but still allowed for a degree of uniqueness, taking a blend of the two and creating something that enhances both into a complete and memorable comic and gaming experience.
The Kickstarter for DCeased - A Zombicide Game is coming soon! Sign up to be notified at launch HERE.