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Designer Diary – After the Virus

Hi everyone!

Jacob has written a few articles about the development of After the Virus: The Long Cold which we will share over the coming weeks. Enjoy!

Designer Diary: After the Virus – The Long Cold

Part #1: Fleshing it out

When designing the original After the Virus, we had limited space in the deck, and needed a good mix of cards and card types. There were so many things that naturally belonged in the game, like facilities, weapons, vehicles, equipment etc, but we could only add a few of each and though we are very proud of the result, there is so much more that belongs in the theme, and so many more combos to explore! Enter The Long Cold…

Yes, this is our chance to do what we always wanted: go wild and add all the things that couldn’t fit before! Zombie movies often have iconic weapons and equipment, such as the beloved Chainsaw from the base game. Other things we want in the game include a crossbow, a horse, spear, fences and other things that takes us back to a movie scene. Or just triggers our imagination.

With that in mind, we also wanted to round out the gameplay themes in the game. You have probably noted that there is an animal in the base game (the Dog), but no other animals, and nothing that combos with them. Time to fix that. Similar situation with armor, but there are also quite a few areas where we had a few cards but no real combo, like throwing weapons, facilities, events etc. Time to fix that too. You could say that we have explored the design space.

So how does this work with the fixed starting deck of After the Virus? We decided that the best way was to gradually introduce new cards during a campaign, so that players both get to focus on and enjoy a few new cards at a time, and build up their character deck over time! Yep, ladies and gentlemen, a real campaign where your decisions carry over to future missions. So you’ll be familiar with the base game deck, but gradually tweak it, introducing new cards and combos.

By having a separate area deck with new cards, players are allowed to get cards from there, as long as they exchange them for their own scouted cards. This way, players have to pay a little extra for a new card (the scout cost for the card they take out), and they have to scout cards they are willing to let go from their deck. The longer into the campaign they get, the harder it will be to find ‘dead weight’ to sacrifice for new cool stuff. New stuff that go directly into play when you get them, and lurks in your area deck in future missions.

Yeah, so we have a whole new campaign too, with the special twist that most missions have carry over rules (called aftermath) that allow you to thematically keep a few cards in play between missions.

Now, back to the Horse. Do you know what else horses can do? CHAAAAARGE!!!