Bias against zombie RPG games?

I was wandering around kickstarter when I found this:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sandswept/the-dead-linger

This got me thinking on a couple of things: Are there any sandbox games with zombies like this? And why is there such a bias against this?

I only know of:
Survival crisis Z
Lone Survivor
Rogue Survivor
Dead Island (partially applicable)
Certain mods like "28 days later and bit"
Possession (cancelled due to lack of publisher interest)
Dead State (It looks like its going into the vaporware stage)
Dead Rush (old and cancelled)

I notice a distinct lack of any sort of zombie RPG. I seen many attempts like Possession and Dead State, yet they always disappear in the mechanics of game development never to be seen or heard from again. I doubt very much this project will be any different. Its the same promise heard countless times.

So I am left with two questions:

Why are zombie RPGs such a niche market that no one will touch it outside the cheap flash groups like on Newgrounds?

Are there any games like the ones I listed that I missed?

Project Zomboid has been in beta for a while with the difference being it is isometric.

Ultratwinkie:
Why are zombie RPGs such a niche market that no one will touch it outside the cheap flash groups like on Newgrounds?

Never having come across this question before, my first thoughts are that it has nothing to do with "supply/demand" or niche markets or anything like that. It's quite simply that the zombie in zombie RPG is the most irrelevant part of an RPG. You don't get goblin RPGs, robot RPGs or anything like that. You get at best contemporary, fantasy, mythical or sci fi RPGs for example.

The types of enemy one faces in an RPG serve little purpose beyond:
- providing a challenge to the player in the form of combat/action
- a plot device to move the story forward
- providing immersion into the world

You can't base an RPG simply on an enemy type. RPGs are about the player character, his/her role in the game's story and world and their progression in it. If you mean specifically an RPG whose story in some way revolves around zombies, I'm not sure why there aren'y any but again, you'll need a much better premise for a story than just "zombies".

Note the difference in the worlds, stories and enemies in RPGs like Alpha Protocol, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, Jade Empire, Skyrim. How important is any one group of foes to the player's journey?

Thinking about it though...a Fallout 3 style post-apocalyptic world, in which the player is one of a handful of survivors and has to find a cure/get out alive/save his sister is a good enough premise for an excuse to go questing/levelling in a zombie filled world. Hmmm....why aren't there any zombie RPGs indeed? :-)

KingsGambit:

Ultratwinkie:
Why are zombie RPGs such a niche market that no one will touch it outside the cheap flash groups like on Newgrounds?

Never having come across this question before, my first thoughts are that it has nothing to do with "supply/demand" or niche markets or anything like that. It's quite simply that the zombie in zombie RPG is the most irrelevant part of an RPG. You don't get goblin RPGs, robot RPGs or anything like that. You get at best contemporary, fantasy, mythical or sci fi RPGs for example.

The types of enemy one faces in an RPG serve little purpose beyond:
- providing a challenge to the player in the form of combat/action
- a plot device to move the story forward
- providing immersion into the world

You can't base an RPG simply on an enemy type. RPGs are about the player character, his/her role in the game's story and world and their progression in it. If you mean specifically an RPG whose story in some way revolves around zombies, I'm not sure why there aren'y any but again, you'll need a much better premise for a story than just "zombies".

Note the difference in the worlds, stories and enemies in RPGs like Alpha Protocol, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, Jade Empire, Skyrim. How important is any one group of foes to the player's journey?

Thinking about it though...a Fallout 3 style post-apocalyptic world, in which the player is one of a handful of survivors and has to find a cure/get out alive/save his sister is a good enough premise for an excuse to go questing/levelling in a zombie filled world. Hmmm....why aren't there any zombie RPGs indeed? :-)

The thing is you can say that survival skills are pretty much necessary, meaning RPG elements have to be thrown in especially if its free roam. The only professional game I know that even comes close would be Dead Island. All other attempts failed, and even then dead island was a joke. The dialogue, the story, the bugs, the useless skills, the useless weapons, it was bad all around.

For one reason or another, all professional attempts to do anything close to a zombie apocalypse RPG fail. They become vaporware, get cancelled, or some other problem crops up. Even in the indie scene, you will be hard pressed to find some of the better examples of a zombie RPG like survival crisis Z and even more hard pressed to find any support for it.

dead state is planning to go kickstarter.

its frustrating that its a game genre that could work so well yet.. nothing

Lots of RPGs are filled with zombies in one form or another, Fallout 3 and New Vegas have the ghouls, Skyrim's primary enemy (IE the type you spend the most time dealing with) are the draugrs, the husks in Mass effect are just zombies with robotics driving them rather than a biological or spiritual component, etc. etc.

To be honest, all that is really missing are RPGs dedicated for a zombie filled world as opposed to simply using them as part of a large variety of enemies. And the answer as to why is quite simple. Keeping a game interesting while using only one kind of enemy with only one or two types of attack is almost impossible in the long run

You forgot Dead Rising. Granted it's more of a hack and slash with RPG elements.

Though, I love RPG's and I love zombies. Assuming someone could give a good plot to it and all that jazz, I'd like to see one. I'm thinking something along the lines of your character being part of a group of survivors. ^-^ I wish I was a development team right now...

Ironically the closest thing to what you're describing might in fact be the Walking Dead Facebook game.

http://www.joystiq.com/2012/03/14/the-walking-dead-shambles-over-to-facebook-in-april/

It looks like an actual game not just a series of status bars. (Key word is looks.)

I expected more discussion. Even the evolution thread had more responses.

SilentJay22:
You forgot Dead Rising. Granted it's more of a hack and slash with RPG elements.

Though, I love RPG's and I love zombies. Assuming someone could give a good plot to it and all that jazz, I'd like to see one. I'm thinking something along the lines of your character being part of a group of survivors. ^-^ I wish I was a development team right now...

Heronblade:
Lots of RPGs are filled with zombies in one form or another, Fallout 3 and New Vegas have the ghouls, Skyrim's primary enemy (IE the type you spend the most time dealing with) are the draugrs, the husks in Mass effect are just zombies with robotics driving them rather than a biological or spiritual component, etc. etc.

To be honest, all that is really missing are RPGs dedicated for a zombie filled world as opposed to simply using them as part of a large variety of enemies. And the answer as to why is quite simple. Keeping a game interesting while using only one kind of enemy with only one or two types of attack is almost impossible in the long run

That's what I was thinking. Undead enemies -- including zombies -- have been a part of the genre at least since the initial release of D&D. For example, I've been playing Nethack for the last few days, and I've killed plenty of zombies. It's just that I've killed tons of other things, too. Killing nothing but zombies would get monotonous after a while, even if you did allow for Left 4 Dead style special infected; combat in RPGs is never quite as visceral as combat in FPS games, so more variety in enemy types is needed.

Captcah: face the music

You know, Inglip may speak through Recaptcha, but I'm pretty sure Apollo speaks through Solvemedia.

Matthew94:
Project Zomboid has been in beta for a while with the difference being it is isometric.

That actually looks good. However, the tutorial leaves much to be desired, namely how to eat food.

 

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