ARG Zombies – Alternate Realty Meets the Undead

Here’s a novel and original mash up of augmented reality and zombie gaming: ARG Zombies.   GPS, zombies and competition are combined to create a game where you compete against fellow survivors, clear buildings of zombies and use strategically placed bar code to get to boss fights before the other guys does.  This is the first MMARRPG I’ve heard of.  That’s not a zombie groan, it’s a Massively Multiplayer Alternate Reality Game.

The catch is it’s still an idea in development.  There’s a Kickstarter campaign to get this off the ground running through the end of March.

ARG Zombies Kickstarter Project

Here’s the preview:

Like any social product, the success depends on the number of adopters.  The premise reminds me a bit of the college game of Humans vs Zombies over the course of a few days where survivors wear arm bands that become bandanas when turned.  This begs to be integrated with a smartphone social endeavor that makes for more streamlined game play and takes it off campuses. 

There’s more to it than survivor against survivor combat and zombies.  There’s crafting for weapons and medicine and armor, trading between survivors and location-specific monsters.  I can imagine taking this game on vacation and encountering a special boss at, say, the Grand Canyon or at the Fremont Troll in Seattle.

Two of the principle founders, Owen Morris and Jordan Doty, are ex-Marines. Owen served in Southern Afghanistan in ’09-’10 where he hatched the idea and started development.  Along with Owen’s brother, they formed Tando.  Here are a few words from the crew followed by their press release.

Recruit friends, raid buildings, and duel strangers. ARG Zombies is an alternate reality game that pits you against the unending zombie hordes in turn-based RPG combat.
You may only trade/duel with other players that are within 200-meter proximity of your device. Movement is accomplished by getting up and moving around in the real world. Search your surrounding area as you go about your day. Discover new monsters that have limited roaming areas and are lurking in their territory.
Monsters, items, missions, and merchandise all interface with the game through the camera in the form of a QR code scan. Purchasing a t-shirt or keychain will become an interactive item over the life of the game.
Play at each location you visit through your day by “checking in” and clearing the building of monsters for epic rewards.
Players can use the loot they find in game to craft items, equipping them, trading them, or posting them to the in-game auction house.

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