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Urban Nightmare -- State of Chaos

by Jim Wallman
De Ark van Oost, Nijmegen, 1st of July 2017
Urban Nightmare -- State of Chaos
The First Wide Area Megagame
The Horde Is Coming to a City Near You

London : Bristol : Southampton : Brussels : Nijmegen : Cambridge : Leeds : Montreal : New York


The zombie apocalypse trope is well established in literature, movies, computer and board games. And in megagames too, with the first series of Urban Nightmare megagames played in 2012.

As a megagame, the Urban Nightmare games explore the higher level decision making during a major, potentially existential, crisis. In the movies and other games the zombie trope generally focusses on the individual or on small groups of survivors, but rarely explores how the world gets to that state. It all just happened and got out of control.

In a megagame we can really look at how things get that far out of control. Or not. In the emerging gameplay of a megagame the outcome is entirely open to the consequences of player decisions and their interactions.

In the previous version of the game, the focus was on just one city, Romero City, a place beset with many mundane problems of its own even without the outbreak of a terrifying pandemic. In UN: State of Chaos, we have extended the perspective to explore what is happening across the whole state. Five cities (of which Romero City is the largest) are all struggling with their own troubles and turning to the State Governor and the National Guard for help. Will this be enough? or will the state Governer have to sacrifice valuable political capital and go, cap in hand, to the Federal authorities and the President for Federal help.

Urban Nightmare -- Romero city

A wide area megagame

So, of course, there is more than one state in the United States of America. What if the crisis is cropping up in more than one state? Together with partners all over the world we are organising multiple megagames, each megagame representing a different state in a fictionalised America containing different cities.

Those games both stand alone as individual megagames yet are in touch with each other, and are played in exactly the same time frame on the same day. So, for example, Governors of neighbouring states will be able to confer with their counterparts - pass on what they have learned, or warn of cross-border threats.

And there will be an overall Federal team in touch with all the games and allocating important resources, in real time, to where they are most needed.

This is the first time we have attempted anything like this, so it is an exciting project for Megagame Makers, and megagames in general. And you can be a part of it! If you want to take a look at the central site for this game follow this link to the British UNSOC site.

In the Netherlands, this game will be played on the 1st of July 2017 in Wijkcentrum De Ark van Oost in Nijmegen. Since it is necessary to play in the same time frame, we will play this game from 10.00 till 17.00 BST (British Standard Time) or 11.00 till 18.00 CET, so one hour later than we usually play our megagames.


This is roughly how the teams look in a single game of Urban Nightmare : State of Chaos:

Team Role What are they trying to do? Approx.
in team
The News Media The most important players in the game. The media are there to hold everyone to account and report The Truth. The news media operate on both the local level - reflecting how public opinion is shaping up within the state and on the National level - reporting via the internet to the other games in the WAM what is happening. 4 - 7
State Governor
and staff
Stay in power. Do not look weak or incapable to the voters. Ensure political rivals do not benefit. Ensure campaign contributors do not lose out. Possibly even run for President. Oh yes, and save the State, obviously. 4 - 7
State Police / Sheriffs Manage the state's police units - deploy to cities in need and patrol the territory between cities. 4 - 7
State National Guard The only military force under the control of the Governor. Responsible for the defence and security of the state against all threats. 3 - 5
City Government - The Mayor and staff Each of the five cities has city government roles. The Mayor and his staff will want to stay in power and not look weak or incapable to the voters. They city government takes responsibility for leading the city in time of crisis. 4 - 5
depending on the size of the city
City Police Department Each of the five cities has city police. The Chiefs of Police will want to keep their job and not look weak or incapable to the voters. The main task of the police is tactical and on the street (map) and aims to protect citizenry and prevent incidental looting and lawlessness. 4 - 10
depending on the size of the city
City Emergency Services Each of the five cities has an emergency services team. This is about fire fighting and hospitals. A very tactical role in the cities. Rescue the injured, contain the infected. Keep the hospitals functioning. Control fires. Without being eaten. 2 - 4
depending on the size of the city
Tech Corporations There are several major technology corporations who will have facilities and interests within the cities and the state. Some of these will in be more than one city. Some will have interests that stretch across the WAM and link activities in different games. The tech corporations do science. Is there a cure? A weapon? What caused this? 3 - 5
ZombieMeisters The brainless leading the mindless. ZombieMeisters are there to add a degree of unexpected to the activities of the undead. 5 - 6
Special Roles We cannot say much about these roles at this stage, but there are a small number specially colourful roleplaying roles that will suit self-starting imaginative players. All we can say is that the weed of crime bears bitter fruit. 2 or 3
Control Team Try to keep order and run the game. 10 -12

If you want to form a team with your friends, think of a good team name and register with this team name. What could possibly go wrong?

Urban Nightmare -- So many...

Costs and registry

Costs to participate in the game are €20,– for players and €10,– for umpires. You can enlist individually or as a group. For more information, contact us through the web form at Contact.

unsoc/introduction.txt · Last modified: 2017/03/01 13:36 by marcs