Marvel Zombies Design Diary #1: Fusing Marvel and Zombicide

Hello, and welcome to the amazing world of Marvel Zombies: A Zombicide Game.

I am Fábio Cury, one of the designers of the game. Today, I’ll be talking about some general aspects of the game, but my main focus will be on the challenges of fusing the Marvel Zombies franchise with the well-established gameplay of Zombicide. In the Marvel Zombies comics series, Super Heroes infected by the virus don’t become your regular, mindless zombie. Instead, they largely retain their intellect and, to some extent, their personality. However, they are driven by the “Hunger” for human flesh. So, one thing that became clear early on was that we needed to come up with a system where you could play not against the zombies… but AS a zombie. That’s one of the big innovations coming to the table, more on that soon!

One of Zombicide’s key aspects we wanted to maintain was the franchise’s simplicity and how easy it was to learn. In this regard, we focused on keeping the abilities very clear and maintaining the core rules of Zombicide as consistent with previous games as possible.

We balanced this with elements from Marvel Zombies. We wanted to make sure that each hero was as representative as possible of how they’re portrayed in the comics. Each hero’s superpower is very unique, and they’re very important for you to get the “feel” of playing that specific Super Hero. Abilities are very distinct and specific to each character. However, this created several technical issues. Such as, while “+1 Extra Action” is pretty straightforward, having an ability named “Web-Sling” is not very descriptive. The solution for this was for each Hero Dashboard to have the rules for each ability written right under them.

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