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Urban Nightmare: State of Chaos

Urban Nightmare: State of Chaos - the first ever Wide Area Megagame (WAM) - took place on July 1st, 2017

Urban Nightmare: State of Chaos - The Megagame

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 being played in 2012 by the Megagame Makers.

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 focuses on the individual or on small groups of survivors in a post zombie-ravaged world, 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 (Urban Nightmare), 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 Urban Nightmare: State of Chaos, the perspective has been extended to explore what is happening across an entire state, with five cities of varying size that are all struggling with their own troubles and quite possibly turning to the State Governor and the National Guard for help. Will this be enough? Or will the state Governor have to sacrifice valuable political capital and go, cap in hand, to the Federal authorities and the President for Federal help?

What is the 'Wide Area Megagame' (WAM)?

So - of course - there is more than just one state in America. What if the crisis is cropping up in more than one state? Together with partners all over the world, we are co-operating with Megagame Makers and organising multiple megagames, each megagame representing a different state of 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 that a Wide Area Megagame has ever been attempted, so it is an exciting project for South West Megagames, Megagame Makers, and megagames in general. And you can be a part of that!

Team Structures and Game Roles

Team Structures and Game Roles

News Media            Approx. number in team: 4-7

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

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.

State Governor and Staff           Approx. number in team: 4-7

The State governor and their staff will be trying to stay in power, not look weak or incapable to the voters, ensure political rivals do not benefit, ensure campaign contributors do not lose out and possibly even run for President. Oh yes, and save the State, obviously.

State Police           Approx. number in team: 4-7

Manage the state's police units - deploy to cities in need and patrol the territory between cities.

National Guard           Approx. number in team: 3-5

The only military force under the control of the Governor. Responsible for the defence and security of the state against all threats.

City Government - The Mayor and Staff           Approx. number in team: 4-5 depending on the size of the city

Each of the five cities has city government roles. The Mayor and their 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.

City Police Department           Approx. number in team: 4-10 depending on the size of the city

Each of the five cities has city police. The Chief 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, deploying their units on the streets of the city and aiming to prevent incidental looting and lawlessness, and protect citizenry.

City Emergency Services         Approx. number in team: 2-4 depending on the size of the city

Each of the five cities has an emergency services team concerned with fire fighting and running the city's hospitals. This team plays a very tactical role in the cities. Objectives: Rescue the injured, contain the infected, keep the hospitals functioning and control fires - all without being eaten.

Tech Corporations         Approx. number in team: 3-5

There are several major technology corporations that will have facilities and interests within the cities, some even having premises in multiple cities. 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?

ZombieMeisters         Approx. number in team: 5-6

The brainless leading the mindless. ZombieMeisters are there to add a degree of unexpected to the activities of the undead.

Special Roles         Approx. number in team: 2-3

We can't say much about these roles at this stage, but there are a small number particularly colourful roleplaying roles that will suit self-starting imaginative players. All we can say is that the weed of crime bears bitter fruit.

Control Team         Approx. number in team: 10-12

Try to keep order and run the game.

How do I play?

South West Megagames are not currently running any games of Urban Nightmare. If you would like to know when new games are announced, you can contact us and ask to join our mailing list.

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Bristol UN:SoC
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