Surviving in a zombie apocalypse will be anything but a game. In the meantime, however, developers are hard at work coming up with all sorts of games making use of zombies.
Among them is John Martinez, known as Johnnie Zombie to his fans. Martinez is the creative force behind “Zombie Adventure,” a “choose-your-own-adventure” style game available through Google Play.
Martinez said his first outing into the zombie game genre is a first person story in a world where a zombie virus of unknown origin has devastated the world’s population.
“You play an individual that must go out and find supplies to bring back to your sick mother whom you have been hiding and caring for in your apartment for the last few months,” he explained. “The only reason you’re still around is because you have been hiding out and scraping a living on what you had at the time of the pandemic spread.”
Working from that jumping off point, Martinez said he sketched out a topographical map and let the game’s storyline grow organically.
“I did have a solid beginning and ending. I just let my imagination fill in the rest,” he said. “I had fun with the work instead of treating it like a task.”
Martinez said zombies, along with other supernatural creatures, are popular right now because of the quality of storytelling going on in the genre right now.
“Today’s writers have mastered bringing the human drama into every genre. Look at the success of The Walking Dead, Falling Skies, Game of Thrones, and True Blood,” he said. “Much of the stories focus on the drama between the characters and the supernatural/fantasy is secondary.”
Martinez said Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead comics and World War Z by Max Brooks are both personal influences in the zombie field, but his interest in apocalypse stories and the undead go back further.
“The earliest undead related experience I can think of was when I was very young, about nine. I used to have this recurring nightmare of being on a bridge in the country with zombies and ghosts all around me,” he said. “My dreams and nightmares have been a creative source for much of my written work.”
That written work includes a zombie novel still in progress about a group traveling across the country to obtain the pure zombie virus strain so they can attempt to create a vaccination. Martinez said fully developing the plot and characters of the novel is important to him.
“As a post-apocalyptic aficionado, it really drives me crazy to watch or read media that leaves so many holes in the plot or doesn’t take the storyline seriously. This is what I think sets folks like Kirkman and Brooks apart from the others producing campy zombie fiction,” he said. “I feel obligated to take from their examples and not insult the reader, player, or viewer. Therefore, I do my best to create entertaining stories with realistic characters that don’t sparkle.”
While work continues on the novel, Martinez is also working on a pair of sequels to Zombie Adventure.
“I have already envisioned the start of the second as well as the title: Zombie Adventure 2: Escape from Camp Unity. Once I complete these sequels, I am breaking away from the Choose Your Own Adventure-style game to a truer version of the video game with graphical 3D effects and such,” he said. “These games will have matching storylines to written work I plan to release simultaneously.”
For more information you can visit Martinez’s website http://zombiehustle.com or download the game from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.XtremeHabits.ZombieAdventureI
Martinez is also on Twitter and can be followed at @zombiehustle.