Friday, February 15, 2013

Escape From Camp Blood (another look)

Eric Baker, you asked for it and now you have it!  If you're interested in co-authoring this game with me then start brainstorming...


My original post about Escape From Camp Blood was posted on May 21, 2012.  It has been almost a year and I have posted nothing else about it.  This post is the first in a series in an effort to move from concept to complete game.
Concept: The players are campers at a newly re-opened camp that was shut down due to some grisly murders that took place at the camp a few summers ago.  The killer was never found and it was assumed he drowned and the body was never found.  The murders begin again on the first night of the camp being open again.
It would be cool to include a back story for the original killings - why did the murderer go on a rampage, how many people were killed, who escaped, etc.  Also include some rumors about the return of the killer or what happened after the camp was closed.
Goal: The players are simply trying to survive the return of the killer and make it out of camp alive.  
There could be other goals also - stopping the killer by subduing him or killing him.  If all of the players are killed then alternate victory conditions could exist for the player to gather the most knowledge about the killer, pick up the most items, or last the longest, etc.  It will be up to the players to work together or go solo.  I am not sure if the killer should be controlled by one of the players or by some random method in the rulebook.
Components: The pieces needed to play this game would include the following.
  • Game Board: Of course, the game board will be the playing area of the game.  This board will depict a typical camp scene with a road leading out, some cabins, a dining cabin, a maintenance shed, a baseball field, a river or like, some canoes, and a wooded area.
  • Camper Tokens: There will be several tokens representing the different kinds of campers at the camp - jock, tough guy, cowboy, techie, punk, cheerleader, beauty queen, cheerleader, camp staff, etc.
  • Killer Token: Represents the killer and does not start out in play.
  • Cards: To increase replay value there will be a list of random events (plot twists?) and item cards that will have an impact on the game at random times or when they are discovered.  
It might be a good idea to have the game board be split up into several pieces that can be assembled in various ways so each setup and play experience will be unique.  Each one of the campers should have a special ability or something that sets them apart from the other campers; something that will serve as an advantage to that character. The killer will also have a list of special abilities that can randomly be determined by a die roll or something similar. The plot twist cards will represent events that can alter the game - cops showing up, bounty hunter, two killers, a fake killer, wake up it's a dream, etc.  The item cards will represent stuff that can give the players a further advantage such as weapons, cell phone, gun, etc. 
Expansion Material: Just as every good - or bad, to tell the truth - 80s slasher had sequels after the success of the initial film this game could have expansion material set up as sequels to the original game and story.  All of the stuff in the expansion sets could be related to the theme of the expansion.  It could be used by itself or mixed in with the original set.  Some possibilities include:
  • An expansion giving more detail and play options in the forested areas.  Maybe there is a cabin out there with the Necronomicon inside...
  • An expansion could have the camp grounds open one more time with beefed up security and new playing pieces related to it - camp security guard token, new weapons, new campers, etc.
  • An expansion turning the setup around by having multiple slashers going around the board trying to get the most kills.
  • An expansion that details the lair or hideout of the slasher and the players have been captured and must get out.
Other Thoughts: A few ideas about the continued development of this game.
I know the control of the killer can be done in a traditional manner by having one of the players control the killer or by having some random method of controlling the killer outlined in the rule book.  I want to do something different.  I want to come up with a system where each player always controls their camper but the control of the killer rotates around the table.  This is one way to simulate the random focus of the slasher in some of these movies.  I can remember the killer changing his attention from one person to another at times.  It is just an interesting thought I had.  
I know there are some differences between the 80s slashers and the more modern slasher movies.  This could actually be the focus of one of the expansion sets. 
This post is a much better explanation of the game concept I had in mind.  I will develop each one of these ideas in greater detail in future posts.  More later...  


  1. I am still trying to articulate my own thoughts on the board gaming subject, but I am very pleased to see this coming back out into the open.

    I would strongly encourage you to research several games on the market that *might* prove a benefit to the project.

    * Last Night on Earth
    * Invasion From Outer Space
    * Fury of Dracula

    The first two games, both by Flying Frog Productions, absolutely drip with theme; both of them one side vs. the other card & dice driven games with modular boards.

    Fury of Dracula, while thematic, is entirely different - but has a 'Bad Guy Moves in Secret Until He Strikes' mechanic that might fit the slasher.

    Another thought to throw out there: Maybe include various horror types as the playable baddie in the base game, rather than one set killer; indestructible hockey mask, psychotic mother, family of cannibals, etc.

    You don't want to skate too closely to licensed material, but enough to cover the horror tropes. By providing different villains, you can add more variety to the 'bad guy' side - PLUS open an avenue of Villain/Hero Expansions.

    1. That sounds reasonable to me. I will check those out ASAP. It's nice when playing a new game is considered research!

      I think having more than one bad guy in the base game would be a grand idea. Good point and I think it would definitely make for a better game.