"In Last Escape you play as a group of survivors trying to escape a zombie apocalypse but need to travel deep into an unknown city to radio for rescue."
Feelings to evoke: Suspense, dread.
Types of fun: Discovery, collaboration, & challenge.
Goal: Call for evac at the Radio Tower, then use a Signal Flare to be rescued via helicopter.
Theme: Zombie-infested city.
A major goal I had while designing Last Escape was creating a "top-down design." This meant nearly every decision was made starting from the concept. In this case it meant leaning into the zombie apocalypse. Here's an overview of how I designed & iterated on the exploration mechanic to evoke the feeling of exploring a zombie-infested city.
Click to zoom! [Credit](https://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/2129/game_design_cognition_the_.php?print=1#:~:text=Typical situations in which top-down game design cognition,from other media%2C such as books and movies.)
I decided to evoke the feeling of exploring an unknown city by drawing from a deck of location cards. Each card would represent a location that could be found in any city. Gas stations, hotels, gun stores, etc.
How The Mechanic Works
My Goals For The Mechanic
Using a poker deck as a location deck was a great randomizer. Numbers represented the location.
Our survivors, represented as chess pieces. Each piece represented a different class.