Nathan Little, Creator of Posthumous Z

MACE 2009 Interview

Hello Nathan.  Thanks for taking the time for this interview.

No problem. It’s a pleasure.

Tell us a little about your self from a gaming perspective?  What is your gaming background and what do you like to play?

Historically, I’m more of a computer gamer. I’d just started playing a real variety of board games in the last 2 years since I’d returned home from college. I have a great group of friends and we like to get together on weekends and rotate between games like Arkham Horror, Scrabble, or even Warhammer 40k. Mostly though, we do role-playing with a random White Wolf title, BESM, Dark Heresy or a couple I’ve made up.

Tell us about Posthumous Z?  What inspired you to make it?

Posthumous Z, like many inventions, bloomed in the bloody fields of necessity. Our gaming group was in between RPG campaigns, so we’d been playing board games solely for a couple months and getting bitter. With a modest 6 players, games slowed to a tedious crawl. Most games were free for alls, which after a while can breed more than a little animosity. Finally, many promising titles quickly became stale and lost their charm, so our choices of what was even tolerable grew less and less.

Seeing homicide as a foreseeable future, I made Posthumous to address these issues. Posthumous Z is a team based zombie horror game. Half the players are humans and each control a single cliché character, the other half command hordes of themed zombies to eat ‘em. Everything is randomly generated each game: the human characters, zombie themes, even the town’s layout. On top of this, the game is easy to learn and scales magnificently; so whether you have 4 or 10 players you can expect to play through in 2 hours. Now how about that?

How has the reception been to your game at other cons?

Astonishing, really. Once I get the first group to sit down it pretty much snowballs. Either it’s the gameplay of strategy and counter strategy, the look and humor, or the jubilation at a zombie game that celebrates the theme rather than treating it like a marketing gimmick, but people get terribly excited and they frantically recruit more people to play. This makes a lot of racket, so, more random people wander close, wondering what all the shouting’s about, and I sit in the center, the spider to the flies.

Any particular funny Posthumous Z game play memory you’d like to share?

One of the great things about Posthumous Z is that each game is different, and more importantly, memorable. So there’s been a lot, including a giant boss made of 30 corpses fighting a heavily medicated hobo with a guitar, and a game ending horde of flaming zombie midgets. Though if I were to pick one, it’d be the time that my character got downed and my teammate came back for me. I told him just to leave me behind, but he said, “No! I’m going for awesome!” He dragged my limp body through a burning building firing an AK47 at zombie ninjas all the while. We both escaped.

What has amazed you the most while demoing Posthumous at the different cons?

The number of people that would come back to play again surprised me. It’s not uncommon for people to play 3 or 4 times at a con. I’ve seen people quit other games when I’ve shown up, just to play again. I’ve even had other GMs play and then cancel their own games to play again.

Have your playtests at cons produced many changes in the game?

There’s only been a few. I didn’t expect people to throw pipe bombs at their allies to get the zombies off them. I paid for that presumption. Luckily for the con goers and unfortunately for my friends, I did some pretty intense alpha testing. But mostly, it’s been adding aids and minor spelling errors.

What are your future plans with the game and your newly formed company?

The plan is to go forth and be awesome. Continue to show off the game, build up the fans, and keep working on these new projects. Then we’ll see how quickly I can get to a point where I feel justified in buying a top hat and a boat.