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Q&A: Outbreak Undead 2nd Edition

Hunters Entertainment Development manager Alex Huilman and lead designer Christopher J. De La Rosa chatted with about the second edition of their signature tabletop RPG -- the zombie-themed 'Outbreak: Undead.'

What is the release date for the second edition?

Alex Huilman: The 2nd Edition core books, the Survivor's Guide and Gamemaster's Guide, are available digitally in PDF format on DTRPG right now. Hardcopies of the Survivor's Guide are also available, with hardcopies of the Gamemaster's Guide to be available within the coming months.

What has been added to the second edition?

Alex Huilman: For the 2nd Edition we worked a bit on integrating changes that came to the system as it evolved over the past edition, specifically the supplements and eventual creation of Deep Space, and in addition to that we took the opportunity to touch on other aspects of the game that we saw room for improvement in. As examples, we've fairly heavily expanded on the sandbox toolset nature of the game by injecting a number of survival based mechanics outside of just the zombies. That isn't to say we've skimped on the zombies, just that we have a broader focus. I think our crowning jewel in the 2nd Edition, however, would be our three Modes of Play: Arcade, Weekend Warrior, and Survivalist. These were designed with a focus on controlling the level of crunch needed to play the game, and they were all designed to work with one another at the same table, so it can be a player call.

The game seems to have both online and hardcopy support. Will there be additional supplements or Support material?

Alex Huilman: Absolutely! Outbreak is our flagship game, and we have a number of plans for it moving forward. Some of these were revealed during the Kickstarter with the Stretch Goals of two Strain Series books that are still coming down the line now. We also revived Free Content Friday during the campaign which has been releasing new free content for the game each month for the past 10 months. We also have a few things in the works which we haven't yet announced, but you'll hear about soon.

The popularity of the zombie genre seems to of held on. Why is that in your estimation?

Christopher J. De La Rosa: It's held on, but it has definitely gone through its highs and lows. The low point is where creators just make the same kinds of things they always did, but just cram zombies into it to capitalize on a trend. The creators that inject real vitality into the genre that allows it to persist as long as it has are those who bother to take on the burden of telling a story in a world gone mad, using zombies as merely a catalyst to tell very human stories. So I think it's more fair to say that we aren't interested in zombies in and of themselves as much as we are interested in projecting ourselves onto the characters trying to survive. In this sense, it's easy to understand the resilience of the genre because it involves making heroes out of ordinary people.

Alex Huilman: Drawing from our previous supplements and feedback, I'd also chalk that up to zombies being an allegory for the innate human fear of communicable disease in general. The fact that we get to hear about outbreaks going on in the news somewhat often, I think that keeps the premise behind the concept at the fore of our collective consciousness.

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