Back Stage The Hosts' Briefcases

Published on January 21st, 2013 | by deb polson


Debriefs and Briefcases

Image below:

Top right: Deb Polson briefing the crew and lead NPCs at the beginning of the Event. The Security NPCs had both real and imaginary responsibilities in that that had to take care of the people playing the role of Survivors and report any issues to the Liaison and official Edge staff as well as play the imaginary role of protectors to the characters of Survivors from the oncoming Horde.


Top left: Deb Polson briefing the NPCs and Medics before specific scenes are initiated and played out. In this particular case, we are all discussing the details of the ‘Dis-Orientation’ scene. The people playing the roles of Security and Medics were given the Script before the event to familiarize themselves with. However, often in these debriefs they would make suggestions to adjust and improve scenes based on their experience as game players or their observations of the Survivors behaviors and attitudes.

Bottom right: The crew working furiously back stage to prepare props for the next scenes. Much of the script relied on the readiness of the props made by various volunteer contributors. However, since some of the props were deemed ‘risky’ (such as the web cam system and remote control nerfs) during the development phase, it was required to have alternative plans for some scenes in the case that the props became unavailable in time.


Bottom left: Some of the most rewarding experiences as the designer/director came from these impromptu briefings where I would call on the Host characters, the Lead Zombie and the Security to plan what we called ‘break out’ scenes. These were often scenes we designed ‘on the spot’ and most often at the request of the Survivors and/or Zombies.

I had designed a number of ‘down time’ sessions in the script to allow the crew, players and hosts the time to rest and reflect… however, the players were determined to keep the game in constant play.


These impromptu scenes (normally Battle scenarios between Zombies and Survivors) were some of the most enjoyable as they were the result of authentic and creative collaboration between all involved.

About the Author

The lead designer of the 2011 and 2012 Zombie Apocalypse hosted at the Edge, Brisbane.

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