The IT guys in my office are named Randy and Andy. They’re friendly and conversational, as IT guys go. But when they’re moving around the building, passing between workstations and laying hands on problem devices, they have a set of blinders on that put Secretariat to shame. They are focused like a laser on the problem at hand, and their capacity to actively ignore whatever new problem you throw at them as they run by is legendary. Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor enraged DBA will keep them from their appointed rounds. And they are damned good at their rounds.
I thought of Randy and Andy often as I played through Zombie Tech Support, the final product of the DePaul University Game Dev Program’s class of 2011 to be covered here on GWJ. I imagined inhabiting their bodies, rushing past the teaming hordes of complaining coworkers to close out a trouble ticket and move triumphantly to the next. I also imagined what it would be like to leap on their back, gnaw deeply into their gray matter, and compel them by physical force to come look at this weird error I’m getting that I can’t quite describe properly using our ticketing system. But I digress.
What Andrew Aubert, Anthony Buralli, Michael Fox, Jared Schreibman, and Eric Smith built in 20 weeks is pretty slick. You play as the IT guy to a bunch of code monkeys. Literally monkeys that code. When a monkey’s computer gets a virus the screen fizzles, sparks, and falls over. The monkey also gets a virus, one that turns them into a deadly green primate with a taste for delicious human brains. You must navigate the cubes, dodging monkeys left and right, and get these computers back online. When you succeed, the corresponding monkey calls off the hunt and returns to their specific cube, so the player must keep track of which anonymous monkey represents the biggest threat and fix their computer first.
The levels get more and more intense, with more and faster monkeys chasing after you at any one time. Later on, you’ll need to manage the backup of departmental servers while being chased by a Techmobowl-style parade of primates. And may the IT gods help you if you haven’t stoked the wall of fire around the departmental servers when the crows start flying around. Luckily, Jonathon Coulton’s music provides a welcome relief from the insanity.
With the link below you can test drive the alpha version of this game, created for the Global Game Jam. The finished product is missing at the moment, and we have emails out to the team to try and locate a version for you all to play. Hold tight, I just need to check a few Technet articles and I think I might have a fix for you… tomorrow.
[size=20]DOWNLOAD THE ALPHA[/size]