An Interview with Guillotine Games About Zombicide

Nicolas Raoult of Guillotine Games organized the studio’s responses to the following questions. Guillotine Games is a French company and the designers of the stunning Zombicide which packs in 70+ highly-detailed miniatures and will be coming out this August.

A Little About Guillotine Games

Box artwork for Zombicide featuring Survivors fending off attacking zombies

Zombicide box art courtesy Guillotine Games

CG:: Obviously when Paolo Parente left Rackham he went on to do DUST Studio, but what is the background of the rest of the designers and artists at Guillotine Games from Rackham?
GG: Rackham was a unique experience in a good way and, sadly, in a bad way. We were lucky to be part of a group of very talented people. When you look around in our little industry you will always find someone who had a short or a long experience there. We don’t look too much at the past and I don’t think it is important to know what we did in our “previous life”, what matters is today.
CG: How did Guillotine Games’s partnership with CoolMiniorNot come into being?
GG: Percy and Raphael are very good friends of Chern and David (CoolMiniOrNot directors), when it was time to sell the project it was a natural fit, especially after the great success of Super Dungeon Explore.
CG: How do the staff feel about CMON reviving Confrontation?
GG: As mentioned above, we look at our own garden and we wish to Legacy Miniatures and CoolMiniOrNot the best outcome possible.

Zombicide Gameplay

Obese blood-smeared Fatty zombie artwork for Zombicide

Fatty artwork courtesy Guillotine Games

CG: Zombicide has both fast-moving and slow-moving zombies. Is the staff divided on what their favorite sort of zombies are?
GG: Raphaël is more inclined toward the “infected”, predators, feral-type of zombies. Nicolas, whatever he does, always end up accompanied with tons of undead friends. Jean-Baptiste just love all zombies as long as his survivors carry heavy weapons! Frankly speaking, classic-type or infected-type, we like all types of zombies. No discrimination: everyone dies!
CG: What are the best equipment cards to get in the game?
GG: Some Equipment cards are a rank above their counterparts, like the shotgun or chainsaw, for example. However, the best Equipments are made to suit a specific type of gameplay. Among our favorites are, of course, the Molotov, but also Ma’s Shotgun (a kind of gunblade, Raph’s beloved one), Sub MG’s used in Dual mode (Jean-Baptiste’s absolute sin) and the sniper rifle advanced weaponry (Nicolas’ special).
CG: To kill the Abomination the Survivors need the Molotov Cocktail. What was the process for deciding that game mechanic? Is it an homage to combining herbs in Resident Evil games or just the sad reality of facing such a huge fattie?
GG: The Molotov not only destroys the Abomination, but burns everything in the targeted area. It was designed to be the one-use-only “nuke” of the game.
CG: Your game is designed for cooperation. How easy would it be for one player to choose to control the zombies himself and try to kill his friends off? Would that mechanic work?
GG: It would be possible with a few rules adjustments and would make the game even harder. For experienced players only! However, Guillotine Games’ motto is “liberté, égalité, fraternité” (freedom, equality, fraternity). We really like cooperative games because we’re best at playing alongside each other, not against each other.

Expansions to Zombicide, Influences, and Further Plans

CG: Will Zombicide have Survivor character expansion packs adding in new characters or adding new villains to battle against?
GG: Yes, new Survivors and Zombies are planned. You’ll hear from them soon, but some pictures are already available on the internet. Just look for them and you’ll find them… sooner or later.
CG: What about a mime Survivor?
GG: We’ll make him look like Jean Dujardin.
CG: Can we ever expect a Metro expansion? Maybe with Jean Reno or Christopher Lambert characters?
GG: We already thought about a Metro expansion. We love the atmosphere and rotten air down there. It would be quite a deal of work with the tiles but… well, we will think about it.
CG: Will Zombicide be just a game or do you see it as more, such as a setting?
GG: We see it as a setting.
CG: Will there be comics or other derivative works or licensees in the setting?
GG: We’d love it!

Zombicide's 6 Survivor miniatures with sculpts of 4 varities of zombies in the game

Zombicide’s 6 Survivors with the 4 Varieties of Zombie Below, image courtesy Guillotine Games

CG: How much do you guys read or watch “The Walking Dead”?
GG: Nicolas read the whole of them until the 70-something issue in four days. He fell in it and had nightmares, as usual. “The Walking Dead” was one of the major sources of inspiration for Zombicide. The game is way funnier, though, and more “pulpish”.
CG: Is Todd Breitenstein’s Zombies popular in France? Obviously your miniatures are fully sculpted and very high quality, but as designers how much thought do you give to a competitor in the market?
GG: Zombies are popular and gave (un)life to lots of successful games. Zombies is certainly the pioneer. We tried to give a new and fresh vision of the archetype. There are many zombie games around in the market and some we love and play. 
CG: Zombies are obviously quite popular right now. How much was the design of the game influenced by the possibility that it may not be hardcore gamers playing it, but instead fans of the living dead?
GG: We designed and tested the game to be also playable by more casual gamers. And it was a success!
CG: Favorite zombie movies of all time from the staff?
GG: Zombicide was the most heavily influenced by “Zombieland” and “The Walking Dead”. The team also took inspiration from Romero’s films and more modern artworks like “28 Days Later”.
 
CG: Will Guillotine Games be expanding into other genres like fantasy or science fiction?
GG: Yes! 
CG: Will anyone from Guillotine be making the trip out to promote Zombicide at Gen Con in August?
GG: A few members of Guillotine Games will be at Gen Con. Players will be able to test the first Zombicide expansion and… a secret new game!

Below Dave Doust from CoolMiniorNot talks a little about Zombicide at the recent 2012 GAMA Trade Show, as well as a look at the resin prototype miniatures on Zombicide’s playing tiles.