EXT. OPEN FIELD – AFTERNOON
Brain-dead, flesh-eating people wander aimlessly through an empty field. SHOOTER ONE takes position behind a stack of hay bales and signals to his teammates to circle the perimeter of the field. They’re not worried about the zombies; they’re protecting their base from POACHERS. A ZOMBIE moans quietly when SHOOTER TWO bumps into an empty fuel barrel. POACHER ONE fires at SHOOTER TWO and a battle begins.
The stage is paintball 2013-style, and the show is human vs human vs zombie.
Create Your Own Paintball Experience
While TV and movies find new ways to end the world with zombifying viruses, paintball fanatics are capitalizing on the trend by creating post-apocalyptic paintball experiences. One company in South Surrey, British Columbia created the ”Zombie Combat Zone,” which sold out in 2012 and left 350 people on a waiting list, notes LangleyTimes.com. The game’s creator is looking for a larger venue for 2013.
Undead Paintball Zombie Safari in North Carolina pits players of all ages against the walking dead. Because players are fighting zombies, they do not shoot each other, and they wear no protective gear, making it suitable for children five years and up.
Check the Law
Before you begin setting up your own game, check local regulations concerning such events. You might need a permit or license to conduct a game, and it is worthwhile to check what your local government has to say about paintball guns as well. Do this first so you avoid any unnecessary liability headaches later on.
Set Up Your Course
Your goal is to create a zombie apocalypse – or at least the feeling of one. Once you understand what you are aiming for, you can begin to gather the necessary tools to create it. There are three main stages you will go through when creating your course:
Planning – This is really the most important part of the process. With a good plan, you can create a game that is fun, challenging and you can actually build. According to Paintball Review World, you can design a game using paper and pencil or with a computer program like Google’s SketchUp. Make sure you take all your resources into consideration. You will only have so much space and material, so make it count. Remember that zombies are meant to scare, so design your game in stages, where players will face new challenges, and not just the same thing repeatedly.
Building – This is where it helps to have friends. Hopefully the area where you set up your game has natural variation, like trees and hills that you can work with. Otherwise you will have to purchase or build special obstacles, which can be expensive.
Testing – Zombie apocalypse games are more challenging to conduct than the standard paintball battles. You cannot just let a bunch of players loose to shoot one another. You have to train your “zombies” on how to act, and make sure your layout and game design produces enough scares. If it is not working, go back to the planning stage and try again until you get what you want.
Take Care of Your Gear
When you clean your gear, remember that what comes out must go back in. Size matters. If you replace an o-ring, replace it with the proper size. An Apple Rubber rings chart that includes metric and non-metric sizes is very helpful. Dried and cracked o-rings are the number one reason paintball guns lose velocity; the rubber seals prevent leakage so air pressure is well-maintained.
Follow the advice of AMS TV, who explain how to fix a leaky o-ring on their YouTube channel, keeping your paintballs humming along instead of dropping in the dirt.
Remember to Play Safe
Even when no one is shooting at you, it is a good idea to wear protective clothing and eyewear. Friendly fire does happen, and it still hurts.
Creating your own zombie apocalypse paintball game can be a lot of fun. Follow the above guidelines to get started, and see just how epic you can make your game.
*flickr image by Grmisiti
This article was written by Bob Mason
Bob is an improv actor, writer and voice-over actor living in Boston.