This Halloween, an abandoned meat factory in Melbourne will transform into the epicenter of a zombie apocalypse for a real-life multiplayer first-person-shooter called Patient 0. Although this is by no means the first live-action zombie game, it's certainly the most ambitious we've ever come across. The factory grounds will be filled with (presumably mostly zombified) actors, and players will be placed in the middle of the action with a gun and five other survivors.
IRL Shooter, the startup behind the game, is working with an armorer to modify laser-tag guns into replica M4 machine guns. The modifications include a solenoid for realistic recoil, stereo speakers for gunshot sounds, and a muzzle-mounted LED to produce muzzle flash. IRL says they'll be "the most accurate imitations available" when they're finished. At present the guns have a range of around 70m (230 feet) with a 15cm diameter, but the technology is being refined to increase range and reduce the diameter of the shot. As IRL puts it, it'll be "up to you to shoot straight." The guns will be linked wirelessly to a computer system which will track ammunition usage, headshots, number of reloads, and friendly fire incidents.
Patient 0 isn't just a first-person shooter however, its also an RPG with a fully developed story arc. Once you purchase a ticket, you'll apparently be "taken on a journey" which will culminate in the event itself. While shooting your way through hordes of zombies you'll have to solve puzzles and collect information to complete the game. The events will be recorded and streamed from HD CCTV cameras installed at the factory.
IRL Shooter raised the $10,000 AUD ($9,903) needed for the event through crowd-funding site Pozible in less than five days. If it reaches $30,000 ($29,709) before the funding ends this August then everyone that pre-orders a ticket will be equipped with an HD helmet camera, which will record their game. Patient 0 will start on October 31st and run for a month. One game will cost $100 if you buy from the Pozibile page, or $125 thereafter.