The Season 4 Outbreak Development Team at work.

Outbreak is a modifcation to the standard game of Humans vs. Zombies, characterized by significant rule changes to Zombie respawning and game structure.

Outbreak was first introduced for Season 4, although some game structure modifications to the standard Humans vs. Zombies model had been implemented as early as Season 1.

Differences from Humans vs. ZombiesEdit

Outbreak differs from the standard HvZ model in 3 key ways:

  1. There are no Original Zombies
  2. The game is designed and autobalanced to last exactly five days
  3. Zombies respawn on a global timer

No Original ZombiesEdit

After Season 3, Original Zombies became a discontinued feature in DigiPen Humans vs. Zombies games, due to several reasons proposed by Season 3 Lead Designer Kevin Sheehan during a Season 3 Postmortem. The alternative model in use for Outbreak is the "Starter Zombie", a player who begins the game as a Zombie, but does not possess the camouflage of an Original Zombie. To account for the reduced effectiveness, there are multiple Starter Zombies.

This change allows the game to start quicker, and also reduces the game's dependancy on the performance of the Original Zombie.

Week-long GameEdit

Whereas most games of Humans vs. Zombies lack a structured timeline, Outbreak is designed to last exactly five days, regardless of player performance. This is done through the use of negative feedback loops in the game's design that prevent either team from getting too much of an advantage during the course of the game. The game itself is ended during a finale event (Friday Night Finale) that determines the winning team.

Zombie Wave RespawningEdit

Whereas Humans vs. Zombies tasks Zombies with tracking their own personal respawn timers, Outbreak places respawning on a global timer, allowing all players to know exactly when respawning will occur. Respawning also occurs at predefined geographical locations (Respawn Zones), to encourage strategic play, as well as removing stunned Zombies from active combat areas.