IRL Shooter “Patient 0″ coming to Melbourne: a live-action multiplayer zombie shooter game

Brace yourselves Left 4 Dead fans of Melbourne Australia, your team-based zombie shooting fantasies are about to become a reality thanks to a group of enterprising Aussies who had the bright idea to combine laser tag, interactive role playing, blood-thirsty zombies and technology to create one of the best simulation shooting games.

The event is called “Patient 0″ and is predictably the first of many events hosted by I.R.L (In Real Life) Shooter, should the idea become successful. It will launch on Halloween 2012, October 31st and will run for a month in Melbourne with plans to tour other cities around Australia.

If you ever wanted to get off the couch and play your favourite first person shooter video game for real, this is the event for you.

The people behind the event, Ben, David and Drew are taking this very seriously. Hosting a crowd-sourced funding run, they’ve already surpassed their goal of raising $10,000 in just 5 days. At the time of writing it’s at $12,645 from 54 supporters.

Their preparations so far has involved finding and dressing a location which not only looks abandoned and straight out of a zombie game, but feels like something nasty probably lives there anyway. To add to the eerie atmosphere, they will also be pumping professional-produced ambience sounds through an audio system. The organizer’s 10-year experience in the film industry will no doubt pull this off very well.

Anyone who has played laser tag might know that the experience of “shooting” lasers is underwhelming, which is why they’ve spared no expense in making something that feels more life-like.

They’re in the process of manufacturing custom-designed M4 assault rifle replicas with custom electronics, software and mesh-networking which will feed the servers to keep score, health, ammunition, hits and misses of the player. They’re also adding an integrated solenoid mechanism, 2″ speaker and a LED to produce the recoil, sound and muzzle flash respectively.

I think their advancements to laser gun technology alone deserves some recognition.

Then comes the stars of the game, the zombies. Paid live actors will form the cast of the opposing team which will be composed of three types of zombies – generic mindless zombies, hero zombies specific to their unique roles and even boss zombies. As Ben says “what sort of game hasn’t got bosses?”. The actors will be wearing an array of sensors which registers hits on different body parts and be coordinated by a “game maker” to pace the story.

The game will run each night (subject to demand) of November with a minimum and maximum team of 6 people. It will be story-driven with multiple levels, each with different information gathering and puzzle solving mission objectives. Tickets are to be $125 per person but are $100 now for those who “pre-order” through Pozible.

Finally for all those outside of Australia, all hope is not lost. The organizers are planning to make a short movie based in and around the game to explain more of the plot that won’t be part of the game experience. Furthermore, they are even thinking of a much bigger story-arc which they might take to oversea events. (Update: There will also be live HD video streaming from the CCTVs installed in the building)

As a Left 4 Dead game fanatic (I even own a L4D shirt), I for one am going to keep a very close eye on this project and will be organizing a group of friends to participate. Hopefully there will even be a chance to see just how well they pull this off before its launch at one of the planned “beta tests”.

Being in Australia I’ve never had a reason to look forward to the eve of Halloween, until now.

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