World Pandemic Control
August 18, 2009 9:16 PM   Subscribe

The Great Flu — "Even at the lowest difficulty this game delivers a sense of just how hard it is to handle and contain the spread of a dangerous virus." (via)
posted by netbros (28 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Madagascar better not fuck with me in this game.
posted by champthom at 9:28 PM on August 18, 2009 [15 favorites]


Oh, what I wouldn't give for the virus to start in some island nation like Madagascar. In my round, Patient Zero stood on the border of China and India and sprayed phlegm in both directions.
posted by fatbird at 9:52 PM on August 18, 2009


champthom: Because... they'll catch the great flu?

On easy this seemed ... easy. I tooled around building research facilties here and there, and then it said "New flu symptoms in china and japan" so I dumped a ton of money there and sent all my research teams to there and the neighbors, and they invented a vaccine and saved humanity and I was a big pretend hero! yay!

Basically only possible because I know there's going to be a major flu outbreak any day now, and so when it says "hey there's someone in Japan who coughed" I can just spent my entire budget.

I don't know if they model this sort of false alarm thing in the other scenarios. But the fact that you can't really know whether something's serious until it's killed a bunch of people and spread to thousands more really is what makes new diseases scary.
posted by aubilenon at 9:52 PM on August 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


So it started in Mexico and I dumped all my money there and now Western Europe is screwed.

Uh, sorry Western Europe. Oh, and Northern Africa now too.

And North and South Asia.
posted by Nomiconic at 9:56 PM on August 18, 2009


Well my earth didn't get sick. Maybe it was healthier than yours to begin with!
posted by aubilenon at 10:01 PM on August 18, 2009


I keep jumping the gun and wasting the budget.
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:14 PM on August 18, 2009


I keep jumping the gun and wasting the budget.

It's a nice touch that deploying an early warning system to every region completely consumes your budget.
posted by fatbird at 10:16 PM on August 18, 2009


Well my earth didn't get sick.
My world doesn't get sick either. I guess there are no viruses in MacWorld.
posted by tellurian at 10:19 PM on August 18, 2009


Does it always start in the same region for each flu? Kai in China, Golden in SE Asia.
posted by fatbird at 10:32 PM on August 18, 2009


Starting it on the hardest flu, Broadway, and doing nothing but swimming in a pool filled with two billion dollar bills, the pandemic infects 2.45 billion, killing 274 million before the Slovodad Research Group (it's always them) develops an effective vaccine. India, where it starts, loses around 170 million out of a population of 450 million.
posted by fatbird at 11:05 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


The neon world map, eerie music, and sterile death notices remind me a lot of Defcon.

Except with, you know, megaflu instead of meganukes.
posted by neckro23 at 11:26 PM on August 18, 2009


Played it on the Broadway virus and managed to slow the spread enough that only half a million people died despite starting in India. It's kind of a helpless feeling once the virus finally breaks free, working with the knowledge that there's only so much that can be done before you run out of money. After that you have to just hope that the vaccine works on the first try. Too bad the game's only really good for one play through.

Also played a do nothing game and got basically the same stats as fatbird.
posted by CheshireCat at 12:16 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Next generations whack a mole?
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:17 AM on August 19, 2009


I got 26,000 dead on Broadway. I thought it actually started on the East coast (on Broadway actually), as the early warning system I installed there picked it up before India. Several things I noticed, such as you can't ever close airports, because it's spread worldwide before you get the political will to do so. Similarly for isolating infected individuals. This may slow the spread, but you cannot do it very early. I wonder what part case/fatality ratios play in the game model?
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:26 AM on August 19, 2009


This reminds me of the boardgame Pandemic, which it turns out I just got home from playing.
posted by nat at 12:33 AM on August 19, 2009


Does anyone happen to know, has Swine Flu made it to Madagascar yet?

I asked my family last night. My wife laughed and the rest of them just stared at me like I was a fool...
posted by twine42 at 12:53 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Does anyone happen to know, has Swine Flu made it to Madagascar yet?

Yes. According to this, six cases (but no deaths) have been reported in Madagascar so far.
posted by Marla Singer at 3:33 AM on August 19, 2009


The interface on that game is terrible. I'm so tired of game designers who think they're "being cool" by obfuscating basic things like fucking maps.

It's not like the problem hasn't been solved -- X-Com had a solid 3D world interface in 1994. It's been fifteen years, and yet inept game designers like this keep insisting on making something that 'looks cool', even if it plays like shit.

That stupid interface tree takes up a third of the damn screen, and has VERY low information density. And the map is zoomed in too far, so they added a minimap, but the minimap isn't clickable, so it's mostly noise pollution. So between the overzoom, the minimap, and that ridiculous interface tree, you have to scrub holes in your mousepad just to move halfway across the damn globe.

Waste of time.
posted by Malor at 3:40 AM on August 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


I dumped all my money into the US West Coast to make it invincible and figured the rest of the world could rot. And yet, it ended up being the second region with infections, after the primary outbreak in China/Japan. I call shenanigans.
posted by skintension at 3:58 AM on August 19, 2009


The trouble with the game- the better you get the more boring the game is.

So I decided to replay, spend all the money on one (my) region and forget about the rest of the world. It's not looking too good, the infection is slowly spreading towards my city...
posted by sid.tv at 4:00 AM on August 19, 2009


...or what skintension said
posted by sid.tv at 4:03 AM on August 19, 2009


I preemptively closed down schools on a global scale. When I then wanted to send missionaries to the affected areas I discovered there was no such option!

Not have been given the right tools, is there any wonder why my world is now in utter chaos?! Don’t waste your time, this game is unbeatable.
posted by JeNeSaisQuoi at 5:27 AM on August 19, 2009


I couldn't even unpause the damned thing. So nobody died.

Hooray for me!
posted by Lord_Pall at 6:13 AM on August 19, 2009


Am I the only one playing this who's deliberately trying to infect as many people as possible? Someone please validate me.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 6:18 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


The 21st century belongs to Canada (population 217 million).
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 8:09 AM on August 19, 2009


Am I the only one playing this who's deliberately trying to infect as many people as possible? Someone please validate me.

You want the board game Black Death for that. You get to choose whether you want your disease to be more virulent (case/fatality), or more contagious. Not a very complex game, but somewhat educational and fun.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:04 AM on August 19, 2009


Once you spend all your money, there's really nothing left to do but wait and see whether you win or not. That's exactly the sort of setup that shouldn't have any sort of time acceleration button, yes.
posted by kafziel at 1:15 AM on August 20, 2009


Beat the Broadway virus, with 59.4m infected and 41k deaths. All I did was wait until an outbreak, dump all my money into India, and then wait fifteen minutes. Hooray.
posted by kafziel at 1:25 AM on August 20, 2009


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