There is a competition on at Cause and Effect to create some new zombie ideas. I have submitted four. The first three are themed around the idea of being infected via animals and then taking on some of their characteristics.
Physical features: The skin is slightly shiny and there is a translucent pattern underneath the surface. The eyes will be glazed.
Health, damage per attack and reactions to damage: Regular health but very high attack value, two direct/solid hits can kill a player. Due to think skin they are very difficult to kill. In fact they are best avoided if possible.
Base speed: Slow unless within attack range (Think Cobra). Lightning fast strike.
Abilities: A very agile climber but prefers to stay near dark corridors.
Advantages: Sensitive to vibration, level of light unimportant to its ability to sense environment.
Disadvantages: Can only see well if the prey is moving, likes to be on the ground.
Instincts: Avoid humans and other animals unless absolutely necessary.
Sounds: A very scary hissing sound that makes you pause to look around wondering where it came from.
GamePlay: Because these zombies are difficult to kill I think it would be interesting to put them in places where the player needs to choose between keeping still and letting it pass (Which then draws normal zombies closer!) or moving and possibly being attacked.
Physical features: This zombie is camouflaged against its background. The eyes are closed until you are in biting distance. If it misses you then it runs away and hopes to get you another time.
Health, damage per attack and reactions to damage: Normal starting health but is easy to kill
Base speed: Only moves when attacking or running away. Attack speed is unbelievably fast.
Abilities: As mentioned above camouflage.
Advantages: As mentioned above camouflage.
Disadvantages: Once spotted it is easy to kill
Instincts: Will not move until the last moment.
Sounds: Some kind of whispering whooshing sound. I know that’s a bit vague but I wanted to try and catch the sound of something moving very fast.
GamePlay: Placement is the most important thing with this zombie. Just after an intense firefight when the player thinks they have escaped and is about to enter a door only to find a Blender half across the door.
Physical features: Has somehow managed to rip skin from its arms and back to make wings! Obviously it can’t fly but it can glide to the ground.
Health, damage per attack and reactions to damage: Three or four clean hits kill it.
Base speed: Medium fast.
Abilities: Hangs from the ceiling and `drops` down onto potential victims.
Advantages: Ability to see in very dark areas
Disadvantages: Will not attack on its own and is uncomfortable on the ground. Will try to climb back to perch and attack from there.
Instincts: Prefers to fight in groups.
Sounds: Just as it drops from its perch it makes a very high pitched whine, almost inaudible.
GamePlay: Possibly useful for large open and high areas, especially outside.
Physical features: This zombie is pregnant and has the radiance of a normal pregnant women.
Health, damage per attack and reactions to damage:Very powerful in short bursts but tires quickly
Base speed: Slow, as most pregnant creatures are. It leans back when it walks.
Abilities: The first time it attacks you, it rips the baby out of its womb (via the stomach, not the vagina!) and throws it at you. The baby then tries to bite you. Once the baby cannot reach you it tries to go back to its mother.
Advantages: Can attack from long distances due to throwing the baby.
Instincts: If you kill the baby before the mother she screams and attacks you with all her might. However as mentioned earlier she soon tires.
Sounds: Mainly the scream when you kill her baby. The scream has to be carefully created because most screams are from fear; this scream is one of desperation from losing the baby and anger.
GamePlay: Not sure how easy this would be to actually programme but it might be sufficiently different from other Zombies.