I am planning on starting my newest campaign about the end of the world: a Zombie Apocalypse, with the game starting before the outbreak has occurred. Every zombie RPG I have encountered so far has content to allow you to start your campaign before the outbreak occurs. Unfortunately they give you no indication of how this might play out. Standard turns seem pointless, since your PCs can basically do nothing but wait for the outbreak to unfold.
The only two ways I can come up with to make this part of the game interesting is to not tell your players that the game is a zombie game, and make them figure that out. Second is to just narrate the entire pre-outbreak in a sort of montage. Unfortunately the first option is out since my players know what type of campaign I am making. The second option is not satisfactory given the amount of time I spent developing the story pre-outbreak. I have several audio clips of news reports and the like to flesh out the story.
My players will be playing as themselves. So that means landscapers, sales people, and the like; they will be as powerful as they are in real life. The zombie type is taken from End of the World: Zombie Apocalypse. It is virally spread, but the zombies are not undead and more like bath salts junkies. It can be cured, and that will be a major part of the story. I was planing on having the PCs start the game playing a tabletop role-playing game, but I'm open to suggestions as to where to start the PCs as well. The feel of the game will be realistic horror. The setting will be a small town in the mountains not far from where we live in real life.
What I'm asking for are techniques on how to run the first part of the game pre-outbreak, without just cutting it short but avoiding player meta-gaming removing any of the real impact.