So, if you recall, I did a bit of promotion for this project a few days ago. While that was being formatted and prepped for post, I was also prepping an interview for the creators and designers, because I thought it would be an extra fascinating read. And believe me it was. I must ramble on, just a little before I turn you over to the interview itself.
It is my firm belief, that when people are operating outside the realm of the mainstream, it is in our best interest, to combine efforts when possible. These passion projects are the life's blood of the gaming industry. It is the innovation, and ingenuity that can only exist outside of the strict confines of the corporate world that invigorates and innovates when others would be more than happy for things to stagnate.
For this reason, I will continue to seek out projects like this, and I will promote them until I am blue in the face.
Having said my piece, I will turn you over to the Interview, which will be immediately followed by a rather exciting exclusive. Rather than completely reformatting the questions and answers like I have in interview past, The following will be posted almost exactly as I received it, Putting emphasis in, to help mark questions and answers. So Read on, and enjoy!
For those interested in donating to the project, the link to the Kickstarter project is included at the end of the interview! Please consider backing, and help make this game a reality!
Prelude to the Interview:
First of all, please let me apologize before the interview. Of the members on our team, I happen to be the one that talks the most and ramble on at whim. That's probably why, in addition to the passion I have for this game, I'm in charge of answering questions and comments on Kickstarter as well as being the most involved with the marketing of the game. So be warned... your eyes might hurt by the time you finish reading this!
1) First, could you give us some background on Fairytale Games: The Battle Royale? (When did you develop the concept for the game? What were the inspirations, etc?)
Several, several years ago, I came across a Manga series about a group of students kidnapped by their school (which was headed by the government) and were forced to participate in a game to eliminate each other, until only one student was left. This student would be considered “fit” to be put back into society since they learned the skills needed to survive. Although very visceral, I loved how the story developed each of the students’ feelings and motivations while playing “the game”. Best friends stabbed each other in the back, trust and mistrust had you on the edge of your seat, and enemies formed alliances to use each other’s skills. It was awesome. The movie’s name was Battle Royale.
Many years later a couple movies came out, then the similarly different Hunger Games series. The timing felt right and I felt it was time to base a game off of the same principal of survival, negotiation, and trust. Still, I didn't it to generic with characters no one really cared about. But at the time, I had nothing so the idea was shelved for other things.
One day, I had a friend of mine ask me if I had seen the TV series “Once Upon a Time”? No, I hadn't. My friend excitedly told me about how it took fairytale characters and put them in the modern world trapped and not knowing they were who they were supposed to be. I kindly laughed and completely ignored it at the time. Then one fateful day, I went on Netflix and having run out of other things to watch, I started the Pilot of “Once Upon a Time”. Though it wasn't the greatest thing in the world, I hadn't realized that at a blink of an eye, I was already on episode 3. Wha???? Ok, I guess it was really starting to get good! The creativity and use of the characters were fantastic. A day later I finished season 1 and caught myself up on season 2 outside of Netflix. Why was it so good? As I thought about it, my friend (who was ecstatic that I liked the show) asked me the million dollar question. “So why don’t you make a game like that?” Woah…. I had just left the Matrix.
Frantically scribbling ideas on whatever I could find, I started to flesh out some initial concepts. Yes, fairytale characters would be the perfect vehicle to continue my Battle Royale/Hunger Games idea. The best part of this chemistry is that Heroes and Villains always play their normal parts fairytales. But if put in a life or death situation for survival, will the pure and innocent snap? Will villains align themselves with their mortal enemies in order to protect themselves? Yep, this was it. This was the game I was destined to make.
This was kind of a tough one. I mean, I have the premise of what I want to happen, but how do I get there? I mean, logistically, how do we get fairytale characters to fight each other in a Battle Royale? Having come to a roadblock, I enlisted help from a few friends who also love fairytales and gaming. Putting our heads together, we brainstormed various scenarios that might or might not work. A lot of ideas came out too cheesy or to difficult to understand. Finally, one idea that stuck was the “your enemy, my enemy” idea and having the 3 most powerful evil Queens join forces to annihilate the realms; Kind of the alternate version of DC’s Trinity of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Each one, of course have their own reasons but basically their common goal is to hit the “reset” button on all good and evil and recreate the future. I mean, when you think about it, villains never think of themselves as evil, right? Often times, especially in actual history, if two oppositions clash, the one that loses is the “evil one”… or the one that does things less immoral (in our eyes) is considered the Hero. So if these Queens wipe out any evidence of their history, then they can be considered the “Good Queens” that created the realms.
Of course, having to micromanage civilization in all these realms are tiring, plus there’s just so many ways to error and go back to having the same crime, rebellion, poverty, famine, etc. Thus, the Queens used the Fairytale Games to find the single champion that would lead and cultivate the people in their image. Because the champion will understand the faults of the Old World, they can use these examples to help mold the perfect one. The goal of the Fairytale Games is to develop the will, intellect, magic, persuasion, and strength of the winner and putting them in a level of desperation that they appreciate survival. Only then will they appreciate their freedom and be completely loyal to the Queens. (Side note: This philosophy was homage to the SAW movie series.)
2) I imagine you play a few games, What game would you say was most influential to you?
LOL. Yes, absolutely! Though I love games of all genres, I really enjoy RPGs and Strategy RPGs. I really lost my head into World of Warcraft and was floored by Skyrim. I think a big role these games played, were in the developing of the gameplay and storyline. We wanted to have a game with characters and events that intertwined with each other, and that you could meet during this game or maybe 3 games later and be like "Oh, I get what they were trying to do!" Another thing we wanted to incorporate were character stat/trait building and a possible leveling up of your character in order to persuade people to join you, finish quests, use items, etc. The distribution of these traits give you the power of playing the game the way you want and prioritize what you feel is more important in your strategy to win the game.
3) Is there any game that you really want to play that you have not got the chance to play?
If you're talking about tabletop games, there's just too many to name. There's so many we've seen on Kickstarter and in our local hobby shops that we're a bit overwhelmed. We love card games, especially if they have unique concepts. We can't wait to play Boss Monster, Heroes of Metro City, and the Bar Fight mini-game from the makers of the BattleCon games. For video games, we heard the new Batman: Arkham City will be out next year.... sigh... we know how backers feel about the wait.
4) Kickstarter has lead to a sort of Board Game Renaissance, how does your game fit into this?
We believe that Fairytale Games: The Battle Royale is a very unique concept that takes two popular themes and revitalizes both. It's dark, edgy and very much tongue in cheek. It's a card game that is played board game style and brings the excitement of RPGs and MMORPGs into the mix. Our game isn't going to revolutionize the gaming industry, but we believe that we could be upping the bar in beautiful art for our genre as well as giving people who think outside the box with their own games some courage to introduce their unique ideas to everyone.
5) Have you every made another game? If so how does it compare to this one?
Artistic Justice Games has a few teams working on games at the moment. One of the teams successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign earlier this year called Martial Arts: The Card Game. In comparison, it's a completely different game/concept. Their game is a First-Person martial arts battle where you use actual martial arts. It's another unique concept since their team dedicated a lot of time and research into making sure the moves in their game were authentic, made sense, and flowed well with its gameplay mechanics. You can consider Martial Arts: The Card Game more of a card battle game whereas ours is an "Adaptive Board Game". Since we're under the same roof, we were able to borrow their gameplay mechanic in a first-person card battling mini-game we have called Super Fairytale Fighters 2. This is a fighting game using 8 characters from our fairytale realm with their own special moves and abilities. It's available as a free bonus for hitting our first Stretch Goals.
6) Are there plans for expansions in the future?
Depending on the reception of the game after it reaches our backers, we would very much like to have an expansion. There were so many ideas we had and characters we wanted to use that we weren't able to include this time around that an expansion could do just that. As a side note, within the stretch goals, we have the Zombie Edition of our game which is a standalone or can be used as an expansion to the current game (with added gameplay mechanics.)
7) The game seems perfectly suited for multiple expansions, extended versions, etc. Would you ever be tempted to use the living card game model like Fantasy Flight does?
I think if people really like Super Fairytale Fighters 2, available from our Stretch Goals, we could love to expand on it into a living card game model where we can offer lots of fighters and new gameplay mechanics. We have a lot of interesting ideas that haven't been used before, at least to our knowledge, and we'd love the opportunity to do so.
8) Have you ever considered using this particular game setting in other media... animated shorts, graphic novels, short stories, etc?
We are actually going to produce five graphic novels with the theme of the game. In one of the backer reward tiers, you can create and be the main character of the first book while appearing as a supporting role in the following four. The Fairytale Games world we created is very large and having a vehicle like graphic novels would be great to continue telling our story. Coincidentally a group of Cosplayer fans wanted to see if we would work with them to create a Fairytale Games: The Battle Royale video short. That would be pretty epic. And of course, you can find an extension of our fairytale characters in a 78 Card Tarot Deck which is available in our reward tier.
9) The art style is part of what drew me to this project, what lead you to pick your core artists?
We are very fortunate to have 12 extremely talented artists working with us to bring life to our game. Each artist adds their own style to the game from their own perspective, based on our storyline. What we were trying to accomplish here, is that these characters, being from different realms, are all thrown in together. They should look different, have mannerisms that might differ, and also be represented completely different from each other. We chose artists not only based on the beauty of their artwork, but also by their passion and excitement towards the game and its theme. All of our artists are extremely excited to bring you the 200+ unique artwork in the game as well as the Tarot set and Super Fairytale Fighters 2 mini-game.
10) Anything else you would like to add?
We are not only excited about the game, but also the great response from our backers! We're very appreciative to all of them and look forward to bringing Fairytale Games: The Battle Royale to their tabletops. To show our appreciation, all throughout the campaign, we will be hosting contests and rewarding backers to Exclusive cards that we will not reprint outside of the Kickstarter campaign, all for supporting us and helping us spread the word! To see what we're talking about, please check out our Kickstarter Campaign, Facebook, and Website for details.
Amazing, right? Inspiration for all the would-be game designers, out there. But, I promised you all an exclusive, right? And I mean to deliver! As you should know by now, this game is a card game... and there are numerous cards.. And here, we have your first look at one of those cards! The game designers have sent this our way, and I am pleased to present for your viewing pleasure, "Fairytale Games: The Battle Royale"s version of The Pied Piper!
New Standard Disclaimer:
I have absolutely no stake in these projects, either personal or financial. I gain no monetary compensation from them, and promote them for no other reason than they piqued my interest. Most images used in this post are obtained from the Kickstarter project itself, and are used only for promotional purposes.