Another Interview With Designer Eric Lang

20 03 2013

cropped-Eric-Head-ShotWe’re glad to welcome back to TOG Eric Lang, game designer extraordinaire, to chat about some of his upcoming projects, the latest Star Wars The Card Game news, and much more!

Eric, so glad we didn’t scare you away the first time; thanks for coming back!

WHAT?! Oh, sorry. You frightened me there.

So, from the looks of your twitter account @eric_lang you’ve been doing some serious game design work away from home. Tell us a little bit about where you were and the project(s) you’ve been working on?

I’ve been in my comfort zone for the year, at all times juggling 2-4 games in various stages of completion. Two of them are currently in post-design, and ready for announcement within the month.

So, in total, how many projects have you had your hands on since we last talked?

Seven, I think? Maybe? It’s hard to keep track. Some games are ongoing developments, others are near-completion, and yet other ongoing games are in publishers’ capable hands but still need attention (like Star Wars LCG and Quarriors).

Via Twitter you’ve given each of your projects their own code name. You said several weeks ago that “Project Phoenix” is heading to production; can you tell us more about the game, who is publishing the game, and when we can expect to see it hit the shelves?

It will be published by Cool Mini or Not, and my producer is the extraordinarily talented David Preti (from Dust Games). They will be announcing it soon. I wish I could tell you more, because this is a game (and original IP) I’ve been working on for a long time.

How often do you leave town to get work done? Do you make the same pilgrimage every year, or do you travel to other places around the world? If so, what’s been your favorite place to work so far?

I generally get work done at home, actually, and travel for inspiration or to crunch on administrative or production deadlines, which are easier on-site with publishers.

I love Brazil for the climate, the gamers, and the food. Singapore for the space-age lifestyle, the gamers, and the food. Malaysia for the gamers, the amazing islands, and the food. Minnesota for all my longtime friends, and the food. There’s a general food theme.

kaosballYou said that “Project Phoenix” is something you’ve wanted to do for a long time; where did the idea first come from, and how did you get it to production?

Project Phoenix is a game I’ve wanted to do for about five years. It is a hybrid of two genres I really enjoy in gaming (which I sadly can’t talk about until the announcement). The nucleus of the game coalesced while I worked on other games, but crystallized when I met with David Preti in Brazil and pitched the basic concept. He said, “We’re making this game,” immediately, and then asked me for an IP to go with the game. I built the foundation of this world over a weekend, and we worked together to flesh it out (me on world details, he on visual direction).

We’ve also heard that your funding a project through Kickstarter, what can you tell us about that, and when will we see it over on KS?

I actually have four projects, with various publishers, slated for Kickstarter this year. Unfortunately I can’t talk about any of them 😦

Since we last spoke with you, Star Wars The Card Game was released; we’ve enjoyed the base set and are looking forward to the multiplayer expansion. What can you tell us about the multiplayer experience?

Sadly, nothing of substance (NDA, as you’d guess). I can say that multiplayer completes the core vision I had for the game.

The idea of having multiple players team up against a single dark side player is really making me kind of giddy! And it seems that you had this in mind all along. Is there a reason the multiplayer expansion is delayed, or wasn’t a part of the base set?

It was part of the game’s DNA from the start, but we realized during development that it would take a significant chunk of the core set’s card pool to execute as fully as we wanted. And we wanted to maximize variety in objective sets for regular play, both because variety is good and this game was experimenting with a new deck-building philosophy, so we wanted to give it breathing room.

It didn’t take long to realize we could easily take the multiplayer component and expand it even further if we made it a deluxe expansion box. Expect some surprises!

QuartifactsWe’re both pretty big fans of Quarriors, is there any news of what’s coming down the line for that title?

The Quartifacts expansion is coming soon, which adds quests—an entirely new play pattern—to the game. Beyond that, they announced the exciting “Light and Dark” expansion that Mike and I finished a few months ago, so it won’t be coming for awhile.

We got the press release from Wizkids about Train Stations. There’s scant information so far, but the description reads like a standard pickup-and-deliver-type train game—but then we noticed it comes with 50 custom dice… Is this some sort of Quarriors/Age Of Steam mashup, or what?!

There are lots of dice, but the game is nothing like Quarriors. It’s more of a risk management game with a ton of player interaction (with mild cooperative elements, even though there is only one winner). I designed this game as an homage to Sid Sackson, one of my favorite designers, and even though it shares no mechanics with his games, my guiding process during design would often be to ask myself, “What would Sid do?”

Are there any other new and exciting projects that you can tell us about?

Absolutely! I am working on two games with my good friend and awesome designer Kevin Wilson, codenamed Tweedledee and Tweedledum. The games are not related; the codenames symbolize something else (shhh). One is a really fun little strategy game that “scratches your OCD itch” and the other is an intense psychological social game dripping with warped theme. Both are based on really cool existing IPs, and will be out later this year.

Last year I finished design on a risky but really compelling game that adds a new twist to a classic genre. I call it Project ZOMG, and have described it as a “youthful power fantasy come to life.” This one will be announced by a major publisher shortly. I can’t wait to talk more about it.

Finally, I started work on another big game for FFG. This one won’t be out for awhile, but the initial design is already mostly done, and I’ve scoped out some crazy ambition. One thing I can say is that I love how FFG is a big game company and still likes to take risks and try new ideas.

Here’s another round of 1-word questions!

2861869-monty_footFavorite Monty Python member?

The Foot

Kirk or Picard?

Sisko

Favorite Star Wars film?

Empire (obviously!)

Bill S. Preston esq. or Ted Theodore Logan?

Bogus!

Favorite comic book hero?

Ozymandias

Thanks again for taking the time to chat with us!

Thank you! Fun questions as always.

Update: Shortly after we finished this interview with Eric, Cool Mini or Not leaked some info on the Project Phoenix game, which is Kaosball. From Eric’s Web site:

“Kaosball is a fantasy sports game based on modern world pop culture. It has a different approach than most sports games, using card play rather than standard miniatures style simulationist rules for resolving conflict. There’s luck and variance, to be sure, but key skills like bluffing and reading your opponent enhance the drama and can turn the tide.

The sport (a 2-4 player cross between rugby and domination-style e-sports) is designed from the ground up to play well as a team management board game focused on special powers and their interactions. It’s bloody and lethal; in fact, kills help your overall score! Four teams come in the core set, but I have already designed over a dozen more.

More details and blog updates to follow over the next few weeks. I have been waiting a very long time to talk about this game!”

We can’t wait to hear more about all of the games Eric is juggling right now. Thanks, Eric, for the interview, and thanks to you for reading—and please check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Lord of the Rings Dice-Building Game—Order NOW!

20 02 2013

lotr-article-main1

If there’s one thing that continues to baffle myself (Jeremiah) and probably Firestone too, it’s that most game companies don’t publicize street dates/release dates for their titles.

For instance, this last December we were expecting the Star Wars card game from Fantasy Flight to hit stores in January. Turns out it was on shelves in December, with little fanfare from Fantasy Flight themselves. Anyway…I say all of that to say this.

Over on Amazon they’re taking orders for Wizkids’ latest dice-building title: The Lord of the Rings Dice Building Game. According to Amazon they will be shipping the game on February 28, which means there’s a good chance it could hit shelves the same day—if not sooner. We’re both big fans of Quarriors, and the dice-building mechanic; add to that the spiffy Tolkien theme and we’re pretty much in hog heaven!

You can order the game on Amazon Right HERE!

Thanks again for reading, and we certainly appreciate you liking us on FaceBook, following us on Twitter, and retweeting, sharing, and commenting whenever and wherever you can!





What You Missed…

8 02 2013

quartifactcoverIt’s been a busy week for us here at TOG! Here’s a quick look at what you missed—or what you may want to take a look at again!

We took a quick look at some news about the newest Kingdom Builder Expansion.

Z-Man Games also released information regarding reprints of Carcassonne, and the new edition of Pandemic.

Firestone reviewed the new and very cool board/gear game Tzolk’in.

And don’t forget the news about a new Quarriors expsansion!

We’re still getting warmed up! Thursday we unveiled our awards for the Best Games of 2012!

dragonAnd today’s Kickstarter Weekly featured Dragon Whisperer, a very cool trick-taking card game.

Believe it or not, we’ve got another week’s worth of excitement coming on Monday that is just as awesome as this week! So check back in, tell your friends about us, and as always…don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter!

Thanks so much for reading and have a great weekend!





Wizkids Posts an Overview of The Lord of the Rings Dice Building Game!

17 01 2013

51MK0L72dqLWizkids has posted an overview for their newest dice-building title: The Lord of the Rings Dice Building Game. If you’re a fan of Quarriors, chances are you’re going to want to look into this title as well. The game is said to have a similar feel to the game play of Quarriors, but also contain a few new elements to make it a fresh experience for everyone—including the fact that it’s a co-op. And of course, the way-cool Lord of the Rings theme!

The co-op aspect sounds pretty cool. The overview describes it this way: “Players alternate taking turns for Sauron and his forces. Sauron’s forces are represented by three sets of “Enemies” dice. Early in the game, players will face the likes of Goblins and Trolls with The Fellowship of the Ring Enemies dice. As players progress in the game, they will encounter tougher foes such as Wargs, Mumakil and Nazgul with The Two Towers Enemies dice & The Return of the King Enemies dice. If players are not able to defeat all of Sauron’s forces before his next turn, they may not advance to the next stage and Sauron gains corruption. Corruption is spread onto the cards on the playfield making the dice associated with these cards useless while corrupted. If too many cards are corrupted, Sauron has conquered Middle-earth and all players lose the game.”

You can read our full review of Quarriors here.

While the preorder on Amazon claims that the release date is Feb. 28 of 2013, Wizkids is saying March. At any rate, you can pre-order it on Amazon RIGHT HERE!lotr-article-main6a





Heroclix TabApp!

8 01 2013

If you haven’t seen this yet, you should really check it out.

I love it when worlds collide! Chocolate and peanut butter. Oreos and milk. Water and polo… Well, you get what I mean.

Wizkids has combined mobile gaming and one of their most successful titles: Heroclix. Check out the video for Heroclix TabApp, an app that interacts with a set of special clix figures. It looks pretty slick. Anyone out there play this yet? If we can get our hands on them we’ll review them in depth!





Pirates of the Spanish Main?

5 11 2012

By Jeremiah

So I don’t know how this slipped by my radar, but in late august Wizkids snuck out their reboot of the Pirates of the Spanish Main, in the form of a card game.

The original version of the Pirates franchise was based on the construction of tiny little pirate ships and setting up your entire table as the board on which you played. Many of those ships are still setting sail atop my monitor, even as I type! It is truly one of my all time favorites in the world of “dead games”.

The new game hit stores in late August/early September, and unfortunately for the Pirates: OTSM franchise, hasn’t seemed to make a big splash. The game play is advertised as  a secret bid system, where players play cards to help your sponsored captains achieve success without letting everyone know who you are secretly sponsoring. The cards feature artwork from the many releases of the original.

So, has anyone played this? Why didn’t you tell me about it? Let us know what you think!

Thanks for reading!





When We Last Left Our Heroes…

21 09 2012

It’s been a busy week for us here at Theology of Games—unfortunately, not because of gaming, but because of our busy lives. But we did get out a few new reviews, and share some news about the gaming world with you all! Stay tuned for more from the world of gaming next week! Here’s your weekly recap of the week that was, on TOG!

We all got giddy over the news of Wizkids’ plans to release a Lord of the Rings themed dice building game!

Jeremiah reviewed the indie game “Walls of Light”.

We looked for a little feedback on the blog and the possibility of a video post or two.

And Firestone reviewed Wizkids original dice builder, Quarriors!

Thanks for reading and thanks for the feedback! We hope you’re enjoying reading the blog as much as we are writing it!








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