Any that know me well, know that I am a passionate and dedicated geek that is constantly looking for the next best game. This led me to making contact with the co-founders of Overworld Games, Brian Henk and Clayton Skancke.
Last year they had their first successful Kickstarter when introducing the game Good Cop Bad Cop. In fact, the two of them almost doubled their initial funding goal! Clearly, I had to take a closer look at what the fuss was about. Brian and Clayton agreed to answer a few questions with the release of their expansion of Good Cop Bad Cop called Bombers and Traitors.
How did you two start building games together?
We spent quite a few years creating indie games and apps for Xbox, PC, and mobile devices. While we were writing code, creating animations, and continuously supporting next gen hardware, we spent our leisure time playing tabletop games, which is where we recognized an opportunity to spend more time creating the “game,” which is the part that was the most exciting to us.
Why the passion for tabletop games?
We both realized that we enjoyed the social interaction encouraged by tabletop games over the sometimes antisocial nature of digital games. We were inspired by the emotional roller coaster players would experience when they played games like The Resistance or Lifeboat and were determined to create games that would engage them like no other game they have ever played.
Tell us a little about Bombers and Traitors.
Bombers and Traitors is the third game published by Overworld Games and promises to evoke a a different set of emotions as players sit around the table. It’s the same excitement you get from Good Cop Bad Cop, with some splashes of paranoia and an added focus on investigation. Even if a leader is discovered in the first round, players need to keep investigating to make sure they’ve taken out any Traitors lurking around the table before they eliminate the leader. That usually gives the other team just enough time to do some investigating of their own and narrow down the identity of the other leader, which causes the game to conclude in a hilarious rain of bullets. And when the bullets start flying, each side has to make sure they don’t accidentally take out a Suicide Bomber, or the Bomber will win alone.
What makes this game different?
Good Cop Bad Cop is different from many other hidden identity games because players aren’t required to lie to be successful. If someone begins interrogating you, you can always suggest that they take their turn to investigate you for additional information. Bombers and Traitors will add some REALLY fun new equipment cards and an even better social experience than the original. It’s a game that doesn’t require players to lie to be successful because when someone asks who you are, you can always answer with, “You’ll have to investigate me to find out.” Publicly revealing information usually doesn’t help you because there are as many opponents as teammates, but if that’s your game, it is possible to lie your way to victory too.
Tell us a little about TheForbiddenLimb?
The Forbidden Limb is a podcast, vidcast, and blog created by Brian that has two different perspectives on the tabletop game industry. The first one is on game strategies where Brian does a complete statistical analysis on a popular game and breaks it down into high-level strategies and low-level tactics players can use to get an edge over their competition. The second is a podcast/vidcast on the business side of the industry where he talks with Jeremy Commandeur and Richard New about distribution, marketing, Kickstarter campaigns, and other behind-the-curtain decisions that are made by designers and publishers.
What is next for Overworld Games?
New Salem, a hidden identity, drafting, and set collection game, is about to begin manufacturing with fulfillment occurring this Spring. We can’t wait for everyone to get their hands on that one and be a part of a good ol’ Salem witch hunt. In the Summer of 2015, we’ll be launching a new team-based hidden identity game designed by Jeremy Commandeur. More details on this one will be released in the coming months.
Joshua began crafting the world for the dark fantasy series, Thrice Nine Legends, in 1999. Melkorka, the first book of the series, was published in 2015. In addition, he is the author of the transitional children’s book, Bo Bunny and the Trouble. Joshua helped co-create the fantasy tabletop game, Thrice Nine Legends, based on his books and due to be released in 2015. He is also known for his flash fiction, short stories, and poems. Joshua currently lives in Alaska with his wife and children. www.robertsonwrites.com