Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Mark Rapson talks about putting Route 666 into top gear

The Wee Gamers Traffic cops pull Mark Rapson, head honcho at Word Forge Games and part of Prodos Games, over onto the hard shoulder to answer a few questions about his latest creation, Devil's Run: Route 666, to answer a few questions.

We obvious asked firstly for his driving licence and if he knew what speed he was going at the time, as it was almost as if his road was full of fury.

As per usual the main questioning delved a little deeper and added a few points on his licence regarding this game which will be coming to Kickstarter in May 2015.
1- You're taking out the trash, suddenly the local biker clan pulls up and it's leader squares up to you - "this route 666 is it gonna represent our diverse biker culture and feel like you're controlling a throbbing road machine between your legs or have you settled for some 'car drivers' impression of motorcycle operation and an arbitrary method of movement and control?" He asks, looking quite cross!
Wow! He sounds scary! devil's run has 4 basic vehicle types: bike, trike, buggy and car. Each of these moves in a different way and has special skills that ensures they movement ability and style represents the vehicle. Then we have special characters, which may be better or more skilled at using their vehicle to win the run! They are more..characterful...and able! I can't wait for you to see some of them. Dominik, our art director and I are working on some very exciting concepts. In time I hope we will see other cool vehicles like trucks, pickups, buses etc. 

2 - Route 666 - reboot, reinvention or revolutionary? (See that, like one of those intellectual questions!)  
I would say reinvention of the car battle game. It is not Word Forge Games' intent to copy what's there already...there's no point in that in my view! Instead make something new in an old concept. I think we have a great rule set and am looking forward to sharing the beta rules soon with the community so they can help us iron out any bugs. 


3- What are the games that you and the crew currently enjoy playing on a night off?
Domink is a massive Warzone Resurrection fan, Rich likes his MTG, Paul and I really like Spartacus the board game, and my son (age7) and I like an X-wing game or two. Although he normally beats me. 

4- Aside from failure- which is not allowed - what , going into kickstarter are you most nervous of or concerned about? How are you preparing yourself for the KS process given that most find it a hectic period and takes a lot of time and physical / emotional energy....  
Well with Prodos Games, I have run two successful campaigns and learnt A LOT from them. Obviously both of them were licensed products so had a good strong fan base. devil's Run is not licensed so I guess my main concern is hoping we get the word out to enough people. It's sad when one hears people say 'I missed that wish I hadn't ' we need to make sure those people hear about it.

5- If someone offered you the blank cheque tomorrow to make the game would you take it or decline and fave the public funding quest? What if anything do you feel might change about the game if it was privately funded? ( or you could treat that question as what do you see as the benefit for the game in going to crowd funding?) 
KS is a mixed bag of blessings, you lose 15% or so to the KS and then 20% to the tax man. People pull out or make pledge mistakes which need refunding, that can often hurt the company. Also many shops won't touch a KS game. But it has a massive benefit too, most importantly marketing and advertising, but it also forces a methodical approach to product production and a product full stop. So crowd funding for sure!  

6- If you could take ANY classic game at all and give it a complete face lift and refit what would it be and what is it you would like to change? 
Now that's a hard question, mainly because we have done that now with Warzone resurrection. And a lot of the good classics have been rebooted (Space Hulk, blood/Dread ball, HeroQuest etc.). Maybe the old computer game Dizzy, but 'I missed that KS'...(doh!) and it failed anyway... 

7- So when you're not being the road warrior of the gaming industry what is a day in the life of Mr Rapson like? What is it that makes life tick and when the clock strikes 'fun' how do the mighty kick back and relax?
My family for sure, I'm very close with my parents, and my wife and I have 3 kids. They are a lot of work but the joy of my life! 

8- When the kickstarter launches what kind of options will Joe public be faced > with as their pledge levels? 
We want to keep it simple...3 main options: Game, Game and a batch of extras or Game and bigger batch of extras. The more you buy the more discount you get. Also we will include lots of freebies and KS exclusive. We will also do a couple of pledges which allow the pledger to design their own character and model or even their own faction! 

9- What aspect of the game are you most proud of and why? 
For me personally the rules. I think they are concise and simple, and reflect the vehicles and feeling of battling cars very well. Our play testers seem to agree too. But I also feel the art direction has been great....look at that box cover Wow!

10- How do you keep the enthusiasm and inspiration flowing? Has there been a point when you thought 'nah, there's easier ways to make a living than this' 
Actually it's been harder to know what to go with. We have 4 projects in our pipeline, having the discipline to leave a later project to later is hard! 

11- Is there anyone in the industry -designer, artist, sculptor , whatever  that you would especially like the chance to work with? And why? 
I love Paul Bonner's art, and I think Jervis Johnson is my hero! 

12- What's the next project on the table for you after this?
Guardians of Eden. A RPG board game. It's on Facebook at the moment and as with Devils run the art is amazing  

13- You and the team are cast into the hellish world of 666 (you know by powerful beings of powerfulness) who ends up in what role in this 'dark future' and what's their life expectancy???  
Paul: definately the speed biker 
Matt: the guy driving the truck.
Rich: car driver and brains of the operation! 
Dominik: buggy driver
Michal: super cool biker, distracts the opposition by his coolness. 
Jarek and me: trike. Him driving me navigation and flamer! Jarek and I would go first as we drive into a wall as we argue! Lol!. Paul gets it at first contact, Rich sacrifices himself to defend Matt. Dominik goes out in a blaze of glory, Matt gets mortally wounded, but manages to drive the truck to the base...and Michal...well he is too cool to die! :)

You can also hear Mark's interview with Wee Andy on our Youtube Channel. Don't forget to subscribe!!

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