Interview Oct 8, 2013

Today I have an interview with the folks at Folklore. Their project Mutiny is on Kickstarter now and was one of the first Canadian board game projects to appear when Kickstarter opened the platform in Canada earlier this year. Mutiny has less than a day to go as of the posting of this interview and needs your help to get over the funding goal!

NOTE: Individual members of the Folklore team are denoted by the first letter of their name.

GDC: Give us an overview of your game and how it’s played.

M: The goal of Mutiny is to stay alive while eliminating your opponents. Keeping your allies safe is also a good idea. But… better them than you right? You’re a pirate after all!

Players are given role cards to determine their allegiance and who they will play as for the game. Players can be divided into 3 groups, Traitors, Loyal shipmates and the captain.

Traitors try to eliminate the captain, who is known by everyone, or the loyal mates while the shimates try to defend the captain and kill all the traitors. The captain’s goal is simply to stay alive, but since he’s the only one oblivious to the other players loyalty, it can be harder than it looks.

The two main groups will then decide, one after the other, which meal they want to poison and once this is done the round can start. One after the other, players will switch their meals with one another. Once everyone did their action, everyone will reveal their meal card. Those who have been poisoned are removed from the game and those who survive continue to the next round.

This goes on until every traitor or mates has died or until the Captain dies.

GDC: What innovative mechanic or creative idea distinguishes your game from others?

F: Mutiny is a mix of luck (not getting chosen to be poisoned), memory (guessing/knowing where is the poisoned meal and remembering where it is after each turn) and social interaction (making other player believe that they are safe and should really not exchange food with a certain other player). Atop of this, not all the player have the same level of stress as some know where the poison is, some have the ability to save themselves or others and the captain has no clue of where the poison is or who wants to kill him. This unique combination of gameplay mechanics makes this game rise above the rest.

GDC: Tell us about the spark or inspiration for this game.

F: In a game design class at our university, we had to create a card game that would cause a climate of uncertainty.

GDC: Let’s talk about the design process. Tell us a bit about the iterations the game has gone through and the refinements you’ve made along the way.

M: Many playtests where done to smooth out the moves that can be performed within a turn.

F: It the first version of the game, their was only 3 different characters (apart from the cook): captain, mates and traitors. Later on, we added special characters to spice up the game: the cunning traitor and cunning mate and the potion master. Those character bring more depth to the game by provoking turn of events that can change drastically the outcome of the game.

GDC: What has been your biggest challenge in designing this game?

F: I think that balancing out the game experience for all the players was probably the most difficult. The result is quite amazing as everyone gets their share of fun while playing the game in a different way according to their character.

GDC: Let’s shift gears and talk about you. How did you get into game design?

F: The three of us did a degree in Computer animation and digital design with a specialization in game design.

Some of us came from a computer science background, one worked for a circus and at a big AAA game studio, one of us was in the army before…

GDC: What is your greatest moment as a game designer?

M: When I see someone laughing and having fun while playing our games.

GDC: Tell us a little bit about your life outside of game design and gaming: family? work? other interests?

F: Nowadays, two of us are working fulltime for respectively a video game studio and a studio for visual FX for the entertainment industry, our third partner is completing a master in Art with a profile in 3D animation and digital design.
I think I speak for all of us when I say that we share a love of playing games in any shape or form and are driven to make games that will make people share that love and have fun with their friends!

GDC: Do you have any works-in-progress or game ideas you would like to share?

F: Indeed! We have a board game in production that will be about the Montreal Mafia and the police force in the ~50′s-60′s. You will learn more about that in a few months so stay tuned

GDC: What games have you been playing lately? What have you liked, what have you disliked, and why?

M: I must admit that the last couple months have been a bit crazy, and we didn’t got much chance to play boardgames. The last one I remember playing was Kill Doctor Lucky. The game was relying a bit too much on luck for my taste (no pun intended), but the game in itself was fun, and I remember most people around the table were laughing at the shear stupidity of how the Doctor survived at some encounter.

GDC: Share your favorite game you haven’t designed and why?

J: Probably “Pandemic” including its expansion “On the brink”. It’s a great teamwork game, forcing you to work towards a same goal while still keeping the pressure of imminent doom. Games can quickly devolve into pure chaos. Most experienced players will understand that, even if everything goes very smoothly at the beginning of the game, you know that hell is coming and you need to find a way to contain it.

GDC: A word of advice to your fellow game designers?

F: Never give up!

GDC: Anyone you’d like to give a shout out to? (playtesters, design mentors, your friendly local game store, etc.)

M: We would like to thank first of all, our artist, Eve Levasseur-Marineau, who gracefully accepted to do the illustration for our game at an indecently low price. We’d also like to thank Justin Zanelli for the logo he made for our company, Skankshot, to have allowed us to use their song for our video, Jessi Thind who gave us advice when we started, and last but not least, every people that supported us so far, in any way they could.

Thank you!

GDC: Tell us how (and where) we can find you (social networks, BGG username, website, cons you plan to attend).

M: You can follow our latest news on our facebook page, you can also see what is happening with Mutiny directly on it’s Kickstarter page, or if you have any questions, you can directly contact us at info@folkloregame.com

GDC: Thanks so much! Click the link above to take a look at the Mutiny Kickstarter!

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