Normally I post design articles on Thursdays but today I’m pushing ahead this short quick interview with the folks at Latest Pursuit. Their new boardgame The Oleg Story: Survival launches on Kickstarter tomorrow!
GDC: Give us an overview of your game and how it’s played
LP: The Oleg Story: Survival is a competitive 2-6 player prison board game. Oleg D Tyler is an internationally known hacker who has been extradited to the United States. He is incarcerated in a notorious, secret prison that is gang run. He must survive the harsh realities of prison politics. From cellblock invasions, sudden attacks to prison riot, players control up to 6 gangs and must become the last person standing.
GDC: What innovative mechanic or creative idea distinguishes your game from others?
LP: Well we haven’t come across any similar theme (prison) board games so we think the theme itself may be unique. The game certainly is designed to give you a realistic experience. Not only do we have a story of an innocent protagonist but also players become involved with other prisoners and lead their politics. In short, we think many elements of the game drives the experience to a new level and therefore it sets us apart from any games that are in this genre.
GDC: Tell us about the spark or inspiration for this game
LP: We are a diehard fans of prison films and prison books. We started working on the game board at the end of 2011 and used a lot of films and TV Shows as references and inspirations. Escape from Alcatraz, Prison Break, The Last Castle, The Shawshank Redemption, In Hell are few that I can think of now.
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.
LP: The game is fully designed in 3DS Max (a 3d software). This allowed us to play with perspective, the planning and more. As digital artists, we enjoyed an easy process of designing the game board and refining the plan of the game board. From adding and removing locations, the game itself went through a lengthy repositioning of where cells and toilets should be. Almost like architectural design.
GDC: What has been your biggest challenge in designing this game?
LP: Using 3D software was a double-edged sword. The miniature figures were digitally designed as well as the game board. We had an easy process in adding detailed items i.e. wooden table with simulated tablecloth all the way to door hinges and door safety glass that are barely visible in the game. However, rendering all these details to a usable and printable quality from the 3D software was an extensive process. We literally had to start rendering from the 3D software overnight and come in the morning to check out the result. Sometimes the computer crashed or we forgot to tweak things and had to re-render it again. Alternatively, it was all worth the pain and sweat.
GDC: Let’s shift gears and talk about you. How did you get into game design?
LP: We have talented digital artists on our group that have been working in film, music and animation industry for over half a decade. It has only been about 2 years that we thought of creating a game board.
GDC: What is your greatest moment as a game designer?
LP: When ideas are transferred onto a paper then to a digital creation and finally into the finished physical product
GDC: Tell us a little bit about your life outside of game design and gaming: family? work? other interests?
LP: We like bodybuilding
GDC: Do you have any works-in-progress or game ideas you would like to share?
LP: We are currently working on 2 new games that we’ll share with you very soon. We are also working on part 2 of The Oleg Story.
GDC: What games have you been playing lately? What have you liked, what have you disliked, and why?
LP: To be honest, we have been playing many video games because they were a core reference to our game The Oleg Story. We simply wanted to gather a lot of dynamic experience and give our board game a video game feel.
GDC: Share your favorite game you haven’t designed and why?
LP: Machine of Death and Zombicide are two games we really adored. Simply from design perspective, these games are different, yet unique.
GDC: One word of advice to your fellow game designers?
LP: To fellow action game designers, I’d say think outside the box… Literally, outside the game box. Incorporate politics or current affairs.
GDC: Anyone you’d like to give a shout out to? (playtesters, design mentors, your friendly local game store, etc.)
LP: We would like to give a shout out to all future backers of ours and most of all, shout out to you the reader for reading about us. Thanks
GDC: Tell us how (and where) we can find you (social networks, BGG username, website, cons you plan to attend).
GDC: Thanks guys! Best of luck with your Kickstarter campaign! Be sure to take a look at the Oleg Story when it launches tomorrow.