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Glorantha: The Gods War» Forums » General

Subject: Selected Q&A from Sandy's Reddit AMA rss

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Jeremy Kennelly
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Below I have collected (stolen?) some of the more Gods' War relevant questions and answers from the recent AMA at https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/50j8k4/iama_sandy_pet...


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Q: What's your favorite faction to play in each of CW and God's War, and why? Are these also your favorite factions from a design perspective?

A: Because I am looking at my factions from a different perspective, my current favorite faction is ALWAYS whichever faction is regarded as "least fun" or "weakest". That's the faction I turn my Eye of Sauron on, in an attempt to give it the most love and attention.

If I do my job right, by the time the game is released, all of the factions are equally loved by me. But like I said, my perspective is kind of different. Currently, for instance, I'm kind of down on Windwalker and Earth (CW & TGW respectively) because my testers seem to think they are really strong. So I am constantly seeking ways and tactics that the other factions can use to punk those guys.

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Q: In regards to the design process of Cthulhu Wars and Gods War, did you stick with an idea of how you wanted to the games to play (like Gods War being a "formal duel"), and did you playtest the underlying system before adding the asymmetric factions?

A: I start with asymmetric factions and parse it down from there. I realize that probably seems to add extra difficulty to me, but in fact the process of creating the factions helps me zero in on what the gameplay and turn structure should be.

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Q: I'm broad strokes, how does the miniature making process operate, from conceptualization to plastic figures being shipped out in boxes?

A: First step is always the concept art.
Second, we send the final, approved, concept art to the sculptor. Doesn't matter if the sculptor is doing it in CGI or with clay.
Third, we send a copy of the final, approved, sculpt to China (in the case of a physical sculpture, it's never the original, always a resin cast).
Fourth, the factory makes a cast of the sculpt, and makes its own version, which it cuts into pieces and adjusts for manufacturing purposes. Then it turns it into a ceramic version of the sculpt. Then the ceramic version is used to create the steel injection molds (this destroys the ceramic).
Fifth, the factory sends us samples of the plastic figures made from those injection molds, along with different colors, to see which we like the best.
Sixth, they're created, glued together, and collated into boxes.

Q2: how often have the plastic proofs from the factory not been good enough? do you have many breakdowns here or anywhere else in the process?

A2: We have had breakdowns at every step along the way. it requires constant oversight and we can't take a single step for granted. For example, when the original factory was packing the boxes, a group of their workers were cramming Nyarlathotep into the tray upside-down, which meant that his left arm kept snapping off and we had to replace hundreds of them. We didn't find out till the boxes had arrived in backers' homes.

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Q: Why is your oldest son Arthur so handsome?

A: He's not really. It's just reflected glory from his three adorable daughters.

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Q: For When you were developing either Gods War or Cthulhu Wars, was there an "aha" moment where you suddenly got what would drive the game? If so, what was the insight?

A: It was when I realized how I needed to do the spellbooks for Cthulhu Wars. It would be able to drive play, enhance the game's asymmetry, give players hints on "how to be Cthulhu" or whoever, and serve as a combination of tech tree and controlled in-game growth. I think it's the single strongest concept in the game.
For Gods War, my "aha" moment was the Chaos Rift Struggle. It is the most fun prisoner's dilemma-type moment I've ever seen.

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Q: The figures for each empire all hang together thematically. How did you get to the concept art for the various empires?

A: My art director, Rich Fleider, has been playing RPGs with me (often in Glorantha) for over 20 years, so he has a really good feel for what the world is supposed to be like.
In addition, Jeff Richards, the president of Moon Design, helped us with approving and gearing the concepts.
Plus I'm no noob myself when it comes to dark fantasy. My vision kind of drove it - for instance, the bizarre appearance of the Hellmother is directly from my original vision of an all-devouring witch crawling on her belly.

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Q: Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized Cthulhus or 1 Cthulhu-sized duck?

A: -silence-

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Q: What is your favorite figure in Gods War? What is your favorite figure in Cthulhu Wars? In both cases, why?

A: My favorite figure in Gods War is the Mad God because he looks like an amazing pagan idol of evil. I just love him. He's so elaborate, and so unusual.
My favorite figure in Cthulhu Wars might be Ithaqua. Either that or the raw id force of Shub-Niggurath. Man she's terrifying.

Q2: Why Ithaqua?

A2: Because Lovecraft's monsters are typically extremely physical, not ethereal or ghostly at all. But Ithaqua seemed like he might be made of mists or wind. The figure combined physical horror with kind of a slinky almost-but-not-quite spectral aspect in a way that really worked for me.

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Q: What Empire in The God's War did you find the easiest to balance? And likewise, what Empire did you find the most difficult to balance?

A: The Darkness empire was really easy to balance, possibly because early on it became the favorite of one of my best most-focused testers.
The hardest to balance in the core game was absolutely Storm. He has to be aggressive yet being aggressive can get you killed. But I can't let him be TOO strong in battle or he'll kill everyone else.

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Q: What lessons did you learn from creating Cthulhu Wars that you applied to God's War?

A: 1) factions can't be too asymmetric. 2) people want to feel powerful. 3) size does matter. Players love it when they use an ability and the other folks at the table goggle and whine about how gross that ability is.

Q2: when you say "factions can't be too asymmetric" do you mean to say that "make them as wildly asymmetric as possible" ? (as opposed to "you shouldn't make them too asymmetric" ?)

A2: I mean make them as wildly asymmetric as possible. People want excuses to stand out from one another.

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Q: Wololo?

A: blink (suddenly turns from green to teal and joins your team)
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Sam Eckels
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Thanks for posting this for those of us who prefer this den of iniquity to Reddit.
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Jeremy Kennelly
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There are a lot of other non-Glorantha related questions in the AMA too if you decide you want to stray
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Anton Broekzitter
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Nice summarization! Were these the only Glorantha questions? Would have loved to see more
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Chad S.
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Quote:
Q: Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized Cthulhus or 1 Cthulhu-sized duck?

A: -silence-


laugh
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