Monday, June 30, 2014

Drinking Quest: Trilogy Kickstarter Interview with Jason Anarchy

The Kickstarter for Drinking Quest: Trilogy Edition, the game that mixes tabletop RPGs and drinking, is in its final few days. The project has already cleared its funding goal and several stretch goals. We here at Dorkland had a chance to sit down with Jason Anarchy, creator of Drinking Quest, to interview him about the project.

Dorkland!: How has the Kickstarter experience been for you so far? What have you learned that might help other new Kickstarters?

Jason Anarchy: No matter how good your plan is, you can’t plan enough. Also it’s a ton of work, it should be a very busy 30 days of your life.

And don’t get greedy, put your product out there at the lowest cost you can offer it.

DL: Why the shift from 3D6 to D4, D6, D8, apart from added complexity? Is added complexity good for a drinking game?

JA: Added complexity and range WITHOUT adding a single new rule or anything that the players need to think about. I was always very careful what rules and features make it into the game and what don’t. This is a great change that makes for more interesting battles and weapons trees.

DL: How much bigger are the new cards than the older ones? Why the change there?

JA: About 25%. I wanted a bit more room for art and text. Every Drinking Quest card is loaded with content and honestly I needed the space.

Every card has original art, a scenario for the player and a ridiculous narration from the cards (which act as the GM). Plus there are no duplicates. It’s looking good for the stretch goals so it would be 216 full colour cards, with hilarious artwork and story with no repeats.

DL: What are some of the 'smaller improvements'?

JA: Things like combinability. That was always requested with previous games and it could be one unofficially. Now if you want you can do a mash-up game and have up to 12 players.

I’ve also streamlined it in a way where all 12 heroes can be playable in any of the three games so there is even more variation there.

The Instructions are now colour and a lot nicer. (It was just a black and white insert before)

And then the new box and character sheets are much better as well.

DL: How much drinking is there in this drinking game? How much of the game is actual gaming?

JA: It plays like a stripped down Dungeons and Dragons. You have a character sheet, you roll dice, you fight monsters, you find treasure… but when your character dies in the game you have to chug your drink!

Each game has four “quests” with the cards acting as the GM. They start off easier and get harder as the game goes on.

You’ll encounter different monsters and Saving Throw events. When you pick up a monster card the person to your right controls the monster and it’s a one-on-one FIGHT TO THE DEATH.  If you win, you get the coins and points and move on and if you lose you chug your drink immediately.

Now HOW MUCH drinking is in the game? A pretty reasonable amount. There is a one chug per quest limit which stops everything from turning into a pass-out-ten-minutes kind of drinking game. (If you have to chug a second time per quest, you do 3 swigs as an acceptable substitute)

So playing a full game (going through all four quests in one of the games) averages about 2 or 3 chugs over 2 or 3 hours (per person).

If you’re not drinking there are also alternate rules to accommodate you.

And it is an actual game, the person at the end who has the most points wins. The person with the least amount of points loses (but they also chugged the most so they’re probably not having a bad time)

It’s 100% gaming with a occasional chugs to add to the tension of the gameplay.

DL: You mention non-drinking rules also being included -- what does DQ hold for people who are not drinkers? Why should they be buying the game?

JA: The Drinking meets RPG feature could be a pretty shallow gimmick. The plan was to incorporate that well and combine the genres as best I could. So that’s the hook that gets people playing.

From there the reason they keep playing is that it’s a really strong comedy RPG. There really isn’t anything that plays like it on the market.

It’s a really fun story that’s told in loose puzzle pieces like Lost or Pulp Fiction. Each quest is always randomized so you figure different story pieces out at different times.

Also the humour is a little smarter and more layered than most people expect. It’s more Arrested Development than Two and a Half Men.

DL: What is an experience that you've had while playing DQ that has really highlighted the game and the reason to play it? What is so great about it that people should be buying it and playing it?

JA: First of all, it delivers on the promise. It combines the genres well. The gameplay isn’t a super deep weekend filling experience… it’s casual, easy to learn and extremely fun!

There have been multiple nights where I’ve been with a group trying a brand new game and we spent the whole night learning the rules but didn’t play the game!

With Drinking Quest it’s super fast to get going particularly if you have a working knowledge of RPG basics already.

I’ve been designing games since childhood and into adulthood. Gaming with your friends and having a few drinks is great social lubricant and an even better way to keep groups of friends together as an adult.

I would always design game systems that took the broad strokes from bigger RPGs and cut out all of the micromanaging so you could just have a good time.

I also wanted to have a game where players could drop in and out… keep the same group of adults showing up once a week is a tough thing to do!

I’ve spent 10,000+ hours designing and testing game systems and with Drinking Quest I wanted to bring my flavour of casual, funny and rules-light role-playing to the masses.

The first three games have been hits and I’m pushing the new Trilogy Edition as much as possible to get the best version out there I can make.

We here at Dorkland! would like to thank Jason for his time in answering our questions and wish him the best with the project. If you would like to know more about Drinking Quest be sure to check out its website, twitter, Facebook or Kickstarter page.