2020 brought us a global pandemic and, along with it, social distancing, masks, financial uncertainty and postponed delivery dates. For our end-of-the-year special we decided to turn to some of our favourite solo and soloable game designers and ask them to share their own experiences, feelings, plans and hopes both for the year we leave behind and the year to come. Every day until December 31 we will publish one of these short interviews (we have no patience for long ones). Our guest today is Tristan Hall. Designer of Gloom of Kilforth: A Fantasy Quest Game and 1066, Tears to Many Mothers, among others. He was kind enough to answer our 3+1 questions.
1. Nobody likes being forced to stay at home, but did the quarantine actually help you concentrate on your design work? Or did it instead feel restraining and cause designer's block? Did you miss any face-to-face meetings or conventions?
Not meeting our friends at conventions this year was a devastating blow, and we dearly missed being able to meet and thank backers in person. Our supply chain – factories, warehouses, and shipping teams – were all impacted by the pandemic and this resulted in various delays, including pushing delivery of our next game Veilwraith back into next year.
The quarantine gave me more concentrated family time, which was a gift, but now that our boy has gone back to school, in terms of design work I’ve been beavering away at the usual pace. And despite everything, we were still able to deliver our latest Historic Epic Battle System game 1565, St. Elmo’s Pay on time this year, which was an enormous relief.
2. Marie Kondo shows up in your dream in the form of a yokai. She is throwing away your entire board game collection and only lets you keep one game: the one that 'sparks the most joy'. Which one is it?
As a lucid dreamer I use Ki Pulse to dispel Marie Kondo back to her demiplane of dread! But if that fails, I guess it would have to be Magic Realm. I could spend the rest of my life just learning how to play all the different heroes.
3. We are a news website, so we will obviously ask you to share your plans for 2021. Anything us solo gamers can look forward to?
All of our games have solo modes, and as mentioned 1565, St. Elmo’s Pay has just landed recently to great reviews. So if beautifully illustrated 1-2 player card games like Magic The Gathering but with a richly researched historical theme are your thing we still have a few copies left to order via our website.
Our next game is a sumptuous solo fantasy adventure with some cool and addictive new mechanics and a full campaign system. It’s also set after the end of the world: Veilwraith is due to land in March 2021 and late pledges are still available.
In 2021 we plan to launch at least two more Kickstarters, beginning with the finale in our Historic Epic Battle System trilogy: 1815, Scum of the Earth (the Battle of Waterloo), as well as the third game in our Kilforth series Call of Kilforth: A Fantasy Quest Game. And then, if we have time at the end of the year we may yet get to visit the dark terrors of my first proper horror game Sublime Dark.
Bonus question: Some readers will have fond memories of your fan scenarios for the Lord of the Rings card game. If you had time, which recent game would you like to tinker with?
I’m really grateful to the guys who enjoyed my Lord of the Rings scenarios, and many of those same people backed my first game Gloom of Kilforth: A Fantasy Quest Game because of my work on those adventures.
Funnily enough, I did very recently tinker with one of my favourite games: Warfighter: The Tactical Special Forces Card Game from DVG. I’d already written a scenario for their original official campaign book. Not long ago I’d been reading about some insane SAS missions in World War II and decided to implement them into a fanmade campaign for their Second World War version of the game Warfighter: The WWII Tactical Combat Card Game. The BGG link is here if you’re interested: SAS Warfighter WWII Scenario Book.
Thank you very much for participating, Tristan! All the best wishes for 2021. Where can our readers follow you online?