Moonshiners of the Apocalypse Board Game – Interview

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Category: Age: 14+ 60 - 90 Min 2 - 4 Players 2018
Designers: , Artists: Publishers:

Moonshiners of the Apocalypse is up on Kickstarter and it has been funded in less than an hour! We had the chance to get some inside info by the creators and publishers of the game!

“Moonshiners of the Apocalypse” is the first game by 2Fat2Fly Games, currently funded and running on Kickstarter. So, for starters, let us know about your company and its vision!
We like games, obviously, especially games with a strong theme. Games that tell a story. And the better the theme is integrated into the mechanisms of the game, the greater the experience.
And that is what “Moonshiners of the Apocalypse” does. Mechanically you might say it is a gateway 4X, some resource management, area control, some worker placement, some dice combat… But for us, is the story of “one-to-four heroes”, that are willing to do anything to escape the apocalypse and the infamous Shanty Town. And they do that by rebuilding the town, turning the houses into distilleries and pubs and selling moonshine, all this while out-drinking the hordes of drunkards that roam the town.

What inspired you to go with this immersive theme?
Well. This story is pretty simple. We wanted from the beginning to have a game that at least thematically sticks out from the crowd. So at first, the game we were building and tweaking and destroying and rebuilding, was your usual heroes-fight-monsters-in-a-fantasy setting. Pretty original, heh? (in our defense, no zombies though). Then we tried steering away from medieval or fantasy and shifted towards post-apocalyptic. Then post-apocalyptic mixed with steampunk (or was it the other way around?). Then the stew got a mobster setting, plus steampunk, plus post-apocalyptic… Long story short, from mobsters, nineteentwenty-ish postapocalyptic to bootleggers and moonshiners it was a straight line. Ideas started pouring like hooch and pretty soon we got to the game as it is now. Of course a lot of details needed to be added, but that was just a matter of work and some time.

What was the greatest challenge that you faced during the designing and development of the game?
Not knowing from the beginning what kind of game we want to accomplish. We free-balled a bit longer than it was needed. To play games is one thing. To understand how they work behind the cardboard and plastic is there for you sooner or later. But to come up with a mechanism that works and is fun to play and it’s interesting and at least remotely different than other games out there… And when you want to mix in a theme that is not just slapped on the box, things get messy if you don’t know EXACTLY where you want to end up. We wasted a good chunk of time toying with various ideas that are now nothing more than a scribble on a notebook somewhere in a drawer.
But, lesson learned, never again! 🙂

As your game breathes theme with a whole world behind it, do you have a favorite character? If that’s the case, why?
Hmm, that’s a toughie! As the one that had fun coming up with their names, backgrounds and roles in the “Moonshiners” story, I can come up with a hundred reasons why each of them is the coolest or funniest. I have a soft spot for Benny though, simply because he was conceived as a part of an animated series that never passed the stage of a few tests. But since you asked about the world and theme, allow me a moment to praise our friend and long-time collaborator, Barbu Harsan. He’s guilty for how everything looks in “Moonshiners of the Apocalypse”. Characters, be they main, secondary or just a tiny silhouette on the board, cards, board, booze crates, literally everything was illustrated by him. Do you like them? Send a prayer his way. You don’t? He’s to blame!

What kind of gaming experience do you want to create to players and for what kind of gamers is it suitable for?
The game mixes a few mechanisms, but in a light way and with the focus on the fun part. We worked hard on making all the parts that make the gameplay to make sense also thematically. At some point we even dropped one or two things that actually worked well in the economy of the game, only because they didn’t matched well enough with the theme.
The game has some depth to it, maybe even more than one may expect given the tongue-in-cheek approach and what I like the most is that it manages to change the experience from one play to another.
What kind of gamers is it suited for? As I said above, the game is part a gateway 4X, part resource management, area control, some worker placement, some dice combat. So let the readers decide if it is for them or not. One thing maybe it is worth mentioning, though. Some gamers, before actually trying the game were worried about the random element give by some of the mechanisms, but I can tell you that no one has ever won or lost a game because of dice or a card. These things are in there only for the fun element, and even the worse dice roll can be tackled easily once you understand the game.

What is your favorite element or mechanic of the game?
The fact that it grows, it develops as you play it. It gives a nice feeling of building things, of accomplishment and by the end of the game, when the board becomes full of explored tiles, constructed buildings, workers gained with your “sweat” the game kind of “tells you a story”. Which is what we wanted since the get-go (pats himself on the back).

Which part of the crowdfunding experience do you enjoy the most?
Is not strictly related to crowdfunding, but this being our first project, first game, first everything, we did everything we could and we didn’t let nothing to chance. Loose ends are no good. So it is for sure a good feeling to see that the thing you worked so hard in the past year is appreciated by gamers all over the world. And that they deem us with their trust, while voting with nothing but their wallets to deliver in time a good game to their doorstep!
The game was fully funded in less than an hour and it reached 400% (over 100k) in less than 48 hours. And I can tell you we didn’t see that coming! We knew we had some followers, we expected some level of success but we were blown away by the response! And so fast! Our backers are nothing but amazing and we can’t wait to put the game in their hands! There’s still a lot of work ahead of us, but knowing that people out there liked our work, quickly becomes a pretty motivating wind in our sails.

What can we expect from “2Fat2Fly Games” in the future?
But of course,“Moonshiners of the Apocalypse part II: Escape from Shanty Town” Kidding! (or am I?)
First we need to make sure we deliver to each of our backers the nice game they are expecting. Along the way, we have a few other ideas lined up and maybe one or two of them will see the tables of gamers, but in short, we’ll probably stick with what we like to do: games that tell a story, fun games, where a certain level of strategy combined with a fun-quirky and hopefully original theme makes you at least chuckle while you play and you read the text on a character’s card.

Thank you and good luck with your awesome campaign!
The BoardGame Stories Team

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BoardGame Stories is an "adventure" made by a group of people who love playing, designing and telling their stories about any kind of tabletop games. We have just entered the "web dungeon" and we try our best to inform people about the magical world of games. Currently, our website features news, video trailers, reviews, free pnp games and there are many more things to come! We are all very excited about this whole attempt and we would be grateful if you supported and helped us, so that we can create something beautiful for all you gamers around the world!
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