01 December 2016
Acclaimed creator laments industry ‘dominated by entrenched giants, prohibitive to new publishers, and deeply unfriendly to inventors’
Legendary games designer Eric Lang has opened up about his inspirations and hinted at potential future projects in a Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ session.
The creator of acclaimed ‘dudes on a map’ titles Blood Rage and Arcadia Quest released a card-driven spin-off to video game Bloodborne and horror title The Others this year, and has a board game based on gangster movie The Godfather and a Feudal Japan-set spiritual successor to Blood Rage, Rising Sun, due out next year.
Lang has previously helped to expand established franchises including Warhammer 40,000, Call of Cthulhu, Star Wars, XCOM, Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones in the past, but suggested that given the offer to work with any pre-existing universe he would turn to the Japanese RPG video game series Final Fantasy to make a “co-operative questing game with GORGEOUS minis and classic JRPG style storytelling”.
It seems that Lang’s interest in video games stretches back into the virtual world itself, as he proposed that his dream project would be a massively-multiplayer online RPG (MMORPG) such as World of Warcraft.
“The way I want to do it is impossible in today's market,” he added.
Back in the physical world, Lang said that one tabletop genre he was yet to explore – but interested in doing so – was the dexterity fame.
“I love them; just very bad at them,” he explained.
As for accessible party titles, Lang admitted that he is yet to find a winning formula.
“I love love love party games,” he said. “I have five to six ideas for party games floating around, but I simply don't love any of them.
“For this type of game I feel like it has to come forth almost literally whole cloth in one mad inspiration session, and this has not happened yet.”
Asked whether there are any projects he would like to create but feels they will never come to light, Lang took the chance to hit out at what he perceives as the tabletop industry’s unwillingness to evolve.
“There is a game in a new medium that I've pitched many years ago (and I feel could be category defining), but I cannot because the industry surrounding this medium is dominated by entrenched giants, prohibitive to new publishers, and deeply unfriendly to inventors,” he slammed.
“I'd want to do original, defining work in that medium rather than something licensed to start with, and there's no navigable interest for a designer like myself.”
The AMA is a fascinating and insightful read for players and budding designers alike – check out the full thread on Reddit.