046: The Creative Partnership and First Principles behind X: Seekers of Fortune

A clear path forward to funding begins to emerge, but it is a long road. Our heroes sit at the feet of the designers of X: Seekers of Fortune, Joel and Danny (Mega Moth Studios), who have been on this journey much longer, and have much to share.

Things discussed in this episode:

  • 00:27 – Mega Moth Studios
  • 01:58 – Navigating creative differences
  • 04:50 – First principles and the importance of designing the card backs for X: Seekers of Fortune well
  • 07:00 – How do you even define the minimum viable product for a game?
  • 08:13 – Why choose to make a trading card game (TCG)?
  • 12:00 – X: Seekers of Fortune
  • 16:12 – Production progress report
  • 18:00 – D12

Editor’s note: the following is a transcript put together by a helpful tool before we added ads. The timestamps above are correct, but the timestamps interspersed in the transcript below are a couple of minutes off. Being an automatically generated transcript, note that names for games and fictional characters might be a little weird. We’ve added headings and links to make it easier to find things. Thanks!

Joel: But I was just going to say, this sounds like it could be a really great conversation because we are basically at the same place and the same time for the most part, we just got our game sent to the manufacturers for our prototype print run.

It’s not 100 percent complete, but it was far enough along that we felt like the product we would get back from them would be usable for reviewers to do overviews of the game.

You’re in the weeds of getting the game made, but I mean, we were there just, you know, six, eight months ago.

How Mega Moth Studios got its start

[00:00:27] Danny: well, I’m Danny, and I’m one half of Mega Moth Studios and the other half is …

[00:00:33] Joel: Joel Watts. Hey, I’m Joel Watts. I’m the other half of Mega Moth Studios. Uh, Danny and I have been working together on an offer about going on 20 years now, um, we came from a filmmaking background. We really were aiming to be writers and directors of our own films and, you know, life kind of took us in some different directions.

But when Danny came to me with the idea for a card game, us being two Magic the Gathering players, I was really all in on his idea because it felt like a way for us to start our own magic in a way.

Danny: So it was our freshman year of college and, we had a class together, I think.

Joel: Two classes together. We had a politics class, uh, and then it was into an art class. And as we became friends, we stopped going to the art class and just started hanging.

Danny: Yeah, we weren’t the best students

[00:01:26] Joel: One of the first big projects we attempted together was writing a TV show here in Austin, Texas. In fact, I moved to Austin, Texas to pursue that and then we also produced short films together and a few other projects.

What happened was in those years, we learned how to work together. We learned where our strengths were. We learned how to listen to each other. And we learned, you know, where, there’s good friction where there’s bad friction and how to Put those things together and sort it all out.

So I think like everything was just us building up to finally coming up to a project that we could succeed at.

[00:01:58] Danny: I had an idea to make a game. It wasn’t until Joel and I had worked together that X: Seekers of Fortune was born.

Navigating creative differences

Right. So I engaged him because I knew that he was exceptionally good at world building and thinking in terms of systems. Uh, he had taught me magic years before. and so I think Joel and I have learned, how to leverage each other’s strengths and how to navigate our creative differences in a way that has been consistently productive over the course of our friendship.

[00:02:30] Joel: There was a lot of experience gaining that happened through our early years. I do think there was a lot more like, uh, uh, what would you say? Fruitless, conflicts and stuff like when we were younger men, I think, you know, maturity and experience gave us a lot of the tools we needed probably some therapy to.

Tim: 100%.

[00:02:48] Joel: the tools that we needed to actually be able to, uh, sort through all of that and speak our feelings better.

I think that it’s a great example of learning your own emotions and learning to, uh, give yourself up to the creative process and not hold on so dearly, to those things. Cause I don’t know, you know, I’m not sure what y’all guys did in y’all’s twenties, but , you know, it could be a project ending, uh, discussion over one line of dialogue that ultimately would be inconsequential, you know, um, so I think, I think it’s just a maturation experience and humbling has come a long way and all of that too.

[00:03:21] Danny: We actually did a full episode of our podcast called navigating creative differences. Um, and we kind of break down, you know, how we approach, uh, creative work. And a lot of it has to do with making sure that.

You’re actually listening to your partner. understanding what’s important to you. What’s important to them.

And the other thing that I think we, we do, and I think you’ll both appreciate this given your background is no matter where we are in the business, what we’re doing, we stop. We ask ourselves from first principles, what is the minimum viable product for this stage? And we say, okay, let’s define that clearly.

And then as we’re navigating through that stage of the creative process. We have this wonderful check against, hey, okay, do we actually have to figure this out right now? Does this fit into the minimum viable product? Or is this a question for later? Um, does this conflict with the minimum viable product in some way?

So I think for us, we’ve really. Excelled because I think Joel and I both really appreciate systems, and as we’ve gone along, we’ve tried to systematize our approach as much as possible. And, uh, it’s worked for us.

[00:04:31] Joel: Whether it be Danny or myself, whenever we do have an outlandish idea, we present it as an outlandish idea. We’re like, we’re like, okay, this is going to sound crazy, but what if we completely change the game from the corporate, you know, and then Danny will be like, no, yes, Joel, that is crazy.

Let’s not do that. You know, that sounds like a different game. Joel.

[00:04:50] Danny: Every now and then though, those come through.

One of the interesting things is this is where first principles thinking comes in. There’s lots of times where we have it in our head that what we need to do to achieve MVP is one thing that’s based off of our historical data set of how all the things that we’ve seen in the world prior to this moment have fit into a given box.

First principles and the importance of designing the card backs for X: Seekers of Fortune well

So one example is when we were trying to determine what What the card backs would be for our game. Magic: the Gathering has had the same card backs for over 30 years. So we knew that when we created the game, that we needed to have the same card backs, uh, for the three decks, uh, and that they needed to be able to exist.

Over time and that they needed to be congruent with a bunch of different settings, and that was just something that we had assumed was true because magic had done it and we got stuck because our designer provided us with these fantastic, uh, card backs, but they did not fit the, the, the universal nature of what we, we felt like our card backs needed to be, and we stopped and we said to ourself, is it true?

Is it really true that the card backs need to all be the same, or is it possible that because we are making a different kind of game and because we’re making an all in one box experience and because we, we anticipate that the people who really play our game down the line are going to sleeve their cards anyway.

Do the, do the backs really need to all be the same? Or is that just something that we kind of smuggled in as an assumption?

It’s defining the use case, and understanding functionally, what do we need in order to progress to the next stage of the process?

How do you even define the minimum viable product for a game?

When you get to the minimum viable product for what a game is in the market that people are interacting with. How do you even begin to define that?

It really is experiential. Um, we say to ourselves, what is it, the experience that we want our players to have at the end of the day? Are they having fun? A lot of our discussions when we’re play testing and making decisions about what, what goes into the game, what doesn’t go into the game has to do with how it makes people feel, and mitigating negative play experience and promoting positive play experience.

You see people drawing action X cards, which are sort of the real flavorful cards in the set through the sites you’re going to discover. They’re the relics you’re going to uncover. They’re the pro feature going to perform. And when you see a new player, pick up a card and they go, Oh, wow. Okay. This is cool.

Why choose to make a trading card game (TCG)?

[00:07:19] Tim: I’m wondering a little bit why You wanted to make a TCG because it seems to be like one of those things to where, as you know from a gamer, you’re like, Oh, if I go into it, I’m just going to waste a bunch of money.

I’m going to do this and it’s like, who else will play? And so anything you can speak to about your history and what made you go this way?

[00:07:38] Joel: Well, I mean, the pressure that caused us to create the diamond that is X: Seekers of Fortune, it’s so hard to keep up with Magic the Gathering or any other TCG.

And you also wonder if it’s worth it. And then, the cards that you buy, will they decrease in value, or increase in value? Do you need to buy the card now because it’s increasing in value? There’s a lot of factors out, especially outside of the game that make TCGs a little bit, uh, you know, of a literal gamble to get into.

And that’s one thing that Danny and I wanted to avoid. In making X Seekers of Fortune, and that’s why X Seekers of Fortune is an all-in-one box experience. Now, we’re not saying we’re never going to expand it. We do have plans on expanding X Seekers of Fortune, but every time we expand it, you buy one product and you get everything you need to keep up with the game.

If everything goes according to plan and we release five or six iterations, different sets of X Seekers of Fortune. A, you’ll go to different worlds. Like right now we’re doing the traditional, uh, desert adventure. We compare it to Indiana Jones all the time, but down the line, we want our second adventure to be like on the high seas.

And we want our third adventure to be something like, uh, in urban, noire, uh, detective story. And then all of a sudden you have all these different cards. And if you love our game, you can then take those, the action X deck and curate it yourself and build it with the, It’s the cards from the different sets, but if you just want to play the game, you just have to go out and buy the box that’s available to you at the time.

And we really wanted to make sure that we weren’t hitting that pain point of other TCGs by having it to where you’re constantly chasing new cards. There’s constantly new sets, old sets are no longer relevant. Ultimately that demon, what, I don’t want to say demon, uh, maybe that dragon that you’re chasing by playing magic the gathering or other TCGs is what made me stop playing magic the gathering and, and made it to where when Danny was like, coming to me and being like, Hey man, you want to play magic?

I’m like, no. And then eventually he’s like, Hey man, do you want to create a new game? And I was like, that sounds much more up my alley.

[00:09:31] Tim: Nice. Design Thinking Games is not a drug related podcast or supports demonology.

[00:09:39] Michael Schofield: Design thinking games, brought to you by the Satanic Temple.

[00:09:42] Danny: we’ve created a clear contrast with the Super Secret Podcast, which is in favor of demonology and drug use

[00:09:48] Joel: Yeah,

[00:09:50] Michael Schofield: of and drug use, um, I think it’s a really good opportunity now to, um, Uh, about I just pause randomly. right there.

[00:10:02] Joel: you’re lucky you edit this

[00:10:03] Michael Schofield: uh, like Pazuzu grabs me.

X: Seekers of Fortune

[00:10:12] Michael Schofield: You built X secrets of fortune with a kind of like strategic knowledge of the other competitors in the space. What is X Seekers of Fortune? Why is it there? How is it different? Who is going to like it?

[00:10:22] Danny: So X seekers of fortune, uh, players take on the role of a fortune seeker out on adventure looking for lost sites and, legendary relics. They are going to perform heroic feats along the way to outfox rivals. At its very core, it is a game similar to magic in that it is a race. Unlike magic, it is not combat-based.

It’s about the first person to complete five adventures. So a lot of the game is a lot more about strategic use of your resources and foiling your rival’s plans. Whereas a lot of TCGs we feel. Very combat-focused. It’s all about just getting your opponent dead.

It’s an all-in-one box experience. It’s a curated meta. One of the big intimidating things about magic is you show up to the store with your deck that you just put together, and now you’re playing against someone who has a 2, 000 deck and they just. Roll over you, as you would expect the barrier to entry, the barrier to even being competitive is so high.

We wanted to have an experience where it’s like, okay, let’s see who’s really the more skillful player. It’s a three shared deck game. So we’re playing from the same resource pool. Any given day I could draw this card. You could draw it the next day.

I think also one of the other main challenges with magic, especially now with the amount of product saturation, you having eight, nine product releases at minimum a year being released so much to keep up with. It’s just your head spins, just trying to, and so we wanted to create an environment where it’s like, okay, I play X seekers of fortune.

I like it. I don’t play the game for five years. I’m just going to go buy the same box. I know I can just read up and I can have that experience and I’m right back into it. I don’t have to chase down cards. I don’t have to understand a meta. I just play what’s in the box with my friends. And then if I’m really into X seekers of fortune, as Joel alluded to over time, I’m collecting all these game pieces.

I can curate my own experience. I can say, Hey guys, come over. I created my own next year’s fortune and it is way better than anything that’s been released. We really want our community to feel like they are able to design their own version of the game once we give them enough components,

[00:12:30] Joel: We went to Norman, Oklahoma of all places where our podcast editor and his wife, uh, live. She helps us out with social media and they work at a brewery called 405 Brewing. We went out early one day, held an event, an all day event.

You people could come by, we’d buy their drink, their first drink. We had pizza, all that jazz. We had two guys who played magic the gathering, who had loved matching the gathering. They sat down across from each other to just try out the game. And I swear they were there for, probably more than two hours.

Just game after game, after game, playing it over and over again. And we’ve had that experience multiple times and not just with TCG players, but also with people who don’t play TCGs, who are intimidated by them, uh, specifically, a young woman who was a huge tabletop player, you know, dozens of dragons, everything.

She said she never wanted to play TCGs, but then she sat down and played our game and she was like showing it to her husband by the end of the night.

Production progress report

[00:13:22] Joel: Right now, X Secrets of Fortune is, uh, we just sent out the base game for its test printing, uh, with our manufacturer. So, they are working on printing up the game. It’s going to be not every component that the game comes with, but enough of the components, the cards, the box, the dividers, The player aid cards that we’re going to be sending those out to people for overviews and reviews on TikTok, YouTube, and, Instagram.

That means we’re all steam ahead on the Kickstarter front.

The plan as of right now, we’re trying to triangulate the exact kickoff date because we have to do it like, you know, there’s a, I think Origins we were just talking about is happening near the date that we were looking at. So we don’t want it to be on Origin weekend and Magic The Gathering is releasing a product shortly in that timeframe.

So we’re looking at like trying to avoid the pre-release. So we’re, we’re narrowing it down, but it is going to be a date in early June. Uh, we are going to put the Kickstarter live and the plan is that if you really want the game and you want the 1st edition of the game with some special bells and whistles that we’re probably never going to print again, get in on the kickstarter and after that, you know, if the game is still popular, we’re going to continue Probably print the base game for a few years and then every so often we’ll come up with a new base game and that will be the main game that we print and that will probably shift us into a new storyline as well.

Like right now, our story follows three main adventurers, Jericho Stone Ana Lucia, and Kaya, and their race against the broker to find the lost civilization of the Erakai. But we’re going to make sure we conclude that story. Unlike One Piece, you’re not going to have to read for decades to get to the end of that story.

That story will be taken care of within those two sets. It’s basically the base set is the start of the story, and then the multiplayer set that we’re going to release later will be the continuation and the ending of that story. Some of the characters might go on to other stories in the future, but.

That, that story will end there.

[00:15:22] Danny: Find us or the game at Mega Moth Studios on TikTok, um, at @megamothstudios on YouTube, um, at X underscore seekers underscore of underscore fortune on Instagram.

And then there’s, uh, X seekers of fortune on Facebook as well. And then of course, uh, X seekers of fortune. com, uh, or megamothstudios.com. Uh, and you can Google or chat GPT either, uh, and, and, and they’re in the loop.


[00:15:53] Tim: So we play this game show. But essentially it is just like the synthesized 80s animation kind of cartoon. We roll a 1D12 and we ask questions based on that.

[00:16:05] Danny: I would like to request

some gotcha questions for Joel. I will opt out of them, but

[00:16:10] Joel: Yes, I’m, I’m often left pantless.

[00:16:15] Michael Schofield: Paragon or Renegade. Do you play the good path or do you take the bad path?

[00:16:21] Joel: This is a great question because X Seekers of Fortune has its own version of Paragon and Renegade called Noble and Ruthless. And on our server, when you join our discord, you get to choose which one you’re going to be in. And I have taken the Noble side, which would be Paragon.

[00:16:34] Danny: And I am also noble because the truly ruthless sleep with the sheep.

[00:16:39] Michael Schofield: I’m going to take a shot every single time that you manage to plug your game. You have 11 more chances.

[00:16:46] Danny: Oh, we’re 12.

[00:16:49] Michael Schofield: What game is your like guilty pleasure?

[00:16:51] Joel: Uh, Yakuza.

[00:16:53] Danny: Yakuza, probably

[00:16:54] Joel: Yeah, I’d say that that game series is just wonder like, wonderfully, you know, it’s like a weird, the Simpsons meets a soap opera set in Japan in the red light district. It’s so funny. It’s so heartwarming. It is 1 of my favorite experiences. I need to get back on it. My plan is to play every single Yakuza entry, not to complete, not to 100 percent completion, but to beat the storyline.

And, uh, I’ve taken a bit of a break ever since we started designing X Seekers of Fortune.

[00:17:20] Danny: fortnight. I, I, I haven’t been playing it recently. I started playing it with my, my son. Uh, I enjoy playing it a lot, but I always feel guilty.

[00:17:32] Tim: That’s it. That’s amazing.

[00:17:34] Danny: Yeah. Yeah. I and I feel like there’s someone looking over my shoulder being like, why aren’t why aren’t you working or.

[00:17:40] Joel: Yeah. I would point out. I think the biggest stamp of approval is that Heather and Campbell of the get played podcast, who is a major gamer, uh, she she played it on a lark, almost like they did. Thank you. They did it as a joke on their podcast and all of a sudden she became the biggest Fortnite fan. And I think if it has her stamp of approval, it’s a good game.

But also should I mention how just like in Fortnite, xSecretsOfFortune has loot that you can find along the way. So that will make you, uh, you know, better as a character. So, you know, be on the lookout for that and xSecretsOfFortune.

[00:18:09] Danny: When we talk about like offsetting partnerships, like Joel’s the shameless one, and I appreciate that about him.

[00:18:18] Michael Schofield: What game should everyone play at least once?

[00:18:24] Joel: Um, I mean, I’ll take this first because I have a passion answer that has, uh, got caught out, cut out of one of our podcasts, but I think that Hollow Knight is the perfect game pretty much ever made, uh, one of my favorites. It’s, it’s just so wonderful. It’s, it’s perfect game storytelling and perfect gameplay in my opinion.

So yeah, Hollow Knight is my answer.

[00:18:44] Tim: Metrovania. We like those games.

[00:18:48] Danny: Um, that’s an interesting question for me. I don’t know if I have a strong feeling that any game should be played at least once, but maybe, maybe chess or, uh, or Rummy something a little bit more.

I think maybe in part because it has been around for centuries. I think that, you know, if it’s something that, you know, has been played for hundreds of years, there’s probably a good reason for it. Um, I like chess because chess is, is really the only game that immediately comes to my mind.

Although I guess maybe go and some other games fall into this category of just being pure strategy. There is no luck component. Um, I played chess growing up a lot. I feel like part of my DNA as a game designer and as a player is informed by, by chess.

[00:19:38] Michael Schofield: you’re on the battlefield, you make an attack, are you rolling with strength or dexterity?

[00:19:46] Joel: I think in my younger years, I was a little bit more dexterous, but you know, I’m starting to get that old man strength. Nothing compared to Tim here. Of course. Don’t let me like, you know, rep the wrong way. But, you know, after doing enough manual labor, enough lifting for a long enough, it’s like that core strength is there.

I think like I’m much more of a strength build now in my thirties than I was in my, you know, teens and twenties.

[00:20:06] Danny: I’m going to go smarter, not harder and go dexterous.

[00:20:09] Tim: We had someone on here answer Charisma once, I think.

[00:20:12] Michael Schofield: I’ll use my charisma to make them feel awful about themselves to the point where they self-sabotage,

[00:20:16] Joel: And my mother,

[00:20:18] Michael Schofield: us, about your mother.

[00:20:21] Michael Schofield: what is your go-to genre?

[00:20:26] Danny: sci fi. I think for me, I love science fiction. Um, it’s probably my go-to for, for fiction at least.

[00:20:34] Joel: um, I would say, I guess, I mean, it’s kind of broad. It’s, it’s like, you know, takes up like half of the dichotomy of drama and comedy, but I would say comedy is my go to, if we’re just talking about broadly genres. I think everything should have an inkling of comedy in it. Like, if I watch a movie and it’s like, no, not.

funny at all. There’s not like a sense of humor. I, I invest out. It’s like the, you know, it’s like you can be dramatic, but even the most dramatic movie has a funny moment here and there in it, you know, to relieve the tension. So comedy is my go to.

[00:21:04] Michael Schofield: Yeah, man. Total opposite. Like I, like, I hate joy. It’s like the, even the Dungeons and Dragons movie, like it’s like the, arguably the best, like selling tool for D and D ever. And I was like, this is too fun.

[00:21:16] Joel: This is so, I don’t want to be in your campaign then.

[00:21:19] Tim: I’m more like solar punk. I just like Star Trek and I think Earth 2 and things like we can have, but it doesn’t have to be a dystopian future. We can live in harmony with nature.

[00:21:30] Danny: Now I want to play a campaign where you’re just working at Walmart for just years on end.

[00:21:35] Michael Schofield: When you’re playing, whether it’s a board game or TTRPG, this is more of a TTRPG centric, but do you prefer theater of the mind or like maps and miniatures?

[00:21:47] Joel: I would. I would lean towards theater of the mind myself because I just feel like there’s so much minutia to worry about. And, uh, you know, when you’re, if, if it obviously, I guess it comes down to what style of game are we playing? If combat is the focus and we want to really do combat big.

Miniatures and maps, but if combat is supposed to be just something you get through to get to the next piece of story, let’s not bog ourselves down. And honestly, I’d rather play a story driven game than a combat driven game, because if we’re going to play a combat driven game, let’s pull out something else like Warhammer 40 K, something that was built around combat in the first place and built around miniatures.

So, yeah, I think my miniature is usually just there to, you know, be like, Oh, look at my cool, cool little guy and otherwise theater of

[00:22:30] Danny: I disagree with everything Joel said, but I’m not going to elaborate.

[00:22:36] Tim: I concur as well.

[00:22:40] Tim: Starfinder, I’m just like, this is copycat. I don’t know what you’re saying.

[00:22:45] Joel: and if you want more quips like that, you can find them on the super secret podcasts at Mega Moth Studios.

[00:22:53] Danny: All right.

[00:22:54] Michael Schofield: Who is your favorite villain and your favorite hero in any, in any space?

[00:23:01] Danny: I like, I like villains that are, are, are able to, um, manufacture, uh, very, very, uh, complicated plans. I, I, I don’t know. I mean, I definitely enjoy, uh, the Joker. I think that the Joker is, is interesting. I like a villain that is more than what they, they appear on their surface hero-wise, um, just to, to, to switch properties here, I’ll go with Indiana Jones.

I hope that doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

[00:23:38] Joel: I, yeah, I may, and Danny, if you need some time to think more on your villain, I can go ahead and try to answer as best I can. Um, Okay. So I think for hero, I think it’s going to be Luke Skywalker. I’m just a, uh, like if, if you have me at your games or I’m going to be playing a paladin for sure, I just love the holy night figure, the like, uh, was it the like wise warrior or the, uh, you know, the noble warrior kind of thing, the philosopher warrior, that’s probably what I’m looking for.

And Luke Skywalker was just that guy. I was always the kid in class who was like, I think Luke is the coolest when everybody else was obviously on Han side. Um, so Luke Skywalker for hero and then for villain. Oh, I just had one and then it slipped by. Whoa. Come on. Come back to me. Oh, yes. Um, I think in terms of like a villain that I thought was so great in their source material, but that has never been adapted properly.

I’m going to give it to Ozymandias from the Watchmen or from Watchmen because Ozymandias is like one of the best You know, especially when Danny’s talking about like the, the villain who’s has everything figured out. He like, it was just him dropping the ball of like, no, you fools. Let this happen 15 minutes ago.

I’m not monologuing and you’re not going to stop me. It already happened. It was just wonderful. And, uh, I just think it’s, I think it’s doubly underscores because they haven’t, the watch watchman, the movie, horrible representation of Ozymandias watch from the TV series, a little bit better, but still. They never captured the, like, I think the quintessential line is like, there’s a, uh, Rolling Stones article that’s printed in the comic book that’s written about, about Ozymandias, and it says that he has a, like, a Tom Cruise style charisma, and I’m just like, it’s right there, guys.

He’s not a, you know, a feminine British waif or whatever you want to say. He is Tom Cruise level movie star. And they never have caught, caught that.

[00:25:29] Danny: that if I’m going to go outside of, um, the Joker, I’ll probably go with Hannibal Lecter’s Silence of the Lambs is my favorite amongst my favorite movies. Uh, but I’ll give a runner up to Joel.

[00:25:49] Michael Schofield: What is your hottest take about color modes? Are you RGB, CMYK, or Pantone colors? Does this not mean anything to you?

[00:26:06] Joel: I wish our graphic designer was here. LD would have probably just the most eloquent answer that would be totally clippable for TikTok. But I would say that since I mostly work digitally, I’m going to be in, uh, was it RGB mode? Uh, most of the time when I was making the assets and I don’t think I ever converted them to CMYK, ultimately my opinion on this is use the tool or use the system, the color palette that is suited for what your end goal is, whether it be digital RGB or print CMYK.

[00:26:36] Danny: as a, as a cinema buff. Can I say Technicolor? Is that, is that allowed?

[00:26:41] Michael Schofield: Yes. This, uh, this podcast is brought to you by Technicolor.

[00:26:46] Joel: Okay.

[00:26:48] Tim: I’ll ask, the interview question in place. Um, what is, uh, your earliest memory of your favorite game? Like your childhood game memory?

[00:27:02] Joel: Well, I mean, it’s, it’s kind of a cheat, but I remember the night that, and uh, the night my dad came home with a Nintendo entertainment system and had the dual cartridge in it, cause this was like probably close to the time the SNES was releasing, I mean, he, you know, it was about to be totally out of date, but it had the dual cartridge with super Mario brothers and duck hunts, and I just remember.

You know, like, Oh, now all of a sudden the TV is something I can play with. It’s not just something that is on and I absorb, it is something that I can control and have like, you know, uh, a relationship with, uh, probably, you know, probably do me to a life of, uh, indoor kingdom, uh, being an indoor kid. But that was definitely the earliest memory and the sweetest memory because.

It just changed my world.

[00:27:48] Danny: I remember being at a birthday party when I was five. And going into, uh, the birthday boys room and, uh, he and his older brothers were playing the original Mortal Kombat. And I remember thinking my generation’s not going to be okay.

[00:28:08] Tim: Are you serious?

[00:28:09] Danny: I mean, that happened. I, I would say that my, my, my real more formative memory, uh, besides watching a lot of Mortal Kombat, uh, when I was younger. I actually, maybe it wasn’t five. I don’t know how old I was, but it first came out. My, my stepbrother always used to, he was, he was 13 years older than me.

And I was, you know, a little kid. And I remember I would just stay up late at night and watch him just play through Sonic the Hedgehog. And he would just, just grind through the entire game. And I would stay up all night with him. I remember one time he, he was like, Hey, are you hungry? I’m like, yeah, yeah, I’m hungry.

He’s like, here, I got some apple. So he gave me a piece of apple, but it turned out it was just an uncooked potato and I never forgot that. He’s an unusual person.

[00:28:56] Tim: I think older brothers are supposed to prank younger

[00:28:59] Danny: Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s on brand.

[00:29:02] Michael Schofield: Well, you just mentioned Mortal Kombat. Best cheat code?

[00:29:07] Danny: Ooh, treating people with kindness and respect.

[00:29:11] Joel: Ooh, get this guy out of here. Yeah.

[00:29:17] Danny: Uh,

[00:29:18] Michael Schofield: That’s not nearly capitalist enough.

[00:29:20] Danny: yeah. Uh, exploit, uh, labor whenever you can. Uh,

[00:29:25] Michael Schofield: Yay.

[00:29:26] Danny: capitalism.

[00:29:27] Joel: Start a chant guys. Uh, best cheat code. That is, I mean, I not to sound like I’m on a high horse, but the, you know, the best way of playing games is the way that they were designed and intended. With that said, I’d say probably DK mode. And I deserve that. I deserve that completely. Um, I would say probably just for fun, DK mode on double oh seven. It’s just so silly.

[00:29:53] Michael Schofield: For the folks who are not nearly old enough: what happens in DK mode?

[00:30:00] Joel: Your characters proportions are blown up to look like donkey Kong. So you have a huge head, long arms and, you know, just a wide, wider frame. I want to say essentially become an easier target to hit. It’s almost like playing, you know, on easy mode for your, you know. You know, for your aiming purposes

[00:30:20] Michael Schofield: Penultimate question. What is your favorite tool of the trade?

[00:30:25] Joel: question. I mean, I’ll say I got a lot of good use out of office max printing and they’re like, Oh, what is it? The, the, the, the device that you use to just make a clean cut all the way across. I had to make so many proxy decks or what we call proxy decks or prototype decks going into events like comic palooza and four oh five.

And Danny can attest, like I was making like three, four, sometimes more decks, uh, sets of the game at one time. And. It drove me a little batty from, from time to time, but it was satisfying whenever I got to use that machine and just go, you know, and create that perfectly cut line,

[00:31:05] Danny: so I think honestly, discord has been tremendously useful to us. Um, once we got to the point where we wanted to get deep into play testing and community building. Um, and even honestly, at this point, we run, uh, a lot of our, our business off of discord. So, um, I don’t know how advisable that is, but that’s been useful for us.

[00:31:33] Danny: We don’t, we don’t share documents on it per se, but we, uh, we communicate and in lieu of games or what have you.0

[00:31:44] Tim: Yeah.

Editor’s note (Michael here): weirdly enough, our auto transcript ends here. The next couple of minutes our guests tell us what their final words would be, having rolled their last saving throw.

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