Tell us a little about your background. When did gaming first hook you?
My high school buddies taught me to play D&D in 1977, and I grew deeply
passionate about DMing, creating adventures, and building worlds at a
very high level. I was on track to be an engineer in college, but
considered game design. At a very early DunDraCon, Steve Perrin & Greg
Stafford gave a panel about "Being a Game Designer", I asked many
questions eagerly learning what I could. At the end I asked, "What kind
of salary do you make?" There were laughs and they told me, "This isn't
our day job." They could both see the disappointment in my face... Steve
offered, "Keep taking programming classes and become a video game
designer." Which I happily did, still do today, and I also teach Game
Design and Development online at Caņada College.
What exactly is a Ghoulie?
You are a Ghoulie: slightly greenish skin, black clothes, black finger
nails, black circles around beady eyes, drive a hot rod, sleep during
the day, like macabre things, and live in a graveyard. They live mostly
undetected by & among the humans, yet these particular Ghoulies decided to
start a rock & roll band and meddle in the affairs of human nogoodniks.
How did the game Gruesome
Ghoulies come to pass? Is it a harbinger of things to come?
The One-Page RPG was for a August 2020 gamejam, and inspired me with
fond memories of the Saturday Morning cartoons and kid sitcoms of my
youth. I watched: The Monkees, The Banana Splits, Bugaloos, and the
Groovy Ghoulies. Those sitcoms and cartoons, including Scooby Doo,
Johnny Quest, and many others all followed a strict formula. That
included: Hook, Mystery or Quest, and the band played a song at the end
of each episode.
If the structure of adventure
sessions will be modeled on cartoons, are there any other tropes that
will influence gameplay?
Cartoons and kids Sitcoms are full of patterns and tropes. I do mix
those with the puns and quirkiness of classic monster movies and the
mini-game ideas of party video games.
What improvements or changes
will the Kickstarter campaign allow you to do with GG?
The Kickstarter will allow me to greatly expand the gameplay into a
fully fledged RPG, add new Ghoulie character options, more nemeses, new
mini-game rules, lots more graphics & artwork, and a season of Schticks
(adventure episodes). With stretch goals, we get even more character
art, environment art, and another season of Schticks.
Is this some sort of plot to
help Hoppsbusch in a quest for world domination?
Hoppsbusch is my one-person tabletop RPG studio, that I've had now for
37-years. I publish all my tabletop RPGs under that label, which of
course is based on my favorite D&D character from 1978, Gereko
Hoppsbusch a hobbit healer. My mission is to make Smaller, Faster,
Funnier Role-Playing Games (SMAFF RPGs) so my games are all classic
8.5" x 11" paper folded in half to make a booklet. The rules are funnier
with cartoon slapstick action and the gameplay is faster and easier to
learn. I evolve in my game making every 10 years or so, and I have a lot
of great and funny games in my noggin waiting to burst out (ewww).
How does a Battle of the Bands play into all this?
At the end of each Schtick, after the mystery is solved and the
MacGuffin recovered, the band and the nemesis characters race to the
concert pavilion in their hot rods, the first band to get there chooses
the opening challenge in the battle between two bands. Like dueling
banjos or the band battles in Scott Pilgrim – the bands take turns
dueling to win the audience's hearts and minds. The band with the
highest score at the end of 9 rounds wins the fan's adoration, while the
loser slinks off to come back again in another episode.
What kind of player will enjoy being a Ghoulie the most?
Marketing people talk a lot about audience and persona. They summarize
fans of comics, games, animation, superhero movies, and creepy monsters
as the "Comic Con Crowd" – the #1 most sought after demographic.
Gruesome Ghoulies™ is for nerds like me that go to comic cons, gaming
conventions, love cartoons, and watch old black & white monster movies.
It is silly and only has mild cartoon violence (nobody dies – they just
respawn at the graveyard). Grognards and serious gamers need not apply,
but if you can laugh at your own goofs and have fun with friends you
will enjoy this light-funny RPG.
The Gruesome Ghoulies RPG Kickstarter campaign runs from October 1 through October 30, 2020.