We caught up with R Todd Broadwater, the creator of the new game Legendary Monsters to talk to him about where the idea came from and his plan to bring it to life via Kickstarter.
From the devil that inhabits the pine barrens to the goat sucker that terrorizes Mexico, many have tried to capture these creatures on film. And all have failed… until now. These legendary monsters have now become locked in battle in a new game being released from Nevermore Toys.
GEEK: Please tell us a bit about yourself and the company.
R Todd Broadwater: To start off, my childhood consisted of many hobbies that I became very passionate about from an early age. I found great pleasure at a young age in action figures, video games and comic books. I spend countless hours creating my own adventures and later moved onto collecting and finally customizing my own figures and toys. Once I graduated, I was faced with what to do and I knew I enjoyed drawing, so began focusing on art at a local college. At that point, I was still without much a focus until I saw a commercial for one of the Art Institutes that offered a Special FX Makeup program and that was it. The next day I was in the car headed to Philadelphia to check out the school. I stayed in Philly for almost 10 years and met many artists and designers while in school and after graduating. I found a group of incredibly talented artists and found fellow collectors as well. I spend the first 5 or so years working as a toy designer and loved creating many a vehicle, playset and figure for whatever licensed property passed through the door. Some of my favorites were Batman, Star Wars and the Jurassic Park toys. While working on these many licenses, I often though like I did when I was 10 years old. If I could make any figure line, what would it be? And that is how the idea for Legendary Monsters was born. I began designing the figures right then as soon as the idea manifested itself and it took almost a year to draw, pay the sculptor, paint, photograph and design the marketing materials. I had funded the line up until that time and was ready to move onto distribution when the job I currently had as an Interactive Designer fell through. I had to put the figures on hold until my career stabilized. By chance, I had a friend in Maryland that wanted me to look at a game studio in Virginia and I happened to visit the company that makes the Elder Scrolls and Fallout games. Once there, I found a home and was there for almost 5 years before leaving to move onto the design end of game development and the chance to work on XCOM: Enemy Unknown. I’ve been there since 2008 working as a Lead Designer, Level Design and Artist now for almost 5 years. It was finding out about Kickstarter that brought the toys out of hibernation and my background as a game designer was the spark that lead to creating the collectible card game.
Legendary Monsters has been successfully funded on Kickstarter. Tell us a bit more about this game.
The game itself is a brawling monster card game that can be played with cards or the figures themselves. You can battle monster vs. monster and divide yourself up into teams to fight it out in match or tag team modes! It plays very much like Mortal Kombat in way, with light and heavy attacks, special moves and finishers.
So is Legendary Monsters a collectible game, a card game or a line of action figures?
Legendary Monsters was solely designed as an action figure line originally and I wanted to add a collectible card to get into the “game” category in Kickstarter. I knew my target audience was there, and not in the product category, which is a sea of cell phone chargers, fountain pens, watches and beer openers. Things people actually use! So the card element was there and I was looking at the creatures and I could see them fighting each other in a Godzilla vs Rodan kind of way. Once that idea was in place, the combat mechanics were set up and designed.
Who has been attached to this project?
The team is very small indeed! The original figures were sculpted by William Mancuso and I handled the concept designs, prototype painting, photographs, blueprints, packaging, illustration and game design aspects.
How is this game played and what do you need to get started?
You only need 2 creature combat cards to play, a number of multi-sided die and a small pad to keep track of wounds and status affects. Each creature uses light and heavy attacks in conjunction with special and defensive abilities to defeat their opponent in raw, visceral combat!
What are some of the iconic cryptids that will be playable in the game?
The first six Cryptids are some of the most widely known creatures out there. The most popular it seems are the Jersey Devil and Mothman, followed by Chupacabra and finally the Missouri Monster, the east coast’s answer to Bigfoot. Except this Bigfoot likes to show up covered in blood, carrying dead dogs under its arm!
Is there a plan for more of these if the initial run does well?
My plan is the “slowly but surely plan”…I am going to put out individual figures and combat cards in a set of 1 or 2 creatures at a time every few months for the next year. The first wave will be out by Halloween of this year and I have Slender Man following them next along with both Sasquatch and Yeti being available next. Slender Man will be on Kickstarter in August and the Sasquatch/Yeti combo in September. In June/July, I’ll be releasing my secret weapon, a 32″ plush Slenderman that’s equal parts snugly and terrifying.
What is the price point of the game?
The price point of the boxed card game will be $30.00, plus shipping and will include 12 creature combat cards, reference cards, a play mat as well as counters and a rule book. I would also like to add 30mm versions of the creatures are included that can be posed and painted. These would be similar to Games Workshop’s greater Daemons of Chaos when it comes to scale and complexity. These would be available for $25.00 each.
Are you planning other games made in the same way?
I do have other games in development, one that centers around tracking and capturing or destroying the creatures and it will use the miniatures of the Cryptid creatures as well as giving you the chance to play as investigators, trackers, agents and law enforcement intent on dealing with the threat. The other game I have in development is heavy on monster miniatures and board components and will be announced around Halloween of this year.
What are some of the projects you want to tackle next through Nevermore Toys?
I still have the next three 6″ articulated figures for the Legendary Monsters series and I just added a 4th Legendary Monsters figure this week by having a poll that allowed fans to choose the next Cryptid. Overwhelmingly they chose the Loveland Frogmen! In addition, I have the 32″ Plush doll, both boxed games and a host of miniatures to support those games.
Legendary Monsters will be releasing sometime in September and for more information about this game and other products go to www.nevermoretoys.com and get ready to fight.