Saturday, May 11, 2013

Interview with Clement Seurat of Devil Pig Game about Heroes of Normandie.

FTE: Hello, Clem. Thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for us here at Front-Toward-Enemy.us and all your English speaking fans.

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Let’s get started.

FTE: Please tell us a little about Devil Pig Games, for instance, how did you guys meet?

Clem: We met, Yann and Clem, at junior school when we were 8-9 years old. A comic book, Les Tuniques Bleus created this unbreakable link between both of us. We did our first game together two years later. It was a top down view battle set in the cold war with USA and France versus USSR. All started this day... We presented it to Duccio Vitale who was very surprised to see two 11 years old kids with such a game. Then, several years later, after a lot of different jobs and adventures, Asmodée published Frontiers in 2007.  It wasn't a commercial success but a community of fans was born. They helped us a lot with the Heroes of Normandie Kickstarter campaign. They were our best ambassador in a lot of forums.

We met Laurent years ago and he joined the team after having passed the test (that includes lots of beer and games).

FTE: Heroes of Normandie is an evolution of a game you made called “Frontiers.” Do you think that you’ll return to the Frontiers sci-fi universe in the future?

Clem: Definitely YES ! I can't say more for the moment, but Frontiers will receive a rejuvenation treatment...

FTE: There has been some slight controversy over the inclusion of actual Nazis in your game. How do you feel about this? And what steps if any have you taken to avoid anti-Nazi laws like those in Germany?

Clem: Actual Nazi characters are allowed by the German laws, even Hitler. But the Nazi and SS symbols are totally forbidden. That's why we will make some changes to be present in Germany stores.

We don't feel anything about using Nazi bastards as characters in our game. They were there so they have a role to play in Heroes of Normandie. The only thing to keep in mind is they're still the bad guys.

FTE: Let’s talk for a minute about, Herr Totenkopf. The fans seemed really displeased with the name, and you guys have decided to change it. Do you know what you’re changing it to? Also, will only the name change or will the art change as well?

Clem: We don't know yet what will be Herr Totenkopf 's future. The name for the SS character will change but nothing is determined about the art yet. It should change but we're not 100% sure. We love it so if it changes, we will use it for another character set into a "pulpier" punchboard.

FTE: I know from experience there are a lot of decisions you have to make when designing a game. For you it seems one of the biggest would have been whether or not to include miniatures. How did you guys decide on a cardboard only game? What were some of the factors that influenced this decision?

Clem: We took this decision with Frontiers. We knew that no publisher would follow us on a 15mm sci-fi game at this time. We were also thinking about players like us with kids, jobs and no time for painting. We also always were disappointed by the art of war-games. It was never as immersive as a minis game. So we decided to create a cardboard game with a minis style.The quality of the tokens design was the key to give the feeling to play with minis. Video games style was also a model for us.

FTE: I’ve heard that some of you guys worked with Paolo Parente on Dust Tactics. How did you approach him about creating the Dust Mod? Also, is there any chance we’ll see a larger boxed version of the Dust Mod similar to your “Achtung! Cthulhu” expansion “Shadows Over Normandie?”

Clem: Laurent works with Paolo on Dust from the beginning. We just called them and ask them if we could do something similar to what we did with Chris Birch (Achtung!Cthulhu). They said yes. For a future collaboration we're talking about it but it's only a theatrical chat for the moment.

FTE: Now that you’ve added the French, British, and Canadians to the Americans and Germans, what nationality would you like to next?

Clem: We'll let the community help us to decide that. Russian front, Pacific war, Italians ? We don't know yet.

FTE: Heroes of Normandie is set in 1944 after the D-Day invasion of occupied Europe by the Allies. What part of the war do you most want to look at for the future of the game? Will you be staying in ’44 or go back to earlier campaigns such as Operation Torch, or the even the Invasion of Poland?

Clem: Same kind of answer than question 7. But we would try to keep a compatibility between all the expansions. That makes the earlier battles more difficult to do.

FTE: Finally the Kickstarter seemed like a great success. Were you guys surprised by the success? Do you think you’ll do another Kickstarter in the future, either for a new HoN expansion, or another game entirely?

Clem: Yes, the surprise was huge. In our dreams we were hoping reaching 60-80K. When we passed 100K we were amazed but also a little bit scared. Then it became uncontrollable... Now we have to put our personal lives on  hold until September and work harder.

Kickstarter's a great way to publish games and before becoming financially strong enough we'll maybe keep on using it. The question is "for HoN expansions or for new projects ?" We have to take the right decision to not spoil this amazing platform.

FTE: Thanks so much again for taking the time to answer all our nosey questions.

Happy gaming everyone.