John and Luke Interview
— by Jordan Martin

I got to talk with John Zinser of AEG and Luke Peterschmidt of Fun to 11 and I asked them a few questions about their upcoming partnership for Epic PvP: Fantasy. Here’s the inside scoop…

Jordan: Fun to 11 is having a nice run of well-received product, why partner with AEG instead of just publishing the game yourself?

Luke: Fun to 11 was formed with 2 goals. The first was to “make the games we want to with as little between us and the player as possible.” The second was to “only work with people we like.” Partnering with AEG fits both of those goals. I’ve been friends with John for 20 years now.

Jordan: Why partner with Fun to 11 for AEG

John: Cause I get to work with Luke!

Luke: Awwwww….

John: Seriously though, Ryan Miller and Luke did a great job with Epic PvP, and it’s exactly the kind of game we are good at publishing. It also seems like a perfect project for Luke and I to work together on. Somehow, even though we’ve been friends for 20 years and consulted on a number of projects for each other, we’ve never actually worked on a project together like this. By partnering with Fun to 11 we get a partner we can trust, we get a great game to add to our catalog, and we get to work with our friends. Seems like a good deal for everyone.

Jordan: How did this partnership start?

Luke: Fun to 11’s original plan was to launch the Kickstarter for Epic PvP: Fantasy in November, but we decided to hold off as we didn't have enough art in yet. In December, I shared the game with John and Mark from AEG for feedback. John emailed back that they would like to “be more involved” and it just took off from there.

John: We had a few long talks about making sure that if we do this, it has to be the best thing for the product AND it has to be able to be done in a way that keeps both company’s customers happy. After talking through all the options, it was pretty clear we could make this work in a win/win/win way.

Jordan: Can you explain that a bit more?

Luke: Sure. So for Fun to 11, that meant being able to use the AEG partnership to deliver more value to our backers. For instance, as a direct result of the AEG partnership, we have started looking at the project through bigger eyes which has allowed us to offer every backer a special unique deck from the get-go. Not a stretch goal, just an extra deck for each copy of Epic PvP sold through the Kickstarter. We are also looking at leveraging some AEG connections to be more customer friendly when shipping outside of the US.

John: And for AEG, that meant things like including a retail tier in the campaign as retail stores are our lifeblood, and we wanted to make sure that they don't feel left out.

Jordan: How similar is this game to Smash Up!

Luke: Paul Peterson is a personal friend and great designer. He did a great job with Smash-Up.  We are definitely fans.  But other than the “shuffle-building” idea you to when you set-up, there is nothing similar in these games. Epic PvP is a head-to-head fighting game as opposed to Smash Up – which is an area control game.

John: Agreed – this is not a Smash Up re-tread, it’s definitely it’s own thing. AEG wouldn’t be interested in co-publishing a Smash Up knock-off.

Luke: In a lot of ways, this is like “shuffle-building” at the company level. You take your  “Fun to 11 deck” and shuffle it in with the “AEG deck” and you end up with something really special and unique.

Jordan: What are you looking forward to with Epic PvP?

Luke: Fun to 11 has done a good job in most areas, but honestly we’re pretty terrible at things like retail distribution and overseas partnering. AEG is really, really good at all of those things. I’m looking forward to going to stores and seeing Epic PvP: Fantasy on shelf.

John: What I’m most looking forward to is seeing people play the game and have a good time with it.

Luke: Can I change my answer? John’s was better.

John: No take backs.  Its your design you should have thought of it.   I’ve backed a ton of games on Kickstarter, I’m also looking forward to experiencing one from the other side.

Jordan: Thanks guys, anything else you want to add?

Luke: Go to Kickstarter and check out the game, it launches on the 21st of January!

John: Don’t underestimate the Goblin Monk combo – it’s my favorite so far, particularly in 2-on-2 games!

See the Press Release here


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