As part of our September Spotlight on Overlords of Infamy, we strive to inform readers of little extra tidbits surrounding the game. Games are made by people, and one of those tidbits we enjoy is learning a little bit more about the people behind them. Some designers shy away from the public stage, while others enjoy being front and center.
In the case of Overlords of Infamy, time was regrettably working against both sides as we tried to glean some info from Planet Fred – the world in which the events of this game reside. On the one hand was us, whose preceding few weeks had been filled with the mundane tasks of the everyday average human being, and it was tricky lining up some interstellar communications yet again. (We’re not sure why we’ve had such an uptick in reaching out to other worlds in 2017. Truly a mystery, that.)
On the other hand was finding the free time from designer David Zuckman. As you’d expect, much of his efforts these days is taken up by his rampant penchant for villainy. Planet Fred is a competitive place for evildoing, and he’s really trying to stay on task. Luckily though we managed to pull him away for a few minutes to chat before he resumed his plans to confiscate all the world’s forks and to replace all books with internet memes.
Needless to say, he’s very busy practicing what he’s preaching.
That is, of course, the premise behind Overlords of Infamy. In it, players are various evil villains seeking to make the denizens of their territory as miserable as possible by gathering the necessary resources to pull off a variety of increasingly dastardly acts. The main threats to your odds of success include the annoying heroes from the Kingdom of Good, who seek to stop you, and the other villains themselves. Over a series of rounds, you’ll have to send your lackeys to gather materials, undermine your opponents, and then sit back and laugh as you pull off your latest over the top diabolical plan.
It’s through this lens where you can see how difficult it was to get David to spare some of his valuable time. Doomsday weapons aren’t just going to build themselves you know, and if you wait too long, someone else may just beat him to it. Then he’d be sad. And we didn’t want that. What follows, then, is our communique with him on what it takes to truly lord over Planet Fred, and what people could expect to experience were they to visit. Which you really should. Enjoy!
Round One Questions
CR: What was your Gateway Game?
Lords of Waterdeep was the main one. It was one of the first of the new generation of board games that I played. I was also pretty smitten with 7 Wonders and Ticket To Ride.
CR: What was the last game you really enjoyed playing (besides Overlords of Infamy)?
The most recent games I really enjoyed were Terraforming Mars and Dice Forge. Excellent games, both.
CR: How big is your game collection?
300 games or more. Too many, hah!
CR: What is your favorite type of game to play?
I like games with a heavy dose of theme, but plenty of strategy included. Euros are pretty great most of the time, but I can also really get into [Red Raven Games’] Ryan Laukat’s games as well.
CR: How do you feel about Monopoly?
On Overlords of Infamy
CR: Let’s start with the $64,000 question: how did the idea behind this wacky game concept game about?
Sitting around playing games with good friends. The topic came up about what kinds of games we’d make if we had the chance, and mine was about being “evil” in ridiculous ways. It just blossomed from there.
CR: Overlords of Infamy uses a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor as part of its nefarious evildoing. How much of this comes from your own sense of humor? And were you worried about it translating to the audience at all?
It’s 100% my humor and that of my close friends. When I started making the game, I wasn’t doing so from a place of wanting to sell it, but rather about wanting to make something for my friends and myself. By the time I had a functioning game and was showing it at conventions, I had no major worries about people enjoying our humor!
CR: What do you feel is the most unique aspect to Overlords of Infamy?
Maintaining a good level of humor while incorporating gameplay that requires strategy. If you are talking about a single element of the game, though, then I would say the Hero Quests/ Hero player are unique. In a game about evil overlords, you can have one player be the Adventuring Hero out to foil everyone else’s plans. I love it.
CR: All of the Overlords in this game seem to either be a nod to or sendup of classic archvillains in some way. Do you have a particular favorite, either in terms of gameplay or the story of its creation?
When we started testing, I would almost always end up playing Lord Aether, while my partner, Christian, generally chose Duke Daemonhammer. I always enjoy Magic, and so the idea of an insane 3,000-year old wizard just spoke to me. Christian said he preferred to play Duke Daemonhammer because they both have an affinity for food!
CR: Overlords of Infamy was ORG’s first Kickstarter. How prepared did you feel going into your first campaign?
We did a lot of research about best practices, best times to launch, how long to make the intro video, etc. I still felt dumbfounded, nervous, and completely unprepared going in.
CR: What was your biggest surprise with the campaign once it was complete?
I was blown away by how much we raised on our first campaign. Complete shock, but moreso gratitude to all of the amazing backers who believed in us!
CR: If you were an evil Overlord on Planet Fred, how would you scheme to take over the world? Not that we’re taking notes or anything…
I think I would first start by making everyone’s socks slightly damp, then throttling internet speeds to 56k. I’d likely cap off my world domination by rewriting the laws of physics and then dividing by zero!
CR: Finally, we have to know: is there any redemption hope for Waffles the Evil Corgi? Asking for a friend…
Overlords of Infamy has no shortage of diabolical characters competing with one another over the chance to become an all-powerful ruler who could finally put an end to the Kingdom of Good once and for all. But it’s going to take a combination of skill, determination, luck, a flight of expendable minions, and a perfectly executed plan to finally bring them to their knees.
We’re thinking that one of you may have the requirements to become the Supreme Overlord of Planet Fred and compete against David for a chance at worldwide dominance and utter subjugation of its people.
That’s right. We want you to channel your inner Hank Scorpio, all in an effort to show how good it is to be bad.
The thing is…trips to Planet Fred are expensive, so we can only send one of you. And thus a contest must take place to determine who is most worthy. So let’s get started!
Photo Credits: Overlords of Infamy cover and photos by Obscure Reference Games.