Evil Monologuing From Metro City: A Designer Q&A

Attention all champions! We have gleaned important intel that confirms out greatest fears. For months now we have been fending off wave after wave of assault on our fair Metro City, not knowing who would strike at us next. One by one they come, looking to unleash their terror upon us. One by one we have fought them off. But we always worried that someone was behind those attacks, as they seemed too organized, too systematic to simply be random villainy. Today, we have conformation that this is true. Someone else is pulling their strings. Our battles have now become an all-out war. . .


As part of our August Spotlight on Heroes of Metro City, we strive to inform the readers of little extra tidbits surrounding the game. It helps to highlight what the game is about, where it came from, or possibly where it’s going. Games are made by people, and one of those tidbits we enjoy is learning a little bit more about the people behind them. In the case of Heroes of Metro City, today we have that in the form of creator David Boostrom. He was gracious enough to take a few minutes away from plotting the next assault on those fine Metro City citizens and chat with us.

Round One Questions

What was your Gateway Game?

Boot HillWhen I was about 12 years old, my uncle showed me TSR’s Boot Hill, a western RPG. The way he ran it was special: a whole Western world of ideas, plus the satisfaction of firing a scattergun or six-shooter at my cousins. It was entirely different from Risk or Sorry or Monopoly and it was my first introduction to RPGs. It changed my viewpoint forever on what a game could be.


What was the last game you really enjoyed playing (besides Heroes of Metro City)?

I really like the space-faring danger in Galaxy Trucker. It combines the joy of building a custom spaceship with the random carnage of meteors and space pirates.


How big is your game collection?

Maybe 100 different titles, not counting about another hard cover 100 RPG books, a couple hundred video games, and at least a hundred titles on the computer through Steam. Everything from Apples to Apples and Carcassonne to Dungeons & Dragons and Dominion.


What is your favorite type of game to play?

With the right group, any game is good. I’m very fond of poker. But most times, with that very same ‘right group,’ I want to play an RPG. Right now, I play in a weekly Shadowrun game.


How do you feel about Monopoly?

It’s not a particularly good game, but it’s a popular one that’s easily taught. I own a copy, because kids like the idea of holding a big wad of fake cash in their hands and making their dad go broke when he lands on Park Place. No matter what you think of Monopoly, you have to admire the competency of the marketing and its ability to endure over nearly a hundred years.


On Heroes of Metro City

What are your comic book street creds? Do you have a sizable collection, a favorite artist, publisher, etc.?

I could never afford comics as a kid, or I would have willingly drowned in them. Because I was an artist, I only bought comics when I wanted to trace a particular image and learn from it. Comics like McFarlane’s Spiderman, John Romita Jr.’s Daredevil, and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen. I would also read almost anything written by Alan Moore. Watchmen was a big deal to me as a teenager. And as a film buff, I’ve seen nearly every superhero movie made.


In the game, players get to name their characters. What’s a couple of your favorite fan-made superhero names to date?

Something like this we suspect.

I’m particularly fond of the silly stuff like “The Ex-Wife”, who has the power of Life-Draining Touch. I also enjoyed one player’s “Homeless Man”, whose Hurled Object power card was re-flavored as we played so that he threw angry stray cats at the villains.


On the opposite end of the spectrum, do you have a favorite superhero failure story?

Where a player chooses something terrible? That’s hard to say, because it’s like saying someone is ‘playing D&D wrong’, when the whole appeal of the game is tailoring the experience to whatever your group enjoys. I had a guy name his superhero after his D&D character. I thought that was pretty odd, until the other 3 people he was playing with did the same. It made me concede that fantasy heroes are quite similar to superheroes and that one guy’s paladin hero is darn near exactly the same as Thor or that The Hulk is pretty much a classic barbarian. Our game is a lot like an RPG in that you really can’t fail when it comes to naming your hero.


How do you feel that Heroes of Metro City sets itself apart most from other deckbuilding games?

Ours is the only deckbuilder (and possibly the only board game outside of RPGs) where you get to make your very own superhero. Other games let you command a squad of heroes, or play a pre-made hero, or earn points by playing cards with pictures of heroes on them, but ours is the only game where you actually play your own customized hero who does the actual flying, blasting and punching.


If you could have just one of the superpowers listed in the game, which would it be?.

As a lazy man, I find the idea of teleportation and instant travel extremely satisfying. I could attend a lot more conventions, for instance, while sleeping in my own comfortable bed each night. That sounds pretty great.


On a final note, for all the True Believers out there, can you drop any hints for what’s next in the world of Metro City?

homc_expansionOur upcoming Kickstarter project is due out in the next 30-45 days and will be raising money to fund our first expansion entitled “Sidekicks and Storylines.” We’re very proud of how it brings the game into new areas and new ideas, building on all of the customization that we think makes the game so strong.

We’ll be sure to keep an eye on the expansion and beyond. Are you looking to join the battle over Metro City? Don’t forget to enter for your chance at a free copy of the base game for Heroes of Metro City! Check it out here.




Photo Credits: Superhero cards and artwork by 3Some Games; Boot Hill image by Wikipedia.