Tales of Evil launches today on Kickstarter, Geek.pizza talked with Antonio Ferrara, the author of this game where reality and fiction blend together.
This is an English translation of an interview we made (in Italian) to Antonio Ferrara, author of Tales of Evil.
I am not an English native speaker, but I think an English version of this chat can be interesting if you are making up your mind on whether backing Tales of Evil on Kickstarter or not. Please forgive my very-far-from-perfect English.
After two big hits (“Stay Away!” and “Last Friday” with its expansion) you’re working on something special, with a strong taste of 80s. Tell us about it!
Tales of Evil is a game I started working on right after “Stay Away!”, longtime ago, but only after completing “Last Friday” I managed to put all my energies into it. After two years I think I could define it the game of my life but it’s more an experience, the word “game” is an understatement.
Ok, so… The Thing, Friday the 13th and now… The Goonies?
I had in mind a game inspired by “Big Trouble in Little China” and one by “Ghostbusters” but someone got there first (laughs). Many people think Tale of Evil is inspired by Stranger Things but the setting comes from when I was a kid: in summertime me and my friends ran around playing the little detectives. Of course books and movies such as IT, The Goonies, Stand By Me, The Three Investigators and so on did the rest.
I think both me and the Duffer Brothers [creators of Stranger Things] were inspired by the same passions, those kids were inside us.
Why Kickstarter, this time?
Well, over 300 illustrations, a book with more than 150 pages to translate in English, miniatures, the Fusion System… they all let me here. There are so many things and so much of my time in Tales of Evil that Kickstarter seemed the only way. This is a real crowdfunding project: no big company, just an author who believes in a dream and needs help to make it come true.
Let’s talk about the game itself: it seems a blend of a board game and a gamebook.
In Tales of Evil you are the main character, you and your friends will decide what to do and where to go, just like in a gamebook but, as you all are kids, you will get to choose at the same time showing hands or let the short straw (match actually) decide for you who will investigate that strange noise you heard coming from that dark room…
You will have a map to help you keep everything under control and to discover step by step the mansion.
It’s hard to define Tales of Evil. You have different elements: a lot of choices to make (gamebook), you explore over 70 locations (exploration game), you solve mysteries and puzzles (deduction \ escape room), you fight against nauseating creatures (dungeon crawler), you read and live a collective story (storytelling). As you can see, calling it an experience is much better. After all this is Tales of Evil’s goal: to let you live an unique experience that you will hardly forget.
Tell us about the Fusion System, what is it about?
The Fusion System came from the story I was telling, it is about interaction among you and the characters, and even more. There are three layers, just like a layered cake. First of all you have Peter’s Diary and everything that happens to the Pizza & Investigation team. We are the second layer, the Braves (the players), while the kids of the future, now grown ups are the third layer.
So it’s about connecting past (the kids), present (the players) and future (kids, now grown ups). All these layers are required to solve the mystery and save them all… and ourselves!
We will be asked to do things in real life, like finding batteries for a flash light the kids found in their past or phone one of the characters in the future to ask him for directions or to have a specific item to face a creature, and so on.
As you can see, we use Peter’s diary to live an old story but we will have to work hard in our present and contact them in the future to unlock the mystery.
An interesting thing I read about is the “size” of the character, how does that affect the game?
That is something that the Pizza & Investigation folks will have to worry about. Size can range from 1 to 5. You can enter some narrow places only with 3 or less, but you can kick a door down only with 4 or more…
Do characters evolve during the game?
Yeah, they evolve thanks to their equipment and between the game chapters they can visit the Old Jack’s second hand shop. He has plenty of riddles and puzzles for the kids and you can barter old stuff you found in the equipment deck with better items.
Every character is unique and has several traits, this will allow you to find different solutions to a tricky situation. As I said, every character is unique also because every one of us is!
Do you have expansions in mind? New stories, new characters, new items…?
Yes, we do have a lot of things in mind. We have ideas to know more about our characters (traits), brand new characters (litte Flo, Ray and Peter’s sister will eventually grow up, won’t she?). We also have in mind items, creatures, mysteries, stories (I’m already working on a couple of them, actually, I can’t help writing)
And it’s not over, mind you! Along with the game, we will release a “Designer Kit” or an app (Stretch Goal) by Matteo Poropat, the designer of Libro Game Creator, (“Gamebook Creator”), the software we used to build the forks structure of Tales of Evil. With them everyone can create a Pizza & Investigation story. The game becomes then virtually endless, since we can share our adventures and play the ones created by other members of the community.
The true secret of Tales of Evil are the rules written by who creates the story and I am sure a community will be a fantastic source of ideas.
Pizza & Investigation on Geek.pizza, pizza everywhere. Which one is your favourite, considering you are from Naples, the city where it was born?
A Margherita, because simple things hide real wonders!
To check the campaign, simply lick on the image below