LFG interview with the creative minds behind the comic and game16 Jul 2013
We recently caught up with the team behind the Kickstarter for the four player co-op RPG based on the popular comic of the same name. So what it LFG and how is it going to transition to a game? Read on…
Many MMO and RPG gamers will know LFG, you guys have been on the scene for a long time, but for those who may have missed out on the fun give them a brief overview of what LFG actually is.
Looking For Group began as a World of Warcraft parody comic. It became really clear to Lar and myself really early on though that these characters had a life of their own beyond that. So, the deal with WoW was nixed and the adventures of Richard, Cale, Benny, Krunch et al began in their own world. Over the almost 700 pages of LFG that have been published since, the comic has moved from a parody to being it’s own fantasy/adventure/comedy story set in it’s own equally unique universe.
Why create a game now?
It really just came down to finding the right people to make the game with. Paladin are a bunch of really talented guys who make really great games and most importantly, they get it. From the early stages it was clear that they get the comic, they get our humour and work ethic and they get how badly we want to make this into a fun game that everyone can get into. So the decision to move forward with it made itself.
The key focus of the game is obviously the characters and the humour, but how hard is it to bring characters from the comic to a game?
It was actually pretty easy, both because we’ve played with these characters in animation and other mediums before and also because, again, the guys at Paladin really get the world we’ve created. The have the same love an affinity for the characters and the LFG world itself, so even from some of the early designs and concepts I could see that it was going to be a great transition.
There are so many issues of LFG available now so how are you tying the game into the comic? There’s a lot of material for a game story.
The Fork of Truth covers roughly the first 12 issues of Looking For Group. That breaks down to the first three volumes or the omnibus that came out last year. It’s something of a side story that fits into the larger picture so it’s a unique gameplay experience, but will have the familiarity of the ongoing story in the comic.
The characters in the comic are really strong, especially the excellent Richard who is such a bastard. How are you bringing these characters to life in the game to make then play differently from each other but stay true to their comic versions?
We worked hard with Paladin to ensure that the characterizations and mannerisms in the Fork of Truth versions of the LFG characters were as close to the comics as possible. We’ve also got a great team of voice actors together including the incredibly talented Misty Lee and the one and only voice of Richard, Dave Mitchell.
Do you think that gamers who don’t read LFG will get it?
Absolutely. There are obviously a lot of nods to the comics throughout the game, but I think they are the types of things that will make longtime and new readers laugh. Hopefully gamers who aren’t familiar with the comic will play the game, really enjoy it and want to know more about the world of The Fork of Truth.
The game is being developed by Paladin who are based in the Netherlands and you guys are based in Canada, so how has working long distance been so far?
It’s been an absolute blast working with Paladin. Scheduling Skype conferences between our two time zones is sometimes a bit of a challenge, but we’re on the same wavelength and like most things in this “internet age” time zones aren’t enough to keep something like this down.
The game is a four player co-op RPG, and although we get some idea of the gameplay from the videos that have been released, how would you describe the game and what’s it most similar to.
I’d say it takes from a few games. It’s a dungeon crawler like Diablo, chaotic like Magicka and Castle Crashers and just a really great co-op game. That said, much like our approach to the comic, we want to make this it’s own thing, it’s own world. The game feels unique, but isn’t so much so that its inaccessible to people who aren’t familiar with LFG.
OK, let?s get down the RPG elements. What are you adding to the game to make is feel like an RPG and not just a complete arcade game? Can we expect mighty loot? Comical weapons of destruction?
Not only are those kinds of things in the plan, but Kickstarter backers can actually choose a reward level where they get to help us design and name weapons, buildings, non-playable characters and more. Plus, we’ve reached out to some of our Webcomic friends like Something Positive, Cyanide and Happiness, Dork Tower, Ctr+Alt+Del, Dark Legacy, Schlock Mercenary, Dinosaur Comics, and VG Cats and they have graciously put up their own characters as in-game companions.
As it’s a four player co-op game, how are you going about matching players? Are you going to have some kind of matchmaking system?
Yes! The game will feature a matchmaking system as well as a game lobby. There will also be a friends list because, basically, this is a really fun game to get a few of your friends together and jump into. We want to make it as easy as possible, so there’s even a reward level that gets you 4 copies of the game so you can set your friends up right away!
How hard was it for you guys to plan the Kickstarter campaign and get it live?
This is the biggest Kickstarter that we’ve ever put out there, so it took an equally big effort to line up all the reward elements, tiers get it all out there. We’ve spent months working out the kinks and adding rewards and add-ons because we know that this is a lot of money to try and raise. We’re trying out a few new things in terms of getting as many people’s eyes on the campaign as well, such as our 30-hour stream-a-thon, the “Dick-a-Thon for Hope” (Dick referring to Richard of course).
There is only a short time to back the game now on Kickstarter and it’s falling short. If the funding goal is not reached (we hope there’s a final rush), what are your contingency plans? Are you going to continue to raise funds through the LFG site?
The great part about Kickstarter is that it allows you to see what kind of things there is a market for. We really want to make this game as is, as a full-out fun and exciting RPG. We’ve worked our asses off to get as many eyeballs as we can on the Kickstarter, but without its funding we are back at the drawing board. This isn’t to say that the game or idea would be dead, but it would be a setback that we would have to take into account.
Why should gamers back LFG? I read the comic so I know why they should back it, but you need to do the hard sell here
In a nutshell, they should back this project because The Fork of Truth is a fun, challenging game that everyone can enjoy. So many games that come out today are challenging, but oh, so very serious. We think that everyone can have fun with this game, be it as a hardcore gamer or a relative newcomer. It’s be a great way to get more folks involved in gaming who might be intimidated by things like God of War or Assassin’s Creed and is a great way to spend time gaming with friends.
If you like what you hear then there is a short time to support the game on Kickstarter.