Drinking Quest, the ‘original drinking RPG’ that emphasizes fun, wacky antics, ease-of-play, and sharing a few drinks with your friends (and your characters), was recently the subject of A Glimpse Into the Vault. In it I talked about the original version of Drinking Quest, as well as its two follow-up games and the Trilogy Edition that brought them all together. Towards the very end, I mentioned that Jason Anarchy, the creator of the series, was currently Kickstarting a fourth game: Journey into Draught. Shortly after the article went live Mr. Anarchy got in touch with me himself, wondering if I had any questions for him. Of course, I answered him in the affirmative, and we quickly got down to business: lessons learned over the course of Drinking Quest’s lifespan, what makes Journey into Draught a substantial addition to the series, and other/future projects!
1) The ‘original drinking RPG’. How’d that get started? Obviously you’re a fan of both, but how did the idea to combine drinking and an RPG within the same game pop up?
I’ve been designing games since I was a kid just for fun and my friends would always be into it. Fast forward 20 years into the future and I’m still doing it but playing funny RPGs I’ve made while having some beers with my friends. At the end of the night at a wedding a friend suggested “Adding a drinking mechanic” to one of my games . . . by then I had gone to school for business and have a lot of business experience so I thought I could make a great game and also get it out into the world.
The mission statement was to make a game that was half RPG and half Drinking Game. I did that by making it have basic RPG elements (like dice and character sheets) and paced drinking elements. When your character dies in the game, you have to chug your drink in real life to continue!
2) What’s been the most challenging aspect of making Drinking Quest, across the series’ history?
Keeping up with demand! It’s really tough when you have a lot of people asking but the next print run isn’t finished yet . . . it’s a good problem to have!
3) When you have a successful series like Drinking Quest, which managed to culminate in a Trilogy Edition (that has actually sold out since the original AGiTV article) , there must be quite a lot of demand to keep things going. At what point did you know you were going to be making a 4th game, and what helped you make that decision?
There was a gap of a few years between the first three and then the fourth. Using the same process for a trilogy of games made sense but a fourth entry always needs to spice things up. That was good to have, I needed to let it breathe before moving forward.
I needed to make sure I had really funny stuff to work and I wanted to up the games in terms of quality. The first three had an endearing indie vibe about them but I wanted this one to be bigger and more polished. Instead of just one artist I had a team of 10 people and it’s a huge step up.
4) Journey into Draught is being presented as both a good jump-in point for new players and an exciting new version for veterans. How have you balanced the needs of these two groups?
All of my games have been stand alone (but existing in the same Universe) but when I started putting a number after the title everyone thought they needed to start with the first game. So with four I’m abandoning the numbering system in favour of just a subtitle. I really want people to know they’re all full games and not expansions.
If you play more than one game you’ll notice a lot of fun nods to other games in the series but nothing that would detract if this was your first game.
5) What’s different about JiD that makes it stand apart from the original Trilogy? What lessons learned from the Trilogy’s creation are being applied here?
Journey into Draught will be a much higher quality game in terms of content and the physical components. It has 150% more of the cards, has a better box, better dice, higher quality cards, a new coin token and a cloth map. (Thanks to awesome Kickstarter backers for a few of those being unlocked!)
6) This is your 3rd Kickstarter project, all of which have been successfully funded and delivered up to this point. What lessons did you learn from the previous projects that you’re now using to make the JiD Kickstarter a success?
I’ve gotten better at making my Kickstarter page look almost as good as the final games. I’ve always placed more emphasis on having the best final product possible but to really take off with Kickstarter your page has to look incredible. I’ve gotten better at planning out my Kickstarter pages to really put the proper amount of time into them.
7) Changing subject real quick while I’ve got you: the only current non-Drinking Quest game you offer is something called Haiku Warrior. Seems like quite a change of pace! What’s Haiku Warrior all about, and why should people be taking a look at it?
It plays in a similar way to Drinking Quest (The Cards are the GM) but it’s also kind of the opposite. Instead of being funny because it’s loud & obnoxious, it’s funny because it’s quiet and introspective and told through haiku.
I really wanted to make a one player game using the Drinking Quest engine (obviously a bad idea for a drinking game) and when I came up with the haiku idea, it was a lot of fun to flesh that out. The game ended up being 1- 4 players.
More non-Drinking Quest games are coming as well!
8) Finally, let’s answer a question I’m sure many readers who know of you have been pondering: whose biceps are more impressive, yours or Chuglox’s? Who would win in an arm-wrestling contest?
Chuglox’s biceps were modeled after my own. But the problem was shrinking it down to fit the size of a playing card. I’m constantly working conventions where I’m selling games and impressing people with my biceps. I tend to tweet about freebies I’m giving away if someone can beat me in an arm wrestle. So far it’s just left a trail of broken arms and faces left in awe from gazing at my incredible biceps. Hey, one of you might win that bottle opener key chain one of these days!
9) Final words/thoughts you’d like to pass on to the readers?
I really appreciate that people are so into these games! If you’re new to this stuff you can find links to everything at DrinkingQuest.com.
Also the Kickstarter for Journey into Draught ends on March 29th!
You can find the Journey into Draught Kickstarter here, where it has already successfully funded, unlocking many stretch goals along the way (as of this writing, it’s actually at more than 700% of its actual funding goal)! You can read up on the rest of the Drinking Quest Series and Haiku Warrior on the Drinking Quest site linked above, and you can get in touch with Jason (and his biceps) on Twitter @DrinkingQuest.
Originally posted 3/25/16 on the Mad Adventurers Society!