Flying Pig Games' Mark H. Walker talks to us about his latest, '65

By Dylan Love 07 Dec 2015 0

“Relieved. Very relieved.”

This is how veteran game designer Mark Walker described his feelings to us upon seeing his wargame ‘65 successfully make its Kickstarter goal of $16,000 late last month. The pledges continue to pour in well past making this minimum, and at the time of this writing, Walker’s company, Flying Pig Games, has garnered just over $23,000 to bring the game to life for 293 backers. There are nine days of crowdfunding to go.

With the crowdfunding campaign’s success assured, Flying Pig recently reduced its stretch goals. Walker tells us that this decision was made after “initially [placing] the stretch goals too high.” When a Kickstarter campaign’s stretch goals are too high, it “tends to bum out gamers,” he said. “Personally I wanted those stretch goals, and I wanted to make them available for gamers. Yeah, it cuts the profit margin, but we'll be okay.”

Walker caught up with us via email to elaborate on Flying Pig’s latest creation, which is expected to land on tabletops in the middle of 2016.


How long has ’65 been brewing in your head?

A surprisingly short time. Although I've been testing the game system, which is very similar to Night of Man, for over two years. I came up with the idea for '65 in the spring of this year. It took about seven months to get the art for the maps, counters, cards, and box done. I've been designing the scenarios as I go, testing and revising with some local gamers. I guess I'm lucky; much of the research I did for Forgotten Heroes carries over, making scenario design in '65 easy.

Is ‘65 a game for everyone, or should you have some wargame experience first?

Absolutely a game for everyone. There is nothing special about a wargame. I mean I get it, war games have this rap... "Uh, a war game? With all those rules?" But something like '65 is less complicated than Twilight Imperium or Imperial Assault (Not to pick on Fantasy Flight, I'm just saying). Some folks enjoy games with a horror theme, some with a space exploration theme, still others like games about zombies. None of those require experience in the genre and neither does '65.

If someone likes an exciting, card-driven, competitive game rich in theme, they'll like '65. The immersive art, huge playing pieces, and evocative maps are a just a bonus.

Which stretch goal would you be most excited to make a reality, assuming the funding gets there?

Honestly, I'd love to see the large city map. Marc von Martial has done a great job with the maps we have. He's a very talented man. The three maps that ship with the game are semi-geomorphic, which gives us a lot of flexibility. They are perfect for the scenarios we have selected, but I think that it would be so neat to have big, city battles, such as Hue. So, I'd like to see that happen, but we'll live even if it doesn't. I think gamers are really going to enjoy the game no matter what.


Gamers interested in Walker’s work have more immediate offerings to look forward to from Flying Pig before ‘65 becomes real. Night of Man, a card-driven tactics game about an alien invasion of Earth will begin shipping in January. Old School Tactical, a game of squad-level battles on the Eastern Front of WW2 is currently being printed. The company is even releasing the fourth issue of its Yaah! magazine this month.

No rest for the weary at Flying Pig.

 

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