Combining Work and Pleasure and Comics and Games
Kate Lollar writes for Bleeding Cool:
What do you get when you take an Emmy award-winning producer and comic book artist, add 18 years of experience in TV, film, comics and video games, and let him loose on a comic con themed RPG?
Jeff Matsuda is best known for producing The Batman and Jackie Chan Adventures, and for his work on comic book titles such as X-Men, Batman, Wolverine, The Avengers, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But now, he's working on an epic new game that combines everything he's done thus far.
"I've always loved going to Comic Con and seeing Klingons walking around talking to Harry Potter and Batman. And I'd think, how awesome would it be if they had actual powers and fought to see who could rule the con? So when Sleepy Giant came to me with the idea for this game, I dove in headfirst," said Jeff Matsuda, Executive Producer. "We've got a super nerdy dream team over here with backgrounds in art, comics and gaming, and we're passionate about making a fun, die-hard nerd experience."
Slated for release in early 2014 on web, iOS and Android, Comic ConQuest is a party-based tactical RPG in which players battle their way through a comic con gone wrong, fighting enemies and collecting swag along the path to freedom. Trapped in the building by a mysterious force, players are empowered with homemade costumes and plastic weapons that become real, transforming them from cosplayers to comic commandos.
Not only is Jeff making his long-term dream a reality, but Sleepy Giant has also teamed up with seven of the world's top cosplayers to be characters in the game. Yes, you heard correctly. Girls who have been dressing up as video game characters for years are now becoming video game characters of their own.
"You can't have a game set at a comic con and have no cosplayers in it. It's like if we made a basketball game with no fans in the stands – something would be seriously missing. Collaborating with cosplay superstars like Vampy Bit Me, Amie Lynn and Abby Dark Star has been absolutely amazing. If anyone knows how to capture the comic con spirit, it's these ladies. We turned them into character renders and gave them the funds to create costumes based on the in-game characters. It feels a bit like the universe might explode, but on the other hand, it makes perfect sense. The girls are stoked, they're giving me tons of material to work with, and the game is going to benefit all around from their being a part of it." – Jeff Matsuda
On Monday, Sleepy Giant will launch a Kickstarter for Comic ConQuest. Jeff and his team see crowdfunding the project as another form of community management, and for this kind of game, fans are at the heart of everything. Anyone who's worth his weight in comic book or RPG knowledge knows that they're both "team sports," so bet Jeff prioritizes his fans however he can.
"Crowdfunding this project will not only help us make the vision a reality, it will bring the fan community on board in tangible ways," said Jeff Matsuda. "We've designed the Kickstarter incentives to give backers the chance to take ownership of bits and pieces of Comic ConQuest – things like early access to the game, a spot in the credits, invites to the launch party, in-game character and level co-design opportunities – things that will make the game more personal, genuine and fan-fueled than we ever could on our own."