GTM #197 - Grimslingers
by Greenbriar Games

We’ve been lucky at Greenbrier Games to work with a lot of talented people, and because of that, we’ve gotten a little spoiled. It takes creativity, dedication, and passion for your ideas to turn our heads.

Stephen Gibson has a wellspring of all three. We’ve built up this tradition over the years of “interviewing” our newest game designers, usually so that others can get to know their game, but also because we like to see their reaction. Sometimes it’s a video session full of snickering in the background, sometimes we share it on our website. This time, we decided to do something different, and offer it right before the release of Grimslingers into the retail community. This is our ‘getting-to-know’ Stephen inaugural interview from Greenbrier Games.

Please share some details about you as a game designer. What got you started?

I was a nerd straight out of the womb. I started playing Everquest when I was nine-years-old and always thought it would be so cool to make my own game like that. Not having the ability to create a full-blown MMO at the age of nine, I started making pen-and-paper games with my friends instead. From there I just couldn't stop! Designing is what I do in my free time...and any spare moment I have to think to myself, usually!

Weapon of choice in the zombie apocalypse? (GBG staple)

Rita Macneal's hit song "Working Man" — the zombies and I would just listen to it and put aside our differences.

That approach has never been tested, so we will allow it for the sake of scientific inquiry. Now for the big one, what is your favorite board game?

So far, my own. Yeah, it sounds lame, but I made the game *I* wanted to play.

We’d give you a hard time about that, but it’s also what got us into the board game business in the first place. We can’t say others might not. Can you tell us a few words about your project?

Grimslingers is all my favorite things. Quick, cooperative, strategic, humorous, epic, thoughtful, mysterious, and creative. You're a magical cowboy with a snarky robot companion fighting cryptid-like creatures and exploring a mystic wild west, all the while trying to uncover the secrets of yourself, the gods, and your master.

Is it the first game developed? If not, what else have you done?

This is my first published game. Like I said before, I've been designing games for years. Grimslingers is an amalgamation of most of my best ideas so far.

You had success without GBG, so why publish with us instead of taking your show on the road?

Grimslingers was basically a one-man show up until GBG decided to pick it up. At a certain point in development I realized that it was going to be a very tough road to hoe, maybe even impossible, to get the game finished and released.

Doing everything alone is no fun, and also seriously challenging. I couldn’t have been happier to have a competent publisher offer to pick up Grimslingers and help me finish the game and unleash its awesomeness on the world.

What advantage/uniqueness are you bringing to the table?

In terms of theme and story, I think once players get into the campaign and setting they'll see a unique offering there. It's a familiar thing, a weird western, but I've done it in a way that will feel new and mysterious to players.

Mechanically, Grimslingers has a fluid dueling system where everyone's turn happens at once… it feels right for a cowboy game, and even has a Blackjack-like system for resolving certain situations. The simultaneous action system also works well in the cooperative campaign when dueling creatures, so it's a very robust system that feels good in both versus and co-op situations.

In terms of advantages being brought to the table, Grimslingers has a bit of everything. It can be played solo, or co-op. It has a story campaign, but you could also just roam around the map and explore. It has adjustable difficulty if you want easy mode or a super tough challenge. In versus mode, you can play in teams or a free-for-all with up to eight players. It can either be a quick filler game, or something you spend the whole night playing without being repetitive. Grimslingers has got your gaming group covered!

Quick! Give us your Newsworthy Title!

It's the best-looking game you haven't played yet.

Wow, you even had that one at the ready...almost a quick draw if you will. Please tell us something which isn't written in your project page worth mentioning.

I think I've covered all my bases so far. I will say that there are lots of little visual Easter Eggs and nods to some of my favorite media in the game like Lost, Gravity Falls, and Coast-to-Coast AM.

OK, last one before we let you off the hook...and this does have long term ripple effects in the GBG family, so no pressure here: pancakes or waffles?

Waffles. They are basically batter made into a bunch of connected cups for butter and syrup.


Author Bio: Stephen Gibson

Graduated with honors in 3D Animation, Art and Design from Humber College, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Stephen worked as a freelance illustrator before accepting a position as Art Director and Illustrator for Greenbrier Games. Aside from his professional life, Stephen is a proud husband and father of two.