If you haven’t already heard, Return to Dark Tower, is on a Kickstarter near you! Which is everywhere because, well, internet.
I got to ask designer Rob Daviau a few questions about the project and learn a little more! So settle in and check out this great interview!
This is Rob.
I thought it would be beneficial to put a face to the answers, in case you have not met him or otherwise know what he looks like. So…. hi Rob!
What inspired Return to Dark Tower and what made you want to work on it?
Rob mentioned that Restoration Games, the company publishing Return to Dark Tower, asks customers all the time to let them know what games they should bring back.
“Return to Dark Tower was very high up on our request list. I played [Dark Tower] for a summer as a kid and have very fond memories of the original game,” he mentioned.
How big was the team that worked on the game, and what was your role (or roles)?
If you’re going to make a great game, you’re going to need a great team! The team for this project, Rob said, was very big! He elaborated saying the team was, “Bigger than I’ve had on what is technically a board game. I’m sure I’m forgetting some people but we’ve had two main designers, four other design/developers, an app programmer, a UX designer, a graphic designer, production person, three illustrators, electronic engineer, mechanical engineer, model maker, manufacturing consultant, project manager, and dozens of playtesters.”
Rob was one of the main designers and also acted as the creative director. “[I was] trying to ensure that all the different people maintained the same vision of the game.”
What type of game is Return to Dark Tower and who would you recommend it to? Would you say it’s geared toward fans of the original more, or would those who have never played the original enjoy it just as much?
This game is geared to people who like an epic adventure, Rob said. “The original came out 40 years ago so that audience is definitely 50 years old or older. So we have to make sure the game appealed to people who had never played the original or maybe haven’t even heard of it.”
Hopefully there are plenty of parents or even grandparents who want to introduce this updated version to younger gamers. And beyond that, I’m sure there’s quite a lot of individuals who’d love to try this out for the first time!
What holds true to the original game, if anything? What makes this unique (both in comparison to the original, and setting it apart from other games as well)?
Rob informed me that the team “took touchpoints from the original game – round board with tower in the middle, four kingdoms, brigands, and built a whole new game around it.” This time around it is a cooperative experience instead of competitive, and also has a companion app that talks to the tower rather than the electronics in the tower.
“Our goal was to make a game for 2020 that is as impressive as the one that came out for a 1981 audience,” Rob continued. Using the app instead of electronics in the actual tower definitely seems like a modern take that is sure to engage audiences who are already familiar and comfortable with using apps in some of their board games.
What has the journey been like bringing the game to life?
Rob has been involved with this project for 3 whole years!
“That’s a long time for this many people to work on one game,” he said, “And we’re not done yet. After the Kickstarter, we’ll have months of work left. Almost a year of effort, to get it finalized and in peoples’ hands.”
Are you happy with how it turned out?
“Very happy. I was thinking last night of how proud I am of how this came out. The team worked really hard and made something very fun.”
Big thanks to Rob for taking the time to answer my questions! I’m super excited to see how the final project comes out. If you’re interested in more information, here are some links that may help:
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