Blacklist Games designers, brothers Brady and Adam Sadler, took some time out of their busy schedule to discuss their work and in particular their new project Altar Quest.
Adam and Brady, I do the same job as my brother but in a different part of the country, meaning we are able to understand each other’s stresses. What is it like and how do you manage working with each other?
Brady: Fortunately, we’ve spent most of our life pursuing creative endeavors together. We butt heads a lot when it comes to the best way to handle something, but we inevitably always want to accomplish the same thing. One of the most important aspects to how we work together is compromise. Sometimes one of us has the drive to do the heavy-lifting on a certain project (or a certain aspect of a project), so we give each other breathing room so we don’t have too many cooks in the kitchen.
Adam: As Brady said, we are pretty used to working together since we've been on countless endeavors throughout our lives. There is a constant struggle working with your brother because the smallest disagreement can escalate in a rather silly argument that only ends up wasting time. However, we have learned how to avoid them as often as we can and focus our attention on the goal of our current project.
For those that don't know, although they should, who are Blacklist Games and what are you about, Brady?
Brady: Blacklist Games is a publisher of highly thematic board games. Thus far, it showcases our designs (Adam & Brady Sadler), but as we continue to grow, we will be able to publish a wider variety of games from more designers.
Adam: Brady summed up Blacklist fairly well, but I'll also add that Brady and I have a passion for highly thematic co-operative games. That is probably our specialty, but we are always open to trying new things in the world of game design.
I love the modular deck system that you have come up with, but can you tell us a little about what makes it so special and how and why it brings something so different to gameplay?
Brady: The Modular Deck System (MDS) is more of a product line than a single set of mechanics. It focuses on fixed decks that don’t need to be constructed before the game, and is currently a trademark of our co-operative miniatures board games. The MDS is geared toward quick setup and deep solo/co-operative experiences. The main idea behind it is “shuffle up some decks and play.
Adam: It also gives us the ability to add endless variety to our games while keeping the basic mechanics on the lighter side of more complex thematic games.
I've taken a look at your next game, Altar Quest. The game looks stunning and I cannot wait to play. Altar Quest takes your stand out, modular deck system and builds on it further. What is new in Altar Quest and what are you most excited about players experiencing when they play for the first time?
Adam: Fantasy has always been a very strong theme in our gaming history and we are extremely excited to design a new game in our own fantasy setting. We have so many cool heroes and monsters that we hope to reveal during the Kickstarter and it's very hard to keep it to ourselves.
Brady: One of the biggest things that Altar Quest brings to the MDS is exploration. During any given quest, players can explore Altar Quest’s fixed board however they choose, opening whatever doors they want. Even though the quests are fixed decks, how the players explore the board will dictate how the quest plays out, providing a lot of replay-ability. I’m also personally excited about introducing players to the setting of Aridika where Altar Quest takes place. It’s a cool darker fantasy setting with Gothic horror aesthetics.
Obviously, Altar Quest is at the forefront of your mind at the minute, but can you let us know what else we can expect from Blacklist Games in the future?
Brady: I’m personally very anxious to start designing our superhero game...
Adam: Hopefully we can talk more about this soon!
Gaming means many things to many people. What are the most important things for you when it comes to games night?
Adam: Having fun! This may sound like an obvious answer, but it is really what gaming is all about.
Brady: For me, I mostly game with 7 year old daughter. She’s an insatiable gamer and always wants to learn new games or play all the games she already knows. It’s such a great activity to share with her and she makes me proud to be able to create games for other people to enjoy with their kids.
You clearly have a love for tabletop gaming and, at the moment, on a number of board game forums, people are posting their nine top games. What would make your 3x3 grid?
Brady: It fluctuates a lot, but these are the top nine games that have been on my mind a lot (either lately or since I got into the hobby) - Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, Arkham Horror: The Card Game, Pandemic, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Dice Throne, Orleans, Street Masters, LOTR: Journeys in Middle-earth and Hero Realms.
Adam: My favorite list can change a lot when we are talking about what I'm having the most fun with currently. However, I like to use these lists to focus more on games that have inspired me throughout my life and still hold a special place in my heart.
Thank you Blacklist Games
Brady and Adam, thank you so much both for your time, it was brilliant to learn a little about Blacklist Games and you and, most importantly, find out a more about the MDS and Altar Quest. Love the tease about your next project! We will all be watching and waiting.
Good luck with Altar quest if your other projects are anything to go by this is bound to be a sure fire hit! Make sure you go and check out their page and head over to Kickstarter to make a pledge.