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Meet the Steel Colosseum Team: Richard Wilkins

steel colosseum meet the team Richard Wilkins

Steel Colosseum is now live on Kickstarter! Zatu Games' first publishing deal alongside Needy Cat Games, Steel Colosseum, is a competitive team combat arena game designed by a wonderful team of creatives. Here on the Zatu blog, we are going to introduce you to each member of the Steel Colosseum team and see if we can find out any sneaky details.

This week, we're introducing Richard Wilkins. Also known as Ricky Royal, Richard is a game designer who works on solo board games. He's worked on some great titles, such as Pax Pamir and Ecosystem - and he's also the brains behind the very exciting solo mode for Steel Colosseum!

Name: Richard Wilkins (aka Ricky Royal)

Job Title: Games Designer and presenter of Box of Delights YouTube channel.

Favourite Food: When I was in Chiang Mai I had the most amazing massaman curry, and I’ve been on a mission to find one as good ever since…

Favourite Biscuit: I really shouldn’t… oh go on then, I’ll have a shortbread finger.

Favourite Movie: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Favourite Character: “The Man with No Name” aka “Blondie” aka “The Good”

Favourite Band/Artist: Otis Redding (aka the King), Aretha Franklin (aka the Queen), James Brown (aka the Godfather). Right now though, I’m listening to Wet Leg (but not on a chaise longue)!

Hobbies: Board games (obvs)… I don’t have a lot of free time for stuff outside of family and the dog and board game stuff, but when I do I am passionate about all sorts of things, so hobbies tend to come and go all the time (e.g. coin collecting, history, playing the guitar, body-boarding, golf, baseball, song-writing, painting, stereo-photography… all sorts!)

Tell Us About Your Role Within Steel Colosseum

Most people who know me know me as a solo-rules guy, and that’s great! I have been slowly building a reputation in the solo board game design space over the last 10 years, and so was thrilled to be invited to join the team to work on the solo game for Steel Colosseum. I see my role as creating a solo mode that fits in with the design ethos of the base game, that feels the same, allows a player to play the same way, but at the same time creates a new kind of experience for soloists. It’s important to me that the solo game does not feel disconnected from the underlying game, and therefore ongoing liaison with the rest of the team is important throughout the development of the solo game.

How Did You Get Into the Board Game Industry?

I’ve been a board game player since childhood, but my breakthrough into the industry came 10 years ago when I started connecting with publishers and designers via my YouTube channel at a fortuitous time: there were relatively few game channels on the internet then, and board gaming was just blossoming as an industry, Kickstarter had launched and was just starting to find a place in the industry, and solo gaming was finding its own space. Board gaming has come a long way in those 10 years: instead of having to seek out solo game designers, publishers are spoiling us with choice, YouTube channels are abundant and opening a wider world to all sorts of board games, and attendance figures at tabletop conventions is soaring. It’s a great time to be involved!

What Was the First Game That You Backed On Kickstarter?

It was a game called The Card Game of Oz, a tactical story-telling game based on the works of L. Frank Baum. The game was designed by Jim O’Connor under the banner of his fledgling company Orion’s Bell. It really captured the ethos of Kickstarter: to enable the launch of independently designed and published games that would otherwise not exist. Jim’s game really captured my imagination and showed me how a creative mind could imagine and then make real any kind of game they wanted.

In Three Words, How Would You Describe Steel Colosseum?

Bashin’, crashin’, smashin’!

Just Between Us, Tell Us Something That We Didn’t Already Know About Steel Colosseum

For the solo rules, I’m developing a team of ‘house robots’ that you can also bring into your multi-player games to throw some chaos into the mix. So although the solo game brings extra components, they are extra components that people who never play solo will also be able to use in their games. Pretty neat huh?!

And Lastly, Tell Us About Your Favourite Character Within Steel Colosseum

I really like Lake. Copying other people’s tricks and using them against them is a smashing piece of skulduggery. And Lake’s card says they love “poetry, hip hop and assistive tech” – what more do you need?!

Meet the Team

Meet the rest of the Steel Colosseum team by heading over to our blog. We've also got an exciting series on each of the Steel Colosseum robots, so be sure to check them out!

Editors note: This blog was originally published on May 9th, 2022. Updated on May 17th, 2022 to improve the information available.