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Meet the Steel Colosseum Team: Tom Hutchings

steel colosseum meet the team Tom Hutchings

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'll be talking to Tom Hutchings. Tom is the talented graphic designer of Steel Colosseum. You'll find his work on every single part of the game - from the robot cards and the tokens to the logo on the box! Tom's great design work really helps the game flow.

Name: Tom Hutchings

Job Title: Graphic Designer

Favourite Food: Ramen

Favourite Biscuit: Custard Cream

Favourite Movie: Pan’s Labyrinth

Favourite Character: Sharrow (from Against a Dark Background by Iain M Banks)

Favourite Band/Artist: 65daysofstatic

Hobbies: Board games (obviously), painting miniatures, playing unnecessarily hard video games

Tell Us About Your Role Within Steel Colosseum

I’m a Graphic Designer, which, in simple terms, means I make things look pretty. I draw the logos, and icons and collaborated closely with Chris to link up the graphics and artwork. I also try and make sure the game components are easy to use and ‘feel’ right, as well as trying to find ways to make the visuals as useful and ‘part of the game’.

Right at the start of the project we all kind of agreed on the idea of this world being a sort of millennial cyberpunk. We looked at a lot of technology and fashion from the late ’90s and early ’00s and tried to extrapolate (in the same way that cyberpunk is rooted in aesthetics from the 80’s). This gave us a really exciting and unique aesthetic to play with, and from there we just kind of went wild.

From my end, I decided the components would be split between physical elements that exist in the world (for example, the Robot cards are designed to look like the VR headsets the pilots wear) and holographic elements representing the world’s internet (the Operator cards are fictional social media pages) and computer interfaces (like the Control cards).

How Did You Get Into The Board Game Industry?

I started my career working at Games Workshop in retail at the same time and in the same general location as James and Sophie (though we didn’t really know each other at the time) before I was lucky enough to get a job working on White Dwarf and a designer and photographer.

After a few years in Nottingham, I moved back to London. I began freelancing for friends of mine who were making games, and, through a few twists and turns, that’s where I’ve ended up working full time!

What Was the First Game That You Backed On Kickstarter?

The very first game I backed was called Epic Death! by some friends of mine, but the first one many people would have heard of was Blood Rage.

In Three Words, How Would You Describe Steel Colosseum?

Scrappy, Smashy and Happy.

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

The binary in the background of the virtual reality-style cards spells out the first paragraph of Neuromancer (by William Gibson, credited as the book that popularised cyberpunk as a genre).

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

I love Relay, so much – sure it’s just a robot, but the asymmetric design, the zippy playstyle, and the way the idea of the big arm and little arms from the art and sculpt combine with its special attack rule just blow me away. Tim, Chris, James, and Sophie (basically everyone who isn’t me) did an amazing job with it, and I love it.

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 April 20th, 2022. Updated on May 17th, 2022 to improve the information available.