At Gen Con on Saturday, ICv2 caught up with Christopher Badell, the Design Director and Co-Owner of Greater than Games, the publisher of the indie hit comic book superhero card game Sentinels of the Multiverse. Sentinels was a buzz title in ICv2’s Spring survey of retailers and distributors (see "Four Games You May Have Missed").
Badell shared information about the company’s plans for the Sentinels line (a new mega-expansion called Vengeance, a stand-alone combat game set in the same universe called Sentinels Tactics, as well as reprints of (now) OOP expansions) and plans for their second stand-alone cooperative deck building game--Galactic Strike Force.
You guys came out of nowhere.
Yes. Two years ago we released (Sentinels) at Gen Con 2011. We showed up with no prior advertising or anything. We received the funding to make the game because we created a company and sold a portion of it off to investment backers. We printed the game, threw all the copies of the game we had on a truck, drove the truck to Gen Con, set up our booth and said "Wow I hope we sell a few copies so we have enough money to gas the truck to go back home."
We received a lot of good attention. We had lines every day, all day for our first Gen Con. We won some pretty notable awards, won some 'Game of the Year' awards. Tom Vasel (of The Dice Tower podcast) called us the Best Game of Gen Con 2011. It was a good show for us.
Since then, we’ve just been going crazy. We’ve done a few Kickstarters, put out some additional products and had a lot of positive attention in the past two years.
How many expansions are there for Sentinels right now?
Currently there are three expansions. Rook City was the first one, which came out shortly after the original game. Infernal Relics which came out around this time last year was the second; and this spring we put out Shattered Timelines.
I heard you say at the booth that one of those is already sold out?
Two of them are now sold out since we’ve spoken last. Rook City and Infernal Relics are not just sold out here, they are sold out at our warehouse and all of our retail locations. There are some stores that still have some hold-out copies, but if you see this, and you see Rook City and Infernal Relics on a shelf, that’s probably one of the last few copies in existence.
Will you be doing a reprint?
Yes. We will be doing reprints.
We’d like to have those out by the end of the year, but it really depends on printing schedule, with everything else we’re working on.
So, as soon as possible.
Yes, we have a game that will be released early next year called Galactic Strike Force, which is a cooperative ship-building game in which you and your friends each have their own ships, fly through the galaxy and upgrade your ships. You do all sorts of cool things and you fight against overwhelming odds with the opposition forces. It’s a pretty cool game. It’s another cooperative game, because my bread and butter is cooperative games.
What is the MSRP on that?
That’ll be $39.95.
When will it be out?
That should be out February next year at the latest.
Also, Galactic Strike Force has an optional miniatures pack that can be purchased, which I think is $29.95, but I’m not certain. The game (itself) will be $39.95 and then there are additional optional minis, because they add to the visual game play, and people like ship minis.
Those will be available separately?
Will those only be available on your website?
No. Those will be available through full distribution. Same time as the other games.
Absolutely. There are going to be a few more for Sentinels of the Multiverse that will be coming out. And we just announced this week a game called Sentinels Tactics, which is in the Sentinels of the Multiverse line. It uses the same characters and the same stories, but it is a very different kind of game, it’s a competitive game.
It is a HEX map, dice-rolling, miniature moving game in which you control a hero and you move around, you have your abilities, you swap your powers out and you can do a three-on-three cooperative team battle, or a heroes-against-a-villain player thing, lots of cool scenarios with that one. We just announced we’re doing prototype demos in the booth and we’ll be doing a Kickstarter for that early next year, once the other two products that I’ve mentioned--Galactic Strike Force and the Sentinels of the Multiverse expansion--which is called Vengeance--come out.
Vengeance is actually done. We won’t be doing any more Kickstarters for the Sentinels of the Multiverse card game because at this point, it’s a product that supports itself. The Sentinels of the Multiverse: Vengeance expansion was actually a stretch reward we did as part of the Shattered Timelines Kickstarter. We said "Okay, well, if we get to this much, we’ll do this other expansion, which we were going to do eventually, but we’ll accelerate the process on it." We’re still way ahead of the original schedule on that.
That will be out the same time as Galactic Strike Force next spring, and that is a mega-expansion for Sentinels of the Multiverse in that it has more heroes, a couple of environments and a different way to play the villains--villain teams that you face. It takes the Sentinels game that people know and are already familiar with and gives them a new and different way to approach it.
Do you need the base game to play it?
You want to have at least another game or two if you buy it. You don’t need the base set, but you’re going to be better off having it. That’s why we call it a mega-expansion: it has some stand alone materials, but really, you want to have a core basis in the Sentinels of the Multiverse game to do stuff with it.
How much will Vengeance cost?
Anything else you’d like to share with the audience?
Really, we’re just excited to be able to do all these great products. We’re really proud of everything we’ve done, and we’re thrilled that people like it as much as they do.
Does any of your team have a background in the gaming industry?
Not really. Paul (Bender), our business manager, has been coming to Gen Con his whole life, as a consumer. Adam (Rebottaro), our artist, has been doing art his whole life, but never professionally. I’ve been writing stories and coming up with games, but I never had any intention of doing it professionally. It was just a thing I did for fun.
It was Paul who looked at the games that I was making and said "These are really good, you should sell these." I said I really don’t have an interest in that, I don’t really care about doing that. I just make games for fun. He kind of twisted my arm and said "You should really do these things." And now, here we are.
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