If you know anything about me, (and how could you not?), you know that I LOVE fanfiction. While I don’t read it (often any more) or write it (often anymore) I love the very fact that it exists, that people love it, and that they devote their time to the creation and enjoyment of being fans of something. Seriously. Creating more things, right?
The thing is, I cannot love fanfiction without also admitting to you that I also LOVE ‘shipping and slash fiction. I ‘ship every day. Seriously. I ‘ship characters in shows and books I consume, I ‘ship cosplayers I see pictures of, I ‘ship hosts of youtube videos I watch. Really. But what does this have to do with analog gaming? I’m so glad you asked! introducing slash: romance without boundaries! A newly kickstarted card game that lets you (and me and us) ‘ship EVERYONE ALL OF THE TIME! You think Jessica Fletcher should have hooked up with Castle? (Yes, me too.) This is the game for you.
Anyway, I reached out to one of the game’s developers Meg the Brilliant Gameologist, also on twitter, and she can better answer questions than I could, and so, on we go!
Short and sweet, what’s the elevator pitch for Slash?
Slash is a party card game in which the matchmaker chooses a card that details a character from media or history and asks the table who their One True Pair should be. Players choose a card from their hand and play it, apples-to-apples or Cards Against Humanity style. The Matchmaker chooses the best match from either random cards OR asks top finalists to narrate a story to make their case. Still think your card should’ve won? Tell an awesome story about the two lovebirds and appeal to the table. If everyone agrees, you get to overrule the Matchmaker’s decision and get all of the loves (and points).
Can you elaborate a bit on the idea of ‘shipping and slash and where it comes from?
At Games by Playdate, we came together because we love fun games. That kind of sounds silly, but we’re all working adults, two of us with young kids, and we don’t have the patience for long, boring games anymore. Not to say we don’t still enjoy a long game, but it has to be interesting throughout (which very much includes learning how to play). To that end, we love a good party games and social games that act as a vehicle for just hanging out with friends.
Slash is our first published game, mostly because it’s the “light”est but the response to it has been overwhelming. It started as just a silly idea that Glenn, the original founder of Games by Playdate had, but he wrote out some cards and played it with friends at conventions and was overwhelmed with the fact that people not only liked it, but wanted to buy it.
The idea is that it’s almost in our nature as geeks, ahem, mediaconnoisseurs, to imagine what would happen if fictions crossed over. We love our favorite characters and the storyteller in us wants to imagine them in new settings with new people.
The game is intended to ‘ship characters together- that is, imagine two characters are in a relationship together. “Slash” of course usually refers to a sexual relationship between characters of the same sex. While that could happen in this game, it’s by no means limited to that and can very much stay in a PG-13 realm. (But Slash was a much better name for a game than “Ship”)
But, you have all adults playing and mix in a few cocktails and… well, it gets fun.
The Kickstarter site indicates this game was born out of one of your cofounders love of ‘shipping. Do you ‘ship yourself? Who do you ‘ship?
Glenn, who came up with the idea for the game loves a good ‘ship. I definitely have my favorites as well, though have never taken a stab at writing my own. There is a lot of silliness out there getting in the way, but a ton of amazing work too. As over popularized (and blah) as it is, I was actually extremely excited for the success of 50 Shades of Grey because it shows that fanfic can not only succeed, but REALLY get blown big and I think that should be terribly exciting for all budding authors trying their hand at fanfic.
I know you’re an active and avid player of games, do you ‘ship during your other games? Does ‘shipping play into your play style? How would you use ‘shipping in other roleplaying games?
I am an extremely active and avid player of games. I podcasted for a couple of years on the show Brilliant Gameologists and seemed to get a bit carried away at times in directions that were going down a “‘ship” type path.
I do love RPG’s though with established social mechanics. I love role playing games because I like to explore emotions and decisions that aren’t my own. A great example of a game where ‘ship’ing is PART of the game is Apocalypse World (and Monster Hearts). This game had a sex mechanic built into your character. It’s brilliant. I definitely tend to be drawn to games that have a better system to allow relationships to build and flourish.
In terms of other tabletop games- well, let’s just say I’ve been known to elaborate on the Mating Hut in Stone Age (the boardgame)…
What’s your favorite ‘ship in the deck?
I’m somewhat of a traditionalist and have found myself voting for ANYONE matched with Malcolm Reynolds. I do love me some firefly love…
Though I have to say, I was very touched by pairing Optimus Prime with the 50 Foot Woman. Two people so hard to love… coming together… it was beautiful.
I notice that the Kickstarter lets everyone download a print and play copy of the game to take a look before the decide to back or not. I love that, can you tell us about your decision to do that? What’s your philosophy there?
The game is good and we want you to play it. If that means you download it for free and have fun, that’s great. Our philosophy is that we believe enough people will want to save the hassle of printing and cutting and say “Hm, 300+ cards? $20? Deal!” It’s how we each would approach a game we are excited about so we wanted to put that up for our game too.
I think it’s pretty similar to a lot of RPG’s… I love the option of a super cheap PDF so I can reference the book on my iPad, but there’s nothing like the actual printed version and I’ll gladly pay for that.
What’s the one thing you want everyone to know about Slash?
You are going to think about your favorite characters from media in a whole new way. I can guarantee after playing a couple of times, you will thinking about the Golden Girls in ways you never before imagined. There are also several ways to play the game, which is very intentional, and we can’t wait to hear about different house rules people come up with.
The kickstarter is going through the very beginning of December with a goal of $10,000. We’re really hopeful we can hit the $25,000 mark because that means we get to get it super-duper printed by a great company. If that happens, everyone who pledges at the $20 level will be getting the game WAY below the final price, so that’s a total win-win! But regardless, we’re getting the word out there and bringing a new game to the fold and that’s pretty awesome too.