It gives me great personal pleasure to introduce John LeMaire, an old friend of mine from back in the day. John’s an excellent artist, an avid gamer and a Good Person. We wiled away many an evening playing a variety of games back in college, and now he’s Kickstarting his very own game, SUET the Card Game.
Since I know John — and more importantly, I know what his devious mind is capable of — I backed that sucker. I can’t wait to play it, and I think many of you out there would enjoy it as well. So I invited him here to tell you all about SUET and the Evil Genius Goodness it contains. You can also click on each image to get a better look at the art and cards.
Read on, IF YOU DARE. (Dun-dun-dunnnnn.)
SUET the Card Game: A Game of Minor League Masterminds and their Dastardly Devices
First of all, let me begin by saying thank you, Mike, for allowing me to place my words upon your blog. You are a gentleman and a scholar! Next, I am sure people are wondering who the heck I am and why am I writing this guest post. I met Mike back in the fall of 1989 at college in upstate New York. I walked into a lounge in our dorm and there was a group of people playing a tabletop roleplaying game. Mr. Martinez was one of those playing. I eventually joined their group and we all became very good friends. (Sorry to out you, Mike, but now everyone knows you were a nerd back in the day. But then again, this may not be the revelation that I think it is.)
Now let’s get to why I am writing: My love of gaming in all of its forms has remained with me to this day. This love has grown beyond just RPGs to board and card games as well. Anyone who has a hobby that they truly love, whether it be books, movies or even games has probably thought, “I can do that!” Then, when they get motivated enough, they set out trying to write their first novel, screenplay or whatever. Well, this is what happened to me and so here I am, guest-blogging on Mike’s page telling you about it.
I have created my very first game, now on Kickstarter. It’s called SUET the Card Game, which I am sure brings to mind all sorts of things like bird seed, pudding and tallow. In my game, however, SUET is an acronym for the Society of Ultimate Evil and Terror — a group of evil geniuses (and I use the term genius very loosely) bent on world domination, or at least an upgrade to premium-level cable service.
To me, a narrative is an essential part of any game. Without one, a game at its core is just a pile of math. Would Clue be any fun if it was just a statistical game of deduction? (“It was Person 1 in Location 4 with Object 3!”) No, they added the story of a murder mystery with interesting characters and exotic weapons set in an old mansion. Heck, they did such a good job that they even made it into a movie. (They did the same with Battleship but we won’t talk about that.)
In my game one of the members of SUET has died mysteriously of train poisoning (and his remains are spread nearly a quarter of a mile!). To replace this person, the society has put out the call on all the hippest social media sites, seeking applicants to fill their new vacancy. Dozens of people applied and they have narrowed the field down to four possible candidates. To pick which one of these applicants to accept, the members of SUET have devised a little competition: Whoever is the first person to construct a fully-functioning doomsday device, to be used to blackmail the world, wins. He or she will also be taught the secret handshake, given a society membership card and a key to the SUET minivan (which must be returned with a full tank of gas).
SUET is all about collecting cards and building your evil genius’ unique doomsday device, while at the same time defending your secret lab and thwarting your opponents. The person who is the first to bring the four components that make up their device into their lab wins — and gets to laugh maniacally! (Well, if you are playing it right, maniacal laughter should be present throughout the game.) The game offers two ways to play: a short version for people who are looking to enjoy a quick 15-20 minute game, and a variation which takes about 60-90 minutes for those who like longer, more strategic games. Not to sound too much like a commercial, but, it’s megatons of fun for you and your whole family (as long as your family is made up of 2-4 people ages 8 and up!).
As fun as the game is to play, the individual cards themselves are not only entertaining but also beautifully illustrated. Of course, I may be a little biased considering I did all the writing and artwork! Each card has humorous flavor text, and if you like what you’ve read in this blog post, I ‘m sure the cards will give you a laugh or two (or possibly a groan — I do love a good pun!). Each card also has its own illustration, which means that after graduating from college 23 years ago, I am actually doing something with my degree!
So, if you like evil geniuses, maniacal laughter, blackmail, secret labs, doomsday devices, crazy experiments and nefarious organizations, then SUET the Card Game is the perfect game for you! Head over to Kickstarter by clicking on www.firststallproductions.com/suet and help back our project. We have some awesome reward levels, including signed prints, a fifth evil genius and even an opportunity to put yourself in the game! The Kickstarter campaign will end, fittingly, on March 15th — the Ides of March (which also happens to be the day before my birthday). Send me a message via the Kickstarter and I might even see if I can find an old picture of Mike that will explain why we affectionately referred to him as “Chia Head” in college! (Sorry Mike!)
Mike’s note: I write science fiction and fantasy, so I assume it’s pretty much a given as to my nerd-cred. And as regards John’s old picture of me…well, I thought it would be cool to have long hair in college. But it grew out, rather than down; the Chia Head nickname was sadly apt. And when I tried to tie it into a ponytail, it looked like I had a Dr. Seuss-style tuft growing out the back of my head. Also, I had no beard then and was quite baby-faced. I was, as the kids say, a hot mess. Or at least lukewarm.
So let it be known that if SUET gets funded and John can produce the picture of me, I will post it right here on the blog for your amusement. That’s how much I want to see this game go into production. Fund that Kickstarter!