This interview is part of a series focusing on candidates in the running for the 2014 ENnie Awards. The Gen Con EN World RPG Awards (the “ENnies”) are an annual fan-based celebration of excellence in tabletop role-playing gaming, with voting beginning 7 a.m. Central on Sunday, July 20 through 7 p.m. Central on Wednesday, July 30. The winners will be announced at Gen Con, the Grand Hall at the Historic Union Station on Friday, August 15. To vote, see http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/. In this installment I interview Matthew J. Hanson. Owner of Sneak Attack Press and author of Broken Earth.
Michael Tresca (MT): Tell us about your company.
Matthew J. Hanson (MJH): We started back in 2010 making adventures for D&D and Pathfinder. Since then we've expanded to other systems and other kinds of books. With the success of Broken Earth, we're planning to produce more Savage Worlds settings, plus we've got our own game system called Abstract Dungeon coming out soon.
MT: Has your company been nominated for any ENnies in the past?
MJH: Yes, we received an ENnie nomination in 2012 for our book Terrain Toolbox, which gives advice for including interesting terrain in you D&D or Pathfinder game along with a bunch of sample terrain, like blood mage’s circles, solid clouds, and lightning pillars.
MT: Tell us about your nominated products/site.
MJH: Broken Earth is a post-apocalyptic adventure-setting that takes place in Earth's future. The tone is much closer to something like Mad Max than it is to Gamma World, and there's a heavy emphasis on establishing a community to rebuild civilization. In the suggested starting adventure, the heroes save their friends and family from a band of slavers. After that the heroes are free to explore the remains of the upper mid-west, encountering high-tech ruins, mutant monsters, and rival bands of humans.
MT: What distinguishes your entries from your competitors?
MJH: Well we are the only post apocalyptic setting. Actually, all the nominees are great products, and we're excited to be in such a great lineup of games.
MT: What products will you be producing for the remainder of this year?
MJH: On the Broken Earth front we'll start the Tales from the Great Lakes series, which describes several new locations around the great lakes. We also will release our first original game, Abstract Dungeon, which is focused on speed and story over number crunching. Finally there's a few adventures coming out to preview the Kronocalypse setting, which will have a Kickstarter campaign in September.
MT: Have you participated in any recent Kickstarters? Are there any upcoming Kickstarters on the horizon?
MJH: Yes, in September we'll launch the Kronocalypse Kickstarter campaign. Kronocalypse is a time-travel mash up adventure-setting in which cavemen, wizards, sky-pirates, and cyborgs unite to stop an evil that threatens to destroy time itself. We've already released our first preview Ug See Big Thing That Fly [www.rpgnow.com/product/130003/Ug-See-Big-Thing-that-Fly]. If anybody wants to be notified when the campaign launches, they can sign up to get a Kickstarter campaign email launch alert [http://eepurl.com/SHuE1].
MT: What do you think of the new edition of D&D?
MJH: It looks good so far, but I'm going to wait until I play it before I pass final judgment. Right now I'm planning to run Hoard of the Dragon Queen when it comes in August.
MT: Will you be at Gen Con? Where? Will any new products debut at Gen Con?
MJH: I'll be there personally, but Sneak Attack Press is not large enough yet to have a booth. The easiest place to find me (outside of the ENies award ceremonies) will be in the Games on Demand room. I'll be running Abstract Dungeon and Magical Kitties, but I don't have a specific schedule yet.
MT: Where can we find out more about your company online?
MJH: Our website is www.sneakattackpress.com, and we're also on Facebook, G+ and Twitter.
MT: Anything else you'd like to share?
MJH: Just want to give a big thank you to everybody who has supported Broken Earth so far, especially those who backed us on Kickstarter. Without their support Broken Earth never would not have been possible.