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 Fred Hicks, Co-President and Founder and Carrie Harris, Marketing Manager.
Michael Tresca (MT): Tell us about your company.
Fred Hicks and Carrie Harris (FH/CH): Evil Hat Productions believes that passion makes the best games. We put our all into our products, like the award-winning Dresden Files RPG and Kickstarter-record-producing Fate Core system. This is more than just a business for us. We treat our friends, fans and freelancers like we want to be treated, and we bring passion, access, honesty, transparency, and high-value awesomeness to the table. For more information, visit www.evilhat.com.
MT: Has your company been nominated for any ENnies in the past?
FH/CH: Yes! Our Dresden Files RPG is a multiple ENnie winner, with gold awards for Best Game, Best New Game, Best Writing, and Best Rules and with silver awards for Product of the Year and Best Production Values. And way back in the day, Spirit of the Century won the silver for Best Rules. We’re proud to say we’ve had a few other nominations too!
MT: Tell us about your nominated products/site.
FH/CH: Fate is a flexible system that can support any worlds you can dream up. You can create your own world from scratch using the system mechanics found in Fate Core or the abbreviated version found in Fate Accelerated. Or you can pick and choose from resources like the Fate System Toolkit, Fate Worlds, and Strange Tales of the Century to help create the exact game you’re looking for. Whatever you choose, you’ll be in for a gaming experience full of twists…of Fate.
See what we did there? We can’t resist a good pun. Or a bad one, apparently.
MT: What distinguishes your entries from your competitors?
FH/CH: Our company and these entries all grew out of our commitment to radical transparency and access for our fans. In many ways they're the culmination of fifteen years of hard work creating the earlier editions of Fate and focusing on learning and improving at every step of the way, and feedback from our fans has been a big part of that process. We've also managed to find ourselves at a sort of interesting halfway point between traditional gaming sensibilities and story-gaming, and these books really exemplify that unusual niche.
MT: What products will you be producing for the remainder of this year?
FH/CH: To be honest, we get simultaneously excited and exhausted just looking at the complete list. We have a lot coming up over the next year. We have a few projects hovering around the playtest phase as we’re writing this, including the War of Ashes RPG, Young Centurions RPG, and Dresden Files Accelerated. Our deckbuilder game, Zeppelin Attack, will be hitting shelves right around GenCon. And in our fiction line, we’re putting the finishing touches on the final volume of the Dinocalypse trilogy and a standalone adventure: Stone’s Throe.
MT: Have you participated in any recent Kickstarters? Are there any upcoming Kickstarters on the horizon?
FH/CH: Kickstarter funded all of our nominated projects through the record-breaking Fate Core KS in January 2013 and the Fate Dice KS in May of 2013! We’ve also recently completed a Kickstarter for that deckbuilding game we mentioned earlier, Zeppelin Attack. Over the next year, we’ll be wrapping up the remaining projects from the Fate Core KS and moving on to the next project—a KS for Shannon Appelcline’s massively awesome RPG history, Designers and Dragons.
MT: What do you think of the new edition of D&D?
FH/CH: It looks promising! And while we did our best to capitalize on the absence of D&D from the marketplace, we're very happy to see it back, because a strong D&D product is good for everyone in the RPG world whether or not they play it.
MT: Will you be at Gen Con? Where? Will any new products debut at Gen Con?
FH/CH: We will! We’re very proud to say that Evil Hat is a sponsor of the 2014 GenCon Author Symposium. We’ll be sitting on some panels on Thursday and giving attendees an inside scoop on what’s up for us next. We’ll also be signing copies of the Dresden Files RPG along with our pal Jim Butcher, so make sure to bring your copies from home! You can also pick up Evil Hat products at the IPR booth (#2221).
MT: Where can we find out more about your company online?