Gamefound is a crowdfunding platform that tends to be known for board games, wargames, models and card games. Traditional roleplaying games, not so much!
But Infinite Black aims to change that with Vast Grimm. The tabletop RPG launches on the 13th, the pre-launch sign-up is live. There are several reasons why that might be tempting beyond the immediate lure of the game.
Firstly, if you follow the project now and back it later, you’ll get a free d20. Secondly, there’s even a competition to win prototype dice that supports multiple ways to enter.
Thirdly, another competition offers a $1,000 top prize. Rare and desirable goodies are included too.
I think the sci-fi horror of the Mork Borg game will be the biggest attraction, though, and Geek Native will return to look more closely at it when the campaign launches.
I spoke to Brian Colin ahead of launch, the creator, artist and writer of the game, who worked alongside Ross Brandt as co-creator, co-writer, and layout. It’s worth noting that David LaRocca, who owns the business, works on art and product design, and Allen Panakal also worked on art.
Why Gamefound and not one of the usual sites tabletop fans know, trust and already go to?
Infinite Black is at the early stages of strategic growth. Part of expanding the brand includes ensuring we explore different channels to reach new fans. We saw that Gamefound was in the Beta phase of their crowdfunding platform. After doing research on how their pledge management portion had been around for about 4 years, and then talking to the team we were very interested.
Gamefound is founded by board game developers, so it seems natural to partner with people who love the same things we do. We also knew that they had not had a tabletop RPG crowdfund yet. We thought that with having such amazing fans at our back, we could help pave the way for other folks developing RPGs to have another option for crowdfunding.
Why Mork Borg?
The simplest answer is, Mork Borg changed my perception of RPGs.
I’ve been playing with funny math-rocks since 4th grade (back in the mid-80s). Through the years I’ve played most iterations of D&D, TMNT, Rifts, Gurps, Vampire, Fate, and a bunch of others; but none made something in my brain click like Mork Borg.
From the descriptions of characters, the beautiful aesthetic of the book, to how fast it was to learn the system. Every bit of it struck a chord with me.
The idea that the book didn’t have to be columns of text after columns of text hit me in a similar way to when I picked up the Book of Nod for Vampire when I was in high school. RPGs don’t have to be what is expected. They can be different and pull people into the setting through their design.
On top of that, my friend, and co-creator/co-writer, Ross Brandt ran a game of Mork Borg for our friends and immediately I was inspired to sculpt even though I had barely sculpted at all during Covid.
Once I did create a new monster (wör hound) I knew it needed somewhere other than any of my other settings for it to live, and the setting for Vast Grimm was born. Because everything about the sculpture was inspired by Mork Borg, I wanted to use their 3rd-party license and make the whole book draw from that inspiration.
Do backers need to know Mork Borg before they can try Vast Grimm?
They do not, Vast Grimm has everything you need to play. But I would highly recommend picking up Mork Borg if you don’t have it. The book is amazing and should be on your bookshelf. While you’re at it, snag two and gift one to a friend.
What sets Vast Grimm apart from Mork Borg is the setting and theme of the game along with the art.
When starting the initial conversations about the layout with Ross Brandt, we wanted it to really have a mixed media feel because of the textures and dimensional aspects of my sculptures. I also wanted it to have a bit of a punk-rock edge to it because I grew up listening to that and not the death metal that influenced the art direction of Mork Borg.
When incorporating David LaRocca’s original art for the book, it pushed the design one step closer to the beautiful abyss. He explored new techniques and styles beyond his traditional graphite work that he is known for, and his illustrations are incredible.
We’ve also weaved a lot of our friend Allen Panakal’s sci-fi themed illustrations into the book. His fractured-realism style contrasting with the organic nature of my sculptures and David’s illustration truly give Vast Grimm a unique style I don’t think you will find anywhere else.
Do you think Mork Borg might become a victim of its own success given how much material there is now for it from third-party creators?
I think just the opposite. Opening their setting and system up to people has grown a thriving community who advocate for their brand. Without those people and the members of the Mork Borg Cult, I don’t think it would have risen to the level of popularity it has.
There is also a certain level of detail and certain design touches that are unique to official Mork Borg items that I believe will continue bringing them success. I know I will continue picking up everything they make!
What else might readers know the Infinite Black brand from?
Infinite Black is best known for our success with our Elder Dice line. We’ve had four successful Kickstarters featuring Lovecraftian/Horror themed dice and accessories.
The quality of all the items we make and our communication during the crowdfunding process has created an incredible community around our projects.
We’re touched on the explosion of Mork Borg content, but that seems much smaller than the boom in gorgeous dice. How has that affected Infinite Black?
It’s amazing to see the popularity of dice, and RPGs, increase as much as it has!
We have not seen a direct impact from the increase in dice makers over the past year or two. The more people who are buying dice from all the incredible companies in the industry just reinforces that there are more people sitting around playing make-believe together and we love it!
We’ll keep making dice as long as we have new and creative ideas that will set our items apart from everyone else’s. With the introduction of Vast Grimm expanding what we make from game accessories and diving into publishing. We are excited to see where this takes us next!
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