Apr 09 2013

Interview with DC Deck Building game designer Matt Hyra

Published by at 6:43 pm under board games,DC Comics Deck Building Game

I recently had the pleasure of corresponding with Matt Hyra, designer of the DC Comics Deck Building game (a favorite of mine), as well as many other great games. Titles to his credit include Food Fight,  The Locke and Key Card game, and Batman:Arkham City Escape. He also worked on the WoW CCG as well as the VS system.  As you will see below he’s got a ton of great projects he is working on and I think we will all enjoy them when they get released by Cryptozoic in the future.

First, I wanted to take this time to thank Matt for his time and look forward to talking to him some more in the future!

What was the first game you can remember playing that you said, I LOVE THIS HOBBY!


I was 15 or 16 and played in a genuinely spooky Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game. That inspired me to write my own adventures and started up a love of creating fun times.


What game made you want to design board games?


There wasn’t one game in particular. Every game I played where I thought there was something that could have been improved started me down this dark path. I used to annoy my friends by introducing house rules to fix stuff that was not working well in previous plays.


When did you design your first game? What was it? Is it still in print?


Other than numerous RPG adventures, my first real game that I made more than one copy was Doomsday Cult 2000. A game akin to Illuminati. You had to choose a date in December 1999 that you believed the world would end and write it on the back of your Cult card. Then you recruit followers, attack other cults, and finally sacrifice your entire flock on your chosen date. Then make a roll heavily influenced by how powerful your flock was to see if the world actually ends. If it does, you win! If not, pick a new date and recruit more followers. It is not in print. A friend and I printed about 50 copies by hand on heavy cardstock and sold them around Seattle.


Do you still design for the WoW TCG?


No, too busy with boardgames and cardgames.


Did/do you have any input on Hearthstone?


Nope. Cryptozoic has nothing to do with it.


Will the WoW Deck Builder (WoW:Clash of Champions) Ever see the light of day? (I REALLLYY hope so!)


It is done and in Blizzard’s hands, so we have no say anymore on whether or not it releases.


Which came first the idea of the Cerebus engine or the idea that the engine you used in DC DBG could be used for other licenses?


We started the DC Deck-building Game first, then quickly realized that it could work with more than one license.


How long did you work on DC Comics DBG before it came to final product?


Little over a year.


Did you take a lot of cues from other DBG or even from your work with the VS system?


Since we did not originate the DBG category, there were influences, but VS wasn’t one of them. Different game entirely. We wanted to keep it simple so a non-gamer comic book fan could pick it up easily.


It’s no secret that The Geek Allstars (my podcast) love the DC DBG but it seems to be very polarizing to both sides (although I think many more people have liked it then not). Have you been happy with the way it has been received by the public?


Quite happy with the public reaction to the game. It is selling very well and most every review compliments the easy setup, fast play, and fun combos. That is what we were going for.


What is your favorite hero? What is your favorite card?


Favorite Hero is probably Aquaman. Favorite card is probably X-Ray Vision.


How many Expansions do you guys have planned per year?


We aren’t really thinking in terms of “per year,” as there are multiple Cerberus DBGs coming. We have a DC expansion coming this year, tho.


Do you have any new mechanics you plan to introduce in the next expansion?


Probably not anything that you could call a new mechanic. It’s only the first expansion, so we don’t want to immediately head into left field yet.


How many cards do you plan to have in the next expansion? Will it be a big box or small box?


It’s a full standalone big box. But it can easily be merged with the first set. Best way to merge them is to separate the cards by type, then use different card types from the two sets.


Can you tease any new heroes or Super villains that will be in the expansion?


No, but there will be more than one female Super Hero.


Can you hint as to the next IP that will be getting the Cerebus engine and becoming a DBG?


We hinted it before, but I will hint it harder here:  CapCom’s Streetfighter. Fully compatible with DC.


I actually enjoyed the Locke And Key game quite a bit as well, do you have any expansion plans?


No expansion plans, since the comic series is coming to a close.


Can you tell us any news on Arkham city escape? Any time table? It looks like a REAL fun and quality two player experience and cant wait to learn more about it.


I think it is releasing in June. I will put up an article at Cryptozoic.com talking about it several weeks before it releases.


Do you have anything else you are currently working on (not as if you didn’t seem busy enough!) that you can share with us?


Archer Boardgame, Ender’s Game Boardgame, Assassin’s Creed Boardgame, and many others.


What conventions can we plan on seeing you at?


SD Comic-Con, Dragonflight in Seattle, GenCon Indy, and PAX Prime in Seattle.

Once again I want to say thanks to Matt for putting up with my nagging questions about the DC DBG’s future as well as the future of the Cerebus engine. I am extremely exited for a ton of those titles he has mentioned and simply cannot wait to see what heroes and new cards we will see in a DC DBG expansions!

Not to mention the idea of an Assassin’s Creed board game is AWESOME!

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