Gears Of War co-op “crucial to the Gears Of War experience”
As part of our investigation into the future of the Gears Of War series we tracked down GOW board game designer Corey Konieczka to discuss his love of the game and what makes it such a strong universe to spin out ideas from.
Corey: We’re all big fans of the video game, so when I heard we had acquired the license I was very excited. After a couple attempts by different designers, the game almost landed in my lap and I could not have been happier.
What’s the process like for attempting to adapt a video game like this into a board game?
Corey: My goal is to always capture the spirit of the game in a way that provides a new gaming experience. The process always begins with us having a vision meeting to discuss the cornerstones of the property, and what general feel and style of game best suits the license.
Were there any elements of Gears that you felt you absolutely had to transfer over?
Corey: I always start by imagining memorial gameplay moments that I’d like to see in the board game. In the case of Gears Of War I imagined two COG soldiers behind enemy lines, making a desperate last stand. As one of them is knocked down, his buddy must come and help him to his feet before the locust take their position.
These sorts of co-operative elements feel crucial to the Gears Of War experience. In addition there are lots of little mechanics that Gears players will find familiar. Taking Cover is crucial to survival, and at close range you can rip enemies to shreds with chainsaws. These sorts of details combine with the core experience to provide something that is unarguable Gears Of War.
Corey: I think that Gears Of War is familiar to people on so many levels. You boot up the game, and it sets a tone that players can immediately relate to. The co-op aspects in particular are very familiar to board gamers. Teamwork and camaraderie almost work better in a board game than in a video game. If people aren’t high-fiving while playing the board game, then I’ve failed.
Is this a game you would like to go back to and have another go at adapting?
Corey: As a designer, I always have ideas and opinions about my games after they are published. In this particular case however, everything just felt “right” somehow. I’m sure that I could go back and nitpick some minor decisions or mechanics, but I am confident that we captured the Gears of War experience in a table top board game.
For more on the next Gears Of War from former designer Jim Brown, writer Joshua Ortega and GOW3 scribe and novelist Karen Traviss check out X-ONE issue 109 on sale now.