Hello! Brandon here. In addition to working on Spaghetti & Meeples I also have a music blog that I’ve been ignoring lately. BTW you should check out Brady Harris and Brandon Schott. Anyhoo, when I ran into Battle of the Bands while surfing the world wide web it seemed a natural fit for me. A tabletop game AND it’s about bands? Sign me up! So I reached out to Dan Smith, creator, designer, music aficionado, and slick rhythm air guitarist. What you read below is the result of that contact.
Why Battle of the Bands?
It’s music. It’s a fight. It’s both!! It’s non gender specific. It’s all ages. It’s accessible to non-gamers who love music. (Every card has a musical precedent in rock history.) It’s… FUN!
What was it about the subject that attracted you?
“I dig, rock and roll music and I really get off in that scene.” -Peter, Paul and Mary.
What was the design experience like?
I was driving home from my computer game job and was grousing about the state of CCGs at the time, 1998, and came upon the idea that everyone wants to be in a band or a rock star. After about 15 minutes of scribbling notes while I drove, I got home and in 2 hours, on the computer, the game was 60% finished. I played the game every lunch with my peeps, J.D. Straw, Seth Mayne and Danny Nicholson. With their input and tenacity, it was play-tested in a year. I printed the Kinko’s edition and sold it in Ziploc bags on eBay for $5! (About 30 copies exist.) Then Third World Games produced the first two editions, of which I am eternally grateful. (Thanks, Mike Nickloff and Frank Bustamante!!!!) And now, after being out of print for 14 years, it’s time to make the definitive edition!
Is this the first game you’ve designed?
It was my first. Then came King of Crime, Portable Adventures, Party till the cops show up, and about 20 other card games. I have made about 50 boardgames within the last 24 months.
What does your card game offer that others don’t?
A smile, when you are getting beat down by some guy who plays a candy box for an instrument and has the fan base of a senior citizen home, or the embodiment of Death himself, playing the flaming bagpipes like he’s Miles Davis. A simple game system that really gives the feeling of being in a band and not just a theme tacked onto a number acquisition game.. Astoundingly close to what it’s like being in a band.
What do you want people to experience as they play?
I want them to live the life of the leader of their band. When someone steals a band member of theirs, it’s a personal attack! Roleplay it! You made my Mom ANDROGYNOUS?! You stole my AIR GUITAR?!
Someone is going to win, but playing the game is more fun than winning. Getting that band you always wanted is huge! (Giant robot, angry puppet, goth chick and Me… gonna rule the stage, baby!)
Why did you decide to have it available as a print and play?
Because it’s going to be your go-to game when you are just hanging out, waiting for the other players or when you want to play a fun game. If you just can’t afford the printed version, I still want you to play the game… without the art. OH SNAP!! Or the expansions. Or the special cards. Or the dice and Ez Tracker cards.
There, I’ve made you cry.
And the printing out of the game will set you back about $30 USD for the printing, poker cards for backing and the 4 sets of sleeves… $5 more will get you the printed game and the stretch goals. See what I did there?
Are you looking at crowd funding options?
Mostly, the funders can get the 3 50 card expansions for free if we reach the stretch goals, a $45 value, as well as some unique cards if special FB like goals are met. Seriously, I have so many cards, I have to decide which ones I can’t do because of limitations on the card sheets!
What else will you offer backers?
There is the funding goal of being a band member in the basic set! 2 levels, the 1+ character where you are better with a specific instrument and the rock god, where you have either a special game option or effect, or you are worth a star with the right instrument type. I draw you in the BotB style, and you get to keep the original art!
And there is the ultimate gig, where I come in and grandmaster flash the ultimate BotB tournament at your convention or store! What an ego, huh?
What are your plans for the future?
At the moment I have my PORTABLE ADVENTURE series slated for later on next year, that will have at least 5 different themed games that can be played seperately or together. I also have a couple of games, ZOMBIERUN, PARTY TILL THE COPS SHOW UP, SUPERHERO SMACKDOWN, HAND OF WAR (ccg), and a few others that will probably make the scene fairly soon, if this campaign goes well. And then there is my game company, TIME2PLAY GAMES INC., of which will be in production very soon, where I make affordable boardgames for kids. And then there is the movie I wrote and produced, CLOWNS, D.C., that should be out in the next few months. I am busy at the moment writing a script for BATTLE OF THE BANDS. And I bathe frequently. 😉
Will there be expansions?
7 mini (6 card) expansions as well as 3 full 50 card expansions are stretch goals in this campaign. There is 1 50 card “dirty” expansion, SEX, DRUGS, ROCK & ROLL, that is an add on, if you like that sort of thing… which I do. It’s rock and roll, not bubblegum! (That’s actually dirtier than rock and roll!!!) There is a possiblilty for funders going home with 400 cards
Who is your favorite band or music performer?
I don’t have any one band, I’m too old for that nonsense… I have a wall of about 6000 LPs. As many 45s, 400 cassettes, 30 8 tracks, 10 4 tracks, and about 4000 cds. So I’ll have to say this, my favorite gig was The Revillos/Wigs/Bongos at the Roxy in Hollywood in 1981. It was the one that stuck to the back of my head.
Do you play any instruments?
I have good rhythm… the rhythm air guitar and record player are what I play best.
What bands or musicians would you want to play Battle Of The Bands with?
Dave Grohl, Weird Al, O.K. Go, Leonard Graves Phillips/Stan Lee (The Dickies)
Where can people stay updated on the game and anything else you may have coming up?
Our FB page is the only place I have at the moment. I used to have a BGG page but I am a lazy sod.
Spaghetti & Meeples can neither confirm nor deny the bathing habits of Dan Smith.