Here at Loot Crate we’re big fans of all kinds of gaming, but we know that sometimes there’s nothing like a good ole fashioned tabletop gaming session! And in honor of Tabletop Day coming up this weekend, later today we will be hosting a very special live stream event where we’ll be play-testing The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31 – a brand new board game from the creative minds at Mondo!
But before we jumped straight into playing the game, we wanted to chat with the folks at Mondo about the game, what made Mondo want to get into games in the first place, and more, and designer Tim Weisch was more than happy to sit down and chat with us! Before hopping into our stream at twitch.tv/lootcrate at 3pm PST to see their brand new board game in action (or watching the live stream right here!), check out the very cool interview we had with Tim below!
Watch our Twitch Stream LIVE below: April 25th at 3pm Pacific!
JB: Hey Tim, thank you so much for taking the time to sit down for this interview! First off, why don’t you let our readers know who you are and what you do at Mondo?
Tim Wiesch: Oh jeez… Putting me on the spot from the get go. I’m Tim Wiesch and I handle Licensing and Business Development for Mondo. Basically I just try to make all ideas our Creative Directors have reality.
In honor of Tabletop Day, we’re playing Mondo‘s “The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31” board game – what inspired Mondo to get into the board game business?
So excited y’all are playing The Thing! Mondo is kind of always expanding into new territory and games were one category that we’d been talking about forever and just finally had everything fall into place last year. A bunch of us in the office are gamers and it really felt like a natural progression for us.
Clearly, Mondo knows a thing or two about kickass art and design – what was it like working with artists for a board game, as opposed to prints, t-shirts, etc?
We’re really really spoiled for choice when it comes to amazing artists to work with so it was probably more difficult to chose one instead of just find one available. We went with Phantom City Creative’s Justin Erickson who is one of my favorites both for his work and just being one of the easiest guys to work with. He’s honestly one of the most versatile artists out there and on top of that is a giant fan of The Thing so he was a perfect fit. The one huge difference working on games is just the volume of art needed for a project this size. It’s not just the box art, theres the board, the instructions, 10,000 cards, etc. It really adds up!
The Thing is one of my favorite movies, and is easily my favorite horror movie. What was it about this nearly 40-year-old John Carpenter classic that made Mondo want to turn it into a game?
It’s easily in my top 5 sci-fi films of all time and top 10 for me in all films. The movie was kind of perfect for a board game really. It’s got that really intense sense of mistrust and isolation that just keeps building as the film plays out and we were really hoping to transfer that to the game board. We had been talking about a bunch of titles with the folks over at USAopoly, (who we partnered with on this game), and just kept coming back to this one. Luckily for us they were fans as well and we ended up here.
I’m curious, are you a big board game guy yourself? And what was it personally like being a part of the creative process for a brand new game?
I am! I never really grew out of it from when I was a kid, but would sort of have dry spells when I didn’t have other friends to play with. Luckily a lot of Mondo folks are also nerds so that hasn’t been a problem in the last few years. Overall making this game was a blast. All of us working on it watched the movie a few times a week for months just to take notes on bits of dialogue and specific actions that happened with each character. You have to take some liberties with that stuff because you can’t make it an exact analog to the film, but I think we captured the feeling of it pretty well.
Is there anything about how the game plays (any of its mechanics, etc) that you feel sets it apart from other board games on the market?
I’d like to think we did at least a little bit. I’m really proud of the game and think we came up with a really fun traitor mechanic that works well in the co-op style game play. We are currently living in the golden age of table top and there are so many outstanding games out on the market right now that I’m just happy we’re part of the conversation honestly. I really love watching people play for the first time and seeing how the table starts to get a little louder and accusations about who is infected start flying around. When we demoed it at GenCon last year I would always try to lurk around when the final reveal was happening just so I could catch everyone screaming either in joy or utter dismay as they learned who their neighbor really was.
Is this the beginning of a whole new world for Mondo – do you see the company getting even more involved in board games?
Oh absolutely. We’ve got two games on the schedule for later this year and then an avalanche of stuff in 2019 and 2020. We’re getting into games in a big way.
For my last question, I gotta ask (Without potentially spoiling anything that could be coming, of course!): Is there a classic movie, television show, etc, that you’d love to give the board game treatment?
So so many. The games we’re putting out this year are based on Fight Club and Jurassic Park and I’m really excited about both of them. We’ve got a giant list of new and old titles that are already on our schedule and a lot more that I hope to get to someday. Some of them are probably not super obvious like I’d absolutely love to do the old movie Logan’s Run. I just love that 70’s sci-fi esthetic in the movie and think it would be really fun to play with the art and themes there.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with me, Tim, and a huge thanks to Mondo for letting us test out this awesome new board game on our stream later today – is there anything else you’d like to share with our fans before we go?
Mainly just a gigantic thank you to anyone who picked up the game or anything else Mondo does. We’re a ragtag bunch of misfits and have managed to carve out our own little place in the world because of truly incredible fans. I have an amazing job and its because of them.