The co-designer of the asymmetric adventure-strategy game VAST: The Crystal Caverns, David Somerville (DS), is riding a wave of attention after the game’s buzz from Gen Con. Even as the game is shipping to Kickstarter backers, he took some time out from his busy schedule to answer a few questions from Controlled Area Gaming (CAG).
CAG: What game ideas do you have in the works and where did those ideas come from?
DS: I have a few! My next game is coming to Kickstarter this year—it’s a dice-rolling, mountain-climbing game of certain death called Die Trying. It’s going to be published by Jason Anarchy, of Drinking Quest, with art by Kyle Ferrin, who did the art for Vast. Die Trying started when I was musing on mobile games, especially endless runners like Temple Run, and wondering if it would be possible to create that satisfying solo experience as a tabletop game (turns out it is… Die Trying is super fun and addictive). I’m also polishing a game called Moku, which is the Hawaiian word for “land” or “island.” It was inspired by trips I’ve taken with my wife, as well as the desire to do something celebrating life and beauty—and also, a profound curiosity about making a 3D landscape out of diamond-shaped tiles. Aside from a cooperative rock band game called Triple Platinum (born out of reading a massive Beatles biography and wondering what themes might appeal to non-geeks), I’m really interested in a game that feels a little like Dead of Winter that I’m calling Alternis, Indiana. That one comes out of watching Stranger Things and Pan’s Labyrinth within a month of each other, and a lifelong interest in surrealism and hidden worlds.
I have others, but those are the ones on the front burner.