Friday, August 30, 2013


by James Cohen

Today we have an interview with Rob Hebert, co-creator of TERRIBLE THINGS: The Party Game Where Everyone Loses. Gameplay revolves around teams facing challenges from three categories: Art, Facts, and Performance. Failure not only impedes your progress but means facing a Humiliation card.

The Kickstarter campaign for the game was launched this past Monday and in five days it's garnered over 40% of its $75,000 goal. If you're already considering team names, keep in mind you have until September 25th to pledge.

On to the interview...

TERRIBLE THINGS is off to a good start with $20,000 pledged during the first day. Assuming the funding goal is met, should we expect to see the game available in stores? 
Absolutely. Our goal was always to make TERRIBLE THINGS available in retail. But we wanted to give our Kickstarter backers something special with the 50-card bonus deck, the option to put your own card in the game, and exclusive access to the Banned Deck. Even if, down the line, TERRIBLE THINGS is on the shelves at big box stores, it won't be the same as the Kickstarter version.
Are there currently any plans for stretch goal incentives? 
Right now we want to focus on making the best worst game we can. We haven't discussed stretch goals yet, because we don't want to compromise or overpromise. But if we raise enough to do something special without delaying rewards for our backers, we'll definitely consider it.
One of the pledge rewards is admittance to the game release party at the iam8bit gallery - is there any affiliation with them? 
We're good friends with Jon and Amanda (co-founders of iam8bit). We couldn't be happier to host the TERRIBLE THINGS launch party at their incredible gallery.
I'm eager to see how people will mime "eating glass". What's the card-writing process like? 
The first step was just to come up with thousands of really TERRIBLE THINGS without worrying about whether they would make good cards--just a complete creative dump. That was probably the most fun part of the process, because it became a game in itself, the two of us just trying to top each other on how outlandish or offensive we could be. Then we combed through our master list and tossed out anything that either wasn't funny or couldn't be turned into a playable card. After that we chose which category--Art, Facts, Performance, or Humiliation--each terrible thing fit. We actually ended up with way more cards than we needed, so after that we went about taking turns cutting cards that were too offensive or not offensive enough until we had a manageable number. Some went into the trash pile, others we put aside for the Banned Deck.

That $10,000 pledge reward went fast - the one where the backer gets to design a tattoo for co-creator Rob. Have the "size and placement negotiations" already begun?
They have. We didn't want to cop out by making it the size of a dime and putting it on the underside of an ass cheek where no one will see ever see it, so we're working with the backer to come to an agreement that allows me to live a semblance of a normal life but gives the backer something worth the money they laid down. Assuming the campaign is a success, there will be a press release revealing the identity of the backer and a video of me getting the tattoo.

The Chicken-Shit Rule says a team must move back one space if they refuse to follow a humiliation card's instructions. Does the team move forward otherwise or stay in place? I have to prepare mentally for how brave I need to be. 
When you fail a challenge and have to draw a Humiliation, the Chicken-Shit Rule allows you to either perform the Humiliation and stay put or skip the Humiliation and move back a space. We've also played games where skipping a Humiliation puts your team back at the start. But the best games don't use the Chicken-Shit Rule at all.

In the promotional video there were quite a few interesting collectibles in the background - are those cookie jars? And who's the collector?
It's funny how many people have brought up the cookie jars! We filmed the commercial at a friend's house in North Hills, and he has a ton of great collectibles, everything from video game art to classic toys. We were originally going to take down the cookie jars, but when we framed the first couple of shots, we decided they looked cool, so we kept them.

Can we have details on the "blood oath ritual" that blessed the souls up for offer or is that veiled in occult secrecy?
We can't reveal all the details, but we can confirm that it will involve both actual blood and a real oath. There might also be a couple of cloaks and pentagrams in the mix. Anyone with access to a goat's head should hit us up.
Anything else you want people to know?
Just that we want to give a huge thanks to everyone helping to make our terrible dream a reality by backing us on Kickstarter! We're incredibly humbled by the support so far, and we can't wait to get our awful game into everyone's hands.