The interview was designed, conducted and translated (from French) by XofMdS:
Shall Nicolas Raoult be introduced? His name is on the front of what makes us coming here… Anyway, for those who want to cath up, some readings:
- April 2012 : Craven Games
- March 2013 : Obskures
- May 2014 : Polyhedron Collider
- May 2014, in French : Gangeek Style
What would be your cultural milestone?
The animated series of Batman from the 90’s. I’m fascinated by its universe like Greek mythology, with its capricious gods and its world going down. From my point of view, the true heroin of this universe is Gotham City herself. Bruce Wayne is kind of the active witness, delaying the inevitable.
What would be your zombie cultural milestone?
« The Zombie Survival Guide », the book from Max Brooks. Second degree in it is delectable, and you learn plenty (yes you do).
What came first: you wanting to do a game with zombies, or a cooperative game against an AI? (or else?)
We had the game core mechanism. Theme was picked by Raphaël Guiton and Percy de Montblanc.
What was the first stone to build Zombicide rules? Which keystone was decided first?
Full coop aspect. Considering our state of mind at the time, it could not be otherwise!
What kind of Survivor would « Nicolas » be, if you’d be in the game?
In case of a zombie apocalypse, I’ll die in less than ten minutes.
No one thinks he’ll survive? A bit of self-confidence!! What is your favourite game style, then?
I’m more like a shooter, with side specialization on support: Distributor, Shove, Control, +1 free Search, etc. It’s more an adaptation to my partners than a real choice: Raphaël Guiton and Jean-Baptiste Lullien are all into savage fighting.
Your favourite in-game weapon?
The Sniper Rifle. Distant threats gets terminated with this weapon (Runners, Zombie Dogz, Toxic,…) while your fellows play mass elimination at short range. Also, in a Competitive mode (season 3), it becomes the ultimate dissuasive weapon. I do not like to take other players’ characters down.
How is an official Survivor done? (Images, ID card, team coherence,…)
It depends. Most are defined before, with a profile for a specific purpose and a full briefing for the concept. Others come more lightly, with concepts coming from the outside. We create their profile according to our inspirations, to our perception of the character. Everything is tested.
Legend Tiffany mentioned « something » you turned into a weapon. Art, or a real in-game weapon?
It would take the surprise away to answer here. Tiffany is outstanding.
We saw a non-Mickey Rourke on the Dronio website. Is there many visuals that do not make it? Will they ever?
Who is Mickey Rourke? ^^
First Kickstarter gave the impression of a mutual surprise between backers and creators. The second seemed more prepared. Were there still unexpected stretch goals (from the creator point of view)?
For the first Kickstarter, yes. Everyone was better prepared for the second one.
Is there any room for backers requests, improvisations?
Yes there is, if one strikes us very much.
Could something like the « Wrath of Kings » crossover be done again?
Of course! We think the Zombicide world is elastic enough to easily allow such crossovers. Who doesn’t dream of his favourite hero in the game?
The game has many metal music references, especially in season 2. Do you want to give some credits to a not enough known and loved genre? What would be your metal milestone?
We listen to metal music while testing Zombicide. It puts us in the mood. On a personal note, it helps me to project myself as a player and not as a designer.
In a few days, the third Kickstarter campaign. How is the creator-side just before such a run?
The real world and the imaginary word switch positions.
And during the run?
We have to be ready all the time, to listen to the backers, to be reactive if the plans have to change. And they will change, no matter what happens. It is an intense and instructive experience.
This KS3 will launch the batch of x and y reference requests. On the other side stands the Miramax precedent. How are the references picked up?
Oh! I remember at last. Mickey Rourke is that giant mouse, isn’t it?
Any bet on the outcome?
I am always pessimist when it comes to the results of Kickstarter project I’m part of.
I was talking about the soccer world championship in Brazil. Any bet?
These Zombies introduce a new game mode that gives a very funny and light flavour to Zombicide. We laughed a lot creating them!
You favourite Survivor mini? Zombie mini?
Josh from Season 1. Orange makes him stands out. And he wields a gun in each hand, which is classy!
The Runner with the sweater in Season 1. I find him perfect.
How do you determinate a relevant feedback from the players, assuming you get a lot of these?
I can only speak for myself: I need numbers, facts, objectivity. I can deal with the feelings, of course, but I miss something if it comes alone.
Which feedbacks did you put into season 3?
Mmh… All of them.
Impossible. Fans ask for everything and the opposite! What input was made to clearly soothe them?
I understood « players » as « testers ». Introduce something to make players happy generally speaking? The Mission contest! And it makes us happy too. We like innovation brought by the community in these peculiar Missions. They allow the presentation of mechanisms that would be a bit too hardcore for base game boxes.
All in all, which feedback was the most perturbing, or debated? Which took you aback?
One made by a tester, who saw only Zombicide on the competitive side. He did not have our cooperative experience, and so had a different vision of the game.
Is there any « french touch » among the feedbacks?
French do not like themselves enough. Either themselves or each others. This is clear when playing.
THE preconception (therefore false) that must be shot down?
« Cars are overpowered ». A Survivor being at the red level on the wheel of his car when the rest of his team enters the yellow level endangers everyone.
I know you get the first batch of our community cards. Which one do you think stands out?
I smile at the manhole token.
The « SunShade Inc. » Urban legend or true?
Urban legend. 🙂
Very active online, you became quite absent since the end of KS1. Why did you withdraw?
I was counter-productive.
Most probably not. 🙂
Even as a reader only? You do not watch communities’ forums?
We read them. The fact that we do not submit anything let the reactions be spontaneous.
The games-with-zombies family extended a lot since the Zombicide launch. What would be THE thing that still makes Zombicide special?
The balance among the designer team feeds the play experience. That is a strength to me.
Could « The Others » have any link to Zombicide or not at all?
Link is possible.
What does a typical week of Nicolas looks like?
I have no typical week. That is one of the privileges to be freelance, things do not repeat themselves.
What are the projects regarding yourself? Guillotine Games? Zombicide game(s)? Zombicide universe?
This is classified. 🙂
Come on! Percy « next door » tells us that Guillotine Games works on 4 different projects, one being linked to Zombicide. Is this a new mode, like TCM or Angry Neighbors or Zombie Dogz may be referred to, or is it something completely new, linked to the Zombicide universe?
That is so Percy-ish! 🙂
Which important question did I miss? (Deal is that it won’t be asked)
« What did Zombicide changed in your life? »
Any last word?
Thank you for your job at Eren Histarion’s website!
17/07/2014 : Bonus
Would you be the « NICO » in « NICO SPECIAL »?
Yes. One way or another, I always put my hand on a sniper rifle during our tests. So we thought it would be nice to have an appropriate Ultrared weapon.