Last week, dear readers, we reviewed the merging of board game and rock and roll that is Cities of Darkscorch
. (If you missed our review of it, you can check that out here
.) This week, the creator of that game and Grammy nominee, Dustin Drase, was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few of our questions on what it’s like to be both a record producer and a gamer. Enjoy.
I understand that you started out primarily in the record industry. What made you want to break out into gaming?
Numero Group is, and will remain a record label. For us, designing a playable board game in conjunction with one of our album releases was an amazing creative challenge that we wanted to tackle. For me personally (as someone who plays games) it was important that the concept was actually something that worked for the players and was not too complicated for non-gamers to understand. Ultimately, we just wanted people to have fun with their friends while immersing themselves in this over the top world that combined elements of both fantasy and heavy rock music.
You were nominated at this year’s Grammy Awards for your game Cities of Darkscorch in the category of Best Boxed Set or Limited Edition Package- what was it like to be nominated for a Grammy?
It was a pretty surreal experience. The label has been nominated four other times (twice for best liner notes, once for best historical and one other time for Best Boxed Set or Limited Package category), so the other folks that work here knew what to expect, but this was the first project that I had been directly involved in. Cities of Darkscorch is a project very near to my heart as it embodies so many of my favorite things. The idea that we could create something so outlandish and have it be recognized by such a prestigious industry award is really quite fantastic. The day itself is pretty exhausting, and by the end we were definitely on celebrity fatigue.
Were you disappointed that Kanye West didn’t storm the stage and demand that you receive your award?
To the folks at the awards ceremony it totally looked like Kanye was joking. It wasn’t until afterwards when he got interviewed backstage that things got so crazy.
So you mentioned that you designed your game as a person who plays games- what are some of your earliest memories of gaming?
Aside from the big stuff like Monopoly, Clue, Sorry, etc, I also played board games like Stop Thief, Masterpiece and Dungeon. As a kid I was a big fan of Palladium roleplaying games Heroes Unlimited and Rifts. I played Magic the Gathering the first year it came out. Sadly, I didn’t stick with it, but did start playing again about two years ago.
What would you say is your favorite aspect of gaming?
My favorite part of gaming is actually the social aspect; I’ve always enjoyed games that encourage hanging out with your friends. Games like Chess never really held much intrigue to me.
You mentioned that Numero Group is and will remain a record label, but can we expect any more unique, music-themed board games in the future?
A lot of folks have asked us if we plan to follow up with another game. It was an interesting and challenging experience, but most likely not one that Numero will undertake again. As for myself, I suppose only time will tell.
Well, we’re certainly going to keep an eye on this one, dear readers, to see what else he may
produce in the future. Again, we’d like to thank Dustin for making the time to talk to us. If you would like to check out Cities of Darkscorch, or any of the other quality albums produced by Numero Group, you can check out their website here.