Independent Game Designer Spotlight & Interview: Tom Tiernan

Tom Tiernan Vice President, Everything Epic Games Demoing his successful Micro-game Raiders of the Lost Tomb
Tom Tiernan
Vice President*, Everything Epic Games
Demoing his successfully KickStarted micro-game
Raiders of the Lost Tomb

For the seventeenth year in a row, Double Exposure hosted  DexCon, what many consider the premier table-top, role-playing and LARP convention in the North East this past July 4th weekend.

In attendance were a bevy of Gamers, vendors, authors, developers, artists, LARPers, organizers and all manner of creative minds.

One such mind among those Gamers present belonged to Tom Tiernan, Vice President* and Lead Writer *for his gaming company, Everything Epic Games.

Tom, an author, self-professed blogger, entrepreneur, traveler, scratch cook and general all-around good guy was there promoting his company along with its table-top Games.

I had the chance to speak with Tom while I was at DexCon this year, my second outing to that particular Convention. He and his team were showcasing their newest Kickstarter success, Raiders of the Lost Tomb, a micro-game that was successfully funded back in April. Along with this mini-game they were also tweaking their premier board-game, Secrets of the Lost Tomb (of which the micro-game is based on and which was also successfully funded thru Kickstarter) through several rounds of play-testing by eager fans of the game along with a host of new players.

Despite his busy Con schedule, Tom was gracious enough to answer a few questions and show me his wickedly fun micro-game Raiders of the Lost Tomb while also offering up some inspiring glimpses into the mind of one of Gamerdom’s newest Publishers to the industry.

(Excerpts and paraphrasing from our conversation)

Everything Epic Games Main title:
Secrets of the Lost Tomb
Image Copyright: EEG

1.    So where you are from and what are brings you to DexCon 17?

  •  Woodbridge & Montclair (New Jersey) and soon to be Woodbridge and Kenilworth (Also New Jersey). And Dexcon is the place to be for Gamers.

2.    What do you have to show here at Dexcon?

  • Two games—our main board-game, Secrets of the Lost Tomb, a game similar to Betrayal at House on the Hill but with an expanded universe that includes Cthulhu, aliens and pulp themes from the early 20th Century. Also our micro-game, Raiders of the Lost Tomb.

    Raiders of the Lost Tomb Everything Epic Games Mini-Game Game-play includes tiles and coins
    Raiders of the Lost Tomb
    Everything Epic Games Mini-Game
    Game-play includes tiles and coins

3.    How is the micro-game played?

  • It’s a simple game that only requires some change from your pocket, quarters, nickels, pennies and dimes, and the boards that come with the game itself. The whole thing can fit inside your breast-pocket. The game-play is simple; players ‘roll’ their movement scores with pennies and can spend nickels, called Audacity, to increase or decrease their roll all while trying to get out of the tomb and not be chased down and beaten up by the Tomb’s boss monster.

4.    Why did you guys at Everything Epic Games decide on a micro-game?

  • We felt enough time had gone by that folks were ready and interested in a new iteration on our main game, Secrets of the Lost Tomb—also to give folks who hadn’t heard about the game, we felt the micro would be a great introduction for them.

5.    What kind of genres are the games about?

  • 1930’s pulp adventures, Lovecraft and his Cthulhu mythos and stories and movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark, King Kong and Pirates of the Caribbean. High adventure stuff set in the 1930’s, between the World Wars, when there was still a lot of high adventure around and before the Modern World set in.

6.    What kind of design process went into the micro-game?

  • Designing something simple and easy to carry. Each space is a single card, and we shrunk it down from the main board-game but included enough tiles to make a fairly large size dungeon.

7.    Who is the target market for the micro?

  • Everyone! An easy game, introductory level from 10 years old and up. It’s not too hard but also is difficult enough for your serious gamer out there too—we like to consider it a ‘gateway game’.

8.    What do you hope gamers get out of the game-play?

  • Tons of fun and replay-ability. You can play it 5 or 6 times in an hour with different outcomes each time.

9.    Describe the artwork.

  • Done by Jim Samartino, our Staff Artist, without who we wouldn’t have anything. He gives the game a great pulp feel.
Raiders of the Lost Tomb Mini-game Logo
Copyright: Everything Epic Games

10.    What types of games do you personally play?

  • Card-based, beer-and-pretzel games like Fluxx, Betrayal on House on Hill, Ticket to Ride and Quarriors.

11.    So what does Everything Epic Games have on the horizon?

  • That’s a secret—however I can tell you we are working on a simple board-game with a deck-building mechanic. After Tomb we wanted something simple. We also have Gaming systems for other products of adventures in different genres, and that you can find at our website everythingepicgames.com

***

Well there you have it, the mind of another busy Game designer and publisher!
When you get a chance, check out the Everything Epic Games website and,

Game Forth!

 *EDIT: As of this post, Tom Tiernan was former VP of EEG and at the time Free-lance Writer and Play-tester. His design credits included only Secrets of Lost Tomb and not the micro-game

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