An interview with a game designer and content creator: Lance Wilson

I chat to one of the most interesting creators in the tabletop space, Lance Wilson of Fox & Hyde, about his upcoming game and creating relaxing board game videos for YouTube.

Dice In The Dark: Hi Lance, thanks for being here today. Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself: who are you and what do you do?

Lance Wilson: Hi Mark, it’s a pleasure to be here, thanks for having me. I’m a graphic designer and video producer by trade from Northern Ireland, however lately I’ve chosen the easier life of making coffees and doing all that stuff on the side as a hobby where I most enjoy it and have the time to see my kiddo grow up.

DITD: How did you first get involved with the world of tabletop gaming?  Do you have any particularly fond memories from that time?

LW: Back in 2016 I worked for OnTableTop (formally Beasts of War) where I took on the role of video editor and quickly managed a lot of the video content to allow the other guys to focus on the brand and event side of things. Before then I played a few board games and RPGs but nothing advanced to mention or be proud of. Through the years though I’ve got to meet many game developers from all around the world, my favourite times were showing the guys from Privateer Press the North Coast of NI and being part of several live events which were extremely exhausting but hugely rewarding.

DITD: Wow, that’s awesome! I used to watch Beasts of War all the time. That must have been quite the experience.

Can you please tell us some of your favourite games and what it is that you love about them?

LW: My board game shelf is comparably small to many of the people I interact with on social media however everything on it I enjoy fully. My favourite mechanics are engine builders and worker placement. Just this weekend my wife and I broke out Architects of the West Kingdom for the first time since 2019 (before baby life) and we remembered how amazing it is to play: restricting certain playstyles with your virtue track and sending your friends workers to prison is always satisfying.

Image from @foxandhyde

DITD: You’re currently working on a game called Senile Sorcery. What is Senile Sorcery?

LW: Senile Sorcery is a skirmish card game of harnessing your awesome arcane knowledge to fend off your lifetime enemies.

You’ve learned everything there is to know about magic but your memory isn’t what it used to be…

After 600 years of adventuring, time takes its toll and your long lasting enemies are just a bedside table away. The lunchtime bell rings and the Assisted Caregivers are off on their break…

Image from @foxandhyde

DITD: That sounds like a really fun theme. Can you tell us a bit about the development of the game?

LW: I had an idea years ago when I was playing a war game, the specifics of movement, energy consumption and range were always restricted to the player board, I found there to be no personality in the gameplay. We as humans don’t have restrictions, I may be able to run a mile in 6-8 minutes but maybe tomorrow I can do it less, or more!

The Fortune chits were first to be designed in Senile Sorcery, I envisaged the scene in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves where the Witch of Sherwood threw bones into the frying pan to predict the Sheriff of Nottingham’s future. I always liked that scene and it stuck with me all these years to produce 2 sided chits for your actions.

Image from @foxandhyde

Next; I always disliked how magic has always been layered in levelling up, all big destructive spells have to be learned over long campaigns and scenarios. What if every player had the ability to cast anything from their imagination but their only restriction was from the chits or character placement on the board?

Add six more years to that and you have a game that I’m still tweaking and adding to every week.

Image from @foxandhyde

DITD: You also make tabletop game ASMR videos on YouTube. How did that get started? What is the appeal of ASMR videos, do you think?

LW: I experience ASMR, it’s part of who I am and when it was coined as Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response by Jennifer Allen over a decade ago it was a niche on the corner of the internet where only a select few people could share their experiences and create a new and exciting community together.

It’s a feeling difficult to describe but I usually sell it as a sponge inside my head that slowly expands and tickles my brain and spine. It’s a feeling of bliss, relaxation and non-sexual fulfilment. I’ve even written about it back in 2013 where I compared the movie Amelie as an ASMR experience.

Have you ever tidied up after a board game night, perhaps you’re mentally drained from teaching and you’re just in the moment enjoying the experience of tidying the box? I’ve been there, I’ve triggered myself into complete bliss and relaxation from just moving little tokens of cardboard into a box. Board gaming is a fantastic little niche of content to create ASMR for and I set out to set the bar for this style of content. I’m not just opening a box with a top down camera and tapping the box, I’m creating an experience that we can both share with professional camera work and audio to match.

Even if nobody else watches it, I’m enjoying the process and that’s all that matters.

Image from @foxandhyde

DITD: I’ve really enjoyed your videos about the solo RPG Colostle. Can you tell us a bit about those?

LW: I studied Art at a foundation level and Interactive Media Arts at University, some of my courses required me to create sketchbooks and portfolios of research to create a final piece at the end to exhibit. These sketchbooks were always the most enjoyable part of creating my projects. I haven’t made one since. That’s where Colostle by Nich Angell comes in.

Playing Colostle in a sketchbook is exciting and new, I can create anything with zero repercussions apart from what cards I draw when playing the game. After creating these videos though, I’ve realised that I’m probably the only one to be creating these style of sketchbooks, I’ve toiled through the discord and Reddit to see what adventures other people are coming up with but it’s very text heavy and story written. I’m a visual storyteller and once I have Senile Sorcery released it’s the next on my priority to continue.

DITD: What plans do you have for the future?

LW: I’d love to design games full time, or at least work again in the industry from home. I strive on creating content and working with others. I would love to run my own business publishing small RPG content or magazines for indie developers. Until then I plan to continue the work on Senile Sorcery where if there’s enough interest I hope to create a mode where it’s played as a collaborative dungeon crawler and eventually design an RPG using the Fortune Chits and a never ending spellbook.

DITD: That all sounds fantastic. Best of luck with it all. I’m excited to see what you do next.

Where can people find you on the web?

LW: You can find everything you need here:

DITD: Just for fun, what would you say is the greatest movie of all time, and what makes it so great?

LW: It’s not the greatest movie of all time but it’s MY favourite movie; Waterworld. I grew up watching Costner movies and Waterworld has always had a place in my heart. I love the story of the mysterious hero who turns out to have superpowers, the smokers who are in search for the myth of dry land, the epic horn and flute music throughout, even the intro where the logo of Universal Studios planet Earth slowly becomes overwhelmed with water. I would absolutely love to see a George Miller directed TV show within this world.

DITD: Thanks for being here today Lance, it’s been a pleasure.

From his output as a video creator to his work as a game designer, I think that Lance’s work is some of the most unique and exciting out there, and I really appreciate him sitting down for a virtual chat. Thanks again, Lance.

Senile Sorcery launches as a Print and Play on July 31st 2022. Be sure to follow Fox & Hyde on Instagram and YouTube for more.

All images are © copyright their respective owners.

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