Wreck-Age Interview

Wreck-Age by Hyacinth Games is a post-apocalypse roleplaying and tabletop skirmish game born from the minds of two passionate gamers, Matt Sears and Anton Zaleski.  Set in the future, the earth finally surrendered to our wasteful ways, left a barren wasteland, devastated by pollution.  Earth’s privileged elite have abandoned the less fortunate after leaving on the first of what was promised to be three Exodus’ to seek refuge in distant star systems.

It is now year zero, earth’s survivors are emerging from the ashes to begin a rebirth of civilization.  For those that remain, much of what man used to take for granted has been lost, not just material things but also knowledge.  As one of those left behind, not only must you fight for your own survival but also that of your community.

Matt Sears took some time to sit down with me and discuss the birth of Hyacinth Games and their lovechild Wreck-Age.

Reclaimer – Wreck-Age


What led to you wanting to create Wreck-Age, was there something missing in the games you normally played?

Yes, with Anton and I it was something we felt was lacking in games.  In many RPGs you are always player focused on your specific character.  In Wreck-Age you still have that but it’s a little scaled back and you’re more focused on your community and what it needs to survive.  It has been one of the harder things to implement in the game because its somewhat new, but essentially it is a hybrid of leveling your party as well as your character.

So with creating the game itself it was something Anton and I kept talking about until we finally just decided to do it.  Then things like Kickstarter came around, that was a big shot in the arm, exceeding our expectations and it let us know we were on to something.


Wreck-Age is both a tabletop skirmish game and RPG, was it born first as a skirmish game and RPG came second or have the two always coexisted?

It was originally just talked about as a narrative and then we started talking about rules for combat and it works for both systems (tabletop and rpg).  The RPG rules are very similar to the tabletop, its that with a little more depth such as skills.  The two were developed together but I guess you could say the tabletop came first.

The Omen

So from looking through your original playtest module, The Omen, it is a d6 system and as I understood it skills determine the number of dice you get to do for a particular check.  Can you elaborate a bit on the system, character creation and skills?

Yes, you have your normal attributes, such as wit and nerves but you will also have secondary skills which branch out and give you more actions and bonuses to those attributes, adding to your dice pool for that specific action.  Character creation is pretty traditional but in order to progress your character you’re going to have to have help from your community.  For example if you want to advance your firearms your community is going to have to have the means for you to train firearms.  If your character dies, in order to have a character come back your community has to have the population threshold necessary for that to happen or for your character to come back at a certain level.

Are there classes?

Yes, I can’t talk about a whole lot of that right now as its being play tested, but yes in a way… they’re more different specializations you can take. 

What do you see down the road for the RPG, additional books such as settings or bestiary?

Definitely there will be settings although some may be digital only.  The rulebook has a pretty lengthy almanac style section on flora and fauna that we worked on together with August Hahn.  We did a lot of research but he put it into an almanac style narrative piece and he really nailed it.  It is definitely something we are going to want to build on.  Right now it is limited to North America but we’ve had a lot of feedback about expanding, and that is something that would definitely be fun to do down the line.

Since we’re talking about the books, one thing that caught my attention was that while you are not giving away the printed books, you are releasing your game under the creative common license.  How did you make that decision?

The thing is, I’d much rather spend my time focusing on creating a new game rather than trying to protect it.  If people want to pirate it, they’re going to do it no matter what we do.  We’re releasing it in digital format under this license in hopes that people will use it to remix the rules and add things that they want.  We’ve heard a lot of people want to add zombies, people love to have zombies, they can do that.  People may see Wreck-Age and don’t know us, they can download the rules and hopefully they like us and then want to buy the book or some of our other products.  That’s the hope.

Matt and I went on to talk about gaming and the industry in general, but what really came across while talking with him was his sincere passion for gaming and gamers in general.  I can see they’ve poured a lot of heart into putting together Wreck-Age.  Having looked through some of the incredible artwork, which we also discussed quite a bit, you can see they’re taking the time to capture the feel of Wreck-Age and really get it right.  The quality of the art is something that Matt was quick to credit Anton with, stating that he has a very critical eye for the art that goes into the final product.  The printed rulebook is targeted for January 2013 and although they’ve had pressure to release it earlier they really want it to be polished before releasing it.

Wreck-Age is definitely a RPG I have my eye on and hope to eventually review once the rules become available.  The miniatures, which are also part of their Kickstarter, are nicely done and appear to be of good quality.  The setting reminds me of the opening scene in the Road Warrior, how can you go wrong with that imagery?  I have to admit the community mechanic and how all that plays out is a bit sketchy for me, but that is only because it is a concept I have yet to experience in any of the regular RPG games I’ve played.

Whether the skirmish game or rpg element interests you, I recommend to take a minute to check out Wreck-Age, and their Kickstarter campaign, a promising post-apocalyptic game that offers a nice break from the traditional fantasy RPGs.  If just a small percent of the passion from the guys at Hyacinth Games seeps into the final copy of Wreck-Age, its going to be a pretty awesome game.


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