Game Designer Spotlight

February 15, 2017


Blacklist Games is proud to have Adam and Brady Sadler design our upcoming flagship game, Street Masters: Rise of the Kingdom.


Taking cues from classic fighting games and old-school 2D beat-em-ups, they have been creating a unique action game that infuse speed, strategy, and amazing special moves that let you go combo crazy to take down the different factions of The Kingdom. As a treat for us, we've asked Adam and Brady some questions about their new game development experience.


What inspired you when coming up with the gameplay for Street Masters: Rise of the Kingdom?


Adam & Brady: We were heavily inspired by the theme. We both grew up playing Double Dragon, Streets of Rage, River City Ransom...just about any two-player beat ‘em up console game we could get our hands on. Gameplay-wise we were inspired by various cooperative card games, which is personally my favorite genre of tabletop game.


What was your goals for the game? Do you think you achieved this?


Adam & Brady: The first thing we wanted to focus on was translating the thrill and excitement of old beat ‘em up video games to a quick-playing tabletop experience. We went with card-driven gameplay because it encourages independent decisions among the players and allows for cool thematic abilities that are unique to each fighter. We really think we achieved this, and we’re both proud of the design and extremely excited to see it published.


What makes this game unique compared to others of the same genre?


Adam & Brady: We think the defense token mechanic is pretty unique. Fighters can deal various types of damage, but depending on which type of defense tokens enemies have it can change up the strategy of each turn. This also adds a ton of design space for various enemy and fighter abilities that interact with these tokens.


Are there different modes of play? If so, can you elaborate a bit at what makes them different?


Adam & Brady: There are two types of play: Arcade Mode and Story Mode, which both play relatively similarly and use the same basic rules. Arcade Mode consists of players choosing their fighters, a boss to face off against, and a scenario that will dictate the map tile and environmental effects. Story Mode lets the players experience a specific story and consists of a predetermined combination of fighters, bosses, and scenarios, with overarching rules to govern the experience.


The game says it’s 1-4 players. How does scaling work and and can it go beyond 4 players?


Adam & Brady: The scalability comes through health and damage values that are based on the number of players (indicated by the letter “P” as a value or multiplier). To keep the game fast-paced and free from lag, we’ve capped the player count at 4. But the game could theoretically handle more players, depending on how accepting the players are of longer and more complex games. This is definitely an area that can be explored through future development.


What are you most excited about with this game? (Mechanics, story, miniatures, characters, etc…)


Adam & Brady: The art and the miniatures are really getting us excited to play the final product! We love the theme, we love the core game system, and we love the modularity and various combinations that can be thrown together.


Is it possible to have a player play as the GM, or control all of The Kingdom?


Adam & Brady: This is possible, but we would prefer to bring that sort of gameplay in through expansion content so the enemy player didn’t feel like he was just operating the game’s AI. More design space for sure.


Are there any surprises you can hint about that you’re working on for the game? (I’m thinking hinting about Sub-Bosses since it’ll be littered within the stretches)


Adam & Brady: There is even more modularity we are tinkering with that could really add some challenges for even the most experienced fighters. We’re hoping to only include modular additions to the game that can be included seamlessly into any game. I think first up we need to get the bosses a little backup…


Adam and Brady Sadler are an experienced game design team and have produced games for publishers such as Fantasy Flight Games and Cryptozoic Entertainment. As freelance game designers, the twin brothers have created such notable games as Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game and The Walking Dead: No Sanctuary. Additionally, while full-time at Fantasy Flight Games, the Sadlers also contributed to several best-selling titles, such as Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition, Gears of War, Mansions of Madness, and the X-Wing Miniatures Game.


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