Monday, April 28, 2014

Season of Gaming: Interview with LM Studios (Indianapolis)

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen,

Spring has sprung and with that the groves of people that were once buried to their heads in snow are now coming out of the wood work and are enjoying the trend in warmer weather! This a great time of year! People are going to outdoor sporting events, camping, going on long walks, and of course taking vacation.

I like everyone in Indiana enjoy doing all these activities, but guess what? Sometimes a weekend at home with friends, a new game, and beer is just as excited. So throw open the windows, tear off the plastic wrap, and enjoy a season of gaming!

To kick this season off, I wanted to speak with a group of people who are putting together an amazing tabletop game that will be eventually be up for purchase in the future. Now before you sigh in disappointment that you will have to wait.......remember....Pop Con is just around the corner and they will be there with demonstrations! And of course Gen Con.....DUH!

Now, lets learn more about LM Studios!

1. How did LM Studios come to be and why Indianapolis as its base?

Sean and I have been friends for more years than either of us are comfortable admitting and through everything in our lives we have always had gaming be it pen and paper RPGs, video games, miniatures or board/card games. Six years ago we started kicking around the idea of starting a publishing company, as of 3 years ago we decided to focus all of efforts on gaming, being as we are both lifetime gamers.  We spent our first year, with our new found focus, building a business plan and developing our first couple of prototypes.  We officially incorporated 2 years ago this coming this June. 
Indianapolis is its base, in large part because we both live here, but the Indianapolis gaming community, which we are proud to be a part of, is the perfect breeding ground for games with plenty of hobbyists passionate about gaming and  willing to give great feedback.

2.  How many games have you created since the Studio’s existence?

We have about 8 or 9 that have been worked on.  Talked about, system developed and either further developed or side-barred for the time being.  We have 4 that are in the process of coming to market or are available in limited runs.

3. Could you give a brief description of those games?

The four games that are either available or coming soon
Attrition – 2 player abstract area control game (Artisan Series:  small run and hand crafted)
Divergence – 2-4 player strategic ever-changing maze game that, based on player actions, changes the course of your path to the center. (Artisan Series:  small run and hand crafted)
Super Turbo bit Crawl FX: Alpha Xtreme – 1-8 player co-op game, inspired by classic JRPG and rogue-like videogames
bit Crawl Pocket – 1-4 player take with you version of STbCFX:AX
Side -barred Games (Some will be developed some will not)
Heterodox Universe (Omega)  – Currently still being worked on actively but at least 1-2 years out.  Tabletop RPG
Zombies Come to Midtown – Actively being worked on 1 year out – semi-cooperative tower defense board game
Midtown Racing League – Cars with guns

4. Tell me about Super Turbo Bit Crawl?

Super Turbo bit Crawl FX: Alpha Xtreme is my love letter to JRPG’s.  I cut my teeth on Dragon Warrior for the NES when it comes to video games and HeroQuest was the first non-classic board game I ever played.  So I made a game that hopefully will bring people back to those classics with mixing in some new flair.  I wanted to make a dungeon crawler that never played the same way twice and gave more customization than anything available on the market.  I wanted to bring people together all fighting on the same side trying to best the biggest, baddest boss they could think of and I wanted to do it in a way that was accessible to gamers that are just starting out but fun enough and challenging enough to keep the hardcore gamers coming back for more.  I wanted to give people the progression of a pen and paper RPG without the point allocation.  Basically I wanted to make the coolest game I could think of and just hoped that others would think it was cool too.

5. How long has this game been in development?

It has been in development for 2 years.  We received amazing feedback from the players in the First Exposure Playtest Hall during GenCon ’13.  Finding out that others felt the same way about the game that we did, sparked the desire to add even more customization, random events and special abilities on the monsters you will encounter during your crawl.  We are really excited to see how it is received during GenCon ’14 as we launch the kickstarter project.

6. I see the official release is due in August of this year; will there be opportunities for enthusiasts to try the game before release?

We will be at IndyPopCon in the gaming hall all 3 days with both bit Crawl Pocket and Super Turbo bit Crawl FX: Alpha Xtreme .  A one of a kind Indy PopCon copy of bit Crawl Pocket will be will go home with a twitter follower at the end of the con.
We hope to schedule regular demos around the city between PopCon and GenCon for people to play through any of our games.
We will be demoing all of our games at our GenCon ’14 booth where we will officially launch our kickstarter campaign for Super Turbo bit Crawl FX: Alpha Xtreme.   
bit Crawl Pocket will only be available at GenCon or via our kickstarter then the files will be shared as PnP.  This will be the only time that this version of bCP will be available for purchase.

7. Are you doing any special release events or promoting of Super Turbo Bit Crawl?

We have been contacting several online reviewers to do a preview of the game.  Being a startup company we are hopeful that through bloggers, like yourself, and the supportive hobby gaming community we can get the word spread and bring a game to market that people will be enjoying for a long time to come.
 We are still discussing additional promo ideas.  There will be something cool but not 100% sure what as of this moment.
We plan on doing several gaming events around the city leading up to the launch of the kickstarter.

8. It is awesome to see a budding gaming studio here in Indianapolis, how do you feel about the
gaming culture here in Indianapolis?

We feel that the gaming culture here is growing by leaps and bounds every year with more FLGS and places where people can gather with friends and be truly passionate about their hobby.   Thanks to conventions like Whos-yer Con, Indy PopCon and GenCon we see more and more gamers who are welcoming and willing to play with anyone they meet, and that, is what we feel is the backbone to the gaming culture.

9. How is LM Studios promoting this culture?

We try and support local gaming groups and FLGS as much as possible.  We pull our playtesters from local gaming groups.  With us being a grassroots company we rely heavily on word of mouth and partnerships with local game stores, game cafes, and bloggers to spread the word. 

10. To other designers out there wanting to begin a career in game design, what advice can you give them?

Every game has something in it that is worth seeing, play as many of them as you can.  Never turn down a game with a stranger.  Playtest whenever and wherever you can.  Listen to every bit of feedback, make something you want to play, and at the end of the day if you find one other person that likes your game, consider yourself successful.

11. Is there anything you want readers to know?

(Shameless Self Promotion time)
Although STbCFX:AX will not be available for purchase at GenCon we will be launching our KS with some really exciting exclusives including bit Crawl Pocket and some video game themed mini mods (expansions)
Our other games Attrition and Divergence will be available for demo and purchase at our booth at GenCon and it will be the only way to pickup a copy of bit Crawl Pocket other than the kickstarter for STbCFX:AX.
Stay current on all LM Studios news via twitter @L_M_Studios and bit Crawl news at @bitcrawlgame
If you want us to be at any event in the city or just get together and play a game (shoot us an email:
Websites (still a work in progress)

This is just a side question; do you offer any internships or even visits to the studios for those interested in game design?

A bit difficult, with both of us working out of our homes and having day jobs to contend with but anyone wanting to get together and play should shoot us an email at

Some awesome answers from this group! It makes me even more excited to not only begin playing their games but to meet them this coming May at Pop Con!

Share some thoughts and definitely love for LM Studios on their Twitter feed!

Hope everyone has a soggy but fun filled week! And don't forget! Free Comic book Day!

Till next time!


No comments:

Post a Comment