The Coins of McGuffin is a collectable Trading Card Game where you get to play as your favourite fandom in a multiplayer battle to see who reigns supreme and who just isn’t up to the cut of being a super-fan. Featured at PGF this year, it’s a quick and competitive, a lot of fun to play with friends, and has seemingly unlimited replayability. Needless to say I was keen to learn more, so I organised to catch up with creator David Green to have a chat about it.
For those unfamiliar with your game, can you give us an elevator pitch?
The Coins of McGuffin is a collectable trading card game where you battle against other people’s fandoms! It is like Tumblr…but in real life. Guaranteed to bring people closer together before you start a flame war across the table.
What made you decide to create a TCG?
Being a Generation 1 Pokémon collector (and who still has his entire collection) I have always loved the idea of collecting cards. The mania that was the Pokémon game back in the ’90s was a magic I will never forget. So when I decided to make a card game, I knew it had to be collectable, it had to look good, and it had to be something that others would trade all their lunches for just to get “THAT” card.
Can you give us a bit of a rundown for how a typical game plays out?
The goal of the game is to either collect all the Coins of McGuffin OR annihilate everyone around the table so they have no cards left in their hands. You do this by using the coins to make defense points for each fandom card you play and taking defense points of an opponent with the roll of a dice. This is though where it starts getting strategic (and fun/ruthless) – you can choose who you take the points off and can attack anyone playing the game. This is why you need to make friends and convince people that the other players would make better targets, try to make yourself as inconspicuous as possible while you slowly gain all the coins and cards, or make yourself as powerful as possible so the only way people would be able to take you out is by teamwork. Alliances are formed and broken in a heartbeat and flame wars erupt all over the table!
How did you conceptualise the idea for The Coins of McGuffin?
The card game was always part of a grand plan. We have an animated web series (now an online comic) where our two protagonists must go on a quest to collect all the Coins of McGuffin and unite the fandoms. Along the way, they meet many guardians who have these ‘cards of power’ using the power of fandoms to gain special abilities. The purpose of the show was to educate people on different fandoms, issues, and concepts in the geeky community while showcasing the cards in the show. The show (and subsequent card game) came about due to my brother and I having many conversations about what we would do better in our favourite TV shows and movies if WE were the protagonists.
Is this your first game or have you worked on others before?
No, this is my first game. First thing like this at all, in fact. When I have an idea, I do a lot of careful research before putting any money towards something, but once an idea is in my brain, it HAS to get made.
Since the game is all about fandoms, which fandom is your favourite?
That is a tough one! (No, seriously!) I know a lot about a lot of different fandoms. When making the cards, I have to research some shows/movies/games/books I have never heard of. I also review a lot of media, and I’m a very harsh critic! In fact, on my personal twitter (@DJSoundBite) I have a hashtag amoung my followers called #SoundBiteHatesEverything because the TV show/movie/game/book that EVERYONE loves, I will pick apart like a crow at the carcas of a dead sheep. If I had to pick one, I guess I would be a Hensonite (Lovers of Jim Henson’s work). The Muppets and all of Jim Henson’s Creature Workshop has a special place in my heart and often is one of the few things I am unable to find fault with.
What were some of the challenges you’ve encountered making a TGC?
Overheads and cost of productions. This is something most startups will encounter. Unless you want to do a print run of over 1,000 units, it is very difficult and expensive to create, say, 100 to test the waters. As such, when you find a company who can make smaller orders the overheads are very large and the profits small. As Coins of McGuffin gets bigger, I will be able to justify dropping $10,000+ on the large orders as the demand will be there, but currently, I have to just be content with smaller profits as we grow.
How was the feedback from PGF this year?
Excellent! Having a lot of repeat players come down who know the game, and, in turn, teach other people is really fantastic! And watching new people play the game and get that competitive streak in them while gushing about fandoms warms my geeky heart.
Had you had much interaction with the Perth scene before PGF?
I try to get to as many Perth events that revolve around games and geeky media as I can. We have a monthly meetup at the Nostalgia Box on the last Sunday of the month, I go to the Collector Zone Toy Fair every 3 months, and I try to get to Playup Perth whenever they hold events to test new components and introduce the game to new audiences. The Perth Games Festival was a great event we hadn’t tried before but will be back again next year.
What are your plans for the game going forward?
The hope is to create a really Coins of McGuffin game community where people start coming to our monthly meetup to meet new people and compete in competitions for prizes. I would eventually like to have a major competition with a custom board made. I would, of course, like to reach a milestone of 500 fandom cards, and I would like to see our game in major stores.
If you’d like to continue to follow the development of The Coins of McGuffin, check out the following resources: