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Heroscapers @ ComicCon - Interview

Posted July 31st, 2007 at 03:03 PM by truth
Updated April 14th, 2008 at 04:46 PM by truth

Oogie Da Bruce was at ComicCon this weekend and got a chance to sit down with Heroscape Designer Chris Nelson. Oogie writes:

Upon arriving at the Heroscape Booth I found Chris engaged in combat with none other then our very own Allskulls. I wandered over to get a better look only to watch Chris destroy our resident Scaper. I asked Chris for a moment of his time and he was happy to oblige and the first thing he mentioned was that he couldn’t talk about any of the upcoming figures, stats, releases or speculations of the future.

So I took some time to get to the man behind the Marvel, Chris Nelson.

ODB: Thanks Chris for taking time out for Heroscapers.com. So how is it exactly that you got involved with Heroscape?

CN: Well I’ve been working for Hasbro for 5 years now, 3 ½ as an independent and 1 ½ years officially. I started in Graphic Design working on various projects including some Sesame Street Games and 1313 Dead End Drive. But I’ve been onboard with Heroscape since it’s inception. I provided ideas and graphic for Heroscape as well as being a playtester.

ODB: And how did you get in with Hasbro?

CN: Well I got my degree in Illustration from Massachusetts Art and I’ve always been into Game and Toy Design. So I gathered up my portfolio and submitted it to Hasbro. They thought my style fit with their visions and they brought me in.

ODB: What kinds of things did you have in your portfolio?

CN: I had all kinds of varying things. One of them was my thesis work, “Everyday Heroes”. They were a fully fleshed out line of action figures, complete with sculpted models, back story, and packaging.

ODB: Can you tell us more about that?

CN: Yeah, they were heroes that you would find in your everyday life. There were characters like the janitor, the waitress, and the postal worker who used the tools of their trade to fight evil figures like the landlord and the auditor.

ODB: So it sounds like you were able to show them that you could do it all?

CN: Having a more complete portfolio definitely helped me.

ODB: And what have you done recently with Heroscape?

CN: Well aside from Marvel, I designed the trees for Ticalla’s Jungle and drew up the Marro Hive. You should have seen my initial models for the trees, they were just some sticks with leaves glued on them.

ODB: And what is involved in making something like the Jungle or Hive?

CN: There’s quite a bit; sketches, drawings, and models. You also have to coordinate the color scheme and even write down the steps used to paint the figure. Like for hulk it’s a layer of green then, purple shorts, black hair, white teeth and so on. Then you have to proof the mold and keep making changes till its perfect. And then there’s the hours of play testing.

ODB: So is there anything else you’d like to share with Scapers? Something unique?

CN: Here’s something. My uncle was one of the designers for GI Joe. Ronald Rudat, he had 2 of the 3 ½ inch figures modeled after him. Dusty was one of them. My grandma was also in the GI Joe cartoons.

ODB: So your like a second generation Hasbro Designer?

CN: I guess so. My uncle was really my inspiration to work in this industry. My cousins and I would always have tons of Joe stuff to play with and to see something that my uncle made turn into a toy was just amazing.

ODB: Thanks Chris.

CN: Thanks to you guys for all the support.

I continued to hang out at the booth and watch as Chris explained Heroscape to the throngs of visitors. He really has a joy and love for the game. And the biggest thing I came away with after talking with him is that he really is a game and toy geek just like the rest of us (in the most sincere way).

Chris, Will, and Lindsay were all really cool people to hang with. And they are happy that Heroscape has grown to be as big as it has. They were really hoping it would get this big, and mentioned that there was major grassroots support at Hasbro to see this thing take off.

Chris and Will even stopped by the Comic-Con tournament, hung out, built some maps, and made some rulings; it was awesome!

In my opinion, Heroscape at Comic-Con really came into its own this year. Although there has always been new news released here, this year was the first year there was a promo figure given out and the first tournament. There were tons of people interested in both Classic and Marvel Heroscape. Even during the tournament there were lots of people who came over asked questions and watched us play. This should just be the beginning of a growing Heroscape presence at San Diego International Comic-Con.
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