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  #1  
Old September 13th, 2016, 10:34 AM
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Craig Van Ness Q&A Thread

Do you have a question for Craig Van Ness, the lead designer of Heroscape? If so, this is place to ask!

Since he's new on the site and there may be some pent up demand in wondering about this-or-that, I ask you all to use your good judgement and not flood him with too many questions too quickly. He tells me most any question is fine, but if he can't answer something, I'm sure he'll tell ya that.

Welcome, Craig!

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Old September 13th, 2016, 10:43 AM
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Re: Craig Van Ness Q&A Thread

Hello Craig! Tell us about the genesis of Heroscape. Did it begin as an idea that you conceived and pitched to Hasbro? Did Hasbro direct its creation? Or was there some other path to its inception?
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Old September 13th, 2016, 11:03 AM
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Re: Craig Van Ness Q&A Thread

"Welcome back; your dreams were your ticket out."
--Welcome Back, Kotter


Will you be needing any play testers for Shifting Realms, your first product?

It sounds great! ( I note that my board game collection includes Risk 2210, Star Wars Queen's Gambit, Heroscape, and MTG:AOTP.)

Last edited by chas; September 13th, 2016 at 11:24 AM.
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Old September 13th, 2016, 11:46 AM
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Re: Craig Van Ness Q&A Thread

Hi Craig, and good to have you with us!

I realize WotC still has the rights to HS (to the best of my knowledge), so bringing it back isn't likely. I was struck by an idea though:

Bringing HS back might be out of the question, but what if you were to create a game using minis in the same scale as HS? Then all we/you would need to do is make custom cards for them. Boom! HS is back!

The difference between that and normal customs is that they would belong to a game that is being promoted, meaning they could be bought in stores like HS figures used to be. That way, the game you create would have an instant following, and HS would get restored, at least partially. You'd basically be designing two games with one, and collecting a following for each, rather than for just one game.

Do you think that's viable?

~TGRF, who admits he is a game developer in the realm of the mind only. For now.

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Old September 13th, 2016, 12:01 PM
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Re: Craig Van Ness Q&A Thread

Hey Craig, very excited to have you around. I still show off the Raelin card you signed for me in 2011 all the time. I finally met Rob this year at Gencon, so I'm acquainted with two of the creators of my all-time favorite game.

My question: how much Heroscape do you play/have you played? Did you do a lot of the testing yourself as waves came out or was there a design/development divide like I've heard about in Magic and other games? Did you/do you have a playing group where you play Heroscape for fun semi-regularly?
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Old September 13th, 2016, 12:02 PM
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Re: Craig Van Ness Q&A Thread

Hi, Craig.

It seems to me that Heroscape attracts a special community. You see it at Heroscape tournaments and you see it here on this site. I don't know why we're different but we are. As a guy familiar with Heroscape, with the broader gaming community, and with the industry, Craig, why is it, do you think, that we're better than everybody else nicer than everybody else different?

Thank you for offering to answer questions, and best of luck on your exciting new Thing.

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Old September 13th, 2016, 12:48 PM
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Re: Craig Van Ness Q&A Thread

I don't have a question, but I do have Thanks.

Back around Christmas 2007 my life was not as amazing at it is now. I was in a bad relationship and had drifted from friends and family. I had seen Heroscape since it was first released, but for some reason that Christmas I figured I would treat myself and I bought both master sets (even though I really had no-one to play with). Over the following months I found this online community and an offline one. I collected more units and learnt everything I could about the game. Whenever I was down I still had my hobby to keep me sane.

It has been Years now, and I reconnected with my friends and family, got married and a new son that I can't wait to introduce Heroscape Too. As cliché as it seems, the game you designed helped me get through some tough times.

I'm more grateful than I can express here, and just wanted you to know.


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Old September 13th, 2016, 01:00 PM
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Re: Craig Van Ness Q&A Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by wriggz View Post
I don't have a question, but I do have Thanks.

Back around Christmas 2007 my life was not as amazing at it is now. I was in a bad relationship and had drifted from friends and family. I had seen Heroscape since it was first released, but for some reason that Christmas I figured I would treat myself and I bought both master sets (even though I really had no-one to play with). Over the following months I found this online community and an offline one. I collected more units and learnt everything I could about the game. Whenever I was down I still had my hobby to keep me sane.

It has been Years now, and I reconnected with my friends and family, got married and a new son that I can't wait to introduce Heroscape Too. As cliché as it seems, the game you designed helped me get through some tough times.

I'm more grateful than I can express here, and just wanted you to know.
I'm glad the community created by HS had that effect, Wriggz. Even though I don't believe we've ever encountered each other on this forum before, I'm proud to be part of a community that can do such a thing.

I also have thanks, and inspired by the above, would like to share it. Those that know me know that I spend a lot of time in the Fan Fiction forum, and have for many years. I've been honing my skill as a writer, and plan to start publishing novels in the near future. Without HeroScape, the fan site created by it, and the incredible community that has been created, I would be no closer to that goal than I was when I first joined, six years ago (actually only off by 6 days there).

Thanks Craig. Thanks for creating HeroScape, a game that has brought so many people together from all over the place to create the best online community I've ever seen. And thanks for indirectly helping me to become a writer. HeroScape has impacted my life in more ways than one.

~TGRF.

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Old September 13th, 2016, 01:07 PM
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Re: Craig Van Ness Q&A Thread

Hey Craig, it's great to see you officially join us here. We're all excited for you and here to support you.

I have to admit, reading @The Grim Reaper's Friend 's comment really excited me. I think that's a brilliant idea, and could help you get started on your feet b/c as he said we'd be there to buy those figures for a dual purpose. Who knows, maybe you could pair up with the C3V/SoV team to create customs for the figures you release...assuming of course your games will be using miniatures...
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Old September 13th, 2016, 01:16 PM
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Re: Craig Van Ness Q&A Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xorlof View Post
Since he's new on the site and there may be some pent up demand in wondering about this-or-that, I ask you all to use your good judgement and not flood him with too many questions too quickly. He tells me most any question is fine, but if he can't answer something, I'm sure he'll tell ya that.
In similar contexts, I have seen people make a serious effort to confine their posts to questions, so as not to burden the guy who graciously volunteered to answer them. Please, either (1) ask a question, or (2) post your thoughts somewhere else. Maybe a different thread about what Heroscape has meant to you, or something.

But let's keep this thread focused on questions and answers, please. I think that would be easiest for Craig & the rest of us to read.

Thank you!

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Old September 13th, 2016, 02:09 PM
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Re: Craig Van Ness Q&A Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porkins View Post
Hello Craig! Tell us about the genesis of Heroscape. Did it begin as an idea that you conceived and pitched to Hasbro? Did Hasbro direct its creation? Or was there some other path to its inception?
Many of the designers at Hasbro at the time we were pitching Heroscape were playing miniature games. We had pitched miniature concepts before but Heroclix was in mass market with their DC and Marvel line. I think this is why this time we were successful in pitching a miniatures concept like Heroscape.

We came up with several ideas for Game Systems using miniatures. I think the plastic terrain made Heroscape stand out. Alan Roach created this stop motion video of the terrain being built in different ways, we knew we had something. Stephen Baker, the designer of Heroquest and many other fun games, came up with the idea for the terrain. We worked together on the core engine of the game. We wanted to create an easy to get into immersive mass market miniatures experience. Many miniature games require you to stay in a group or move with a group. I wanted squads, but I wanted the ability to treat then very similar to how the heroes worked to keep the rules simple. We tried to keep it as simple as possible, always making rules that made common sense. All the designers, especially Rob Daviau, and non-designer playtesters kicked in and helped out. With a game system like Heroscape there are so many cards to design and test. Rob Daviau, Chris Schubach and I worked on the story in the beginning.

I hope that answers your questions.
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Old September 13th, 2016, 02:16 PM
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Re: Craig Van Ness Q&A Thread

Probably a Hasbro IP question, so if you can't answer, that's OK:

We've heard rumors. Is it true that Star Wars Heroscape was developed and never released?

Last edited by Porkins; September 13th, 2016 at 02:18 PM. Reason: I have a little bit of interest in Star Wars Heroscape. Cough, cough, HoSS.
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