Interview with Duncan Davis of Sherwood Games
To start off, tell us about yourself and your history in gaming.
Hello everyone! My name is Duncan Davis and I am a game designer. During the day, I am a Ph. D. Chemical Engineer at North Carolina State University. I work with polymer origami. I am the second of five children and have been playing games like Bridge, Magic the Gathering, and Acquire since I was six years old. I grew up in Rhode Island – the smallest state with the biggest imagination!
Describe Robots: Battle for the Coal Heart for us in the form of an elevator pitch.
Robots: Battle for the Coal Heart is a fast-paced role selection robot building game. Seize control of the Coal Heart and siphon the health of your enemies. Will you stand as the last unbroken champion, or will you fall to the wayside with the rest of the junkyard?
What other games helped inspire Robots: Battle for the Coal Heart
Robots: Battle for the Coal Heart was inspired by the main mechanic in the game Puerto Rico. It is a role selection, resource management game about building your own little agricultural island nation. I thought that its role selection mechanic would make for a very different feeling fighting game. Role selection means each turn, you get to pick a role that lets everyone do something but for being the one that picked it, you get a perk. I knew I wanted the combatants to upgrade and improve over the course of the game, so robots made perfect sense. Using the expectations inherent in a Robot game, the mechanics of Robots: Battle for the Coal Heart are easy to understand and play wonderfully.
What aspects of Robots: Battle for the Coal Heart do you believe cause it to stand out from other role selection games on the tabletop game market?
Robots stands out from other role selection games because there is a high level of player interaction and the ability to directly impact other players. Most role selection games fall into the Euro game category, but Robots feels more like a hybrid between Euro and American games.
If Robots: Battle for the Coal Heart proves to be successful, are there any expansions you would like to release?
We have an expansion for Robots (pending its success). In the expansion, a bigger threat is looming over the world and the Robots must team up to defeat the newest threat. It transforms the game into a co-op game with various villains for the players to fight against. It adds new parts to each robot and an alternate Coal Heart! The playtesting for the expansion has been quite fun!
About the author
Sitting Duck was first introduced to tabletop gaming back in the seventh grade, when a friend brought his copy of the AD&D Monster Manual 2 to school. Since then, he has dabbled in a wide range of games. His current go-to RPG system is Savage Worlds, and he has a particular fondness for Lovecraft themed games, both serious and silly. You can also find him hanging around the Pinnacle Entertainment Group forum