cubcleBy Paco Garcia Jaen

As the second of my reports on the talks and seminars given at Dragonmeet on the 27th of November, I’ll continue with the candid talk that Angus and Dominic gave during that morning.

I will admit I had no idea who Cubicle 7 were. I knew they existed (difficult not to, really) and I knew some of their products like Dr. Who, but little else. I had seen their impressive stall at the trade floor as I went through to the Green Room and it look amazing and full of books. Enough that if I hadn’t forced myself to get away from it, I could have spent my whole budged for the day there and then. So I thought they were going to be another stiff company only interested in getting as many products out there to get as rich as possible thanks to people like me.

However I did feel quite at easy as soon as they took to the table and introduced themselves. They were far from what I expected. No suits, no crap talk, no crap at all, in fact. Just two cool guys into gaming who’ve managed to create a very successful company out of sheer hard work, passion and shrewd thinking.

That shrewd thinking has translated into getting some very interesting licensing and putting it to great use. The aforementioned Dr. Who is one of them but they started by announcing they had also acquired the license for Primevil. The setting will use the same system as Dr. Who, so for players familiar with that game, Primevil should be a very fitting addition to their shelves. For people not familiar with Primevil, in the series prehistoric creatures turn up as anomalies from time to time and in different places of the planet and the team of investigators are called to put things right… or as right as possible! Monsters and creatures can also appear from the future, which gives it a very nice element of unpredictability. There is also a lot of thinking behind how to interact, and the effects of messing with, time travel, with time distortion points being a common feature of the game.

The release day is second quarter next year, so there is plenty of time to watch the series and get used to the theme and the atmosphere of the game. So add it your list; this promises to be great!

They also told us that the next version of Dr. Who, the Regeneration Edition. This next edition, which they promise is pretty much wrapped up, will feature the latest incarnation of Dr. Who, Matt Smith, and it has been updated to include the latest adversaries and creatures from the last series. The release is imminent, so keep an eye on their website and place your pre-orders now!

The announcement of The Lord Of The Rings role playing game, I will admit, worried me a bit. I started playing over 20 years ago with a red box set of LOTR and, although it did bring me amazing adventures, it soon became a bit relegated by more complex and engaging systems. Yes, I am a child of AD&D, shoot me! Rolemaster was a bit too “tables-heavy” for our chaotic group so we left it behind. When the movies came out a few years ago and the game was re-launched, it was disappointing.

For some reason, it is a franchise that hasn’t done very well in the gaming side of things. So on the one hand, this worries me. Do we need another failed version of LOTR?… probably not.

I do give credit to the Cubicle 7 buffs. To take on such a huge game, which will come with even larger expectations from the admirers of Tolkien’s work, is something they probably haven’t done in a rush. As much as it is a massive name to have, the amount of reputation they could loose if this is a flop is not to be underestimated!

With a GenCon 2011 release date, they still have time for playtest and refine the product. Although I am partly worried about it, I am also quite confident Angus and Dominic will have a few aces up their sleeves and should be able to deliver a great game.

Although they weren’t able to tell us much about their own upcoming projects, they did slip out they’re putting a lot of effort on SLA Industries. With two products coming soon (visit their website or listing to the full interview to find out… we can’t give you everything, can we?). With an estimated release for April, 2011 already begins to look a bright year!

Call of Cthulhu friends are in deep luck! Cthulhu Britanica is getting a great deal of attention with a target of 4 adventure books to be released every year. Avalon Source, a sourcebook based on Sommerset, covering from prehistoric times to the 1920’s was released for Dragonmeet. I did manage to get my hands on one of the books and it is highly recommended. Hopefully a review will be published shortly in this magazine.

On the same series, Shadows over Scotland, was described as an exciting and enormous hardback. With over 70 maps and a very comprehensive list of cities, towns, villages and locations, I don’t know you, but that’s enough for me to want one!

As if that were not enough, the promise of a box set for Call of Cthulhu based in London and designed as a prestige product left us all tingling with excitement! Indeed 2011 promises to be an amazing year!

The Laundry Files also being well on their way, and with their sight on foreign lands to bring new and different material, Dominic and Angus display both a passion games, a flair for business and a willingness to take risks that is pretty much unparalleled in the industry. With the extensive, high quality and greatly successful line of product in existence, it would be very easy for them to just sit back, concentrate on what they know and keep at it for quite some time. Instead, they’re constantly buzzing with ideas and, mavericks as they are, even asking for more to the audience!

With their website well bookmarked in my browser, my Facebook page listing them for me to keep an eye and their talk to remind me what’s to come, I am going to have to start saving some pennies and start pre-ordering.

You better hurry!