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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > Issue Ten > HITTING THE SPOT


Cinematic effects studio Weta has been responsible for the visual punch of blockbusters from Lord of the Rings to Avatar and Mad Max. Now, it’s bringing its design expertise to the tabletop realm with GKR: Heavy Hitters. Senior concept designer Paul Tobin unleashes the Giant Killer Robots

Zombies. Pirates. Cowboys. Ninjas. Superheroes. Robots. From the tabletop to the silver screen, there are some things that never fail to get blood pumping and passions burning. How do you bring these ingredients for instant fandom to the boil? Make everything bigger and deadlier, of course.

Enter Giant Killer Robots: Heavy Hitters, the debut board game from Weta Workshop. While Weta’s name may be a stranger in the tabletop world, film fans will recognise the New Zealand design studio from its Oscar and BAFTA-winning visual effects work on mammoth blockbusters including the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, King Kong, Kong Ava tar, tar Mad Max: Fury Road and this year’s Ghost in the Shell. In other words, big, beautiful and deadly are Weta’s bread and butter. Still, jumping from multi-million-dollar movies to the comparatively tight-knit realm of tabletop gaming may seem a curious move for the distinguished outlet.

“We’ve worked on a lot of big films over the years,” acknowledges senior concept designer Paul Tobin, who co-created GKR: Heavy Hitters

with fellow Weta veterans Christian Pearce and Leri Greer. “We’re also all avid gamers. Leri and Christian are particularly big video game players. I’m a bit more old-school, I was kind of roleplaying games and a lot of board games, as well, and some tabletop miniature games for a little bit. So all of us have definitely had a strong interest in games, but we’ve never had the opportunity to work on a game of our own.”

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About Tabletop Gaming

Cover feature: Bears vs Babies: We chat with Elan Lee about following up Exploding Kittens with this hilarious monster mash-up set to be the summer’s biggest hit. GKR: Heavy Hitters: We take a dive into the world of Giant Killer Robots with senior concept designer Paul Tobin. Infection at Outpost 31: A beautiful adaptation of John Carpenter’s seminal horror film The Thing. Pro gaming special: How champions turned their hobby into a profession. First Martians: Designer Ignacy Trzewiczek guides us through his highly anticipated Adventures on the Red Planet. Tales from the Loop: We talk to the makers of the throwback RPG. The Ultimate Gaming Room: A look at what you should be cramming into your tabletop haven. PLUS • Cooking With Dice: Roleplaying with real-life cookery. • The Occult on the Tabletop: The influence of tarot cards and Ouija board. • Survive: Escape from Atlantis!: We look back at the beloved adventure game. • The Making of… Star Wars X-Wing • Painting Guide: Runewars • A Dungeon Master’s Guide to RPGs • Ten of the Best: 10 Budget Games for Under a Tenner • Introduction to… Pathfinder • My Favourite Game: Cry Havoc designer Grant Rodiek • First Turn: Acclaimed Citadels creator Bruno Faidut • Club Spotlight: Redditch Wargaming Society • Shop Spotlight: Southampton’s Board in the City • Played: 20 games and accessories reviewed

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