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“EVERYBODY STARTS OUT FRIENDS, EVERYBODY’S FINE. ABOUT MID-WAY THROUGH, THAT ALL GOES TO HELL.”

Pop culture art studio Mondo has put the tabletop in its sights with the first official board game based on John Carpenter’s legendary horror flick The Thing. We tie brand director Jay Shaw to a sofa and ask him about teaming up with publisher Project Raygun on Infection at Outpost 31

From vinyl and posters to clothing and collectibles, you’ve dipped your toes into nearly every aspect of pop culture – bar board games. Why was now the time to break onto the tabletop?

It’s exactly like everything else Mondo does – one or a few of us got really excited about games and kind of said, ‘Well, why aren’t we creating games? It doesn’t make any sense, we should be making games.’

In the beginning there was a little bit of reluctance to jump into it because making a game is extraordinarily complicated, obviously. We couldn’t do that ourselves, there’s no way to do it. We don’t have any game designers on staff. Quite frankly, we didn’t really know anybody in the industry at the time. But I had a friend who’s an artist – he was over at USAopoly and they’d been planning on starting this Project Raygun initiative; they really wanted to get into more boutique stuff.

A year later, we had it all connected and we said, ‘Okay, great, we’ve got the pieces here: we’ve got a phenomenal game designer, a place that actually knows how to manufacture and put out games, licences, artists, all of us have a passion for this stuff.’ So from there it was we’re definitely doing a game, what game should it be? That’s how we got to The Thing.

It was simply a stroke of luck?

It’s just like everything, exactly. Honestly, Mondo do a lot of big things but we’re a really small company. We’re just a handful of people and we’re all complete geeks about things. When we went into soundtracks, it was really simply because one of the creative directors wanted to put out a soundtrack, he thought it was a good idea. Then all of a sudden we become a record label a few years later. It’s that kind of thing where everything starts as a goofy idea and you go: ‘Yeah, I don’t know, I love doing this stuff, this would be a lot of fun. Let’s see if we can do that for real.’ So that’s how all of it happens, and definitely how this happened. A complete roll of the dice, as it were.

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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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