Interview with Planet Fulcrum’s Paul Dellow

Welcome to the human race.

This is a journey into the world of a unique online game, whose creator is gearing up for launch. As you’ll soon learn, Planet Fulcrum goes beyond turn-based combat and stats, and into the realm of pop culture and personality. Read on, and if you like what Paul Dellow has to say about his project, then donate to the Kickstarter campaign, up and running right now: Back Planet Fulcrum.

I’d love to learn a little about the developers, and your dream to create Planet Fulcrum. How many of you dreamers are there? When would you say this all started?

My role in Planet Fulcrum is founder, game designer, graphic designer and illustrator, and I have the support of two others when they can. Martin Carroll is the copywriter, and responsible for fleshing out the comic book storyline and prequel comic. Chris Pengelly is another designer who helped me produce the 2000 + items for the character creator system.

My background is in graphic design, and around 2008, after spending many a year advising others on how to go about building a brand, I wanted something for myself, but more of a pet project than a stake in the world. By chance I met an old friend who had told me he was selling comics on eBay but had to give up, as it was taking too much time with not much return. I said I’d be interested in taking on his stock and building my own online comic shop. Just to a. brush up on my coding, and b. reignite my childhood love for science fiction, comics, and cartoons. He gladly offered me over 1000 comic books to do with as I pleased. Awesome!

So in my spare time I built a shop, catalogued the comics, and uploaded all the information into the database. Ready to rock.

I called the store Planet Fulcrum – Center of the Comic Book Universe – and that got me thinking. Looking at my hoard of comics, and the varied genres from superheroes to zombies, G.I. Joes to Wizards and Warriors, I thought, what if Planet Fulcrum was more? A place where all these genres could meet and do battle, kind of a pop culture mashup in one game?

So I decided to sketch, draw, and write all my thoughts into an a5 note pad, positioning everything from gameplay to in-game eco-system and story outline.

Your last Kickstarter campaign in 2013. Painful memory, or a learning experience?

A definite learning experience, I was clueless to the format and really wanted to gauge if any of this would or could have a following. Kind of early market research.

Is this the closest you’ve come to making Planet Fulcrum a reality?

Absolutely. The journey is a long one, but the project is always moving forward.

When I read up on this game, and watched your Kickstarter video, I was forced to admit I’m not much of a modern gamer. So, is it wrong for me to be thinking along the lines of World of Warcraft? What is different about PF when compared to other online games such as WOW?

Yep, well WOW is a free roamer, allowing the user to walk around in vast worlds. This will never do that.

It’s a game that brings all pop cultures together and allows creativity to flourish. From the look of the character, personality, and abilities, to writing their own origin story. I love that stuff. I myself spend forever on customization in games, and I figured I couldn’t be the only one.

Then the turn-based battle requires speed of thought, reflex, and a solid strategy to compete and succeed. I was conscious to produce something that sat between a card battler, which can be static, slow gameplay, and a button-bashing adrenaline rush like Streetfighter. Something that was easy to pick up, but hard to master.

For the overall look and feel, I was extremely mindful of producing something original, yet keeping to the constraints of 2D animation based on my original inspiration, comics.

What else can you tell me about the personality aspect of a custom character? Does personality affect everything in Planet Fulcrum?

Your created character’s personality will evolve and fluctuate, depending on how you play the game. This then dictates what type of Jettons you can use in battle. That in-turn will force you to learn your personality nuances and factor it into your battle strategy.

When you say ‘fandom collides’ in Planet Fulcrum, what do you mean?

It’s all about being who you want to be. Kind of like digital cosplay.

There’s a forthcoming Planet Fulcrum comic you mention on your homepage. Can you reveal anything about it to us? When do you expect to publish it? Will it be available online? In print?

We hope to release a printed version after the game launch. The story is already intertwined with the game, but this is the full prequel. Telling readers how the planet came to be, and the origin of the three warring factions, whilst introducing some awesome characters that will appear in the full game’s story mode.

I would have loved to include it in the Kickstarter, and maybe will if we ever reach a stage where we can add stretch goals. I was just super conscious not to over promise.

Can I count on this game to take over my life in a good way?

You can count on it as a pleasant interruption or break to your day. The beauty of the battles is they are quick, so you could effectively dip in and out. But if you’re like me you’ll spend many an hour obsessing over the customization and battle strategy. I overanalyze everything, even testing had me obsessing on the right timing and combinations in battle.

When can users (or should I say, Overlords, Guardians and Nomads) expect to log on and start playing Planet Fulcrum?

If Kickstarter achieves its target, supporters can expect the first iteration in October 2015.
Thanks for reading. If you liked this interview, comment, and subscribe to inksmything! Let me know if you’d like to see more interviews with creative freelancers, or send me a suggestion.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>