Interview with Wet Hot American Summer: Fantasy Camp Creators!

GameStop, Inc.

We got to interview Lee Keeler and Geoffrey Golden, better knows as the Wet Hot American Summer: Fantasy Camp Creators

Wet Hot American Summer: Fantasy Camp Creators

For those of you that don’t know, aka horrible comedy nerds, Wet Hot American Summer has an RPG tabletop game coming out called: Wet Hot American Summer: Fantasy Camp. For the information about ordering your copy and helping their campaign reach their stretch goals, click anywhere in this sentence. Now that you’re all caught up, we have a special treat, we got and interview with Wet Hot American Summer: Fantasy Camp Creators Lee Keeler and Geoffrey Golden:

Hello Lee and Geoffrey! Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions and for creating Wet Hot American Summer: Fantasy Camp and congratulations on reaching your goal! I really want to commend you on finding the perfect medium of turning Wet Hot American Summer into a tabletop RPG. That was brilliant!

Geoffrey: Thank you! And we’ll make Fantasy Camp… *does mental calculations*… 79% more kickass if we reach our Kickstarter stretch goals, like doubling the number of playable characters in the manual.

1) How did you get the idea of turning Wet Hot American Summer into a tabletop RPG?

Lee: It just seemed like a natural choice, given the climate with 80’s throwback culture going on right now, particularly with shows like Stranger Things and films like It Follows. When I was a kid, I always loved the Star Wars and Marvel Heroes games, and Wet Hot stands out as another world with such exaggerated, amazing characters. But the story is: we were drinking and partying in Disneyland.

Geoffrey: That is true. Like all good roleplaying game ideas, it came to us when we were not sober. We were talking about what a Wet Hot RPG would be like, and we decided it would be a classic pen-and-paper tabletop roleplaying game that takes place in Camp Firewood with mini-games inspired by summer camp activities.

2) Once the idea was established, what was the process of creating and refining the mechanics and gameplay to the final product?

Lee: It was really fun to construct, because we would write for a while, then play tested it with different groups – hardcore Wet Hot fans, casual gamers, and hardcore roleplaying gamers. It really was a joy to bring together.

3) What games influenced the creation of Wet Hot American Summer: Fantasy Camp?

Lee: Geoffrey sent me the old Ghostbusters RPG manual.

Geoffrey: It’s a great, rare example of a beloved comedy film being translated into a roleplaying game.

Lee: I was poring through that, in addition to that other wrestling book – what was that called?

Geoffrey: World Wide Wrestling by Nathan D. Paoletta, which is really good. It’s a good example of a game that’s less of a “group quest” RPG and more about individual players pursuing their own stories, which is exactly what we wanted to do with Fantasy Camp. The film has tons of different, insane storylines that all come together in the end, which is how we designed Fantasy Camp to play.

4) How many times have you watched the movie since starting the project, and in general?

Geoffrey: I’ve lost count. I’d need some sort of super mainframe computer to figure it out.

Lee: We’d both seen it a billion times before from our college years, honestly. The idea of researching for the game usually meant repeating the film, which is not a problem for geekozoids like Geoffrey and I.

5) Is there a way to cheat in the game, and if so, is there a penalty for being caught?

Lee: I wouldn’t say “cheat,” but there is this fast track device we call The Dice of Fate. It advances game play into kind of a bit more chaos, should your campaign require that.

Geoffrey: We’ve seen a lot of campers successfully steal things from the staffers, like food from Gene and rubbing alcohol from Nurse Nancy. We’re legally required to state that getting drunk on rubbing alcohol is not a recommended activity for campers.

6) What was the most memorable part of creating the game?

Geoffrey: The play testing is where the magic happens. It’s like writing a play. You might feel accomplished after completing it, but the thrill comes in seeing it performed. Likewise, it was a thrill to watch play test groups love Fantasy Camp, and not boo it like a number from Godspell.

Lee: True! Also, I hid an easter egg to another great cult movie about a summer camp. It’s in there and I hope you can find it!

7) Which characters from the movie do you personally see yourselves as?

Lee: I used to be a kind of mix of Andy and Coop, but have slowly Gene’d in my age.

Geoffrey: I’m a Neil and I’m proud.

8) Have you gotten members of the cast and crew to play the game? If so, what were their reactions? If not, which ones would you want to be the first to play the game, and can you stream them playing it?

Geoffrey: There’s definitely cast member involvement. Michael Ian Black, Marguerite Moreau, and Joe Lo Truglio are contributing to the manual with exclusive game tip interviews, where they tell players how to kickass as their characters, and director David Wain is writing the forward.

Lee: Cast members playing the game would be great! I would love to give Joe Lo Truglio a first crack at it.

9) Would you recommend this game for kids who want to go to camp, but can’t?

Lee: I mean, Wet Hot is an early aughts parody of 80’s boner-era comedies, which in of themselves were a response to 50’s nostalgia of Reagan’s white garbage Americana. As long as I can tell the kids that right quick, then game on!

Geoffrey: That, and an explanation of pussy lube, and then we’re off to the races!

10) Do you think watching/knowing the movie is essential to enjoying the game?

Geoffrey: Not really. You can create your own characters and your own camp, if you want to adventure outside of Camp Firewood. It’s a fun and crazy game whether you’re a Wet Hot fan, a D&D veteran, or a lover of the finer things in life.

Lee: Yeah, you don’t need to come in with knowledge of the film, but ordering a pizza is required.

11) What is it you hope players of the game will take away?

Lee: The best thing that can come from all of this is congregation in the name of story. Some people do that with poetry readings, whereas we do that with self-fellating Cans of Mixed Veggies.

Geoffrey: A memorable evening of genitalia jokes.

Anytime Costumes

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