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The Hotseat: Demented Games

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  • The Hotseat: Demented Games

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    In this Hotseat we sit down and chat with thee guys from Demented Games, the Australian company behind the wonderful Twisted game.


    Seb, Its almost 11 years to the day we sat you down in the hotseat. Back then there was no Guild of Harmony or Twisted. So how did things pan out in that time to bring you to where you are now? (Read Sebs original interview here: Seb Archer )

    (Seb) Wow 11 years - yes, things have certainly changed a lot in that time! Last time I spoke with you I was probably transitioning to more of a focus on sculpting (rather than painting). I spent some years from 2010-2014 working mostly as a freelance sculptor, but I always thought it would be great fun to work on developing my own range as part of a tabletop game. Then when I met Peter (the other co-creator of Twisted) with his huge passion for world-building and storytelling, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a shot, and create our Twisted universe.


    Tell us how Australia's hottest couple got together and Demented Games was formed?

    (Seb) Peter and I had known each other for quite a few years before Twisted, through the Golden Demon painting circuit here in Australia in the mid-late 2000s. A third friend had the idea the start a hobby magazine together, but we quickly realised we wanted to create miniatures and make a game and world for them to inhabit!

    As well as sculpting I had a good background knowledge and experience with the miniature production and practical stuff, and Peter with his creative mind bursting full of ideas had always wanted to create a game universe filled with interesting characters and miniatures. So it felt like a great partnership.


    Seb, In your previous interview you mentioned not being creative enough, do you still feel that or does Pete bring the creativity or do you guys act in a symbiotic way?

    (Seb) Oh did I say that even way back then?! Yes, I think I've always lamented the fact that I don't feel like I'm as spontaneously creative in that wonderful way of some sculptors and artists out there! I see myself as more of a methodical person (I'd call myself more of a crafter than an artist), though of course it's true that everyone has their own style of learning and creating. But Peter's brain is such a reservoir of uniquely quirky and characterful ideas, plot devices and narrative arcs that I feel very lucky to have partnered with him for Twisted. I always credit Peter with creating the real depth of feeling in the world of Twisted, with his beautiful storytelling and interesting take on character design. So yes, I'd like to think you hit the nail on the head in saying we have a symbiotic relationship and work well together, if I can take some of Peter's mad character ideas and help turn them into cool miniatures!


    Seb in your first interview you talked about wanting to try sculpting. You obviously fully transitioned over to that. Do you still find time to paint and has becoming a sculptor changed your approach to painting?

    (Seb) I wish there were more hours in the day so I could focus on both sculpting and painting! Sculpting is a very different challenge to painting and I really enjoy the learning process. But yes, as someone who started as a painter - and with the knowledge that the figures I sculpt are ultimately designed for painting - the thought of how something might be interpreted when painted does play a big role in the sorts of details, textures and shapes I aim for. I always find it a bit of a strange feeling when I paint something I have sculpted myself: I get these kind of 'memory echoes' as I move over the miniature with a brush and remember the feeling I had or music that was playing when I sculpted that particular part. It is a bit weird! Also sometimes having the brush in hand leads me to interpret a detail quite differently to the way I was thinking when sculpting.


    Do the both of you have a favourite Twisted miniature?
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    (Seb) It's hard to say, as we poured so much into the design of each and every one! I quite like Agatha, both because the concept to Twist Agatha Christie into our Scions faction is so cool, but also because I enjoyed sculpting an older mature female face. Pigsty from Monkey's Troupe (And all of Valentin Zak's work) are beautifully sculpted and I really admire his style. I think one of the real gems of the range is Dawg & Flea sculpted by Stephane Camosseto, a brilliant execution of such a complex and characterful concept! And then Luc (Lux Thantor) really nailed his Sewer Golem sculpt for the Twisted Monstrous Marvel's Kickstarter - the golem was a big hit. Too many to choose from!

    (Pete) That is a tricky question. I have many in the range that I really like but I think Indigo Ford has to win it for me. The concept by Owen Aurelio was a dream to do and came together so fast and having a master like Patrick Masson sculpt her was a dream come true. He did a truly wonderful job. For me she has the perfect balance of action and power and she really looks like she means business. The pose is exactly what I wanted and the overall mini ticks all the boxes for me.



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    I like my minis to look like they can operate in the real world, no physics defying swords or massive silly armour plates. Indigo does this so well her, clothes and armour are just what one would imagine an adventurer wearing, snug fitting and rugged. Her pistol looks just big enough to pack a punch but isn't a small hand-cannon. For me she looks just perfect, a hard-ass woman who will punch you into next week if you mess her about.

    You will find this a lot in the Twisted range in general, everything is dialled back from OTT heroic to impressive. Our sensibility is for models that look like they work: our ladies, for instance, rarely wear overly sexy clothes, they wear more practical clothing for fighting in the murky alleyways and underground sewer tunnels of Twisted! M'Dusa is a bit of an exception but one could arguably say she's not a real woman anyway (see the backstory in the twisted rulebook!). This is a design choice we have made, we wanted Twisted to be accessible to women and with that in mind we wanted to represent ladies in a positive and powerful way. Indigo is a fine example of this ethos,she is a strong, capable adventurer and her model really reflects this.




    Twisted is pretty unique in offering nearly every miniature in both resin and metal. What's the reasoning behind that?

    (Seb) It's something we wanted to do right from the very start. We always intended the Twisted miniatures to be as high quality as possible, from detailed concept design and artwork, high level sculpting, right through to top-notch moulding and production. With so much effort put into the characters, we wanted to make sure a premium high-quality resin version would be available. Having said that, we also know that many gamers prefer the weight and feel of metal miniatures on the tabletop, and we already had a good relationship with one of the best metal casters in the world from right here in Australia (Eureka Miniatures). So in our eyes it made sense to make that extra effort to have both resin and metal options available.

    (Pete) If I recall initially we were only going to offer resin as it was the painter's medium, back when we started and we wanted our range to attract both painters and gamers. I'm a bit of a Luddite and prefer metal so we decided to include metal as our main gaming material. As Seb said we already knew Nic at Eureka so we knew the quality would be right up with the finest models in the world. The production cost of metal is also lower so it made more sense to try offer gamers the more affordable, stronger alternative.

    Mind you our resins are some of the best cast and toughest resins I've seen, they aren't brittle at all and can withstand quite some punishment. Some of my demo game models are resins and that says something about how good they are.

    It's nice to be able to offer both options and I think it helps to have both options to suit all fans, some of the larger pieces (see our most recent kickstarter for the Monstrous Marvels) will only ever be resin as they would be mighty chunks of heavy metal and virtually impossible to cast.


    Has the Covid pandemic caused you to alter your approach to things?

    (Pete) Not really from my side. It's caused a bunch of issues that meant I had to focus a bit more on my day job as things became uncertain but Twisted seems to have fared pretty well. At the start of the Pandemic we were just getting a good head of steam in the USA, and now we have UK distribution things seem to be picking up at that side of the pond. As people became locked down the ability for gamers to get together was restricted but people still seemed keen to buy for later on. COVID shipping delays have made things a bit tricky of course, but local UK & US distribution is making access to our game easier outside Australia. (You can buy the Twisted range in our own Wampstore)


    How do you decide upon a sculptor for new releases?

    (Seb) We have a fantastic relationship with a few different regular sculptors for Twisted, who have had an amazing input on our range of miniatures. We have had contributions from artists such as Valentin Zak, Patrick Masson, Stephane Camosseto, and a special nod to Lux Thantor who has sculpted HEAPS of minis for Twisted over the years! I (Sebastian) also sculpt for the Twisted range as much as possible. It is certainly the case that sometimes looking at a concept we decide a certain sculptor might be better suited to a particular character, based on their strengths and style. But if I'm honest the decision often comes down to who has time in their schedule - good sculptors are always in high demand!

    (Pete) What Seb said - I generally don't involve myself in those decisions, I tend to write whilst Seb handles the physical production. I was very keen to have Patrick Masson do Indigo so I was quite excited when that happened. I also love the work of Lux as he is the master of gesture and pose: his minis always have a really nice feel to them. Seb's stuff is superb with detail I can barely paint and every sculpt in the Twisted range shows evidence of his hand, even if he did not sculpt it. Much of the design sensibility in Twisted can be attributed to his talents and creativity.

    There is not a model in our range I could not find something I like about, some inevitably were more successful than others in meeting my expectations and desires but each of them is a wonder of the sculptor's art.


    Which Twisted mini is most like yourself?

    (Seb) That is an interesting one...I'd never considered that before. Maybe Monkey, with his Journey to the West. I feel like I am on my own journey with sculpting, trying to improve each time I start a new figure, step-by-step searching to find enlightenment. Plus I have a hairy chest!

    (Pete) Definitely Pascal Du Lyon. He's staggering about with a beer in hand. That's me!!


    Are there any miniatures out there you wish you had come up with for Twisted?

    (Pete) There are a few that I still want to do. There are some I'd love to do but the trope has been used so many times in this genre that it seems a bit pointless, Sherlock Holmes is one example. He's such a great character but has been done to death in steampunk settings.

    I'd like to maybe do his brother, Mycroft, but I have a bunch of other, better ideas to work on first. In short I wouldn't say there are any I wished we'd done that we haven't, there are probably some that I'd like to do that we can't for copyright reasons! But there are always so many great ideas out there that we don't feel like we've missed out on too much.


    What does the future hold for twisted? Any sneak peeks?

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    (Seb) If you caught our Twisted's Monstrous Marvels kickstarter you'll know there are a bunch of new miniatures about to be released for Twisted! In addition to those, we have been working on a special American-themed set of characters. It's a conceptual area we haven't explored before, so I think it will bring an interesting new flavour to the Twisted universe.

    (Pete) There is some stuff we are doing the concept work on at the moment. The USA stuff as Seb mentioned is first cab off the rank after the Marvels. One of them is sculpted and one is under design. I am working on a new Character for the Servants and after that there is something coming for the Dickensians that moves their faction story along a bit. I also have an idea for some modular Guild Agents but that is still simmering away at the back of my bonce.

    Print on demand at home is rising in popularity. Do you envisage Twisted ever offering this option?

    (Seb) It is certainly growing in popularity, especially the last year or so. It also solves the big hurdle of shipping physical products, especially in the context of the current COVID global disruptions. I haven't investigated 3D scanning for a while, but if the tech is now good enough it would be great to scan all of our miniatures and create an online catalogue. I can't imagine us completely abandoning physical miniatures any time soon, though!

    (Pete) It's a lovely idea but as all our models are sculpted by hand its not really viable for us. Possibly for some terrain elements and add on stuff but for the main range of models probably not.



    Seb in the original interview you said Australia would regain the Ashes, how did that go for you?

    (Seb) Shutup Brett, we'll get you next time! We just need to find a better hiding place for the sandpaper!



    Thanks so much to Seb and Pete for taking the time to chat with us. The Twisted range is fantastic and well worth checking out. If you head over to the Wampstore and use the code HOTSEAT you can grab a 10% discount to say thanks for reading this.

    Also keep a lookout for A collaboration we created between Twisted and our own Purgatory, playable in both games!

    Dont forget to head on over to the Demented Games site for loads of great Twisted stuff


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    Last edited by Darklord; 31-08-2021, 08:55 am.
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    Darklord Wamp creator, painter (when I find time) Find out more about Darklord

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