The 2013 ENnies nominations have been announced and voting is now open. I caught up with Andy Hopp of Mutha Oith Creations. The Whole Hole – A Gadabout’s Guide to Mutha Oith – Volume 01: Keister Island is nominated for two ENnies: Best Cover Art and Best Interior Art. Voting begins on Monday, July 22 and runs to Wednesday, July 31. The ceremony itself will be on Friday, August 16, in the Union Station Grand Hall at 8 pm with the cocktail reception beginning at 6:30 pm.
MT: Tell us about your company.
Andy Hopp (AH): Mutha Oith Creations is the company I established to manage all of my creative endeavors. We produce the Low Life RPG and its supplements, the Dementalism card game, The Wanderers Guild line of gaming products (coming soon), and several other games and related jazz. We also manage Con on the Cob (www.cononthecob.com) and Oddmall (www.oddmall.info).
MT: Have you had any other products nominated for ENnies in the past?
AH: Way back in 2003 I was nominated for Monsters of the Endless Dark by Goodman Games and the original Low Life core rulebook was nominated in 2006.
MT: Why should voters vote for your product? What sets it apart?
AH: The Whole Hole is a very high quality product. It has a unique format and has been repeatedly labeled as one of the most original settings in RPG history. I am particularly proud of the fact that I did all of the writing, illustrating, layout, and design myself. This allowed me to really match the artwork to the writing in order to form a more perfect union (also to provide for the common defense, establish justice, and secure the blessings of liberty).
Low Life is unlike any other RPG setting out there. Gazillions of years in the future the Hoomanrace is extinct and the dominant lifeforms evolved from cockroaches, snack cakes, and the dregs that survived the various apocalypses. It’s humorous and occasionally absurd, yet still smart and extremely playable.
MT: How do you feel about the state of the gaming industry today?
AH: There’s a lot of great, original, and creative stuff being made. There’s also a lot of derivative crap. I’ve never been a fan of derivative crap, but I am a fan of great, original, and creative. There seem to be a lot of core systems coming out. That’s probably a good thing, because it allows people like me to produce books for a variety of systems and appeal to a larger audience.
MT: How hard is it for a game publisher in this economy?
AH: Well, it’s certainly not easy. Unless you’re one of the big guys it’s tough to get your jazz carried in stores, but I suppose the same is true of most industries. There is a lot of competition, but I think that’s healthy in some respects. I guess the kickstarter glut is similar to the d20 glut we experienced in the early 2000s. A lot of crap was produced during that era, but a lot of great stuff was born as well. Competition is a good thing if it drives people to greater heights and better products. People might not have as much disposable income as they once did, but that should only encourage us to give them as much quality as we can for their clams.
MT: How has Kickstarter changed or influenced your business model, if at all?
AH: Kickstarter has allowed me to really focus on my own work, rather than spend my time on freelance work for other publishers. It’s been a huge help and I’m not sure how I would survive these larval stages without it. I still do freelance work, but now it’s by choice rather than necessity.
MT: Will you be at Gen Con? Where?
AH: Yes indeed. I have a booth in the art show.
MT: Where can we find out more about your company online?
MT: Anything else you’d like to share?
AH: Well, obviously I would really love everyone’s vote. Please take the time to check out every product and make an informed decision. Also, thanks for doing me a solid and running this interview.
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