Interview With the Co-Creator of ‘A Duel Betwixt Us’

Recently, I found this awesome looking game called ‘A Duel Betwixt Us‘ with illustrations that immediately caught my eye. After backing the project, we were reached out by Laurence, one of the co-creators of the game.
GaaC: Congratulations on going way beyond your goal! Why do you think so many people are interested in your game?
L: Thanks so much! I think it’s probably a combination of some of the unique mechanics and the sense of humour and absurdist themes which are inherent to the gameplay. We find the mental picture of a pair of moustachioed 19th-century gentlemen locked in combat with umbrellas and fish as weapons pretty hilarious, and it’s nice to see that a lot of other people do as well. 

GaaC: Tell us a little bit about gameplay.
L: In the game, you and your rival engage in a series of old-timey duels to prove who is the greater specimen of humanity. Your heroic feats on the field of honour win you the love & devotion of peasants, who you send to the mines to procure different kinds of metal ingots, which are the major currency of the game. You spend these ingots to accelerate the arms race between you and your rival by building better weapons and armour for yourself, investing in acts of self-improvement, or committing acts of sabotage against your foe to better your odds in combat. The whole thing is permeated by kind of a surreal tongue-in-cheek sense of humour — for instance, you can wrap your peasants around you toga-style for extra defence in combat, or wipe out your rival’s ingot production by leaving kegs of free beer outside their mines to distract their workers.

The most unique mechanic is probably how we create items — you actually build them in front of you on the table using the ingots, and different ingot configurations will produce a different outcome in combat.

GaaC: What inspired you to come up with the theme?
Rob, who was the co-creator of the game, came up with the idea of a series of duels between medieval knights who were competing for the love of a fair maiden, but ultimately we were drawn to the 19th-century aesthetic as it all seemed so much funnier and more absurd to see well-mannered gentry battering each other with their solid-gold codpieces for the love of an equally buttoned-down aristocratic lady. Also, the 19th century had lots of great facial hair, which was a major perk for me as the artist.

GaaC: How did you get your start in designing games?
L: I suppose the root of it was creating our own MTG cards when we were kids, but it wasn’t until college that we actually started prototyping totally original concepts. Rob was learning how to make video games, and I was studying art, and we collaborated on a lot of projects between then and now, but none of them really clicked until A Duel Betwixt Us came along.

GaaC: What are your favorite tabletop games?
L: My favourite tabletop games of all time are MTG and HeroQuest, but more recently I’m really into Settlers of Catan, Dominion, and Gloom.

GaaC: Do you have any advice for other designers or publishers out there?
L: For anyone just starting out, know that the entire process of building a game will probably take 2-5 times longer than you’d anticipate at the start, but rest assured that you’ll also get an equally skewed ratio of fulfilment out of it if you can make it to the end.

GaaC: Will we be seeing you at any conventions in the future?
L: Not in the extremely near-future, as I’ll be incredibly busy making sure we hit our shipment deadline for the Kickstarter run, but once everything cools down with that, I hope to!

GaaC: And finally, what’s your favorite curry and where can we get it?
L: If you’re ever traveling through North East London, you can’t beat the delivery service provided by Bombay Munch. My personal favourite is their Paneer Korma. So squeaky!

GaaC: Thanks again and best of luck!
L: Much obliged! Thanks for finding us!

Please be sure to check out the game via the Kickstarter link below:


And as always, have fun and game on!