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Tunnels & Trolls Interview with David Reid

Garrett Fuller Posted:
Interviews Garrett Fuller 0

This past week we sat down with David Reid to talk about MetaArcade and their first title, the classic RPG which has lived throughout the ages: Tunnels and Trolls. The game is in very early stages of development, but David was kind enough to talk shop and go through some of the elements that make the title so popular among all generations of gamers.

We first talked about MetaArcade and the history behind hosting a library of games which will combine achievements across a single platform. David has a long history in MMOs and knows how to keep players happy. He wanted to make sure that the company hosted a series of games which people loved that would also bring them together. Fans and developers can both enjoy the same space with MetaArcade and we are now starting to see titles come out of the platform.

If you played RPGs growing up then chances are you heard of Tunnels & Trolls. The game is often tied to the deep history of RPGs going back into the 1970s. It was essentially the second Table Top RPG ever. Many fans of the game remember that it catered to a much more accessible system compared to something like Dungeons and Dragons which relied on polyhedral dice and lots of charts. Tunnels and Trolls was created to be played at home with what you had available. For example the game maintained a six sided dice system which were common in almost any board game of the time. This made it easier for players to begin their campaigns.

Now in 2016 David is looking at making sure that players have that full adventure experience with Tunnels and Trolls again. In our conversation we realized that many video games are made for much faster paced play. There is also a huge level of competition which has grown over the past few years. David feel strongly that game narrative and adventure have taken a back seat in this new environment and want to really bring back the feeling of deep adventure.

Being an old school fan, David explained that the game is in pre-prototype mode and the team should have a playable prototype by summer’s end (don’t quote him though). They want to make sure there is a solid playable version of the game which they can then engage with the community. They also want to begin with the basic races and classes for the game. However, David was quick to talk about the future potential of the game system which fully allowed for “monster” races to be played. Full game supplements were created for people to play as goblins, vampires, or even something as large as a dragon. This is all in theory right now with the digital version of the game, but it is where the RPG has so much potential to expand. The team are looking at all of these possibilities once they have the core prototype created.

We talked about how great it would be to have a game that you could play, even on mobile, where you were not tied into the world in case you had to log out for some reason. So many of the competitive games these days penalize you for leaving a match or having to turn off the game quickly. Tunnels and Trolls is the type of gameplay that MetaArcade wants players to enjoy and be able to log into the game at any moment. However, they may also have to put the game down as well. All of that is okay as you follow the narrative through the full RPG.

Right now the team is working with all of the original artwork and supplements for Tunnels and Trolls to put together the prototype. We were also excited to hear about the dice rolling aspect which would really stay true to that table top feel of the game experience. The team is even messing around with the idea of shaking your phone to roll. Although, it is still very early days in development, it's clear that MetaArcade wants to stay true to the root of T&T. 

We will be covering this classic title closely as the team continues development on Tunnels and Trolls, being fans ourselves the game is absolutely in the right hands with David and his crew at MetaArcade. 


Garrett Fuller

Garrett Fuller / Garrett Fuller has been playing MMOs since 1997 and writing about them since 2005. He joined MMORPG.com has a volunteer writer and now handles Industry Relations for the website. He has been gaming since 1979 when his cousin showed him a copy of Dungeons and Dragons. When not spending time with his family, Garrett also Larps and plays Airsoft in his spare time.