Words by David C. Obenour
The terrors of night are many. Whatever horrors our senses can reveal, the ones they can’t fill-in with mystery and dread. As shadows creep, corners tighten, and the imagination reels. Daylight isn’t without its own terror however. Just because you can sense a thing, doesn’t mean you can name it or comprehend it… or keep it at bay.
In Deranged, players have found themselves trapped in the mysterious village of Wutburg. Bandied together as travelers in this strange local, you have no choice but to work together if there’s any hope of escape. But is this shared otherness real or are some members of your party different than they reveal? Only time will tell, and time seems to be running shorter and shorter between these horrific nights.
Off Shelf: Gothic horror is such a rich setting, what are some of your favorite tales and creatures?
Nicholas Fiorillo: I’m a fan of some of the 90s and early 2000’s one’s such as Hellraiser and The Crow. Plus some of the lighter side of the genre like Raven from Teen Titans and the Adams Family.
OS: Beyond just your favorites, what about this world excites you to want to explore it further?
NF: I think there’s a wealth of potential in the world and I think that it’s becoming more popular these days which is nice. I think people are much more willing and free to express themselves freely these days, and that makes me excited to see where it goes in the near future.
OS: Night and day are big elements of Deranged – each with their own phases. The horror of night is well known, but how does going through day phases add to the gaming experience?
NF: I feel that the switching from day to night does a nice job of making the progression of the game felt in a meaningful way. Players may think they’re safe during the day but they would be mistaken.
OS: With this sort of roleplaying-meets-boardgaming style of game, what were some of your favorite thematic elements to the gameplay? Things that you know would create immersive feelings for the players and their characters.
NF: Switching the day and night again here as I really like that mechanic. I would also say the semi-cooperative nature of the game makes it feel like it’s always changing as you play it which make the game hold attention well.
OS: Following that question, how do you think a board game can provide a different – or in some ways maybe better – role playing experience than pen-and-paper games?
NF: I think there’s more flexibility with role playing board games since each time you play it’s a chance to play a different character and not feel like you’re starting from a lower level since every game starts the same. But on the flip side there’s less of a chance to fully develop a single character since the game ends and must be restarted from the beginning. I would say that they are pretty different and neither is better than the other.
OS: Can you talk about Anton Kvasovarov’s illustrations and how you think they create and enrichen how players experience Deranged?
NF: I love Anton’s illustrations for this product. I think they perfectly encapsulate the feel of Deranged. It definitely adds to the feeling that you’re in this new and strange world while playing the game which makes for a better experience in my opinion. And I would say that they are pretty unique which is something I always look for in games.
OS: Deranged comes with a number of smartly crafted miniatures. What do you see as the added gaming value of miniatures in a game?
NF: I would say that plays a big part in making the game feel more immersive and engaging. The feeling of physically moving your character around the town is very satisfying to me.