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Interview with Quirk! Creator Emma May

Interview with Quirk! Creator Emma May
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This year we re-released our hit kids game Quirk! due to popular demand. We had the chance to catch up with creator Emma May, to get her thoughts on her creation and the ongoing joy it brings. Read on to learn more about this quirky classic!

 

Quirk! has just had a re-release and packaging update – how does it feel to see your creation be such a success?

               What I love the most about Quirk’s success is its staying power, it’s been through many redesigns with myself and now with Gibsons that each and every time it’s coming into its own as a fully formed product that can sit proudly on the shelf. I am super appreciative of everyone who has played it and loved it, and gotten to share so many funny moments with their friends and families. It’s a memory making game and I feel that while tens of thousands of people have gotten to play it, I’m most proud of the joy it brings with each and every game.

 

What gave you the original idea or inspiration for Quirk!?

The simple answer is Quirk! was developed on the concept of Go Fish! A traditional card game that my sister and I enjoyed growing up when we were on caravan holidays, and with no instant access to TV on demand and tablets at the whim in the 90’s, we really enjoyed the times when we’d make up our own fun, and a lot of that time involved a pack of playing cards.

The process of creating Quirk! was rather quick, I think it happened within a 10 minute conversation with my sister, but the grander production of Quirk! came 5 years after I developed my first original card game called Cards With Character, which started off life as a drinking game. It was an okay game, it needed a lot of iteration to make it into a fully finished product, but it later became Quirk! so it got that treatment in the end!

Previous to Cards with Character, I had written a silly book called 365 days of getting into character, which gave you a thing/person/feeling to be every day, that made you do weird, funny or positive things everyday for a whole year. The card game was developed from that book.

 

We recently donated 100 copies of Quirk! to the library Board Game Club initiative, which aims to provide kids with safe spaces to play games together. How does it feel to see Quirk! becoming a staple in libraries across the UK?

It’s great that even more places are available for people to experience the game, although hopefully the libraries don’t mind the laughter emanating from the game. It’s not exactly one you can do quietly.

I think more people and especially children should have the opportunities to try new things in safe spaces, learning a new game in front of people can feel daunting and may even make you feel less than someone else, if you’re slow to pick up on a concept. It’s a big reason a lot of people will avoid getting into the hobby, for fear of looking stupid. Quirk! seems to combat that head on, if you’re doing something silly, then someone else also has to do something silly and it levels the playing field amongst a group, even if they are total strangers.

 

Who are your favourite people to play Quirk! with?  

My mum is my all-time favourite person to play Quirk! with, she’ll always tell me she’s not a game player, it’s not for her, she doesn’t know what to do, along with many other excuses, but I say just play it, it’ll be fun. Throughout the game, she’ll start getting super competitive and I can start copying her impressions if I’m about to make a Quirk from her cards and she’ll turn into a child, stamping her feet and telling me how much she wanted to win that Quirk!, then later she’ll throw a steal card at me and smugly slide the character back over to her collection.

 

What is your favourite thing about Quirk!?

This answer will probably be a bit nerdy; but my favourite thing about Quirk!, is there’s a lot of flexibility in it. We have 3 layers of cards, Character Cards, Action Cards and Mischief Cards. A traditional game of Quirk! is played with Character Cards and Action cards, that’s the main game. BUT if you’re playing with younger players and don’t want to introduce stealing just yet, drop the action cards, and you have a game of Go Fish! where you’re just set collecting. If you want to go one more stage advanced from a normal game, you add the Mischief Cards, and these add variety and randomness to your game, where upon pick up, they effect all players and very much change the odds of winning.

The other thing that I really love about it, is there’s two games in the box, based on the original Quirk! and Quirk! Legends. Again, there are two different modes of play, characters you instantly know how to act out and characters that need you to use your imagination. Once you’ve played the white deck, you can play the grey deck and vice versa, OR you can take 13 Quirks from either deck and make up your own set of weird and wonderful characters to play with.

The very best thing about the first time you play a game of Quirk! is you never know what characters are in the deck, after a few games, you’ll learn the characters and know what people are asking for, but if you mix the decks on occasion, you get that feeling back of discovering each character emerging from the game. That way every game can be different!

You can also play with less cards if you want a shorter game!

I think I’ve nerded out enough now.

 

Have you got any other exciting games you’re working on?

I’m currently in the process of expanding the Quirk! world into video games, developing storylines, heroes and villains and places our players can discover.

I have two games in development; Quirk! Origins: A Jester’s Tale, which is an interactive visual novel with some point and click elements, telling the story of a Jester and how he makes his way into the Quirk! world and A Mischief Monster 3D Platformer, where you play as the Mischief Monster, collecting Quirks to be able to use their abilities and explore the 3D world of Quirk! It’s quite fun collecting the pufferfish Quirk! and then getting to roll around the world bashing into things! It’s early days and we’re just wrapping up a basic demo of abilities but it’s exciting to see where Quirk! will go next!

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Quirk! has become a family game classic, and we're delighted to see it continuing to captivate players young and old! You can purchase the updated Quirk! here!

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