Hello Royce, it’s a pleasure to have you on today to talk about your first character created for the game xROYCE. The character itself looks quite cool, and seems to be created with a certain superstar from the past in mind. What thoughts did you have when creating the overall look of your character?
Royce: Hello! Thanks to Powerbomb Online and SRG Universe for the opportunity to talk about my competitor and the community. I am really proud to be here. As for the look of xRoyce, I am thrilled with how the art came out, Nunoh does amazing work. You mention that he has a specific look of a “certain” superstar and you would be right, 2 actually. xRoyce combines elements of Daniel Bryan and CM Punk with my face. I was a fan of wrestling during the attitude era, and got back into professional wrestling during the Evolution PPV where I fell in love with the work of Charlotte Flair. And then Punk and Bryan through the network.
I wanted a scrappy never-say-die competitor that was always looking at the angles to win, and wasn’t above going to extreme measures to get the job done. The name xRoyce is actually my Twitch streamer name. When I was streaming, I had this idea that I wanted to be very genuine with my community, and had the idea that I would sign my name to the authenticity of me, and my genuine desire to provide a cool and safe place for people to hang out and talk about games. Ultimately, I feel the art reflects this character really well. I also like to joke that “Nunoh really was able to showcase the true nature of my six-pack.”
Your character’s stat line uses Agility as your 10 skill, with your Grapple and Technique following that up as your highest skills. Were there certain cards that you were looking to use when coming up with the stat line, or is it just how you saw the character being played?
Royce: I had actually viewed xRoyce as more of a striker and in the original pitch to the Boss I had his 10 stat on Strike, with 9 Tech, and actually had 5 in grapple. Because of my relative new-ness to the game (I started at Origins 2019) I did not know the card library well enough to think, “Well without PRESS SLAM my xRoyce will be terrible!” I saw him instead as a scrapper and tried to give him stats for that motif. But when the first run of the card was presented to me, the stats were different and I asked the Boss why. He had some compelling reasons and hell, he’s the Boss, so they all worked for me. Now I look at his stats and think “Yeah, this looks good.”
Your gimmick is somewhat similar to Zombie’s but different at the same time, taking advantage of possible bad rolls by the user. Did you play Zombie first to get an overall feel for that gimmick idea, or was it just something that happened to come to mind when you were going through the creation process? Also, how strong do you feel your gimmick is in a standard one on one match in comparison to some other gimmicks that are already in the game?
Royce: My gimmick actually came about because I noticed that I very consistently lose turn rolls. So I made a joke to my friends that I should buy a competitor JUST to have one that will give me something to do while my friends got to play the game. But from that joke I started to brainstorm about what would be the most fun thing to do while I waited for my shot to play, so I thought back to my favorite Magic card, Jace the Mind Sculptor, and my favorite thing to do with him was his 0 loyalty brainstorm ability. Things began to take shape from there, I initially had the gimmick trigger off of a roll difference of 2 or more, and the Boss brought me more in line with similar effects at the 3 or more level. I honestly didn’t think I would get the gimmick as written, and when I finally did I was pleasantly surprised, well more ecstatic! It was a better Jace effect and seemed really fun in context of how Supershow played. Thematically I saw the gimmick as xRoyce biding his time, allowing himself to take a few shots to wait for an opening, wait for a chance to turn the tide and win the match. I had not actually seen Zombie until after xRoyce went live at DragonCon and I started to read the comments online. Zombie is a great competitor, and may be my favorite tag team partner as soon as I am able to pick him up. I feel like the gimmick is really strong, and lends itself to thinking about the game contextually: what have I played, what have they played, what do I need now, later and not at all. It wasn’t until recently that I started to see how much better the gimmick gets for a lot of the seek and play synergies like chain/table/ladder. I feel like informed card advantage is an evergreen “good” thing to do in card games, and the more you know about the meta the better it gets. You only need to brainstorm a few times to really change the flow of the game.
When it comes to your finishes, you definitely have some interesting effects attached to each one of them. The fact that “It’s Clobbering Time” has a drawback on it because of it’s overall strength is a pretty cool effect. What was your thought process when creating that finisher, along with the other two?
Royce: “It’s Clobbering Time” was originally called “Hit them with a weapon” And thematically it was that “he will cheat to win” mentality. This why the opponent gets a bonus after the chair shot. The crowd turns on xRoyce a little bit and the opponent gets a bonus for that crowed involvement. I wanted it originally to just give the opponent a +1 to turn rolls as long as it was in the discard pile. But we ran into the issue where all of xRoyce’s finishers were technically “spotlight” cards. The secret goal of the finisher was to enable the gimmick to trigger easier. I feel the current version of “Clobbering Time” accomplishes that goal without a spotlight mechanic. The name change was semi-last minute and was there to give another nod to Punk.
“Hardcore Running Knee” is probably the only thing I would change about the package. The “Hardcore” in the Knee was a tie to the xRoyce name prior to the first changes. xRoyce was going to have the tagline “Signature Hardcore” but that fell to the wayside pretty early and we had never changed the Knee. The theme was a nod to Daniel Bryan and his ability to hit that knee and grab a win from seemingly nowhere. This was the only card to keep the spotlight effect, and it’s obvious synergies with Clobbering Time make it a fun and explosive card.
Lastly, we have “Dark Souls.” This card had the name given to it as a joke or placeholder. I liked the idea of using the mandible claw (this is before Bray Wyatt started using it a few weeks later) and a bunch of monsters and bosses use a similar attack animation in Dark Souls the video game, so it was given that placeholder name. It was another “wait until the right moment, and strike” type move, so I wanted something that we could spring on the opponent right after a kickout. The Boss suggested we tie it to the crowd meter, so we did. During my streaming days, I played a lot of Dark Souls, so the name really started to become “me”: Bryan got the Strike finisher, Punk got the Grapple, and I took the Submission.
When building a deck for xROYCE, what sort of cards do you feel are most needed to get the best use out of the character?
Royce: I think that I like the idea of playing more stops, and cards that work best in a certain situation. Even cards like triangle choke, that have slim uses but can be very powerful situationally, can have a home when you have a way to move it aside if you don’t need it. Like I mentioned earlier, I feel like this type of competitor gets better the more you know what you will be up against. He really works to fight against any established meta.
During the creation process, how was it working with the SRG Boss Steve Resk? Did he offer a lot of input on your character, or was what you provided him enough to get most of it done?
Royce: Working with the Boss was just awesome. The whole experience had me looking forward to making another competitor. He is kind and patient and put up with many messages at almost all hours. Like I mentioned before, I had three finishers all with spotlight effects, and he worked with me to preserve what I wanted to “do” with them while also trimming the spotlight effects. We went over the art a few times as I really wanted my competitor to look like me, Bryan and Punk in equal parts, and I think it came out looking even better than I had hoped.
With it being rather expensive to buy yourself a character in this game, do you feel as if it was worth the price, and do you think you’d possibly make another character in the future?
Royce: Let me start by mentioning again that I have been a Magic player since I was 14, which means I have been playing Magic for 23 years. Winning the World Championship and making a Magic card has always been a dream of mine. So making a card, in a game like SUPERSHOW, a game I have learned to love in a few short months, was a dream come true for me. I have always wanted to be a “developer”, which may have been why the Boss maybe had to field a lot more “what if” type questions than normal. That all being said, was it worth the price? Absolutely. xRoyce has a feel that I think players who pick him up are going to really enjoy, and the thought of even 1 other person picking up my competitor and thinking, “this is exactly the guy I am looking for” makes the investment and time worth it. As for whether or not there will be another character developed by me and the Supershow family? I guess we will have to wait and see…
Do you have any advice for someone who may decide to build a character in the future?
Royce: I would tell those folks, ask for what you want. The Boss worked really hard to find solutions to work for the vision I had. And say thank you. You are adding to the narrative of this great community with your competitor, show gratitude for that. (when not in character I mean) Players come and go from many card games, and are rarely offered the opportunity to say “Hey, I played this, I was here, and here is my mark.” SRG gives us the opportunity to be part of the spectacle.
With that said, the floor is now yours sir. Go ahead and give anyone shout outs that you’d like to, or say anything to the community at large, as I’m sure quite a few will read this. I appreciate you doing this interview with us here at Powerbomb Online.
Royce: As I have mentioned a few times, here and the facebook group, SRG Games, and Supershow is such an amazing experience. We should always do our best to preserve what makes the game incredible, the community. I will be eternally linked to this game with xRoyce and will constantly ask myself, (and Steve, the Boss) “What else can I do for this great game?” Thanks to Fay MsTierious for teaching me how to play my first game at Origins. Loudmouth Leo Larynx for talking to me about his wrestling career and actually talking to me, waving, or acknowledging me almost every day throughout the convention. A super huge thanks to Sage for the customer support, and selling me a ton of product at Origins, and overall being a good face for the company at Origins. Lastly, thanks to Powerbomb Online for giving us a moment to bask in our accomplishments, and an opportunity to get our competitor over. If you want to see more of xRoyce, follow @xroycesrg on Instagram and Twitter. Thank you.