Ok I'm taking off now! Thanks to everyone who posted questions! This was super fun you guys. Thanks! :D!

Hey reddit! :D!

My name is Brad Muir and I've been at Double Fine, Tim Schafer's game development studio, for almost 10 years. I was a programmer on Psychonauts, a designer on Brütal Legend, and then a project lead on IRON BRIGADE.

We launched a kickstarter for a brand new PC/Mac/Linux tactical strategy game called MASSIVE CHALICE. You can check that out right here! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/doublefine/double-fines-massive-chalice

I'm sure that Tim will also be stopping by to answer questions from you guys! So feel free to Ask Me Anything! :D!


Oh, and here's some proof! https://twitter.com/MrMooEar

Comments: 499 • Responses: 81  • Date: 

lesaboteur54 karma

Have you ever frowned?

MrMooEar51 karma

YES! :D!

MasterDONGS42 karma

What would happen if you and Brad Shoemaker switched places?

MrMooEar54 karma

I would get to play Dota all day and MASSIVE CHALICE would be terrible. :D!

ok jk - I love the Giant Bomb guys. I'm sure that Brad would do a fine job designing video games... maybe. :D!

fightclubdoll29 karma

What do you think of having some commoners (for marriage/having children) and orphans that are unknowingly descended from heroic bloodlines? (I see these leading to Lost Bloodline/House quests that would let the children (and orphans, if adopted) fully unlock the new traits or relics.)

MrMooEar24 karma

That's a rad idea! We've talked about having "module" type story events that happen randomly throughout the game - this could totally be one of them! :D!

Sweet_Dom29 karma

Hello Brad!

In one of your videos, you mentioned abilities being combined by marrying heroes of differing disciplines. Is this a system that will allow for the combination of three or more disciplines, or is it pretty much only two class combinations at a time?

MrMooEar29 karma

We're talking about this system and I think it's one of the most exciting pieces of the game!

I love the concept of including a nature/nurture system where a hero's potential comes from biology and the heroes that raise them.

We're looking into systems that would allow all of the heroes that participate in this process (up to 4 of them? or maybe more?) to influence the skills and stats of the heroes. I would like the system to be this flexible, but it's a hard design problem. I'm excited to tackle it with John and the team! :D!

Oneirius23 karma

Will the world map be predetermined, or somehow generated (randomly, procedurally, etc)? Do you have any thoughts on allowing the player to somehow affect the size of the empire they rule over, or having it change (losing parts of it to demonic corruption if you lose a battle against the demons)?

MrMooEar28 karma

I'm thinking that the map of the kingdom will be static, but the tactical battlefields will be as procedurally generated as we can make them!

That way, the overworld map will look beautiful and we can do awesome dynamic things to it as you suggest! I'm really excited about having "demonic corruption" be our parallel to the "panic" from new XCOM. Having an area of the kingdom get so corrupted that it gets up and walks away? Awesome! :D

LobstaMonsta23 karma

Did you and John Drake have a dance battle after the Giantbomb stream to settle your differences?

MrMooEar51 karma

Man he was really giving me a lot of shit on the Giant Bomb stream! But I love that guy.

I am a pretty bad dancer so I try to only engage in knife fights.

Meepasaurus20 karma

Hey Brad! :D

To put things in perspective, how many games would you say you've prototyped since finishing Iron Brigade?

Super excited for MASSIVE CHALICE! Have a good one!

MrMooEar29 karma

I've worked on three other games since IRON BRIGADE with MASSIVE CHALICE being number 4! BRAZEN was the main one that I pitched for a long time and the other two are SECRETSSSSS! :D!

yiggly19 karma

When can we expect a sequel to Alter Echo?

MrMooEar28 karma

I have no idea where the IP is now that THQ is gone! Did anyone on reddit buy it? :D

TheLastGunslinger6 karma

TIL Brad Muir worked on Alter Echo.

Xeteh10 karma

Dude, he's in a video on the game talking about the making of.

Here it is.

MrMooEar16 karma

This video is amazing! :D!

I love all of my old Outrage Games friends. Those were some good times in Ann Arbor. :D!

TheKamenWriter18 karma

Hi Brad, your game sounds awesome, and my money seems already well-spent with how entertaining you guys are to watch.

I want to ask about the Bloodline system, specifically about how customizable the surnames of your guys are. Are you only able to have your dudes and dudettes be of one of the pre-generated bloodlines (Say, Swisshelm, or Schafer) or can you rename your bloodlines? Like, say, you have a friend named John Smith, and you want to name one of your guys after him, but also want everyone in his family to be named Smith.

I ask because one of the best (And seemingly most universal) things about XCOM is that everyone names their soldiers after their friends, so when they meet up later they all say "Oh man, you had the best day yesterday" or "You got killed but it was badass, sorry dude." So it's only a little hop from "You were a badass" to "Your grand daughter Ashley Smith was such a badass."

MrMooEar12 karma

We really want to allow people to rename the bloodlines at the start of the game.

John Swisshelm, badass designer at DF who's working on MASSIVE CHALICE, chimed in a lot in this thread about renaming bloodlines!


That being said, I hope that a lot of people will just roll the dice like myself and use the random names that the game delivers. A lot of these names will come from the backers of the kickstarter, so I'm looking forward to leading these backer bloodlines into battle. :D!

Kludgey18 karma

Will the titular Massive Chalice be used to trap demons under, in the same way that we trap spiders under regular sized chalices?

MrMooEar13 karma


JubeeGankin15 karma

During your streaming sessions, you mentioned that you were leaning towards "team" turns instead of ATB. Is that system set in stone already? I picked up the new Fire Emblem when MC announced it as an inspiration and I enjoy it but I spend the majority of the levels just turtling in the corner. Jake Solomon said "the best way to play is not the fun way to play" during your pre-production video about that type of play in X-Com. FFT had it's share of balance issues but turtling is never the universal answer and I think being able to react to individual unit actions is the primary reason for that.

You cited FFT's speed boosting to get multiple turns in a row as the primary argument against ATB. It seems like putting a cap on the stat that determines speed would keep that from happening.

MrMooEar19 karma

We think there's a lot of merit to both systems and we're going to investigate both of them. One we have the game to the point where we can experiment with both we fully intend to!

To Jake's point, I think that that the "overwatch creeping" that happens in XCOM is more about the problem with the "enemy pods" and the cover-based gameplay than it does with a whole turn vs. CT system.

Also, we really want to have fog of war in MASSIVE CHALICE and I'm not exactly sure how this would work with a CT system like FFT. But we're going to experiment with it and try to find a cool solution! :D!

Linkletter14 karma

Can you make the game you wanted with a million dollars?

MrMooEar19 karma

For sure! I mean, 20 million would be better, but scoping is a real and important piece of game dev!

We have a great engine and a lot of talented people that know how to be super efficient with time and resources. We're going to make an awesome game with the money that we get from kickstarter. I can feel it in my bones! :D!

evil_deceiver13 karma

Thanks for taking our questions!

You've cited (not to mention live-streamed) tactical RPGs such as Final Fantasy Tactics and XCOM: Enemy Unknown as inspirations for Massive Chalice. I'm playing XCOM now, and it feels very different from other TRPGs I've played -- mostly, I think, because all of the weapons are long-range, and you brace for attack by taking cover rather than by pointing your units in a certain direction.

I imagine that Massive Chalice will have a more FFT-like focus on swordplay and similar close quarters combat. Am I right about that? Can you tell us about any unique elements of XCOM's gameplay that Massive Chalice is likely to adopt?

MrMooEar13 karma

You are definitely right about that! There will be a much larger focus on melee combat in MASSIVE CHALICE.

I'm really interested in the "search and destroy" feeling of the tactical gameplay from XCOM. And I think that things like fog of war and line of sight should mix well with the height-based gameplay from FFT.

aurahack13 karma

Hi Brad! Congrats on getting the game funded—you and the team have more than earned it at this point, haha.

My question, and I might have missed this in a previous talk about the game, but how extensive do you plan on making character customisation? Is that something you find important to the game? (Or games you play in general?) You mentioned XCOM and Fire Emblem as being inspirations for Massive Chalice and in both those games, I found myself being far more involved in my game through really simple and dumb stuff like renaming my hero's sword "Bryan Adams" for no reason.

Good luck with the rest of the development, and thanks for doing the AMA! :D!

MrMooEar29 karma

Character customization is something that's really important to me! We want to make sure that there are a lot of options for choosing your starting bloodlines at the beginning of the game, and also renaming children that are born throughout the game.

I loved the nickname system from the new XCOM. I would not be surprised if there were a more fantasy-flavored version of that in MASSIVE CHALICE! ;D!

Naming equipment is a rad idea! I think extending the nicknaming system to equipment is rad. After slaying enough demons a sword could get a nickname that you could then change... that's so cool and now that you said it it's in my brain and it's going in the game! :D!

mary_effn_poppns12 karma

I really like how you did the TNT with Giant Bomb a couple months back where you just kicked it and played games you worked on. Any chance you are going to be able to show some early builds to GB ala SuperGiant Games did with Bastion? Really liked how they showed the continuing developmental process.

MrMooEar20 karma

We're definitely going to be showing the game at all stages to anyone who want to see it! :D!

I think a lot of this will be on our own streams, but I love the Giant Bomb community a lot. If they ask me to come on over I promise that I won't say no. :D!

Sweet_Dom12 karma

Will same sex couples be able to adopt the children of heroes who die in combat? If so, would their adoptive status allow them to impart their discipline to any degree to the hero children? This question also applies to characters in may be sterilized by demonic infection, or by characters whose children died in combat, or any other similar complication?

Basically, will adoption be possible? And how would that factor into hero development?

MrMooEar9 karma

We’re super interested in exploring nature vs. nurture in MASSIVE CHALICE and having the raising of children be as important as the creation of children! So we’re definitely looking into adoption / fostering as a mechanic to enable player choice when it comes to raising their heroic generations!

We're not sure exactly how this feature will be implemented, but we like it as a possible solution to be more inclusive with the game! :D!

GhostDadTheWhip12 karma

I've loved playing FF:Tactics as well as Fire Emblem on my portable gaming system. Is there any hope for Massive Chalice on the eShop or App store? (or the PSVita shop of course)

Good luck with the project!

MrMooEar11 karma

I love playing these games on portables too! But we're really just trying to put all of the funding from kickstarter into the PC/Mac/Linux version.

We want to support a gamepad (BIG PICTURE MODE YEAH!) so when we'll eventually be able to port it to other platforms. Hopefully the game will be great and we can port it EVERYWHERE! :D!

TheKamenWriter12 karma

Would you rather fight one Tim Schafer sized John Swisshelm or one hundred John Swisshelm sized Tim Schafters?

MrMooEar7 karma

Now that Tim has completed his juice diet, I think that one Tim Schafer sized John Swisshelm is the right choice. Also I'm technically his boss... so a slightly larger John Swisshelm doesn't scare me that much. :D!

MrMooEar5 karma

Also - is this a real fight or a game design fight?

PsycoManiac12 karma

Hey Brad! Something I've been wondering about for a little while now. How does having the project idea out in the open before development change the project? Is this something that you're excited or worried about?

As a programmer/designer myself, I'd be worried that with a large crowd of people pitching ideas that I'd lose focus of my original design ideas and philosophies, are you worried about this happening or are you embracing the ideas that the backers are pitching towards you?

MrMooEar10 karma

It changes it quite a bit I think. But it's exciting! It's so great that we can incorporate great ideas from the community RIGHT NOW. I've already harvested two or three fantastic ideas from this very thread since 11am! :D!

I'm not really worried about it shifting or distracting me from the original vision. At Double Fine Tim has is a strong believer in the Project Lead being the vision holder, and that anyone and everyone can propose new ideas that should be considered. So after working in this environment for a long time I feel like we're just doing it on a broader scale!

I know the core pillars of this game: Engaging Tactics, Strategic Realm Management, Character Investment/Attachment, Epic Timeline. When people come up with new ideas we always look to how they support the main pillars of the game. If they are in direct support of one or more of these ideas we'll totally throw them on the pile to be sorted later.

We've got a pretty big pile going right now. But it's super exciting! :D!

Smokeythebull10 karma

Whats the world exploration like, if it exists in an exploratory way? Is it something reminiscence of Fire Emblem/X-com or more final fantasy like or something jsut completely different

MrMooEar23 karma

Our baseline is going to mirror the overall structure of XCOM. You'll be defending the whole realm in a very reactionary way. You'll speed up the timeline and years will pass and then BOOM! The demons are attacking the Keep in the north! And you'll have to dispatch a hero squad to deal with it.

One key difference - In XCOM you start with a pristine earth and you can only fail by losing parts of it. In MASSIVE CHALICE I want you to start with a half-destroyed kingdom so that you can feel like you can reclaim areas. I think it will be really great to feel like you're making some progress and not constantly sliding backwards! :D

porps9 karma

Hey Brad!

Thank you for doing this. I can't wait to play MASSIVE CHALICE!

Are you planning on introducing the same levels of stress in the game as in XCOM: Enemy Unknown? I'm referring to the feeling of never ever feeling like you have stuff under control. In XCOM I was always low on money, and always had to weigh the advantages of another satellite against that new shiny gun for my soldiers.

Also, Trenched is a game about love.

MrMooEar15 karma

TRENCHED was totally a game about love. It's true! :D

I love the way that XCOM (both old and new) put you into the position to make really tough choices. I always felt like I had enough money for 1 or 2 items but I felt like I NEEDED FIVE THINGS. I think this is a hallmark of a great strategy game! These kinds of choices make you weigh your options and think really hard about what you're doing. It's fantastic.

It's funny that you use the word "stress." It implies such a negative thing but I think that people seek these games out because they want to experience this kind of "good stress." I love games like XCOM and Dark Souls and Dota that apply a lot of good stress to my brain. Hopefully MASSIVE CHALICE is like this too! :D!

lesaboteur9 karma

Will Chris Remo be on the team for Massive Chalice in some form?

MrMooEar15 karma

He'll definitely be contributing to the game on the community end, and I also really value Chris's opinion as a gamer and an aspiring game designer! So... YES! :D!

devvz8 karma

This being the second Kickstarter you guys make, do you see Double Fine continuing the use of crowd-funding for your games?

MrMooEar7 karma

We're looking at all sorts of funding methods for our games!

But the kickstarter community has been really great - I wouldn't be shocked if we returned down the road! :D

mary_effn_poppns8 karma

Are you really a vampire? Totally stoked for MASSIVE CHALICE, really digging how you're doing the frequent developer diaries and such. Huge props to you, and can't wait til you get 12 people deep on the development side!

MrMooEar14 karma

MASSIVE CHALICE is an autobiographical piece about my own struggle with immortality. As a daywalker, I really want people to be more sympathetic of my condition.

Thanks so much for the support! I cannot wait to start working on the game in earnest after the kickstarter closes! :D!

TheLastGunslinger8 karma

Brad, thanks for doing the AMA! Since Massive Chalice hasn't revealed any stretch goals yet I have to know if there have been any talks of expanding the number of platforms the game is coming to due to the Kickstarter's success. Jake Solomon saw the advantages of touch for turn-based strategy and decided to bring X-COM to the iPad. Is there a chance we could see Massive Chalice on the iPad or Playstation Vita?

MrMooEar8 karma

We want all of the money from the Kickstarter to go towards the PC/Mac/Linux version of the game.

But eventually I would love to port it EVERYWHERE! :D!

soul_candycorn8 karma

Hi Brad, I signed on as a backer after hearing you talk about the game on the Giant Bomb E3 cast.

I've heard you describe the game as having roguelike elements, including permadeath. How will saving work in the game? Will saves be tightly restricted (as in many roguelikes, or in Ironman mode in X-Com), or will players be free to keep multiple saves to allow them to reload if something happens that they find especially distressing? Personally I prefer the latter route, as I can find choices a bit paralyzing when I know I can't go back on them, although I certainly understand the appeal of the no-looking-back approach.

Best of luck with the Kickstarter!

MrMooEar14 karma

Thanks for backing! :D!

We're going to support both styles of play. If you want to save crawl your way through and reload if you lose a character in combat, that's totally cool! Or if you want to play in Ironperson mode you can totally do that, too.

One thing that's core to the design of MASSIVE CHALICE - even if you don't play on Ironperson mode you will have to deal with the fact that your favorite characters will get old and pass away. This is basically enforced permadeath, and I hope that it gently eases players into the concept! :D!

skewp8 karma

Where can I listen to your ska band's album?

MrMooEar18 karma

It might be lost to the ages! We were called The Codependents and we recorded a 4 track EP called Okinawa Holiday, in honor of Karate Kid 2. :D!

cbirdsong8 karma

Have you played much Crusader Kings 2?

MrMooEar8 karma

I have not played a lot of it! But I've really liked what I've played so far and I got some great tips from people at E3 for starting out. As soon as I have some free time on my hands I'm going to dig into this sucker!

I love their traits system! :D!

TheKamenWriter7 karma

The concept art exposition video was really fun, but the reference picture you had of the badass guy with the falcon got me really excited.

Is there going to be a character class/ability set based around falconry? Or Dogs of War for that matter? Really, any kind of badass animal husbandry at all.

I guess it's too early to ACTUALLY answer this question, but just let the fact that it was asked help guide the development process.

MrMooEar11 karma

Thanks! :D

An animal-familiar based class or two would be really awesome, so we’ll see! The new Call of Duty seems to have combat dogs covered, though! :D

Falconry is such a cool way to do a non-standard ranged class. I really love this idea, but it's a lot more of a time/resource commitment to make it work than an archer! Sorry to put my producer hat on there for a minute... it's always such a bummer when time and money show up to ruin the party. :D!

zdesert7 karma

when you are making a game, especially one with many distinct divisions of game play (tactical battle/strategic map/rpg/family tree/chalice simulator) where do yo start? do you focus one aspect at a time or all at once? i seems to me that any decision in the design or implementation of one layer affects all the other layers.do you plan on figuring out the whole skeleton of this game on paper before beginning production?

MrMooEar10 karma

We’ll likely start prototyping both the strategy and tactics layers independently at first, then merge them together once the basics are ironed out. The strategy layer mainly influences what type, how many, and the strength of heroes you bring into tactical combat, so we can work on creating a solid tactics system with starting heroes being created in a different way, probably through debug menus or data files.

l3illyl3ob7 karma

Do you think having less concrete information about Massive Chalice than most new game kickstarters have hurt its funding? I understand why you started the KS when it did, but if you could do it over again, would you have waited a little while longer to launch the kickstarter? Maybe to get some video of a prototype up right at the start and have more concrete info on the specific game mechanics?

MrMooEar5 karma

I think that Kickstarter can be used for all sorts of things! I think it's rad that it can be used for games that are almost complete or it can be used for games like MASSIVE CHALICE that are still early on in the concept phase.

Right now I'm looking at a seven digit number on our kickstarter page and I don't think I would do anything differently! Ask me in a year? :D!

andiCR7 karma

How are you guys planning on designing the game so future heroes that have inherited their ancestors skills dont end up imbalanced? Are the world creatures going to evolve like the characters?

MrMooEar11 karma

Enemy opposition will increase in strength over time as well - new enemy units will be introduced, numbers may increase as the invasion runs its course, etc. You’ll need some massively powerful heroes to deal with the onslaught! :D

Sweet_Dom7 karma

If relationships and families are a key to the strategic elements, will they show up in combat too? Examples: If family members are in battle together (like a father and son) and one of them gets injured seriously/killed in batte, will there be any sort of stat effect, like a high rage but low defense, etc? If a set of heroes is in battle together multiple times, will they get stat bonuses for familiarity?

MrMooEar14 karma

We've talked about rolling this into a general "affinity" stat. I like this a lot because it can handle a lot of the different things that happen around families and friends fighting a battle together.

It also leads to some very cool things like family members having a natural affinity for each other, or the example that you gave - a hero with a high affinity for another hero witnesses their death on the battlefield. I think that's a great place for the psychological aspect of XCOM - panicking is a great place for this, but also having a hero go berserk because they just saw the death of their father. This really showcases the emergent story and character attachment aspects of MASSIVE CHALICE that I'm shooting for! :D!

holliebuckets7 karma

How much fun was the making of the Kickstarter Video?? edit: how many times did you have to say "Camera ready sex god" before you didn't laugh on camera??

MrMooEar7 karma

The guys at 2 Player Productions are amazing! It was a blast making that video. I've always wanted to work in Practical Effects so the fact that I got to make a vomit machine was so much fun! And the fact that the vomit machine was directed at my face was even better. :D

I am terrible with scripts! I think I needed about 8+ takes for each of my speaking parts. Good thing I was unconscious for most of that video. :D!

Regenherz6 karma

I love your smile, Brad!

Really enjoyed the 2PlayerProduction videos on Broken Age. Is there any chance that they will do some stuff on your game, too, now it is revealed or will they focus their attention on Broken Age?

I appreciate 'home' environments in games. Recently played the Mass Effect DLC Citadel, where your crew gets together and, for once, just parties a little bit without too much shooting. The ME series of games always had the Normandy as a home base and it felt like home because you returned there all the time and all those great characters lived there. Will there be a 'home', HQ in MASSIVE CHALICE or will it take place on a worldmap? To stick with a more recent example from Game of Thrones: every house has its seat in Westeros, sometimes with incredible sentimental value. Will there be different flavours of houses, will there be a castle that is your home?

Sorry if that is simply too much to ask at this point in development. I understand if those things might be either too specific or too expensive, just really interested. I have been enjoying DF productions and your casual appearances on Giantbomb. Hoping for more! Good luck and have fun on MASSIVE CHALICE!

MrMooEar10 karma

Thanks! You are definitely making me blush! :D

The 2 Player Productions crew will definitely be involved with MASSIVE CHALCE, making a series of behind-the-scenes dev diaries that should give you a cool look at how we're making the game. They’re still working on the Broken Age updates, too, and we think both series will have unique personalities.

We’re planning to have a citadel (the seat of the Immortal Ruler) and keeps, but the extent to which we can make them home-y will be a function of scope and game design, so stay tuned! :D!

TheKamenWriter6 karma

I want to hear about Magic. Mages are always my favorite classes in every thing ever, so I'm interested in how magic will be expressed in this game.

Are you going to go down a more class-based route where Mages and Clerics will always have access to the Magic-weapons or spells, or are you going to follow XCOM and have magic function like Psionics did? Say, a child is born with magical affinity and can recieve magic training, so they could be from a house of Falconers (I'm not giving up on my Falconry dream), but also have magic talents that set them apart from other units, similar to how my sniper Salvador Dali could also use psychic powers.

If it's the former, I'm more than okay with this. If it's the latter, It might be nice if the magic system was a little more robust than the psionics in XCOM. It always felt like you maxed out your dude's psychic potential pretty quickly and every psychic tended to have the same array of skills.

MrMooEar4 karma

This is still up in the air! I want the magic to be more mysterious than a typical high fantasy setting - ie no magic missiles and fireballs and such. So keeping the original 'magic' of the hero faction contained to "bloodline magic" is a cool idea. It's more restrictive, but I think it can lead to some more creative ideas! And a lot of the same things that typical high fantasy magic can do would be possible with this "powers of your ancestors" magic!

The demons would hold the keys to the more magicky magic. But again, I think we can make this more interesting than just elemental magic. I like the concept that the demons live outside of time. So maybe the demons can manipulate time, and that's where the majority of their powers come from? There are plenty of cool ideas to play around with here and we're just getting warmed up! :D!

familyguy206 karma

Not really a question. Just wanted to say your smile is infectious!

During the GiantBomb stream, I couldve help but smile haha. It seems your twitter profile pic reflects that!

MrMooEar7 karma

Thanks! :D!

Sweet_Dom6 karma

When you permit people to create lines/sigils, do those names retain any tangible meaning as far as storyline or abilities? I.E., if I were to create a line/sigil, do I get to select what disciplines they have, or story elements, or perks/quirks? Is that randomly generated and assigned a name randomly as well on each play through?

MrMooEar6 karma

I think that all other aspects of the bloodline (story/perks n quirks/etc) will be randomly generated. We have a lot of people that will be submitting bloodlines to the game and I think that this stuff has to more randomized!

ParadoxRocks5 karma

So I, for one, am pant-darkeningly interested in this project, but I have concerns about the size of the chalice. Exactly how massive a chalice do you expect to be able to incorporate in the game, based on the $725,000 goal you initially posted?

MrMooEar3 karma

The chalice will be MASSIVE at 725k, and only more MASSIVE at 1M! :D!

Smokeythebull5 karma

$1,000,833 OVER 1 MILLION



MrMooEar9 karma



skewedsyntax5 karma

Have you considered putting controller support into the game? Also Brad Shoemaker as voice over would be amazing

MrMooEar3 karma

We're definitely going to design the UI with controllers in mind so that we can add support more easily later on! :D!

squirrelmasterzero5 karma

Are you planning on implementing a Muir bloodline where the size and direction of their smile changes over time? Could range from medium-giant goddamned smile (like yours) to massive to really small and subdued.

All jokes aside I wanted to thank you guys for the awesome kickstarter updates thus far. In particular the Design and X-Com chats were fan-fucking-tastic.

MrMooEar7 karma

Someone suggested a "big smiles mode" instead of a big head mode. I'll be looking into that for sure! :D!

Thanks for the support! We have some more cool stuff coming in the next week!

Frazzed4 karma

When can we expect a Codependents reunion tour?

Follow up question: will the Codependents be providing the score for Massive Chalice?

MrMooEar3 karma

Ha! :D!

Sweet_Dom4 karma

In your system, how much flexibility will there be for the length/detailed growth a user wishes to put in? As an example, in FFT, I would sink 200 hours into a playthrough to master all classes with all characters. Clearly, this will not be the way your game works, but is it the kind of game that I could keep a playthrough going for weeks, months? Or is it more of a rinse and repeat process on this?

MrMooEar9 karma

We’re hoping to design the campaign to be very time-expandable, and maybe incorporate an Endless or Marathon mode for players who want to sink hundreds of hours into a playthrough. MASSIVE CHALICE won’t be super grindy by design though - we want to make sure that new technology and enemies don't wear out their welcome as you progress!

We're also looking into cool ways that previous playthroughs could impact future playthroughs of the game. But we're kind of sitting on those for now! :D!

AusSkiller4 karma

What sort of direction will Massive Chalice go in, will it be more serious like Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics, or are we going to be seeing hilariously crazy stuff like in the Disgaea games?

MrMooEar6 karma

I want the game to be funny, but I think we'll be steering clear from "wacky." I love the Prinnies as much as the next guy, but it's not really my personal style. :D!

I think the game will have a somewhat serious tone to it, but I've always liked the ridiculous over-the-top setting that is self-consistent and never acknowledges the pieces of the world that are weird/different.

That's pretty vague... the concrete example I always use is Evil Dead 2 vs. Army of Darkness. Evil Dead 2 is still "funny" but it's more serious and I always feel that Ash is about to wink at the camera in lots of scenes in Army of Darkness. AoD crosses that line a bit for me and I just prefer the consistency of the second one!

I hope that helps! :D!

IncrediblyObvious4 karma

Massive Chalice sounds like my dream game! So excited to play it. What made you want to get in to the video game industry, and how did you get to where you are today?

MrMooEar2 karma

ZELDA ONE. That's the short answer. :D!

It's a long story, but luckily 2 Player Productions has got you covered! Here's part 1 of their crazy long interview about my career! :D!


DF_Burger4 karma


...I'll do the voice. Free of charge.

MrMooEar9 karma

Actually I really want to leave the Beerzerker in the BRAZEN world - hopefully we can come back to that game at a later date! But we're going to be brainstorming tons of awesome new twists on typical fantasy classes for MASSIVE CHALICE! :D!

TheLastGunslinger4 karma

Based on your responses so far is it safe to assume that MASSIVE CHALICE is the offical way to write the name, or do you all-caps game names in general?

MrMooEar6 karma

MASSIVE CHALICE is the official name of the game. All caps is the only way to provide proper respect to the chalice. :D!

sunzoo4 karma

Has there been any thought on having the raising of the children being a game system? i.e. Child from Tully's being raised by Starks, or an accomplished fighter mentoring up and coming fighters.

MrMooEar7 karma

Yeah! We think hero raising should incorporate both nature and nurture, so we’re looking into fostering / tutelage being another way to influence your young heroes! This feature is really high on our list because it helps create those emergent stories that we're looking for! :D!

Truitt4 karma

Will character models change over time, or change based on events?

MrMooEar7 karma

That’s the plan! You’ll get to see your characters age over time and that change will be reflected in their character model. Other changes we’re considering are the corrupting influence of demonic technology and perhaps permanent injuries. There's a lot of possibilities in a system where the characters age and pass away! :D!

Thardus4 karma

In one of the videos or podcasts released, you were talking about how you want there to be both good and bad elements of a bloodline that will affect their stats during gameplay, but are rooted in common sense. Things like "Asthma" being a trait that will run through the bloodlines, affecting movement or something (obviously specifics are up in the air).

Will there be aspects of that beyond just genes and diseases? Will personality affect them, in some way? Will the way a house progresses with these "Perks & Quirks" be altered by the fate of each individual? (ex. Will there be a negative bonus to an individual of a house if, say, a daughter's father died in battle when she was a baby, leaving her without a father to raise her OR would there be a bonus to attack if, say, an adult son saw his mother die on the battlefield, strengthening his resolve and passing that resolve onto his children)

Side note: I mostly ask these because, other than the generational inheritance aspect, this sounds a lot like the Personality Potentials in Valkyria Chronicles. As the game didn't have character stats, they differentiated them by a few unique ways, such as how the individual's personality traits, upringing, and health affects their performance on the battlefield. Ex. The "Lone Wolf" trait will trigger when allies are around the character, causing their evasion to drop OR "Country Bred" upped a unit's accuracy if they were standing on soil. It was one of my favourite aspects of the game and allowed for characters to feel unique in their playstyle without having to have completely different stats.

MrMooEar5 karma

I loved that element of Valkyria Chronicles! And those are totally the ideas that we're looking for when we talk about the Perks n Quirks!

One thing that I had not thought about were adult-onset Perks n Quirks. Or PnQ's that are triggered by other events. This is super cool because it represents a character's hidden potential that unlocks over the course of the epic timeline. Awesome! :D!

threelancer3 karma

During the skype chat with Jake Solomon you guys were disguising several ideas for battleground generation. Are there any plans for random battlefield generation for Massive Chalice?

MrMooEar8 karma

We'd like the battlefields to be as random as possible! Even if we don’t go completely procedural, we can randomize level “chunks”, enemy start locations, patrol behavior, etc to add replayability to the battlefields.

re4ctor3 karma

Does your face ever hurt from :D'ing so much?

MrMooEar12 karma

There are times when it does. But I try to just power through it. I think my grinning muscles are the most toned piece of my body at this point. :D!

Omario3 karma

Will you guys be releasing development updates in the style of Broken Age? That would be so awesome!

Keep up the good work, and deliver some kisses to Tim.

MrMooEar6 karma

We’re super stoked about doing open development with MASSIVE CHALICE! The 2 Player Productions guys are on board to do behind-the-scenes videos that will be geared more towards design and development than the Broken Age documentaries since we don’t have to worry as much about spoilers. I'm going to really encourage the team to be active in the forums, tumblr, reddit, etc. We’re excited about doing a livestream every two weeks where we can show work in progress and answer your questions live! :D!

I'll also give Tim a kiss for you. On the lips. :D!

threelancer3 karma

Will there be new game+? If so, how will the gameplay differ?

MrMooEar4 karma

It’s a bit too early for specifics, but we have some ideas about connecting campaigns together through new game+ that we’re super excited about! :D!

Thardus3 karma

In one of your podcasts/videos, you mentioned "tainting the bloodline" with demonic technology. Will this always be your choice as King/Queen/Supreme Ruler? Can some of your less loyal/savory/wise houses experiment with the technology behind your back? In some sort of lust for power or "path to hell paved by good intentions" sort of way?

You mentioned Isildur going into blood rage to cut off the ring from Sauron, but Isildur was also tempted by the ring and corrupted by it.

Edit: Gender Neutral-ified.

MrMooEar3 karma

That's an interesting idea!

I feel like some of the more "sims"ey ideas, where the heroes have a lot of free will, could end up taking the game in a frustrating direction. So I think we want the player to be in control of most of the sweeping decisions about things like which heroes will partake in demonic technology.

However! There are times when it's super sweet! I love it when your soldiers panic and freak out occasionally in XCOM. We had talked about demonic corruption causing your heroes to change allegiance randomly for a few turns in battles - that's super cool. :D!

And you're right about Isildur! Bummer how that turned out. :(

UpstartDuke3 karma

In terms of the Game of Thrones influence, will you have politics play out between the noble houses? For example, a house could ask for assistance with something in return for them giving you a great hero or some other resource, or a house could ask you to let another house be destroyed by demons so they can become more powerful. Will they be playing against each other or is everyone under your command?

MrMooEar6 karma

I feel like we have so many game systems going on that bringing politics into it, while cool, could over complicate things.

I like the idea of taking any energy towards politics and putting it towards the demonic corruption concept. Having a hero use too much demonic technology and becoming corrupted, defecting to the enemy and then having to fight him later... that has some of the feel of having to fight human-ish characters and is super cool!

I also think that human on human violence bums me out a little bit in games... there's just a lot of it and I'd like to avoid it in my games if we can! :D!

Remachinate3 karma

Do you have any concrete ideas yet on what the research system will look like? We've heard a lot about the relics, and how it will empower later generations, but to what extent will players need to manage the technology level of their units' equipment to keep pace with that of the demons?

MrMooEar3 karma

Most of the high level strategy thinking comes from loving the way XCOM does it. That will be our starting point.

The main difference I want to have is a distinct difference between human demonic technology. Human tech is "safe" but weaker, while the demonic tech is more powerful but has short term or long term penalties.

This creates some awesome tension when you're deciding how to outfit your heroes - do you give in and use some demonic technology? Or do you forgo it completely and hope that your heroes can win without it?

Very exciting! :D!

pattheflip3 karma

Can you explain to me why the game is called Massive Chalice, but the logo just looks like two stretched-out faces looking at each other? I don't get it.

MrMooEar3 karma

This thread delivers! :D!

Smokeythebull3 karma

I already asked this on twitter for the podcast but I don't know if it made it through and the character limit was frustrating.

One of the basis for the game is that you are and immortal king and that the demon war has been prophesied. These two little titles have really sent my imagination off and was wondering if there's any more to this.

Will we see perhaps prophecies about future heroes/heroines that could be legendary additions to your army? Something like if the son of House X survives until Y and also wins the foreseen (optional/missable) battle at Z he'll meet his future wife and a legend will soon be born... etc.

Who are these psychics that foretold this war? Will they be units we can use in battle? Being able to see into the future could prove to be a very interesting game mechanic if balanced right.

Why is the player immortal? Will we start off immortal or perhaps earn our immortality.

Cheers for taking the time to do this even if you don't answer this anyway, just wanted to through out a few questions I hadn't seen before.

Good luck with everything, I'll be backing the KS before the day ends.

P.S. Please bug Brad for another Dota 2 TNT with you and Greg and a few others. I haven't had the chance to bust out my dagon Weaver since I played ye :D

MrMooEar5 karma

I don't answer questions from people that have trounced me in dota.

MrMooEar3 karma


I love this prophecy idea! I'll kick it around with John and see where it goes!

I really wanted the player to be nicely contextualized inside the world, and with the epic timeline I felt that immortality was the best way to accomplish it. I'm looking for ways to make the immortal ruler (the player) incapacitated so that they cannot directly help out on the battlefield. Maybe they're bound to the chalice in the throne room? Maybe the demons attempted an assassination attempt on the ruler that failed? Lots of ideas, but we're focused more on the mechanics for now! :D!

Thanks for the support! It means a lot to me and the team. :D!

Midgar3573 karma

Hi Brad, I am pretty excited about this game, I have always loved this genre.

What were you thinking for a character limit on the battlefield?

Also what kind of movement and actions will the characters have. Chess piece style movement with a seperate cut scene for actions kind of like Fire Emblem.


Full animated characters walking across the field with action happening right after you select it in battlefield like FFT?


MrMooEar4 karma

Hi! Thanks! :D!

For character limit I think we want to keep it low. Here's my reasoning! 1) Faster tactical battles. Less time between visits to the world map is good! 2) More attachment to the heroes. Individual permadeaths are more meaningful!

Also I like that video games have determined that 5 is a nice number for a fantasy party of heroes! :D! We're probably going to look at 4-8 as the ideal target.

We're definitely shooting for a more realistic scale. The actions will play out right there on the battlefield - no jumping to a cutscene and back! :D!

Goldenboy4513 karma

Which office supplies are your favourite to steal?

MrMooEar2 karma


Weebos3 karma

Will there be an injury system to temporarily sideline heroes? I always liked that aspect of XCOM:EU because it forced you to use characters other than your 6 elite dudes.

MrMooEar3 karma

I liked that system a lot! The problem with MASSIVE CHALICE is that the injuries would have to last YEARS... not sure if that's going to make sense. :D!

The aging system will definitely force you to use an extremely diverse squad at almost every battle! So I think we have it covered this way!

But we're also talking about the possibility of permanent injuries to your heroes - losing an eye could lower their vision range and accuracy? I think the possibilities are really cool! :D!

winterkewl3 karma

Hi Brad, grats on the kickstarter, can't wait for the game!

Is there a way for Female warrior kings to kick ass Joan of Arc style and then later sire / adopt and train the next female champion?

Personally, I'd love to see some of the traditional tropes and stereotypes broken.

MrMooEar3 karma

We have come up with a system that is gender-neutral when it comes to establishing a bloodline!

John and I talked about it in this video! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/doublefine/double-fines-massive-chalice/posts/502544

But the idea is that a male or female hero can establish a Keep with their surname. And then other heroes can "marry into" this house. Any character, male or female with that surname can then take over when the lord of that Keep dies. I think it's a rad way to be inclusive. :D!

Leelo1243 karma

Any plans for destructible environments or destructible elements in MC ? Ex. can I set a bridge on fire to prevent the enemy from crossing ?

MrMooEar6 karma

No set plans yet, but if MASSIVE CHALICE’s scope and time permits, we’d love to include environmental destruction that impacts gameplay and gives the player more tactical options! :D

SunsetAtDawn3 karma

With the million dollar mark coming up (and already surpassed when paypal+bitcoin is considered), can you tell us anything about your plans for the teamstream? You've mentioned open development a lot, but what sort of things do you have in mind?

MrMooEar4 karma

We're going to do all sorts of stuff on the teamstream!

Early on it will be more about concept art, playing inspirational games, and discussing the design of the game.

Then we'll move on to tech demos and prototypes - walking you guys through the progress that's being made on the programming end.

From there we'll move into pre-alpha footage of the game, where we show you everything is coming together. I refer to this part of game development as THE TRAINWRECK PHASE because it's always a disaster! This should be really fun to show in public! :D!

After that it's going to be about doing playthroughs on the stream and getting feedback about specific features.

And then we're done! You'll get to play the game! :D!

granderoho3 karma

Hey Brad! :D! We talked on twitter about the economy strain(I call it obfuscation through distribution) in strategy games like XCOM on twitter. The medieval time period offers for a more dynamic economy than XCOM setting. Are there items that could effect your relationship between players in game? Like respect or honor.

MrMooEar3 karma

That was a great question from twitter! Economy strain is awesome. :D!

We haven't settled on what our economy is yet... but yeah there are some cool options because of the fantasy setting. We had talked about the immortal ruler's "influence" being a semi-magical resource that allows you to do a lot of things. One idea that I love is "upjumping" a commoner from a Class Guild into a hero using your influence. It's a cool stand-in for recruiting squaddies in XCOM. :D!

Thardus2 karma

Simple question about the battles: Grid based (squares/hex/whatever) ala FFT/XCOM, free form moving ala Phantom Brave, something unique, or undecided?

MrMooEar5 karma

It’s not set in stone, but we’re going to start with a square grid first! :D!

A lot of different techniques are valid though... there's no one right way to make a turn based strategy game!

Thardus2 karma

Will there be saluting?

MrMooEar4 karma

There will hopefully be something equally silly in the game. :D!

fightclubdoll2 karma

What do you envision for the visuals: the art direction for the characters/environments as well as the way combat and non-combat will appear on screen? Will combat look like Civ Rev or XCOM, for example? (What are the limits to the vision/mechanics?) Will you only really know after funding is complete?

MrMooEar4 karma

Combat will be more XCOM than Civ Rev - we’re going squad based and we want you to be able to see your individual heroes kicking some demonic ass! MASSIVE CHALICE will run on Double Fine’s in-house 3D engine, Buddha, and we want to take advantage of it. For more on the art direction, check out this Concept Art Commentary that I did with art director Mark Here right here! :D!


Danzflor2 karma

Just wanted to say, I'm totally ok with the internet giving you a million dollars, now go there and make something awesome.

MrMooEar2 karma

Thanks man! The team is really excited too! :D!

RDOmega2 karma

Do you think most of the games produced today have become too simple due to a need to appeal to the broadest audience possible?

MrMooEar3 karma

I think there has been a bit too much simplification in the quest to make games accessible.

But! I also think that a lot of people mistake simplicity and depth. If you can remove systems and have less numbers on the screen and yet still provide players interesting, meaningful choices then I think you're doing a great job as a game designer!

I feel like there has been a bit of a backlash lately - I love that Dark Souls is a thing! :D!

In the end I think there's room for Farmville and Dark Souls and everything in-between. It's not a competition... just different strokes. :D!

cthun232 karma

dear brad, backed MassiveChalice since day2.

Will the battlefield in MC feature a grid and visible map borders? i like that "retro" fft style. hope you'll made good use of heights in the terrain. will the demon designs be as cool as in brütal legend? im looking forward what MCs final artstyle will be.

and finally one thing i wanted to tell you and tim for years: psychonauts milkman conspiracy -> AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:) greetings from germany ps. saw some german doublefine guy in one of tims broken age kickstarter movies.. is he on the Massive Chalice Team too?

MrMooEar4 karma

Thanks for backing! :D!

We haven’t started exploring battlefield presentation yet, but we’re leaning towards a grid-based system with explorable maps and line-of-sight vision for your heroes. Battlefield boundaries will need to be represented in some way, but probably not via the same approach used in FFT. I want the battlefields to feel a bit more grounded and realistic than the cool but abstract "floating chess boards" of FFT!

We're still exploring demon designs but the Tainted Coil is definitely an inspiration for outside-the-box art direction for cool enemies! We want them to feel creepy and weird and unlike standard fantasy enemies.

Oliver Franzke is "that Double Fine German guy" and he's working on Broken Age! Maybe he'll be on MASSIVE CHALICE after Broken Age ships! :D!

galenblade2 karma

Hi Brad! :D!

I'm curious a bit about Brazen. I read somewhere that you had been pitching it around and not getting a huge response. Obviously you're going to be focused on Massive Chalice for a while, but is Brazen something you want to go back to? Or do you think that the Brazen ship has sailed?

MrMooEar2 karma

I would love to go back to BRAZEN later! It's a fantastic idea and I love it a lot. It's just a much bigger game.

Also! The game was getting a good response from publishers. We wouldn't have pitched it for over a year if it had just gotten a "meh" response. It's just that those things don't always work out!

Maybe in the future we'll get to circle back and do Harryhausen proud. :D!