So my name is Mr. Skullhead. Also Joshua Nite. I do stuff! I write hilarious jokes, and occasionally horrible jokes, for Kingdom of Loathing. I just finished the 6-issue mini-series of the KoL Comic Book (keep an eye out for the trade paperback Kickstarter! And I do a weekly horror movie podcast called Horrorshow Hot Dog. I wrote a play called The Secret of Gravethwait Manor that will debut at the Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis this Halloween season! I am an open book full of lewd scribbles! Ask me anything.

Ooo! I forgot! I also have a series of modestly-executed song cover videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl0lTWhO2DxydRcj_NAoJrg

EDIT: Okay, guys, thank you so much for blowing this up and making me feel important all day long. I'm going to go put the kiddo to bed and then record Horrorshow Hot Dog. Any stragglers, I'll probably answer tomorrow morning. This has been big fun! Thank you all!

Here's an announcement on the company's twitter feed: https://twitter.com/asym

Comments: 826 • Responses: 99  • Date: 

dyanceyfunnie84 karma

[deleted]

mrskullhead304 karma

Stay in vegetables, don't do school, eat your drugs.

ItsTyrrellYo66 karma

how many drugs a day

jayjaywalker374 karma

  • What kind of board games do you like to play?
  • Do you ride a bike regularly? Why or why not?
  • Have you ever played ultimate frisbee and how was it?
  • Do you watch anything that would be considered an esport?

mrskullhead95 karma

  1. I like games like Smallworld, Catan, Arkham Horror, Ticket to Ride--kind of the mid-level eurogames. Haven't tried anything like a Twilight Imperium yet, but I'm open to the idea.

  2. I ride a bike semi-regularly when weather permits, a couple-three miles at a time. Mostly to take my son to the park.

  3. I have never played ultimate frisbee. I have kind of a negative association with it, because a dude cornered me at a bar one night and asked if I played "ULTIMATE." I said I didn't. He then spent the next hour telling me all about the sport in excruciating detail. So it's probably not fair to all ULTIMATE players, but I've never given it a go.

  4. I watch the Twitch.tv live events that we do...does that count? I mean, nothing against esports, I just have such a limited amount of free time these days I can barely keep up with Dr. Who.

lesslucid5 karma

Uh, Arkham Horror is midlevel? I'd hate to see your idea of complex...

mrskullhead30 karma

Well, stuff like Twillight Emperium, with a dozen little decks of cards and a giant board and three dozen phase turns...

Gypsy_Liz3 karma

Aaaaand now I'm just wondering what you think of the new doctor.

mrskullhead15 karma

He's fun! I'm a much more positive Doctor Who fan than most I encounter on the Internet. Eccleston and Tennant are probably still my favorites, but I enjoyed the Matt Smith years, too. Capaldi's bringing his own energy into it that I like--he's a little harsher, almost mean, but still with a sense of fun. The last couple of episodes have got me very optimistic about the direction the writing's going. I got kind of tired of the "exploring the mythology of the Doctor" direction that Smith's Doctor ended up taking, and it's nice to see some outward focus in the stories.

OpinionatedDick72 karma

I'm coming up for my 10th year on KoL - got the hot chocolate you want out a few months back ;-). Thanks a bunch for the laughs and have a mega birthday man.

You've seen KoL evolve massively over the last 10 years but what's been the biggest surprise to you and why?

mrskullhead86 karma

I'm surprised that KoL continues to get little surges in popularity, that people are still discovering it for the first time. I talked to a bunch of people at Con this year who were at their very first Con, and had only been playing for a few months! That's amazing to me.

thespyguy49 karma

Do you still stand by the "Skully rant" of '08?

mrskullhead85 karma

Eh... I mean, I still feel like it's a jerk move to criticize the quality of your Christmas presents.

I would probably express myself more diplomatically these days.

That whole thing did teach me, though, that even if someone is making you mad, they still might have a point. the aftermath of that rant was turning Crimbo '08 into the Crimbomination Crimbo, which was the best thing ever, and happened as a direct result of the points people were making in that thread.

jelloboi7857 karma

My favorite part of the rant was and always shall be: "I invite you to get some mayo, mustard, and maybe a dollop of sour cream, and eat my motherfucking ass." That's just amazing writing right there.

mrskullhead87 karma

I do wonder, as occasionally I apply for interesting part-time work, if that rant comes up in a google search and makes people go, "huh. Maybe he's not our first choice for customer liaison."

alex4point034 karma

how do you avoid being confused with Mrs Kullhead?

mrskullhead52 karma

Man, I'm still getting that lady's mail. I wish she would just go ahead and leave Mr. Kullhead and go back to her maiden name. Everyone knows that guy ain't no good.

RangerBillXX32 karma

If Jick never got KOL off the ground, what would you have done with your life?

mrskullhead67 karma

Man, I don't know. I seriously don't know. I think I'd be an English teacher, muttering about "then" and "than" while marking horribly-written essays with a red pen.

So this is better.

RangerBillXX9 karma

not become a world-class craftsman, making wooden tables for all the good girls and boys?

mrskullhead14 karma

Well, sure, now I'd get my contractor's license and install hardwood floors for a living. But that's only because KoL helped me buy a fixer-upper house.

WHOLOCKinOCTOBER30 karma

Can you tell me a hilarious or horrible joke?

mrskullhead163 karma

I'm giving away all of my old batteries. Free of charge.

SIN3d28 karma

When are we going to get an astral back item? Doesn't need to be amazing, but for hardcore players, this slot goes largely unfilled until completing the level 9 quest, so almost anything would be worth considering. Off the top of my head, a resistance item may be good for relatively few perms. I'm sure you could find a joke in there somewhere. And of course, happy birthday!

mrskullhead32 karma

Whenever Hotstuff, in his infinite wisdom, deems it a balanceable thing to do.

weso998028 karma

Where did the idea of KoL come from?

What inspired some of the larger parts of the game (Other than the obvious references)?

mrskullhead51 karma

KoL was largely inspired by old BBS games (a BBS, children, was like a little website that you had to call directly into with your modem, using the phone line, which was like a cell phone only...eh, never mind), Like Legend of the Red Dragon. Most of the early development was taking the kind of thing you'd see in a fantasy game and filtering it through our sensibility, like Goblins and Gnolls and Ninja Snowmen...

MesozoicMan26 karma

Hey there Mr Skullhead!

Given that the last time it came up Jick had not yet been convinced to try Terry Pratchett, does he know just how many Discworld references are in his game?

Also, I miss the Monday show.

mrskullhead41 karma

Whenever I add a Discworld reference, I let him know. Sadly, I don't think he'll ever get into it, but at least Riff and I can pick up the slack.

Hell, I'm still trying to get him to watch Avengers.

LaLa1234imunoriginal3 karma

If he's read Gaiman you might be able to sneak him into pratchet with Good Omens. If that doesn't work then all is lost and the ruler of the kingdom has no taste in literature(or he just doesn't like Pratchett, but who doesn't like Terry god damn Pratchett?)!

mrskullhead6 karma

I think he's read Good Omens, but ... I mean, Good Omens is good, but it's not the best of Gaiman or of Pratchett. So now he thinks he knows everything there is to know about Pratchett...I still try.

Chyld23 karma

What was the weirdest thing you saw at KoLCon this year? In addition, what's the weirdest thing you've seen at any KoLCon? Also, what question do YOU want to answer about KoLCon? KoLCon!

(also, thanks again to all the Asymmetrics for this year's KoLCon)

mrskullhead43 karma

Y'know, this was a pretty tame year as far as KoL Cons go. I think I saw a total of five naked people at all the afterparties. I think the weirdest thing was on Casino night, when someone attended in a full teddy-bear-in-a-top-hat fur suit. For a long time, no one even knew who it was. Gotta respect that dedication to character.

The weirdest thing I've seen at any Con is Treasure Mammal. Note I don't say the best thing.

My favorite thing at Con this year was when a stammering, blushing Brit proposed marriage to the girl he met through KoL. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. Congratulations, buddy.

jelloboi7811 karma

Quite tame, as I saw a total of ZERO wangs this Con. That's.....unpossible.

mrskullhead23 karma

My god. I'm so sorry.

I saw...three-ish wangs?

tomerc1021 karma

Hi Mr.Skullhead. i tried KoL for a few days but stopped since i didn't get the puns in english(not my native lenguage), can you suggest a similiar game that i might like?(doesn't have to be a funny one)

mrskullhead34 karma

Sadly, there's nothing quite like KoL. We've had a lot of non-native-English speakers enjoy the game mechanics, though...maybe stick around and see if that grabs you?

sadist-trombone21 karma

Hi Skully, I created an account in early 2005 and played for about 3 years, had a blast with it, but have not played since. Just peeked in, and my character is still there. Where would you suggest a lapsed player like myself start?

mrskullhead33 karma

I'd go to your account menu and go back to Valhalla-- there's an option to restart your ascension. From there, maybe do a vanilla ascension to get back into the swing of things, then check out a challenge path.

BrettW-CD17 karma

I was really stoked to support the KoL Comic Book (and KoL over many years). You guys did and continue to do a great job.

Have the KoL folk thought of starting a new KoL-like project, but from scratch? You'd have the tabula rasa freedom of theme, writing and mechanics but, of course, none of the safety and accrued crunchy excellence and lore.

What tunes are you listening to lately that you'd recommend?

mrskullhead21 karma

Y'know, it'd be really cool to do a project tangential to KoL, with its own theme, but set in the same universe and with some of the same style, but starting from scratch. We should get on that...

Well, let's see. Moon Hooch just came out with a new album--they're kind of trippy sax-based electro-dance-craziness. Good stuff. MC Frontalot's new album is DOPENESS PERSONIFIED.

Oo, you know who's crazy good but not many have heard of? Sylvan Esso. Those guys are amazing. It's, like, a folk-singer-type woman and a dude doing electronic beats/synths/stuff underneath. Really cool stuff.

KodokuNoHatsumei17 karma

It's my birthday aswell! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US MAN! :D

About KoL now: the jokes on the game are hilarious. Do you have any comedian or comic where you find inspiration to do them? How long does it usually take you to write a description of an item or a set of items?

mrskullhead18 karma

I'm glad it's your birthday. Happy birthday to you.

Usually, item descriptions are incredibly fast, and only one draft. The KoL writing style is what my brain is like at any moment--constantly spitting out puns, song lyrics, and pop culture references about everything I see.

I don't know if any comedian influenced my style...maybe the shaggy-dog one-liner kings like Stephen Wright and Mitch Hedberg. There's an economy of wit with those guys. Like, "I used to do a lot of drugs. I mean, I still do, but I used to, too." Awesome.

cbrian1317 karma

[deleted]

mrskullhead42 karma

We met at the nerd table in high school, and then I found out he lived two doors down from my house.

Then we got kicked out of the nerd table because the other nerds didn't like the way I was GMing a terrible RPG I wrote, so we made our own fun.

phyphor16 karma

1) Are you guys ever gonna come back to Europe? It's been a long time since you made it out here.

2) Did you know that if you damage your spleen and you're bleeding out from it they can, instead of removing your spleen, insert metal coils into it in a procedure to embolise it? Once this is done they leave the metal in place, because there's no point removing it. They often use medical grade steel for this procedure. This therefore means that there are people on this planet who do, indeed, have a Spleen of Steel!

3) Your player pic is cool, but getting kinda old. Have you tried the new interface for uploading new player pics? It's kinda cool.

mrskullhead21 karma

  1. The missus and I have tentative plans to come to the U.K. for a bit this coming summer, if we get the funds in place. If not this summer, maybe next? There's a baby Skullhead on the way in April, so that may complicate things.

  2. Awesome!

  3. I tried, but I couldn't get the new pic to upload. I'll have to try it again. I'm thinking I'll use the pic of me without my goatee, to scare the children.

meowmeowmemow15 karma

What is the most difficult thing about maintaining the game?

Do you get enough money off the Mr. Accessories to support yourself and cover the costs of the game?

What would you do differently if you started the project from the beginning?

What advice would you give to new players? I find it's very difficult to compete against the older players, since they get all the good equipment and things.

mrskullhead30 karma

  1. I think it's just coming up with fresh gameplay mechanics to work in our limited design space. Which, these days, usually means expanding the design space (challenge paths, clan dungeons).

  2. Yes, the game is still bringing in enough money to cover hosting the game, and the modest salaries of our small staff. And the small salaries of our modest staff.

  3. If we started the project from the beginning, now, we'd have CDMoyer build the entire infrastructure, since he's more up on the code the hip kids are using these days. Jick has a laundry list of stuff that we'd like to change but is deeply ingrained in the structure--like the ability to differentiate individual items, having effects built into the items that give them, that sort of thing.

  4. Heh, well, my advice is don't compete against the older players, compete against yourself. Or pick a challenge path and really get into it, specialize in it, and then the Type 69 restrictions help level the playing field (Type 69 means that in challenge paths, you can only use recently-released items, instead of relying on 10 years of build-up).

nezumipi15 karma

Have you guys ever come up with an in-game puzzle, but ditched it because you thought it was literally unsolvable?

mrskullhead28 karma

If Riff didn't consider the demon-name-El Vibrato puzzle unsolvable, I can't imagine him considering anything unsolvable.

And, y'know, somebody solved that one...

Cyber3415 karma

How's the child doing? You've not done a Monday show in a long time so we haven't heard anything from you in a very long time.

mrskullhead22 karma

He just started Kindergarten, and continues to grow and be awesome.

Jick and I nailed down a time to record Monday shows, then promptly forgot the first Monday since we decided. So we'll try again. I'm glad to hear that people miss that show.

Sciencetist13 karma

I always thought that the drive behind KoL's success was that it could be however shallow or deep you wanted, depending on how much you immersed yourself in the culture and the gameplay. NS-11 days, you could easily throw away your day's worth of clicks and no time at all, which was great for those with limited time to play.

However, I found that post NS-13, it took a lot longer to ascend (not just level-wise, but meticulous quest-wise), and you were forced to do some seriously tedious gaming to advance. It seems like a lot of quests were put in just as a sort of clunky way of saying "Fuck you, you aren't going to ascend in 2 days no matter what". This is what drove me away from KoL, and judging by the numbers, it looks like there's a lot less people playing now compared to a few years ago.

tl;dr: Are there any plans to revert back to a more carefree, less meticulous game?

PS: Sorry if I sound as caustic as a ghost pickle right now -- I just used to love KoL, but totally fell out of it after NS-13

mrskullhead18 karma

Well, the idea with NS-13 was that it'd slow the game down, but then add design space where we could speed it back up. Once we hit people doing 2-day ascensions, we didn't have anything else to offer them to make gameplay interesting.

I don't think the fewer people playing today is an artifact of NS-13--we had our biggest boom years after NS-13. I think it's an artifact of the game being 10+ years old, and there being a lot of other entertainment options than there were in 2003.

I'd be interested how you felt about the game if you dipped a toe back in these days. There's a pretty vibrant speed community still.

Tehswift12 karma

Any general life advice you would like to give? Also, thanks for keeping the game going

mrskullhead22 karma

Well, my best advice currently is to seek out opportunities to do things you're not sure you can do.

Like, this past year I decided I would say 'yes' to anything people suggested I do, even if I didn't know if I could do it. So far, I've jumped into a frozen lake, played guitar at an improv comedy show, done an all-improv panel show, and written an hour-long play that will debut in Minneapolis this Halloween. Saying 'yes' is awesome.

MufasaJesus11 karma

How do you manage to keep an often considered game style so relevant and enjoyable?

mrskullhead23 karma

First, thanks for considering us relevant and enjoyable.

I actually struggle to keep the game current without seeming like we're chasing trends. I think the strategy is to never go with a trend when it's trendy, and wait about six months or so. Like, we might make a What Does the Fox Say joke now, but would have avoided it a year ago at the height of its popularity.

I try to keep plugged into sites like Reddit and (sigh) Buzzfeed just to keep abreast of what's going on with the kids these days, lest the game only be relatable to people my age.

MyPunsSuck10 karma

As a follow up question from somebody else, what kind of crazy battle plan do you guys have to deal with feature creep? Every time I come back to KoL, it's doubled in size and everything seems new and scary - but it's a lot more manageable than it could have been

mrskullhead14 karma

Well, our biggest plan is our least popular one. That's Type 69--making it so in competitive play, you can only use the last couple years' worth of content. It really does narrow the scope and level the playing field...but there will always be folks who don't want the scope narrowed or field leveled.

MyPunsSuck3 karma

Heh, too true. Even when I just started a long long time ago, the top scores and such were all dominated by people with effectively infinite meat. It was annoying that I'd never be able to keep up with them, but then you guys added like a zillion different ways to play the game, which helped a lot. Good luck trying to take away unfair advantages! (It worked for MtG, which was about to die from power creep before they implemented a very similar system...)

Also, http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/ue1ca/i_am_zack_jick_johnson_creator_of_the_kingdom_of/c4umxzs Does this statement from Jick two years ago, which I bookmarked because it struck a chord with me, still stand?

"Our ability to quickly make dumb puns about everything we see is our greatest gift and our greatest curse. Seriously, ask the people we spend time with in real life. It gets really obnoxious."

mrskullhead6 karma

Oh, that's incredibly true. I can watch it happen when I hang out with Loathers for the first time. It goes from, "oh, my gosh! This guy writes funny stuff! He's going to be a blast to hang out with!" to "Oh, god. You really can't turn it off, can you?"

I mean, one of the things Jick and I used to do for fun back in high school was go to the local supermarket (the only place open late) and just walk around the aisles making jokes about the products for sale. And, on one memorable occasion for Jick, trying to juggle big packs of toilet paper.

Rafon11 karma

Whats the development process month to month? How far our do you plan events? ex when do you guys start throwing out Crimbo ideas? Also can I have some more of you hot chocolate? :P

mrskullhead17 karma

We usually start thinking about IotM stuff around mid-month, earlier if it's a tie-in to a challenge path.

We try to get the challenge paths nailed down a month before they roll.

Jick and I brainstorm Crimbo every year around Con time, and we do the same for the IotY. Then we procrastinate until the beginning of December, and do it all in a blind panic.

Send me a kmail and you'll get something better than hot chocolate today :-).

GeckonSwag11 karma

Are you still having tons of fun working on the game?

mrskullhead23 karma

It's a little more challenging as the design space gets narrower, but there are still plenty of times when I feel the joy of pulling off something funny and fun to play in a new way. The Heavy Rains stuff was a blast to write.

VelcroKing11 karma

Any plans to get the KoL comic book collected as a trade?

mrskullhead12 karma

Yes! Yes, oh god, yes.

I probably should have saved doing this AmA until I had the link for the Kickstarter for that, but yes, that's happening before the end of the year.

I have a good lead on a printing press that can economically do bitchin' hardcover books, and am planning on writing an exclusive 10-page comic that will only be available in the trade. So keep an eye on Facebook or here for news!

NotJim-11 karma

...

mrskullhead24 karma

Yup! Between this and the drink giveaway on KoL, I'm spending the day basking in attention from others.

Er, I mean, I'm spending my day selflessly giving of my time and effort to people who support what I do for a living.

CripzyChiken9 karma

Drink give away? Another round of skully cocoa?

mrskullhead14 karma

Nope, it's a new drink. Send me a kmail and find out!

gdyetrauda10 karma

Happy birthday, Skully!

What's your favorite joke in the game? If you don't say the hippy on skis, I guess that's okay, even if I think you're wrong.

mrskullhead18 karma

I still laugh out loud at Riff's descriptions for the astral cupcakes. Especially this one: This is a little cupcake with blue frosting. The sprinkles spell out "EAT ME", which is a little surprising, but not as much as if it'd said "UP YOURS".

crovax123418 karma

I like that one, but I feel like the chorizo brownies have the best description:

These are chocolate brownies with big lumps of spicy pork in them. Just like grandma used to make. Grandma hated you.

mrskullhead15 karma

That may be one of the first things Riff ever wrote. Man, that guy's a genius.

Spagster10 karma

I don't know who you are but happy birthday, man.

So I abide by the rules...

What is your favorite cut of steak and how do you like it cooked?

mrskullhead15 karma

Hey, thanks, man. You should check out Kingdom, it's pretty cool.

I don't do it often, but I like me a filet mignon cooked incredibly rare. I'd eat it raw if I could.

LovecraftsScion9 karma

Any chance of seeing a good old-fashioned Skully rant on the forums anytime soon?

Love your work!

mrskullhead29 karma

I'm so much calmer now, is the thing. Children are tiny batteries that suck the energy out of you.

Gandle9 karma

Hey Mr. Skullhead. Two questions:

1.) I used to play, and then didn't, and then did again, and now am currently not again... so, should I start again? (I know the answer is yes, looking for a why/why now).

B.) I work in downtown Minneapolis. Can I buy you coffee or lunch sometime? Or in a few months (weeks?!?!), maybe some hot chocolate would be welcome?

Thanks. Despite your answer for question A, I am sure I will be playing again in the near future (esp with the mobile format now available...).

mrskullhead9 karma

  1. Yes! Because the Heavy Rains path is really neat, and Crimbo's going to be super cool this year, too.

  2. Sure! Perhaps sometime in the spring?

CripzyChiken8 karma

What's your honest thoughts on Twitch streams - fun or stressful? Who's idea was it to do them?

mrskullhead12 karma

Super incredibly fun. I think that was Jick's idea, or possibly Hotstuff. KoLer theGunRun is a pretty big deal over at Twitch, so it made sense to do something with them.

DamageProcess8 karma

Hey Skully. :) As a mod on your game for years, I want to thank you for the positive contribution your game had on my life. I made some great friends that I'm still in touch with today.

If you had the opportunity to make another Kingdom, what would it be called, and why?

mrskullhead6 karma

Well, given the difficulty coming up with the name Word Realms, it's hard to say. I think someone already snagged Kingdom of Fear.

How about Fantasy University? :)

Korbz8 karma

Do you prefer crunchy or smooth peanut butter?

mrskullhead28 karma

I like my peanut butter like I like my operators: Smooth.

Vakieh8 karma

You are given unlimited resources, the best and brightest software and artistic gurus the world can produce and then some. Unlimited time, money, focus, the works.

What challenge path do you create, and how awesome is it?

mrskullhead16 karma

KoL 2050 A.D., a full-color space adventure. Part Space Quest, part Puzzle Pirates, part Barren Realms Elite. For iPad and Android tablets.

It would be super awesome.

OFTHEHILLPEOPLE7 karma

Would you rather fight one duck sized jick or one jick sized duck?

Also, the downvote brigade is in this thread so people remember to upvote questions you want answered by our super cool skully dude.

P.S. can I finally get lounge access?

mrskullhead16 karma

I'm pretty sure I could take a duck-sized Jick. I'm pretty sure I can take a Jick-sized Jick. But we're none of us fighters. We're lovahs.

Maybe.

granite_grizz7 karma

What has been your favorite player interaction?

What has been your least favorite player interaction?

The Asymmetric people are missed at SDCC (at least by me). Will you ever be back or must I brave the harshness of Arizona to once again bask in the glory of The Powers That Might Be Giants?

mrskullhead21 karma

  1. Every time I hear from a player who met his/her significant other through KoL, my heart grows two sizes. Fortunately, it shrinks back down, or I'd have a serious medical condition.

  2. My least favorite type of interaction is where someone recognizes me, and I say hi, and ask their player name, and then I completely fumble the follow-up questions, and it's all awkward, and they're all, "oh, no, I've offended him, I must go away," when really I just failed at making conversation. So it's never the player's fault--I just occasionally drop the ball. If you see me out and about, definitely always come say hi.

Yeah, I miss SDCC as well, but we really got priced out of the market. Like, the cheap house rentals kind of vanished, and we started becoming more aware of money as a finite resource, and as a business decision it didn't make much sense. We still have a light presence at some stuff--Jick went to IndieCade and XOXO this year, and I swear to God we're doing Dragon*Con again some time, because that was awesome. But SDCC just kind of outgrew us.

Salieru-Dei7 karma

Any chance of the Monday Jick and Skullhead show going back into production?

mrskullhead9 karma

It was supposed to be this week, but it'll definitely be next week. I'm so glad to hear people are actively missing the show. And it's a good chance for Jick and I to connect, too.

what_the_shart6 karma

Can you steal your own pants without YOU noticing?

mrskullhead19 karma

I thought there was a draft in here...

14thDoctor6 karma

Happy Birthday!

What's your favorite in-game item?

mrskullhead14 karma

Description-wise, it's probably still the lime.

Regularjoe426 karma

It has been a while since I've last played KoL. Sort of fell off for me in the middle of my second basement run.

What games other than KoL does Asymmetric do? Have they done any smaller game-jam-like stuff?

mrskullhead13 karma

Well, there's Word Realms, which we thought was neat.

There's the super-secret 3rd-party project that's not for the general public.

And we may have a surprise or two up our sleeve for the future.

MediumRed6 karma

My mom's birthday is today too. What should I get her?

mrskullhead12 karma

I know what I'M getting her, eh, wot?

Maybe just give her a call. Your attention is the best gift.

skoonat5 karma

Hi Mr. Skullhead!

What's your favorite class to play and why?

mrskullhead13 karma

Sauceror, because I am not very good at game, and I prefer the "HUH-TAH GIANT SPELL TO HIT FOR MASSIVE DAMAGE!" school of play to the "I dodge! I sneak! I dodge and sneak and hit for 1 damage!" school.

InsidiousObserver5 karma

  • Is the Sunken Chest truly the longest unsolved puzzle in the game?
  • How is the economic outlook of the game given the recent(ish) decision to utilize ad revenue to bolster the funds you guys get from donations?
  • Do you like your bacon crispy?

mrskullhead13 karma

  1. Nah, I'd say how to kill the hermit is the longest unsolved puzzle.

  2. Well, the ad revenue thing didn't turn out the way we had hoped. It was bringing in about 2% of what Google said it would, which was too little revenue in return for our dignity and integrity. So right now we're sticking with the in-character ads for donation, and that's going okay. We're always grateful for a little skrilla, though, if you've got some.

  3. I do indeed. If I'm going to eat ham, I'll eat ham. Bacon's gotta be fried.

JB4GDI5 karma

Completely shameless, but if no one else is asking I might as well.

If it's your birthday, does that mean you're giving out rare, hard-to-find items to the girls and boys who ask nicely? And can I be first in line? I seem to remember that being how KoL birthdays work.

Actual question: Do you have any stories of in-game releases/events that didn't quite go according to plan/how you thought they would?

mrskullhead10 karma

Indeed! Although, as of this writing, it's more like 1,000th in line, but you're welcome to join the queue.

Oh, man. So when White Wednesday happened (an event in 2007ish that wiped out a bunch of people's entire inventories), we were getting ready for a trip to KoLondon. So we're in London trying to coordinate tools to put everyone's stuff back, and then it was also Crimbo season, so we were finishing Crimbo stuff in Internet cafes. Madness.

GoingPole2Pole5 karma

How drunk do I have to get you to get you to give me 100 Mr. A's?

mrskullhead15 karma

All you have to do is buy me $1,000 worth of alcohol.

terivinix5 karma

I'm addicted to KOL and play it every day, or something feels wrong with the world.

One question I have is: are you guys receptive to suggestions/pitches for content by users? Not that I want to make super-powered items, but I always thought it would be fun to come up with a subquest or gag item.

Question 2: what is your favourite quest in KOL?

mrskullhead3 karma

We tend to have more ideas for content than we have time to implement them, so we don't take suggestions as a general rule. There are a few good forum threads devoted to sharing your ideas with other players, though! http://forums.kingdomofloathing.com

lokithejackal4 karma

As someone who shaves their head every so often and is doing so right now what are some pro tips for making the job easier?

mrskullhead7 karma

I always hit it with clippers first, to get the stubble really short. Then I hop in the shower, rub some shampoo on there to break up the oil (my head is a natural oil source of impressive throughput). Then I shave by feel with my Dollar Shave Club 4-blade razor, rinsing it often so the hair doesn't jam up and scalp me.

ExhibitAtrophy4 karma

Mr Skullhead? Give us some Good Idea Bad Ideas. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8PhzrmBgMI

mrskullhead20 karma

Good idea: tossing your son into the air in the swimming pool.

Bad idea: tossing your son into the air...under a ceiling fan.

Good idea: Using kitty litter to soak up an oil spill.

Bad idea: Using oil to clean your litter box.

Good idea: recycling bottles and cans.

Bad idea: recycling the food you ate from the bottles and cans.

RageMonkey2624 karma

First off all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY thanks for the game and (hard?) work!

Any chance of adding more females into the Kingdom or giving Susie a bigger role? We have Pete, Jarls, Boris, the Hermit, Old Man and pretty much all the characters you do quests whereas there's just the NS and Susie.

It would be nice. :)

mrskullhead11 karma

I'm consciously trying to add more female characters to the game. Most of what we're adding right now are just monster fights, but I try and balance the gender distribution out a little more in those. We don't add NPCs very often, but I promise the next one will be female.

EmperorOfNothing4 karma

What other video games, genre or specific, console or online, do you like playing if you aren't currently on KoL?

mrskullhead2 karma

Well, currently I'm playing The Room 2 on mobile. On PC, still trying to get into Gone Home, because everyone says I'm supposed to. On the console (mostly the XboX 360) I'm going through the Lego games with my son, currently trying to 100% Lego Batman, and looking forward to playing Disney Infinity 2.0. We sunk maybe 100 hours into the first Disney Infinity.

bickbastardly3 karma

Let's pretend I don't know what KoL is, what is it and why would I want it? Does this generate income, if so for whom and how? You say it's your birthday, howmany have you had? You said you have a kid comin soon, do you have any others? What is your favorite thing to do you believe you'll never be good at? It doesn't have to be a hobby, or anything you'd go out of your way to do.

mrskullhead4 karma

Kingdom of Loathing is a fun role-playing game you can play right in your browser, without having to download anything. It's free to play, but you can pay money for shiny stuff if you want to. We try not to bug you about it. It's got a huge sense of humor but a lot of deep gameplay, too.

KoL supports a small staff with modest salaries.

I've got a five-year-old son in addition to the one that's currently baking.

I really love making music, playing guitar, and writing songs, but I know I'm not very good at it. People I taught to play guitar play better than I do. But it's still fun.

g_kesavahraj3 karma

What's your favourite ice cream flavour?

mrskullhead7 karma

Chocolate cherry. Alliteratively delicious!

YourLiteralMom3 karma

When is the Word Realms MMO that was promised coming out?

mrskullhead9 karma

I think it's safe to say that it's not going to, barring some massive change.

The demand for Word Realms was far, far less than we were expecting--part of that is the way we designed it, for sure, but we were kind of blindsided by how little people were interested in it.

We're currently working on a thing for another company, that I can't talk about 'cause lawyers, but once that's done we might use the resources and skills learned on that project to do something else Word Realms-y. But the idea of pouring MMO-level resources into something that just didn't click with people...it seems like not the best business decision.

YourLiteralMom2 karma

Then did the $121,000 from the kickstarter go up your nose?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2140824020/word-realms/posts/232999

"It seems like there's a bit of confusion about what exactly we're trying to do with this Kickstarter. Let me try to clarify. The money from this Kickstarter will largely be used to hire additional people to start working on a Word Realms MMO."

mrskullhead12 karma

That was the plan, yes, when we thought the Kickstarter would fund 4 or 5 times what our goal was. We were also trying to recoup a bit of the development cost of Word Realms (which, don't get me started) and gauge interest in doing the MMO.

As it turns out, the demand was lower than expected on the Kickstarter, demand for the game after it was released was pretty much non-existent, and it just seemed like a bad idea to throw good money after bad. So any minimal profit left over from the Kickstarter just went to funding normal Kingdom operations.

Freeside13 karma

Should you worry when the skullhead is in front of you?

mrskullhead4 karma

I'd say it's probably worse when he's waiting where your eyes don't go.

bigbadbarl3 karma

Mr. Skullhead! I've been a filthy casual since 2006, and I just wanted to send my love. How are the Kingdom's finances looking these days? Are the donations really falling off that badly?

edited for grammar

mrskullhead5 karma

Donations aren't falling off so much as steadily and predictably declining. We're still in the black for now, but we have to make more of an effort to get donations and new players than we used to.

sssaint3 karma

Huge fan since like 2006 here.

I love the taste of comedy and overall fun of the game.

Biggest humor influences? Favorite non browser based mmo?

mrskullhead4 karma

Biggest humor influences...hmm. Monty Python, MST3k, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett. Those guys all taught me that it was okay to reference pop culture, and that you can only make fun of the stuff you truly, deeply love.

sh2nn0n3 karma

What is your #1 Birthday Wish?

mrskullhead12 karma

World peace.

No, wait. I mean, boobs.

caphector3 karma

(•Y•)

( • Y • )

mrskullhead3 karma

There ya go.

ibacktracedit3 karma

Happy birthday dude! Which drugs have you done to stay so dedicated to KoL?

mrskullhead6 karma

Why, you holdin'?

Er, I mean, back in the day, I may have inhaled sickly sweet smoke from a glass sculpture.

On rare occasions, I swung some glowsticks and sniffed some menthol rub.

But I'm old now, so it's just caffeine and alcohol.

ChaosBadgers3 karma

Hey Skully! I haven't played in about a year, what's the biggest change since then that would draw me back in?

mrskullhead6 karma

If you left before the skill revamps, then the skill revamps. Also the quest revamps are chugging along nicely, and Whitey's Grove just got a great new one Riff's been working on for a year.

I still super-duper love Heavy Rains, though. That's worth the price of admission.

pums2 karma

I was playing KoL fairly seriously, possibly embarassingly seriously, back around 2006, but I haven't played it much since then or at all since about 2011. I should come back, right? What's something awesome I'm missing out on?

mrskullhead2 karma

You should definitely come back! You should come back and play the Twitch event this Saturday. New limited-time content and the ability to vote on future content!

ForgingIron2 karma

What is it with you and Hawaiian Pizza?

mrskullhead3 karma

It turns out, if you get Hawaiian pizza made properly, it's delicious! I hated it as a kid because we got it from the crappy cheap pizza place that used canned pineapples in syrup. So it was like candy pizza. Ugh.

redditchao9992 karma

Is this the Mr. Skullhead show?

mrskullhead2 karma

It is, indeed, the show that I have.

burgundyoink2 karma

What kind of bump did you see from your MBMBaM spot(s)? If you also ran ads on other podcasts, which was most successful?

mrskullhead3 karma

I think we only did that one...I don't know if that made a huge difference. The biggest bumps so far are the Twitch TV stuff, and engaging with the Reddit community, because you guys rock.

Afakaz2 karma

Happy birthday, dude!

Any idea on when we're likely to see another new clan dungeon in the offing? I returned to the game just in time for Dread and spading it out was some of the most fun I've had in-game since returning.

Non-KoL question, have you ever played Arkham Horror?

(also I KMailed you about following up on continuing the Bad Religion lyrics to Digital Key Lime/pie but I figured I might as well drop it in here too since I imagine you're reading this)

mrskullhead2 karma

There's not a clan dungeon in the works just now, but I'm sure we'll come back to that space again. Fun fact: the Elemental Airport IotM stuff came from a rough draft of a clan dungeon that sat unused for years.

I used to love Arkham Horror, pre-skully-junior. We used to have Arkham Brunch--a bunch of people would come over of a Saturday morning, we'd make pancakes and play Arkham for hours.

Bear_Left2 karma

Huh, I really need to go back to KoL.

I need to ask a question so... what's been the hardest part of keeping KoL going this long?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY from one of the former nerd-table kids from your high school days :)

mrskullhead2 karma

If Bear has something to do with your actual name, it's good to hear from you, man. You sent me an email a long time back, and I think I only mentally replied to it instead of actually doing so. My apologies.

The hardest part is just designing interesting stuff with a limited system. We've got elemental damage, hp/mp regen, spell damage, damage absorption, stat gains, runaways, free fights...there's not a huge space to tweak variables. So it's hard to keep it fresh, but I think we are.

pikk2 karma

is there a reason to log back in after I've been away for 3-4 years?

mrskullhead2 karma

Dude! TwitchTV event on Saturday! It's a good chance to see what the game is like now in an encapsulated setting. After that, oh my god, challenge paths. So many, and so much fun.

JamesVagabond2 karma

This can't be a coincidence. Over the past few days I've been heavily thinking about returning to Kingdom of Loathing after several years of absence, and now I see this AMA. Although I've left, KoL will always have a special place in my heart, filled with a huge bundle of fond memories. Just give me a few days, and I think I'll give in to temptation. Oh, and maybe this time I'll be able to stay away from Money Making Game...

Well, some giant letters which overlap with the words I've written strongly suggest that I ask a question here, so here goes a bunch of them. What's the story behind the creation of Word Realms? How did you and other folks at Asymmetric come up with idea? Why again aim for a niche and not go to places more mainstream? Why did you decide to seek funding at Kickstarter? And I can't help but wonder if the game was successful enough in your books.

Oh, and happy birthday, Mr. Skullhead.

mrskullhead2 karma

  1. Word Realms started as an idea Jick and I kind of simultaneously had, to make something like the Bookworm games only with actual RPG elements.

  2. We really thought that KoL people were a big enough niche to aim at that the game could be successful. We didn't imagine how long it would take to develop the game, starting from scratch, learning the skills needed as we went. But then we thought that there'd be a broad non-KoL audience that didn't really materialize, either.

  3. We took to Kickstarter to try and recoup some of the production cost of the game, to whip up some excitement for the game, and to reach a broader audience.

  4. It...it really wasn't successful. It brought in a fraction of the money it took to make it. If we do something like it again, we'll go for a shorter production cycle, make it touch-screen compatible, and go for a lower price point. Hopefully some of the stuff we've learned since WR will make that doable.

wordjunkie862 karma

Happy birthday Mr. Skullhead! Any advice on handling getting older/growing up?

mrskullhead5 karma

It beats the alternative?

I'm a firm believer in the "grow older, don't grow up" kind of thing. I still like sci-fi movies and video games and playing with legos...I just have a mortgage and stuff, but that responsiblity brings extra security, too. It's a sweet gig all around.

holyjoelee2 karma

If a Asymmetric made another game in the KoL universe, what would it be like?

mrskullhead3 karma

I can't tell you, because then you won't be surprised if we do it.

underdabridge2 karma

Why so negative? Shouldn't it be Kingdom of Loving?

mrskullhead5 karma

Hey, man, video games thrive on conflict, y'know? There aren't very many first-person hugger games out there.

Wait...I need to go do a design doc now.

BearSeekSeekLest2 karma

What would YOU do with a drunken sailor?

mrskullhead3 karma

I'd put him in the scuppers with a hosepipe on him, because I don't know what any of those words mean.

Pycts2 karma

Are there any games that wish you'd had the idea for?

mrskullhead4 karma

Minecraft.

taniapdx1 karma

1) I'd like to know who came up with the America's Next Top Model reference in the game (smizing!)? I'm grateful for finally being able to update the wiki, but did get a few condescending looks from Chyld while I did it. Are you all closet ANTM fans?

2) When will the game get Xena references? Apparently I think this is needed. I would like a chakram as a back item.

3) Will you be bringing Baby Skully to the wedding? We may need to addend our no babies invitations and/or figure out if there is a crying room at the church.

mrskullhead2 karma

  1. Heh, I'm the only ANTM fan on the team. I kind of fell off the bandwagon around Cycle 11 or so, but watched every episode of Cycles 1-17. I dunno. Adrianne Curry is just so freakin' cool, y'all.

  2. I thought we had a few in there somewhere. Bound to.

  3. Let's not put the cart before the horse :-).