Trivia Obscura™ is an upcoming game of knowledge that will have its release on Kickstarter soon this year. Since we’re curious by nature, we figured interviewing the one responsible for this game will answer all our questions. It’s an impressive game that captures the elements of dark culture and perfectly combines a large range of topics in order to gather around the most enthusiastic, passionate people. Find more about this entire adventure on the following interview.
First of all, let me tell how amazed I was to hear about Trivia Obscura™ game and its meaning. Could you please introduce us into the unknown world of this game of knowledge? How did you first came up with this idea?
Trivia Obscura™ is an upcoming game of knowledge with strong elements of strategy, dedicated into sharing dark knowledge to the world! The game itself revolves around “Dark Culture” and covers a wide range of topics such as music, movies, video games, comics, arts, science, history, mythology, lifestyle, celebrities and many more! Every theme presented is unique and specially selected in order to flirt with the dark and the macabre, but without being unpleasant. And most of all, it is designed in a way that can be played by anyone, no matter the subcultural background of the player, while offering fascinating information, not just useless namedropping!
For us, as creators, Trivia Obscura™ came up naturally. It combines all 3 things that we are best familiar with: games, darkness and learning things. For example, we love trivia games but have no idea about sports or cooking, so that makes us uncomfortable on a regular Trivia game – I have never won a question about sports in my life – so why not bring alternative culture to the fore? Put on Hellraiser on the TV, the Sisters on the stereo, and pour some Absinthe in our glass – and here is the basic concept! The rest of the part was hard work and hours of playtesting, while having fun all the way through. As we wanted maximum artistic freedom with the final product, we decided to self-publish and are scheduled to run on Kickstarter in 2018. This means that we came up with the idea, developed the game, and arrived at decisions on manufacturing, delivery costs and all those details. So now we are at the stage that we took up the task of making it known to our audience.
For us, bringing Trivia Obscura™ to life is more than publishing a game – it is a Great Cause! We are determined to publish our game as we perceive it as a statement– to bring our reality out of the shadows and make it known to the world!
You “built artifacts that help multi – dimensional beings interact with hidden, parallel realities.” Is Trivia Obscura the parallel reality or world you were looking for?
Have you ever gotten that “walk among us” feeling? Being isolated despite being amongst other people? That you talk to somebody yet there is no connection, no essential communication taking place? Like you are from a different universe, and things carry different meanings to you? Trivia Obscura™ is a statement. We want it to be a statement to those in the mainstream that we exist, we walk amongst them, and our reality is as real and rich as theirs, maybe a bit less accessible, but equally important. Take the subject of history for example. Everything is taught to us in a sanitized manner. The dark parts of history are of equal importance and have largely shaped our civilization, yet we are “sheltered” from them. What about topics such as history of the Knights Templars, or the macabre traditions of Japan, or the Aztecs, or the cryptic underbelly of scientists such as the father of the atomic bomb Robert “’Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds’” Oppenheimer, (those of you into Current 93 will be familiar with the line). That is why the game is made in a way that can be played by anyone, regardless of background. Darkness is in everyone, and people that tend to shy away from it will be surprised on how much they know and how interesting the things they do not know are.
Is Trivia Obscura™ the first game you’ve created?
Gaming has been an important part of my life, ever since I can remember myself. I’ve always been busy coming up with games to play with my friends. I think that play is the most important aspect of human experience. Everything I do, I try to do as a game, even my life itself: You set goals, learn the rules, decide on your strategy and enjoy your victory or learn from your loss. You pick up a lot of things as you move on, and even is the roll is not to your favor, you sort of make the best of what you have. What is more important is not winning, but the course of the game and the communication between the players. Taking part in a well played game makes you feel more complete than winning a bad game. Nevertheless, Trivia Obscura™ is the first game that I’ve designed that will be commercially published, and that is why we decided to go the self publishing way. It allows us to make no concessions regarding how the game is actually themed and we have retained full control over every aspect of the game, from the graphics, on to the materials that it will be made out of. Publishing is such a new experience that I can say it has been as fun as making the game itself.
What inspired you the most about dark culture that made you create this game?
Our own life, come to think of it… We’ve been part of what one might call the “dark scene”, for well over twenty years in one way or another. I know from personal experience that our world is culturally very rich, filled with beautiful things, art, music, creativity, a universe of truly immense grandeur. Often people see a “goth” and mistakenly think that it is someone filled with negativity. There is nothing further from the truth than that misconception. Philosophy, art and culture are what you’ll find if you bother to take a closer look, rather than negativity. It is that aspect that we want to put to the fore. How beautiful, magic and creative our world and life really are.
Being in tune with our dark side, our shadow if you will; is a sign of respect and love towards life nature and creation.
Let’s face it, dark culture still represents a taboo subject; people often hesitate this matter just because they’re too scared or the like. And here I am, head over heels with you trying to reinterpret art. It’s something people should be aware of, yet why do you think they are so afraid about?
Man, from ancient times, has flirted with the dark and the macabre mainly out of fear towards the unknown and to be able to come to terms with the idea of death. For example the “dark gods” received equal worship to the benign ones. The dark ones needed to be pacified; their favor had to be earned so that for examples the year’s harvest would be spared destruction from unfavorable weather etc. In a way this still applies today with anything that makes us confront our deepest fears; pain, death, loss, weakness. With Trivia Obscura™ we’ve taken a somewhat different approach. We do not bring fear of the unknown to the fore, but we approach the dark via learning about it. We negate fear via knowledge. We believe in the “out of darkness cometh light” motto. We’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that all the themes in our game cast light in the shadows, and promote creation in a positive way. We don’t want to fill people with sorrow – well unless someone gets sad after learning what caused the bubonic plague or the life and times of Gilles de Rais! Knowledge is power, the purest and most important form of power there is. Knowing about the innate order of the universe and approaching it without fear, but only with love towards nature and creation. We believe that you cannot really love life unless you respect it as a whole – and death is part of life, destruction part of creation, there is no light without a shadow, and to realize all that is a magical thing in itself. We hope Trivia Obscura™ to be a celebration of that realization.
I’m a fan of Lord Byron, Edgar Allan Poe, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Andy Warhol, Joy Division, Bauhaus and many others myself and it looks like you gathered all of them into this lovely piece and not to mention you examine this dark culture from multiple angles. If you could choose to meet and talk with one of these, who would it be and why? What would you asked him?
It is impossible for me to single just one out of these truly great people. They have all been an inspiration to me throughout my life. In a way researching them for the purposes of the game made me feel as if I was having a conversation and being close to them! Without these people, who had the courage to expose their darkness to the world, humanity would be a lot different than what we know it to be- certainly less honest and maybe more boring! Through Trivia Obscura™ I also have the opportunity to meet and talk to a lot of new artists, and discover their work and maybe nudge them a bit to becoming more widely known. This is also very important to me. Trivia Obscura™ is not limited to the greats of the past but also to the great people of today. Inspiration and knowledge of the old is what paves the way to the creation of the new. I like to think that we have today’s Lord Byron, Edgar Allan Poe, and Bauhaus somewhere around us, all we have to do is discover them… Oh, and whilst discovering them, making sure we stay clear of all the Hannibal Lecters!
Name like 2 to 6 persons (dead or alive) you’d like to see them play? Why?
Themes in Trivia Obscura™ are divided into 8 major categories (Houses) that somehow contrast each other. For example, there is the House of the Occult and standing at the opposite side we have reason: the House of Science. House of Death is mirrored by the House of Lifestyle etc. An interesting team of players would be to have a major figure representing each category. Although hard to single out just one person for each House, I would choose some of my personal favorite controversial personalities of all time to put on the same table. So, I would like to see Nicola Tesla represent House of Science, Helena Blavatschki could stand for House of the Occult, Marquis de Sade for House of Blood, Mark Zuckerberg for House of Death, Betty Page for House of Lifestyle, the original vampire Lord Byron for House of History, Marylin Manson for House of Music, Salvador Dali for House of the Arts and maybe have Philip K. Dick and Anne Rice coordinating the play! That would be a fun team! Who do you think would win?
Sure it’d be fun to watch and Salvador Dali’s highly imaginative and grandiose behavior makes me bet all the money on him. Do you play this game back home?
Unfortunately, we can’t really play the game ourselves, because being the designers… Well you know, it gives us an unfair advantage. We know all the themes by heart and what is the best strategy to follow, so the few times we actually sat down and tried to play we were just spoilers to the rest of the players! Nevertheless, we organize playtesting sessions all the time (this means we get pizza and drinks), and watch how other people interact with our game. This was great for the game as through watching other people play it we’ve made countless improvements and additions. That is how we found out the game was ready for release, by testing and testing, until everybody’s reaction was a clear “wow”!
I find everything about this game to be so exciting, provocative and professional as well. It seems you pulled a lot of work to get here. Did you do that all by yourself?
There is so much going in towards making a game that it is impossible for one person to be able to handle. You need to cooperate on so many levels, the game mechanics, the research behind the various themes, the graphics etc. Trivia Obscura™ is all about teamwork. We believe that everyone has strong points so delegating roles, working as team and community are very important to how the game was created. More minds are better than one. We had a very capable group of people working on Trivia Obscura™ , each one brilliant in their own field- For example the graphics of the game were handled by the ultra talented and much awarded people at Until Sunday. Konstantinos does a lot of the producing for the game, my part, (Marilena), is mostly doing research and coming up with new and interesting themes, as well as being the public face of the game in social media and coordinating everyone else…There are and many many others that have helped in big or small ways, and we are grateful to each and everyone. Actually, one of the strong points of Trivia Obscura™ is that it was a collaborative project from the ground up, there lies all its magic and allure. And to take the opportunity, anyone that feels that has stumbled onto something cool, go on let us know. We will check its’ validity out and present it in the game. The most exciting themes of our game have come about this way, by people that simply liked what we do and decided to put in a small part in our project!
I imagine this to be similar with Ingmar Bergman’s “The Seventh Seal” movie, where a man seeks answers about life, death and existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper. What’s the overall message you want to convey while playing this game?
Celebrate and respect life at its wholeness! Celebrate and respect nature! You can understand the meaning of respect through knowledge – knowledge makes us strong, it gives us the ability to tame our own lives and the world we inhabit in a positive way. It helps us embrace and love the things that cannot be changed and deter those things that we can alter. Being in tune with our dark side, our shadow if you will; is a sign of respect and love towards life nature and creation.
What soundtrack would fit the best for Trivia Obscura™ ?
This is something personal to each player- anything that makes you feel comfortable with yourself and lets you flaunt your dark side. We’ve seen Trivia Obscura™ been played with the most unlikely music, from goth and metal onto jazz and classical. If it feels right to the players then that’s the right soundtrack: You can’t imagine how dark Italo-disco can sound under the right circumstances!
Trivia Obscura™ is about to have its release in Kickstarter soon. Any thoughts regarding this?
We intent to take Trivia Obscura™ through the Kickstarter platform in 2018 and were making a conscious effort to keep the game as open as possible. Interaction with players and supporters is vital to us. We want to give time to our social media to become independent from us, we want to meet people and their projects, to get to know our audience and to make our game their game. We want people to know that they can take part, enrich our project and as long as their work is compatible to our core themes why not get it in the game. Our facebook group is always open to anyone wanting to share projects, news, or anything out of the ordinary. We already have quite an exciting and creative bunch of people onboard so fell free to take a look or join here. We also have a facebook page you can tune into and stay in touch with what we’re actually doing with the game here. And for those of you into tumblr, we frequently post themes from our game here
We’ve put a lot of effort in making a game that is not only interesting as a game in itself, but beautiful as an object and very enriching as an experience. The reason behind taking them game to Kickstarter is that we don’t want to compromise. We want to have the game exactly as we imagined it to be, so stay in tune through our social media and when we go live, know that your help will go towards bringing a thing of dark beauty into the world!
All copyrights: Trivia Obscura™
Cultartes is a Trivia Obscura™ Sponsor.