Mark Lungo, thanks for chatting. What’s your game about?
Crimestrikers, an RPG supplement set on the futuristic furry word of Creaturia, will be published in November by Spectrum Games as part of their Cartoon Action Hour series. Soon you can enter a new world of fun and adventure, as a colorful team of heroic agents protects Creaturia from the crime syndicate Outrage and other supervillains. Crimestrikers is created and written by Mark Lungo, with game stats by the Spectrum staff and illustrations by various artists (including Cindy Ramey of Ringtail Cafe Press, Derek Van Deusen, Jon Kemerer, Alishka Jolitz, and Rick Yurko). Stay tuned to http://www.spectrum-games.com/ for further announcements.
(Spectrum Games:) “Do you remember those magical days of the 1980s, when Saturday morning and weekday afternoon cartoons offered kids heaping doses of excitement, action, and fun? There were huge sentient robots, paramilitary forces, science fantasy barbarians, and everything in between! Well, guess what? Those days have returned! With Cartoon Action Hour, you can re-live it all… but this time, you’re the star!”
I found your FA, and it looks like you have been into furry for a while. Can we get a little bio?
I’ve been a furry ever since my childhood in the late 60s. The first movie I saw was The Jungle Book, and the first comic I read (a Disney digest) included a Jungle Book story and Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge classic The Prize of Pizarro. When I was nine, The Houndcats came to Saturday morning TV; although most have forgotten this short-lived cartoon, it hooked me on furry action-adventure for life. Since then, my pop culture diet has included Disney and Warner toons, SWAT Kats, Biker Mice from Mars, Captain Simian, and indie comics like Furrlough and Albedo, among others.
Are you into RPG’s in general, or furry RPG’s specifically? Can you tell me about that – your favorites, what style you like, the kind of game mechanics you prefer, etc?
I’ve never been a gamer, although I own a few sourcebooks because I enjoy the characters and stories. So why is Crimestrikers an RPG? I showed the idea to my friend Cynthia Celeste Miller of Spectrum Games, who I knew from her company’s Cartoon Action Hour franchise (a series of original games inspired by toy-based 80s cartoons like He-Man and Transformers). I just wanted Cynthia’s opinion, but to my surprise and delight, she liked Crimestrikers so much that she wanted to publish it! I’m leaving the game stats and mechanics to the Spectrum team – they’re the experts.
Do you know much about the history of furry RPG’s? Some of them played a part in making furry fandom a thing. Are you into that, or just more of a general gamer who happens to be a furry?
See above. However, Crimestrikers includes a few suggestions I wrote for fans playing the game. For example, one of the episode seeds is “10 Minutes to Showtime!”, in which the heroes must find a bomb that’s set to destroy a drive-in theater in ten minutes. I wrote that players can create the proper atmosphere by serving snacks and soda while playing the kinds of ads that drive-ins run during intermissions, while the bomb can be simulated by a hidden timer that the players have to find before it goes off.
Diana Mastron by Jerberjer. See much more in the Crimestrikers tag on Deviantart.
What led you to make your own, and what’s the process been like?
I’ve been having ideas for shows and characters for a long time; also, whenever I watched or read something, even if I liked it, I’d always think “If I had written it, I’d change this and this and this.” However, Crimestrikers is the first of my concepts that really came together. I basically took everything I like (furries, action/adventure, sci-fi, even a dash of rock & roll) and put it all in one series. The process has been a lot of fun, although I overwrote so much that I had to edit some items to avoid exceeding Spectrum’s word count, including the deletion of some character bios. If anyone wants to see this material (and some new ideas I’ve come up with since completing the manuscript), be sure to buy Crimestrikers so maybe there can be a Volume 2!
Any comments about the publisher?
Spectrum has been very good to work with. Cynthia and her team have been very supportive, and aside from the word count thing they haven’t asked me to make any major changes. They also let their authors retain ownership of the properties they create, which anyone who has an idea that fits in with their product lines should consider.
Any hopes for the game?
I hope it’s successful, of course. I also think Crimestrikers has the potential to become a multimedia franchise that could include animated series, video games, comic books, action figures, you name it. Sure, it’s a long shot, but getting it published was a long shot, too. People who have seen Crimestrikers enjoy it, and one of my friends is already writing fanfic for it–seriously! I think it has a lot of potential.
Thanks Mark! It would be great to hear comments from any reader who is into furry RPG’s.
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