Content creation - at Instant Speed!

by Kirk Bushell 4th January 2022 3 : 42

Introduction

My name is Matt, but since I was 13 I have been 'Flake' to the gaming community. There is a long story behind that choice of name, one I'll perhaps get into if I ever win a tournament and people care to know. I stream at twitch.tv/watchflake, and post YouTube content at youtube.com/flakemedia, but my Flesh and Blood podcast is out there in the ether wherever people tune into the noise. I want to give a lot of props to my producer Mark Gibson who has been a massive force behind my content. Mark is quietly one of the most hard-working and important people in CCG esports that many do not know. He is the engine behind 983 Media, and I owe a lot of my opportunities and success to his ability to make me look presentable.

What got you started in Flesh & Blood?

I've been playing card games since I was about 12 or 13 years old, having randomly discovered a pile of Decipher's old Star Wars CCG cards somewhere. Twenty-two years later, I've had a hand in a plethora of titles, both paper and digital, competitive and casual. It was only a matter of time until I discovered FAB, given my relationship with Magic suffered irreconcilable differences since War of the Spark. It was Lewis Woodhouse who showed me the game and took the time to walk me through it, right about when Monarch Unlimited was released. Within minutes I was gripped by the subtle complexities. Liam Holden also gave me some fairly critical Ninja training, and soon after I was winning armories. 

What made you start creating content for the game?

I've been a broadcaster in various capacities for many years, and over the past 5 or so I began streaming card games on Twitch. It was the perfect marriage of satisfying my passion for broadcasting, as well as feeding my love of card games. This opened so many avenues for me, as I discovered merely playing games was the tip of the iceberg. Soon after I began splicing videos together, gaining steam within a tight-knit Gwent community, and ultimately was discovered by CDPR and offered an audition to be on their official broadcast team. This cemented my belief that content creation was viable in terms of paying bills and just getting by.

I quit my job, and dove head first into the world of content creation, but felt like there was so much left to explore. I dabbled in various other games, running podcasts or game shows, but until I fell upon Flesh and Blood, I felt like a passenger on a trek through the roadways of an extensively mapped terrain. FAB was new, undiscovered land. There was plenty to dig into, and after a pilot episode of my podcast "Instant Speed", I just wanted to do more and more for the game.

What do you like most about the game?

What lures me to FAB has always been the heroes and their identities.

Lore aside, I've always been fascinated how game mechanics can lend themselves to the personality of a particular character through the abilities they carry, and the style of play they bring. Katsu *feels* like a Ninja when you play him. Rhinar exudes brutal characteristics. Bravo is, well, Bravo, and you can envision the cocky grin on his smug face when he's clubbing you with a Pummel chaser.

The way the game play enriches the hero identities is not an easy thing to pull off, and LSS has done so masterfully. I also have to remark that this game really does momentum well, which is a feeling you can clearly see unfold in how matches unfold. It is a true one-on-one fight, and the feeling of being on your heels while the opponent comes at you is palpable and genuine.

What would you most like to see changed or improved?

The most prominent thing that I would like to see revised is more so on the marketing side. The game is brilliant, and it is a shame, at times, that product is released in 1st Edition and Unlimited waves, often many weeks apart. I'm all for the collector types wanting a more exclusive and premium product to throw in their vaults, or merely pad their bragging rights, but for the common player it can be problematic scooping up play sets of crucial cards to remain competitive while 1st Edition prices are hiked on both primary and secondary markets. Game play wise, however, I'd love to see more Instants. This might be out of left field, and I may live to regret this, but more cards that play on the opponent's turn can be intriguing.

Any closing thoughts?

One of the greatest challenges that card game design faces is how it reconciles balance in terms of a card's cost to play it. Mana systems, resource generation, and all the different schemes employed over decades of CCGs have yielded so many fascinating iterations of card economy. I genuinely feel like FAB has done an impressive job of reigning that albatross in. The closest I've ever seen to a perfect mana system was with Decipher, Inc's "Lord of the Rings TCG", and FAB comes damn near close to hitting the bullsey

Kirk Bushell

Kirk is the sole developer of both FaB DB and The Rathe Times, proving an obsession with the game of Flesh & Blood and supporting its communities. Additionally, he loves writing articles, the game, and the general hobby of collecting cards.