Interview: Creator Michael Waddell Talks About His “MetaZoo Cryptid Nation TCG Where Your Surroundings Matter” Launched on Kickstarter this July 30th 2020! (Available till Sun, August 30 2020 4:00 PM UTC +04:00)

You must have seen and played many Trading Card Games (TCG) but this one is different.  

MetaZoo is a trading card game (TCG) about Cryptids where your cards have more or less power depending on the environment you play in!

MetaZoo- The Cryptids Nation- a card game about cryptids that’s done in the style of 1990’s card games like Pokemon and MTG. One of the big differences is it has a new mechanic where the 4th wall actually impacts the power of your cards. That way, if it’s raining, your water spells are more powerful. If it’s nighttime, the wendigo is much more powerful. The first set has launched on Kickstarter on July 30th, 2020, and has most of the main creepy cryptids in the USA . Available till Sun, August 30 2020 4:00 PM UTC +04:00

The creator of the TCG, Mr. Michael Waddell talks about not only the card game he has created, but also about his passion for horror, the cryptids, and TCG. Please read on to know more about this exciting card game, and the creative mind behind the creation!

Interview:

(1) Please tell us, and the readers about yourself, and your passion for trading card games. Also, what’s your favorite card game since childhood?

I think like many people in the 25-35 age range (I’m 30), my passion started with Pokemon. I was growing up in Brazil at the time so the card game was released kind of late (everything released in the US had a 6 month lag before being released in Brazil back in the 90’s), but the craze was just a widespread. I remember visiting family in the US for Christmas and running to Walmart with my mom to buy Base Set blister packs. There was a limit of 3 per customer and they were $10 a piece… yikes! 
Pokemon still has a nostalgic place in my heart, but Magic the Gathering (MTG) is mostly what I play right now because the depth of the potential strategies – and of course now I’m playing MetaZoo!

(2) What made you interested in horror, and the phenomenon of cryptids? Which cryptid or urban legend in particular is your favorite?

I’ve always been interested in horror because I love the “chase” – I define the chase as finding something that actually scares me and keeps me up at night. As you build up tolerance to scary things the chase becomes more and more challenging. 

The chase is what led me to Mothman and Indrid Cold – my favorite cryptid/s (some debate as to whether or not they are the same entity). Their story and dynamic terrified me as a kid and got me interested in cryptids because they seemed utterly separated from the world and yet still able to influence it. It didn’t seem “right” and my younger brain recoiled from it. The only other feeling that has ever come close is the “mindless” type of horrors talked about in the Cthulhu mythos. 

(3) How did the idea of creating a card game about Cryptids come to your mind?

The idea came from frustration and a loss of faith in what originally drew me to both Pokemon and MTG.
In the case of Pokemon, the past 15 years or so have seemed devoid of any love or passion in the projects they take on. Even the original creator said he didn’t want or plan for anything beyond the second generation. You can always tell when art has lost its passion from the original creators. The secondary market/fanbase has also been hijacked by high-powered youtubers who are using their clout to drive up prices on nostalgic parts of the game (that they then sell). I find this practice to be toxic and I want nothing to do with it. 
In the case of MTG, they actually have economists working for them to help them price their products based on what they think they will go for on the secondary market. I understand they are a company, but when you start treating your game like a commodity, you forget your roots and the fans/players that you’re supposed to be targeting with your products. 
So I wanted to create a game that had the passion and creature-focused feeling of the original Pokemon sets, but the powerful gameplay and devoted community of players that MTG has developed. Cryptids were the focus of this effort not only because of my own passion for them, but the immense and untapped community of passionate individuals that I know it will appeal to. 

(4) What is the story behind the name of your upcoming card game? How was it given the name- MetaZoo?  

The game name went through many iterations (4th Wall, Magicast, FantaZoo, the Veil) and none of them felt right. Breaking the 4th wall is the core mechanic of MetaZoo, so we wanted a part of the name to celebrate this. The “meta” in any game is usually something that actually impacts the game in the same way our 4th wall breaking mechanic does – so it was a natural fit. 

(5) What is your target audience for the Meta Zoo card game? Is this only for teenagers, or fun for all ages?

The target audience is anyone over the age of 9 years old! There are some graphic/scary images that are used, but we have faith in the fact that anyone over 9 can deal with these scarier cards!

(6) Many people don’t like confusing rules,and complicated card games. Do you think that your card game is easier than many other non-horror and even horror card games? Would you like to share the basic rules of the card game as a summary for the readers? 

The learning curve for a new game can make or break it – for this reason we modeled the gameplay very closely to the typical rules of Pokemon/MTG/Yugioh. 
You have a deck (which we call a Spellbook) that you draw 7 cards from. You then use these cards (composed of cryptids, spells, artifacts, and potions) to reduce the life of your opponent down to 0. The player (which we call a Caster) that knocks out all of their opponents wins the game! 

(7) Breaking the 4th wall element of the rule about real life weather & time of the day affecting the game is very unique, innovative and never used before. How did you get the idea about such a unique rule? Do you think it will make people with particular card decks make the other player play at their preferred time? Like for example, a player with many Wendigo cards in the deck would get advantage when playing after the sunset. To counter such a scenario, are there any plans made to balance things out for all players? 

It always seemed odd to me that games like Pokemon and MTG, which rely on energy types that are derived from/represented by their surroundings, actually never used the players’ surroundings as a mechanic! Of course it makes sense that a Dark cryptid that comes out at night would be more powerful in a deck at Nighttime. Of course using a Water spell when it’s raining should do more damage! 
It doesn’t hurt that many people believe these cryptids are real creatures that live in our world – so of course the real world should spill into the game!
We see this 4th wall breaking affecting the “meta” in many ways. Like real generals preparing for war, maneuvering your opponents into the optimal environment to take advantage of your deck/to weaken their deck will be key. Maybe this means delaying a game until it’s dusk (“I got stuck in traffic!”) or insisting that you play outside because it’s stuffy inside (“Oh, my deck just happens to be more powerful when we are next to trees! What a coincidence!”). 
I also see people very quickly building decks to match their surroundings. This is a whole new skill set that will set talented/clever players apart. 

We intend to run our competitions in this way as well. The exact location/time of many competitions will only be released as close to the actual date as possible. Imagine the scramble to build decks to fits the specifics of the competition! I’m incredibly excited for this competitive dynamic.

(8) Besides the 4th wall rule, and Cryptids, what makes the MetaZoo TCG brand unique, and different from other card games featuring monsters, demons, or even cryptid-like creatures?

We have a type of card called “Terra” which trigger 4th wall effects without them actually being present in the players’ surroundings. There are only 6 of these slots available in the Arena, and once the 7th is placed it replaces the first slot, and so on. In this way, it’s completely possible to play a Frost deck in the middle of the summer while living in Arizona, for example. 
We have 300+ USA based cryptids for you to chase – we really wanted to make sure everyone’s favorites are in the game (unfortunately we can’t have ALL of them). But this is a really unique part of the game as well – everyone already has a favorite cryptid that might even be meaningful to them or the town they are from, and so the “chase” cards of this set are really going to be individually driven – it’s almost like MetaZoo already has a baked in fanbase!. 

(9) From the official MetaZoo website (  https://metazoogames.com/ ), we know that Cryptid Zoo is going to be a set of cards under the MetaZoo brand which focuses on the cryptids from the USA only. What are the plans for the future sets of cards? Would you consider some international legends like Loch Ness Monster, and perhaps, movie creatures like Godzilla too, in future?

Of course! The second set will be focused on Yokai, the third set will likely be called Cryptid World because it will focus on cryptids from around the world. We have roughly 10 sets planned as of right now, all centered around our 4th wall mechanic and creatures/cryptids/all things spiritual and spooky.

(10) Finally, what would you like to tell the readers about your Kickstarter campaign, and why horror fans, especially, fans of the cryptids, should consider supporting the campaign? What is your roadmap for the Kickstarter campaign, considering the current outbreak situation?

A trading card game that focuses on cryptids has been a long time coming. The community that’s passionate for all things spiritual, horror, and cryptid related is huge and bursting from the seams with creativity. Much of the art generated by this passionate community is what inspired a lot of the game’s look. The passion I’ve seen in discussions concerning cryptids on Pinterest, Deviantart, and even the forums of cryptid wikis has also been a huge source of inspiration. 
Support the game because we know this will be a rallying cry for a community that’s passionate but for many reasons still remains on the fringe. Let’s come together and celebrate this amazing culture that we all love by playing MetaZoo! Let’s bring amazing creatures like the Mothman and Slide-Rock Bolter to the spotlight! 
The Kickstarter launches on July 30th and will run for a month! You can subscribe to be notified here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/metazoogames/metazoo-cryptid-nation-a-tcg-where-your-surroundings-matter
During the Kickstarter you can get all sorts of Cryptid Nation products like discounted Booster Boxes, Blister Packs, Regional Theme Decks, and even Kickstarter exclusive holographic promo cards!
We understand that things will be harder with the outbreak, but with our expected delivery date of December 2020, we have faith that people will be partially back to playing at their local game stores and with friends in their homes! We think a game like MetaZoo will help make this transition easier and more fun, even if just a little. 

With that conclusion, we would like to thank Mr. Michael Waddell for taking the time to share the details with us, and the readers about the Kickstarter campaign of a very unique Cryptids Trading Card Game, MetaZoo Cryptids Nation. We wish the campaign a huge success, and implore the readers to take a look at the Kickstarter page!

Sample cards:

Information from the Official Website:

Magic is real… real magic is everywhere!
I would say welcome to the world of MetaZoo, but MetaZoo is our world! Magic was hidden away behind a Great Veil put in place by mysterious characters over 1000 years ago. This is why magic and the work of miracles disappeared from our collective folklores and became the subject of myths and legends.
However… the Great Veil has now fallen under even more mysterious circumstances…and now the Beasties, Spells, and Artifacts that exist in our world but were once hidden are now yours to control!

MetaZoo™ is a Collectible Card Game with groundbreaking mechanics that break the 4th Wall. Choose where you play wisely, because your surroundings dictate how powerful your cards are! Cast Water Spells when it’s raining to increase their effectiveness and partner Dark Beasties during nighttime to augment their power. It’s not enough to build a powerful deck anymore, you might choose your Arena!

Cryptid Zoo© is our first set, and it’s just the beginning. It takes place in the USA and focuses primarily on Cryptids and powerful artifacts of Americana. Partner with Bigfoot and Mothman and take a trek on U.S. Route 66 to fight against Indrid Cold and his diabolical entourage!

Please Click Here to Visit the Kickstarter Campaign Today to Know More & Support Before the Campaign Ends on Sunday, August 30 2020 4:00 PM UTC +04:00.

Official Website

Official Twitter of MetaZoo Games

Information about pledges:

  1. Pledge $2 or more: Sealed Holographic Promo Card- A sealed holographic promo card with a gold foil stamp that is exclusive to Kickstarter. Shipping is not included in this price. See the “Shipping” section for details.
    Limited (500 left of 500)
  2. Pledge $5 or more: Blister Pack- Each sealed Blister pack contains 1 First Edition MetaZoo: Cryptid Nation Booster Pack, a holographic promo card, and a limited edition metallic coin. Shipping is not included in this price. See the “Shipping” section for details.

    Limited (1000 left of 1000)
  3. Pledge $5 or more: Business/Local Game Store Partnership- Are you a registered local game store (LGS) or any other business in the United States? If so, then this reward is for you! This pledge grants you access to free items, special promotional packages, and bulk pricing not available to the rest of the community. This is the beginning of a magical business relationship, and we are going to do wonderful things together. 
    All Brick and Mortar stores will receive a FREE media box containing a case of booster boxes (6), 20 blister packs, 5 theme deck boxes, 10 Master Spellbooks, and 20 Kickstarter Exclusive holographic promotional cards!

    Start by pledging and then emailing us  to verify that you are a legitimate business.

    THIS PLEDGE IS ONLY FOR BRICK AND MORTAR RETAIL STORES. This is a deposit which gives you access to a separate pledge manager with reduced prices that will be open for longer. See the “Retailers” section for details. If you pledge this tier and we are unable to verify you as a retailer, the deposit will not be refunded.

    Limited (500 left of 500)
  4. Pledge $15 or more Regional Themed Deck Box (Northeast)Choose from 5 different regional Themed Decks (Northeast, Southest, Southwest, Midwest, West) to get a headstart on your deckbuilding. Each Theme Deck comes with a limited edition metallic coin, a sealed holographic promo card, counters, dice, and a 60 card deck with 3 holographic cards! Shipping is not included in this price. See the “Shipping” section for details.
    Limited (200 left of 200)
  5. Pledge $15 or more Themed Deck Box (Southeast)
    Limited (200 left of 200)
  6. Pledge $15 or more Themed Deck Box (Southwest)Limited (200 left of 200)
  7. Pledge $15 or more Themed Deck Box (West)Limited (200 left of 200)
  8. Pledge $15 or more Themed Deck Box (Midwest)Limited (200 left of 200)
  9. Pledge $25 or more Master Spellbook BoxThe Master Spellbook Box contains 10 Booster packs, a holographic promo card, an Arena playmat, a limited edition metallic coin, a map of the Cryptid Nation, 60 protective sleeves, dice, and counters. Shipping is not included in this price. See the “Shipping” section for details.

    Limited (1000 left of 1000)
  10. Pledge $55 or more: Themed Deck Box (USA TOUR)All 5 different Themed Decks (Dark, Fire, Forest, Light/Frost, Cosmic/Earth) to get a headstart on your deckbuilding. Each Theme Deck comes with a limited edition metallic coin, a sealed holographic promo card, counters, dice, and a 60 card deck with 3 holographic cards! Shipping is not included in this price. See the “Shipping” section for details.

    Limited (50 left of 50)
  11. Pledge $60 or more MetaZoo Cryptid Nation Booster BoxGet a sealed First Edition MetaZoo Cryptid Nation Booster Box with 36 Booster Packs. Each Booster Pack has either a guaranteed holographic card or a gold stamped card. Each Booster Box comes with a Cryptid Nation map insert. Shipping is not included in this price. See the “Shipping” section for details.
    Limited (2000 left of 2000)
  12. Pledge $150 or more The Full Package!1 Booster Box 1 Spellbook 1 Complete Regional Theme Deck Case 3 Blister Packs (all 3 arts)
    Limited (1000 left of 1000)
  13. Pledge $300 or more Booster Box Case (6)Save with this bulk option – each case comes with 6 First Edition MetaZoo Cryptid Nation Booster Boxes shipped directly to your doorstep! Shipping is not included in this price. See the “Shipping” section for details.

    Limited (415 left of 415)

All pledges subject to change. Please check the Kickstarter Page to know the latest info!!

Our Post about the launch: MetaZoo: Cryptid Nation – The Cryptid Trading Card Game Launched on Kickstarter Crowd Funding Platform! [Rewards Available till August 30th, 2020]

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