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Con Man the Game: A Geeky Conversation with Alan Tudyk and Felicia Day

And, yes, I also asked about Rogue One.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to run your own convention? I would imagine it’s not as crazy as defending your celebrity booths from aliens, which is what happens in Con Man: The Game, based off the Con Man series starring Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk. Players have the opportunity to manage their own geeky conventions, and the goal is to keep congoers happy by squashing cockroaches, using security (in this case, Kevin Smith) to chase off octogenarian streakers, and battling aliens from the show Spectrum, a fictional show within Con Man the series. While crowdfunding the show, fans also raised enough funds to fuel other projects, including the game.

Just before their release party extravaganza at this year’s Dragon Con in Atlanta, I got to chat with Tudyk and Felicia Day about how the game came to be, and what goodies people can expect while playing.

***

Were you always looking to do this game?

ALAN: We had hoped one day to make a game. We had time to sort of daydream, and when we crowdfunded last year, we raised the money for the series so fast that it kept funding these other dream projects that were attached to Con Man. So comic books, graphic novels, a novel, and the game was the final one.

What’s your role in the game?

FELICIA: I was involved in coming in and giving them a behind the scenes perspective for several months on the game. It was really fun to have input, because I’d never been able to do that before. It’s a real treat to pull back the curtain a little bit. The way the game has evolved is phenomenal.

Are there any easter eggs?

FELICIA: There are so many things that are funny in there. I think they’re mostly Alan’s creativity. Like there’s a streaker in there, Nudie Judie…this really old woman that has a walker. And you have to send Kevin Smith to be a security guard. It’s very funny. It helps that there are real gamers behind the game.

ALAN: We were testing it in Australia for a month and so we were able to get the players’ feedback…adding to it, making it better. There are a lot of little references to people who are fans of the sci-fi world and possibly Firefly. Joss Whedon is our custodian…There’s a lot of references to movies I’ve been in.

What are some interesting things that have happened to you at cons?

FELICIA: I love conventions. I love meeting people who appreciate my work. And I love meeting more interesting people than me. I’ve met astronauts and…all sorts of people so that’s a treat. I’ve never seen an actual streaker at a convention, although I’ve seen costumes close to streaking. And I’ve never seen anyone puke at a convention, which is in the Con Man game. I’ve never seen headline invade but that’s my favorite part of the game. But it’s really creepy and gross.

If you could throw your own convention, who would you want as your guests?

ALAN: I would make, obviously, mine about Con Man. Make that the centerpiece and then invite all of my fellow cast members from any and all sci-fi projects I’ve been in. They’ll all come. So I’m gonna have Will Smith there from I, Robot, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter folks. It would be very self-centered. It will be the Con Man Con.

There’s about to be a collection for within the game. Con Man’s going to have a manager’s room where you can collect different things you get at the con. There’s a plushie from one of the aliens in the show Spectrum, which is the sci-fi show within Con Man (the series). So there’s a plushie of a character from a show within a show and you can get this plushie in the game spun off of the show. The plushie is of the show within a show, the game of the show. You’ll be able to find the plushie soon at cons at a booth  about the show that the game is off of. (Editor’s note: Did you get all that? So meta. Also, he ended this with a huge sigh of relief.)

What games are you into right now?

FELICIA: I’m playing Stone Age, it’s basically on my iPad because I love board games and I’m by myself a lot. And Con Man because I love popping those headlice bugs…I just finished Tomb Raider, very late. And Divine Divinity II, which is one of my favorite games.

Felicia also has a podcast called Vaginal Fantasy. Who came up with that awesome name?

FELICIA: It’s four and a half years now, it’s kinda under the radar. I do it because I like it. I picked [the name] because I was shelving my Goodreads books, and I had to put romance books somewhere on there, and I was kind of ashamed at reading them. So I just took my romance bookshelf and I called it Vaginal Fantasy. When Google Hangouts started, they offered me to be one of the first to use the technology, and I was like “What can I talk about that I already do?” and I was like “Well, [I should] talk about romance books with my friends.” And it’s usually genre romance. We discuss it once a month and drink alcohol. It’s only on YouTube. We kinda get dirty. (laughing) We’re reading the literature we want to read, okay?

What book are you tackling next?

FELICIA: We’re reading Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare.

Alan, you’ve got Powerless on NBC and Rogue One coming up. Can you talk about your roles in both?

ALAN: In Powerless, I play the boss. It’s the people who live in the city who are just trying to live their daily lives. But if someone takes over the city, like Jack O’Lantern blows up all the bridges and knocks out the power, the people who are in the city are like now they have to live their lives by candle light. And we’re an insurance company that takes care of people who have problems, like things falling on them. I’m the villain of the office. We’re doing it for some time next year.

Rogue One, it’s a little movie about…wars and space. Space Wars. I play a droid. [K-2SO who, per Entertainment Weekly, is “the antithesis of C-3PO” and “is a little bit like Chewbacca’s personality in a droid’s body.”]

For the average user, who has never been to a con, what would they get out of this wonderfully funny app?

FELICIA: It’s kind of a world building game. I would say it’s similar to Fallout Shelter. You’re maintaining the happiness of all the people who are coming to the convention. It has a lot of layers, but it’s definitely friendly enough for someone who isn’t a gamer, and it has a lot of depth to it (for hardcore gamers). It’s a really well-executed mobile game that is physically a really good game.

ALAN:  There’s also aliens. So there’s a battle element to it.

FELICIA: There are little touches all the way through that will make you laugh, so it’s definitely a comedic game.

***

The game is currently available for free download on Google Play and Apple iTunes. You can also subscribe to their YouTube channel, which features tips and easter eggs from Nathan, Alan and Felicia.

(image via screencap)

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