Behind The Mask: Doug Saunders

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Hello Doug, it’s a pleasure getting to interview you, and I’d like to thank you for joining me today. You’re a very active person in the community, not only with how often you play people online, but also the character you portray. Congrats on the character being a part of this year’s Kickstarter campaign by the way.

Doug: Thank you.

Please tell me, how did you come up with Eddy Fury, not only the competitor for the game, but also the character in general?

Doug: Eddy Fury was a character I’ve used in video games for decades.  Generally red/black colors, Alice Cooper-ish face paint, and the most extreme mullet the video game would allow. The Mr. Las Vegas and street fighter stuff actually was added more ad-hoc when we put him into SRG, partly due to a friend using a king of fighters Ken ripoff as the base for a quick mock up art. It’s easy to get a cheap ken costume to promo in. I play him up as the heel as much as I can, being a cartoon character and separating the FB accounts lets me do a lot more over-the-top actions and statements without getting misinterpreted as being serious.  Eddy is 100% self gratifying troll.

What was your mindset when you came up with the stats for your character. The fact that the numbers count up from Power down to Grapple isn’t simply a coincidence is it?

Doug: The numbers running 5-10 straight down was a coincidence, but the stat distribution was not. I wanted to separate the 5-7 and 8-10 evenly between the stat “pairs” the game tends to use (Strike/Agility, Power/Grapple, Technique/Submission), and I wanted to use some of the more specialized/less common 8+ skill cards.

What made you want to use the gimmick that you chose for Eddy Fury? It is definitely a very strong gimmick during the late game!

Doug: Originally I had a recursion gimmick in mind, but wanted to do something with the crowd meter and it fit better with a stats gimmick. It went through a few changes to fit into the game (thanks Grimm). The gimmick is brutal late game and with stipulations that push the crowd meter, but is weak early and struggles with other stipulation matches. The incremental boosts also make games quite interesting…nobody else plays like Eddy Fury in the game.

Eddy’s finishes are all pretty strong in their own way. Something like the “Cash Out” doesn’t come to mind as a finish that is in anyone else’s kit. How did you come up with your finish names and the effects involved. Also how did you come up with the images used for each of the finishes?

Doug: The finishes work together as a set. They were named with the Vegas theme corresponding to what they do.

“Cash Out” is the most unique (though Combat Chris now has a weaker but less costly to use version). It’s meant to cover me early game when I don’t have any stat bonuses to avoid early finishers, and late game when I have the turn roll advantage but any finisher can be a kill shot.  
“Fist of Fury” compliments “Cash Out” with it’s recursion, since “Cash Out” is rarely used offensively. It also feeds into Eddy being a beast late game when I have few, to no cards in the deck and it gets shuffled in when stopped and can be potentially chained turn after turn.
“Wild Card” is the hammer, the really dangerous finisher, and it’s unpredictable effects. It’s the first card to copy another card in play (Random Guy copies a card in discard). Which at times is minor but very flexible…

What was it like working with The Boss during the creation of the competitor? Was there anything he made you change, or gave you ideas for?

Doug: The process was great. All 3 finishers and the gimmick went through multiple versions to get the mix right without being too crazy powerful or being made ineffectual. My advice for people is focus on the feel of the effects you want less than the power scale. Steve is very good at keeping it balanced power wise.

Did you purchase your character, or was it something that SRG decided to make on their own? If you did purchase it, do you think it was a worthwhile investment?

Doug: I bought it awhile back when the cost was less than now. I felt it was worth it, but it all depends on budget and how you play and interact with the community. You can be a character without a character pack easily enough. If you have the budget for it, it’s a very fun and rewarding experience to be made into the game, and see what other players do with the character and react to it.

Would you be willing to offer some advice when it comes to building a deck for Eddy Fury from your own experiences with the character?

Doug: His gimmick is stand-alone enough if you have a preferred deck style in general it will mostly work with him. He is fun playing aggro with the knockdown cards, and “School Boy” is an almost auto-include for him. “School Boy” gives you some card draws (to get “Cash Out” asap in hand) and you play it early not expecting to finish (though you can now and then) but it’s a quick way to pump the crowd meter up. Hitting “School Boy” early is a no-win for the opponent. Recursion cards for “School Boy” and “Cash Out” help a lot. Stat or turn bonuses stack well with the gimmick also.

Do you have any advice for anyone who may decide to create a competitor in the future?

Doug: Have a strong sense of what you want to play, both in-game mechanically and personality wise. Especially now with so many characters (especially player created characters) you want either (or both) to make a character you will absolutely play as your main deck, or that will stand out in the crowd and appeal to the general community as someone they would want to play as.

With you being one of the most recognizable personalities in the SRG community, what advice do you have for others who’d like to become more of a personality themselves?

Doug: Practice the promos. Get the theme and mannerisms of the character down some before pushing it out into the wild. Especially if you are looking at playing someone that isn’t you in kay-fabe. Don’t take the character too serious and separate competition with character. We all want to win a belt or C-A-C some day as players, but the fun of a personality driven character is that you can make someone’s day when you lose and lose well (sell, play the fool in the loss ect). Be as happy playing your role whether your booked like Ric Flair or Disco Inferno.

Is there anything in the future pipeline for you when it comes to this game? Any more competitors you’d like to create? Anything else you’d like to accomplish in the SRG Universe?

Doug: My main focus is getting a bigger play group here in Vegas and trying to be a west coast hub, should we get groups in California, Arizona, or Utah down the road. I can make a big event or two a year but I’ll mostly be online and local. I may make Oldy Blanderson down the line, or an alternate Eddy Fury with a recursion gimmick, but it depends on my budget…nothing for awhile at least.

If there is anything you’d like to advertise, or put out there to the community, please do so. The floor is yours sir!

Doug: Atomic Trading here in Vegas is our home for SRG, we play Wednesday nights mostly. We will be running prize events real soon, and hopefully something down the line to promote more broadly to attract a traveler or two :). Vegas Invaders are finally making their debut in the greater SRG universe this Gencon!