Behind The Mask: Alan Hawkins

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Hello Alan, thank you for joining me today. You definitely have a lot of experience making characters for this awesome game that we play, so it’s a pleasure having you on to talk about a few of those characters. Today we’ll be talking about Lunatic Ginge and Monster Asylum, the first of which being your most known character in the community. Please tell me, how did you come up with the character Lunatic Ginge?

Alan: Thank you for having me. At the time, I was actually wrestling on a YouTube show called GTS wrestling. The Lunatic Ginge was the gimmick I was using on that show at the time. So I took what I was doing as that character and tried to put it in card form.

How did you decide on the stats for your character? Technique is still the least used 10 in the game, so that has to be nice if you’re planning to run a Single Leg Crab in the deck.

Alan: Well, I feel that when you see the technique stat, it is to convey that characters skills in a technical sense. Like if Bret Hart was in the game, I feel his stat line would be Technique: 10 Grapple: 9 Submission: 8.

What about the gimmick for the character, how did you come up with that? It can be quite strong to keep you in a match as long as you don’t roll your botch. Was there any other versions of the gimmick that was come up with before this one was finally settled on?

Alan: Ok, so as I stated earlier,  I wanted to take what I was doing as the character and do my best to put it in the game. I have over 20 years wrestling experience and when I was on GTS they were no rules, hardcore wrestling. I’ve always contended to them, you can do with me what you want but you may not like what happens back. So there was this match I had that I think was pulled by YouTube where I had like 3 guys hit me with their finishes before I grabbed one and just started supposing him repeatedly. One guy hit me with a chair, I just looked at him, one hit me with a stunner and I no sold it, then one guy hit me with a superkick. When he hit me with a superkick I grabbed him and German suplexed him, then another got hit with a bossman slam and the last guy, I grabbed him and did a pump handle Suplex to him that I basically threw him as hard as I could and he did like a bowling ball/bowling pen effect with them. So I was thinking “hmmm how would no selling work in this game?” So originally what I wanted was “if you would get hit with a strike or grapple finish, discard a suplex card and get +4 to your breakout rolls.” But installing with Steve and play testing, it was decided, that it should be “if you would get hit with a strike or grapple finish, discard 2 cards, if one is a Suplex, you get +4 to your first breakout roll.” Then when the card was printed first, the stat line was messed up. And that one had a gimmick of “When your opponent hits a strike or grapple finish: You may discard 2 cards from your hand. If either of those cards had ‘suplex’ in the name, your first breakout roll is +4.” And when I pointed out that the stats were wrong, the corrected stat line card had “When your opponent hits a strike or grapple finish you may discard 3 cards and add +3 to your 1st breakout roll. If you discarded a card with Suplex in the name, add +4 instead.”

What about the finishes. How did you come up with the names for each finish, along with the images you chose?

Alan: So the Lunatic Ginge is a crazed truck driver gimmick. So I would talk with Grim about my finishes, which I was using a clothesline from hell, the iron claw, and it varied with a powerbomb and various suplexes along with a bossman slam. So if you know anything about trucks, the air line is what connects to the trailer from the truck that gives it the ability to move and stop. If the airline blows, it’s like a rubber hose that flaps wildly and can cause major injuries.  So that’s what we started calling my clothesline from hell. The iron claw is basically how I hold the gear shifter as I run through my gears and some times you have to force the transmission into gear which looks like a ironclaw/chokeslam style move. The wild ride is a generic name for getting thrown around “they really went for a wild ride tonight folks”.

Each finish has an interesting mechanic that goes with it, what was the thought process when coming up with what they do?

Alan: Well, this game has an interesting mechanic in “bury”. So if you are able to, bury a card you want to draw then use wild airline to get the “stacked” card and bury something you don’t need. Forced into gear was because I had played in my first worlds making top 16 at gen con 50 and someone hit me with the masked llama strike finish and I wanted to be able to not have to deal with it any more. And I felt for wild ride that if I’ve been suplexing you all match, it should be easier to win, right?

Is there any staple cards that you’d always put into a Lunatic Ginge deck? Is there a certain way that people should attempt to play the deck?

Alan: DRAW AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!!! In my deck there is so much draw. I like options and in TCG’s I’ve always been a control player. So it’s best to play Ginge as a control deck. Lots of stops, lots of draws.

Thanks for the insight on Lunatic Ginge, now let’s move onto one of the very few printed tag teams in the game, Monster Asylum. How did you come up with the idea for the tag team?

Alan: Well again from GTS and SWF wrestling, in the Jersey area, they are an actual tag team there. Giant Leather and Sprinkles the clown, with their manager, Dr.K. good guys, a little bit murderous, but good guys.

The team definitely looks like quite the powerhouse from the art, so it’s no surprise that you chose to make them a power based team. What was your thought process when coming up with the other stats for the team?

Alan: Well knowing them and being involved with their matches, you got a guy that is 6’8, and one that is 6’4. Big meaty guys. They wont be as agile as Flip Gordon or Ricochet. But they are 2 strong guys. They beat you into submission and then beat you a little more. So their power had to be the big number, then their strike, then grapple, then submission, agility, then technique… I’m guessing it doesn’t take much technique to beat people to a pulp.

The gimmick for the tag team can be incredibly strong, especially late game. How did you come up with it?

Alan: So the guys are freaking huge…so yuge, like the best yuge….and are extremely intimidating. So when you have someone small like the Young Bucks, or Ariel Lipstick and Night Terror, they will be intimidated. Plus, you basically have Pennywise from IT and Leather Face from Texas Chainsaw Massacre…there really isn’t much, physically that you can do to them. So they would no sell a lot. But if you are able to out think them you are able to beat them. And that’s what I wanted to do in card form.

Let’s move onto the finishes, how’d you come up with the names and images used for them?

Alan: The images were from their matches in GTS and SWF. I got their permission to use them and their likenesses. It’s good to have friends in the business!

How’d you come up with the text used for the finishers in the set?

Alan: Well, I thought horror movies, and thought about how to translate that into the card game. Like the straight jacket, is basically the monster under your bed themed.

Is there any certain cards that you would always pack into a Monster Asylum deck? Any special deck tech you’d like to share if someone wanted to play the tag team?

Alan: The cards that allow you to discard cards they have in play. Make them play your game.

How was it working with the boss during the creation of your characters in general?

Alan: I love bouncing ideas off Steve. If he has questions about cards that I’ve created or how I think something should work, I don’t mind talking my thoughts about it over with him. And I try to balance the characters I send his way enough so that there isn’t much that needs to be done as far as mechanics go.

Do you feel that whatever you paid for the characters was well worth it?

Alan: Yes and no. Don’t get me wrong, the price is a steal for what you are getting. I mean you are getting immortalized in a game, and it’s great having people come up asking for your autograph on the cards you’ve created. But sometimes the process is kinda irritating. Like the play testers to me, have been the biggest obstacle in trying to portray a gimmick or idea in card form.

Do you have any advice for others who would like to create a character for the game?

Alan: Yes… STOP WITH ALL THE BURY GIMMICKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We get it, you only like to fishbowl the game.

Would you be willing to come back to talk about a couple of your other characters in the future?

Alan: Of course. I have one coming out at GenCon52 that this game DESPERATELY needs. Got one that we are waiting on all the other things for like ideas for the artwork and all, got 2 I want to do so bad, and 2 that are already out (one is last years Competitor of the Year).

Is there anything else you’d like to talk about or show off before the end of the interview?

Alan: Sure is, so the competitor I have coming out at GenCon, it is a game changer, and I wont let the gimmick be spoiled (mainly because of the diversity rule), but I can spoil the moves for your audience! So many people don’t know but I am actually an ordained minister, so I have a new gimmick for wrestling, Reverend Robert Torn. He has no masters above him except for the Trinity. His sole purpose is to spread the word of the #Trinity by reciting the verses of the #GoodBook. So his strike finish is aptly named: The Good Book, 3 Kings ed.

Alan: Very simple but very effective, and one of the first verses of the Good Book of major significance is in the book of Newman: Scriptures of the Trinity, Newman 3:16.

Alan: Kinda gives you the ability if they kick out to not basically start from the ground up again. Now one of my favorite verses comes from the Book of Torn. The Hand of the Trinity, Torn 4:69.