Monday, November 5, 2012

Adam Pankratz and his Super WOW Exciting Fun Time!!

The name of the company is Stunned Turtle. Saturday's Facebook invitation read like this:

For anyone in Duluth today: "If you're up in Duluth today, come say hello! I'll be doing a STUNNED TURTLE promo at Dungeon's End from about 11am-2pm and then at Rogue Robot Comics and Games from 330-5pm. Special appearances by Wally Mahnke Jr. and Patricia Mahnke!"

I was intrigued by the invitation because I myself created a few games when I was young. As a teen I created an NFL football card game which I played every morning before going to school. My mother encouraged me to submit my idea to Milton Bradley, but that's another story.

So on Saturday I decided to sneak in to Dungeon’s End, across the street from Beaners, and sneak a peek at what was up. It wasn’t my intent, but I ended up playing a round and imagined it could be a fun way for friends to pass the time. Afterwards I interviewed Adam Pankratz, the co-creator of the card game Super WOW Exciting Fun Time!!

EN: When did you first start creating games?
AP: I think it was about 15 years ago that I made a card game based on my favorite TV show. The reason I started STUNNED TURTLE this year was to hopefully be able to build up a reputation as a reliable game developer and get the license for that TV show and release that card game sometime within the next 5 years. Besides that, I've always had the creative itch. I've made short films, non-fiction books, clothing designs, poetry, screenplays, digital art, and a baby - my son and greatest creation!

EN: How did your game Super WOW Exciting Fun Time come about?

AP: My creative partner, Walter Mahnke, Jr., and I had been developing a few games together when he called me one night and explained his idea for the basis of Super WOW Exciting Fun Time with giddy excitement. We wanted our first card game release to be something that was simple to learn, fun to play, had mass appeal, and showcased our sense of humor. Super WOW fit that criteria perfectly!

EN: What kind of costs are involved in making a card game like this?
AP: Producing a simple card game like this requires three things. 1 - Money. 2 - Passion 3 - Time.

MONEY.  We wanted our first game to look cool! Artists like to get cash for their efforts so they can buy clothes and food and pay their rent and such, so we wanted to make sure we paid our artists so they wouldn't be running around naked and hungry.

PASSION. You truly need to dedicate yourself to your product. We wanted to make sure this game was replay-able and kept being fun even after the 40th or 50th game. It takes a certain level of passion to fine-tune a game throughout the play testing process.

TIME.  Many, many hours have been devoted to Super WOW Exciting Fun Time. I'm somewhat obsessive cumpulsive and I've found myself tweaking the game at all hours of the day in my head. It's almost become a second child for me in the amount of time I spend working on and analyzing it.

EN: Who did all the artwork on the cards?
AP: We've been blessed with an amazing group of artists. They are Michael Beachy, Brandie Hanson, Alisha Williams and Corey Kramer. They all have a varied backgrounds and live in Minnesota.

EN: Can you briefly summarize the rules and what Super WOW is about?
AP: Super WOW Exciting Fun Time is a fast paced card game based on the life and death of TV shows. Players take the role of a TV producer and try to earn the most rating points by playing episode cards on each show. Watch out for the shark, though! Once the shark is played, the show can only go downhill towards its inevitable cancellation. After three rounds, the player with the highest rating score wins! The other players feel shame.

EN: What kind of people are going to be most interested in Super WOW? Who is your target audience?
AP: Super WOW Exciting Fun Time is for the family or social gamer. People are encouraged to get together with loved ones and converse, laugh, and create memories while playing our game. The box will say the game is for 2-5 players who are 12+, however, if you can read and count, you're old enough to play our game.

EN: How does the kickstarter aspect of this work? Where do people go to help bring your vision to market?
Adam Pankratz and Patricia Mahnke. Patricia won, Adam and I lost.
AP: We chose to fund the production of our first game through "Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Every project creator sets their project's funding goal and deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers' credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short, no one is charged. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing."

STUNNED TURTLE's Kickstarter page can be found here at

EN: Where will Super WOW be available when people wish to purchase and play it?
AP: The game's production is dependent on a successful kickstarter campaign. As long as we raise our financial goal before November 18th, Super WOW Exciting Fun Time will go into full production with a slated release of March 2013. At that time, anyone will be able to go to and purchase the game. We've also had three gaming stores who have agreed to stock the game upon its release: Source Comics and Games in Saint Paul, Minn, Dungeon's End in Duluth, Minn., and Rogue Robot Comics and Games, also here in Duluth. We're hoping to add several more stores to this list within the next few months.

EdNote: The game concept for Super WOW evolved from the way television shows are produced, but does not require any knowledge of television trivia in order to play, so don't be intimidated if you're not a big TV watcher. The game is fun.


1 comment:

molly said...

Cool! I love these types of card games. I wish them well.