Interview with Emil Larson, creator of Burning Suns

Burning Suns is a galactic spanning empire building game currently raising funds on Kickstarter. I had the chance to chat with the game’s creator Emil Larson about the game and its future.

I've only got enough money to back one Kickstarter project this month, so what is Burning Suns and why should I give you my money?

Because Burning Suns is a great gaming experience, both on and off the board. We have a lot of good stuff waiting to become part of the universe, and the game will provide you with enough replayability to fill your calender the next few years ;)

Furthermore, you can get involved in adding to this universe, polishing the game, and take part in a lot of the discussions and decisions for the game. Not something you see on your everyday Kickstarter!

Looking on the photos there's a hell of a lot of counters, tokens, boards, and little plastic dice holders that look like spaceships, frankly there's stuff everywhere, just how complicated is Burning Suns?

It's not that complicated (though the prototype by nature looks more complicated). Burning Suns has a lot going on, since it's a whole universe with lots of tactical decisions to be had, but once you've played through a couple of rounds, things start to fall into place. It's a top priority that the mechanics and theme emphasize each other, making it easier to grasp.  

There are already a few science fiction empire building board game out on the market, with Eclipse and Twilight Imperium being the first two that spring to mind, what sets Burning Suns apart from these other games?

Everyone that has played these two games, will tell you (as they have told me) that Burning Suns is a very different beast. I've taken elements from the two games and refined them, but there are so many new aspects like empire creation, galaxy layout, action phases and units that will let Burning Suns stand out by itself.

This isn't Burning Suns' first attempt on Kickstarter with the first project falling short of the funding goal. What did you learn from the first project and why should we invest in Burning Suns the second time round?

What makes the Kickstarter worth your while this time around, besides it being fully funded of course, is the many new and upgraded components we've added. And the huge amount of backer involvement. 

You've opened up some of the development of the game to the community with testing for tournament play and the writing of background stories for the Burning Suns universe. What made you want to open up your setting to the public and aren't you afraid that people will do something you don't like with your universe?

The reason I did this is because I can't continue to be a 1-man-army doing all this, I need bright minds to create cool content for the game, and make the game thrive in a very competitive market. I'm not the slightest afraid that people will damage the concept, because we'll be working together. Decisions will be made based on feedback and constructive thinking, how can Burning Suns become more than just a flash in a pan? :)

Last of all, if you could be any alien race from any science fiction property, which would you be and why?

I'd want to be a Mandalorian I think. I like their involvement in the galactic struggle of the expanded universe of Starwars, cool nomadic warrior clan. 

A big thank you to Emil for taking the time out to answer our questions. Burning Suns still has a few days left on the Kickstarter project if you want to get involved.

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