If you know us better than we know you, you score more points…
That’s the super-simple idea of Sussed, a conversation-starting game with over 600 positive amazon reviews.
To find out what makes the game so popular, we spoke with Luke Evans from Games to Get.
Luke… You’re young, you’re gorgeous, you’re incredibly polite, and you’re one of the people behind the enormously-popular game Sussed… It’s all a bit sickening, really. Can you explain the game in brief?
Your intro proves the point: we all know other people see us differently from the way we see ourselves! The Sussed card games challenge our perceptions of each other by finding out how well people really know us.
And that’s by asking quirky, multiple-choice questions… Can you give us an example?
Well… Since we’ve just celebrated Halloween, how about: The scariest creature I can think of comes from: A – My imagination. B – Fiction. C – The real world…
Great! And we’d guess the real world, say… It’s the simplest idea! You sell shedloads, though. What makes it popular do you think?
Sussed solves a problem. It’s increasingly easy to feel misunderstood given the crucial role technology plays in how we all communicate. The hope with Sussed is that – whether you win or not – you’ll know more about each other than when you started.
And how did it come about?
When he was my age, my dad was inventing games with my grandfather! He came up with it a while back, and when we decided to launch Sussed as a hobby-business years ago, it felt natural. My ambition is to run the company one day, but for now I’m letting dad take the lead while I make sure that every Sussed game meets the high standard we set ourselves.
And that’s your responsibility because you publish the game yourselves… What’s the upside of that? What’s the downside?
The upside is you don’t have to answer to anyone but your family. The downside is that you don’t have to answer to anyone but your family!
Ha! Very good. We should add ‘witty’ to your intro! As it stands, Sussed is mostly available on amazon… Why not license it? Or distribute to retailers?
As a launchpad, amazon has been great for establishing the Sussed brand. We find that selling online gives us greater control over how we present each of the products. Having proven the concept, though, we’re exploring all sorts of licensing opportunities.
There are lots of editions. Why so many?
We’re making games for a specific purpose. Recent reports suggest face-to-face conversation is just as important for staying healthy as eating, sleeping and exercising properly. With millions of conversations to be had, we want to be ahead of that market.
What’s the biggest challenge you face?
Marketing. We could so easily spend our way to an early grave by advertising; we’re now focussing on strategic partnerships where we can add real value. That’s why we’re so excited about teaming up with Time to Change – the MIND and Rethink Mental Illness mental-health campaign.
Oh, wow! The Ask Twice people?
That’s the one.
Okay… So they want us all to ask after people again if the first response is, “I’m fine” when you suspect they’re not fine… How’s that come about?
From the start, our policy has been to give 10% of our profits to charity. But having supported a number of different charities in the past, we decided we wanted to use some of our time and expertise as well. That’s why we’re working together to incorporate Sussed in their Time to Talk Day campaign, to encourage more people than ever to have a conversation about mental health.
That’s great. Great cause. It’s going to make the rest of these questions sound really trivial, but maybe we can add ‘deep’ to your intro too! So… If you were giving advice to someone who wants to self-publish a game, what would it be?
It would depend on why they’re doing it. Inventing games can be a fantastic hobby, but if you want to make money, eventually it becomes about how well you can run a business.
Smart answer! A couple of years ago you came to a Mojo Nation Design Challenge event. How was that? What happened with your ideas?
The experience of pitching to industry experts is invaluable: you learn very quickly just how much goes into making a game viable outside of it just being a good idea. Although our ideas didn’t synch on this occasion, I’m hopeful we can collaborate in the future.
And in terms of getting other ideas to market, have you any plans?
Before we really invest in other ideas, we’re focussed on taking Sussed global – starting with the launch of Sussed Arcade, a free mobile app, in 2020.
Interesting… You were considering Sussed Arcade as a physical entity at one point. It was looking expensive to produce, if memory serves. Is this app an adaption of that idea?
Yes it is, you’ve got a great memory! The app’s got countdown clocks, characters, a point-scoring system, and more. It’ll give our customers the chance to sample a whole range of Sussed games, and give us the ability to launch app-exclusives – including seasonal and sponsored packs. It’s the app that isn’t an app: it still has to be played face to face, but it’s yet another way of making your conversations an adventure!
Brilliant! Can’t wait! Finally, then, here’s a Sussed-like question… How are we most likely to wrap up this interview? A – By saying, “Luke Evans, thank you so much!” B – By giving you the last word… Or C – By treating you to the coffee?
Treating me to the coffee?
Luke Evans, thank you so much!
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