Hail to the Chief! An interview with Pixel Lincoln and Jason Tagmire

It is with great pleasure, and an extreme sense of patriotic pride, that we bring you this week's interview, with not only Jason Tagmire, designer of the Kickstarter smash hit "Pixel Lincoln," but today he's brought along his close personal friend the pixelated President himself, Pixel Lincoln!

Jason, Mr. President, thanks for taking a few minutes to answer some questions for us today. Jason, could you explain a little bit about how you approached the President about creating a card game based on his adventurous life?

JT: I didn’t at first. I saw his shiny face on a penny and decided to use it as a token in a prototype. Eventually that penny became the main character, and I had no other choice. I made a few phone calls, pulled a few strings, and the rest is history.

Mr. President, tell us about your first meeting with Jason.

PL: He came into my office with a prototype of his game, Pixel Lincoln. Now, this was not the deckbuilding game that we all know about. This was a terrible little card game where you roll a die and move a penny around the cards. I told him to give it another shot and we would talk about it.

Jason, so Pixel Lincoln is a deck-building, side-scrolling card game; how does that work? And what’s different about this deck-builder than the others out there?

JT: It’s deck-building in that all players start out with the same basic cards in their deck, and throughout the game the players will obtain new cards, making a better and better deck.

It’s side-scrolling in that you have a meeple that moves throughout the cards that are available, simulating a side-scrolling video game.

And it’s different in that it takes a very different approach to the style of game, and will probably be compared to Megaman before it’s compared to a game like Dominion or Ascension. I designed it to first and foremost feel like a video game. The cards that are available for purchase are only available for a certain amount of time before the screen scrolls, or they are purchased/defeated by other players. There are checkpoints and boss battles that come in after so much time passes. Players can switch between levels for a different experience, with completely different cards available.

Mr. President, can I call you Link? Nevermind... Did you sign off on the game, and if so, how historically accurate did you find the game play experience?

PL: The game is 100% accurate. This was the story of my life that I always wanted people to know, but the government is pretty good at covering things up. I signed off without hesitation, and I can’t wait for the truth to get out there.

Jason, you’ve been creating games for about 5 years now, which of your previous releases still holds a warm spot in your heart?

JT: Famous Missions. It’s a game where one player provides a mission (“Dismantle A Bomb”) and the other players choose their 3 best celebrities to complete that mission. Some celebrities may be helpful in these scenarios (Chuck Norris, Albert Einstein, Mr. T.) and others less so (Paris Hilton, Donald Trump, Carrot Top). After players choose their teams of three, they get to argue on their behalf, and the judging player chooses the best team for the job.

The game is always a good time, especially with a creative group. After a few years of self-publishing it, I listed it on Kickstarter in Sept 2011 and it failed miserably. There are a few reasons why, and I’ve learned so much since then, that it turned into a very positive experience for me. But as for Famous Missions, I’m not going to give up on it. It’s too much fun to forget about. Plus it was my second game with my good friend Lincoln in it.

Mr. President, do Mary and the boys know about the game? What do they think of your pixelated adventures? I bet the boys think it’s cool that you’re also going to be the star of a video game too!

PL: Shhhhhh. I haven’t told Mary yet. She is not a big fan of the video games. But the boys are very excited about it. Although you can’t get their hands off of Borderlands 2, they do love the classics. Battletoads is a big hit in our house. That level 3 is impossible!

Jason, speaking of the video game version: What format will it be available on? Am I going to have to break out my old NES system for it? (Because I will!)

JT: It was originally being developed for DS, which was as close to NES as we could get, but we’ve switched over to Steam. It will initially be PC and hopefully Mac will follow, because I do not have a PC and I want to play! If it’s successful, we can make the transition from Steam to PS3/Xbox 360 to 3DS.

This question is for both of you. What are your top 3 games right now?


Alien Frontiers Cosmic Encounter Battle Beyond Space

I guess I’m going through a space phase right now.

PL: Food Fight Junta: Viva El Presidente Chrononauts

Jason, outside of designing games what inspires you to “carpe diem”?

Definitely my family. My wife and I have a 4 year old daughter, and 2 year old twins, and they are all crazy. We’ll play and make games together, but more often we’ll just take off and see where we end up. It’s not unusual for us to drive 3 states away just to go to some silly little burger stand.

The next set of questions only requires a one word (or phrase) response!

Jason -

Favorite time travel movie? 12 Monkeys

Favorite snow creature: Wampa or Bumble? Wampa

Who wins in a fight: Iron Man or Hulk? HULK SMASH!

Best sandwich EVER? The Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh.

Favorite A-Team member? It’s hard to top Mr. T, but I do love B.A. Baracus.

Mr. President -

Favorite non-confederate state? New Jersey

Favorite Gilligan’s Island castaway? Thurston Howell III

Favorite vampire slayer? Simon Belmont

Favorite campaign slogan? Where’s The Beef?

Captain Kirk or Captain Picard? Captain Kirk

Thanks again for taking time to answer our questions! If you want to check out Pixel Lincoln the game you can visit their Web site right here! And while you're there you can pre-order your copy of Pixel Lincoln, which is due for release this year! Thanks again for reading!