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Tom Lischke:
The Force is Strong With This One

With the release of Jedi Knights a little more than one week old we sat down with Tom last Tuesday and asked him for his thoughts about the card game now that it was finally out in circulation. We here at the CCG Section would like to thanks Tom for his insights into this awesome new Star Wars game as well as Decipher for granting us this rare, but always grateful, oppurtunity to talk with one of their own.


TheForce.Net: What are you're initial thoughts now that Jedi Knights is finally out? From what you've heard and seen, are you pleased with how it is doing so far?
Tom Lischke: Yeah, I think so. It is nice to see the cards in people's hands, after all that we went through to get them there. It is interesting to see people's reactions to the artwork! We knew it was going to be a "love it" or "hate it" kind of thing, and that is really how it has turned out. I think that the work the artists did is really top notch for the technology though!

TF.N: Is there anything you wanted to change at the last minute (but couldn't) or is everything exactly how you wanted it?
TL: Motti, Motti, and, uh, oh yeah, Motti :) Wish our playtest for Scum and Villainy (where the imbalance was caught) would have happened just a little earlier :)

TF.N: Well, nothing can ever be perfect the first time it seems :-D What was the most difficult part of the whole process?
TL: Waiting. We really got into a hurry up an wait situation. Lucas Licensing was really great in working with us to get the product out, as we were sending much smaller batches of approvals than we usually do. They were pretty sensitive to the situation, which was great. With the technology being a relatively new experience for all involved, it was important to get things right, but do it as quickly as we could.

TF.N: I agree. Now let's switchgears a little and discuss another one of JEdi Knights' characteristics: the collecting aspect. Some collectors have asked me why there were no First Day versions of Gold and Silver foils? TL: We wanted achievable goals for collectors. Different collectors will target different facets of the program (be it silvers, golds, stereos, or First Day). We wanted to make sure that the top program was achievable. Silver/Gold First Days were discussed for a long time before we decided that it would be too exclusionary to the collector. I'm also a big fan of the fact that we were able to put two rares into some of the First Day packs, which Silver/Gold First Days would have precluded.

TF.N: That's cool. I'm not sure everyone realized that. How about the URL links that were originally supposed to be on the cards? What happened to those?
TL: You'd have to ask our Web Deptartment about that, but I think that as we became more focused on pushing through the Art barrier on this product, the URLs were a priority that fell away. I think we'll do some cool web stuff in future releases though.

TF.N: Okay, how about anotehr hot-button topic: Tournaments. How did you come up with the current tournament scoring system and what other ideas did you try (if any)?
TL: Hmmmm, we tried a few. When we were laying it out, we set a couple of priorities. We wanted to discourage ties. We wanted to encourage participation. We didn't want to encourage blow-out victories, as it tends to discourage new players. We also wanted the math to stay low and simple. The solution pretty much flowed from there, although I think we are going to be making a minor adjustment to the originally announced system.
(Red84's NOTE: There will be tournament foils for Jedi Knights just like Wars, YJ, and Trek. Check the JK card list to see which ones are available.)

TF.N: Will tournament software eventually be made for tournament directors?
TL: Yeah, it has been specked and the softheads are working on the new code now.
(Red84's NOTE: Recently Decipher's Tournament Cooridnator, Bruce Umene, informed us that the software will be released as a web-based program first and eventually a downloadable, stand-alone version will be made available.)

TF.N: Will the tournaments be completely seperate from the Jedi Knights Leagues or will they be intertwined in some way?
TL: Not really sure.

TF.N: I take as a good sign that with Jedi Knights: Premiere just being released, players are already asking about JK's next expansion, Scum and Villainy, How's it coming along?
TL: Outstanding. We just sent it to approvals this morning. Thus begins a long process, but it all went, so we should be in good shape to have this set out in a couple of months.

TF.N: Sweet! Can you tell us yet what themes will be included (other than Jabba)?
TL: I'll tell you that Jabba and Fett are the two Independent themes. There are two more in the set. Their function will differ in a couple of ways, especially as it pertains to all of the Independent characters in the game.

TF.N: Will any non-hero versions of Luke, Han, and Tarkin be released in S&V?
TL: Yep (although, not all of them).

TF.N: Will there be Leia and/or Obi-Wan theme(s) coming in the near future? Any other heroes who you definately know will have their own themes?
TL: Er, maybe :) Actually, we won't make you wait too long for the major characters as Themes. There are also a couple of Jedi/Sith Masters out there that are going to fall into that Hero category before the year is out.

TF.N: Oooooooo, mesa like ;-) How about new mechanics? Do you have a slate of any planned for subsequent expansions of Jedi Knights? Would this involve actual new card types or mainly reflected in card texts and interactions?
TL: There is a major new card type that is coming in Scum and Villiany. I think it'll be pretty cool, as it let us sort of redo one of the things that was never very satisfying to me in SWCCG, Jedi and Sith powers. These cards will function in some ways like Events, but be a lot more thematic than that.

TF.N: I think that many players will be happy to hear that the Jedi and the Force will have more of an exciting role in this game card-wise than Star Wars and even Young Jedi. Afterall, the card game is called Jedi Knights :-) Anyway, thanks a lot Tom for taking the time to chat with us here on the otehr side of the proverbial fence. I think I can speak for the Star Wars community when I say that I am excitied to see what you and Decipher will cook up next for us in this brand new game.
TL: Thanks Josh!


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