Interview with the Designer of Maximum Apocalypse, Michael Gnade

Michael Gnade, Creator of Maximum Apocalypse and Brass Empire
 I was able to track down the designer of Maximum Apocalypse and Brass Empire, Michael Gnade. Thankfully, he was able to take time out his busy schedule to respond to a couple questions about the upcoming campaign through email. The Kickstarter campaign for Maximum Apocalypse: Gothic Horrors launches on March 27th.

What is Maximum Apocalypse?

 Described by publisher, Maximum Apocalypse is a cooperative roguelike adventure game for 1-6 players. Civilization has already fallen. The players must survive the hostile landscape.  The game map is randomly generated and different every time that you play. On each turn, a player can use up to four actions to explore the map, play cards, equip weapons, scavenge for resources, draw cards or battle off monsters. As a survivor of the apocalypse, players will equip weapons, battle monsters, draw cards and scavenge the post-apocalyptic wasteland looking for useful supplies. Cooperation is key in this deep game of survival.
The base game of Maximum Apocalypse.

Interview with Michael Gnade

Jambalaya: Mike, you’ve come out of the gates swinging with Brass Empire and Maximum Apocalypse. How does it feel to have such a positive response to your games?

Michael: Having people playing and enjoying your games is what it’s all about.  It’s honestly the best part so yeah it feels great.

Jambalaya: What’s is your background in game development? When did it all start?

Michael: I’ve had a long history in indie game development starting in circa 2007.  It started on the video game side of things.  I made a few games and published one with Big Fish, started and then, and sold them both.  Anyways, back at PAX East in 2014 or 15, I was there covering games for the indie video game sites and my feet were hurting.  I made my way to the back of the expo hall and sat down at a tabletop booth and started demoing these games. It had been a long time since my Magic: The Gathering days so I got really into these awesome board games.  I really fell in love with Ascension and deckbuilding. I kept looking for a deck-building game that had all the elements I was looking for and after awhile just started working on my own.  That’s how Brass Empire was born and led to my foray into tabletop game design and publishing.

 Jambalaya: Can you share little origin story for the game Maximum Apocalypse?


Michael: The idea probably first came to me some time during my work on Brass Empire but it was a long 2 year process to get the game to Kickstarter.  I was recommending the book, Wool, to a friend and we were just hanging out and talking about nerdy things we like and got onto post-apocalyptic movies, games, books etc. (The Walking Dead, Fallout 4, etc).  I felt that there was A LOT of content in this genre and started working on this idea.  The name is actually a remnant of some of the original wackier game designs and prototypes I had where you mashed up scenarios.  Anyways over the next 2 years the game evolved, reduced back to basics, rules were written, the whole game was burnt down to the ground and finally built back up again.  It started as just a card game, but it really started to come together when I added the tiles and ranges.

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Jambalaya: You’re launching an expansion to Maximum Apocalypse on the 27th. Can you share a little about the project and maybe tease some stretch goals?


Michael: Gothic Horrors will be the first deluxe expansion to Maximum Apocalypse.  This set focuses on more supernatural and mystical apocalyptic themes so we have Cthulhu, Vampires, and some other things waiting in the wings.  It also introduces two new character classes, the Priest and Ronin, each with their own unique decks and abilities.

 If you followed the first Maximum Apocalypse campaign, you know that we always have a lot of great stuff ready for Kickstarter backers in the form of stretch goals.  I can tease that we definitely have some other apocalypses that I hope to unlock including one based around Japanese Folklore.  We also will have some new alternate promo character cards.  


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Jambalaya: You have a deck builder with a campaign mode and a rogue-like adventure game with more expansions on the way. What else do you have in mind for the future for Rock Manor Games? 

Michael: We are currently hard at work finishing up Set a Watch – which is a cooperative dice rolling and puzzle game set in the standard D&D type fantasy world.  We’re also working on an asymmetrical card game called Lawyer Up where one player plays the prosecution and the other plays the defense.  Finally, we’re working on the board game for the comic book, the Few and the Cursed, which will be a sort of deck builder where you play as a curse chaser.


I don’t know about you , but I’m pumped about the new expansion for Maximum Apocalypse! Do you have any questions about the upcoming campaign? Have you heard of Maximum Apocalypse or Brass Empire before? Take a look at the old campaigns for both and I will post the new campaign on the 27th.

Brass Empire and New Canton Expansion:
Maximum Apocalypse Base Game:

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