The Back Story

I am in my dad’s office. (He’s a doctor, and when I was younger, I used to work there.) I’m sitting at the nurses’ desk in his office, and he opens the door and calls out: “Can you go get me the pliers?”

“Dad, you’re a doctor. Why do you need pliers?” I ask.

“We’ve got to get Dracula’s teeth out.”

And, because this is a dream, it all makes perfect sense, so I get him the pliers and go in. Sure enough, there’s Dracula, lying on the table. My dad takes the pliers, clamps on to one the fangs, puts a foot on Drac’s chest, and starts pulling.

Then, I wake up.


John and I had been thinking about different ideas for games for about a week, not for any particular reason – just because we felt like making one. The best idea we’d had so far was a game not unlike Marvel’s Legendary – but way more simplistic (in both the good and the bad sense) and way less trademarked. Luckily, we didn’t pursue that, since Legendary would come out in about a month.

Anyway, then I had this dream, and it was all totally clear. We were going to create a game where you treat Gothic patients who are suffering from a variety of mythically-common ailments: lycanthropy, a vampire bite, being the Mummy, and so forth. The two main mechanics for the game came pretty simply: (1) various combinations of treatments can treat these different ailments and (2) there are patients who need more treatments than others and are thus worth more.

After that, the game design involved many, many hours on Google Drive and on the phone with John, many debates about precise numbers or precise treatments, and a LOT of playtesting. But, it’s also a hell of a lot of fun – and we hope that you’ve enjoyed Gothic Doctor as much as we have (or do enjoy it when you finally get to play it).


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