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Interviews
Web Guy

Some of the great minds and artistic talents behind Dinky Dungeons have been kind enough to talk about themselves and the game.

Phil Morrissey is a professional artist and creator of the Stellar Babe webcomic. He was the editor and illustrator for a number of Doc's games.

Jeff Perryman is a level designer, animator, modeler, and illustrator who contributed some of the amazing second edition artwork.


Phil Morrissey

I was in high school and the boxed edition of Dungeons and Dragons had just been released, a few of my friends wanted to try it so we made up an impromptu gaming group. I fell in love with role playing day zero, problem was my schedule and theirs didn't mix well. Later I found out about a superhero RPG from Fantasy Games Unlimited called Villians and Vigilantes that got picked up for a new group and we played a ton of that! I was into comics heavily so it was a good fit until we switched over to Champions (since it was a build system we fell right in).

Once I started college to get a BFA found out there was a gaming club at Missouri State called the Fantasy club (how original!) where they did a lot of wargaming and RPGs. The guy who wrote Small Space, Craig Sheeley, was the contact who got the info to me on the club (he also played Champions so it was a mutual interest thing). That's where I met Doc Elliott (Denton R. Elliott) when he was a popular GM. He had an amazing sense of humor and storytelling, caught that minute one. Him and his usual group, Brad Madison being his eternal gaming sidekick, were playing all sorts of RPGs I'd never heard of, Dragonquest being one of the usual suspects. Everybody called him Doc, really not sure why to this day, and we got along great, he was into silver age comics and fun bad movies as i was except more 80's fare like the Xmen. The reason I go long on this part is that Doc really got me interested not just into gaming, but the weird art behind what a game was, also he was a cartoonist that already had some one panel toons picked up by TSR's old magazine Dragon. With Doc if it had even a base value, he'd try it out.


Dinky Dungeons and Docs Games. Doc knew I was into comics and cartoons as bad as he was, and we both liked humor. Also he knew i'd done comic self publishing with some friends at the vocational school (Now Ozarks technical College and 18k students) as our big year end project for art class. We had both mulled over a fantasy about a building gaming company more as small talk for a while (he was a good rules builder, and I could flesh out a world easy as breathing), but it was just talk. Then one day after a Fantasy Club meet, he wanted to show me something he'd done, it was 1 typewritten (pre word processing era) page with a whole RPG written on it. Remember this is the prehistoric days when games, especially RPGs were growing to monstorous size and scarily cumbersome systems as a point of pride on detail levels ( look up Lords of Creation by Avalon Hill, that game is still a rolling disaster). He insisted i take it home and read it and get back to him the next day on what i thought about it. I was mesmerised, it was so simple and so perfect. It had all the basics covered and allowed for growth yet was microscopic. I was caught off guard I'd forgotten to read the title which looking back was the icing on the cake. Next day met up with Doc, we didn't live too far from each other... "Well what didja think about Dinky?". "What the Hell Doc?! This is amazing, you can read it in 30 minutes and have characters up and running in 5?! How'd you do it.". He pretty much laughed at me with that great laugh he has. At that point he was going on about how i'd already done publishing and was going to shows and that we ought to make some sets of this up and sell at cons (which I found out later he had no interest in). So that afternoon we came up with the look and size of the books plus the tiny GM screens, he already had the typical lame first adventure written for the book. I say lame not to be insulting, but there's a great story about that too! Everything had to fit into a tiny bag as a complete game. I found the dice supplier, that was Lou Zocchi (sp) dice. As the line expanded I was doing the layout, art was Doc, Tim, myself , and later Tim Jones with Freaks and Friendlies. The editorship of Docs evolved to me for no other reason, I was doing the production right down to dropping 2.5k on printer so we could do it ourselves and not be stuck whith copy center schedules. Plus I had a lot of contacts outside Docs circles in fandom which was where our economic heavy lifting was being done.


Favorite memories, there's so many. Hmmm, one of them was where we were running two Dinky Dungeons tournaments at a Tulsa, OK gaming con called Contest. Tim Jones was running one, I was running the other. Big problem was that somehow during the weekend a trainload of people invited themselves to our room and crashed not one but two nights and I ended up being awake for 70 hours. Doc had made a special badge prize for my tournament which had a cheap rat in a crown drawing with the words 'King of the Giant Rats' on it, that was an RPG prize to be given out at my discression. The last tourney was on Sunday, hour 64 for me. To this day I do not remember a thing that happened during that game except that I got compliments on the game! Gave the Rat badge to a guy who seemed genuinely excited to be crowned the Rat King, plus free copies of stuff to the participants. Bumped into this guy at another Tulsa con years later and he was wearing that King Rat badge still. So confessing to him I was pretty looped while running that game so what was it like. He said it was pretty wild ride an indescribable. Other than that a ton of things working with Doc, it was always a fun circus!


That's easy, a bard, because mother always wanted me to be one.


I like to keep an open mind, every era there's some great influences that I still learn from. I think artists should never declare their final evolutions, that's stagnation in any form. My faves tho, Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy, Phoenix 2772, etc.), Moebius (works in Heavy Metal), Herge (Tintin), Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother, Sandman), Go Nagai (Devilman), Jhonen Vasquez (Invader Zim, Squee), almost any artist from Judge Dredd... but the two above all are Jack Kirby (Fantastic Four, X-Men, New Gods) and Will Eisner (The Spriit, Contract With God, Signal From Space). The last ones are for their storytelling ability, artistic fearlessness, and their genuine love of the medium even when for a while they went out of favor for a while.


Like I said earlier, that as an artist you never stop learning. That's the best thing about it!


In Docs Games circles, Meks and Mekanoids was the most fun ride, Tim and me connected on the art and goofy machines were fun to do! After that Stellar Babe, because we can expand out a lot of the weird of that universe and all it's lurid details. After that it's a tie between Flame With Meri (getting out of my comfort zone artwise) and art for Attack of the Humans (adore drawing rampant stupidity and dumb characters).


Stellar Babe: http://stellarbabe.com/, Flame Witch Meri http://flamewitchmeri.com/ and http://melondog.com/ our master site still a work in progress.


Jeff Perryman

In the mid 70’s. I had two uncles in college and they were playing a minitures game called “Chain Mail”. They would let me push around some of the figures and we would, as gamers do, talk about the happenings of the poor troops at the hands of all these monsters. They would talk using funny voices and act out the dice rolls. It left an impression on me. Well we all know that “Chain mail” gave way to Dungeons and Dragons, and in the late 70’s I had a close friend who had moved away, but we talked often on the phone, ask me “You want to go through a dungeon?” Well I was hooked from then on.


It was through Phil and the guys, we all ran around in the same Sci/Fi convention circuit, doing art for the art shows and trying to make a dollar. So it was kind of natural for us as a group to hang out and by that time Dinky was a massive hit. It was around the time of the 2nd Ed of the game that Phil, out of the kindness of his heart, asked me to do the covers. I was thrilled of course. I look back at those covers and wonder what Phil was thinking, as the quality of my art compared to his was drastic. Still, I am thankful for that start as I think it has lead me to be the professional that I am today.


It was a Game we played at, I think my place, Phil was running it and I was playing my favorite race, the Fuzzy Winker. It was a jail break scene and in the middle of the fight, the coke machine in the room stopped, causing the fight to pause and give us the players the upper hand. It was so absurd and random and summed up the Dinky universe so readily. We laughed till we could not breathe as Phil as a story teller is an awesome thing to see.

He even did a piece of art for me commemorating the moment.


Well as stated above, I love the Fuzzy Winkers. That is all I ever really played. Comic relief covered in fur!


Well mostly from adventures I have played in or from stories others have told. However Dungeon Notes really got started as something to do as I was waiting for my levels to compile for the game I was working on at the time. I think it was a Spongebob game. Anyway levels take some time to compile, that and a group of us were complaining that we did not draw as much as we once did, so I started doodling on the post it note pad I had on my desk. And so DN was born. I posted them each week on Fridays as a personal goal. Later I ended up working at a university, where we would have insanely long meetings. So I started taking a sketch pad and continued drawing the notes there. The inspiration for those Notes was the goings on during those long meetings. But all and all, I try to keep the humor that I came to love of the Dinky universe.


In truth? I was the last guy through the door for a meeting. Back then there were just artists. We did everything, levels, environments, objects and characters. There were no real specializations. So I was stuck with laying out the environments because no one really wanted to. I was good at it so I continued. This evolved into what is now known as a level designer.

 
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