Interview with Santa vs Jesus game designer Julian Miller

I’m of the mindset that it’s critical to have a sense of humor if you’re going to survive this craziness called life, and as a parent, it’s 10x important to be able to laugh at the absurdity of everyday activities. My humor extends far into the outer regions of what’s appropriate, however, so I find games like Cards Against Humanity quite amusing (though maybe 5% offensive).

When I read that a new game called Santa vs. Jesus had come out and that evangelicals were saying it was horrid, inappropriate and blasphemous, I of course had to learn more, and so after reading up on this simple competitive team card game, I reached out to game co-developer Julian Miller and asked him a few questions. Here’s our Q&A:

Q: Julian, did you expect this kind of response?

A: It has taken us a bit by surprise, we knew it might raise an eyebrow or two but we didn’t expect for some people to be this upset.

santa vs jesus card game box

We never set out to offend anyone just have a bit of tongue in cheek fun. We test played with quite a large variety of people amongst them Christians who didn’t seem to mind it and just enjoyed the spirit of the game. For us it’s all about providing some entertainment and a few laughs over Christmas.

Q: Is the game shipping?

A: The game has shipped to all the Kickstarter backers and has been on sale on Amazon in the US and the UK for a few weeks now.

Q: Can you tell me how the Kickstarter campaign went for you? You were funded, did it exceed your expectations?

A: This was our first Kickstarter campaign and a steep learning curve. It was pretty intense but very exciting, and we were really pleased to reach our funding goal within 48hrs. It afforded us a few nice design upgrades for the box and some extra artwork.

Q: What other games inspired your design?

The actual gameplay was inspired by our love of escape rooms and challenge based games and we wanted it to be easily accessible for a big group of people without too many instructions. It’s designed for Christmas after all and people need to be able to play it after a few eggnogs. Each box has 4 rounds of games in it equaling 4 hours of play.

We actually came up with the idea for a family Christmas party a few years ago as my business partner is also the co-creator of party board game Game for Fame and we always get asked to entertain our families. We designed it with them in mind!

santa vs jesus card detail: candy cane

Our art design was inspired by quite a few things but mostly by gaming apps and comic books. We didn’t want to make it too aggressive but still have that combative element. It was very important that it wasn’t just some funny images but there was more to discover then what you see at first sight. Through a friend and the power of Facebook we connected with a brilliant artist, Joe Dove, who immediately captured the tone of what we were after. And our graphic designer Joel Derksen made it a great cohesive whole.

Summing it all up, Julian shared “We spend a lot of time coming up with it and are really proud of it, of course not everyone is going to like it but you can’t please everyone.” Definitely interesting and if you’ve played the game, let us know what you think!

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