Interview – Midnight Syndicate

Ed Douglas founded Midnight Syndicate, an Ennie Award-winning publisher of soundtracks for fantasy and horror RPGs, in 1995.

Starting off with a more personal question, Midnight Syndicate was founded in 1997 and has been creating Halloween music and gothic, horror, and fantasy soundtracks. In 2011, I ran my group through Goodman Games’ Cages of Delirium, which used your album Gates of Delirium as its soundtrack. It was by far one of the best, and scariest, adventures I’ve ever run and my group had a great time with it. So what keeps you going? What keeps you enthusiastic about working in the RPG industry?

The support we’ve received from the RPG community over the years has been tremendous.    The fans definitely keep us energized and keep us pushing to top ourselves each time out.   There is so much more that we want to do, so many other worlds we want to explore with our music.  I think that keeps us excited each time out as well.   I’m glad you enjoyed Cages of Delirium.   I am so proud to be associated with that project.   Wes Schneider wrote a really clever and exciting module and wrote it based on our Gates of Delirium CD.  So the music and module mesh brilliantly.  Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classics are an homage to the modules we grew up on, that are creative influences for us still to this day.  Like the Cages of Delirium module, there are new ways, new technologies, we can use to help players integrate music into their games and elevate their gaming experiences.   We’re looking to team up with gaming companies in new ways and are excited to see what the future holds.

In 2006, The 13th Hour was nominated for Best Aid/Accessory and won Silver. In 2007, Cages of Delirium was nominated for Best Adventure. What did you think of the ENnies when you found out that you were nominated?

It was pretty exciting.  We had been working in the industry for several years prior to that point so to be nominated was a great honor for us.  I was told that a music CD had never won the Best Aid/Accessory category so that made it even more special.   To be recognized by the ENnies is to be recognized by your peers in the industry and the fans, that’s a great feeling.

Did your nominations and wins affect short-term sales? How about long-term sales?

Sure, in a sea of new products coming out every year, an ENnie Award will get the potential customer to take a longer look at your product, perhaps sit down for playtest.   If a potential customer is not familiar with your company, an award like the ENnie definitely gives you credibility.

What projects do you have on the schedule; anything you can talk about?

We have a new CD called “Monsters of Legend” coming out in 2013.   It’s a huge project for us that’s been in production for over a year.   Inspired by classic Universal Horror films and Hammer Films, this disc will put you right into the horror films of yesteryear.   A village haunted by creatures of the night that roam it’s countryside, a castle towering overhead, that harbors an unspeakable evil, your carriage awaits you.   We’re really excited about this one.   We also scored a film called “Bunyan” that should be released this coming year.  The score has a lot of fantasy elements and a touch of old west that I think gamers will enjoy and find uses for.   There are two other huge projects too that we in discussions on right now.  I hope in the next few months we’ll be posting updates on our website and Facebook (www.facebook.com/midnightsyndicate).

Now that we’ve been around for over a decade, what do the ENnies mean to you both personally and professionally?

The ENnies are critical to the RPG community.  They give the opportunity for good new products the chance to shine and get well-deserved exposure.   Additionally, it’s an opportunity for all of the hard-working artists in the industry the opportunity to be recognized for their efforts.   I think something like the ENnies are even more important in an industry where getting rich is not the primary motivator for most.  For me, an ENnie win is something I am striving for from the beginning of each project.   Another incentive to push ourselves each time out.

Last question; if someone who had never heard of the ENnie Awards walked up to you today and asked, “So what are these ‘ENnies’ you keep talking about,” how would you answer them?

The awards for the RPG industry.   If you work in any facet of the RPG industry, this is something you strive to be a part of.

Thanks to Ed Douglas for taking the time to answer my questions. For more information about Midnight Syndicate, you can visit them at www.midnightsyndicate.com.

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