An Interview with Shane Small of Exploding Kittens

We were lucky enough to sit down with Shane Small, one of the trio behind the insanely popular and crude party game exploding kittens.

Published: February 3, 2015 10:00 AM /


Exploding Kittens Cover Art

As the Kickstarter for card game Exploding Kittens reaches over $5million raised for the project, the most backed Kickstarter of all time makes tabletop cards mainstream with over 130,000 investors. The project which was the brainchild of Shane Small and Elan Lee who have both worked for Xbox and features art by famous webcomic-idian Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal).  TechRaptor reached out to the trio and spoke to Shane Small about just what was going on behind the project.

On the inspiration for the game:

Well none of it was really planned. I came to Elan with an idea I that had a while back, for a digital game, that I had developed with my old company 'Funtini'. We started bouncing ideas around on how we could improve the game, and because we were bored at the time wanted to play the game immediately. So we got a standard deck of cards, assigned abilities to each card, and started playing, what we called at the time 'Bomb squad'. We started enlisting all our friends to tested it, and test it, and test it ... and after about 2 months of pounding on this idea a game finally emerged. Elan and myself were really happy with the game mechanics, but felt it was missing something, a hook, something that was gonna get people's attention. Enter The Oatmeal. Elan went on vacation to Hawaii with a bunch of friends and took 'Bomb squad' with him, that's where he met Matthew Inman, known for his web comic The Oatmeal. After playing the game for days on end Matt wanted in and suggested instead of bombs what if they were kittens ... exploding kittens! and he'll do the art. We finally had our hook.

What a hook the Oatmeal's involvement turned out to be. The project was fully funded within 20 minutes of the KickStarter going live, and had reached 10 times its meager $10,000 target in just an hour. Shane placed all of the responsibility for the incredible community response on Inman:

I think Matthew's audience was definitely the springboard in getting us noticed. Without his kick-ass fan base, I don't think we would ever have achieved such a rapid increase in funding.

After currently reaching over 50,000 times their intended budget the question on everyone's lips is what is going to happen with the extra $5,000,000. They have already announced that they are going to make a whole separate Not Safe for Work deck, but the truth is the boys aren't sure on where to spend the money just yet:

This has happened so fast that we are still reeling from the whiplash, so we need to take a breath and define what our plans are moving forward, but we definitely want to put it back into the game and the IP." While the original game hasn't even been released yet, fans of the project are already begging for more. However, Shane would only hint at the possibility of a sequel: "...are you talking about 'Exploding Kittens 2: Armakitten' ? ... maybe.

TechRaptor would like to thank Shane for taking the time to talk to us. You can follow Shane, Elan,  Matthew and the project on Twitter. Or check out the KickStarter to watch the madness. What are your thoughts on Exploding Kittens? Are you excited for the release?

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| Former Staff Writer

Georgina is a former writer for TechRaptor, you can find her on Twitter!