Game Front 1-on-1: ‘Marauder Shields’ Creator Koobismo


Game Front 1-on-1 is a continuing series featuring interviews with and personality profiles on a variety of people in the vast and diverse community of gaming, including creative fans, passionate players, amateur developers and everyone in between.


WARNING: There are probably spoilers from Mass Effect 3 herein, as well as the “Marauder Shields” web comic. Read at your own risk.

The Extended Cut ending DLC for Mass Effect 3 might have brought the trilogy and the story of Commander Shepard to a close for most players — but not for the man who goes by the name of Koobismo.

For him, the story won’t be concluded for, roughly, 33 weeks; because that’s how long it’ll take him to create the ending he, and a whole lot of viewers, wanted to see from BioWare’s sci-fi saga.

The 26-year-old Koobismo is the creator, writer and artist behind the extremely popular “Marauder Shields” web comic and audio book series. Born of the aftermath of Mass Effect 3′s ending controversy, the comic started as a joke, riffing on the “His Name is Marauder Shields” YouTube video and the meme that followed.

Six episodes into the strip, though, something changed. “Marauder Shields” stopped being a comedy about a meme and started being something more. The comic’s distinctive style and writing echoed the feel of the game so well that it began to seem as though Koobismo was actually writing not just a piece of fan fiction, but something that could have been produced by developer BioWare itself. “Marauder Shields” started to feel like a piece of the world of Mass Effect.

“Up until Episode 6, it was just a comedy series, taking jabs at the original finale, which I loathed,” Koobismo said in an email interivew with Game Front (he prefers to use his DeviantArt handle over his real name, as that’s how people have come to know him). “As a friend of mine described it: ‘it’s just Koobs being a dick.’ But I really needed more. Mass Effect was the best sci-fi experience of my nerdy little life and I really didn’t want it to end with a nonsensical twist coming out of nowhere, casting a long, long shadow on the whole series, arbitrarily cancelling out its themes, breaking its backbone and laughing maniacally while doing so. For me, Mass Effect wasn’t finished, someone just took a 15-minute sequence out of a different story and pasted it into the wrong document.

“So, I’ve decided to do something about it… The initial target audience was ‘me,’ but if other people enjoyed it — then so be it. And so my alternative ending was born -– a 47-page-long scenario, closing off almost a hundred loose ends, plotholes and lore inconsistencies I found while playing Mass Effect 3.”

Already, “Marauder Shields” includes 27 episodes, with a new one created each week. Koobismo does all the writing and art for the series, although he’s not an artist: in fact, he’s a game writer and designer, lately working as a secondary game producer on casual games. And his native language? Polish.

“Although I create all the art for the Marauder Shields comic, I wouldn’t really call myself an artist — a storyteller, sure, but the art is just something I throw together to tell the story I’m weaving. And no, I haven’t done any pretty pictures before this project, nothing really worth showing. This is my first, and I’m learning a lot of new tricks with each and every episode.

“The art of the ‘Marauder Shields’ comics isn’t really something I put too much thought into initially — most of the shots are based on game screenshots, 3-D models or royalty-free photos that I then drag through a lengthy post-processing routine and finally overpaint and recolor to get the look I want. One of my main concerns was to keep the comics as close to the feel of the game as possible, which is the reason behind all the over-the-top lighting. Let’s just say it’s no accident the comic sometimes looks like a J.J. Abrams-directed Christmas Special.”

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26 Comments on Game Front 1-on-1: ‘Marauder Shields’ Creator Koobismo

Sepharih

On July 9, 2012 at 5:48 pm

“In my opinion this is exactly what Mass Effect was all about — in an extremely twisted way, we’re replaying the theme of uniting individuals of different cultures, origins and views to protect something we care about.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

eMM

On July 9, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Awesome!!!

JeffDaniel

On July 9, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Just wanted to thank everyone at GameFront.com for all your kind words and support. You guys are absolutely incredible. If you’re at ComicCon on Saturday, I would love to share a beer with you.

JeffDaniel

TwereWOW

On July 9, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Koobismo – the man we need. Thank you!!!

tweress

On July 9, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Koobismo, the true hero of ME. THANK YOU!

Pella

On July 9, 2012 at 8:07 pm

When we all thought its over, when we all thought there is no chance to stay with mass effect for those who hated the catalyst plot… One man made a difference. Two men! Marauder Shields and Koobismo. Forever!

J-fey

On July 9, 2012 at 8:11 pm

I love that shot of Tali. The lights make it special.

HackettsLampshade

On July 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Game Front, thank you for doing the article. I’ve been a Koobismo fan since episode 8. He is a true fan. Wish there were more people like him. Mac Walters should walk with his head down. Koobismo is writing the end Mass Effect deserves. I look forward to reading more about him in the future.

Caitlin M.

On July 10, 2012 at 10:47 am

A feature on Gamefront.com, be still my heart. But, seriously, I’m super pumped up about this new 1-on-1 series because it brings out this human element that’s so seldom portrayed in gaming journalism.

This is truly a great article. Nice work.

wesker1984

On July 10, 2012 at 11:09 am

I dont care for this arshole and his stupid comics!

Gavv

On July 10, 2012 at 11:47 am

@wesker1984 so he’s an arshole because you don’t care for him? pull your face out of your own arse. You dont have to care for the comics (I read them and like them very much, they are better than Mass Effect 3 ending) but you don’t have to be an idiot about it. Have some respect.

Jamess

On July 10, 2012 at 11:54 am

wesker1984

The only arsehole I see around here is the one walking around and calling others names… Yes, you. If you don’t care about this man’s comic, then why comment under an article about him? And in such a manner ?

ziaelas

On July 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm

go koob! Thanks, Gamefront, for an interesting interview and for keeping in touch with the mass effect universe. It certainly deserves better than ME3.

@ wesker1984: I’ve only read complete bull from you on these pages. Maybe it would be a fine idea to stfu and troll somewhere else if you have nothing of value to add.

wesker1984

On July 10, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Forgive me, for I am a troll who constantly posts fanboy drivel on Mass Effect 3 articles and attacks people who think Bioware are capable of errors, or that they and EA are anything other than populist organisations who have only the consumer’s interests at heart and would never dream of rushing out an inferior product to meet a deadline in the hopes of releasing full-price post-ending DLC like Ubisoft did with Prince of Persia. I have nothing interesting or informed to say, and I am incapable of justifying my childish belief system, which is why I resort to ad hominem attacks instead. I am the sort of blinkered, easily-led spanner who the industry and the gaming press relies on in order to continue publishing weak products and claiming it’s “art” and therefore beyond scrutiny. So please forgive me, because my mind is not my own and my opinions have been passed down to me by my gods at Kotaku.

Ares

On July 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Read, listened to everything Koobismo has done and it’s all excellent work. So much talent and just awesome story telling. Always amazes me when someone with skill and is just a fan can make something so good. Kinda know who I would have wanted to do the end of ME3.

Thank you Koobismo for the wonderful work so far.

lee

On July 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm

@wesker1984 Due yourself a favor and get yourself a girlfriend or boyfriend. Hey I don’t judge. I appreciate your opinion but calling people names just makes you look like a douche that lacks in intelligence.

InverseReality

On July 10, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Bang up job on the interview, Koobs! Love the quotes, and kudos to Game Front for giving the comic and its creator the attention it deserves. I’m really impressed with the quality and depth of this interview, and that’s credit to both sides for really making the conversation a great read!

P.s. Guys, c’mon. You know better than to feed the troll!

Paddy Wolf

On July 11, 2012 at 5:59 am

Excellent. This is what ME3 should have been like. And thanks gamefront for treating us as adults.

flacjaket

On July 11, 2012 at 9:14 am

Keep it up, Koobs! We’re all rooting for you!

Beckett

On July 13, 2012 at 2:07 pm

The most frightening thing about Koobs’ comics is it’s quality. He was a lone author in the beginning. Now there’s still only a bunch of people helping for free and look what they have achieved. Out of pure love for the game.

Imagine if BioWare used the same attitude… Mind blown, eh?

My plan for Koobs’ comic is simple. Wait until the end and then spend a week or so creating an elegant printed version which will join the ME3 box. That will be my complete ME3 experience.

T'Soni

On July 20, 2012 at 5:50 pm

“For him, the story won’t be concluded for, roughly, 33 weeks; because that’s how long it’ll take him to create the ending he, and roughly a million viewers”

Incorrect. The Marauder Shields webcomic has had over a million *page views*. That’s taking into account that the webcomic consists of dozens of pages, thus it’s not even close to a million views *per* page.

Why does it seem like everything revolving around Retake relies on deception and ignorance?

Phil Hornshaw

On July 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm

@T’Soni

Whoa, there, it was a typo, not a conspiracy.

T'Soni

On July 22, 2012 at 8:43 am

A “typo” is a small error. It is not when someone tries to make it seem like a webcomic has over twenty times the audience that it actually has. A “typo” is not claiming that every person who views a particular work agrees withe creator’s ideology.

I wouldn’t necessarily call it a “conspiracy”. It’s simply a stunning lack of research and lack of respect towards people who expect someone writing an article to know what they’re talking about.

LaughterJones

On July 23, 2012 at 10:06 am

This is the type of reporting that we need. GF, you guys rock. Good article and I look forward to the end product!

HackettsLampshade

On July 23, 2012 at 10:25 am

T’Soni why you trolling? Seriously? Why would something so trivial get you so bent?

If this bugged you so much, and you were a mature adult (and not a troll), you would simply write GF and mention a possible typo. By your reaction, it only shows two things. . . 1) you have no life, and/or 2) you’re 13 years old, and feel like a tuff guy throwing out venom at anyone you see to try to make yourself feel superior. I have a feeling if you saw Phil Hornshaw in person you wouldn’t have the balls to say anything. . . because let’s face it, we all know you’re a troll. We all know your reaction to something so trivial only shows your desperate cry for help. Go outside, make a friend, go get laid (unless you really are 13. . . then you should probably wait)

I fully expect you to follow this up with more venom, only proving my point. So, go for it. Unlike you, who stalks the internet trying to give yourself a false sense of superiority, I am going to go to work, talk to real world friends, and spend time with my family. I hope you eventually grow up and learn that the real world does not deal with trolls as politely as I have. You need help. Seek it before it’s too late.

Vine Silvermane

On August 2, 2012 at 3:55 am

Nothing but respekt for Koobismo.

He does not resort to hate or whining, instead created something far more memorable then the origional. He lets his obvious talent do the talking.

More importantly, he seems like a genuinely nice guy.

His version is not only stunning visually (looks better then the “official” comics) but is sooo well written: taking that big mess of lost plotlines and forgotten side characters and tying them back into the main story to make them relevant again. From Aria and Cpt Bailey and the Elcor playing Hamlet (now playing the role: Elcor Walking Tank) surviving aboard the Citadel, to Jack and Zaeed and Wrex and Kirrahe and everyone on the ground, to Joker and EDI not fleeing but taking on Harbinger.
All major and minor chars and even some new ones seem to be making a final stand against the Reapers. Making the ME story about hope and heroics again.

If you liked any part of Mass Effect, you will love this Comic.