Thursday, August 6, 2020

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 238: Jim Kavanaugh

Welcome to People Behind the Meeples, a series of interviews with indie game designers.  Here you'll find out more than you ever wanted to know about the people who make the best games that you may or may not have heard of before.  If you'd like to be featured, head over to http://gjjgames.blogspot.com/p/game-designer-interview-questionnaire.html and fill out the questionnaire! You can find all the interviews here: People Behind the Meeples. Support me on Patreon!


Name:Jim Kavanaugh
Location:New Jersey
Day Job:I work in sales and marketing within the flavor and fragrance industry.
Designing:Five to ten years.
Webpage:azurehorizongames.com
BGG:AzureHorizon
Facebook:Azure Horizon Games
Twitter:@AzureHorizonGMS
Other:https://www.indiegamealliance.com/members/member.php?id=3857
Find my games at:Kleos is on TTS and on Kickstarter
Today's Interview is with:

Jim Kavanaugh
Interviewed on: 7/19/2020

Jim Kavanaugh has been designing games ever since he was a kid, but just started taking his hobby seriously. Now he has his first game on Kickstarter. Kleos is already funded and working on stretch goals, so be sure to check it out today!

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
Five to ten years.

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
I've always had a passion for creating games and game content. In middle school and high school I used to design new D&D classes and alternate rule-sets for games like Magic: the Gathering.

Somewhere around the age of 16, I created my first game. It was a pen and paper rpg that allowed you to play as a mech pilot (Gundam style), with a system that allowed you to act as the pilot outside as well as inside the mech. My friends and I ran a campaign lasting 6 months and it was an absolute blast!

I created a couple of games in my 20's for fun and made expansions/alternate rule-sets for other games I loved. In my early 30's I decided to make game design a serious hobby. I am in the process of taking my first project to Kickstarter.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Kleos launched on Kickstarter on Tuesday, July 21. You play as a Greek god competing to become the patron god of a rising Greek city-state. It combines the card play of your favorite collectible card games, with action management and a 'troops on a map' board game. The theme is built into every aspect of the game, with beautiful art, and stream-lined gameplay.

I have a couple other projects on the backburner. One is a quick play mint tin card game tentatively named "Chronoseum," where you play as different tropes from across time and realities, all pulled into an inter-dimensional Roman-style coliseum for the amusement of a superior race.

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Not yet, but Kleos will be the first!

What is your day job?
I work in sales and marketing within the flavor and fragrance industry.

Your Gaming Tastes
My readers would like to know more about you as a gamer.

Where do you prefer to play games?
At my house or a friend's house. A relaxed atmosphere with friends.

Who do you normally game with?
A wide variety of people at the moment. The Kleos community has weekly games, and I love playing games that others are developing on TTS. With the recent lockdowns, I play a lot on TTS at the moment. It is so amazing to play with people from around the world, and try new games that others are working on that I never would have seen before publication otherwise. Also played through the entire Gloomhaven campaign with a friend via Skype during lockdowns.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
I typically have regular game days with friends. Most recently we played a couple games of Marvel Champions, which is a lot of fun. Typically we start with a light, fast entry game like King of Tokyo, and then get into the mid-weight/heavier games which could include Arkham Horror, Mansions of Madness, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Dark Souls, Inis, and a wide variety of other games. My choices at the moment would be Legends of Novus, Marvel Champions, Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion.

And what snacks would you eat?
Pretzels and cool ranch doritos!

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
We typically don't listen to music, but the LOTR soundtrack and Castlevania music could work well.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Fantasy Games in Mahwah NJ

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
At the moment, Gloomhaven and Clank Legacy are my favorites. I really enjoyed playing through the campaign of each.

My least favorite game that I still enjoy...that's tough...at the moment it might be Magic: the Gathering! Mostly because I have played a lot of it over the years and enjoy trying new things.

The worst game I ever played was a mech-based Kickstarter game I backed several years ago. It seemed very cool and was what I always wanted in a mech game, but it was horribly unbalanced and the decisions did not really matter. There was only one viable strategy.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
I would say that games with action/resource management are among my favorites. You generally have multiple ways to win and a variety of strategies to employ. I also love 'take that' style games. I am not typically a fan of most traditional Euro games, though there are exceptions!

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Scythe (one of the Euro exceptions...)

What styles of games do you play?
I like to play Board Games, Card Games, Miniatures Games, Video Games

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games, Card Games, Miniatures Games

OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
Not for more than an hour and not that often!

You as a Designer
OK, now the bit that sets you apart from the typical gamer. Let's find out about you as a game designer.

When you design games, do you come up with a theme first and build the mechanics around that? Or do you come up with mechanics and then add a theme? Or something else?
I tend to work off the theme and having the mechanics make sense thematically is very important to me. I typically build the game up, making it more and more complicated, and then strip away all the unnecessary elements to make it stream-lined and only keep the key features.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
I entered the BGDL Annual Competition this year and made the second round. That was the first contest I ever entered.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
I admire what Isaac Childres did with Gloomhaven. There was so much amazing content in that game and so many cool surprises as well! Gabe Barrett as well for everything he has done for the design community.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Immersing myself in the theme and related source material, or going for a walk in nature.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Get it on a table as soon as possible, see what breaks, see what's fun...maximize the fun and fix the issues. I usually test it myself first, then with close friends, then with strangers. Sometimes you may only test a single turn or mechanism rather than a full game.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I work alone, but it is important to work within a community. You can get so much amazing feedback from groups like BGDL and Board Game Revolution Community on Facebook. It's especially great to have community support that covers your weaknesses and blind spots...which we all have! I have been working with the artist for Kleos for 2.5 years now. I also work with a graphic design team, and have a great online community that offers feedback and ideas to make the game better.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Writing rulebooks! It took probably a hundred iterations or more over the course of 1.5 years to have the rulebook in a near final state. I am happy with where it is now, but wow...it was very challenging!

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Castlevania would be very fun! Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms would be as well. I am a big RA Salvatore fan.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Engage with a community early on. It will accelerate your learning and provide support when needed. Also, then you can share your knowledge as you learn, and it will give you new ideas and inspirations.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
It is very rewarding and a lot of fun! If you are considering board game design as a hobby, the hardest part is getting started. The only way to get started is by making games! Come up with an idea, make your first prototype, and play it. Play it with others, don't be afraid to share your ideas. Your first game will probably be bad and that's okay! You will improve it over time, or learn something that you can use to make better games in the future. Accomplished designers may only take 1/10 of their prototypes to show publishers or bring to the market. Each game you make will get better, and the main thing is to have fun in the process.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
This is what I have currently crowdfunding: Kleos launched on Kickstarter Tuesday July 21. It is my first game going to publication by my company, Azure Horizon Games. To learn more, feel free to visit https://kleosboardgame.com.
Games that I'm playtesting are: The first expansion to Kleos. : )
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Working Title: "Chronoseum" - a simple mint tin card game where you play as a warrior from anywhere in space and time and battle other warriors. Think Roman Gladiator v. Ninja v. Sorceror v. Werewolf. You equip yourself for combat, upgrade your items and beat each other down!

Barbarian Kingdoms of the Frozen North - You play as a barbarian clan in the frozen tundra, trying to survive the harsh wilderness and bring prosperity to your clan. It is a dice drafting and management game. You hunt monsters, and as you level up and kill them, you get new dice. You choose which dice in your pool are active. When dice are rolled, you combine their results to use powers and abilities specific to your class and equipment.

And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: A Metroid-vania style board game where you traverse unknown rooms to find treasure and take down the main boss.

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Board Game Design Lab

And the oddly personal, but harmless stuff…
OK, enough of the game stuff, let's find out what really makes you tick! These are the questions that I’m sure are on everyone’s minds!

Star Trek or Star Wars? Coke or Pepsi? VHS or Betamax?
Star Wars, Pepsi, VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Indoor rock climbing, tennis, reading

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Fantasy and sci-fi fiction books. The Red Rising series, Name of the Wind, and the Legend of Drizzt series are among my favorites.

What was the last book you read?
Iron Gold

Do you play any musical instruments?
Nope

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I went cage-less scuba diving with a tiger shark in the wild.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Made a last minute decision to go with a friend to someone's birthday party I didn't know too well, and ended up marrying the birthday girl 5 years later!

Who is your idol?
Roger Federer - I admire his class and composure in both victory and defeat, and how much of his time he dedicates to charitable causes.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Get me a dinosaur egg, bet on some sports and then invest the money in a long-term interest account to collect in the future.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Yes

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Thor seems to have it pretty good!

Have any pets?
Yep, two kitties - Jace and Aria


Thanks for answering all my crazy questions!




Thank you for reading this People Behind the Meeples indie game designer interview! You can find all the interviews here: People Behind the Meeples and if you'd like to be featured yourself, you can fill out the questionnaire here: http://gjjgames.blogspot.com/p/game-designer-interview-questionnaire.html

Did you like this interview?  Please show your support: Support me on Patreon! Or click the heart at Board Game Links , like GJJ Games on Facebook , or follow on Twitter .  And be sure to check out my games on  Tabletop Generation.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 237: Kerry King

Welcome to People Behind the Meeples, a series of interviews with indie game designers.  Here you'll find out more than you ever wanted to know about the people who make the best games that you may or may not have heard of before.  If you'd like to be featured, head over to http://gjjgames.blogspot.com/p/game-designer-interview-questionnaire.html and fill out the questionnaire! You can find all the interviews here: People Behind the Meeples. Support me on Patreon!


Name:Kerry King
Email:kerrybking@gmail.com
Location:Athens GA
Day Job:Registered Nurse, hospice nurse
Designing:Two to five years.
Webpage:www.samuraibros.com
BGG:Samurai Brothers
Facebook:facebook.com/samuraibrothersgame
Instagram:@samuraibrothersgame
Other:I'm on Indie Game Alliance.
Today's Interview is with:

Kerry King
Interviewed on: 7/16/2020

Today we get to meet Kerry King, part of the team at Moon Rock Games that is working on Samurai Brothers, currently on Kickstarter. Read on to learn more about Kerry and the projects he is working on.

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
Two to five years.

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
As an expression of my creative drive.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Samurai Brothers, possibly Samurai Sisters and Exile

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Zero. Samurai Brothers is going to be our first.

What is your day job?
Registered Nurse, hospice nurse

Your Gaming Tastes
My readers would like to know more about you as a gamer.

Where do you prefer to play games?
Home

Who do you normally game with?
My kids

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Pandemic, Azul, and any of the recently backed Kickstarter projects

And what snacks would you eat?
I'm strange. I only eat plant-based foods. Maybe pretzels and hummus.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
No. No music is necessary.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
We have one or two in town. I'm a homebody and don't venture out too much.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Favorite? Probably Azul. Least favorite? Unstable Unicorns. Worst game ever? I don't know. I must have blocked it from my memory.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
I'm new to this world. I'm interested in learning about all the different mechanics I've heard about. I'm not sure I like the idea of semi-cooperative. I might like it?

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Funny enough, Catan.

What styles of games do you play?
I like to play Board Games, Card Games, Video Games

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games

OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
No

You as a Designer
OK, now the bit that sets you apart from the typical gamer. Let's find out about you as a game designer.

When you design games, do you come up with a theme first and build the mechanics around that? Or do you come up with mechanics and then add a theme? Or something else?
THEME FIRST! Art and feel first. Mechanics come later. Well....that's why I need Craig Morris in my life. He's more mechanics and strategy. I'm big picture and build-the-world.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
No.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
I really like Jay Courmier from Mind Mgmt. I'm surprised he talked to me today. I was going all fan-boy. haha

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
From my experiences...from what I loved as a kid. From the comics and toys and animations that I love / loved.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
UGH. Can we not talk about that? I don't know how to get people to playtest my ideas yet. I hope that if we successfully launch our Kickstarter, we will have an audience that would be interested in helping playtest and critique. I tried a paid service and that didn't pan out so well.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
TEAM for sure.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
So far...the biggest challenge is producing ideas fast enough.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Maybe Indiana Jones.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
It's more difficult and time consuming and yet rewarding than you could ever imagine!

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Don't get married to an idea. Be ready to throw it out and move on to a better one.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Games that will soon be published are: Samurai Brothers, Samurai Sisters, and a new one about an Island.
This is what I have currently crowdfunding: Samurai Brothers launched on KS August 1
Currently looking for a publisher I have: We are self publishing with Moon Rock Games
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: Stuck on Samurai Brothers at the moment.
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Samurai Sisters and the Island game
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: Samurai Sisters and we may revive Antvasion or Jocks vs Geeks

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
I'm a member of multiple FB groups.

And the oddly personal, but harmless stuff…
OK, enough of the game stuff, let's find out what really makes you tick! These are the questions that I’m sure are on everyone’s minds!

Star Trek or Star Wars? Coke or Pepsi? VHS or Betamax?
Star Wars, but my latest love is Avatar the Last Airbender (not the movie) and the Legend of Korra. Also, Kung Fu Panda and most things TMNT / GI Joe.

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Piano, guitar, sing, paint, gym, would love to garden and live off grid

What is something you learned in the last week?
I learned how to make smoothies at home. Now I can stop going to Planet Smoothie or Smoothie King EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE! :D

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Music: too varied to explain. Top five? Keith Green, Rich Mullins, U2, The Beatles, Bob Dylan. Books: the BIble, books about personality types: Myers-Briggs or Enneagram, books about finances. Movies: Marvel universe, but my favorite is still Incredibles. I mostly like Disney-Pixar and such. I'm a big kid at heart.

What was the last book you read?
Indistractable. Well, I bought it anyway. I am ready to read it, but I keep getting distracted with this Kickstarter. You can't make this stuff up.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Started off on drums when I was 6 yrs old. Then, piano in middle school. Finally, guitar in high school. Added singing in college (University of Georgia - Go Dawgs!) but now I mostly croon for myself. I'm divorced and have a lot of alone time.

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I have never legally consumed alcohol. I was on parole as a kid.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Well, I just told you I was on parole. Do I need to say more? Let's just say that the police don't take kindly to 15-yr old kids driving their parents car at night.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
I opened up a Jittery Joe's coffee shop in 2006. It had been my dream for many years. It was a flop. I guess you could call it an accident. It was a failure. That drove me to go back to school to become a nurse, which is awesome. I would say that my frustration selling other peoples toys and games on Amazon for 3 years lead me to create my own comic book and board games. I was tired of selling other peoples stuff, especially when I had my own creativity that I liked better than what other people were doing. I can't think of a direct answer to the question. An accident? I burned down my best friends yard when I was in elementary school. A fort made out of pinestraw and branches doesn't need a fireplace inside of it. I decided to test it out with the help of the neighborhood kids WHILE MY FRIENDS WERE NOT HOME. Big fire! Big mess! Thankfully no one was hurt. What was awesome about that accident? Not much except I learned to face my fears and ask for forgiveness like a man.

Who is your idol?
Top choice: my brother-in-law and my sister. They're my heroes. For sure. Second choice....hmmm...Walt Disney would among the top five. I love his creativity and business drive. I would love to produce animations one day based on our characters from Samurai Brothers. I have a massive drive to create characters and worlds and to bring people into that world for a moment in time. ...to tell stories with mystery, intrigue and humor.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
I would want to visit and observe Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, Bach, Andy Warhol, Winston Churchill, Prince, Michael Jackson, Paul the Apostle, Queen Esther, Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, Noah, Methuselah, Adam & Eve. I would want to observe creation unfolding in real time. I would want to see the origin of the universe. Basically, I would want to see and experience our history in real time. If you could dip in and out of time, you could compare and contrast with your own five senses. Right now, we can only experience this moment in history and we have to rely on others to tell us what it was like before we were here.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Introvert. 100%. I am an INFP. The Dreamer. Enneagram 4.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Mr. Incredible is totally relatable and super cool, because we are both stuggling dads. Batman is relatable as well; I mostly work at night and sleep during the day. Spider-Man for many reasons. Wolverine was always my favorite as a kid. Hard to pick one. I like my superhero: Phantom Lion. He is me in superhero comic form.

Have any pets?
No. I want all the cats and dogs and farm animals, but for now, I am focused on paying down my student loans, so no, I cannot afford pets. ...even though my daughter is dying to have a cat and my son REALLY wants a puppy.

When the next asteroid hits Earth, causing the Yellowstone caldera to explode, California to fall into the ocean, the sea levels to rise, and the next ice age to set in, what current games or other pastimes do you think (or hope) will survive into the next era of human civilization? What do you hope is underneath that asteroid to be wiped out of the human consciousness forever?
Soccer. I hope that survives. I played soccer my whole childhood. UGA didn't have a men's soccer team, so my career was over. I'm sure things like chess and checkers would survive, because of the widespread knowledge of those games. I doubt Samurai Brothers would survive the asteroid / new ice age. Especially, if our whole team dies in the asteroid. Who would carry on the game without us? haha

If you’d like to send a shout out to anyone, anyone at all, here’s your chance (I can’t guarantee they’ll read this though):
Hi kids! I appreciate you being so patient as your "Top Pops" has worked on his dream! ...and to my great grandpappy for being so wise and knowledgeable about life.

Just a Bit More
Thanks for answering all my crazy questions! Is there anything else you'd like to tell my readers?

When you are frustrated with something about your life, use that frustration to figure out what else you could be doing instead. Use that as a signal to lead you down a different path. You will find that unique thing that only you can do. You will find that niche. Don't stay stuck in a rut for years wishing that your life would change. Plant seeds NOW that will be a blessing to you in 2 years. Make the 50 year old version of you really happy that you made good decisions at 30 and 40.




Thank you for reading this People Behind the Meeples indie game designer interview! You can find all the interviews here: People Behind the Meeples and if you'd like to be featured yourself, you can fill out the questionnaire here: http://gjjgames.blogspot.com/p/game-designer-interview-questionnaire.html

Did you like this interview?  Please show your support: Support me on Patreon! Or click the heart at Board Game Links , like GJJ Games on Facebook , or follow on Twitter .  And be sure to check out my games on  Tabletop Generation.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 236: Eric Manahan

Welcome to People Behind the Meeples, a series of interviews with indie game designers.  Here you'll find out more than you ever wanted to know about the people who make the best games that you may or may not have heard of before.  If you'd like to be featured, head over to http://gjjgames.blogspot.com/p/game-designer-interview-questionnaire.html and fill out the questionnaire! You can find all the interviews here: People Behind the Meeples. Support me on Patreon!


Name:Eric Manahan
Email:eric@bardshark.com
Location:New York City
Day Job:Architect
Designing:Two to five years.
Webpage:bardshark.com
BGG:Antematter
Facebook:BardShark
Twitter:@bardsharkgames
Instagram:@bardshark
Find my games at:BGG, Facebook, Twitter
Today's Interview is with:

Eric Manahan
Interviewed on: 7/18/2020

Earlier this week we got to meet the founder of BardShark. Today we get to meet Eric Manahan, the BardShark Creative Director working with Aaron on their new game AnteMatter. AnteMatter will be on Kickstarter next month, so keep your eye out for it! Read on to learn more about Eric and the projects he's working on.

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
Two to five years.

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
I'm a working architect, and have always been drawn to methodical and pragmatic design, while also maintaining a level of aesthetics. I am also a lifelong gamer and have been designing board games on construction paper and making figurines from clay since I can remember. I honestly can't remember a time I haven't been designing games in some fashion. Be it learning to code in Game Maker and developing an RPG Platformer - LUCID by MatteBlack Studio, or being asked by friends to join their team and help them develop a new game idea they have, which came to be known as AnteMatter. I just love games and really believe they've helped hone the analytical and creative sides of my brain.

What game or games are you currently working on?
AnteMatter by BardShark

Have you designed any games that have been published?
I have not, the closest I came was a video game named LUCID, but I put it on the backburner when I was asked to join the BardShark crew.

What is your day job?
Architect

Your Gaming Tastes
My readers would like to know more about you as a gamer.

Where do you prefer to play games?
Anywhere :D I think that is why I love my Switch so much. But when it comes to board games, definitely a great way to end the week, on a Friday, with good friends, fiance, food and drink, that's my happy place.

Who do you normally game with?
Friends, the BardShark crew, fiance.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Oh man, that varies on the mood. Recently we have gotten into Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics. But before that we played a bunch of Monster Hunter, Jackbox Games: Quiplash and Fibbage, and my favorite: SMASH BROTHERS ULTIMATE!... but my friends don't like playing with me... they just can't seem to win ;)

And what snacks would you eat?
We live in the city, so we do a roulette of take out, anything from pizza to cricket tacos, yumyum.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
I do, we fluctuate from nostalgic 90s rock, to nostalgic 80s rock.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
I grew up in New Jersey, and my favorite store was The Game Zone. It was the first experience I ever had with EXCHANGING old games for other games. It was sorcery to my young mind. Unfortunately, I think I traded in my OG ALttP cartridge... but some say it was worth it, cause I got Super Metroid in return.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Favorite tabletop game right now is Codenames. It's especially fun when it's me and my fiance vs. our married friends. Least favorite that I still enjoy; Monopoly... Worst game I ever played; an incredible boring DnD campaign...

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Um, not sure if it's a mechanic, but I love games designed with an "easy to pick up, difficult to master" sensibility. Least favorite, are any mechanics that reward the player for losing, unfair comeback mechanics.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Risk. I love it. But no one else wants to play that long without a campaign.

What styles of games do you play?
I like to play Board Games, Card Games, RPG Games, Video Games, Other Games?

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games, Card Games, RPG Games, Video Games, Other Games?

OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
Yes

You as a Designer
OK, now the bit that sets you apart from the typical gamer. Let's find out about you as a game designer.

When you design games, do you come up with a theme first and build the mechanics around that? Or do you come up with mechanics and then add a theme? Or something else?
Most often I design a game that I would want to play. Flesh out the mechanics, polish them up, make sure the idea on paper is fun in execution. Then the coat of paint that is the world and story. That said, building a world and story is a design in its own right. I love to write, and making a believable and lived in world is very important to me.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
No... not yet :D

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Satoru Iwata / Masahiro Sakurai / Shigeru Miyamoto / Jonathan Blow / Ken Lobb / Edmund McMillen

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Shower

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Play it over and over and over and over and over again. Then show friends, and play it over and over and over and over again. Then show strangers and play it over and over and over and over again.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
Both for sure. Solo dev is great when you need the space, but collab is great for fleshing out ideas.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Finding the fun.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Zelda

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
If you love it, do it. I have this vivid memory from my childhood. I was in the backseat of my parents car. We were driving on the highway at night. I was drawing, using the passing road lights to see, Megaman X and creating my own Megaman X Mavericks Bosses for him to fight, along with their respective levels. My parents looked back and asked what I was doing. I said "Making Megaman levels. I want to grow up and make games." My dad responded with "You don't want to do that Eric, there is no money in making games. That's just a hobby. You need to make money when you're older if you want to support a family." I 100% know he wasn't trying to be mean, and was trying to do what was right in his mind. But, that stuck with me my entire life. It's taken me years of doing something I like enough, to realize I should be doing something I love.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Have fun, be original. That doesn't mean you can't use your childhood favorites as inspiration, but add to it. Don't replicate it.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Games that will soon be published are: AnteMatter
Currently looking for a publisher I have: AnteMatter
I'm planning to crowdfund: AnteMatter - In August
Games that I'm playtesting are: Twin stick couch co-op
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Tabletop RPG, party card game,

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Board Game Spotlight

And the oddly personal, but harmless stuff…
OK, enough of the game stuff, let's find out what really makes you tick! These are the questions that I’m sure are on everyone’s minds!

Star Trek or Star Wars? Coke or Pepsi? VHS or Betamax?
ooooo... OG Star Wars... and Star Trek TNG... I like those... Coke 100% ...VHS??? cause i only had 100 disney VHSs as a kid

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
I make music, played in a few bands, was DJ with my fiance through college. Paint, draw, cook.

What is something you learned in the last week?
That drinking a large cup of coffee after not drinking coffee for 3 months is a bad idea.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Post-Hard Core / Prog Rock / Math core - the Illustrate Man - Blade Runner/Aliens/Donnie Darko

What was the last book you read?
I Am A Strange Loop

Do you play any musical instruments?
Yesh, Guitar, Drums, Bass, Piano, DJ in Ableton

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I can lick my elbow.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
In college, I scaled a 2 story wall in UGG slippers and pajama pants...

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Got lost in the city, stumbled upon a speakeasy, one of the best nights ever... could never find it again...

Who is your idol?
Nonna, my grandma, she was always supportive, strong, and kind, even when she was hurting. She always put others first. She was also creative and taught me to draw. Something I never stopped doing. So she's kinda still here.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Everything.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Introvert.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Iron Man - Ability to do good, yet still human.

Have any pets?
Yes, my dog angel Zoe.

When the next asteroid hits Earth, causing the Yellowstone caldera to explode, California to fall into the ocean, the sea levels to rise, and the next ice age to set in, what current games or other pastimes do you think (or hope) will survive into the next era of human civilization? What do you hope is underneath that asteroid to be wiped out of the human consciousness forever?
I hope all of 90s gaming is intact, and I hope the asteroid created a time anomaly, and we can avoid 2020 all together.

If you’d like to send a shout out to anyone, anyone at all, here’s your chance (I can’t guarantee they’ll read this though):
If the asteroid hits and something really had to be saved it's this: "I love you, Euna!"

Just a Bit More
Thanks for answering all my crazy questions! Is there anything else you'd like to tell my readers?

If you are comfortable with it, please consider signing up here: https://bit.ly/2xLF0rB For updates and notifications about ANTEMATTER's Kickstarter, launching August 2020! Thank you so much!




Thank you for reading this People Behind the Meeples indie game designer interview! You can find all the interviews here: People Behind the Meeples and if you'd like to be featured yourself, you can fill out the questionnaire here: http://gjjgames.blogspot.com/p/game-designer-interview-questionnaire.html

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Press Release: GAME-CHANGERS FROM PAIZO


Did you like this review?  Show your support: Support me on Patreon! Also, click the heart at Board Game Links , like GJJ Games on Facebook , or follow on Twitter .  And be sure to check out my games on  Tabletop Generation.