Thursday, September 17, 2020

Press Release: Introducing Gloomhaven: Fallen Lion from Source Point Press and Cephalofair Games

TEMPLATE Buds, Blooms, and Thorns Review of GAMENAME by PUBLISHER
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Enter the world of Gloomhaven in a brand-new way. The world’s #1 board game is about to become the world’s next great comic in Gloomhaven: Fallen Lion from Source Point Press and Cephalofair Games. This one-shot comic is written by Travis McIntire and illustrated by Tyler Sowles and will be in comic shops Wednesday, Dec. 30th. 
“This is our chance to tell a more visual story that isn't beholden to the mechanics of a board game, where we have to stop all the time and find excuses to have drawn-out dungeon battles,” says Isaac Childres, the creator of Gloomhaven. “There's still going to be lots of fighting, of course, but the pacing of a comic and the art will allow us to inject a lot more flavor into the world. You'll get a much better idea of the city of Gloomhaven itself, as well as the characters and how they move and act in combat.” 

The City of Gloomhaven can be a tough place to make it as an adventurer and being in the right party is key to survival. The Jaws of the Lion are the top of the mountain in the hierarchy of the city, but their latest job goes sideways, and Anaphi, the mindthief, is to blame! Get ready for Quatryll punk bands, drug dealing Inox street gangs, and a dark God sleeping beneath the surface, eager to destroy the world. 
Gloomhaven is a fantasy-themed, campaign-based tactical board game for 1 to 4 players designed by Isaac Childres and published by Cephalofair Games in 2017. It is the No. 1 rated board game of all time by BoardGameGeek, which has also given it six Golden Geek awards in 2017 for best game of the year, best strategy game, best cooperative game, most innovative game, best solo game, and best thematic game, and the Gloomhaven franchise has been backed by over 100,000 people on Kickstarter. 

“The world of Gloomhaven is one of the most rich, detailed and unique in the fantasy genre. And somehow, there was still a ton of room for us to stretch creatively, adding story details, and creating new characters. Collaborating on the first Gloomhaven comic has been a privilege and putting a tiny bit of our own stamp on a world loved by so many people has been amazing. I can't wait for people to get it in their hands!,” says McIntire. 

Source Point Press is a division of Ox Eye Media alongside Deep Water Games, publishing books, comics, and board games. ‘Gloomhaven: Fallen Lion’ will be in stores Wednesday, Dec. 30th. Welcome to the City! 






Did you like this press release?  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.



Tuesday, September 15, 2020

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 244: Drake Villareal

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:Drake Villareal
Email:djrvillareal@gmail.com
Location:California, United States
Day Job:My wife and I have owned a coffee shop in our small town for about 6 years. Between COVID and my increased tabletop workload, I've recently made the switch to doing design and development full-time.
Designing:Over ten years!
BGG:Drake Villareal
Facebook:Drake Villareal
Twitter:@dr_vil
Find my games at:Through normal distribution channels, once they've released.
Today's Interview is with:

Drake Villareal
Interviewed on: 7/15/2020

This week's interview is with Drake Villareal. Drake has a number of games that he's worked on coming to Kickstarter in the next few months, including the solo mode of Stan Kordonskiy's Endless Winter, which should be on Kickstarter later this year (and it's a great game that I played a prototype of about a year ago). He has a few other projects heading to Kickstarter, too, so read on to learn more about Drake and those projects.

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
Over ten years!

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
Creative compulsion. I can't help it, as long as I've been playing games I've been creating games. My earliest memories on the internet (early 2000s) are making custom tower defense mods for Warcraft 3, and designing hundreds of custom Yu-Gi-Oh! cards.

What game or games are you currently working on?
I'm working on a bunch of projects at the moment - some announced and some not yet announced. I've got two games hitting kickstarter in the next 4-5 months which I designed the solo mode for - Endless Winter and Monsters on Board (Fantasia and Final Frontier Games, respectively). Additionally, my first solo-design will be hitting kickstarter later in the year. It's an abstract tile-laying game based on Navajo mythology. Beyond those, I've got a few big projects in the work, including a co-design about King Arthur with Jonny Pac and Martyn Poole.

Have you designed any games that have been published?
My first co-design is due to be delivered later in the year, Merchants Cove (with Carl Van Ostrand and Jonny Pac). In addition to co-designing and developing Merchants Cove, I also designed and developed the solo mode and a bunch of thematic solo content for it as well. Arriving alongside Merchants Cove is Drawn to Adventure, an adventurous roll-and-write by Keith Piggot. I'm proud to report I helped develop this game as well, and designed the solo mode too.

What is your day job?
My wife and I have owned a coffee shop in our small town for about 6 years. Between COVID and my increased tabletop workload, I've recently made the switch to doing design and development full-time.

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
At the house of a mutual friend. I don't like having to speak loudly, so playing published games at a bar or convention is a tough experience for me.

Who do you normally game with?
My family.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Glass Road and Quacks of Quedlinburg have been recent favorites.

And what snacks would you eat?
I prefer to just eat a meal beforehand, no chance of greasy fingers, loud crunching, getting up to get more snacks or wash hands, etc.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
I'm pretty easily overwhelmed by sensory input, in general, I find music to be a personal experience whereas gaming is a social one. The two don't mix well in my mind (unless it's instrumental, thematic, background music played very softly).

What’s your favorite FLGS?
The nearest FLGS are over 60 miles away, so...the internet is my FLGS.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Glory to Rome is the game I always say is my favorite, but it might actually be Quacks of Quedlinburg. Uh...I get some small enjoyment out of most games, even ones that are mostly miserable. Like Disney Villainous, a few neat ideas, and otherwise just completely goes against both my design sensibilities AND taste. Worst game I've ever played? That's a hard question, because I try to only play games I think I will enjoy. Probably Villainous. It's not a terrible game, it's just NOT my style.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Multipurpose components are the best, especially cards. Least favorite is definitely "Market Refresh as an Action". It's just...such an uninteresting thing to do...clear and reset the board to the potential benefit of the next player in turn order.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
I've got a copy of Lords of Xidit I've been dying to play for years now, but haven't been able. As far as games I know I like, probably Glory to Rome. It's just a bit too dense, graphic-design-looking, and fragile to see regular play.

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

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

OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
I'm not too proud to admit I've played and have had lots of fun with this game. That said, we generally play Joking Hazard over CaH when given the choice, and don't play either all 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 think this question is a trap. Game design ideas come from a multitude of places, and focusing on where to start gives the false impression that game design is a formulaic endeavor.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
No. I feel like if someone is going to be judging and critiquing my hard work, they may as well be a publisher who I'm submitting to. Winning is great, but losing is far more likely. In the same way I don't divulge how long I've been working on a design when pitching, I also don't want to mention "by the way this game has lost 3 different competitions".

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
I'm blown away by the breadth of work Wolfgang Warsch puts out. I love Carl Chudyk's clever multipurposing of components. I respect Phil Walker-Harding's commitment to clean and clear systems.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
The best ideas are the ones that stick with you. It's not where, or when, I get an idea - it's the fact that I get thousands of ideas. Most of them are fleeting, they don't stick. When an idea sticks and keeps inserting itself into my thoughts, that's when I know it's a good one. To more directly answer the question, I get inspiration from history and pop-cultures for themes, and problem-solving and remixing for mechanisms.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
With other people :D Typically at conventions. Lately I've been favoring "designer weekends" where you just spend a few days getting focused work done with other designers.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
100% prefer to be a part of a team. Having people count on me gives me both confidence and urgency. It's a lot easier to let yourself down when no one holds you accountable.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Money. I've never had much money, and before getting a break last year in the industry I was eating up a lot of my resources trying to go to conventions and improve my craft.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Redwall, by Brian Jacques. I'm pretty torn on how popular "medieval era anthropomorphized critters and rodents" has become as a theme (Root, Everdell). Redwall (or, arguably, Watership Down) is the father of this "genre". I see it as a co-operative, narrative card game along the lines of Arkham Horror or Lord of the Rings LCGs.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Just. Put. It. On. The. Table. And. Stop. Over. Thinking. It.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Don't approach game design with the goal of making a good game. Approach it with the goal of learning how to make good games in general. If you aim to succeed, you will be disappointed. If you aim to learn, you will always stay hungry and inspired.

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: [Merchants Cove - 2020] - Co-design with Carl Van Ostrand and Jonny Pac
[Drawn to Adventure - 2020] - Solo mode

I'm planning to crowdfund: [Monsters on Board] - Solo mode
[Endless Winter] - Solo mode
[Unannounced Navajo Tile Laying Game] - First solo published title!
[Unannounced Euro Game] - Co-design with Jonny Pac and Martyn Poole

Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: [Flight of the Frigatebird] - A free solo PnP game about Frigatebirds. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ToPtjKbMe_HX3psTNPaS7EqKYyc7Ag9Y?usp=sharing
Games that I'm playtesting are: Project: Genesis (large sci-fi game)
Project: Daedalus (large fantasy game)

Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Project: Generica (generic themed middle weight euro)
Project: Applesauce ("MMO TT" rpg + board game hybrid)
Project: Alloy (metallurgy themed middle weight euro)

And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: Too many to count.

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, reddit.com/r/tabletopgamedesign

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 Trek. Coke (I go for Root Beer the 2-3 times a year I drink soda). VHS (Tangentially related, I thought HD-DVD was gonna CRUSH Blu-ray.)

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Cooking. Video games. Writing. Reading.

What is something you learned in the last week?
I learned how ancient humans forged metals - inefficiently and with great trouble! I'm continually blown away by the painfully slow progressions and hard labor that have made our modern world possible.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
I'm an omni-consumer. I just look for "what's good" and consume. Sometimes tastes develop, but I feel like they are diagnostic and not prescriptive. Except country - I can't stand country music.

What was the last book you read?
The Warlord Chronicles (trilogy) by Bernard Cornwell

Do you play any musical instruments?
Nope.

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I played high school basketball and was a phenomenal shot blocker. Senior year average stats were something like 2.5 points, 3 rebounds, and 8 blocks.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Not likely. I'm...exceptionally reserved and dislike spontaneity. The wildest things I do are make unplanned pit stops on an otherwise carefully planned road trip, and stay up for 24+ hours in a row with worrying frequency.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
No specific examples - but I work with Jonny Pac a good amount. In throwing ideas back and forth, sometimes our misunderstandings lead to the coolest stuff. "You meant X? I thought you meant Y." Then it turns out "Y" is a lot cooler than "X" ever was.

Who is your idol?
Masahiro Sakurai the lead designer behind the Super Smash Bros. His commitment to his work, his duty to his fans, his genuine love of design, and his inspiring approach to mastery are all things I look up to as a designer.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Probably have a moral conundrum. Then probably try to see if time tends to self-correct, or if it's more of a "butterfly effect" situation. From there...not sure. I'd probably treat it as a research device instead of a problem-solving one.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Introvert.

Have any pets?
Loki and Luna, two dogs. We also have a cat who hangs out outside who we feed, water, and warm in the winter. We call him "Scuzz Cat". He can't come in because everyone is allergic.

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?
Anything analog will survive. Things without commonly printed rulesets would likely evolve as people re-discover and re-interpret the games. Imagine trying to reverse-engineer basketball or football 300 years after it was last played. Capitalism. ;P

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 you're reading this, you’re the real mvp.

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

If you have questions about game design, feel free to reach out to me.




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, September 8, 2020

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 243: Anthony Hore

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:Anthony Hore
Email:anthonyhore@gmail.com
Location:Vancouver, BC, Canada
Day Job:Graphic Designer & Art Director
Designing:Two to five years.
BGG:The Pet Cemetery
Facebook:The Pet Cemetery
Twitter:@Ahore
Instagram:@anthonyhore
Other:The Pet Cemetery on Kickstarter
Find my games at:On Kickstarter
Today's Interview is with:

Anthony Hore
Interviewed on: 7/20/2020

This week’s interview is with Anthony Hore, the designer behind The Pet Cemetery on Kickstarter right now! The Pet Cemetery is his first game to be published and it’s already funded in its Kickstarter campaign! Read on to learn more about Anthony and his other projects.

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've always been a really creative person and I felt that I should try and combine that with my passion for boardgames. This is my first time creating a game so I wanted to make something that was fun, easy to learn and play, and something that had plenty of variety and replayability.

What game or games are you currently working on?
The Pet Cemetery

Have you designed any games that have been published?
No, I'm a first time game designer.

What is your day job?
Graphic Designer & Art Director

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
At my good friend Ben’s house, they have a really great outdoor patio with a large table so we can enjoy being outside in the summer while also playing games.

Who do you normally game with?
I have a great group of 10 friends who we play with regularly. From larger campaigns with 3-4 people to fun Friday night games nights with the whole crew.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Currently I'm addicted to 'The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth' as a campaign game with 3 of my closest friends.

And what snacks would you eat?
Pizza and red wine.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
We always have on The Lord of the Rings playlist on Spotify.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Rain City Games at International Village, Vancouver, Canada.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Favourite: Mansions of Madness Least Favourite: Fireball Island Worst: Don't Wake Daddy (from my childhood - the premise and story behind this game is just horrible)

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Dice throwing for both - it can be so amazing to throw successes but when you're on a bad streak, you're on a bad streak.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Tainted Grail - It's an amazing King Arthur inspired campaign game that I've only had a few hours to play but the rest of the crew are hung up on our other campaigns.

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

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games, Card 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?
Mechanics are the most important to me when designing the game. I like to figure out the game play, the rubber banding for characters, how the cards or die influence character decisions and motivations. Then I love to test play the crap out of the prototype mechanics to get it right. Once that feels good then I come up with a great theme that I think works for the target audience of gamers.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
No - I wish!

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
I have favourite game illustrators at the moment because I have been so focused on getting the artwork for my game complete in the last few months - I’m most enamoured with Sam Yang who is a digital artist based out of Toronto - check him out on instagram @samdoesarts

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
For the game mechanics my best ideas or inspiration come from playing games and getting frustrated with how somethings don't work, or how the game has broken usability. I have always wanted to play games that feel seamless and clear, where the rules and gameplay match up well and make for a fair experience for all. When I find an issue I think about upgrading the mechanic and creating my own version of a game around it.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
I first start with my core group of friends. We will playtest over and over again. Then I reach out to my local game store to get others playtesting and reviewing the game mechanics and art. Finally it's off to google and facebook to find some people who are a good fit for the mechanics or theme of the game to get some unbiased playtesting done.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I love working as part of a small team. For my first game 'The Pet Cemetery' I worked primarily with my partner on all the details and mechanics. I find that having a few other voices and minds in the mix help to really elevate and change the game play. However if it's more the 3 or 4 people then it just becomes a big mess and it's hard to stay focused.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
The biggest challenge is knowing when to take on feedback and when to let it go. I went through so many versions of the game while playtesting that I honestly can't quite remember how the game was first constructed. A lot of the feedback in terms of play and mechanics really helped to elevate and adjust the game however there were some pieces of feedback I knew I just had to let be as they were to help appease a specific person with a specific idea in mind.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
I already have an idea for a Harry Potter dungeon crawler campaign game - but good luck getting JK Rowling to sign off on the IP, am I right!?!

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
That it's going to take so much time and effort. It's taken me nearly 2 years to get the game ready for Kickstarter and I don't know how I could have done it faster unless I focused full time on it.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
That you have to be brave and put it out there for people to review, playtest, and comment on. Sometimes it's hard because the game design can feel like your baby and hearing people pull it apart or give negative critiques breaks your heart. But at the end of the day it will make for a much more compelling game.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: None yet, my Kickstarter just went live September 1st.
This is what I have currently crowdfunding: The Pet Cemetery
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: RuPauls Drag Race: Cards for the Crown
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: A Harry Potter dungeon crawler campaign game and an interesting Battle Mage competitive game where you try to dominate the board.

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

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, Coke and Betamax all the way!

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Reading, writing, illustration, plants, video games, and baking.

What is something you learned in the last week?
That the little line on the bottom of a mug is to help water escape when it's in the dishwasher - weird I know, but I just found out about this today!

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Music: Anything I can sing along to, primarily from the 80's and 90's. Books: Fantasy fiction for the win, if there's magic then I’m in. Movies: I'm a sucker for animated pieces, anything from Studio Ghibli and Hayo Miyazaki.

What was the last book you read?
I'm currently re-reading The Name of the Wind series in prep for the final book release.

Do you play any musical instruments?
No I wish! My parents focused my abilities into arts and the creative fields from an early age.

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I'm originally from New Zealand but have taken up residency in Canada.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I jumped out of an airplane for my 22nd birthday.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
I applied for a green card to the USA 3 times but never got in, so I figured I would give Canada a try. It was the best decision of my life and I love living here.

Who is your idol?
Melisa Koby is a prolific and beautiful artist who inspires me daily.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Ohh, big question! Shift the political landscape of the world, introduce 'Green thinking' to earlier generations, or maybe just buy apple stocks.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
I'm an introvert masquerading as an extrovert.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Storm! She's a powerful queen who can throw lighting and fly!

Have any pets?
I wish, we live in a condo that doesn't allow pets.

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'm hoping that a simple deck of cards survive - I have spent thousands of hours playing different card games with different rules and levels of complexity with all sorts of people. As for what should be forgotten forever, let's not get political. :)

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):
Thanks to George Takei for being an amazing ambassador to LGBTQ rights since the 70s. He has opened doors, hearts, and minds for the community.


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.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Enter to WIN One of Five Steam Keys for Roll for the Galaxy Digital! From Temple Gates and GJJ Games!


The award winning boardgame, Roll for the Galaxy, is now available on phones, tablets and PC! Following the launch of Race for the Galaxy, Temple Gates Games in association with Rio Grande Games is excited to announce the digital release of the popular dice adaptation. The game is available on iOS, Android, and Steam. This giveaway is for the Steam edition. Roll for the Galaxy is a dice game of building space empires for 2-5 players. Your dice represent your populace, whom you direct to develop new technologies, settle worlds, and ship goods. The player who best manages their workers and builds the most prosperous empire wins! 

Temple Gates Games and GJJ Games bring you this opportunity to win one of five Steam copies of Roll for the Galaxy!  

Temple Gates Games is also a sponsor of the 2020 Charity Auction for Extra Life, so if you're looking for more awesome digital versions of board games, be sure to check out their offerings!  They're supporting a great cause, so please support them in return.



Five Keys for the Digital Version of Roll for the Galaxy, Steam (PC) from Temple Gates Games
Did you like this giveaway?  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.



Tuesday, September 1, 2020

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 242: Steven Ridings

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:Steven Ridings
Email:cretaceousboardgame@gmail.com
Location:Pennsylvania - United States
Day Job:3D Modeler - Environmental Artist
Designing:One to two years.
Webpage:Cretaceous
Facebook:Cretaceous Board Game
Twitter:@cretaceous_game
Instagram:@cretaceousboardgame/
Find my games at:Cretaceous: A Dinosaur Hunting Adventure is on Kickstarter in August 2020, Gamecrafter after the campaign
Today's Interview is with:

Steven Ridings
Interviewed on: 7/17/2020

This week’s interview is with Steven Ridings, the designer of Cretaceous: A Dinosaur Hunting Adventure, on Kickstarter right now! Read on to learn more about Steven and his projects.

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
One to two years.

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
I wanted to create something people could have fun with. I am a 3D modeler professionally and I got into it in order to make video games to give people fun, emotional experiences. However I found myself in the government contracting side of the field and while I enjoy what I do, it doesn't scratch that itch to provide people with a fun experience and since I get that from board games it seemed like a great hobby to get into the design side of things.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Cretaceous: A Dinosaur Hunting Adventure

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Not yet!

What is your day job?
3D Modeler - Environmental Artist

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
At home or at a friends house. I definitely feel the most comfortable to be loud and just relax.

Who do you normally game with?
Well I have two real groups. One I grew up with in Winchester VA and try to play anytime I swing through town. Another my wife and I met online playing video games and dungeons and dragons.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
I'd say my top two would be Clank! and Evolution. Some runner ups would have to be Dinosaur Island, Betrayal at House on the Hill, and Arkham Horror.

And what snacks would you eat?
Red Baron mini frozen pizzas have kind of become a signature food over here when friends visit. Maybe add some cheetos or chips too.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
We don't, but a buddy of mine always had it when we played Magic and it was cool. Maybe it's something we should start.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
I have two since we travel a lot back and forth to VA normally. In Winchester VA there is Kung Fu Comics. It's run by a long time friend and has everything from MTG, board games, and miniatures. In Pennsylvania I would have to say New Dimension Comics. They have a HUGE store at the waterfront and I met my D&D group there.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Current favorite would be Dinosaur Island. Making Cretaceous really got me more into a dino mood. Least that I still enjoy would be Joking Hazard as you seem to get the same cards pretty fast so if you play it a lot it starts to get a bit repetitive. I feel a bit bad putting a worst but I would have to say Keys to the Castle. I saw it on sale and I should have known better with no gameplay art on the box but we gave it a try. It's been gathering dust since.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Tile placement and map building are my favorite. I want at the end of the game to look at something and see something that wasn't there when we started. That's one of the main reasons Cretaceous makes the map as you go and spawns dinosaurs during the game, so the map comes to life as you play. My least favorite would be games that put too much power in the cards to draw like Cards Against Humanity or most card only games that have a random draw. It seems that based on what you draw you win or lose and sometimes you know you have lost early based on a "bad hand" and you get to wait for the next round without much of a chance to change that.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Arkham Horror. Since there are so many parts to it, it seems a bit overwhelming to new players.

What styles of games do you play?
I like to play Board Games, Card Games, Miniatures Games, RPG 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?
I definitely do the theme first. I want to pull a certain feeling out of people and I can get that from the theme. For Cretaceous I wanted the feeling of going through a jungle or forest not knowing what dinosaurs or hazards there would be. It started as a game where you were trying to escape an island and avoid the dinosaurs but slowly the mechanics changed to something far more fun but still gave that same feeling.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
No, I have not entered any. I've only really been focusing on Cretaceous and I didn't want to submit it without all the artwork done. Maybe now that it is at a place I am happy with I can submit it to a few.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Definitely Dominic Crapuchettes. The first Evolution really pulled me into the modern board game world and I was so into that game I took it every time I visited friends. They now request and make sure I bring it. And the story of how he came to design board games is amazing as well.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
I'd say my best ideas would come from when I can just sit for 30-60 minute sessions by myself and just write down any ideas for the game. I wont keep most of them, but being able to compare the pool of thoughts easily lets me narrow down to the best ways to accomplish what I want.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Annoying my wife with countless index card prototypes! But in all seriousness for Cretaceous I remade it a few times with her until I found something I thought was a good base. Then I took it to VA when we visited to get more feedback. After some Game Crafter prototypes to get a feel of costs and components I took it to Tabletop Simulator and reached out to people online. I was planning on more local game store tests instead but with 2020 being what it is, that moved online.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I'd like to work with others in the future. Specifically an artist as I believe my skills are limited. Although through all the playtesters I got a lot of great ideas that improved the game, so I can't really say I made it alone.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
That this is my first game and nobody knows whether to invest in anything I make.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
The cast of Critical Role for a board game based on one of their two campaigns. They have such rich lore and worlds built that they could go into any media!

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
I didn't know the Game Crafter was a thing until a little over a year ago. I just had ideas in my head but didn't know how to get it on a real product easily.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Make sure to playtest even a really early draft of your game. Even if it is just on index cards. No matter how well you think it will work out, just playing it once will expose things you need to change. Once you finally don't see any major issues, then grab a few more testers and maybe make a better prototype.

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: Cretaceous: A Dinosaur Hunting Adventure
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: An interesting crafting and creation game is looking pretty fun

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

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?
Retro Video game Collecting and Fishing

What is something you learned in the last week?
Taco Bell has a Grilled Cheese Burrito

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Comedy / Parody Music Fantasy Books 3D Animation Movies like Pixar or Dreamworks

What was the last book you read?
Does the Baldur's Gate campaign book count?

Do you play any musical instruments?
Nope! But if I could, I would choose Violin.

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I don't really like horror movies or books, but for some reason I really like the game Dead by Daylight.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I put Cheetos on a pizza. I used the Joey Tribbiani approach. Pizza? Good. Cheetos? Good. What is there not to like? (It didn't go well)

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
I didn't know those could turn out well. I'll keep a lookout.

Who is your idol?
Weird Al. He did something he loved that did not fit any of the norms of the time. Accordion parody music wasn't really "in". But he brought so much joy and laughter to the world because he was just himself.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
I think I would be worried about screwing something up in the present. So I guess drop it in the ocean.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Introvert. Extremely so.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Superman. I don't really like DC but the guy has it all. It's like getting to choose multiple choices on this one.

Have any pets?
2 Cats - Nami and Jinx 2 Rabbits - Kisa and Roshi

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?
Survive - A thumb drive that some Pirate has filled with all the ROMS of classic video games from NES, SNES, and 64. I bet they would fit. Destroyed - Durian Fruits

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):
I'd like to thank my wife Kathleen the most. She helped push me to thinking my games would be worth making and not to doubt myself so much. It's really hard to get over the self doubt sometimes.


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

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