Tuesday, October 13, 2020

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 248: Carl Dean Cox

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:Carl Dean Cox
Email:carl.dean.cox@gmail.com
Location:Mexico City
Day Job:Game designer
Designing:Two to five years.
Webpage:seeforevergames.com
Blog:seeforevergames.com/blog
BGG:Carl Dean Cox
Facebook:Carl Dean Cox
Twitter:@seeforevergames
YouTube:Carl Cox
Instagram:@seeforevergames
Other:https://open.spotify.com/artist/093vSL01pxClwuqBDkb9u0
Today's Interview is with:

Carl Dean Cox
Interviewed on: 7/15/2020

This week's interview is with Carl Dean Cox, game designer and musician from Mexico. Together with his brother, Carl is designing a game called Cybermancy, which he plans to fund on Kickstarter through his company, See Forever Games. Read on to learn more about Carl and how he designs games.

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?
To create the games that I want to play but that don't exist yet.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Alchemy (a deck-building game)

What is your day job?
Game designer

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
At home

Who do you normally game with?
Family and friends.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Scythe.

And what snacks would you eat?
Tacos al pastor.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Progressive rock.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
I don't have one.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Favorite: Scythe; Least Favorite that still enjoy: Don't have one; Worst: Crocodile Pool Party

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Favorite: Engine building; Least Favorite: Area control

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Dungeon Petz

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, Card 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?
The theme drives the mechanics.

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

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Emerson Matsuuchi.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Taking walks.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
Computer simulation, then live testing with humans.

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

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Being as creative as possible.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
The Reckoners.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Be yourself; don't try to imitate others.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Just do it!

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
I'm planning to crowdfund: Cybermancy.

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, VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Songwriting, singing, fiction writing

What is something you learned in the last week?
That H.P. Lovecraft was married.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Progressive rock, fantasy, horror.

What was the last book you read?
If It Bleeds, Stephen King

Do you play any musical instruments?
guitar, piano, bassoon, flute, saxophone

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I'm six foot six and suck at basketball.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Moved to Mexico 32 years ago and never left.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Found out that my best friend was in love with me, married her.

Who is your idol?
Ian Anderson.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Go back to investigate unsolved crimes.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Introvert (INFP)

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Dr. Strange

Have any pets?
2 dogs: Olivia and Coco.

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: Board games; Wiped out: racism

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):
Stephen King: thanks for all the books!


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, October 6, 2020

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 247: Scott Brady

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:Scott Brady
Email:scott@sahmreviews.com
Location:Iowa
Day Job:Retired
Designing:One to two years.
Webpage:SahmReviews.com
Blog:SahmReviews.com
BGG:ia2ca
Facebook:Scott Brady
Twitter:@sahm_reviews
YouTube:SAHM Reviews
Instagram:@meeplemom
Find my games at:FLGS, Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble, BGG
Today's Interview is with:

Scott Brady
Interviewed on: 7/15/2020

You may know Scott Brady from such websites as SAHM Reviews and games like Cues & Hues. Scott has been a major contributor to board game reviews and media along with his family over at SAHM Reviews for many years. Recently, instead of playing and reviewing games, Scott decided to start designing games. His first published game is the hit party game from The Op, Hues & Cues, and he has plenty more in the works. Read on to learn more about Scott 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?
A personal challenge

What game or games are you currently working on?
Chicken -n- Waffles, Backseat Draw'r, Sonoma

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Hues and Cues, Gekitai (web-published), Brain Train (signed, not out yet)

What is your day job?
Retired

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Home with a group of friends

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Anything Feld or Lacerda

And what snacks would you eat?
Beef Jerkey, Veggie Straws

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Nope

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Current - The Crew, Least fav but enjoy - 7 Wonders, Worst - no comment

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Fav - Worker Placement, Least - roll and move

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Lorenzo il Magnifico

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

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?
Typically a mechanic first. I try to go for something that hasn't been done before and then marry it to an appropriate theme.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
Neither

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Feld

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
During twilight sleep.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
First with family, then with close friends when ready to present. After about 10 plays, I move on to other friends and strangers.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
Typically alone. No one close by to partner with.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Overcoming personal criticism.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Anything from the late 70's or early 80's. My youth.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Listen to yourself. Ultimately you know what is best for your game.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Design for the experience first. Even a poorly put together game can bring people to the table if they have fun playing it.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: Hues and Cues
Games that will soon be published are: Brain Train, Gekitai
Currently looking for a publisher I have: Gekitai, Chicken -n- Waffles, Backseat Draw'r
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: Chicken -n- Waffles, Backseat Draw'r
Games that I'm playtesting are: Sonoma, From the Rubble, Petris
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Too many to list. Most of which will probably be burned before they hit the next stage.

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

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?
Trek, Coke, VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Various collections, particularly Dodge Viper 1:64 scale.

What is something you learned in the last week?
My kids have no idea what they want to study in college.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
80's Rap, biographies, SciFi

What was the last book you read?
Building Blocks of Tabletop Game Design

Do you play any musical instruments?
I can play all of them. No one would want to hear it though.

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
Supposedly my lineage has been traced back to Joseph of Arimathea (the man who removed Jesus from the cross). I don't receive any royalties from that...

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Scraped off the material from a full box of sparklers and burnt a hole THROUGH the road in front of my house (teenager).

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Mayonnaise and peanut butter

Who is your idol?
Billy

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Buy a sports almanac and head back in time.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
introvert

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Thanos

Have any pets?
Dog (chihuahua pom mix)

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?
Ice Fishing. Under the asteroid - prejudices.

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 dad! R.I.P.!


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, September 29, 2020

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 246: Sam Stockton

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:Sam Stockton
Email:sam@bagamesco.com
Location:Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Day Job:I am a Business Development Specialist for a Truck Manufacturer. Basically a Marketing Consultant for truck dealerships.
Designing:One to two years.
Webpage:bagamesco.com
Blog:bagamesco.com
BGG:KingoftheHilltop
Facebook:Cult of the Deep
Twitter:@BAGamesCo
Instagram:@bagamesco
Other:Board Game Atlas : KingoftheHilltop
Find my games at:We actually have a calendar where we are playtesting games or just having game nights. Go to: https://bagames.setmore.com/
Today's Interview is with:

Sam Stockton
Interviewed on: 7/18/2020

This week we get to meet Sam Stockton, who is hoping to publish his first game, Cult of the Deep, next year. He also runs B.A. Games and writes for the King of the Hilltop blog where there is a ton of great information about board games and more! Read on to learn more about Sam 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 am one of five brothers. Playing board and tabletop games is one of our favorite ways of hanging out. We played enough that we would always start talking about creating our own games. It was more of a casual pursuit until about 2 years ago.

What game or games are you currently working on?
I am mainly working on Cult of the Deep right now as it is coming to Kickstarter soon. I have a couple of others I am working on, but Cult of the Deep has been taking over any spare time I have.

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

What is your day job?
I am a Business Development Specialist for a Truck Manufacturer. Basically a Marketing Consultant for truck dealerships.

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Home, game store, friends house, floor of a convention hallway, you name it.

Who do you normally game with?
My brothers, local friends, as well as a couple of online communities.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
I would like to start the night off with something faster like Dice Forge and then move on to something a bit meatier like: Pandemic Fall of Rome, Terraforming Mars, Wingspan, etc. Then if it was a shorter game, end it with a quick warm down of Century: Golem or Splendor.

And what snacks would you eat?
I am a huge fan of chips and queso, I just keep it away from the table and have a hand cloth to clean my hands.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Not really. Not sure why but normally it just distracts me.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
I love my local Hobbytown USA.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Current favorite is Dice Forge. Least favorite is likely Ecos, but I do enjoy it still. I have a hard time picking out a worst game. So many games at least do one thing well. I can tell you what game I wanted more from, Barbearian. I like the theme, I like the dice rolling, and the dice placement. I just wanted more from it. I see a lot of potential for that game.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Worker placement is my favorite right now. The one I like the least is player elimination, some games can get away with it but I find it hard to swallow that it is the best choice a lot of the time.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Terraforming Mars but it just seems not everyone agrees to it or there is not enough time. One day I'll get another game in!

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, Miniatures 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 tend to work with themes first as it is what excites me and gets me thinking about the game.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
We have entered into the Board Game Design Lab (BGDL) and Boston FIG but unfortunately FIG was canceled this year and we got some great feedback from the (BGDL) community.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Shem Phillips is my favorite right now.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Reading books and playing other games.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
I have multiple groups locally as well as online that I can now playtest my games. I still like to get people I have never met before for blind playtesting.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
Working as a team for me is the only way to go. Especially love working with artists as they are far more skilled than I am and can do a better job of bringing my vision to life.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
My biggest challenge right now is experience. The knowledge and experience of how to tweak or change designs is something I am going to have to earn. I am looking forward to it but it's going to be a challenge!

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Warhammer 40,000!

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
Design your first game, just do it and be prepared to shelve it afterwards. You are not going to be great overnight, it takes time and practice. So get out there, get it on the table, and then move on with your next game.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
The same as above. Get that 1st design finished. If it is terrible, awesome! Now do it again. You only get better by actually doing.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
I'm planning to crowdfund: Cult of the Deep
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Monster Hunter like game
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: Superhero team builder

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, Card and Board Game Designer's 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. Dr. Pepper or Mt. Dew I think is the better question. VHS.

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Well, when you play tabletop miniature games, it's an all encompassing hobby with miniature building, terrain construction, and painting.

What is something you learned in the last week?
Citadel Primer does not wash off if you soak it in Simple Green for a week and you hit it with a vigorous toothbrushing. It laughs at you...mercilessly.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
For music I am a huge Ska fan but I do love me some power metal with Sabaton!

What was the last book you read?
I read Super Powereds Year 4 by Drew Hayes

Do you play any musical instruments?
Fun fact, I was a music major in my first years of college and I played the tuba.

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I actually lived and worked in the country of Peru for 2 years.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
I used to put hot pastrami on my cheeseburgers. Man, that was a good time!

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
My current day job is really awesome and I work with great people. I applied thinking it was a more local job for a dealership. Didn't realize it was for an international company.

Who is your idol?
My Dad. To this day, he can still work my brothers and I into the ground and still keep going. The man is a complete haus who can outwork anyone I have ever met.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
I would like to go back in time and just do historical surveys of Ancient China and other great civilizations. I am just curious how people lived and what things were like.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
EXTROVERT!! (Sorry, is that cliche? Oh well. We'll be friends anyway!)

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Colossus from the X-Men would be sweet. Super Strength and impervious skin.

Have any pets?
Do my children count? No? Well, then 0.

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 only highly magical fantasy games survive. Then everyone centuries later would be like, these people had magic and stuff!?

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):
To all of those people who have been supporting us in bringing Cult of the Deep to life. There have literally now been 100s of people who have helped make this game happen. Thank you! All of you!

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

We are prepping for our first Kickstarter that will be launching February 2nd, 2021. Check out our website, Facebook group, and sign-up for our newsletter to make sure you stay in the loop!




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 22, 2020

Enter to win Furtherance, the tactical and engine-building civilization game for 1-4 players

To celebrate the retail release of their very first game, Brent and Jillian Keath from Flannel Games are giving away a copy of Furtherance, the tactical and engine-building civilization game for 1-4 players.

By combining engine-building and tactics, Furtherance allows you to build your own unique kingdom composed of buildings to create long-term advantages and units that fight together to become more powerful. While acquiring your own combos, you must keep an eye on what the rival kingdoms are building. To play you take turns choosing between 1 of 6 simple actions in order to acquire gold, purchase cards, influence the market, or improve your workers' abilities. Whatever strategy you decide to pursue, be prepared to pivot, because your neighboring kingdoms will be doing everything in their power to improve their own kingdoms and dominate yours.


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.




People Behind the Meeples- Episode 245: Adam Sadiq

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:Adam Sadiq
Email:diacriticalgames@gmail.com
Location:Kansas City, KS
Day Job:Going back to school Fall 2020 to get an MBA, but before that I worked in banking.
Designing:Five to ten years.
Webpage:www.diacriticalgames.com
BGG:DiacriticalGames
Facebook:That’s a Wrap Board Game
Twitter:@DiacriticalGame
Instagram:@diacriticalgames
Find my games at:BGG
Today's Interview is with:

Adam Sadiq
Interviewed on: 7/15/2020

This week we get to meet Adam Sadiq, a Kansas City area designer responsible for That's A Wrap, the game where you are a movie director competing to win the most Oskies. Read on to learn moreaboutAdam and the other projects he's working on.

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 just like making things, so when I was introduced to the world of game design, and had my first idea for a game, I decided to run with it just because I could.

What game or games are you currently working on?
Temporal Trouble - A 2-player asymmetric co-op with a time travel theme. One player is a Time Pilot searching for treasure and the other player is their Time Ship trying to fix itself in time to escape the dangerous past. Can also be played solo.

Sync - Family-weight logic-based game with a very low number of components. Has similarities to the Mind, Hanabi, and the classic game Set. Try to get "In Sync" with partners/opponents by finding cards that match characteristics.

Have you designed any games that have been published?
That's a Wrap! - A movie-making game where players compete to win the most Oskies. Kickstarted late 2019, and fulfilling in Fall 2020.

What is your day job?
Going back to school Fall 2020 to get an MBA, but before that I worked in banking

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

Where do you prefer to play games?
Home or someone's house, but getting a lot of mileage from Tabletop Simulator lately

Who do you normally game with?
Casually is usually my girlfriend or close friends, but I've really enjoyed networking with other designers through virtual playtest events recently

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Definitely depends on who I'm playing with, and how many people there are, but my standard favorites are Azul, Castles of Burgundy, Camel Up, and Coup. If it's just 2 people, I'll break out Baseball Highlights: 2045, or Star Wars: Rebellion if the other person agrees to it.

And what snacks would you eat?
Game nights are usually preceded by dinner so we don't snack during usually. Typically it'll be tacos, but I also love making homemade pizzas if I end up hosting.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Not particularly! My friends and I prefer to just chat over the game.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
Spielbound in Omaha, Nebraska. Even though I moved away 4 years ago, it will never stop being my #1

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Baseball Highlights: 2045 is my perfect game, I love it to death. Exploding Kittens is not my cup of tea, but I have family who enjoys it, so it's fun to enjoy with them. Worst is a random Kickstarter game I backed, it was supposed to be very simple but me and my friend couldn't even figure the rules out so that was frustrating. Don't want to namedrop though!

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
I love bidding, it's a mechanic that speaks to me, but it's tough to execute correctly. Can't really say a mechanic I don't enjoy, although dice rolling implemented poorly can be painful (looking at you, Catan)

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Star Wars: Rebellion for obvious reasons

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, Card Games

OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
I would never choose it, but if someone was adamant about wanting to play, I'd play along

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?
It depends! My first game, the theme ended up informing mechanics, but the two games I'm working on were the opposite - I wanted a 2P asymmetric co-op, and the time travel theme just made a lot of sense (Temporal Trouble) and I wanted a game that could be played easily on a blind date (Sync, it's a long story)

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
No, I've thought about it but never pulled the trigger.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Oddly, I never pay attention to the designer of a given game, though I have met many wonderful designers at conventions.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
I wish I could control it but it's super random. Often when I'm doing something like driving or running, where I can zone out and have time to be in my own mind. But unfortunately, I can't write things down in either of those situations so the ideas don't always follow me home.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
I force my girlfriend or other friends to play. Lately I've been doing a ton of digital playtesting, which I think is honestly ideal because of how quick and easy it is to implement feedback and make dynamic changes.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I wish I could be part of a team, design-wise, but honestly don't know where to look. Artists I absolutely must hire out, but at least I know that I'm terrible, so I don't micromanage my artists. I've found letting them do their own thing gets the best results.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Knowing when a game is "good enough" (it never is). I probably spend an inordinate amount of time at 99% trying to get to 100% even though it's not attainable, and agonize over things I wish I had designed into a game. Trying to get better, change what I can change and all that.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Honestly not the biggest fan of IP! I'm obsessed with trying to be original, for better or for worse.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
"Get ready because once you start doing this it's hard to stop."

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Be incredibly open to feedback, and always do your best to respond to criticisms you feel like you don't agree with. By having a coherent reason for why certain feedback doesn't apply, you are strengthening your understanding of your game, or you're realizing that maybe this idea actually holds some water and exposes a blind spot you didn't know you had.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Published games, I have: That's a Wrap! The Game of Filmmaking Frenzy
Currently looking for a publisher I have: Temporal Trouble & Sync
I'm planning to crowdfund: Temporal Trouble & Sync (could be persuaded to self-publish if I can't find a publisher for either)
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: President's Legacy - A riff on the classic card game that takes the idea and turns it into a quasi-civilization builder. One of my weirder ideas.
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: Futuristic sports bidding game with robots, aliens, and humans Competitive somewhat asymmetric door-to-door sales game Sentinels of the Multiverse-esque game where players control minor holidays fighting corrupted major holidays

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

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 (never watched Trek) Don't drink soda I was born in 1994, grew up with VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Travel, movies, cooking, running

What is something you learned in the last week?
I can run a 10K with a sub 10-minute pace, that was cool to accomplish

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
I love all kinds of music, but mostly indie rock, rap, and show tunes - I was a major musical kid and still am. Stephen King is my favorite author, but I've been reading a lot of presidential biographies over the past few years, trying to get through them all. I will literally watch any movie, I'm already at 130+ movies in 2020 that I haven't seen before (it's July); I typically watch dramas, but also love horror, and like I said, I'm really not that picky.

What was the last book you read?
Finished was The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, but I also recently finished Mornings on Horseback, which was an early biography of Teddy Roosevelt.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Trombone in elementary/middle school, tuba briefly in high school. I also sing which counts I think?

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
My top two most listened to artists in 2019 were Taylor Swift and Kanye West.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Saw Hamilton on Broadway, then immediately went to the airport to catch a 4 AM flight home.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
I got hit head on by a car crossing a crosswalk, and literally had no injuries. So not awesome but a whole lot more awesome than it could have been.

Who is your idol?
Stephen King, I just wish I was that creative.

What would you do if you had a time machine?
Age of Exploration, I would love to see the world when it was relatively untouched.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Extrovert who needs time off rarely

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
One that can move stuff with their mind, that seems like the best power

Have any pets?
Only vicariously through my parents and my girlfriend

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?
Let's keep them all! If Monopoly is erased, we run the risk of someone bringing it back even more powerful than before.

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 know who you are.

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

I'm currently in the middle of moving, it sucks




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, 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
Disclaimer Support me on Patreon!

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.