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.
Interviewed on: 8/24/2016 14:40:40
Paul Spencer is part of the Card and Board Game Designers Guild on Facebook and we've crossed paths a few times in the digital realms. He's currently working on a game about avoiding having customs officials look in your luggage called Nothing to Declare, which will be hitting Kickstarter next week. So be sure to check out Nothing to Declare when it launches and read on to find out a bit more about Paul.
Tell me a bit about yourself.
How long have you been designing tabletop games?
Six months to a year.
Why did you start designing tabletop games?
Because I wanted to make something my friends would enjoy playing.
What game or games are you currently working on?
Nothing To Declare - a take that card game
Have you designed any games that have been published?
Only self-published print and play games online.
What is your day job?
Your Gaming Tastes
My readers would like to know more about you as a gamer.
Where do you prefer to play games?
The living room
Who do you normally game with?
Friends from work
If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
And what snacks would you eat?
Chips and dips
Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Lord of the Rings soundtrack.
What’s your favorite FLGS?
What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Five Tribes. Game of Thrones. Pick the lock.
What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Worker placement. Roll and move.
What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
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, Video Games
OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
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 am mechanics driven. But I often find theme informs the mechanics
Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
Playing other games, watching tv, anything I find interesting or haven't seen in a game.
How do you go about playtesting your games?
Starts with my housemate and girlfriend. Then to my friends, then to playtest UK
Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
I never work alone ;)
What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Making games that have crossover appeal
If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
How to use board game geek
What advice would you like to share about designing games?
When you realise it doesn't work. That's when you get to work.
Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
I'm planning to crowdfund: Nothing To Declare
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Playground Tactics
Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Yes. Card and Board game designers 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. Pepsi. I'm not that old.
What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Video games, play guitar
What is something you learned in the last week?
What an IBAN is.
Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
Hardcore. Sci-fi. Sci-fi.
What was the last book you read?
Do you play any musical instruments?
Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I'm left handed
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?
Art. Donald Trump.
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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